Archive for Richard Harshbarger

Pawling Rotary Gives Generously This Holiday Season

By Susan Stone


Lankler Hall at Christ Church on Quaker Hill, was the setting on December 12th for the annual Pawling Rotary holiday party.  Seventy five guests were entertained with songs of the season by the Christ Church Singers, lead by Musical Director, Ms. Toni LaPietra.  Rotary members and guests enjoyed lunch, catered by Vinny’s Deli and Pasta.

Those present learned of the many ways in which Pawling Rotary supports causes within the community that specifically enhance programming for Pawling’s youngsters.  Additionally, regional leadership of Rotary District 7210 were on hand to speak about the many ways in which the Rotary  Foundation continues to support great causes like polio eradication worldwide, eliminating the trauma faced by children born with cleft lip and palate through funded surgical intervention, and supporting Shelterbox USA, which provides long term temporary shelter for populations uprooted by natural and manmade disasters, including those created by the rash of hurricanes that affected the southern states and Puerto Rico this year.

MC’d by Pawling Rotary’s President, Jeff Asher, Pawling Rotary presented the following organizations with grants and gifts in support of the work they do locally, regionally and internationally for children. Assisting Mr. Asher was Rotary members, Carl Dill, in top hat and seasonal red and green.

  • Rotary Foundation: Assists in worldwide challenges such as poverty, illiteracy, and malnutrition
  • Polio Plus: Has reduced polio cases by 99% worldwide since 1979.
  • Rotoplast: Eliminating the incidence of untreated cleft lips and palates in children worldwide by the year 2025.
  • Pawling Resource Center: Offering a helping hand to neighbors and provides a caring place to turn to in difficult times.  Rotary’s gift will be directed toward youth support.
  • Pawling Free Library: Rotary’s gift will support programming for children, teens and young adults.
  • Pawling Youth Development: Provides funding for children’s and youth services programs, including the After School and Drop-In Programs for 7th and 8th
  • Pawling Scout Cabin Located on The Smith Johnson Scout Reservation: Over 200 local scouts benefit from the use of this 18 acre wooded area.
  • Rotary Interact Club: A partnership formed in 2011 by the Pawling Rotary Club and Pawling Recreation Department, with over 50 High School Juniors and Seniors raising funds for charitable causes.
  • Pawling Fire Department: Rotary’s gift supports educational programs for local youth.
  • Pawling Public Radio: Rotary’s grant funds an apprenticeship program for High School students and recent graduates.
  • Camp Herrlich: Provides enriching youth experiences in their after-school programs and summer camps for more than twenty-five years. 
  • Camp Sundown: Provides a safe and accepting environment for children suffering from  Xeroderma Pigmentosum.
  • Blue Path Service Dogs: Provides service dogs for autistic children. Dogs are specifically trained to offer safety, companionship and opportunities for independence. 
  • Pawling’s American Legion Post: Rotary’s grant is in support of their local scouting and teen leadership activities.
  • Pawling Chamber of Commerce Tree Lighting: Pawling Rotary was one of 65 contributors who responded to the Chamber of Commerce request for tree lighting funding.


Over $10,000 in grants were given to the above organizations.  Additionally, Pawling Rotary donated a total of $3,000 for disaster relief in Huston, Florida (through Shelter Box) and Puerto Rico this year.  Finally, Rotary provided Pawling High School Seniors with two college scholarships this year.  In all, Pawling Rotary has given more than $18,000 in 2017 to causes that promote education, health and welfare to children and their families.



Pawling Rotary Inducts New Member


Pawling Rotary’s Elementary School Dictionary Project

By Susan Stone

On November 4th, members of the Pawling Rotary Club, lead by Rotary Board member Richard Harshbarger, presented personalized dictionaries to the entire third grade class at the Pawling Elementary School.  Mrs. Michelle Rivas, Assistant Principal, led the event and stood in for Dr. Kirkhus, Principal of the elementary school. Dr. William Ward, PCSD Superintendent was also present, as each third grade student received their own dictionary.  Ms. Catherine (Kate) Calandro, Principal’s Secretary, made sure that all third graders had his or her name added to the bookplate that was pasted into the front of each dictionary. Throughout the following weeks, the children of the third grade wrote notes of thanks to the Pawling Rotary Club, which were shared at a club meeting with all members in attendance. Pawling Rotary members will present personalized dictionaries to the third graders at Mizzentop Day School during the first week of December.

November 11th Rotary Chocolate Festival to Honor American Legion

By Susan Stone
With this year’s annual Chocolate Festival falling on Veteran’s Day, November 11, the Pawling Rotary Club will honor the members of the Pawling American Legion.  The American Legion is one of the nation’s most renowned veteran’s associations, chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization, focusing on service to veterans, service members and communities Locally, the American Legion of Pawling supports the community’s youngsters through scholarships, sending participants to Boys and Girls State, supporting Cub Scout Pack 34 (for the last sixty years), maintaining Veterans Memorial Plaza in the heart of the village, and honoring the memory of all veterans with the placement of over 650 American flags on gravesites in local cemeteries. Veterans attending this year’s event will receive special recognition, along with a small gift of thanks from the club.
Along with Rotary’s Spring Fundraiser providing dollars for Pawling Rotary’s Roger Smith Scholarship Fund, The Chocolate Festival, which occurs each fall, raises funds for all the other worthwhile organizations in Pawling that support youngsters and their families. The grants that are funded by this event offer opportunities made available through The Smith Johnson Scout Cabin, The Pawling Resource Center and their family outreach programs, The Pawling Free library, Pawling Youth Development, the Interact Club, Pawling Public Radio’s internship and apprenticeship programs, and the Pawling Fire Department for their unstinting protection of Pawling’s children and families. Additional programs that benefit from Chocolate Festival proceeds include the Rotary Third Grade Dictionary Project, underwriting two annual College Tours for high school juniors and seniors, and the Resource Center’s adopt a family program at holiday time. Moreover, these dollars assist with annual donations to Rotary International’s Charitable Foundation, which supports the worldwide eradication of Polio and to Shelter Box, which provides temporary shelter to families that have been displaced due to natural and man-made global disasters.
This year’s event has seen tremendous community support, as local businesses and individuals have signed on as sponsors.  Chief among those is Castagna Realty, who is a top tier sponsor at the event’s Willy Wonka Golden Ticket level. Sponsors at the next tier of support include:  Ingersoll Auto, Dutchess Auto Body, The Grand, Fairway Accounting, Emery & Webb, Fountain Plumbing, Stratos Wealth Partners, Patterson Auto Body, Edison Cleaners, Ross & Fayne Daniels, McKinney & Doyle, Good Tidings Gift Shop, and Carl Dill, all participating at the Oh Fudge level.  Chocolate Chip Sponsors include: Phoenix Pottery, Horn & Thomes, Native Landscapes, Joe Downey, Vinny’s Deli, Aneu Salon, Mizzentop Day School, Wings Over Water Swim School, Gina Lombard at M&T Bank, Jeremy & Susan Stone, and Margot Jacobs.
Community members attending this year are encouraged to bring their gently used coats, as the Pawling Resource Center will be on hand to collect them at their table and offer up some hot chocolate, coffee, and some delicious Cabot Cheese treats to all who stop by.
Children will also find plenty to eat and activities to enjoy. This year’s Rotary Chocolate Fountain, manned, once again, by Jeff and Reid Ascher and Susan Stone will have additional help from Kelly Liffland who will be bringing her crepe making expertise to this already fan favorite. Also, free samples will be available at all vendor tables while supplies last. 
The 4th Annual Rotary Chocolate Festival will be held in the Lathrop Center at Lakeside Park on Saturday, November 11, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 


By Susan Stone

This year, the Pawling Rotary Chocolate Festival will feature pups from BluePath Service Dogs, from Hopewell Junction, New York, who provide specially trained dogs to children with Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder.  With Pawling Rotary’s mission of supporting children, highlighting this not-for-profit is a perfect fit to a sweet day of celebration!

Along with our friends at Pawling’s American Legion, (see our article about all that our local chapter  does for Pawling’s kids in this week’s publication) who will be honored at this year’s event, BluePath Service Dogs offer a unique service to families struggling to provide safety and well being to their children suffering with this debilitating developmental disorder.

According to BluePath’s excellent brochure, “A large number of children with autism demonstrate a propensity to “bolt,” or wander away from their families, which poses a significant threat to their well-being and can make trips outside the home feel extremely frightening. BluePath dogs significantly lessen parents’ safety concerns and help children to lead fuller lives. Reduced stress, improved sleeping routines, and more meaningful social interactions can allow families to feel a renewed sense of hope and empowerment. Our exceptional dogs go through years of specialized training.  It takes a loving and dedicated community to prepare our dogs for their lives of service. Our volunteers, donors, clients, and staff are passionate about this program and understand the exponential impact our dogs have on the world. These special dogs facilitate intimate connections; we work as a team with a shared goal of transforming lives — one dog and one child at a time.”

BluePath pups will be available for cooing over at this year’s Chocolate Festival from 11 a.m to 4 p..m. You will find them in the foyer of the Lathrop Center on November 11th so be sure to stop by and enjoy.  The fine folks from BluePath will be available to answer any questions about what they do and how they do it!  Information about this amazing organization is available on their web site at:

Pawling Rotary Makes Third Donation To Disaster Relief

By Susan Stone

At the October 3rd meeting of the Pawling Rotary Club, the membership voted to, once again, send a donation to help with disaster relief.  This time, the District Governor of Rotary District 7000 of Puerto Rico, Mr. José Lucas Rodríguez Fontánez will receive the funds .    A check in the amount of $1,000.00 to assist with recovery efforts from Hurricane Maria will be forwarded to Mr. Rodriguez Fontanez this week., The United States territory of Puerto Rico was devastated by this most recent storm..  With this donation, Pawling Rotary will have donated a total of $3,000.00 in humanitarian aid to hurricane recovery efforts in Houston, Florida and now, Puerto Rico. In the last several weeks, Pawling Rotary donations have been made directly to Rotary clubs in the disaster zone, or through Shelter Box, a Rotary supported international relief organization.

Jeff Ascher, President of Pawling Rotary shared a note of thanks with the membership from the Beaumont, Texas Rotary Club, which received the very first aid donation several weeks ago.  The note expressed gratitude for the much needed assistance. 

The Pawling Rotary Club raises money to support educational initiatives for children in the Pawling Community.  Additionally, they provide support for international causes that assist  children and families in need.

Pawling Rotary Donates To Shelterbox/Hurricane Irma Relief Fund

By Susan Stone
Only one week after making a $1000.00 donation to Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts in Beaumont,Texas, the Pawling Rotary Club has made a $1000.00 donation to Shelterbox/Hurricane Irma Relief Fund.  During their weekly lunch meeting on September 12th, the Pawling Rotary Club, voted unanimously to contribute to the Shelterbox organization, a project partner of Rotary International. Shelterbox provides sturdy, emergency shelters to displaced populations worldwide.
Rotary Region 3, District 7210  former Governor, Louis Turpin, active with Shelterbox, was contacted by Pawling Rotary Vice President, Ann Godesky, informing him of the club’s donation.  “We are all aware of the amazing work that this organization does to provide for those who have been displaced by natural and man-made disasters,and are only sorry that the need has become so urgent within our own borders,” Ms. Godesky said.
The Pawling Rotary Club supports Pawling’s youngsters through their scholarship programs and several grants made to local organizations that focus on supporting Pawling’s children. They also  contribute to many of the charitable global initiatives of Rotary International, including Polio Plus, which has reduced polio cases by 99 percent worldwide since 1979; Rotoplast, which works toward eliminating the incidence of untreated cleft lips and palates in children by the year 2025, and Shelterbox.

Pawling Rotary to Donate to Harvey Relief

By Susan Stone

Jeff Ascher, President of the Pawling Rotary Club, has reported that Pawling Rotary will make a donation to the Beaumont  Rotary Foundation, in support of their Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

In an extended meeting on September 5th, the Board of Directors of the Pawling Rotary Club, after consideration of many options, made the decision to fund grass root support through a local, well established and organized  Rotary Club. The board felt that this approach could most quickly apply needed funds to areas and projects that would best utilize them.

Members in attendance at the Tuesday afternoon meeting were in agreement.” A check in the amount of $1,000.00 will be sent immediately to the Beaumont Rotary Foundation,” according to Brian Smith, club Treasurer.  Mr. Ascher added,  ” Our membership has great concern for the Beaumont community, in light of the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, and hope that this contribution to their foundation can be used to assist wherever Beaumont Rotary deems best. ”

Tax deductible contribution to the Beaumont Rotary Foundation may be sent to: 

Beaumont Rotary Foundation

2355 IH-10 South, Ste. 213

Beaumont, TX  77705


Pawling Resource Center’s Annual School Supply Drive….Backpacks and Pencils and Notebooks…Oh My!!

By Susan Stone
For three weeks in late July and early August, The Pawling Resource Center held its annual School Supply Drive, collecting backpacks (and the school supplies to fill them) for needy students in grades 1-8  in  Pawling.  Once again, the community came together to donate these much needed items so that each student can begin the school year with everything that is needed for academic success.
This year, the PRC began a Go-Fund-Me campaign in order to raise dollars which would help purchase supplies that were not otherwise donated.  Although the stated goal of $2,200.00 was not reached, the almost $1,000.00 in donations will help to purchase everything that is still needed. The 2017 drive officially ended on August 5th.  Items donated to the PRC included 60 backpacks  provided by PRC Board members and Pawling Rotary, as well as several cases of supplies donated by the Methodist Church in Pawling Village. Additionally, community members generously brought in items that will be placed into the packs in the coming days.
In keeping with their mission of aiding Pawling’s youngsters, Pawling Rotary not only donated a substantial number of back packs to this drive, but spent a considerable amount of time at their August 8th meeting at the Lathrop Building in Lakeside Park stuffing supplies into packs.  The goal, of course is  to distribute the packs over the next few weeks in order for children to be fully prepared for that first  day of school on September 5th.   Terry Ariano, Executive Director at the Resource Center commented, “This program helps so many local families who cannot afford costly school supplies.  This year we will pack 60 grade-specific packs which will be distributed to those families that request them.  We are so grateful to the many people and organizations that either donated funds to the Go-Fund-Me campaign, or purchased and delivered specific necessary school items. It a very generous community we live in!”

Second Annual Pawling Rotary Stuff The Bus Brings Community Together For A Worthy Cause

By Susan Stone

At 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 15th, Pawling Rotary volunteers, led by club President Jeff Asher and Vice President and event Chair, Ann Godesky, organized  a cadre of additional helpers to Stuff the Bus at  the 2nd annual Stuff the Bus Rotary Event, benefitting the Pawling Resource Center Food Bank.  Among those on hand to assist were members of the Civil Service Employee Association, which included  CSEA President Jeff Stevens along with  Pam Rooney,  Kevin Richard,  Paul Shovelend, and Laura Patrick.  The Pawling Resource Center was also represented with a number of volunteers, both at the stuffing and un-loading locations, including Pasquale and Nina Matera  Jamie Stone, Vitaly Andruk, Ana and Danielle Gregorio, Zachary Brady, and Board Chair Jon Ellingworth  plus board members Dorlaine McLaughlin Judy, Anna Lindstrom. Susan Stone and Executive Director, Terry Ariano.   Joining this enthusiastic band of community minded citizens were Hannaford’s hard working employees coordinated by store manager, Darcy Milazzo, all of whom set about the task of Stuffing the School Bus, donated by the Pawling Central School District, with sorely needed items for the Resource Center’s Food Bank.


The Pawling community was unstinting, as residents bought and brought bag after bag of needed items out to the curb to be placed into the bus. Hannaford’s donated boxes of bulk items that were rolled out of the store on two large dollies and were then loaded into the yellow school bus by those on hand, forming a human chain in order to assist each other with the bus stuffing process.

At 1:00 P.M. the bus was driven over to the Resource Center where volunteers assembled to unload over 1700 pounds of food items, paper goods, personal care items and baby and infant needs into the center at 126 East Main Street.   Volunteers placed all items on food bank shelves, where these goods are now available to Resource Center clients.

Specifically, according to Terry Ariano, “We received 214 bags (1701 lbs of food and personal care items.) We also received 501 paper product items (rolls of  toilet paper and paper towels)  and 247 dozen diapers and wipes.” Ms. Ariano added, “Thank you to Hannaford’s for their generous donations, and for sponsoring this event. Thank you to a generous Pawling community, and to the amazing folks  who organized and participated from the PRC board, Rotary, CSEA, Pawling Schools and Hannaford’s!  And to many dynamic energetic volunteers for collecting, loading, unloading, weighing counting  and shelving products!.” Additionally, Hannaford’s arranged for a contribution box at the event site for anyone who wished to make a cash donation to this event. Those shopping at Hannaford’s on Saturday contributed over $400.00, as they opened their hearts and wallets in support of this community wide effort.