Meeting Highlights 3/26/21
Salvation Army Red Kettle Award
Today a few of us went down to Salvation Army to deliver food and blankets. While there, we were presented with a Red Kettle Award for the work our Club did to support Salvation Army.
Vern Applegate Community Service Award 2021
Meeting Highlights 3/19/21
Meeting Highlights 3/12/21
Meeting Highlights 3/5/21
In other club business, President Tom noted the following:
- Our big fundraiser, a Virtual Art Auction and Cinco de Mayo themed gift basket auction, on Friday, April 30
- The opportunity to join a growing list of “Friends of Rotary” continues with $250, $500 and $1,000 levels of sponsorships available
- Tickets will continue to be offered for our Dollars for Scholars raffle until the first drawing on April 6
- March 12 is the deadline to submit nominations for the club’s Vern Applegate Community Service Award
- Scholarship applications are being accepted until April 15
Meeting Highlights 2/26/21
Rotarians Deliver Pajamas
Meeting Highlights 2/19/21
Meeting Highlights 2/12/21
Meeting Highlights 2/5/21
Meeting Highlights 1/29/21
Meeting Highlights 1/22/21
Our guest speaker this morning was Christina S. Harcar, Administrative Supervisor of Social Services with the Mercer County Board of Social Services, whose early service with the Board was working as a social worker, and later as an assistant admin supervisor. Chris has influenced the County’s Adult Assistance Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and its Rapid Rehousing model. She told us about special programs developed during the pandemic to address homelessness, and she detailed how her county agency interacts with NGOs like HomeFront and the Rescue Mission of Trenton.
Over the past week members of Be Kind and Rotary Club of Robbinsville Hamilton organized three trips to Sandro’s Coat Rack to deliver almost 200 coats , two dozen hats , 30 scarves , 22 pair of gloves , and two snowpants !! Thank you to all involved in donating to our drives and to the enthusiastic children who helped us hang these much needed winter survival items. #bekind #joyofgiving #kindness #ServiceAboveSelf #blessed
Club Assembly 1/15/21
Lala & Mimi’s Pajama Project and More!
Shine and Inspire!
Our guest speaker this morning was Carol Feldman, founder and Executive Director of Shine and Inspire, a local nonprofit assisting people in need while inspiring them to pay it forward.
To volunteer with or donate to Shine and Inspire, contact them on Facebook
, on their website www.shineandinspire.org, with email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Carol Feldman at (609)-841-9083.
Rotarians Ring the Bell
On Friday 12/18 and Saturday 12/19 Rotarians Rang the Bell for The Salvation Army Trenton Citadel Corps.
Rotarians – Holiday Elves 2020
12/11/20 Meeting Highlights
The first of what will be several deliveries of toys for families served by Womanspace and RISE thanks to the generosity of the community and our Rotary Club of Robbinsville Hamilton members. These organizations do such important work and we are proud to support them.
Meeting Highlights 12/4/20
Santa Comes to Robbinsville
What a wonderful community collaborative effort this was for Rotary to be a part of. Thank you to our friends at the Salvation Army Trenton Citadel for bringing their new Canteen truck out full of Hot Cocoa for everyone to enjoy. Thank you Robbinsville Fire Department, Robbinsville Twp PBA #344, HamiltonRadio.net, Word Center Printing, Mercer Neighbors Publications, Lazy Susan Tree Farms, Robbinsville Department of Public Works and especially Lee Paroly and Friendly’s Foxmoor.
Donation to National Guard State Family Readiness Council
As a follow up to our Friday meeting, Len Mayersohn, Chairman of the National Guard State Family Readiness Council, was presented with a $500 donation from our charitable foundation at our Flags for Heroes display site. As set forth in their mission statement, “The National Guard State Family Readiness Council assesses the needs of the New Jersey National Guard families, recommends solutions to meet those needs, and seeks implementation of solutions on a state level.” Economic hardships often occur when National Guard members are deployed overseas because they may earn a fraction of their normal job pay, or have their small business affected by time away. That’s when the Council steps in with grants to assist Guard troops and their families. To learn more about them and how to support their work, visit nationalguardsfrc.org. Pictured, from left, are Club Past Presidents Ken Diener and Bill Coleman, Club President Tom Damm and Len Mayersohn.
Club Assembles Thanksgiving Food Bags
Rotary Club volunteers and friends helped TEAM85 Fitness and Wellness put together 245 bags of Thanksgiving food items at their facility on Route 130 this morning. Team85 has been receiving food donations for several weeks with the goal of delivering meals to 1,300 area families. Team85 is supplying the bags and turkeys. Our club’s charitable foundation donated $500 for a portion of the food supplies, and club members will also assist with delivery of the meals. Kevin Johnson, Team85’s Owner and CEO, is pictured third from the right in the group photo below. Also pictured are Rotarian Kalpana Patel, Event Chair, and Rotary Club Treasurer Sharon Lucidi (with the Team 85 sign).
Salvation Army Donations
Yesterday Rotary Club of Robbinsville Hamilton Rotarians and friends, went down to The Salvation Army Trenton Citadel Corps to deliver 350 pair of socks from our Socktober event, 135 blankets from Project Linus – Mercer County, NJ Chapter, 200 masks from Mercer Mask Project, and some leftover Halloween candy !! The guys also helped load the canteen that was ready to roll out and deliver much needed food and our donations to the area residents. #ServiceAboveSelf #rotary #rhrotary
Flags for Heroes Dedication Event 11/7/20
What an amazing presentation at our Flag Field this morning! Thank you to all our sponsors for your generosity! With your help we were able to present Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital with $2500 for their Holistic Cancer Center. Thank you to all the hospital officials who came out to accept this donation, Councilman Dan Schuberth and his wife Natalie Rallis Schuberth, and all our Rotary Club of Robbinsville Hamilton officers who made speeches! It was a wonderful event on a beautiful November day!
Club Helps Sandro’s Coat Rack and TASK
Meeting Highlights 11/6/2020
we shattered another event record when we collected 127 bikes, a dozen scooters and various bike parts in three hours outside of Friendly’s Foxmoor. It was by far the largest collection of bikes the Boys and Girls Club Bike Exchange has received in the last several years and by far the most our club has ever collected in a bike drive. The Bike Exchange said the bikes will sell for a total of $8,000 to $9,000 – money that will go to the Boys and Girls Club for youth programs. Thanks to the Rotarians who were available to assist in the drive.
Meeting Highlights – 10/16/20
It was our pleasure to welcome back Micah Rasmussen, director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University, as our speaker this morning. Micah shared some of the online tools he uses each day to track the upcoming election, including early voting, voter affiliation trends, polling comparisons with the 2016 and earlier elections, key U.S. Senate races, and NJ congressional district races. He also discussed mail-in/absentee vote counting, and the three public questions on the N.J. ballot, including a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana.
The Rebovich Institute hosts a number of events for which Micah books leading figures from New Jersey and national politics as speakers. The next online program on November 10 at noon will feature New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli (a Rider grad and Hamiltonian) who will talk about her role in leading the state’s coronavirus response. For more information, visit www.rider.edu/rebovich.
Today’s meeting was also our first with Students of the Month for this school year! Each month from October through May, students from the four Hamilton and Robbinsville public high schools tell us about their achievements, community service, and future plans after graduation. Pictured (photos 3-6 in order) are Isabella “Bella” Kaufman, Steinert High School; Sarah Pierce, Nottingham High School; Elaine Wolochuk, Robbinsville High School; and Rotarian Greg Blair who coordinates the student visits.
We were also honored by a visit from our District Governor Ann Walko!
Send Hunger Packing Food Drive at Foley’s
Thank you to Joe Foley for hosting our Send Hunger Packing food drive today at Foley’s Family Market. Generous shoppers donated a large amount of food that was picked by the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank. With three of our food drives canceled at the major brand supermarkets, the two at Foley’s enabled us to help ease food insecurity in the area.
Meeting Highlights – 10/2/20
We were most pleased to welcome the Hon. Paula Sollami Covello, Mercer County Clerk, as our guest speaker this morning. In her remarks, Clerk Covello reviewed new procedures affecting how Mercer County votes, including limits on who may use voting machines at polling places, and how ballots being sent to each registered voter may be mailed, put in drop boxes in each town, or dropped off at the polls. She also described the vote-counting process and measures in place to ensure accuracy and security. Further, she informed us that the Clerk’s Office is open for business and that appointments are required for most services.
The Clerk is active in civics and in her community, having served on the Lawrence Township Planning Board and in leadership positions with the New Jersey State Bar Association, the Mercer County Heart Walk Executive Committee, and the Womanspace Honorary Committee. Most recently, she was sworn in as president of the Constitutional Officers Association of New Jersey (COANJ).
Pat Hart, Executive Director of Womanspace, was a meeting guest.
In other business, we held a new member induction ceremony for Kimberly Swartz, a Hamilton resident. Welcome, Kim! That’s six new members this Rotary year, and brings our growing club roster to 50 Rotarians! President Tom gave updates for: a Food Drive at Foley’s Family Market tomorrow, a Miracle League fundraiser tomorrow at Killarney’s Publick House, collection of socks for the Rescue Mission during the month of “Socktober,” a Bike Drive on October 24, and our newest fundraiser, Flags for Heroes https://rhrotary.org/flags%20for%20heroes/
Megan’s Place Fall Cleanup
Rotary Club of Robbinsville Hamilton and Be Kind were out this morning doing a fall cleanup at Megan’s Place in Hamilton. The Rotary Club raised funds, purchased the house where Megan Kanka was murdered and replaced it with a public park that was dedicated to Megan on Sept 20, 1995. #rhrotary #rotary #serviceaboveself #bekind #megansplace #megankanka
Meeting Highlights 9/25/20 – The Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce
Our guest speaker today was Christine Curnan, VP of Membership and Development from the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber. In that position, she has successfully grown their membership from 500 to over 1,400 member companies, with over 8,000 company contacts. She is also responsible for starting key business initiatives, including the Real Estate Business Alliance Program, Trenton Economic Development Program, and the Diversity & Inclusion Program.
Christine told us that the purpose of the Chamber is “to help businesses in the region stay viable,” and described how the group has transitioned to online events; how they are a valuable source of information for their members, particularly small businesses; the networking opportunities; and how their membership costs are kept low for firms like sole proprietorships. She was particularly proud that their Princeton Mercer Regional Foundation partnered with Princeton University to raise a large of money for grants to small businesses, and of the Chamber’s efforts to highlight the work of area non-profits.
Finally, she said that Mercer County has fared somewhat better than other areas of New Jersey during the economic effects of the pandemic, and that a number of businesses have done well supplying goods and services specific to a recovery from the health crisis. For information, visit https://princetonmercerchamber.org/ or send an email to Christine@princetonmercer.org.
In other club business, President Tom Damm outlined a number of upcoming club events: “Socktober,” a month-long collection of socks for the Rescue Mission; a Food Drive Sat. Oct. 3 at Foley’s Family Market; a Bike Drive on Sat. Oct. 24 at Friendly’s restaurant in Robbinsville; and “Flags for Heroes,” a Nov. 1 – 14 display of American flags with the opportunity for individuals and companies to honor heroes of their own. Visit www.rhrotary.org for more information.
9/11/20 Hamilton Mayor Martin Addresses the Club
A large number of members and two guests – both prospective members – gathered online today for the regular Friday morning Rotary Club meeting. We were especially pleased to also welcome the Hon. Jeff Martin, Hamilton Township Mayor, as our guest speaker.
In his remarks, Mayor Martin outlined several priorities for his administration: First, helping small, “mainstream businesses” which are “the backbone of the community” with grants to recover from the earlier shutdown, and by supporting Shop Hamilton and other business groups that promote buying locally. Second, continuing to address the ongoing health crisis. He reported the good news that new cases of COVID-19 in the township have dropped dramatically since the spring peak. Third, he’s looking forward to working with a new “non-profits advisory commission,” a group charged with developing partnerships between non-profits and between them and government.
The Mayor also talked about new commercial building projects; how the township plans to install more election ballot drop-boxes; how he and the mayors of neighboring towns have regular, cooperative discussions about issues affecting the area; and township compliance with mandated affordable housing rules.
9/11/20 Club Assembly, New Member Induction
Our Rotary “Club Assembly” meeting this morning featured the induction of another new member (making 49!) and the “Classification Talks” by two of our newest members. Kalpana Patel, a management consultant and president of her own consulting firm, Excellence Management Consulting, LLC, resides in Princeton Junction with her husband, Dr. Rajendra K. Patel. Their daughter is a practicing cardiologist in the area.
Sonya Lopez Bright grew up in Vineland, NJ and works as a trial attorney for USAA Insurance, where she defends members who have been sued in Central NJ. She, her husband Doug and their 6-year old twins reside in Hamilton. She also has two step children in their twenties. She has participated in fundraisers for TASK, HomeFront and the Rescue Mission of Trenton, and looks forward to community service through our Rotary Club.
Anjali Chatterjee grew up in India, is a former math teacher, and after becoming certified as a Human Services Practitioner, works as a social worker with the Mercer County Board of Social Services. She works part-time at Mathnasium in Robbinsville. She and her husband Subrato and their two daughters reside in Robbinsville. Anjali looks forward to volunteering and participating in community events.
In other business, President Tom Damm announced a $1,500 donation from our foundation to the Miracle League of Mercer County to celebrate the league’s fifteenth anniversary and to support “Birthday Bash,” an 8-hour virtual fundraiser, co-hosted by Killarney’s Publick House, taking place from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 3. Also, the club will have a “Flags for Heroes” event, the outdoor, public display of at least 100 American flags in early November. Individual and corporate sponsors will receive “medallions” – keepsakes attached to the flag poles during the event to identify their heroes. Watch this space for more information.
Meeting Highlights 9/4/2020
A large number of Rotarians and guests attended our “hybrid” club meeting this morning, gathered at the YMCA’s Sawmill Road facility and on Zoom. President Tom Damm presented a check from our foundation in the amount of $3,000 to Rachel Holland, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Hamilton Area YMCA. The donation was a result of our recent “Mercer’s Got Magic” fundraiser.
Rotarian Dan Sczweck, the Y’s Director of Staff Development, and Executive Director of the Miracle League of Mercer County, recalled league history and detailed how its fifteenth anniversary will be celebrated this fall. “Birthday Bash,” an 8-hour virtual fundraiser, co-hosted by Killarney’s Publick House, will take place from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 3.
For more information, and an article by Hamilton Pulse, visit https://hamiltonpulse.com/miracle-league-of-mercer-county-…/. Information about the Miracle League is available at www.miracleleaguemercer.org, and about the YMCA and its programs at www.hamiltonymca.org.
Meeting Highlights 8/28/2020
We were pleased to welcome Bernie Flynn, CEO of Mercer Street Friends, a non-profit addressing issues of poverty throughout Mercer County, as our guest speaker today. Our club has a long history as a community service partner of the organization, especially with its food bank. Bernie retired from New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group following a 25-year career, including 10 years as Chief Executive Officer. He contributes his time to Mercer St. Friends as a full time, unpaid employee, something President Tom Damm noted as a great example of the Rotary motto “Service Above Self.” He told us about continued efforts to address food insecurity in Mercer County, with an emphasis on the needs of children. After schools closed in March, affecting the distribution of individual food packs under the Send Hunger Packing program, the agency switched to “family packs” to serve more people over a longer period of time. Bernie also noted the club’s contribution of meals this year under the Rotary District 7475 End Hunger 3.6 project and by Rotarian Umang Naik’s family. Earlier in the meeting, President Tom “presented” a $500 donation check from our foundation to Pat Hart, executive director of Womanspace.
Project Linus – People Helping People
Some of the residents at Granville Place helping out Project Linus – Mercer County, NJ Chapter! Thank you to Rotary Club of Robbinsville Hamilton member Wayne Mernone for setting this up to support our National Day of Service and Remembrance event! #blankets #projectlinus #Rotary #ServiceAboveSelf
Club Donates 140 School Supply Backpacks
The Rotary Club of Robbinsville Hamilton’s annual School Backpack & Supplies project was completed this morning with a delivery to Wilson Elementary School in Hamilton Twp. We exceeded our goal of 80 by donating 141 backpacks plus thousands of school supplies. This entire donation was made possible by the generosity of club members, groups such as Hamilton Revolution Pop Warner Cheer, and other local supporters. Pictured, from left, are Club President Tom Damm, Rotarian George Ott, Club Secretary Scott Biondi, School Principal May Fermin-Cannon, Past Club President Joe Bellina, and School Custodian John Badalamenti. Not pictured due to a meeting conflict is Rotarian Teresa Caro who chaired the project. Thank you all for your amazing generosity! If you would like more information on how you can get involved with the club please email President@RHRotary.org #Rotary #ServiceAboveSelf
Meeting Highlights 8/21/20 – Our First “Hybrid” meeting
Our Rotary Club held a “hybrid” meeting this morning, with members in person – while observing safety protocols – at the Miracle League field on Sawmill Rd. and many others on Zoom. Guest Speaker Annie Fox, Director of Resource Development at Habitat of Humanity of Burlington and Greater Trenton-Mercer, gave us an update about the non-profit’s work. After a hiatus starting in March, Habitat is now completing projects to build and repair homes for low-income families. They have re-opened the Burlington & Mercer Co. ReStore in Independence Mall, 2465 S Broad St. in Hamilton to accept donations of building supplies and other materials. To learn more about Habitat for Humanity, how to volunteer and donate, and information about an October 19 Golf Outing fundraiser, visit https://www.hfhbmc.org/. One of Club President Tom Damm’s goals for this Rotary year is to have our club participate in an upcoming Habitat project.
Hamilton Revolution Pop Warner Cheerleaders Support Backpack Project
Thank you to Hamilton Revolution Pop Warner Cheer! These young ladies set up a drive to support our Annual School Supplies Drive for The Wilson School! Rotary extends to all ages! Check out your local school Interact or Rotaract Clubs or this link for more information: https://www.rotary.org/en/
Looking to get involved locally with our “adult program”? Send an email to President@RHRotary.org for more information!
Rotary Sends Hunger Packing
Rotary Club President Tom Damm was joined by Rotarians Sharon Lucidi, Judy Goldstein, Linda Gearren, Jodi O’Donnell-Ames, JoAnne Bruno, Joe Bellina, Keith Platt, Paul Neu, Simeon Rochonchou, Ken Diener, Tom Lanigan, Joe Giambelluca and Scott Biondi for a Send Hunger Packing food drive at Foley’s Family Market today. Thanks to the generosity of area shoppers, we filled ten shopping carts with food and received several hundred dollars in cash donations. Special thanks are due to proprietor Joe Foley, Erica Stefanelli and the store staff for stocking up on key food items for us, and to Jamal Cox from Mercer St. Friends for his pickup and delivery to the food bank. (photos by Peggy Krawiec Damm)
8/14/20 District Governor Visit, New Member Inductions
A large number of Rotarians from our club and the Rotary Clubs of Florham Park and Morris Plains attended a meeting this morning hosted by Rotary District 7475 Governor Ann Walko. Rotary tradition calls for DGs to visit each club in their districts at least once during the year, so DG Ann’s Zoom meeting was for her three “sunrise” clubs – those usually conducting breakfast meetings each week. She talked about goals set forth by Rotary International and detailed plans being developed at the district level. A highlight for us was DG Ann officiating the induction ceremony for four new members of the Rotary Club of Robbinsville Hamilton:
Sonya Lopez Bright
We look forward to each of our new members helping us continue to serve the community.
Meeting Highlights 8/7/20
Our guest speaker this morning was Dr. Seth D. Rosenbaum, MD, MMM-SVP, Chief Medical Officer at RWJUH Hamilton. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Rosenbaum spoke about COVID-19 cases and fatalities in the local area and how New Jersey has “made significant progress” in fighting the virus. He said the transmission rate which dictates re-opening options for the state has plateaued. He told us about how RWJUH Hamilton Hospital has participated in treatment trials, what is being used now to treat patients, and what they are doing to plan for a possible resurgence of the virus. Finally, he said that the hospital is “open for business” and available to people who may have postponed medical tests or procedures, and he detailed safety precautions being taken, including employee training, screening of arrivals at their facilities, and use of PPE and rapid-result COVID testing. A video of Dr. Rosenbaum’s presentation is available on our website at https://rhrotary.org/rhrc-
Robbinsville Hamilton Rotarians and “Be Kind” Pack 5000 Meals
Last night we packaged 5,000 meals for the food insecure in our area. Following social distancing guidelines with masks, gloves, aprons, and hairnets we worked in our family pods to fill and pack meals for those in need. The event was a joint venture between Be Kind and Rotary Club of Robbinsville Hamilton in honor of Naik Rakesh’s 50th birthday! Rakesh is a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Gandevi, India. #ServiceAboveSelf #rotary #bekind
Meeting Highlights 7/31/20
Awesome way to start the day! Rotary Club of Robbinsville Hamilton had an amazing meeting this morning with Pat Hart from Womanspace, Inc. as our guest speaker. Contact Membershipchair@rhrotary.org if you want to find out more about what we do in the community! We had a lot of prospective members joining us today as well! #rotary #ServiceAboveSelf
Meeting Highlights 7/24/2020
Our Friday AM meeting featured guest speaker Mike Ziccardi, Executive Director of Recovery Advocates of America (RAA), a non-profit fighting opiate addiction and alcoholism. Mike spoke about the non-profit’s funding challenges caused by cuts in federal and state grants and the cancellation of their spring fundraiser. But, he also emphasized that RAA continues to staff interventions and work with local police departments with the CARE program to help save those in need. Club President Tom Damm announced that a $1,000 grant from our foundation is being sent to RAA. To learn more about RAA and to send them a donation, visit https://recoveryadvocates.org/. (Mike is shown below at RAA’s 7th Annual Jersey’s Run/Walk for Recovery fundraiser in 2019, which we helped sponsor; and at today’s Zoom meeting).
In other business, event Chair Joe Cavone reported that ticket and sponsorship sales are going well for our July 29 virtual magic show fundraiser, “Mercer’s Got Magic;” however we need additional support from the public to make a significant donation to the Hamilton Area YMCA. Tickets are available at www.mercersgotmagic.com. Also, the club is collecting backpacks and school supplies to be donated to Wilson Elem. School in Hamilton. For information about what is needed and how to donate, send an email to email@example.com.
Meeting Highlights 7/17/2020
A large number of our members convened on Zoom this morning for our regular Friday meeting. We were most pleased to welcome the Hon. Dave Fried, Mayor of Robbinsville Twp., as our guest speaker. Mayor Fried talked about the township response to the COVID-19 health crisis; how its police officers receive special de-escalation training aimed at improving outcomes during interactions with the public; and its C.A.R.E. (Community Addiction Recovery Effort) Program.
We were also pleased to welcome Christine Secrist from the Trenton Rotary Club, Jim Samuel, VP of Mid-Day Toastmaster Club #4139 in Robbinsville, and several prospective members.
Club President Tom Damm highlighted Rotary Club projects, including Mercer’s Got Magic (www.mercersgotmagic.com), a fundraiser on July 29 to benefit the YMCA, and the collection through mid-August of school backpacks and supplies for the students at Wilson Elem. School. He also informed that Rotarian Umang Naik and his family are funding and hosting a satellite “End Hunger 3.6” project to package 5,000 meals for those at risk of food insecurity.
Officer Installation 2020
Members of the club met via Zoom conference to share in the year’s achievements, which include the highest honor from a district to a club – The Presedential Citation. Congratulations President Bill and all members of the club who made this happen!
The club was also awarded the Care and Share award for our Winter Survival Kit project. Special recognition to Danely for her leadership in this effort.
Several club awards were presented, the Officers and Directors from last year were dismissed and new officers for the 2020/21 year were installed.
To see videos of the Installation Ceremony, Click Here.