On December 16, the Pawling Rotary held its Annual Holiday Luncheon at Christ Church at Quaker Hill with over 70 attending. At this celebration, Rotary presented donations to organizations aligned with the Club’s goal of “Supporting Our Youth.”
Following the benediction by Rev. Mark Allan, Pastor of Christ Church, the Christ Church Singers under the direction of Mrs. Toni LaPietra added cheer with three holiday songs.
Dick Harshbarger, Pawling Rotary Club President, began by reflecting on what has been a transformative year for the club as it actively pursued its mission of “Supporting Our Youth.”
Attending from the Pawling School District were Dr. William Ward, Superintendent, and Mrs. Kim Fontana, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum. It is through the cooperation of the school district, that the Club successfully sponsored a Career Day for high school Juniors, provided dictionaries (actually in book form!) to third graders, offered college scholarships, and sponsored five scholarships for a unique weeklong leadership experience for high school students. Additionally, Pawling Rotary organized a tour of Dutchess Community College with high school juniors.
These donations were funded in part through Rotary events that included an annual golf tournament, summer raffle and Rotary’s first annual Chocolate Festival.
In special recognition, Everett White, Fire Chief for the Pawling Fire Department accepted a donation for their support of the Rotary’s Chocolate Festival fundraiser. Further, Rotary thanked Dave Kelly and the Town of Pawling for their support.
Receiving Rotary Club donations were:
Rotary Foundation which funds worldwide challenges such as poverty, illiteracy, and malnutrition; Polio Plus that has been responsible for nearly eradicating polio and has reduced cases by 99 percent worldwide since 1979; and Rotoplast that seeks to eliminate the incidence of untreated cleft lips and palates in children worldwide by the year 2025. Accepting these donations on behalf of Rotary International was Mrs. Penny Byron, Rotary’s District Governor.
Pawling Resource Center with Rev. Jon Ellingworth, Board Chair and Terry Ariano, Office and Program Coordinator accepted this donation that will be directed toward a special “helping hand” initiative to support local youth.
Pawling Free Library with its Board Chair, Brian Smith accepting.
Pawling Youth Development to provide local children’s and youth service programs with Ann Godesky, Board Chair accepting.
Smith Johnson Scout Cabin ( The Smith Johnson Scout Reservation) to support the maintenance of this important, eighteen acre, Scout facility. Accepting was Chris Kendra, Board Member.
Pawling Public Radio accepting was Board Member Amy Emke. This program will provide a stipend to student participants of this special, six week PPR Summer College Internship Program that has also been opened to recent high school graduates.
Rotary Interact Club accepting was Rachel Sullivan, President. Attending this luncheon were the Interact Club officers and senior class. The Interact Club of over 50 members is a community service club sponsored in partnership with the Town of Pawling and the Pawling Rotary.
Camp Sundown with its founder, Caran Mahar, accepted a major donation from November’s First Annual Rotary Chocolate Festival on the part of the Rotary and Interact Club. Camp Sundown is a special place that began in 1996 when Dan and Caren Mahar had the dream of creating a year-round “night camp” to offer sun sensitive children and their families a way to meet and play with others who share this health challenge. They enjoy a “camp” experience like their peers, but with a different time clock.
Carl Dill, Rotary Executive Committee member, presenting Rotary's donation to the new Pawling Resource Center new office and program coordinator, Terri Ariano along with Rev. Jon Ellingworth of the PRC Board
Amy Emke, PPR Board Member being given Rotary donation for PPR’s Intern Program by Carl Dill, Rotary Executive Committee member, and Dick Harshbarger, Rotary President
Caran Mahar, founder of Camp Sundown receiving Rotary and Interact Club donations from Carl Dill, Rotary Executive Committee member, Dick Harshbarger, Rotary President and Rachel Sullivan, President of the Interact Club
Penny Bryon, Rotary District Governor talking with Caran Mahar, founder of Camp Sundown. Both received Rotary donations.