Dear Rotarians:

Today I am writing my November letter to you as we all recover from the effects of Sandy.  Rotarians all over the Hudson Valley have been impacted by the storm on October 29th.  I received a message from two Rotary Clubs, out of our area, asking if they could help.  One Club was from Southern Louisiana (District 6200), and the second Club was from Georgia.   District 7210 directly helped the communities of Grand Isle and Golden Meadow in Louisiana immediately following Katrina.  Those Rotarians were already worrying about us.....



Speaking of special Rotarians you all should have seen what the Walden Rotary Club accomplished in a matter of 48 hours. The daughter of Walden Rotarian, Bob Santo lives in Howard Beach, Queens. She is the president of the Rotary Club in that community. Bob discovered that the community was in desperate need of help. He put the word out to the Walden community, the District Rotary community that there was going to be a collection of clothing, food, water and mattresses at the Berea Elementary School in the Valley Central School District on Saturday from 9:00 Am-11:00AM. The Walden Rotary Club all got behind Bob’s efforts. The expectation was that they would fill 1 truck. By 10:00AM they realized that they would need another truck.  The end result was 2 full trucks were sent to Howard Beech full of supplies for the residents of that community.


Another special Rotarian effort is what is going on in Rockland County. Several towns (Piermont, Nyack and Haverstraw) suffered extensive damage from Sandy.  John Buonadonna, President of the Pearl River Rotary Club and PDG  Carole Tjoa have helped spread the word to Rotarians in Rockland County regarding the need in the area. They specifically asked for food donations to go the People to People Food Pantry, cash to be collected to give to the people to People fund and for each club to designate a club liaison for relief.  This is just the beginning. John and Carole have just begun. I am sure there will be many more Rotarians in Rockland County and the entire District that I could write about.


November is Foundation Month and very appropriate as we struggle with the weather related problems in our area.  The Rotary Foundation allows Rotarians around the world to assist people that live in a constant state of problems and catastrophe.  Through the Foundation, Rotary has been able to do humanitarian work around the world for many years.  

We now have those needy folks right in our own back yard. The work around the world does not stop. We will continue to:
-Support Polio Plus
-Support the distribution of solar cookers to villagers in Mumbai Mahim ,India
-Support a water project in Honduras
-Support the distribution of art supplies for Elementary students in Spanish Harlem-NYC
-Support the Fishes and Loaves project which distributed gift cards to needy families in the New Paltz  area.
-Support the warm coats project in our District

All of these projects (and many more) are supported because of the generosity of the Rotarians in District 7210. The contributions to The Rotary Foundation are the key to our success in helping others around the world and here at home. If you want to know more about the Foundation and how your club can get involved please go to the Foundation link on the District website. In addition we have several experienced Rotarians who would be an excellent speaker at one of your club’s meetings.

In closing, I want to share with you 2 Rotary Moments that I observed while I was making my “official Visits” last week.

The first Rotary Moment was in talking to a relatively new (less than 5 years) Rotarian and asking him about his early time in Rotary. He said he was not impressed with Rotary as he came to the weekly meetings ate lunch heard the speaker and then went back to work. He found nothing exciting in those meetings.  He almost dropped out of Rotary until he got involved in the first big project. Al the club showed up. Everybody rolled up their sleeves and the fellowship was great. That is when he decided that he really wanted to be a Rotarian and he has stayed and now has a leadership position in the club.

The second “Rotary Moment” was during “Happy Sad Dollars” at another club. Everyone was making their contributions to the sergeant-at –arms and the last Rotarian make a contribution of a Happy Dollar for the entire club. He did this because the club has been so nice to his adult son who attends every meeting and is an honorary member of the club. It means so much to his son to be welcome, treated as a member of the club. The Rotarian’s son has Special Needs and considers the members of the Rotary Club as his Family. 


Continue to be the great Rotarians that help around the world and help in our own communities. Continue to be generous and remember The Rotary Foundation.

Bill Bassett
District Governor