History of the Montclair Rotary Club
Montclair Rotary Club
100th Anniversary
Club History: 1922 – 2022
 
During our 100-year history, The Montclair Rotary Club has been a continuous force for good.
 
Rotary’s broad network and deep expertise allows us to be part of current and emerging challenges. We stay committed to eradicating polio around the globe while coordinating response to the Covid pandemic.
 
We promote practices to create a lasting peace, and Rotarians also take action to help people in need. We are providing humanitarian relief to Ukrainian refugees and people around the world.
 
Rotary makes a difference. Together we look beyond ourselves to imagine what we can do to improve peoples’ lives.
 
We present an overview of our positive actions throughout the last century in the club’s history. The list of past Montclair Rotary Club presidents is in Appendix 1, which begins on page 11.
 
 
2020 – 2022
Montclair Rotary Club marked its 100th anniversary with a celebration planned and presented by the Rotarians from the Montclair and Nutley clubs. Nutley has also served its community and the wider world for over a century.
  • Each club’s service was honored in proclamations presented by U.S. Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, N.J. Senator and Former Governor Richard J. Codey, and Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. Rep. Sherrill also provided each club with an American flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol building.
 
  • Montclair Rotarians also received tributes from N.J. Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin and the Montclair Township Council and Mayor Sean Spiller.
 
  • Rotary District 7475 presented each club with the Century of Service honor.
 
  • Rotarian Paul E. Metcalfe became the first and only member of Montclair Rotary Club to serve as president three separate times.
 
  • Paul Blodgett and Stephen Hutton of the USS New Jersey Commissioning Committee recently met with our club. They discussed how the committee is preparing for the commissioning of the SSN-796 New Jersey. The vessel is a Virginia class nuclear-powered fast-track submarine which is scheduled to join the U.S. Navy fleet during 2023.
 
  • The committee has been raising funds for events that will occur during the commissioning ceremonies.
 
2020 – 2022, continued
Recent Club Milestones
  • Our club marked its 18th year distributing dictionaries, as part of a literacy project, to third-grade students who attend public, private, and parochial schools in Montclair and Verona.
 
  • In 2004, Rotarian Georgia Brown introduced the Dictionary Project to our club.
 
  • Rotarians have donated more than 15,000 dictionaries to pupils.
 
  • Funds to purchase dictionaries were provided by the Montclair Rotary Foundation, grant from Rotary District 7475 Foundation, and individual donations.
2010 – 2019
  • The Miller Family, the Montclair Public Library, and our Club formed an alliance to provide a permanent display for artist Don Miller’s historic painting called the Dr. Martin Luther King Freedom Mural. The original artwork is a smaller-scale version of the 56-foot-long and 7-foot-high mural that Miller painted in his studio on Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair.
 
  • Miller’s mural depicts major events in Dr. King’s life and shows the people who influenced the civil rights movement in the United States.
 
  • The National Library in Washington, D.C. commissioned the large mural, which was presented to the public during the first official observance of Dr. King’s birthday in January 1986.
 
  • The Miller family donated the 12-foot-long mural to the library and the Montclair Rotary donated funds for the archival preservation and framing of the artwork.
 
  • The Freedom Mural is located on the library’s second floor and the placement of mural was facilitated by Rotarian Peter Coyle, who was director of the Montclair Library.
 
  • Local Historian Frank Gerard Godlewski researched and prepared a presentation about Miller’s mural and presented the program to Rotarians and the public at the library.
 
  • The club and U.S. Congress helped sponsor a visit to Northern New Jersey and New York City by healthcare professionals from Cherepovets, Russia. Montclair and Cherepovets became sister cities during the 1990s.
 
  • A healthcare team from Cherepovets assists Russian children with special needs as well as youngsters with autism.
2010 – 2019, continued
  • Rotarian Juliana G. Belcsak arranged the visitors’ air travel and lodging and scheduled visits to healthcare facilities, including Caldwell University’s Center for Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis as well as the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC.
 
  • Our guests met with leaders from Montclair Township, attended a New Jersey Devils hockey game and Broadway performance and were honored at Rotary-sponsored events.
 
  • Rotarian Linda Cranston organized the Club’s efforts to raise more than $6,500 to purchase a large, stainless steel dog bath for the Montclair Animal Shelter.
 
  • The Club’s fundraising program included a Jazz Brunch at Trumpets Jazz Club, a Go Fund Me website, and a raffle with prizes
 
  • In addition to a grant, we received for District 7475, there was an outpouring of donations from animal lovers too.
     
  • Rotary President Alicia Robinson, Rotarians, and young men from Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity volunteered to scrape and paint the outdoor porch at The Montclair Inn, an affordable residence for seniors.
 
  • Our club continued to host the Taste of Montclair fundraising events and the proceeds were donated to local food insecurity programs.
 
  • Rotarians completed one of many food drives with the cooperation of Kings Supermarket.
 
  • Residents donated tons of non-perishable food items were collected and donated to local hunger-relief programs
 
  • Rotarian Robbie Furman, entrepreneur and balloon artist, organized a fun project, which involved making food sculptures using boxes, cans, and containers of donated items.
 
  • Rotarian Diane Lilli, author, journalist, publisher, and communications professional, connects our club with social media by launching our Facebook page and producing regular posts.
 
2000 – 2009
 
The Montclair Rotarians significantly increased the club’s support of the local hunger relief efforts during this decade and the next. Many local families and individuals face food insecurity issues. These families turn to organizations such as the Human Needs Food Pantry, Montclair
Salvation Army Citadel and Toni’s Kitchen to feed themselves, their children, or people they were assisting.
 
2000 – 2009, continued
 
Past Presidents John Deermount, Rev. Beverly Sulllivant, Diana Pombo-Gonzalez, and Paul E. Metcalfe as well as Rotarians Linda Cranston, Dalton Chandler, Diane Lilli, and John Lee created and managed The Taste of Montclair fundraising events. Deermount explained that The Taste grew out of Montclair Restaurant Week, which was launched by the township’s former Economic Development Corporation.
 
The Taste started in 2006 with a sold-out event at The Grove in Cedar Grove. The Rotary also hosted The Taste in University Hall at Montclair State University. For years, The Taste kicked off Montclair’s Restaurant Week, which was supported by 30 or more local eateries.
 
From its inception, our club’s non-profit foundation has raised $150,000 in proceeds from The Taste events. The funds were donated to the community-based, non-profit hunger relief and food insecurity programs listed above.
 
  • Rotarian Preston Harrington and his wife Nancy, who died in 2008, often hosted Gift of Life children. These children and a parent traveled from foreign countries to Northern New Jersey for heart surgeries that were unavailable to them in their home nation. These children received the life-extending surgeries at Children’s Hospital at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.
 
  • Our club helped raise funds for and hosted Gift of Life children and their families for over 30 years.
 
  • The club’s Foundation provided funds to the Rotary International project in Kosovo. Rotary contributions were used to drill wells, install piping, and equip schools with plumbing fixtures that provided drinking water and toilets to eight
schools in the Kosovo municipalities of Ferizaj and Gjilan. The schools serve 4,500 students ages 6 to 15.
 
  • The school’s water systems were destroyed during the War in Kosovo.
 
  • Rotarians built and installed a ramp for easier access to the non-profit HOME Corp.’s offices that were located on Maple Avenue in Montclair.
 
  • Annually, our club recognized and honored local first responders who showed courage and bravery “above and beyond the call of duty” while serving the Montclair community and its residents. The first responders include police, fire, and emergency medical officers.
 
  • Rotarians Meg Banitch and Paul E. Metcalfe organized the Montclair Rotary Golf Challenge Cup, which became a successful fundraising event for our club.
 
1990 – 1999, continued
  • Our club’s golfers often won the challenge cup while competing with teams from nearby Rotary clubs.
 
  • Golf outings continued into the 21st century.
1990 – 1999
  • Montclair Rotarian Stuart Keil was selected to serve as Rotary District 7470’s District Governor (DG) during 1991–1992. A member of our club accompanied DG Keil as he visited each club in the district during the year.
 
  • During this decade Montclair Rotarians selected their first female club President. The first women to serve as Club Presidents are the following:
 
  • Madeline J. Brown, 1993 – 1994
  • Juliana G. Belcsak, 1995 – 1996
  • Margaret Banitch, 1996 – 1997
  • Margie Leather, 1998 – 1999
  • Judith Zinn, 1999 – 2000.
 
  • Annually, our club hosted one or more high school students from a foreign country as part of the Rotary International Youth Exchange Program. Also, we sponsored high school students from Montclair who traveled overseas to live and go to school in foreign countries in just about every continent.
 
  • Rotarians who hosted inbound international students in their homes often formed long-lasting relationships which continue to the present.
 
  • Montclair Rotarians led by Juliana G. Belcsak formed a sister-city alliance with Cherepovets, Russia.
 
  • A group of high school students from Cherepovets visited Montclair and were hosted by Rotarians and our club’s friends.
 
  • Our club provided funds and guidance to business and community leaders in Cherepovets who formed one of the first Rotary Clubs in Russia.
 
  • A young girl from Cherepovets and her parents came to Montclair through the Gift of Life program
 
  • Rotarians Tom and Patti Conk hosted the family.
 
  • The young patient was scheduled to have surgery to repair serious heart problems.
 
 
 
 
1990 – 1999, continued
  • Former ABC News Correspondent Dave Marash was covering the War in Kosovo in 1998-1999.
 
  • At a Kosovo hospital, Marash met Ibadete Thaqi, a young woman who lost both of her legs during the war.
 
  • Thaqi was flown to New York City by the U.S. Air Force.
 
  • Surgeons and medical teams at the Hospital for Special Surgery performed miraculous procedures and created prosthetic implants, enabling Thaqi to walk again.
 
  • Following her surgery and recovery, Thaqi shared her dream of wanting to attend an American high school.
 
  • Our club, President Andrew Keil, and Rotarian Belcsak arranged for Thaqi to attend Montclair High School.
 
  • Juliana and her husband, Hans Belcsak, opened their home to Thaqi who graduated from Montclair High and then received her bachelor’s degree from Georgian Court University in New Jersey.
 
1980 -1989
  • Our club and its Rotarians became active supporters of the Short-Term Youth Exchange Program in Japan, which was renamed the Ross Redmond Short Term Youth Exchange Program. We have had an active role in this cultural exchange program for over 35 years.
 
  • Our club recruited students who traveled on three-week trips to major cities in southern Japan including Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara.
     
  • Montclair Rotarians have served as chaperones for these students while Rotarians in New Jersey hosted students and chaperones visiting from Japan.
 
  • Our club began active support and fundraising for Rotary International’s Polio Plus initiative to wipe out this deadly virus around the world.
 
  • Annually, our Rotarians contributed resources to help Polio Plus achieve this goal, which was completed in the 21st century.
 
  • Our club sponsored the Montclair Rotary Run and fundraiser that drew more than 600 runners.
 
 
1980 – 1989, continued
  • Our club and its Rotarians hosted more than 30 visitors from its sister club, Bourg-en-Bresse in France, plus 10 families from nearby Châtillon-sur-Charlaronne.
 
  • French Rotarians and their families were given a grand tour of Northern N.J. and New York City.
 
  • Realtor and entrepreneur Judith Zinn was the first woman selected to join the Montclair Rotary Club.
 
  • Rotarian Zinn served as club President.
  • Hosted Rotary International Youth Exchange students.
  • Organized annual food drives that served local hunger relief programs.
 
1970 – 1979
Montclair Rotary marked its 50th anniversary in May 1972.
  • The Club increased its support of and involvement in the Rotary International Youth Exchange Program. The program strives to give each student as wide an experience as possible in the host country and community.
 
  • During the 1973-1974 school year, for example, the Club hosted Maria Therese Montemayor of Davao City in the Philippines.
 
  • Outbound student Katherine A. Minden, a recent graduate of Montclair High School, studied aboard in Piracicaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
 
  • In 1976, Mary Ellin Donan, who attended Lacordaire Academy, spent her senior year as a Rotary Exchange student in Bulls, New Zealand, living with four different Rotary families during her stay.
 
  • The club welcomed the first Rotary Exchange Student to receive a scholarship for college study at Montclair State. Vincent Peskins of Holland resided with Dr. Ann Sharp, who was a professor in the college’s education department.
 
  • The club donated funds to assist the Montclair Ambulance Unit’s efforts to raise $300,000 to build a new headquarters building.
 
  • Montclair Rotary and District 747 announced an opportunity for six, non-Rotarian business executives to take a six-week, all-expense-paid trip to India and Bangladesh beginning in January 1979.
 
  • During the decade, the club sponsored fundraising events, including the following:
 
  • Antique car show and flea market at Montclair State College.
1970 – 1979, continued  
  • 10-mile Rotary Run Sunday that drew more than 600 registrants.
 
  • Our Club named a record seven Rotarians as Rotary International Paul Harris Fellows. We contributed $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation for each Paul Harris recipient. The donations funded scholarships, fellowships for international exchange of students and business executives, and club-sponsored relief projects.
 
1960 – 1969
  • Montclair Rotary honored Col. Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. by placing a bronze plaque embedded in a boulder that honors the Apollo 11 astronaut. The tribute recognized Aldrin as “Montclair’s Man on the Moon,” and the commemorative plaque was placed in front of the hero’s childhood home on Princeton Place.
 
  • The Rotary’s action was part of the township’s “Buzz Aldrin Day” that was held on Sept. 6, 1969, just weeks after the successful Apollo 11 moon landing.
 
  • Buzz’s father, Edwin E. Aldrin, was elected to serve as Montclair Rotary’s president in 1962-1963.
  • Aldrin Sr. saw extensive service in the United States Air Force.
  • He also managed Newark Airport and served as aviation manager for the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey.
 
1950 - 1959
Rotary International and Montclair Rotary Club initiated programs that focus on the promotion of international goodwill and understanding. The backdrop for these policies was the increasing intensity of the Cold War.
  • Our club announced the availability of fellowships for advanced study abroad for young men and women from Montclair. For the first time, these fellowships were open to young people who had earned a bachelor’s degree or were in their senior year of college.
 
  • Fellowship recipients received resources to cover travel, tuition and living costs for one school year in a foreign country.
 
  • The club supported and participated in a program sponsored by the Montclair Area Displaced Persons Committee to help find employment for displaced people who emigrated to America.
     
  • The club launched a successful campaign to collect used clothing to help the thousands of refugees streaming into West Berlin from East Germany and other Communist-controlled countries in Eastern Europe.
 
1950 – 1959, continued
  • The club invited Professor N.A. Nikam, the noted Indian philosopher and visiting lecturer at Montclair State College to speak with Rotarians.
 
  • Professor Nikam said, “Although India has a culture over 2,000 years old, it is only 10 years old politically.”
 
  • He also explained that India today owes a tremendous debt to Mahatma Gandhi, whose teachings brought sanity to the country and prevented anarchy.
 
1940 -1949
The United States entered World War II on Dec. 7, 1941, following the surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Naval Air Service on America’s naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
  • Momentarily, the Rotarians put aside wartime cares to mark the club’s 20th anniversary.
 
  • The club participated in Montclair Library’s Furlough Register by inviting servicemembers to attend lunch meetings as guests. The invitation was open to any person who returned home while on leave from active military duty.
 
  • The club generously donated resources to the Send-A-Child-to-Camp Fund, which was managed by the Council of Social Agencies and The Montclair Times.
 
  • In a newspaper story, Mrs. W.H. Areson, the organization’s chair, said, “We are deeply indebted to the Rotary Club for their splendid generous action. The Club has proven again that it has the welfare of youth at heart.”
 
  • The Club donated funds to the Community Hospital to purchase an oxygen tent.
 
  • In receiving the gift, Mrs. Alfred H. Skogsberg, superintendent of the hospital, explained the increased use of oxygen therapy by the medical staff. During the past year, the tent was used 206 days. The machine that had been available broke down and the facility needed to rent an apparatus at considerable expense.
1930 - 1939
America’s Great Depression cast dark shadows of distress over the lives of millions of people in the United States.
  • During that decade, the Montclair Rotary Club sponsored simple contests to entertain families and award prizes to children. The competitions were free and open to every family and included the following events:
           
  • Kite flying – which drew a record-breaking 54 entries – and the event was viewed by more than 300 people.
1930 – 1939, continued
  • Additional contests included model glider flying and horseshoe pitching competitions.
  • The club launched a project to build a first aid station at Camp Glen Gray, which was the Montclair Boy Scout Camp in Bergen County.
    • The club hosted a series of events to raise funds for the construction and completion of the project.
 
  • During Rotary Year 1939-1940, Walter D. Head, past club president in 1927-28 and former principal of The Kimberly School, became the President of Rotary International.
 
 
1922 - 1929
In June 1922, the Montclair Rotary Club held its charter night. The founding Rotarians represented a diversity of business and professional interests. The club was focused on serving the community and the nearby region by hosting programs, taking on community-based projects, and encouraging young people to achieve their highest potential.
Rotary Projects included the following:
  • Club Band and vocalists performed at one of the community’s summer concerts.
     
  • Invited Colonel H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the first superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, to discuss current trends in law enforcement.
 
  • Colonel Schwarzkopf graduated from the West Point Military Academy and served in World War I
 
  • Decades later, Schwarzkopf’s son, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., commanded international armed forces, including U.S. troops.
     
  • The club researched and developed programs for Montclair youth designed to nurture hobbies, encourage hiking and fishing plus building interest in organized sports and scouting
 
  • Rotarians raised funds to create a trust fund for family of local man who was a homicide victim.
 
  • The club’s leaders assisted in the organization of Rotary Clubs in Bloomfield and Verona.
 
  • Montclair Rotarians supported the Y.M.C.A. branch on Glenridge Avenue by donating a radio. Interest in this innovative technology attracted many youths to the association.
 
 
Note: The Montclair Times’ archives are the key resource for our Club’s history over the last century.
  • Compiled and prepared by Bob Rinklin, Montclair Rotary Club Recording Secretary & Public Image
  • Research by Eric A. Rinklin
  • Editing and proofreading Ron Leir, Eric Rinklin and Bob Rinklin
 
Appendix 1
Rotary Club of Montclair, New Jersey, USA
   
List of Past Presidents
     
Organized: 17 April 1922
     
Admitted to RI: 1 May 1922
     
       
Merton L. Beebe
1922-23
Albert J. Nugent
1973-74
Harry N. Reeves
1923-24
Allan Morehead
1974-75
John J. Blondel
1924-25
Richard N. Heale
1975-76
E. Melville Wylie
1925-26
Andrew Buchan
1976-77
T. Kirtley Gardner
1926-27
Paul A. Newsom
1977-78
Walter D. Head
1927-28
Dr. Houston G. Elam
1978-79
Edward H. Holmes
1928-29
Daniel B. Gilbreth
1979-80
Frank G. Pickell
1929-30
Stuart Keil
1980-81
Arthur B. Holmes
1930-31
John Samson
1981-82
Harry A. Sprague
1931-32
James Johnson
1982-83
Jacob F. Weber
1932-33
Robert Kapp
1983-84
George S. Harris
1933-34
Michael Dickerson
1984-85
William McLean
1934-35
Ernest L. Fogg
1985-86
William H. Massman
1935-36
Barney Martin
1986-87
Crosby J. McGiffert
1936-37
Robert W. Brown
1987-88
Gilbert L. Morse
1937-38
Odell Archer
1988-89
John H. Faber
1938-39
Michael Vovakes
1989-90
Alfred T. Gibbs
1939-40
Paul E. Metcalfe
1990-91
Frank J. Hutchinson
1940-41
Paul Leggett
1991-92
Mercer C. MacPherson
1941-42
John O'Toole
1992-93
George Biggs
1942-43
Madeline J. Brown
1993-94
Henry D. Silverman
1943-44
Dean Boorman
1994-95
Charles W. Perdue
1944-45
Juliana G. Belcsak
1995-96
Ralph Lounsbury
1945-46
Margaret Banitch
1996-97
Paul Pearse
1946-47
Thomas Conk
1997-98
Francis Geigle
1947-48
Margie Leather
1998-99
Dr. William Giblin
1948-49
Judith A. Zinn
1999-00
William Sieger
1949-50
Geff F. Sanford IV
2000-01
Dr. Ethan T. Colton Jr.
1950-51
Georgia M. Brown
2001-02
Charles G. Bourgin
1951-52
Brien Delp
2002-03
C. Wright MacMillan
1952-53
Andrew Keil
2003-04
E. DeAlton Partridge
1953-54
Thomas Ross
2004-05
Gunnar T. Soderberg
1954-55
Gail Stone
2005-06
Keith Atkinson
1955-56
John Deermount
2006-07
Rev. Paul Yinger
1956-57
Preston Harrington
2007-08
Lester Lieb
1957-58
Rev. Beverly B. Sullivant
2008-09
John D. Bundage
1958-59
Michael Chapman
2009-10
George C. Bond
1959-60
Diana Pombo-Gonzalez
2010-11
Dr. Clarence E. Hinchey
1960-61
Thomas Conk
2011-12
Edwin E. Aldrin
1961-62
Margaret Banitch
2012-13
Richard M. Carlisle
1962-63
Eddie Maxie
2013-14
Charles W. Hamilton
1963-64
Robert Rinklin
2014-15
Donald M. Littlefield
1964-65
Paul Metcalfe
2015-16
Donald Mulford
1965-66
Alicia N. Robinson
2016-17
Raymond F. Conover
1966-67
Kevin Stoops
2017-18
Horace M. Bennett
1967-68
Dalton Chandler
2018-19
Joseph A. Carnevale
1968-69
Stuart Keil
2019-20
Edward T. O'Brien
1969-70
Georgia M. Brown
2020-21
James L. Parsons
1970-71
Paul Metcalfe
2021-22
Edmund T. Mancusi-Ungaro
1971-72
Lawrence K. Bogar
2022-23
Herbert Linley
1972-73
   
 
 
 
Montclair Rotary Club Mourns the loss of Past President Paul Metcalf
The Montclair Rotary Club sadly reports the death of Past President Paul Metcalf who passed away on September 25, 2021. Paul served as the Club’s president three times: 1990 – 1991, 2015 – 2016, and 2021 – 2022. He was a dedicated and active member of the Montclair Rotary Club for more than 40 years.

Paul was born in Jersey City, NJ, son of the late Edward and Doris Metcalfe. He grew up in Teaneck, NJ before attending college at Athens College in Athens, AL. After returning to NJ he settled down in Kinnelon, NJ. He began his career as a teacher at West Milford High School and Passaic Valley Regional High School before becoming a Financial Planner with Lincoln National Group for over 45 years.

Paul maintained a very active life filled with service. While attending Athens College he was President of his fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega. He served as a Kinnelon councilman for 10 years. He was also very active in his lake community and served as President of the Fayson Lakes Association, in addition his voice was often heard during the summer at weekly swim meets as he performed the role of announcer. He was an active member of the Montclair Rotary Club for over 35 years and served as President twice. Most currently he served as a commissioner of PRBRSA. He as also an active parishioner of Our Lady of the Magnificat Catholic Church in Kinnelon, NJ.

Paul loved to play golf and could often be found on the golf course as a member of the Upper Montclair Country Club. He also organized “The Metcalfe March Madness” golf outings for the past 25 years for friends and family.

Paul is survived by his devoted wife Ellen of 51 loving years, his two beloved children: Brian Metcalfe and Shannon Green and husband Courtney, a loving sister Valerie Heinrich and husband John. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

U.S. Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill Honors Montclair Rotary Club’s 100 Years of Community Service
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U.S. Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, 11th District, presented the Montclair Rotary with a commemorative America flag to mark club’s 100th anniversary. The flag, which flew over the United States Capitol, was received by Montclair Club President Lawrence K. Bogar during the gala celebration to mark the century of service to local and global communities by the Montclair and Nutley Rotary Clubs. Shown in the photo are (left to right): Stuart Keil, president of the Montclair Rotary Foundation; Linda Cranston, program chair; Mr. Bogar; and Jessica Egenasi, club treasurer. Montclair Rotary meets each Tuesday at 12:15 pm, for more details about the club visit the website.
Photo by Bob Rinklin for the Montclair Rotary Club
Rotary Clubs of Montclair and Nutley Each Receive the Century of Service Award
Past District 7475 Governor Dr. Ann Walko presented the 100 Years of Service Award to both Robert Peters, president, Rotary Club of Nutley, (left) and Lawrence K. Bogar, president, Montclair Rotary Club (right). The presentation was made during 100th Anniversary Gala marking each club’s century of service to communities that are nearby and faraway.
Photo by Bob Rinklin for the Montclair Rotary
Montclair Rotarians Mark Club’s Century of Service to Local and Global Communities
Rotarians and their friends recently marked the Montclair Rotary Club’s 100th anniversary during a gala celebration. Founded in 1922, the club has served the community by supporting local hunger relief programs, arranging for more than 100 high school students from the area to study in foreign countries, and participating in several community service projects during each decade of the last century. The club is planning a wider range of new projects by forming alliances with not-for-profit groups to serve more individuals and families. Shown in the photo in the front row from left to right are Lisa Kievit, executive director of Park Street YMCA; Connie Eason, and Rotarian Georgia M. Brown. Standing in second row and shown from left to right are Lawrence K. Bogar, president of the Montclair Rotary; Jessica Egenasi, club treasurer; Linda Okoro; Linda Cranston, club program chair; Mona Keil; Buddy Evans, the club vice president, and CEO of Montclair YMCA; Stuart Keil, president of Montclair Rotary Foundation; and Bob Rinklin, club recording secretary.
Photo by the Montclair Rotary Club
Rotarian Stuart Keil Displays Rotary Memorabilia during the Montclair Club’s 100th Anniversary Gala

Rotarian Stuart Keil displayed his collection of valuable Rotary memorabilia during the gala to mark the 100th anniversaries of the Montclair and Nutley Rotary Clubs. Keil has held leadership roles in Rotary during his more than four decades of service the club, the district, and Rotary International. He served in the highly demanding position of Rotary District 7470 Governor in 1990 – 1991. He also was president of the Montclair Club in 1980-1981 and 2019-2020, and he has led the Club’s Foundation Committee in recent years. Shown in the photo with the table of Rotary banners, pins, clocks, and remarkable items are Mr. Keil and Mona, his wife.

 Photo by Bob Rinklin for the Montclair Rotary Club

Rotary Club Honors Montclair YMCA’s Service to the Community
Rotary Club President Lawrence K. Bogar (right) presents a donation to Montclair YMCA’s President and CEO Buddy Evans (left). The Montclair Rotary’s contribution will help support the Y’s programs that serve individuals and families. The alliance between YMCA and the Rotary dates to the club’s founding in 1922. During the last century, two organizations have cooperated on projects that inspire young people achieve their potential in life.
Photo by Bob Rinklin for the Montclair Rotary Club
Montclair Rotary Donates Funds to Human Needs Food Pantry’s Hunger-Relief Efforts
Michael Bruno, executive director of the Human Needs Food Pantry, recently spoke with the Montclair Rotary Club. Bruno explained that community-based food pantry serves working families who regularly face food insecurity issues. Each week the non-profit organization supplies on non-perishable groceries plus vegetables, fruits, and meats to 2,900 families who live in Essex, Bergen, and Passaic counties. The pantry also distributes clothes, personal hygiene items, and diapers. Montclair Rotary President Lawrence K. Bogar (right) presented Mr. Bruno with a contribution from the Club’s Foundation. Montclair Rotary is celebrating its 100th anniversary of service to local and global communities during 2022.
Photo by Bob Rinklin for the Montclair Rotary Club.
Montclair Rotary Joins with Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity to Collect Food for Toni’s Kitchen
Montclair Rotary Club’s Jessica Egenasi (center) helped with the food drive for Toni’s Kitchen. Jessica was joined by Dr. Mike Straker (left) and Marquis Whitney, who are members of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity’s Montclair Chapter. Jessica, Mike, and Marquis spoke with local resident who were shopping at Kings Food Markets on Valley Road. Residents bought non-perishable food items at Kings and donated non-perishable items to Toni’s Kitchen. In a few hours, the Rotary collected over 400 pounds of groceries. For more information about the Montclair Rotary, please contact Lawrence K. Bogar, the club’s president, by email at MontclairRotary@gmail.com.
Photo by Bob Rinklin for the Montclair Rotary Club
Montclair Rotary Club Collects Food Donations for Toni’s Kitchen at Kings Food Markets
The Montclair Rotary Club thanks the many residents who donated non-perishable groceries during its recent food drive for Toni’s Kitchen. Families and individuals generously bought food items from the Kings Market on Valley Road in Upper Montclair. The club contributed the groceries to the local nonprofit that provides food to neighbors in need. Rotarians received enough food for more than 300 healthy meals plus monetary contributions. Shown in the photo outside of Kings Food Markets are (left to right) Linda Cranston and Jimmy, her dog, Connie Eason, a friend of Rotary, and Georgia M. Brown. The Rotary, which serves the communities of Montclair and Verona, meets each Tuesday beginning at 12:15 pm in the Greek Taverna Restaurant. For more details, contact Rotary Club President Lawrence K. Bogar by email at MontclairRotary@gmail.com.
 
Photo by Bob Rinklin for Montclair Rotary Club
Lawrence Bogar Inducted as the Montclair Rotary Club’s President from July 2022 through June 2023
Lawrence Bogar (right) was recently inducted as the President of the Montclair Rotary Club. Bogar is responsible for leading the club and its members during the coming year. In the photo, Past President Paul Metcalfe presents Bogar with the ceremonial gavel that is given to the club’s new leader. Montclair Rotary is marking its 100th anniversary in 2022. Guests are invited to attend the club’s meetings, which are held each Tuesday at 12:15 pm. For more details about joining Rotary visit the club’s website at https://www.montclairrotaryclub.com/
Montclair Rotary Installs New Officers for 2022-2023

Montclair Rotary Club has elected and recently inducted its new leadership team for the coming year. Shown seated in the front row are Barbara Hirsch (left), Rotary District 7475 Assistant Governor for Essex County who was visiting from the Nutley Rotary Club, and Georgia Brown, the club’s treasurer. Shown standing in the photo are from left to right Stuart Keil, president of the Montclair Rotary Foundation; Buddy Evans, vice president; Lawrence Bogar, president; Paul Metcalfe, immediate past president; and James Stefanile, secretary. 

Photo by Bob Rinklin for the Montclair Rotary Club

Montclair Rotary Club Installs A New Member
Rotarian Jessica Egenasi recently received the Montclair Rotary Club banner during the new member induction ceremonies. Shown in the photo from left to right are Rotarian Jessica Egenasi, CPA, Rotarian Linda Cranston, who is the new member’s sponsor, and Rotary Club President Paul Metcalfe. Montclair Rotary Club meets weekly for in-person sessions on the first and third Tuesdays at 12:15 pm at Greek Taverna Restaurant, 292 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, N.J. The club holds virtual meetings via Zoom on the second and fourth Tuesdays.
Photo by the Montclair Rotary Club  
Montclair Rotary Marks 18 Years Donating Dictionaries
To Third Graders at Local Elementary Schools
Georgia “Dictionary Peach” Brown has coordinated the Montclair Rotary Club’s Dictionary Project since 2004. Annually, the club provides student dictionaries to kids in Montclair’s elementary schools. Brown is shown outside the Watchung Elementary School after dropping off cartons of dictionaries for third and fourth grade students.
Photo by Bob Rinklin for the Montclair Rotary Club
 
Georgia “Dictionary Peach” Brown Has Led Annual Effort that Brought 15,500 Books to Pupils
 
The Montclair Rotary Club has helped a generation of elementary school students in Montclair and Verona get a jump start in building their vocabulary. Over the past 18 years the club, which serves both communities, donated more than 15,500 student dictionaries to third-grade students in each school district. The first groups of students to receive their dictionaries have graduated from high school and finished college.
Montclair Rotarian Georgia “Dictionary Peach” Brown brought The Dictionary Project to the two communities in 2004 and has coordinated the effort the entire time. Annually, Ms. Brown and volunteers from the club distribute student dictionaries to pupils at 15 private, parochial, and public elementary schools in Montclair and Verona. This winter and spring, Ms. Brown and the club’s team delivered a total of 1,401 dictionaries to third and fourth graders in both communities.
Students at these schools received dictionaries this year:
Montclair:                                                                  Verona:
Bradford Elementary School                                      Brookdale Avenue School                 
Charles H. Bullock School                                          Forest Avenue School
Edgemont Montessori Elementary School                 Laning Avenue School
Hillside Elementary School                                         Our Lady of the Lake School
Lacordaire Academy                                                  Spectrum360 School
Montclair Cooperative School                                    F.N. Brown School.
Northeast Elementary School
St. Cassian Elementary School
Watchung Elementary School 
 
Rotarian Georgia “Dictionary Peach” Brown with Principal James Carlo of the Our Lady of the Lake School in Verona. The Montclair Rotary Club, which serves both Verona and Montclair, has provided over 15,500 student dictionaries to elementary school pupils since 2004.
Photo by Bob Rinklin for the Montclair Rotary Club
 
Ms. Brown’s enthusiasm for the project earned her the nickname “Dictionary Peach,” a reference to her home state of Georgia.
The Montclair Rotary Foundation and Rotary District 7475 Foundation, both nonprofits, plus donations from individuals have funded the purchase of dictionaries. The total expenditure for the books exceeds $60,000.
 
Pandemic Disrupts Dictionary Distribution
 
Typically, the Rotary club gives dictionaries to third graders. But when the COVID pandemic disrupted
that schedule during 2020 and 2021, Ms. Brown decided to expand the project this year to include fourth grade classes in the dictionary distribution.
 
Longest Word in the English Language
 
The soft-bound books have more than 370 pages of words and definitions plus maps, biographies of U.S. presidents and information about America’s states and nations of the world. In the past, Ms. Brown brought dictionaries to each classroom and encouraged to lookup a word each day. She showed students that the dictionaries included the longest word in the English language, which has more than 1900 letters.
Ms. Brown said, “I was a natural choice to chair The Dictionary Project committee because I have always loved words. And I am a curious person and good dictionaries have thousands of words plus an abundance of useful information.”
 
The late Robert Pityo, a longtime member of the Cedar Grove Rotary Club, mentored Ms. Brown in the dictionary project. Brown embraced the project because she believes that learning is a lifetime habit. Dictionaries, she added, are tools people can always use.
 
During a recent dictionary delivery to Verona’s Lanning Avenue School, Principal Howard Freund said, “I am grateful for the opportunity to give our third and fourth graders their own dictionaries. They hold the dictionary in their hands and flip through pages filled with thousands of words. Students get to discover different words and find out what they mean.”
 
Rotarian Georgia “Dictionary Peach” Brown with Principal Howard Freund of Verona’s Laning Avenue School. The Rotary Club, which serves Montclair and Verona, has provided a generation of elementary school students with dictionaries that help pupils build better vocabularies.
Photo by Bob Rinklin for the Montclair Rotary Club
 
Marking the End of an Era
 
Ms. Brown, who is retired from U.S. Postal Service’s office in Montclair, is completing her last year as chairperson of the annual dictionary project. She said, “I have wonderful memories meeting and speaking with students at each of the local schools. When I hand the dictionary to students, I often see a sparkle of gratitude in their eyes and that makes all the effort worthwhile.”
 
About the Rotary Club of Montclair 
The Rotary Club is marking its 100th Anniversary year in 2022. The club that serves the communities of Montclair and Verona by supporting not-for-profit organizations, schools, and community groups. Rotarians volunteer their time and contribute resources to aid local hunger-relief and food insecurity programs, affordable housing efforts, the local animal shelter, and programs for veterans and the elderly. Members also sponsor community service projects. For more information about the Rotary, which meets each Tuesday at 12:15 p.m., contact Club President Paul Metcalfe by email at montclairrotaryclub@gmail.com. The club currently alternates between virtual meetings and in-person sessions held at the Greek Taverna Restaurant in Montclair.
 

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Click the link below:
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BECOME A MEMBER
The Montclair Rotary Club serves the communities of Montclair and Verona, New Jersey. 
 
Our members make significant contributions to the community through their unique skills, talents, expertise and interests. Annual fundraisers, including the Taste of Montclair, enable the Montclair Rotary Club to offer charitable assistance to organizations in need and to perform numerous service projects that enhance the quality of life in the Montclair area. In its leadership role as a service organization, the Montclair Rotary Club extends membership to people who voluntarily and willingly dedicate themselves to the ideals of Rotary International, and a commitment to "Service Above Self". The Montclair Rotary Club is focused on helping those within our communities as well as supporting projects that are global in scope. If you are a person who recognizes that giving is more rewarding than receiving, then you already have the Rotary spirit! Contact us at montclairrotaryclub@gmail.com or at P.O. Box 1746, Montclair NJ 07042 to learn how you can apply for membership. 
To download our MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION in WORD format, go to the "CONTACT THE MONTCLAIR ROTARY CLUB" section on the left of our home page and click MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION.
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or send mail to: Montclair Rotary Club
                          PO Box 1746
                          Montclair, NJ 07042

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Would you like to join us, but you're concerned about the time commitment or having to attend weekly meetings - especially at noon time? We've heard your concerns. We are now able to welcome you as a Friend of Rotary. As a Friend of Rotary, you can actively participate in any of our activities, including out community outreach programs and events. Want to find out more? If you reply to this post, we promise to contact you directly to tell you how to sign up. There is no cost and your involvement can be as much or as little as you prefer. Here's your opportunity for service to the community and to make new friends.
 
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Voice of Our Child Founder Speaks To Montclair Rotary
Caroline Verkaik PhD, Co-Founder and CEO of Voice of Our Child
 
Rotarian Caroline Verkaik
Takes Teens on Humanitarian Trips To Kenya
that Builds Self Confidence and Serves Local Villages
 
Nonprofit ‘Voice of ‘Our Child’ Raising Funds for Young People Suffering With Chronic Depression
 
By Bob Rinklin, Montclair Rotary Club
 
Caroline Verkaik, Ph.D., is the founder and CEO of the not-for-profit Voice of Our Child, which serves teens and young adults battling chronic depression. Verkaik, who also launched WaterGap – Africa Safaris, discussed the nonprofit’s mission and the tour company’s journeys to Kenya at a recent virtual presentation to the Montclair Rotary Club.
By linking the nonprofit’s mission and her expertise in running safaris to Africa, Verkaik developed an innovative program. American teenagers, some who suffer with depression, go on a humanitarian journey to Kenya, Verkaik’s homeland, where they assist people in local villages. The visitors arrive with school supplies for children and items essential for families.
Harsh Life for Kenya’s Young People
In Kenya, the American teens have a rare opportunity to meet other teens who struggle with day-to-day living in a developing country. The Kenyans face daily food insecurity, lack of clean water and few, if any, books, notebooks or pens and pencils. The visitors are exposed to the huge lifestyle gaps between themselves and the Kenyans who typically make do with just one set of clothes and often no footwear.
Verkaik, who has a doctorate in social work, said, “The trip produces positive changes in our teens, who often give the Kenyans their sneakers, clothes and more. The America kids develop more self-confidence, self-reliance and a positive view of their lives. Parents are amazed at the changes and hardly recognize their kids when they arrive home.”
The Voice of Our Child plans to expand the number of humanitarian trips and is actively fundraising to offer travel scholarships to teens.
Verkaik said, “I’m honored to talk with Rotarians because they are a group of people who truly are about others.” The Kinnelon resident was just inducted into the Pequannock Valley Rotary Club.
Voice of the Child is a mentorship program that is committed to reducing the rate of depression and the occurrence of suicide among children, teens and young adults. Verkaik was energized to form the nonprofit after having failed to detect the signs that her eldest daughter had suffered with bouts of severe depression. Her husband, David, has also struggled with anxiety for years
 
   
 
 
Voice of Our Child (VOOC) is an international foundation that helps young people maintain humanity’s greatest resource, their minds.
Hosts Virtual Summit Every Saturday
The nonprofit also hosts a weekly video meeting for teens, young adults and their families in the United States and around the world. Each Saturday, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. (EDT), the organization hosts and moderates a global Zoom session. Callers share insights, feelings and strategies for living with, and ultimately working through, their depression and other obstacles.
Verkaik emigrated from Kenya to America in 1995. Her first job was a lab analyst at Kodak. She also competed in Mrs.World pageants and was selected third and fourth runner-up, and earned three Mrs.Kenya World titles. In 2016 was named among top 50 women business leaders during a meeting attended by 3,000 women executives from across the globe.
She also earned a 2019 citation from the legislature in Pennsylvania for most influential person of the year,
Rotarians may learn more about Voice of our Child by visiting the website https://www.voiceofourchild.org and donations may be made to the non-profit through the website.
For more details about trips available from WaterGap-Africa Safaris go to https://www.watergap-africasafaris.com.
The Montclair Rotary Club Reaches Out With Help To Africa
Solar lights in Maasailand
 
 
Shown are some of the solar lights that members of the Montclair Rotary Club provided to the tribal people the club helps in Kenya through the efforts of the activists Avery and Paul Mantell.
The lights have totally ended incursions by hyenas and lions in the dead of night, making everyone in the village feel more secure.
Thanks to the generosity of Rotarians Laurence Bogar and Linda Cranston, the lights truly have improved the villagers lives by solving a long term problem!
If you'd also like to help the people of Maasailand, please visit www.MaasaiGirlsFund.org
 

LUNCH MEETINGS

We meet Tuesdays at 12:15 PM
Greek Taverna
292 Bloomfield Ave.
Montclair, NJ  07042
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