Meeting Location

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

December 7, 2010

We had our annual Family Christmas Party at Heaven Hill Farm tonight.  It was a very enjoyable time and Martin and his crew did a wonderful job with the food.  Of particular note was the apple crisp.  Nice job!

This annual get-together offers a chance for us to get together with spouses and family members and enjoy some good old holiday fellowship.  The Club thanks Martin for his hospitality and generosity in supporting this annual event for us.

November 9, 2010

Tonight we had two guests with us for our meeting.  The first was Michael Roux and his father, Roger.  Our second guest was Gerry Giaimis, Vernon Township Manager.

Michael, who graduated from High Point University this spring, participated in the Journey of Hope, a cross-country bicycle trip that raises awareness and money for people with disabilities.  Our Club contributed to the effort in support of Michael.  See this link for more information and pictures of the effort:

Gerry Giaimis is the latest township manager that we've had in Vernon.  (I think 3rd or 4th this year...)  Though we haven't had all of them present to us, his comments were frank and to-the-point.  While some of the initiatives that the township are considering are not greeted with unanimous fanfare, it is clear that the township is facing some real challenges.  However, Gerry stated that he has seen townships with worse problems.

While it is not clear exactly how long he will be manager, given the change in township government that was passed in the recent election, he is certainly ready for the task ahead.  We thank Gerry for his time in joining us and hope that he will return for periodic updates.

October 12, 2010

Tonight Zachary Decker and his family joined us for dinner.  This was to honor those who had helped with the fundraiser that was held on September 11 to raise money for him.  Zachary is a 4-year-old boy from Hamburg who is suffering from ALL, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

The following is an excerpt from a thank you letter that was sent to The Advertiser shortly after the fundraiser, "Thank you to Tree City Mini Golf for hosting our day as well as Teresa Vihiti and the Vernon Rotary for their sponsorship of the tricky tray. Without your help and support along the way, this day would not have been achievable. We would also like to acknowledge Mayor Sally Rinker and the Vernon Township Council for their encouragement and support.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
Kristin Oyen, Nicole Saliba and Alicia Speid"

Cash 4 Gold Fundraiser!!!

The Vernon Rotary Club is sponsoring a Gold for Cash Fundraiser.

Gold price hits $1,300 record high! September 24, 2010, the price of gold rises above $1,300 an ounce for the first time. Convert your gold (silver, platinum, and precious gem stones) to cash – Old chains, missing earrings, broken pieces, etc, etc.

Place: McAfee Firehouse at the Intersection of Rt. 94 & 517
Dates: Wednesday, October 6th - 6 to 9 PM
Saturday, October 9th - 11 AM to 3 PM

Please help us in supporting our local activities, including:

• Scholarships (the Vernon Rotary has presented more than $100,000 in grants and scholarships to our students);
• Dictionary Project (the club has presented every third grader in the Vernon schools with their own dictionary for the past 6 years)
• Charitable donations (various church and food pantries);
• Community services and projects
• Etc.

September 21, 2010

This evening we welcomed a number of individuals from Vernon who provided invaluable assistance with last Fall's fundraiser for one of our members, Jim Dizenzo. Jim had been diagnosed with a terrible lung condition that necessitated his receiving a double lung transplant. While insurance, thankfully, covered much of the expense, as with anything like this, because of the time required for recuperation, there are many personal expenses not covered by medical insurance. The fundraiser provided much needed financial assistance for Jim and his family so he could come back strong as ever.

Pam Reed volunteered her time out of friendship with Jim and his family. Bill Maggeri, a colleague from BNI, offered his services as DJ for the fundraiser. Patty Guinta of Brookside Florist, offered her services. Jeannie Buffalino, with the PAL, also helped with the hosting of the event. And, lastly, Craig English and Mark Megan of Mac & Lindy's Liquors, helped with the beverages.

We were grateful to be able to present awards to almost all the contributors in person this evening.

September 14, 2010

This past weekend was the Fundraiser for Zachary Decker, the 4-year old from Hamburg who is suffering with leukemia. The fundraiser was held at Tree City Mini Golf at Mountain Creek. The Club helped by sponsoring the Tricky Tray. All in all, the day raised over $4000 for Zachary to help defray the costs of his ongoing chemotherapy.

Below are some additional photos from the event. Thanks to Theresa for representing the Club and to Martin for his donation of Tricky Tray items. Also in attendance was Sally, in her role as mayor. All in all, a good day for Vernon and the Club.

August 31, 2010

This evening we were joined by Sarah Balzano who is a Nurse Liaison for The Homestead, a rehabilitation and long term care facility in Sussex County. First of all, we were surprised to hear about The Homestead, most of us having no idea that Sussex County had such a facility. The Homestead is located at 129 Morris Turnpike, in Newton. It can also be found on the web at

The Homestead offers a full range of services that include Audiology, Optometry/Opthalmology, Podiatry and variety of others. The Homestead also has The Balance Center which provides vestibular rehabilitation. The Balance Center provides diagnostic and rehabilitation services to identify and treat balance disorders in people from all walks of life. The Balance Center can be reached at 973-948-4093.

August 10, 2010

Sue Cacciola joined us for a program on Legal Nurse Consulting which basically is an expert witness who helps lawyers and plaintiffs as well as defendants with cases of negligence and malpractice. It was an interesting discussion on a variety of topics in the healthcare field.

Next week, we were to have a program by Sarah Balzano from the Sussex County Homestead, but this is being postponed two weeks due to a personal issue that came up with Sarah.

August 3, 2010

Tonight's meeting was a regular working session, discussing items of business for the Club. A key issue for us this year will be fundraising and there was much discussion about that. The annual spring golf outing is our major fundraiser and concern was expressed that we might dilute the effectiveness of that effort. At the same time, as with many charitable and service organizations, we are constantly looking for ways to increase our funds to be able to serve the community.

Next week we have a program featuring Sue Cacciola, Certified Nurse Consultant.

July 27, 2010

Tonight's Gold 4 Cash presentation was very interesting. Thanks again to Cathy, Tony, and Tom for sharing this with all of us!

FYI -This fundraiser idea will be on next weeks agenda for further discussion among several other important topics and business we need to take care of.

Speaking of the agenda, I would like to encourage everyone to add your input to the agenda by sending Robert or myself any information or topic of interest that you feel would be important to discuss as a club. I would however, like to try and keep our meetings to no longer than 30-45 mins. (tops,depending on how many agenda items) so starting no later than 7:15pm would help to facilitate this time frame.

Next weeks agenda may likely be a little lengthy since we have had a few events and a few lovely guests/speakers in these past few weeks.

Hope everyone has a great rest of the week, and look forward to hearing from you on any agenda topic you would like added to discuss.

July 20, 2010

We were joined tonight by Maurie Mader, District Governor of our Rotary District 7470. Maurie was entertaining and informative and gave us the "big picture" view of Rotary from the District to the world. We learned about the continuing focus on Polio Plus, Rotary's effort to eradicate polio from the world. Rotary International is encouraging all clubs to contribute $$$ to this effort and the Sussex County Rotary clubs are going to their best in a 50/50 fundraiser in October.

Pictured here are Teresa and Maurie during their banner exchange.

Joining Maurie was Laura Smith, our Assistant Governor from the Branchville, NJ Rotary club. Laura provided some good feedback and is an invaluable resource, close by, that can help with District issues.

Also this evening, we welcomed a new member, Jean Murphy, to membership in Rotary. Jean is sponsored by Sally Rinker, who is also a relatively new member. Congratulations both to Jean and Sally!

July 13, 2010

Tonight was the official induction of Teresa and the new slate of officers for the 2010-2011 Rotary year. In addition to members, members' spouses and significant others were in attendance at The George Inn to officially kick-off the year.

Eddie recognized David Gornstein and Susan George for their efforts as chairpersons of the committee that spearheaded the Beefsteak fundraiser for Jim Dizenzo last fall. Congratulations David & Susan!

Here are some more pictures of the evening:

July 6, 2010

Hope everyone is keeping cool in these dog days of summer and staying well hydrated

Just wanted to remind everyone that a final head count is needed by 7/9/10 for the "Pass the Gavel" far we have 15 people confirmed and 2 tentatives. I would appreciate it if everyone can respond one way or the other so I can give John at the George a definite number of people attending next Tuesday.

We also need someone to come forward and fill the Secretary's position before next Tuesday's dinner. Sue has graciously agreed to fill in until someone else steps forward. Robert McGuire has been approached and said he will think about it and let me know. (It would be awesome if you would accept.)

Thank You again, Robert, for the great job you did updating the Blog! If anyone else has an interest in the Secretary's position please let me know as soon as possible.

It was also very nice to see Kevin at last nights meeting and hope he will be attending again on a regular basis. For the rest of you who were unable to attend...You were missed!

We also discussed the possibility of starting the annual baseball outing at Skylands
again and would love some input on that.

Finally as another reminder...Membership Dues & Paul Harris Fellows (for those who
contribute) are due.

July 1, 2010

Hope everyone is having a good summer. Let's welcome Teresa to the helm of the Club. Note that we are looking for someone to take over the Secretary position for the year.

The annual passing of the gavel will be on Tuesday, July 13th at The George Inn. Spouses are welcome. Let us know by July 6 so a count can be given to the The George Inn.

Maurie Mader, our new District Governor, will be joining us on July 20. Check the Calendar of Events to the right.

In October, the six Rotary clubs in Sussex County will be having the Six Club Dinner at The Farmstead Golf & Country Club at 6 pm. We will be offering the invocation.

February 22, 2010

We are in the process of setting up a Facebook group for the Vernon Rotary Club. If you are not already a member of Facebook, go to and sign up. It's free and it's a great way to connect with family, friends, and long-lost colleagues.

February 16, 2010

This evening we had a program with Suzanne Swank and two of Sussex County United Way's Scholar Athletes. From Vernon, we had Louis Stengel and his parents and from Sussex Tech, we had Katie Roth. Both are outstanding students whose goals include studying engineering in college.

Katie is studying Engineering Technology at Tech and has been involved in a variety of activities including the human powered submarine at the International Submarine Races held biennially (every two years) at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Bethesda, MD. Here is a link to their site for more information:

Here is a picture of the Sussex Tech entry in the January 2007 races. In case it was not mentioned, Katie is 1st in her graduating class.

Louis is 7th in the 2010 Vernon High School graduating class. He is a track athlete as well as plays basketball and baseball. He is also involved in marching band and plays in a summer pit orchestra with the Highland Stage. He is also a Vice President of the National Honor Society. After graduation, he plans on studying mechanical engineering.

February 2, 2010

The Vernon Rotary Club sponsored a raffle to raise funds for a local girl who is battling leukemia. Tonight we held the drawing at our regular meeting. The raffle, run by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Kinnelon, raised over $20,000 to help Micayla Wynn and her parents with un-covered expenses related to her treatment. It was a tremendous effort and Micayla's father, Pete, was very appreciative of the help that the club provided.

Chili anyone? Saturday was the 7th annual Sussex County United Way Chili Open and, boy, was it chilly! With the temperature hovering around 10 degrees, a sellout crowd of golfers assembled at the Sussex County Fairgrounds on a bleak, overcast day to, of all things, play a round of golf and to eat chili. The new Conservatory at the Fairgrounds is beautiful and was nice and warm during the cold day.

All five Sussex County Rotary Clubs were in attendance, helping with everything from course layout to providing food and refreshments to providing games for golfers to play while waiting for awards, etc. The Vernon Rotary Club, represented by Rotarians Teresa Vihti, David Gornstein, Martin Theobald, and Robert McGuire had set up three tables of Texas Hold'Em. Students Sarah McGuire, Jonathan Vihti, and Travis Vihti helped out as well. And the master dealer was Teresa's husband, Vinny. Thank you, Vinny, for a fine job!

Thank you to all who helped out and we look forward to next year!

January 19, 2009

We were joined last week by Samuel Borlum of Extreme Energy Solutions who spoke about fuel efficiency. His company has been performing R&D in the area of fuel efficiency for some time. In their experience, it is about changing mindsets about fuel and engines. Their focus is on transportation and companies with fleets of vehicles. It is not necessary to increase fuel mileage 50%; a mere 10% improvement in fuel mileage can bring dramatic improvements to a company's bottom line.

Last week, there was a fire at the condos at Great Gorge (the Spa) in Vernon. Five families lost their homes. The fire destroyed an entire building that was comprised of eight units. Today, the Club voted to make a donation to the families as well as to Haitian earthquake relief.