The Wide Reach Of Rotary

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Putting service above self is the motto of the Rotary Club and the Glen Head chapter—which currently consists of only eight members—is proving that a lot of good can come to the community from just a few dedicated individuals. As the club is gears up for its biggest annual fundraiser, the John F. Capri Memorial Golf Outing to be held on May 15 at the Engineers Country Club in Roslyn, it is hoping to attract new participants. While most people are vaguely aware of the fact that the club exists, chances are they do not really know what it does or how many people it reaches, both locally and internationally.
“I think most people have no idea what Rotary is and they definitely don’t know who is behind it,” said Teresa Simone, a member of the Glen Head Rotary Club. “Rotary is an international charity and the only charity that has a seat at the U.N.”

She explained that the Rotary Club started out as a charity intent on eradicating polio and was 99.9 percent successful in that campaign—until new strains of disease came out in third world countries, which it is still working on globally. On a local level the club is very involved in the school districts, Relay For Life and organizes the annual Christmas tree lighting festivities, and supports a wide variety of other causes.

“People come to the Rotary and ask specifically for money for their charity,” said Simone.

Some examples of requests the club fulfills are providing service dogs to veterans and subsidizing pharmaceutical costs for seniors. The club has also helped support Living Water for Women in Glen Cove.

“These ongoing programs are a invaluable asset to the local students as well as our mission within the Rotary to benefit worthwhile charities,” said Simone.

Simone said that money raised from the upcoming golf tournament fundraiser—named for the club’s past president and 50-year Rotarian—will specifically aid in the continuation of several valuable programs, including its support for the North Shore Arts Angels and the North Shore Viking Foundation and providing annual scholarships to deserving high school seniors, a tradition that has been going on for more than 40 years. Additionally, it will continue to support Gift for Life, now a national campaign that started with the Glen Head club when Capri president that helps to save children with life threatening heart defects.

“John Capri used to fly his own plane to pick the children up for heart surgery, take them into his own home for recovery and then fly them back home,” said Simone. “He was a phenomenal president with a large outreach and we would like to go back to that.”

At North Shore High School, the Glen Head Rotary chartered the Interact Club, which teaches students how to get involved with local communities, charities and businesses and make a difference in the community. At Sea Cliff Mini Mart, the Interact Club makes zeppoles alongside the Rotary’s traditional sausage and peppers, and receives a percentage of the proceeds.

“We founded that program and have had great success,” said Simone. “We wanted children to have an understanding of what it’s like to be a charitable member of the community.”

On a global level, Rotary provides seed money to KIVA, a “highly successful program” in which the Interact students at the high school continue to be involved, according to Simone.

“KIVA provides money to people in third world countries to start businesses. It’s a loan and to date, they have paid it back 100 percent of the time. You can give people $30 and it changes their entire life. It’s an amazing program,” said Simone.

On May 15, the Glen Head Rotary’s Club Annual Golf Outing will be held at Engineers Country Club, 55 Glenwood Rd. in Roslyn Harbor. The outing begins with brunch at 11 a.m., a shot-gun start at noon, followed by a buffet dinner, awards and plenty of chances to win raffle prizes. Cost is $250 per golfer, which includes brunch, golf cart, use of facilities and dinner at club. Dinner only tickets are available at $100 each. Sponsorship opportunities are available as well, and those who wish to support the Rotary in other ways are welcome to donate gift certificates or gifts for raffles.

Simone said volunteers for the day of the event are also welcome.

“It’s a large endeavor and we can always use more hands,” she said.

To register for the golf outing, email tsimoneidesign@gmail.com or mail a check with golfers’ names to: 58 School St., Suite 201, Glen Cove, NY 11542 or call 516-277-2600 ext. 11.

“We would also like to extend an invite for additional community members to become involved with our worthwhile organization,” said Simone. “Our all volunteer-run organization relies on monetary support we garner through our fundraising in order to continue with these programs, with 100 percent of all contributions distributed to those in need.”

Those interested can attend contact Simone or attend a meeting. The club meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m., at either La Spezia or La Pala.

“If someone wanted to join the club, they would have to commit at least to a bimonthly meeting. Beyond that, it’s up to them how much they want to get involved and how much they want to do,” said Simone. “I always say, if you take the ‘fun’ out of fundraising, I’m out. So we definitely have fun.”

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