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.