Meeting Location

Meeting Location:
The George Inn (click for directions)
84 Route 94
McAfee, NJ
Tuesdays 7:00 PM

November 30, 2008

With the decline in the economy, times are tough for many people. To help address this, in a small way, the Club recently donated over $3000 to the local food bank and has made monies available to those local residents who are having difficulty with winter heating costs.

On November 19, the Club received recognition from Domestic Abuse Services, Inc. (DASI) for our contribution of time, talent, and resources in furnishing and decorating one of the rooms at the recently opened transitional housing facility. This facility provides transitional housing for families of abused spouses who are getting a fresh start. The Club would, in turn, like to specially recognize and thank Chipper McLellan of Intrawest for their generous contribution of furniture to this endeavor.

Over the past several weeks, we have had several interesting speakers. The list includes Mariah Levy, Tricia Smith, Larry Adams, and Ed Dellert. Tricia's program was about her organization, "K.E.E.P." and discussed the afterschool program that they run for Sussex County residents. Of particular note was the fact that the program is run at Rolling Hills School in Vernon and at their location in Sparta. Ed Dellert talked about a program that his Swim Center LLC has run for Pass It Along whereby they teach inner city youth how to swim. This allows them to more fully participate in Pass It Along outings where swimming is involved.

August 19, 2008

This evening we were joined by Melinda Carlton, the Vernon Township Manager who provided an overview/update of various town projects and issues. It has been a few years since we've had our township manager here and though Melinda has only been on the job eight months, she seems to have a solid understanding of many of the issues facing the administration and the township at large.

The conversation was wide-ranging and while several members expressed some frustration with the way things have been done in the past, the mood was polite and constructive. Given the knowledge that members have of the town's history, Melinda received some important insights which will help her as she continues to work on various issues.

Coming out of the meeting, one cannot help but realize that there is much more work to be done. It is important that as local business leaders that we have the opportunity to work with the Town and it seems that Melinda would welcome the input and the assistance.

August 1, 2008

We had an enjoyable meeting with the new District Governor, Janice Teetsell on July 22> She and her assistant along with Melanie Matthies, our Assistant Governor, joined us for a brief Board of Director's Meeting just prior to the regular meeting. During the meeting, we voted Janet O'Neill into the Club as a member.

The consensus was that Janice is a good DG as she has the right mix of Rotary tradition and pragmatism for understanding that clubs need to be able to run themselves the best way they know how.

July 2, 2008

Welcome to David and the new team - Eddie Rolando, Jr., President-Elect, Trish Hruby, Vice-President, Teresa Vihti, Secretary, Kurt Lozaw, Sergeant-at-Arms, and, of course, Van Tamagnini, Treasurer.

With the commencement of the new Rotary year, watch as 2008-09 RI President Dong Kurn Lee announces the 2008-09 RI theme at the Rotary International Assembly.

June 29, 2008

The Vernon Rotary Club recently awarded four Vernon Township High School graudates with $1000 awards.

Stephen Marosetz was awarded the first Amos Phillips Memorial Award of $1000. This award is based on a graduate's involvement in community service and their intent to focus on either or both business and education. Sarah Hobaugh, Kimberly Konopka, and Tasha Miley were each $1000 recipients of the John Leeds Award, named for the founder of the Vernon Township Ambulance Squad.

Shown here with Robert McGuire, president of the Club, are the recipients and their parents. Stephen could not be with us for the picture, but we look forward to having him join us in the near future.
The Vernon Rotary Club has given away more than $100,000 in scholarship awards to graduating students in the 30 years since the John Leeds Award was established.

Bulletin - May 31, 2008

This past Monday was Memorial Day. The Vernon Rotary Club was invited by the local VFW chapter to march in the annual parade in town. It was a lot of fun and it was an honor to be a part of this annual remembrance.

The picture at left shows members Eddie Rolando and Teresa Vihti prior to the parade. We marched from the Dairy Queen on Route 94 up to the center of town, past the Municipal Building, down to Memorial Park at "the Flats."

After the parade, there was a memorial service that reminded us all of the true meaning of Memorial Day and the sacrifices made by members of our armed forces in the service of the United States around the world.

In related news, Tuesday's meeting was well-attended with three guests and a guest speaker, Randy Egan, that spoke to us about the Vernon Little League. They have some big plans for the fields. They have already renovated one field, with new sod, fencing, etc. They are working on getting a new scoreboard installed, as well. Businesses in town, most notably R.S. Phillips Steel, have been generous in their support of the Little League in this venture.
For more information and game schedules, check out the following website:

Bulletin - May 6, 2008

It was a cold, blustery day when the intrepid group braved the course and prepared to face the ultimate... OK, it wasn't that dramatic, but it was a day that would only have warmed the crazy Scottish inventors of the game of golf. The first annual Amos Phillips Memorial Golf Outing was by most accounts a success. We had 70 some-odd golfers braving the links on Wild Turkey at Crystal Springs with some coming from as far away as Connecticut. We were able to raise over $10,000 for the Club's charity account for next year, so David has plenty to work with going into his term.

In other news, the Club voted Kurt Lozaw in as a new member. Kurt is a Vice President at the new Highlands State Bank in Vernon. We look forward to having Kurt with us and sharing his fellowship as part of the Club.

The Vernon Rotary Club will be taking part in this year's Memorial Day Parade which takes place at 10am on May 26, 2008. We will be marching in the annual VFW parade which starts at the Dairy Queen on Rt. 94 and ends at "The Flats". Let's all hope and pray for nice weather or at least no rain.

Bulletin - April 22, 2008

Last week we were joined by the GSE Team from District 3170 from southwest India. The team was led by Dr. Sujata M. Jali and consisted of Dr. Shailaja Patil, Pushpanjali Solanki, Koustubh Gosavi, and Rajami Kami.

The team was met by Club Rotarians at the Sterling Hill Mine where we enjoyed a tour of the museum and mine. This is very interesting, not only for visitors from outside the US, but also for anyone who lives in the area as mining was the basis for the early settlement of this region of New Jersey.

After a brief respite at a local watering hole, we took the team to Mountain Creek where they got to see snow, some for the first time. We were joined at the meeting by PDG Bob Sherman and enjoyed a program that featured a presentation by the team of who they are and what life is like in India.
Shown below is the GSE Team and our President exchanging banners. All in all, it was an enjoyable day learning about another country's people and culture.

Bulletin - April 10, 2008

On Tuesday, we were joined by Wendie Blanchard and Cassie Pfister who gave us a program on Arthur & Friends, a program that provides training-for-employment opportunities to disabled and disadvantaged residents in Sussex County in the green-collared industry. Friends participate in a four tier training program that will teach them how to plant, care for; harvest and sell hydroponically grown produce. They will gain the necessary skills needed for employment in the agriculture, management, or sales industries. After completion of the program, Friends will work with staff to find unsubsidized and meaningful employment.

In addition, one of our members, Joe DeLuca who is a colonel in the air national guard, recently did a tour operating out of Crete and had the opportunity to do a makeup there. Here is a little writeup on that meeting:

ROTARY MEMBERS MEET IN CHANIA, CRETE Two visiting Rotarians from the United States visited with the Chania Rotary Chapter President on 27 March 2008 at the Royal Sun Hotel on the Island of Crete. Shown from left to right are Rotarians Col Robert Athan from Chapter 14, Lincoln Nebraska, Mr. Stavros Gkizas, President of the Rotary Chapter in Chania, Crete, and Col Joe Deluca from the Rotary Chapter in Vernon, NJ. The Rotarians had a great time discussing current issues of the International Rotary and compared activities of each of their clubs. Col Athan is the Vice Wing Commander for the Nebraska Air National Guard and Col Deluca is the Chief Flight Surgeon for the 105th Medical Group, Stewart NY. Both Col Athan and Col Deluca were in Crete supporting military airlift and aerial refueling activities in the Mediterranean. Mr. Gkizas is a prominent lawyer on the Crete Island and is very active in Hellenic civic law. This was a great opportunity to develop acquaintances, which help to serve and advance international understanding, goodwill, and peace.

Bulletin - March 26, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, we were joined by two of this year's United Way Scholar Athletes. Ted Moran (Vernon High School) was joined by Megan Murnee (Lenape Valley H.S.). Suzanne Rosen gave a short program, describing the various programs that the United Way sponsors for schools in Sussex County. One of many is a program on youth violence, specifically bullying.

Petite Comes, our Rotary Youth Exchange Student, joined us last week to promote Walkfest 2008, a fundraiser that she and the other youth exchange students are participating in on April 13th.

We're in the final stretch for the Golf Outing - sell Tee signs!

Bulletin - February 19, 2008

Winter is definitely here. Our meeting last week was cancelled due to snow and treacherous road conditions. The next day, we had a bad ice storm which closed schools and made driving even worse. Power was knocked out to much of the town, though it was restored pretty much throughout the area by the next day.

In Club news, Steve McGee was happy to report that Vinny Zinno was certified to be a Sr. Trainer Evaluator in the North American Ski Patrol. This is a pretty important honor for him as it puts him in the "best of the best" class of ski patrollers in the country. (NOTE: AARP discounts apply for the first 3 rescues...)

The golf brochures are in so everyone can start selling T signs for the upcoming golf outing in May.

Bulletin - February 9, 2008

We've had a busy week. On Tuesday, Michelle Ruggiero joined us from the NJ Department of Fish & Wildlife for a program about black bear safety. Pretty much everyone in the club has had some kind of bear contact, so this audience was well acquainted with black bears. Michelle did a good job of providing some biological information, such as the fact that black bears are not true hibernators and it is possible to encounter a bear even in the dead of winter. It was also interesting to know that in the early 1970's there were less than 100 bears in New Jersey and today there are over 1,600.

We also touched on the use of a hunt as a mechanism to control the bear population. The Department of Fish & Wildlife is not the agency responsible for setting policy; that is done in Trenton. They do recognize that hunting is a mechanism for controlling population, but the politicians have opposed it for now.

On Saturday, Teresa, David, Petite, and Robert put the finishing touches on our sponsored apartment in the DASI transitional housing building. Kudos to Teresa for her work in coordinating this project. The apartment looks great - some would say that it's the best looking one in the building. According to DASI, there will be a ribbon-cutting in the spring, though probably not at the building itself, for privacy reasons.

Bulletin - January 27, 2008

Thanks to Teresa Vihti, Lisa Dalessio, and David Gornstein for a great turnout for the Chili Open at the Sussex County Fairgrounds. It was a capacity outing for the United Way of Sussex County in this 5th annual fundraising event. The Vernon Club, along with help from young people Sean, Andrew, Delana, Jonathan, and Travis, sponsored a couple of tables of Texas Hold'Em to entertain the golfers "post-round" after a scrumptuous lunch of chili and other favorites from local restaurants.

This effort provided a tangible example to the community of what Rotary is all about. The Newton, Branchville, Hampton, and Wallkill Valley clubs were also present, supporting this very important fundraising effort by the United Way.

Thank you, also, to Kevin Colman for his "behind the scenes" work getting the decorations together and ensuring that the committee was totally prepared to execute the day.

Bulletin - January 15, 2008

Mary Emilius from the Sussex County Economic Development Partnership joined us this evening for an informative program about what her organization does and how it does it. A particular focus for the SCEDP is to promote the creation of jobs within Sussex County. To do that, they seek to help companies relocate to the county by identifying properties available for lease, rent, or purchase as well as to assist organizations with developing new areas. In addition, the SCEDP offers assistance to small companies with locating sources of capital and assistance in setting up their businesses.

At the end of the evening, we were reminded of many of the issues facing business in Sussex County, but Mary's optimism was inspiring. We appreciate her visiting with us and look to have her back in the future.

Other upcoming programs include a program on Bear education as well as the Scholar Athlete program.

Bulletin - January 8, 2008

This coming Saturday is the annual President's / Foundation Ball for District 7470 at Mayfair Farms in West Orange. The Club will be amply represented by a dozen or so members and their spouses/significant others. These events are usually quite a good time.

Next week, Mary Emilius will be joining us from the Sussex County Economic Development Partnership to talk about efforts to promote business within Sussex County. It should be an interesting program - everyone should plan on attending.

Other programs for the future include a visit by the Executive Director of the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce as well as a black bear education program by the NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife.

Rumours and Rumours II Hair Salons in Vernon and Franklin are having a Cut-A-Thon on January 27 to raise money to help Andrew Sorce, the Vernon boy who has Cerebral Palsy for a lift for their home. As you know, one of our members has been working with Andrew's parents to scope out the costs for this lift. All members and their families are encouraged to get a haircut on the 27th.

Bulletin - January 1, 2008

The end of the year is a busy time for everyone, but the Vernon Rotary Club found time to gather at Heaven Hill Farm for a family Christmas Party on December 11. Thanks to our host, Martin Theobald, everyone had a wonderful time with delicious food and drink. Santa Claus even joined the fun, visiting with the children and handing out gifts.

Our exchange student, Petite Comes, even got a chance to sit with Santa.

At our last meeting of the year on December 18, the new officer slate for next year was formally voted in. Our officers for next year are: David Gornstein - President, Eddie Rolando, Jr. - President-Elect, Trish Hruby - Vice President, Teresa Vihti - Secretary, Lisa Dalessio - Sergeant-At-Arms. A big thank-you and good-luck to all our members who will be serving the club next year.

Take note of the news feed from Rotary International that has been added to this blog. This news feed is continually updated from RI with news from around the Rotary world.