Rotary Club of Grand Island, New York

Grand Island Rotary Club Mission Statement:

The Grand Island Rotary Club will set the standard as the premier service club in our community, fostering fellowship and goodwill, emphasizing high ethical standards and promoting Service above Self.

Welcome to Grand Island Rotary!

Grand Island

Service Above Self

Grand Island Rotary is following a 'Flexible Meeting' Concept, aiming for 2 meetings per month. Please see the Calendar attached to this Web Site for Club meeting schedule and venues.
Holiday Inn Express or Buffalo Launch Club
Grand Island, NY  14072
United States of America
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District Site
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Venue Map
 
 
Club Officers
President
President Elect
Secretary
Treasurer
Past President
Director
Director
Director
 
 
 
Home Page Stories
EarlyAct, Interact, Rotaract show Rotarians the Way
Grand Island’s Early Act (Elementary school service Clubs), Interact (Middle & High School service Clubs) and the UB Rotaract Club raised $932 for Rotary Foundation’s Eradicating Polio project in past 2 months.  They held Purple Pinkie sessions at their schools, where students and parents donated to have pinkies purpled, just as happens in Afghanistan / Pakistan when polio drops are administered in those few remaining areas were Polio exists. The somewhat older university Rotaractors had obtained a grant for supplies (purple disinfecting dye) and posters to help the younger ones. Kaegebein School raised $200, Huth Rd. $341, Middle School $86 and the High School $305. Now GI Rotarians have a challenge: write their own checks for the End Polio Now drive! All those funds are being multiplied by a major grant from the Bill Gates Foundation for hopefully the final push – remember Polio is only in humans, if the World goes 3 years without Polio, it’s gone!
    
Everyone needs a party and some packages of meat – SO - Grand Island Rotarians teamed up with Grand Island Schools to raise money supporting the Growing Readers program of providing Read to Me books to parents of toddlers. Their 2ndAnnual Meat Raffle on March 9 was a huge success: Dollars were flowing in, meat and other prizes were flowing out, while good times were flowing all around! 
    
    Rotary Club of Grand Island’s Undie Sunday to benefit the homeless in Niagara Falls, Buffalo and surrounding areas is ideal considering the recent below zero temperatures. Beginning on Sunday, Feb. 10 and concluding on Sunday, Feb. 24 Island residents are encouraged to donate the basic needs of new, unused underclothing and socks for homeless men, women and children.  
    Donations may be placed in the hampers at the following churches on Grand Island: Bible Fellowship Center, 1136 Baseline Rd.; Bible Presbyterian, 1650 Love Rd.; Island Presbyterian, St. Martin’s in the Fields Episcopal Church, St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic Church and St. Timothy’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.
    In addition, donations may also be placed in the hampers at Ace Hardware, Grand Island Library, Island Pharmacy, Island Ship Center and Momma D’s Bakery & Café, KeyBank, M&T Bank, Northwest Savings Bank, Tops Friendly Markets, and the lobby of Town Hall.
The donations will be sorted on February 25 before being delivered to the Buffalo City Mission, Community Mission of Niagara Falls, Harbor House and St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy. For more information, visit www.rotaryclubgi.org or call 716.863.2577
   "We sincerely appreciate the generosity of the Grand Island residents who donate to this extremely important program. These items provide a personal dignity, comfort and warmth for the homeless in our community," said Faye Teluk, Chair of the Rotary Club of Grand Island’s Undie Sunday committee. She also thanked Island Ship Center for preparing posters appearing around the Island and Popular Graphics for the banner you will see under Town Center sign.
  
 
Join us for our 2nd annual Meat Raffle on March 9th at the Knights of Columbus on Grand Island. Great eating and support of a good cause! Monies raised will go to support Growing Readers and Rotary Youth projects. Growing Readers is a GI School District originated program to provide 'Read To Me' books to parents of new-borns and toddlers to encourage development of reading appreciation and skills before the child reaches school age, increasing the likelihood that reading skills accompany them thru the years. To order tickets email: GIMeatRaffle@gmail.com
  
Showing Rotarians Work and Brave the Weather!
Grand Island Rotary tried something new this year – G I Chamber had Light Up Boulevard parade as Holiday Season started (Dec. 1). Surprising number of spectators watched us march, including 3 Interactors, with Rotarians at Work banner, lighted truck with reindeer followed in gloom. Yes, it was drizzling, but not bitter cold, got good comments on our hardiness! We have learned a lesson: next year we need a Hot Air Balloon Burner to really Light up the Boulevard, and our marchers!
   
Helping Light Up the Boulevard
Grand Island Rotary will help the GI Chamber of Commerce and other Island organizations bring in a well lit Holiday Season on Saturday, Dec. 1, 5 PM, after that unique Rudolph’s Run. Our truck with hundreds of lights – some modern LED’s, some old strings ‘almost antiques’, brings light to Grand Island Boulevard, then leads Rotary & Interact walkers plus everyone to the Town Holiday Tree Lighting in Town Center near Rotary Gazebo. Santa will be in Town Hall for kids, eats & treats in Town Center, lots to do. Maybe you will need gloves, ear muffs, scarfs; even so, come enjoy warm community spirit.
    
Rotary is dedicated to six areas of focus to build a better world (Promoting peace, Fighting disease, Providing clean water and hygiene, Saving mothers and children, Supporting Education, and Building local economies). To support these efforts and end polio forever, over 1 million Rotarians have provided untold hours of effort and over Three Billion dollars through the Rotary Foundation in the past 100+ years. Steady, yearly, contributions keep this tremendous effort going. Having every Rotarian giving ($25 or $100 or more!) and working (local, District or International projects) will insure this tremendous Tradition of Service continues into the future. The number and scope of projects supported might overwhelm the mind – except that when we do it, one check at a time, one hour of service at a time – we can look back and see tremendous accomplishment!
          
Five Ukraine teachers, educators, were shown several aspects of educating youth and young adults in STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, medicine by Grand Island Rotary last month. Part of the Open World exchange program – U.S. Congress sponsored, having brought more than 26,000 current and future leaders from post-Soviet era countries to US to see our free enterprise and democratic processes in action. Science wings of schools in Alden, Lancaster and Grand Island, technology training of young adults at the Northland Industry center and at Cannon Design on Grand Island, plus aspects of WNY life (and the Falls!). Meetings and dinners with Buffalo Medical Corridor and Grand Island Rotary Clubs. A busy week for Ukrainians, an interesting and informative week for G I Rotarians also.
      
Thank goodness for TOUGH GI High School Students and Advisor Mandy Myers. Yes, our Fall Beaver Isle Pkwy clean up had a 'bit of rain'. But 10 students and 7 Rotarians showed TRUE GRIT and got the job done, even extending onto the ramps near bridge. It is sometimes difficult, and please don't touch the road kill, but we thank all who braved the cool, damp, and allowed all to be more proud of our highways. Pray for good weather in May when we are back.
    
Five Ukraine teachers, educators, will be here in Western NY as guests of the US Congress and of Grand Island Rotary from Oct 12 – 20. Rotarians will show them several aspects of educating our youth and young adults in STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, medicine. Science wings of schools, technology training centers, plus several unique aspects of WNY life. How do you start such a tour? Dinner at the Dnipro Ukrainian Center on Genesee St. of course! Remember the Dnipro River flows thru Kyiv on its way thru the heart of Ukraine on its way to the Black Sea.
    
Rotary Action: Fund Raising and So Much More
For 30 years, 1988 – 2018, Rotary Clubs like Grand Island have worked under Rotary International and governments, foundations to ERADICATE POLIO. Polio, long gone from North America, still produced millions of disabled folks a year, 30 years ago. Money ($700 Million from Rotary just since 2010) and Rotary volunteers helped the dramatic reduction such that now less than 20 wild Polio cases per year, and in only 3 countries. As the Eradicate Polio goal nears, here is an example of Actions Rotarians around the world take beyond ‘just’ raising $’s. Improving organization and record keeping, key to successful Polio vaccination and other health care improvement, Pakistan Rotarians are giving cell phones to local health workers so that vaccination teams can be sent rapidly to critical areas and results logged in, called back promptly. Rotary efforts include thoughtful Action, in addition to their massive money raising.
    
Rotary will be there at Taste of Grand Island, Saturday, Sep 22, near the Rotary Gazebo in Town Center, Whitehaven Rd. Get raffle tickets on the Big Lottery Tree, one sure to give you exciting chances for a variety of Lottery winnings, plus taste the empenadas that are a hit at Tonawanda Canal Fest (from the Salvation Army booth there) – we will also have unique Grand Island scene coasters. All as Rotary raises funds to support High School scholarships, Miracle League field upkeep, and so much more.
    
G I Rotary will make their annual donation to help with upkeep of the Miracle League field on Grand Island, on Sunday, Aug. 19, 1:45 PM as another game is about to start. The Miracle League field, Tee-ball size, with a special rubberized surface to eliminate injury if a player stumbles or falls, allows wheelchair bound or other challenged youth, to have the thrill of participating in ball games. Next to the ball field is a unique handicapped-accessible playground, also with rubberized, safe, surface. Rotary is proud to have helped with financing, construction, and maintenance of both facilities – come out Sunday afternoon, Aug. 19, and see, maybe participate in, the joy that is brought to challenged kids.
    
An excellent picnic meeting of Grand Island Rotary last evening (7/25) at the home of John & Linda Harbison. A chance to honor seniors from this year at Grand Island High School. Maria Schnettler and Elizabeth Kretevski received $1000 scholarships to help their further education, while they and 7 others – Sara Wolcott, Arthur Meaney, Abigail Czerwonka, Jenna Tavano, Megan Shickluna, Yusaf Mojawalla and Megan Staley, all received Student Recognition Awards in honor of their service in the local and nearby communities. Those awards, plus induction of new Rotary member, Faye Teluk, made for a full evening, but we still had time to eat (of course, we always do)! The combination of students, 13 Rotarians, several parents and other friends produced a full evening of fellowship.
    
Well, I didn't have my Iphone camera handy at the 7/18 breakfast meeting of GI Rotary at Grand Island's new Holiday Inn Express. So there is no photo of Director Brian Graham explaining results of Member survey we had just completed (almost 100% response!) showing both our successes and where we can get better. As we document future events and activities here, you will see results of that survey. Then we had a tour of this new venue – here’s where my forgetting Iphone camera means I have to show you stock photos of some features. Good meeting room for us (next to buffet!), rooms taking advantage of its park-like setting, good exercise room, unfortunately no stock photo available of the unique handicapped accessible pool! Looking good for future meetings here!
    
Wonderful End to a Great Rotary Year
Grand Island Rotarians journeyed down to Derby on cliffs overlooking Lake Erie (actually the ‘new’ boutique SunCliff) to enjoy dinner and celebrate a successful year! Past Member Dr. Dave Johnson has a new career turning a palatial 1920’s site into a new venue. Members and their spouses enjoyed the view, a special tour, plus excellent food, as they gave special Paul Harris recognition to Directors Chris Learman & Hank Kammerer, plus special thanks to outgoing President Mike Heigel. John Harbison was singled out for his recent award from the GI Lions Club, and Dick Earne, as Incoming President, got great support for his plans in 2018 / 19. From the photo, you might think Dave Johnson is expounding on a great vintage of chardonnay; no, he is explaining about sanding, painting, and dealing with Planning Boards as SunCliff becomes a reality! 
  
Great Event to end Rotary Year
President Mike Heigel has worked with Past Member (and Past President) Dave Johnson, to arrange a President’s Dinner night we will remember for some time. A new dinner & conference venue on cliffs overlooking Lake Erie – SunCliff in Derby! What a grand way to celebrate a turn-around year for Grand Island Rotary. Before a note-worthy dinner, a tour of this newly refurbished venue with its wonderful setting as the sun sets into Lake Erie. Wednesday, June 20, we are all looking forward to it!
    
SHRED-IT is Here! – Saturday, June 9
 
Safe, reliable, document destruction done while you wait, or just as safe - after you drop off your boxes of those old financial or tax papers. Saturday, June 9 at the Key Bank end of the Tops Parking lot, Grand Island. Only $10 per box to give you peace of mind and free up some file cabinet or storage space! Grand Island Rotary offers this activity to raise funds, particularly for its support of the Miracle League Field at Veterans Park, providing accessible sports and playground for challenged youth. The SHRED-IT activity is sponsored by Christine A. Learman, CPA, PC.
  
 
No Recipe for Polish Sausage – Instead Fascinating Business Background
Skip Wardinski, 3rdGeneration President of Wardinski Meats provided a great evening for G I Rotarians at the Launch Club on May 23rdas Club President Mike Heigel knew Skip from business contacts. Thus from Skip - little hints about what makes their sausage and hot dogs so delicious, but more importantly, an overview of challenges in his industry. The influx of national ‘cut-rate’ items, the need to source high quality meats, staffing an operation with real workers, useful yet economical employee benefits (give-away price for dogs slightly undersize!). A delightful evening showing the advantage of Rotarians having contacts thru-out the business world.
    
Great Help to get Beaver Isle Pkwy Cleaned Up for Spring!
Yes, the weatherman threw us a curve (rain exactly in the 8 – 10 AM cleanup time, sun after!), but with the help of 10 GI Hi School students, Beaver Island Parkway got a Spring Clean-Up by Grand Island Rotary and their helpers. We’ve said it before: it takes cooperation and Partnering for a small service Club to accomplish good works. So Rotarian Chair, Sherry Miller, arranged High School students (who wanted community-service time anyway) to help our Spring Parkway cleanup. They were not deterred by rain – they smiled, tho maybe unhappy with the conditions. We thank them for their help – we couldn’t have done it without them!
    
Our Semi-Annual Cleanup of Beaver Isle Pkwy is here, May 19. Join us 8 AM in the front parking lot of Kaegebein School at Love Rd and the Parkway. A quick cup of coffee, then fan out for an hour or two to bag up the trash and scraps along that beautiful roadway toward Beaver Island park. Several High School students will join us for this project to beautify an important entrance to Grand Island's most scenic park. Sure, it's a bit of effort, but in a good cause, and some walking along the grassy berms of the roadway will probably do us some good!
    
International service came home to WNY at the GI Rotary, Apr. 25, meeting at the Launch Club. Current UB student, Matthew Falcone, (and member of the Rotary-guided Rotaract Service Club at UB) journeyed to Tanzania in 2015, saw the critical need for purifying water there – GI Rotarians had seen the same need 10 yrs ago in Ethiopia, as girls were forced to scoop water from a cattle field for their families. We financed a well then; a big help, but expensive and needing constant maintenance. Now a grad student in Civil & Environmental Engineering at UB, Matt Falcone is working on a reliable, long term solution – a parabolic solar trough device using plentiful, strong, sun light of tropics to sterilize water without expensive chemicals that need constant replacement. His work needs trials on-site in Tanzania to refine the device, but is real progress. We in Grand Island Rotary saw the benefit of Rotarians working with service minded, students from Rotaract groups who have those new, bright ideas that will truly help the world. You can learn more about Matt Falcone’s effort to return to Tanzania at the University at Buffalo Crowdfunding Tanzania project.
    
Interesting program coming to GI Rotary at their Mar. 28 dinner at the Launch Club. A nature trail along the Niagara River from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario sure sounds like a great idea. Would Grand Island be involved? Well, we are the STAR of the Niagara River region, aren’t we? Why wouldn’t we be involved! Greg Stevens and Gerald Kelly will described the Niagara Greenway’s plans and hopes for this project. Grand Island should / must be involved!
   
Waving Dollar Bills at Rotarians makes for Success!
 
(But only when we organize and use Partnering.) Grand Island Rotary’s Meat Raffle to support Growing Readers, was a great success. GI Rotary is now a small group, yet we had a full house at the K of C Hall, bidding for excellent meat packages, waving Dollars at our Runners! That’s because we were PARTNERING with a G I School committee dedicated to buying ‘Read-to-Me’ books local pediatricians will give to new parents, encouraging them to read to their toddlers. The combined forces brought out both attendees and workers. We in Rotary thank all who came / bought / ate (and will eat) supporting Growing Readers, and we see that PARTNERING between Rotarians and School committee made the project successful.
    
Great article on Rotary’s role in ERADICATING POLIO from the world in the Toronto Sun of Feb. 16, 2018. Here’s the highlights: In 1979 there were still 400,000 cases in world. Public health groups had cleared the developed world – BUT! Rotary International stepped up, started 3rd World vaccinations with help from Bill Gates Foundation so that by 2017 ONLY 22 cases in entire world, even Nigeria almost clear. Only Afghanistan & Pakistan are left – Rotary volunteers are now surveying bus stops and border stations to vaccinate every youth among travelers and refugees in those countries. An example – Ramish Ferris, polio in Pakistan 40 years ago, now a Canadian citizen and Rotarian, shown back in Pakistan giving vaccination drops to child in a camp in Pakistan. Rotarians can change the World!
Search on ‘Toronto Star polio article’ to see details.
   
 

Grand Island Rotary Club Mission Statement:

The Grand Island Rotary Club will set the standard as the premier service club in our community, fostering fellowship and goodwill, emphasizing high ethical standards and promoting Service above Self.

Welcome to Grand Island Rotary!

Grand Island

Service Above Self

Grand Island Rotary is following a 'Flexible Meeting' Concept, aiming for 2 meetings per month. Please see the Calendar attached to this Web Site for Club meeting schedule and venues.
Holiday Inn Express or Buffalo Launch Club
Grand Island, NY  14072
United States of America
DistrictSiteIcon
District Site
VenueMap
Venue Map
 
Service Projects of Grand Island Rotary