Posted by Yvette Hohler on Mar 10, 2020
Today was an OPEN CUPBOARD DAY.  Thank you donors for your generosity and especially Dennis, who delivered the goods to their destination!Among our luncheon guests, we welcomed and honored Comsewogue High's Most Motivated Student of the Month, Riley Hughes. 
She was accompanied by her proud parents, Sean and Beth Hughes, and HS Principal Michael Mosca. It was Mr. Mosca who introduced Riley, explaining why this student was selected for our award.  Mosca said that Riley first came to his attention at a school assembly attended by approximately 600 students plus a few dozen adults.  Her topic was the ALS Ride For Life organization.  The Principal was especially struck by the fact that this 9th grader was so poised while on stage.  She spoke forcefully about the nonprofit charity that supports ALS patients and their families, seeks a cure, and raises public awareness about the disease.  Mosca said that after her presentation, he looked up her credentials and learned that she is not just an effective public speaker, but that she is also an excellent student with a GPA in the high 90's who is taking all honors courses.  He met with Riley and learned that her initial interest in Ride For Life stemmed from her grandfather's death caused by ALS.  As a vigorous promoter and fundraiser for this organization, she now considers Ride For Life like a 2nd family.  Mosca also learned, as he got to know her better, that she is a great pastry chef and cook.  It was with great pleasure that he proposed her and she was selected for this month's award.
 
Our other guest, Dr. Louis Scotti, member of the Rotary Club of the Ronkonkomas, invited us to support his International Service project.  His club is partnering with the Puerto Plata Rotary Club in the Dominican Republic as they seek a Rotary Foundation Global Grant. The grant will enable the expansion of existing  community programs that protect children from child labor, including prostitution, in the Barrio Haiti section of Puerto Plata.  He spoke about a non-profit organization formed in the community, Dove Youth Development, that has worked for 10 years to keep the impoverished community's children in school and gives them supplemental education that could help them break the cycle of poverty. Children attend public school for only 1/2 day and receive a woefully inadequate education.  Dove offers additional classes meant to support employment opportunities- such as English as a 2nd language, computer skills, cosmetology, and agricultural skills.  Dove families must sign a contract to make sure their kids attend public school classes and then the Dove classes. Also, parents must volunteer a minimum of 1 hour per week at Dove, helping prepare food, cleaning, and the like. If the family fulfills its obligations, Dove provides monthly groceries, replacing the need for child labor.  Children also receive daily snacks, and Dove provides school uniforms required for public school attendance.  Dove currently has 160 children enrolled in its program at its Youth Development Center- a building that needs to be rehabilitated -including upgraded utilities to support an upgraded computer lab, cosmetology suite, and a rooftop educational garden.  Once rehabilitated, the building will be able to serve more youngsters.  Lou explained that the proposed project is about halfway towards meeting its $90,000 budget.  His club has committed $10,000, which will become $15,000 when/if matched by the Rotary Foundation.  He has been inviting other clubs and individual donors to help out, and with matches has received pledges up to $46, 000. He now looks for partnering clubs to help raise the additional $30,000 for the Global Grant.  Funds donated for such a grant will be matched by the Rotary Foundation at 50 cents on the dollar.  He will happily welcome your donation checks made out and sent to Ronkonkoma RC Charitable Fund (a 501c3), P.O.Box 2717, Ronkonkoma, NY 11779.  (In the check's memo section, please put: DOVE-GG2096722.)  
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS/REMINDERS:  ***NEXT TUESDAY, 3/17, we will return to Cafe Spiga at noon, where we will enjoy and learn a lot from a presentation by Sal Filosa.  The topic: How to Navigate our Clubrunner Website.  Bring your laptops if you have them.***  There is currently $135 in The Pot. You've gotta be in it to win it! Paul thanked all who participated in the Chandler Estate Park Cleanup on Saturday.  The volunteers completed a lot of work and were amazing!  In addition to Paul, the volunteer group included Pat, Al, Bob, Erica & her family, and Larry Hohler.  And the volunteers thank Judi for treating them to lunch at Tara's! The next PETS Training Session will be held on April 4th. If you have an interest in becoming a club officer and perhaps a future club president, you might want to attend. Ask Paul for the details.  Sharon is back!  She brought greetings from Susan and Bob Hanson, who are very much alive & well in Florida.  Joan suggested arranging a visit for us with Riverhead Rotary, which is planning to host a local brewery visit/tour on a Tuesday when the weather is warmer.  Dennis attended a RYLA planning meeting at Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck on Saturday. He reminded us that 8 local sophomores and 3 facilitators have signed up to participate this year.  It will be up to the Donations Committee to decide to what extent we can afford to subsidize them during RYLA camp weekend. Club members are invited to celebrate Judi's being honored as Brookhaven's Volunteer of the Year at the 34th Annual Women's Recognition Awards Night on Tuesday, March 24th, 6:30 PM at the Town Hall Auditorium (2nd Floor), 1 Independence Hill, Farmingville.   Yvette invites you to attend the Saturday, March 14th  special showing of the delightful African film "Liyana" at Huntington's Cinema Arts Centre (on Park Avenue) at 12 noon.  Hope Children's Fund is hosting this event and the Kenyan Crafts Show & Sales following the film. You are also invited to join the members of the Rotary Club of Patchogue when they honor their President on March 12th at "An Irish Wake" at the Bellport Country Club.  Contact Judi for the details.  Save this date for The Andrew McMorris BSA 1st Annual 5K Walk/Run: March 28th. The Place: The BSA Camp on Sound Ave.in Baiting Hollow. Also planned for this event: a "virtual walk". Judi will  be a "virtual walker" and is asking for pledges to support her participation. Checks can be made out to "BSA, Suffolk Council" and sent to her. Comsewogue HS will be hosting a Career Breakfast on March 20th. If you would like to participate and share information about what you do in your profession and what preparation is needed, contact Comsewogue Principal Michael  Mosca (mmosca@comsewogue.k12.ny.us) or Jen.  REMEMBER: On March 28th,  we will hold a Stuff-A-Van at the Setauket's Stop & Shop (Rte.25A) from 10AM to 1 PM. Volunteers are invited to tell Dennis of their interest in helping out.   Jen provided information about some excellent opportunities again offered by the Brookhaven Chambers of Commerce Coalition (BCCC):  1.The BCCC $1,000 Scholarship to be presented to a 2020 graduating HS Senior who will continue his/her education in business-college, trade school, etc.  Applicants must submit via email to bransome@optonline.net  a maximum 500 word or less essay entitled "Why I want to continue my education in business." Essay deadline:3/23/2020;          2) BCCC Economic Stimulus Incentive Grant- $1,000- for a Chamber member/ a member of BCCC, who will write a narrative of how the money will be spent so that it benefits BCCC membership and/or improves member services; and 3) a BCCC "Small Business Improvement Award Grant" of $1,200 for businesses of 50 or less employees, not including non-profits, that have been in business for at least 1 year- March 23rd deadline.  For additional info, contact Barbara Ransome at 631-889-1190 or email bransome@optonline.net.   The Italian Rotarians who hosted Bob's visit will be in our area from 5/19-5/29. Al has generously donated the use of his barn on 5/22 for a BBQ with the Rotarians from Italy. Our club members, family, and friends are hereby invited to attend. This should be a most enjoyable event!  Please note our Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck Spring Clean-Up date: Sunday, May 3rd.    
     
                                             ***March is Rotaract Month in Rotary.***

Check out other upcoming events that might be of interest to you that are listed with appropriate details on our Events Calendar on this website.

                            RI's 2019-2020 theme: "Rotary Connects The World".

***Please check out our page on Face Book- and Like Us. ***Photos from our 2018, 2019, and 2020 Winter Golf Classics are posted there as are photos of the inductions of our newest members, presentations of honors to special club members, participants at our most recent Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck Clean-Up, and other delights.