Wednesday, January 16, 2019

This Friday


Hi Everyone,

This past Friday, Sean Pica, the head of Hudson Link, an education program in NY prisons, gave a deeply moving presentation. Sean spent 16 years in New York prisons for a serious mistake he made as a teenager. Once in prison, he learned that many inmates did not know how to read or write and was asked to read books and read and write letters for many. To make a long story short, Sean was able to eventually get a college degree and once released earned a master’s degree. Sean has made it his mission to make sure that others would get the same opportunity as he had and, through private funding for this program, many hundreds have been able to get degrees themselves. From those who have earned a degree and left the prison system only 1% have returned compared to a 67% return rate that did not earn a degree. What a remarkable man Sean is!

This Friday we have three young ladies coming to share about the 2019 Student of the Year campaign for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the great work they do to find a cure for blood cancers.
I have included the full bio of each, so you understand how special our young speakers are:

Shannon Hoffman is a junior at The Ursuline School in New Rochelle. Shannon has been at Ursuline for six years now and is involved in many activities. She has been on the Ursuline Track and Field team for six seasons and competes in the long and triple jump events. She is also part of the Peer Ministry program at Ursuline where she helps underclassmen grow spiritually. Shannon was a part of the National Junior Honor Society and was recently inducted into the National Honor Society. Shannon is very passionate about fundraising as it’s a big part of her life. Her father does fundraising for a living and it has always interested and inspired her. She hopes to raise a lot of money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society especially because she was so touched by the honored hero’s story about his fight against Leukemia.

Kristen Cadge is also a junior at the Ursuline School. Kristen went to Saint Augustine School in Ossining from Kindergarten to 8th grade and is now also part of the National Honor Society and Peer Ministry at Ursuline. Kristen is part of many clubs, and one of her favorites is Warm Hands Warm Hearts where students cook meals for the Soup Kitchen. Kristen also helps out at Midnight Run where she prepares sandwiches that are brought into the city for the homeless. Along with clubs at school, Kristen has been volunteering at Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville over the past two summers each week, and has been part of the Girl Scouts since Kindergarten. Kristen is very excited to be a part of this amazing cause to raise money for LLS, and is very determined to not only raise money, but to support the fight against cancer.

Like Kristen, Tori has also attended St. Augustine’s from kindergarten to eighth grade. Tori is now a junior at the Ursuline school in New Rochelle. At Ursuline, Tori has discovered her passion for medicine and for a future as a possible physician. To pursue this dream of hers, she has volunteered at Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville, stayed on the UCLA campus for a Future Doctors of American event, and started Ursuline’s very first medical club. When Tori heard about the fundraising competition for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society not only was she interested in the medical aspect of raising money for cancer research, but also the fact that this competition supports such an amazing cause that is so dear to so many people that she loves.

I hope to see each of you there and, as always, please bring a new guest!

Mark J. 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

This Friday


Hi Everyone,

I hope you who celebrate Christmas had an excellent time with family and friends.

Last week we had our annual Holiday Party, and although the turnout was light this year, we did have a great time. The Risko’s provided us with great music to listen too. Eric sang a beautiful holiday song and Anne played nice background music!

This Friday, December 28th, we will not have a formal meeting, but those who would like we can meet informally for lunch at the Briars. You can order off the menu and please remember our budget is $15 per meal which includes tax and tip.

I also want to wish each of you a very Happy New Year in 2019.

Mark J.
“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
― 
Oprah Winfrey



Friday, December 14, 2018

This Friday

Hi All,

Happy Holidays to everyone! I hope you are having a great time celebrating with family and friends.

This past Friday, Chris DiSisto, from Ivy Rehab at Club Fit, was our guest speaker. I was not present, but I heard that his talk was helpful to all and prompted many good questions. My own experience with Chris and his staff, as a patient, was top notch, and I highly recommend them if you ever need such services. 

This Friday Julie Schwietert Collazo will be sharing about her immigration work. Here is a short bio: 
Julie Schwietert Collazo is a former social worker and creative arts therapist, turned writer-editor-translator, who holds a BA in English and Women's Studies from Emory, an MSW from NYU, and who has completed doctoral work in Spanish at Centro de Estudios Avanzados in Puerto Rico. She is the co-founder of Immigrant Families Together, which to-date has bonded out 58 family members from immigration detention since June 25, 2018.

Due to my work schedule, I will not be there tomorrow. Rachel, our President Elect, will once again lead the meeting. Thank you, Rachel!

Mark J.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

This Friday


Hi Everyone,

I wanted to get this out early due to my travels from tomorrow and not sure if I will have access to the internet.

Last week Mike Sommer, the co-founder of The Cookstove Project, gave an inspiring presentation and update on the work being done in Uganda and Nepal. He recently visited Uganda, so his sharing was fresh with new information, photos and a short video. CSP is now employing 25 there, that is helping to expand the work to more homes. In total, 11,500 stove have been built over the last 5 years and the benefits to the families in both countries is life changing. Rotary has been an important partner in making this possible.

This week Chris DiSisto, the director of Ivy Rehab at Club Fit, will be our guest speaker. I have been a patient there and my personal experience with Chris and his staff has been excellent. Also Chris was generous and recently purchased an $100 ad in our journal. Knowing Chris, this should be an excellent talk on the good work they do. I hope for a big turnout this Friday.

Also there is plan to have Holliday Party on Dec. 21st. We will be sharing more details soon. If you have any ideas please feel free to speak up.

Mark J.
“The master of the garden is the one who waters it, trims the branches, plants the seeds, and pulls the weeds.” 
― 
Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
Speakers List
Dec. 14th Julie Callazo – About her work in reuniting refuge children
Dec. 21st Christmas Party
Dec. 28th ?
Jan. 4th ?
Jan. 11th Todd from Hudson Link

Thursday, November 29, 2018

This Friday


Dear Fellow Rotarians,

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and have fully recovered from over-eating and too much rest!

Our last Friday meeting, two weeks ago, was planned as a joint meeting, but due to inclement weather we cancelled and will reschedule. There were a few of us there, which was a good for a more intimate discussion.

This Friday, Mike Sommer, co-founder of The Cookstove Project, will share about his recent trip to Uganda and the progress and results from working there for over 5 years. Also, Rebecca, Mike’s wife and co-founder, went to Nepal recently to spend time with our staff there, so hopefully Mike will have time to share about her experience as well.

I look forward to seeing all of you tomorrow. Please invite a friend to come.

Mark J.
“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” 
― 
Robert A. Heinlein


Dec. 7th Christopher DiSisto – Director of Ivy Rehab (Club Fit)
Dec. 14th 
Julie Callazo – About her work in reuniting refuge children
Dec. 21st Christmas Party?
Dec. 28th ?
Jan. 4th ?
Jan. 11th Todd from Hudson Link

Monday, November 19, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving week!


Turkey Clip Art 
Happy Thanksgiving Week!

As you probably already know, we will not have a meeting this Friday. I want to wish each  of you a wonderful time with your family and friends!

See you on Nov. 30th.

Mark J.