Recap of Covid on Grand Island

Another in a string of very good morning 'Zoom' meetings for Grand Island Rotary! Member Brian Graham drew on information he picked up from our Erie County and school sources to present an informative review of where we were and are now, on Covid infections in the Grand Island community. A bit frightening and sad, but we are getting thru. The school system in particular seems to be making progress with advancing education process despite Covid student and staff illness and absence. After the Covid review presentation, we all heard the details of a solid push for donations toward helping Journey's End settle and equip an Afghan refugee family to live in Buffalo. The details of what are needed are in the story just below this one on the web site!
Recap of Covid on Grand Island Henry G Kammerer 2022-01-15 05:00:00Z 0

Collection of Household Items Needed for Afghan Evacuees


Your help is needed to help those who have helped us and are in the US with only what they could carry with them.  The Grand Island Rotary, as well as other organizations in Western New York, are assisting Journey’s End and three other local agencies, who are in the process of resettling 335 Afghan refugees. These refugees will be making Buffalo their new home. They will account for more than one third of those coming to New York State in the resettlement of Afghan Refugees who were air lifted from Afghanistan in the final days of the war.  They are currently housed in college housing. 

Andy Cammarata from Journey’s End, said these refugees will not be receiving much government assistance in stocking their living spaces with the bare essentials.  Therefore, she explained, WNY agencies need to bridge the transition from leaving with the clothing on their backs to setting up homes here along with funds for legal expenses. Cammarata requested the Rotary Club of Grand Island join in the effort by collecting items the State department require in the “Welcome kit for resettlement” (see list below). 

The Rotary club on behalf of Journey’s End is asking Grand Island residents to help in this endeavor by contributing items from the list of items making up the “Welcome Kit”, which are more specifically set forth in the list as shown herein.   Use the QR Code to pull up list of items to print out.   

Items may be dropped off at the Grand Island Memorial Library during their operating hours.   

You can also DONATE directly to the Resettlement fundraiser-  Or you can arrange a cash donation to the Rotary collection and we will purchase items we need to complete a welcome kit. 

If you have any questions. Please call either Sherry Miller at 716-417-4937 or email her at  Or Call Richard Earne at 716-773-6346 or email  Identify yourself and what you can contribute.


WELCOME KIT (Plan on family of 5. Many items can be purchased from the Dollar Store or Dollar Tree)

Changes: These are items that have been donated as of 1-20-2022, please keep this in mind in deciding what you wish to donate. PLEASE NOTE THIS IS BASED ONLY ON ITEMS LEFT AT THE GRAND ISLAND MEMORIAL LIBRARY (“GIML”), IF YOU HAVE DONATED AN ITEM THAT WAS NOT DROPPED OFF AT THE GIML PLEASE LET Dick Earne know at 716-773-6346 what the items are and where they are.

On the Required List that We Must Provide by US Law:
Linen and Other Household Supplies
One bath towel and one wash cloth per person (new)  - GIVEN set of 8, also 24 wash clothes
One set of sheets per bed (Single set for children or single adults, or full/queen for 2 parents – we are in need of more single sets than full/queen sets) (new) 
- GIVEN set of 5 twin sets with pillow cases, 2 extra cases
Appropriate seasonal blankets (preferably new – used must be clean, gently used, no tears, no pets or smokers!) for each bed (light blanket for late spring/summer; comforter for fall/winter, or preferably both)
One pillow and pillowcase for each person (Pillows need to be new and pillowcases preferably new – please check for bedbugs!)  - GIVEN 3 pillows no pillow cases but pack of 2 pillow covers
Electric alarm clock (can be used as long as it works)
Notebook, pens and/or pencils (one new set, and a cheap composition book or legal pad from Dollar Store is fine) - GIVEN pack of 6 notebooks, pack of 26 pens
Two Lamps and package of new light bulbs (Lamps can be used as long as in excellent working condition and no loose parts)
Shower Curtain and Shower Liner and hooks (new)
Hangers for closet (new)
Cleaning Supplies (should all be new and in original packaging – Dollar Stores are great for some of these items, if people don’t have in their pantries at hom. Multiples of cleaning items like liquid all-purpose cleaner and dish soap and sponges, are most welcome!)
Dish Soap - GIVEN 1 bottle
Bathroom/kitchen cleanser (like Comet) - GIVEN 1 container of comet
Liquid All-Purpose Cleaner like Fabuloso or Lysol
Powder laundry detergent
Big package of paper towel
Two wastebaskets (one for kitchen, small one for bathroom)
Box of big trash bags
Broom w/dustpan for broom and/or Mop w/bucket
Toilet Brush
Kitchen Items (most can be gently used but clean and not chipped)
One place setting of tableware per person (fork, knife and spoon) - GIVEN tableware 8 place settings
One place setting of dishes (plate, bowl and coffee/tea cup) per person (these do not have to match as long as they are not chipped!) - GIVEN pack of 4 and 4 plastic dinner plates; Complete set of 6 dishes & bowls
At least one drinking glass per person (no chips and clean – no plastic cups, wine glasses or beer mugs) - GIVEN 4 plastic glasses (new) also 8 coffee mugs
Pots and pans (at least one sauce pan, frying pan and baking dish – no old Teflon or heavily used or scratched ones – new is very much preferred)  - GIVEN 1 large skillet(new), package of 3 frying pans various sizes, new set of corning ware
Large pot for making soup, stews for bigger family - GIVEN 1- 8qt (new)
Mixing/serving bowls (no chips, do not have to match)
One set of kitchen/cooking utensils (new very much preferred)
One set of sharp knives (new)
Cutting board
Dish towel (new)
Two batteries for smoke alarm (new)
Scouring pads  (new)
Can opener non electric
GIVEN 8 mason jars, 100 piece of plastic containers and lids for storage and lids for refrig, 8 storage containers various sizes, multiple tupperware containers for storage and microwave heating, 9 aluminum roasting pans
Toiletries (only in original packaging and new, and family-size please. Multiples of toiletries are most welcome!)
Large package (or more) of toilet paper
One bottle shampoo (or more) - GIVEN 1
Two bathroom soaps (one for sink and one for shower), per person - GIVEN 5
Toothpaste - GIVEN 4 large tubes
One toothbrush per person - GIVEN box of 4
Hand and body lotion – family size
Deodorant (number based on size of family – for example, if there are three, then provide three deodorant sticks)
Box of sanitary napkins, for teens and young women (No Tampons!)
2 Boxes of Kleenex min. - GIVEN 3 boxes
Basic first aid kit
Disposable razors - GIVEN woman’s pack  of 9 disposables
Shaving cream
Hand sanitizer - GIVEN 6 small
/facemasks/ - GIVEN box of 50
disinfectant wipes for kitchen/bathroom (if you can find them!) - GIVEN 3 packages-50, 70, 75 , Hand soap liquid 2 small bottles; 4 Large sanitizer wipe canisters
Helpful Items NOT On Required List, but if you have them lying around and are in clean/good/working condition or new, would be wonderful additions.
Small microwave (new is best; but will take used if clean and in good working condition) – GIVEN Microwave (used in good condition)
Extension Cord
Electric Fan (if possible, several box fans for bedrooms)
City map
Extra alarm clock
Iron/ironing board
Basic tool box
Tea Kettle (no instant coffee makers) - GIVEN 2 tea kettles (used)
Working toaster oven (used and clean is fine)
Family-sized rice cooker (clean and in excellent condition, if used – all our families use rice in cuisine) - GIVEN 1-6 cup rice cooker (new)
Large soup pot
Colander/strainer (new)
Plastic wrap and foil (new)
Small bins for rice, tea, and sugar (so critters can’t get at them)
Grocery Gift Card to PriceRite, SaveALot, or Tops (any amount helps!)
Please email if you have any questions or concerns.
All items on this list can be dropped off at the Grand Island Memorial Library c/o GI Rotary
THANK YOU for this precious gift to a new refugee family!
Collection of Household Items Needed for Afghan Evacuees Sherry Miller 2022-01-13 05:00:00Z 0

Covid Today for Grand Island, Erie County

Covid Today for Grand Island and Erie County ; Where are We?
Join Grand Island Rotarians Wed, Jan 12, 7 AM by Zoom as we hear the status and discuss the Covid Pandemic, now our second year of facing and fighting Covid. Yes, we are tired of the whole subject, but Covid is still here and SO ARE WE! A vital subject for all of us. To obtain the Zoom code for the event register here and President Sherry will send you the Web code. You should also put Wed, Jan. 26 on your calendar for a dinner meeting at the GI School District Office, Ransom Rd, as we hear Dr. Brian Graham, Supt. of G I School District describe - State of Grand Island Schools - 2021. A vital topic for all of us.
Covid Today for Grand Island, Erie County Henry G Kammerer 2022-01-10 05:00:00Z 0

Holiday Dinner with Special Entertainment

A wonderful Holiday Season party for Members and spouses of Grand Island Rotary at the Buffalo Launch Club this week. A special treat included string players from the Grand Island High School Orchestra with a variety of selections, showing the talents available and being developed, at the High School. Yes, of course, for the dinner and social part of the evening, the Launch Club provided hors d’oeuvres and ambience for a fine evening for all attending.
Holiday Dinner with Special Entertainment Henry G Kammerer 2021-12-18 05:00:00Z 0

Helping Salvation Army Help All!

Salvation Army – a great group of people that serve our community well. Our Member, Diane Garey and her family helped yesterday as Salvation Army Bell Ringers at Grand Island Tops. Please contact the Tonawanda Salvation Army (716) 693-3110, if you have a couple of hours on any of the of Fridays or Saturdays before Christmas to help the Salvation Army reach their seasonal goals by bell ringing at Tops, Grand Island. Easy and a fun way to kick off the holiday season!
Helping Salvation Army Help All! Henry G Kammerer 2021-12-04 05:00:00Z 0

Round The World and Raise Money Also!

An interesting ‘Zoom’ morning meeting for G I Rotarians on Nov. 10. Ravi Bansal, retired Buffalo area Rotarian had used his love of flying (plus owning a small plane) to make a Round The World (solo!) flight to challenge his Buffalo, and India, communities, plus other Rotary groups, to raise funds for an MRI machine at a hospital in Ambala India. The hospital itself is an outgrowth of the local Ambala India Rotary Club starting with a ‘visiting nurse’ project to raise cancer awareness there , then getting local and international grants to create a full, 100 bed, hospital. Ravi’s description of the challenges, thrills, learning, he went thru to accomplish the solo flying RTW feat, meshed with the challenges to raise the funds for the MRI in India.
Round The World and Raise Money Also! Henry Kammerer 2021-11-12 05:00:00Z 0

Dedicate New Gazebo and Special Bench in Town Commons

Grand Island Rotary was proud to be able to join Town of Grand Island officials this week in dedicating the Town Commons Gazebo, which the Town rebuilt after the 1980’s Gazebo designed and built by Rotary and KenTon BOCES reached the end of its life. We congratulate the Town for retaining the look of the original with a Gazebo that will further enhance the beauty and usefulness of the Town Commons. The dedication ceremony on Oct. 18, 2021, included the special dedication of a permanent bench near the Gazebo. Grand Island Rotary has dedicated that bench as a memorial to Charter Member (since 1959) Dr Robert Miller who passed away in October. His devoted wife, now widow, Shari Miller cut the ribbon to open the bench for use by all Grand Islanders.
Dedicate New Gazebo and Special Bench in Town Commons Henry Kammerer 2021-10-21 04:00:00Z 0

Great Lakes Watershed Fall Cleanup

October 9th there were more than 30 volunteers to turn out for our Great Lakes Watershed Fall Cleanup including Grand Island High School Interactors, UB Rotaractors, Rotarians and guest volunteers.  With so many, the job was done in about 2 hours.  The Club adopted the 2.7 miles of Highway in 1993 and now the adjacent shoreline trail.  

Great Lakes Watershed Fall Cleanup Sherry Miller 2021-10-09 04:00:00Z 0

Informative August Meeting with unique twist!

Some may know that Grand Island sits just across the river from 100 years of heavy industry in Tonawanda NY. At their August 25th  evening meeting, G I Rotarians got an update on a long-term Environmental Health Study for WNY, that UB has been running, centered on possible ill effects from Tonawanda Coke operations. Prof. T. Milillo provided an informative talk, in a unique setting. During her talk, thru the Launch Club’s picture windows we easily see the remains of Tonawanda Coke’s coal unloading dock! Her talk included one very positive result for Grand Island: careful study of ground samples on both sides of the river showed unusual ground contamination at a G I school – but not from Tonawanda Coke operation! The problem was quickly identified and corrected by the Grand Island school system with help from UB scientists and DEC.
Informative August Meeting with unique twist! Henry G Kammerer 2021-08-26 04:00:00Z 0

'Night Out' Booth a Success

A fine showing for G I Rotary at the town-wide event on Aug. 3. Our booth, nicely planned by Dave Garcia, and President Sherry, and with tent plus tables from Jerry Barlow, attracted many kids for the games and prizes. As Chair Dave Garcia said in the wrap-up of the event: “Some ask, what is Rotary? Community events are a great opportunity to raise the profile of our local Club.” This was a good chance to introduce the Rotary name and activities to all Town residents at this event on the Town Commons, sponsored by the Town’s Traffic Safety Advisory Board.
A further Pleasure at the Town's 'Night Out' Evening!
You remember the distress we all felt on dismantling of the 1980's Gazebo, Grand Island Rotary donated to the Town (our $'s and design by Rotarian Frank Vacanti - built by Ken-Ton BOCES). Have you seen the new Town-built Gazebo, enlarging and modernizing, but retaining the basic design of 'our' old one. It was a fitting backdrop to the musicians of the Erie County Wind Ensemble who performed during the Night Out festivities. Our original dedication plaque is still prominent.
'Night Out' Booth a Success Henry Kammerer 2021-08-09 04:00:00Z 0

Summer Meeting Success

Grand Island Rotary had a wonderful summer dinner meeting last month at the Buffalo Launch Club. Matt Greene from Suma Cura Wellness Center talked of Relaxation and Self Care. He went well beyond the usual, Yoga, massage, aromatherapy; to: Salt Room Therapy, and CBD (as gummies!). President Sherry showed survey results of the way Grand Island Rotary met most expectations for the past year – even better things are coming in 2021 / 22! The Club will watch the situation of some increase in Covid and its hospitalization around us. We gather at the Grand Island Town 'Night Out' in the Town Commons on August 3rd. We expect our August 25 meeting at the Launch Club to be ‘New Normal’ – indoors, with adjacent, fellowship spacing, and optional face masks in non-eating times; rest assured, we will follow any revised guidelines.
Summer Meeting Success Henry G Kammerer 2021-08-03 04:00:00Z 0

GI Rotary Thru 20 / 21 in 3 Minutes!

Here are a series of slides showing the range of projects and activities that Grand Island Rotary have accomplished thru the year 2020 / 21. We may have had only a few in-person meetings, much planning was done thru phone & Email; when the time came, Members were there to do the service that helped Grand Island and neighboring communities have a better life. Thanks to all who helped - if you find the service we do interesting, valuable, and want to be part of it - see the Join Us buttons on web site.
GI Rotary Thru 20 / 21 in 3 Minutes! Sherry Miller 2021-06-26 04:00:00Z 0

50 Years of Scholarship Awards

50 Years of Scholarship Awards!
Grand Island Rotary is proud to have continued their 50 year tradition of giving three High School seniors scholarship awards to help in their further education. The scholarship awards to Camille Burruano, Joseph Christiano and Morgan Proctor emphasize their commitments to service to the community around them, even as service was so difficult in this pandemic year of virtual schooling and limited public contacts, with or without a mask! Their service activities, whether in their church, volunteering at Elderwood Nursing Home or those important (but limited) school extracurricular activities, are exactly the service Rotary emphasizes for their own Members to help the surrounding community, plus the world at large.
50 Years of Scholarship Awards Henry G Kammerer 2021-06-24 04:00:00Z 0

You're Safe Here! opens with Rotary Help

You’re Safe Here! - Now has a home on Grand Island
A long-awaited, full-time, satellite branch of the Family Justice Center on Grand Island was dedicated Saturday, June 12, 2021. Using the donated ‘old parsonage’ of Trinity Church, re-hab’d and modernized, the Center will provide convenient, local, access to services for domestic violence sufferers, and for teens or entire families, in crisis. Grand Island Rotary has provided both hands-on help and financing for much of the landscaping of this Family Justice Center satellite on Whitehaven Rd. near Trinity Church. Rotary Members Dick Earne, Christine Learman, and her husband Kent Richardson, prepared the flower beds before Wayside Nursery placed the extensive plantings. Later Rotary President Sherry Miller and Member Michelle Lockett presented FJC Director Mary Travers Murphy with a check to cover the Wayside Nursery expense. Rotary is proud to join other Island organizations and businesses in giving the Family Justice Center, with its motto: You’re Safe Here!  an easy-access site on Grand Island.
You're Safe Here! opens with Rotary Help Henry G Kammerer 2021-06-14 04:00:00Z 0

Morning Meeting Featured Interact President

Excellent morning meeting (by Zoom) for Grand Island Rotary this week (June 9). The meeting featured Sophia Terlecki, President of the G I High School Interact Club during this 2020 /21 school year. Ms. Terlecki acknowledged the challenge of ‘Covid required’ restrictions – no in-person meetings, a mixed year in High School – some school time all virtual, some mixed sessions. Through it all, she and approximately 30 other students did accomplish virtual (Zoom) meetings, and more importantly, accomplished several unique projects: ‘pen-pal’ writing notes to younger students encouraging ‘buddying’ to avoid depressive loneliness, collecting travel size toiletries (since no-one was traveling!) for homeless and families in crisis. Those efforts plus the student help for Rotary’s ‘Adopt-a-Hiway’ cleanup along Beaver Island Parkway gave them a rewarding year. Ms. Terlecki and the whole Interact Club certainly exhibit the Rotary motto of Service Above Self.
Morning Meeting Featured Interact President Henry G Kammerer 2021-06-10 04:00:00Z 0

Successful Earth Day Cleanup with Rotaract Help

Grand Island Rotarians were aided greatly by over 30 students from the UB Rotaract Club and Grand Island High School Interact Club (plus several members of the community) in their successful clean-up of at least 500 lbs. of trash along Beaver Island Parkway on April 24. Yes, there were 8 GI Rotarians, but it was the help of all those students, (plus help from Mother Nature providing a warm, pleasant day after some snow just 3 days before) that made the project so successful. All part of a joint: Town of Grand Island / Earth Day / Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup on Grand Island, and throughout southern Ontario-WNY area. Grand Island Rotary has been performing ‘Adopt-a-Hiway’ cleanup along Beaver Island Parkway for over 25 years and especially appreciates the help of all those students this year.
Successful Earth Day Cleanup with Rotaract Help Henry G Kammerer 2021-04-27 04:00:00Z 0

A Fun Game Night!

Game Night for Grand Island Rotary last Wed, March 24. Brian Graham got us into a Zoom version of Family Feud – two teams battling to come up with possibilities for unlikely situations. There we are, (your commentator in Team One) FAILING to fill in two more cases in Circus Life. Also note, as I was in Team One leading at the time, thanks to the XXX, Team 2 took over, ran a string of successes, eventually winning the whole enchilada! Great fun, despite the crushing personal loss. And yet, the real question: How soon can we start in-person meetings? ?
A Fun Game Night! Henry G. Kammerer 2021-03-27 04:00:00Z 0

Undie Sunday Continues to Provide for Those in Need

Even in a time of pandemic and social isolation Service projects can be successful.  Completed March 8th, the Rotary Club of Grand Island, NY continues to support the annual "Undie Sunday" Socks and Underwear collection.  Seven (7) large garbage bags each were delivered to St Luke’s Mission of Mercy in Buffalo and to Community Mission in Niagara Falls.  In addition, two collections went to churches affiliated Niagara Mission and Buffalo City Mission.  The High School Interact club, which continues to meet virtually, contributed as well to the project with Socks and Underwear. 


Undie Sunday Continues to Provide for Those in Need Sherry Miller 2021-03-26 04:00:00Z 0

Can we help the Family Justice Center Satellite Opening?

Many on Grand Island know that a full-time satellite branch of the Family Justice Center expects to open by Summer 2021, providing direct, local, access to services for domestic violence sufferers, and for teens, others, entire families, in crisis. After an excellent program at the March 10 G I Rotary meeting on the status of that new center by Karen Panzarella & Laura Mason (introduced by the irrepressible Mary Travers Murphy), the Club faces a challenge: Can we take a role as the opening approaches, that would be of significant help? President Sherry Miller and other Board Members are working with Club Members and others in the community to develop a plan; possibly providing financial, or hands-on, or co-sponsorship to help with the landscaping of this newly refurbished Family Justice Center satellite on Whitehaven Rd. near Trinity Church. Members and others in the community are urged to contact President Sherry to discuss
Can we help the Family Justice Center Satellite Opening? Henry G. Kammerer 2021-03-13 05:00:00Z 0

Update from the Family Justice Center Team

The Rotary Club of Grand Island had an excellent update from the Family Justice Center team. Presenters were Mary Travers Murphy, Karen Panzarella, and Laura Mason. Play the video below and watch for further news. 
In order to meet the increased need during the pandemic, Family Justice Center took the steps to protect a person seeking protection from their abuser completely virtual in March 2020.  The satellite for Grand Island has made great progress.  Construction is wrapping up and new furniture has been installed.  There is still opportunity to do finishing touches and landscape to install.  The Rotary club will be exploring a project to provide landscaping around the new Satellite location on Grand Island.
Update from the Family Justice Center Team Sherry Miller 2021-03-11 05:00:00Z 0

What has Covid done to Grand Island Schools?

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer
What has Covid-19 meant for Grand Island Schools? Our Wed. Feb 10 Morning Meeting (7:15 AM by Zoom) our Member Dr Brian Graham (who is Superintendent of the Grand Island School system) will review some of the last momentous year for Grand Island schools. Brian will review the timeline of events in, around, the schools these past months. 
A distressing, but fascinating time, be ready for an interesting review. Non-Members welcome to attend on Feb. 10, but must contact President Sherry Miller for browser code:   
What has Covid done to Grand Island Schools? Henry G. Kammerer 2021-02-05 05:00:00Z 0

The Secret to Extremely Successful Projects

An Idea, with talent and drive, a great start for a project, but at their Jan 27 Zoom meeting, Grand Island Rotary learned that Connections are what make Rotary projects unique and so successful. Dr Jodi Porter set the stage – a tough start to life: very limited sight, upheavals in life of a missionary family, culminating in several months with Bishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa; administering MSF (Drs w/o Borders) projects, brought her to Ontario, its Human Rights Commission, and membership in Niagara on the Lake Rotary. Then the unique value of Connections: finding ways to actually deliver $3000 worth of ‘Plumpy’nut’ concentrated nutrition bars financed by her Rotary Club, to starving, literally dying, youth of Yemen! All done thru contacts in the Canadian Yemeni community, contacts with the warring parties in Yemen thru MSF, and the impossible was done – a modest contribution by a mid sized Canadian Rotary Club, making a life saving difference to youth in war-torn Yemen! This is the difference that Rotarians can make, and have made, in this world. Rotarians are not all unique in the way Jodi Porter is, but all Rotarians are unique in ways that can help.
The Secret to Extremely Successful Projects Henry Kammerer 2021-01-27 05:00:00Z 0

Members Often the Best Program Speakers!

Great ‘breakfast time’ meeting last week as we heard an interesting talk, full of details and photos, from our newest Member: Lt. Bassey Archibong, Corps Officer/Pastor of Tonawanda Salvation Army. Bassey, and his wife (also Lt.) Ginikachakwu, are natives of Lagos, Nigeria – which he reminded us is really a ‘New York City’ there in Nigeria: over 20 million population, acres of high rises, long bridges, extensive waterfront. Bassey completed education there as a computer graphic artist, plus music training before coming to the US with one child three years ago, and now with a second, a son. They both finished Salvation Army training last year downstate in Suffern, before taking the post here in Tonawanda. After describing some of his life & family, plus his music and Salvation Army career, he summed up the Salvation Army with their Mission:
To Feed / To Clothe / To Comfort / To Care
A moving presentation by Bassey, excellent showing for the Salvation Army. Here is a photo of their family; your web author appreciates it – one of the best photos he has of his late wife with family, also includes young granddaughter being ‘funny’. Just wait twenty years till Bassey shows that photo around in her presence!
Members Often the Best Program Speakers! Henry G. Kammerer 2021-01-14 05:00:00Z 0

Honors to an Active Club!

Your Grand Island Rotary Club has received a Rotary Citation – Gold, plus a Lighthouse Award for our accomplishments in the 2019/20 year. What does that mean?  Think about it: only 17 Members, yet 485 hours of documented service on Ten projects during a year messed up by Covid pandemic after February! Parkway Cleanup, Taste of Grand Island, Town Supervisor Candidate’s Night, Habitat for Humanity rehabbing, Salvation Army support; your Club has been ACTIVE. Rotary has developed ‘People of Action as a slogan. We embody that slogan; ask your friends and neighbors to join us. With more Members we can do even more!
Honors to an Active Club! Henry G Kammerer 2020-12-23 05:00:00Z 0
Club heard from Russell Weaver, PhD on Grand Island NY 2020 Census trends Russell Weaver, PhD 2020-12-16 05:00:00Z 0

Interact Club Collecting for Homeless!

Despite a new school year like no other, the Grand Island High School Interact Club, sponsored by G I Rotary, got themselves organized and well started with a drive to collect socks, hats, gloves, plus ‘travel size’ toiletries for the homeless of the Buffalo area.  Club President Sophia Terlecki said: “Due to the upcoming winter season, we believe a hat and glove collection would greatly benefit those who are homeless or in need. Additionally, we decided to collect toiletries during this season of giving and I couldn’t be more excited to put these toiletries bags together.” The students have arranged two drop-off sites on Grand Island, the Dollar General store (great place for people to buy the items!) and Niagara Frontier Publications. Club Secretary, Grace Ahne said: “We have found that while collecting these items, you start to realize how truly lucky we are to have access to these things every day.”  That lesson has already made the drive a success for the students, said, Kari Nowak, the Club’s new Teacher Advisor. 
Interact Club Collecting for Homeless! Michael Billoni 2020-11-22 05:00:00Z 0

Prevention Focus Wednesday Nov 18th

Grand Island Rotary heard an interesting presentation on Nov 18th. A proactive approach to keep healthy people healthy and gives those at higher risk a better chance of avoiding dangerous and unhealthy behaviors. ‘Preventionfocus’ - presented by their Executive Director, Matthew G Smith, will show us a way to ‘get ahead’ of problems facing, particularly youth:  Underage drinking, substance abuse, problem gambling, bullying, obesity, violence, suicide, and a host of related problems can be reduced when the proper prevention strategies are implemented. Preventionfocus puts such strategies to work every day in an effort to stop problems before they start. They give children, teens, and adults the skills and information needed to make safer and healthier choices. We also work to impact laws, policies, norms and beliefs that make those choices easier and more likely. Members and guests need to contact us to be on this Wed. evening ‘Zoom’ meeting.
Prevention Focus Wednesday Nov 18th Henry G. Kammerer 2020-11-13 05:00:00Z 0

Buffalo Sports - Here on Grand Island!

Wow! What a gem Grand Island has, and we hardly knew of it! In their ‘Zoom’ meeting 10/28/20, G I Rotary was treated to a virtual tour of John Boutet’s Buffalo Sports Memorabilia Museum – and it’s right here on Grand Island!
Buffalo Sports - Here on Grand Island! Henry G Kammerer 2020-10-30 04:00:00Z 0

Fall Parkway CleanUp Success

Parkway CleanUp Success - Thanks To UB Rotaract and Other Helpers!
Saturday, Oct. 10, windy, cool, but dry; a good day, and a willing team of UB Rotaract Club members, plus several Grand Islanders, helped G I Rotarians collect 15 large bags of trash from the Beaver Island Parkway.
Fall Parkway CleanUp Success Henry G. Kammerer 2020-10-11 04:00:00Z 0

Interesting Zoom Meeting Wed, Oct 14 AM

Wed, Oct 14, at 7:15 AM, Grand Island Rotary has an interesting, very important, ZOOM meeting. You know for several years, we were successful with our Meat Raffles for Grand Island School’s Growing Readers, but this year, with Covid – How would a Virtual Meat Raffle work?
Nearby Niagara Comm. College Alumni have taken the lead with a virtual meat raffle! So, at our Wed. AM Zoom meeting we are having Alli Korta of the NCCC Alumni Assoc. explain their event –
Sign up to be on your computer the Wed. AM to find out how their virtual meat raffle is working, and how we might repeat the process in March. Here is the link to our Signup Genius page to join this interesting meeting:
Interesting Zoom Meeting Wed, Oct 14 AM Sherry Miller 2020-10-09 04:00:00Z 0

Biking and Fund Raising to End Polio Forever

Bicyclists, donors, and sponsors will unite in America and Canada on both sides of the mighty Niagara River on October 24th, 2020, known as World Polio Day. Rotarian Mike Billoni from Grand Island Rotary, joins other American Rotarians for the ride, beginning during the morning hours of Saturday the 24th, near the Aquarium and Discovery Center on the American side of the Falls and end with a grand cannon bang and socially distanced barbecue at Fort Niagara in Youngstown, NY. On the Canadian side of Niagara Falls the cycling venture will begin at the Rainbow Bridge and culminate at Niagara on the Lake, where another resounding canon blast will be heard, and an outdoor picnic will also be held.  The “Best of Friends” District Rotarians and community members will pedal for polio eradication with the assistance of sponsorships and donations. Following COVID-19 guidelines, the cycling event will be limited to two members from each of the Rotary District 7090 Clubs.
Rotary International, a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, has reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent since its first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.
 More than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries have been vaccinated due to the valiant efforts of local and worldwide Rotary Clubs. At the present time, Rotary has contributed more than $1.8 billion toward eradicating Polio. Rotarians will continue to fight against this debilitating and paralyzing disease until there are no new cases diagnosed, throughout the entire world. 
Rotary District Governor Frank Adamson has challenged Grand Island Rotarians and all others in the District to generate $100 in donations between their own and friends, business or family contributions.  The significant goal to raise $200,000 through October 24th, will result in a dollar for dollar matching contribution, by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  When this goal is met, nearly one half of a million dollars will be invested into Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign. 
The Niagara River Greenway association is partnering with Rotary District 7090 to make this unique fundraiser a success.  Greenway’s mission is to create a world class trail and greenspace network that communities can be proud of and cherish for generations to come.
For more information on how to become a sponsor, donate money, or the Pedal for Polio international bicycling event, please use the Contact Us button in blue band 'under our Bridge' above 
or visit -
Biking and Fund Raising to End Polio Forever Henry G. Kammerer 2020-10-05 04:00:00Z 0

Fall Parkway CleanUp

Beaver Pkwy Clean Up on Sat. Oct. 10. Can you Help?
Join Grand Island Rotarians to clean up along Beaver Island Parkway on Saturday, Oct 10.  High School group can't officially help as their Clubs are still 'in limbo'. Even so - students, all the Island, can help. Effort starts from Kaegebein School Front Parking lot, 8 AM to 10. If you can help, bring masks, work gloves, maybe you have a long handled grabber. Use Social Distancing thruout the effort!  Club will supply collection bags and assign a section of Pkwy. You can also see a similar note on Rotary Club of Grand Island Facebook page.
Fall Parkway CleanUp Henry G. Kammerer 2020-09-25 04:00:00Z 0

Transform School Desks for Covid Safety

Grand Island Schools need help in TRANSFORMING student desk areas for more safety during teaching among a Covid-19 pandemic. Rotarians (and spouses) stepped up to help assemble Plexiglas barriers to meet the need. TRANSFORM ideas into action is what we do at Rotary Club of Grand Island!
Transform School Desks for Covid Safety Henry Kammerer 2020-08-27 04:00:00Z 0

Rotary Continues Its Support of Miracle League

Rotary Club of Grand Island continues its 9th year of being a sustaining supporter of Miracle League of WNY. The annual contribution of $2,500 was awarded this month and came from the proceeds of a successful 'Shred-It' project earlier in the summer.. The Miracle League of WNY is designed to serve individuals who cannot be accommodated by established baseball leagues due to the special needs of their disabilities. The kids and staff home field is at Grand Island's Veterans Park behind the Library on Bedell Rd and also includes a handicapped accessible playground Rotarians helped build with the Miracle League volunteers. #PeopleofAction


Rotary Continues Its Support of Miracle League Sherry Miller 2020-08-24 04:00:00Z 0

School Supplies Collection!

School is starting in September - some aspects are different and distressing - but all students will spend part of week in school and they will need supplies - NO SHARING due to Covid.  Please help by bringing sets of supplies, such as below, to one of the drop-off spots in this poster. Rotarians will then work with GI High School DECA students to sort the supplies and the school will get them to needy students. If you could supply a couple of student sized back packs, that would be great also!  Rotarians can bring the supplies to the Aug. 26 meeting under the Launch Club Pavilion.
School Supplies Collection! Sherry Miller 2020-08-12 04:00:00Z 0

A First Time Out Almost Together!

An informal, outdoor dinner and social evening, ! together ! (but socially distanced) under the Launch Club pavilion.  On Wed. evening, July 22  you and your spouse or a S.O. please join us for a great Launch Club chicken dinner (cost will be $25 per person) as we catch up on each other’s life the last four months, plus Entertainment will be provided by the vocal and instrumental jazz stylings of Ricky Hoover (@ricky.hooverr)  Should be a wonderful evening of socializing, some entertainment, and we hope, a chance to rekindle the fellowship and togetherness that makes Rotary great. Reservations are required - use the Contact Us button by 7/20.
A First Time Out Almost Together! Sherry Miller 2020-07-16 04:00:00Z 0

Lets Repeat Shred It, A Great Success!

The Shred-It project in June was so successful, we are repeating it, Saturday July 11, same times: 10 AM - Noon, same place, Tops Plaza, next to Key Bank on Grand Island Blvd.  Same great service - $10 per box and the Shred-It truck will safely and reliably destroy tax, financial and personal records for you.  OK, so many wanted the service in June that maybe some of you turned away disappointed. Come back on July 11 - we will be able to easily handle you. This event is co-sponsored by Grand Island's Fuccillo Automotive Group, plus by Madison Carpet One.
Lets Repeat Shred It, A Great Success! Henry G. Kammerer 2020-07-03 04:00:00Z 0

Rotary Sponsors Paddles Up Coloring Contest!

In the 15th year of Paddles Up, Rotary of Grand Island is joining this community event with a Virtual Coloring contest. We are promoting wellness by getting out with your families. Some Details on this image. Look for the Coloring page in the PennySaver Tuesday July 14th and Dispatch on Friday July 17th. Single Prints will be available at Niagara Frontier Publication offices and Tops Markets on the Island. Completed entries must be handed into NFP office by July 27 for cataloging and judging.
Rotary Sponsors Paddles Up Coloring Contest! Sherry Miller 2020-06-30 04:00:00Z 0

Adopt Our Hiway - Finally!

Covid-19 / Rain / State Mowing Schedule! 
Yes, all those challenges were finally met on June 13 as Grand Island Rotarians and several of their friends picked the trash from Beaver Island Pkwy.  We look forward to the Fall when we may have High School Interact Club members (sponsored by Rotary) again available to help us, as they have done in the past. Thanks to all who helped in this year’s ‘late’ Spring effort. It was great to know that other groups and individuals also were working around the Island that day to make this an Island-wide cleanup effort.
Adopt Our Hiway - Finally! Henry Kammerer 2020-06-16 04:00:00Z 0

Planning Another Informative 'Zoom' Meeting on June 10

Great happening coming on Wed. June 10, at 7:15 AM. Grand Island Rotary will welcome Mary Stang-Cooke as speaker representing the Grand Island Historical Society and River Lea, its historic home in Beaver Island Park for over 40 years. She will give us an update on the Society's activities and goals for the future. Mary's interest in History started in the early grades where, in 8th grade, she was awarded St Joseph's Social Studies Award (Gowanda, NY). She is Corresponding Secretary for Grand Island Historical Society, a member since 1988 (in addition to the other things she has done at GI Town Hall and Memorial Library). ATTENTION: Friends and Guests are welcome and need to RSVP by Facebook Messenger or to: 
Planning Another Informative 'Zoom' Meeting on June 10 Sherry Miller 2020-06-01 04:00:00Z 0

New Date for Parkway CleanUp

Heavy Rain and lack of mowing, make Beaver Island Parkway impossible Clean Up on Sat. May 30. But it really needs to get done -
Join Grand Island Rotarians to clean up along Beaver Island Parkway on Saturday, June 13.  Again High School Interact, sponsored by Rotary can't help, school closed. We hope all the Island can help. Effort starts from Kaegebein School Front Parking lot, 8 AM to 11. If you can help, bring masks, work gloves, maybe you have a long handled tong. Use Social Distancing thruout the effort!  Club will supply collection bags and assign a section of Pkwy. You must Email to register, see the Contact Us field above. You can also see a similar note on Rotary Club of Grand Island Facebook page.
New Date for Parkway CleanUp Henry G. Kammerer 2020-05-29 04:00:00Z 0

May Morning Meeting a Huge Success

What a great May Morning meeting (by Zoom video) G I Rotary had on the 13th. A wide ranging talk and video presentation by Bridgette Heintz, Director of G I Memorial Library. We did not recognize so much was going on thru the Library, even with the building closed! Some listed closely to her words on children’s programs, the local food and kitchen chats, ability to use the catalog and its searching features; I was taken by how their Book Club makes use of library Ebook services: ‘Overdrive’ and its sister ‘Libby’. Those allow Book Club Members to download the book of the month (FREE!) to read and prepare for later chat about the book. We are not going to clutter this message with lots of browser listings for all their services – just go to the Facebook page for Grand Island Memorial Library to see what interests you! Or perhaps go to the ‘downtown’ library site Remember our library is part of a huge, valuable, system.
May Morning Meeting a Huge Success Henry G. Kammerer 2020-05-15 04:00:00Z 0

Rotarians Helping Salvation Army

Members of Grand Island Rotary Club have pitched in with hands-on help for the Tonawanda Branch of the Salvation Army as their drive-thru food pickup service deals with the increased need to help area families suffering from Covid-19 shutdowns. Having already helped the Salvation Army financially to improve the drive-thru facility, Rotarians Dick Earne and Sherry Miller were there on Thursday, May 7, particularly to prepare individual bags of staples like cheese from the bulk packages the Salvation Army receives from FeedMore WNY and other suppliers. The new-normal of working with face masks, gloves and keeping social distances is challenging but rewarding for Rotarians. They fulfill #RotaryResponds as they meet the Rotary Ideal of Service Above Self.
Rotarians Helping Salvation Army Henry G. Kammerer 2020-05-08 04:00:00Z 0

Hearing from Town Supervisor, at Home!

Grand Island Rotary enlarged their ‘Regular’ April Dinner meeting (by Zoom video) to include a talk by G I Town Supervisor, John Whitney – his view of what lies ahead for the Town.  Supv. Whitney first assured all that vital Town services – water, sewer, hiway, continue in a careful manner. Visit the Town web site,, or the Town Facebook page, where he, and Executive Asst. Rhonda Diehl, (she also 'sat in' on the meeting) post up-to-date info and have Email addresses for receiving comments. Supv. Whitney confirmed that Fantasy Island is truly gone, he is insisting on a positive plan from property owner to avoid vandalism, squatters or mischief on the site.  On Project Olive (Amazon?) he emphasized the developer has provided $’s for Town to hire its own consultants to review plans. Of course there are traffic and bridge aspects, plus others (John got comments during Q & A after his talk). He expects, we expect, exciting times as Covid-19 recedes; he promised full hearings on ‘Olive’, plus further solar, apartment and senior housing projects that are before the Town and its residents. A great chance for Rotarians, several guests, to stay aware of Town issues, even as we all maintain isolation and distancing. Similar Rotary ‘distancing’ meetings are expected in May.
Hearing from Town Supervisor, at Home! Mike Billoni 2020-04-26 04:00:00Z 0

Hands On Help Needed, but wearing gloves and mask!

It is now the next step for Grand Island Rotary in helping the Tonawanda Salvation Army improve their ‘drive-thru’ food pantry distribution. With delivery of a check to Major Celestin Nkounkou for the tent and tables of their all-weather operation, now we will gather helpers for the Salvation Army staff, as their food pantry operation is overwhelmed with out-of-work area residents needing assistance. Rotarians and others too, please consider helping there, Mondays and Thursdays, 9 till Noon, but please call Major Celestin at the Tonawanda Corps first for detail instructions, (716) 866-9418.  The need is great and increasing!
Hands On Help Needed, but wearing gloves and mask! Henry G. Kammerer 2020-04-23 04:00:00Z 0

Helping in Times of Covid-19

Grand Island Rotary is continuing as a virtual gathering place for its Members interested in serving their Community.  We are helping the Tonawanda Salvation Army improve their ‘drive-thru’ food pantry distribution, by providing them with a tent and tables to make it an all-weather operation. This help for Tonawanda Salvation Army is done with a grant from our District, which includes Clubs in WNY and Niagara Peninsula of Ontario. We are urging Members and friends to donate to the Salvation Army, recognizing its service to the community, plus donating to the Neighbors Foundation of Grand Island, performing similar work on Grand Island itself.
Helping in Times of Covid-19 Henry G. Kammerer 2020-04-18 04:00:00Z 0

Help Your Community, and Yourself, Now!

As our Town, and its people, sit disturbed and locked-down, it may seem the Rotary Motto – Service Above Self – a relic of the past.  Not so, it works in small ways today. Use the phone, Email, Internet: help with tasks, socializing for the elderly; keep youth on the path of education; and in so doing keep yourself alive, active, interested in your community.
Help Your Community, and Yourself, Now! Henry G. Kammerer 2020-03-21 04:00:00Z 0

Student Entrepreneurs in Real Business World

Student Entrepreneur Success!
An excellent meeting March 11 at Eggsquisite, as POD chair Brian Graham brought us the student entrepreneurs who created Casey’s Cabana out of an old 'clam shack' on Ferry Rd.  Gabby Bergstrom & Luke Hess took what they learned both in Business classes at G I High School and the unique extras from participation in DECA at the school, applied them in real life to Casey's Cabana. They and other similar students are a real tribute to the business teaching aspects of the High School program.  President Dick Earne presented them with our traditional Coffee Mugs with the Four Way Test (look it up!)  Their Cabana will re-open Memorial Day weekend, with 7 day a week service when school ends (if Covid-19 ever lets school re-start this Spring!).  More details at their Casey's Cabana web site:
Student Entrepreneurs in Real Business World Henry Kammerer 2020-03-16 04:00:00Z 0

Dollars Flowed - Reading Improved!

Dollars Flowed leading to Reading Improved!
The GI Rotary sponsored Meat Raffle on March 7 produced over $5000 for the GI Schools Growing Readers program plus Rotary's High School Scholarships and support of the Rotary Interact and EarlyAct youth service clubs. 
How did it happen?  Dollars flowed, Dollars waved, Dollars were counted, yes: also great meat selections and unique raffle prizes went out the door!  Rotary thanks all who worked hard, and collected prizes for the evening.  Just wait for another great evening next year!
Dollars Flowed - Reading Improved! Brian Graham 2020-03-15 04:00:00Z 0

Overwhelming Supply of 'Undies' for Homeless

In the just concluded ‘Undie Sunday’ program, Grand Islanders provided G I Rotary with a tremendous stock of new ‘undies’ & socks that have now been delivered to St Luke’s Mission of Mercy in Buffalo and to Community Mission in Niagara Falls.  Rotary thanks all the churches, businesses, Town Hall and Library that made it possible for Island folks to think so generously of the plight of the homeless and abused in this late Winter weather.
Overwhelming Supply of 'Undies' for Homeless Sherry Miller 2020-02-27 05:00:00Z 0

Service Project with Habitat for Humanity

Grand Island Rotarians challenged themselves to a new service project this week – a team of 5 worked with Habitat for Humanity – Buffalo on the rehabbing of a home on Brooklyn Ave, Masten Park district of Buffalo. Led by Project Chair Mike Malaney, they installed closet and room doors, a trap door into attic, plus finish work and painting.  Not the desk jobs they are used to, some tools different from their experience, paint brushes, of course; cold, damp January (tho not snowy!) but all-in-all a good experience, and a feeling of accomplishment and service.
Service Project with Habitat for Humanity Michael Malaney 2020-01-26 05:00:00Z 0

Where Everybody Belongs!

We have all heard how scary school is, particularly for the 'middle grades' or Middle School: 6,7,8th Grades in most Districts.  This week (Jan 22, 2020) G I Rotarian Brian Graham brought us John Fitzpatrick, Principal of the Middle School, to explain a program 'Where Everyone Belongs' which is now being successfully used in the G I Veronica Connor Middle School to overcome the lonely, isolated feeling that leads many youth to make poor, often dangerous, choices to try to overcome or coverup isolated feelings.  Training and encouraging individual 8th graders to befriend, work with, play with, (we might call it 'mentor') the new crop of 6th graders in formalized groups (to make sure all are covered) and then celebrate these new sets of friends with fun, school-wide activities and learning sessions, has really brought the WHOLE school together.  Yes, that age group is prone to 'experimenting' (we might say get themselves in trouble) - here is a program that really works; often because with friends, a youth is not likely to strike out in dangerous directions on their own!
Where Everybody Belongs! Brian Graham 2020-01-23 05:00:00Z 0

Induct New Member at New Breakfast Meeting Location

Very good meeting this AM (12/18/19) for Grand Island Rotary. Excellent food and service at the new Eggsquisite Eats on G I Blvd, plus a great talk by young Yusuf Mojawalla, whose family owns Island Ship Center.  Then on to Induction of New Member, Max Pikula, Principal of Huth Rd. Elementary School.  Sherry Miller, President Elect, and Mary Haggerty, Membership Chair, officiated.  50 Year Member, Hank Kammerer, couldn’t resist saying a word or two; an additional feature of the meeting was description of progress in raising funds for an inspiring foreign project of the Club – a well in rural area of Brazzaville, Congo, so folks (usually girls) don’t have to walk miles carrying water to their homes.
Induct New Member at New Breakfast Meeting Location Henry G. Kammerer 2019-12-18 05:00:00Z 0

A Full Range of Rotary Service Helped Salvation Army on Grand Island!

A Full Range of Rotary Service Helped Salvation Army on Grand Island!
To increase the donations to the Salvation Army Kettle at G I Tops Market, there was a full range of Rotary Service showing. G I Middle School Interact students (led by Advisor Carly Antonelli) on select days brought songs during this Holiday Season. And the more ‘adult’ High School Interact students chattered and flashed smiles to increase donations on their shift. Rotarian Mike Malaney just rang the little bell and called out, to increase donations on his shift!
A Full Range of Rotary Service Helped Salvation Army on Grand Island! Henry G. Kammerer 2019-12-16 05:00:00Z 0

Interact Students help Conduct Supervisor Candidates' Night

Posted by Mike Billoni on Oct 11, 2019
Rotary Club of Grand Island’s High School Interact Club
to be heavily involved in Supervisor Candidates’ Night
Four students will Moderate Questions for the three candidates 
The Rotary Club of Grand Island’s first Town Supervisor Candidates’ Night, with assistance from the Grand Island High School Interact Club, will be held Wednesday, October 16 from 7-9 p.m. in the Grand Viking Theatre inside the high school at 1100 Ransom Road.  
The candidates running for Supervisor are Thomas Franz, Conservative Party; Jim Sharpe, Democratic and Working Families Parties; and John C. Whitney, PC, Republican and Independence Parties.
The Rotary Club announced two dozen students from its High School Interact program will participate in the event as moderators, greeters and runners to obtain questions from the audience.  
The three candidates will be seated behind a table on the stage and four students will serve as moderators, asking the questions.  They will be assisted by Rotarian Mike Billoni, chair of the event.
Seniors Lucas Kruse and Luke Hess and sophomores Alexis Nguyen and Natalie Carter will be the moderators.  Junior Amina Shaibi will serve as time-keeper.  Kruse and Hess are co-presidents of this year’s High School Interact program under Laura Estenoz, a High School teacher and the long-time Interact Advisor.
Interact Students help Conduct Supervisor Candidates' Night Mike Billoni 2019-10-11 04:00:00Z 0

Town Supervisor Candidates Night

Posted by Mike Billoni on Oct 09, 2019
On Wed, Oct 16, 7 – 9 PM, we in G I Rotary will host a free Candidates Night (for Town Supervisor candidates only) in the High School auditorium.  We hope for a large turnout of Islanders interested in what the Town of Grand Island could do, now and in the future. Do you know the Candidates?  They are: Thomas Franz, Conservative Party; Jim Sharpe, Democratic Party and John C. Whitney, PC, Republican and Independence Parties.  The format will include candidates responding to pre-submitted written questions only. There will be no questions shouted from the audience. Want to ask a question?  Submit the question by Email to Chair Mike Billoni:
Town Supervisor Candidates Night Mike Billoni 2019-10-09 04:00:00Z 0

Taste of Grand Island Empanada Success

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Sep 29, 2019
Weather a bit grim, but our Taste of Grand Island Rotary booth did a good job of making, frying, selling, Empanadas Sat, Sep 28. While the weather held, we had steady customers for delicious meat or veggie Empanadas, the fried plantains went well also.  Hard work by many Members, thanks to Major Celestin for bringing the cooker, and to Brian Graham for the photos.  Customers went away with yummies, plus understanding Rotary’s strong role in helping Grand Island, particularly our youth, grow and succeed. Watch for other Rotary activities, such as Supervisor Candidates Night October 16, Beaver Isle Pkwy cleanup and Salvation Army Red Kettle Bell Ringing in December.
Taste of Grand Island Empanada Success Henry G. Kammerer 2019-09-29 04:00:00Z 0

Grand Empanadas at Taste of Grand Island

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Sep 11, 2019

Taste Grand Empanadas on Grand Island 

Come to the G I Rotary booth at Taste of Grand Island in Town Commons on Saturday, Sep 28, 11 AM – 8 PM, for great empanadas. Beef filled ones, the favorite Spicy Beef ones, veggie ones, water or pop available to go with them. Find the Latin American taste that excites everyone, while you support Grand Island Rotary with its youth service clubs, High School scholarships and donations to the Miracle League field.  
Grand Empanadas at Taste of Grand Island Henry G. Kammerer 2019-09-11 04:00:00Z 0

Support to Miracle League Ball Field

Posted by Sherry Miller on Aug 14, 2019

Grand Island Rotary is pleased to have made its yearly contribution to the Miracle League of WNY for support & maintenance of their unique playing field in Grand Island’s Veterans Park. This ball field has an all-weather, but cushioned, surface that allows wheelchair bound or otherwise challenged youth to PLAY BALLin a safe, yet exciting, way. The Miracle League also has a handicap accessible playground, allowing wheelchairs or kids with walking aid frames to be swung or twirled! G I Rotary President Elect Sherry Miller and Member Mike Billoni are here presenting a $2500 check on Aug. 11, 2019, to Scott McManigle, Exec. Director of the Miracle League as the kids and their coaches get ready for another fun-filled game. Grand Island Rotary had joined Buffalo Sabres Alumni, the GI Lions Club and others in making major donations 5 – 8 years ago start these world-class facilities for the benefit of handicapped youth.  

Support to Miracle League Ball Field Sherry Miller 2019-08-14 04:00:00Z 0

G I Rotary Celebrates 60 Years of Service

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Jun 19, 2019
Grand Island Rotary Celebrates 60 Years of Service to G I and the World!
On Wed. June 26, at the Buffalo Launch Club will celebrate its 60 years of local, international service.  Anybody remember Grand Island in 1959? One traffic light, only one bridge to Niagara Falls, Neisner’s in the newly opened G I Plaza with open fields around, P.O. in an old house on Whitehaven! Perhaps you remember Rotary’s first big project: The Great Beaver Island Train (which ended up at Fantasy Island 5 years later). Town cleanup campaigns plus Adopt-a-Hiway, creating the Neighbors Foundation, Books for Barbados, and so much more, Grand Island Rotary has been happy and proud to be part of of making Grand Island a Grand place to Live for 60 Years!
G I Rotary Celebrates 60 Years of Service Henry G. Kammerer 2019-06-19 04:00:00Z 0

What is the Growing Readers Program?

Posted by Brian Graham on Jun 15, 2019

Grand Island Rotary has raised funds, thru a meat raffle, for the GI School District’sGrowing ReadersProject, since 2018.  Have you wondered about its details? Grand Island School District Superintendent (and GI Rotarian) Brian Graham has prepared a great summary:

 The Growing Readers project is an innovative collaboration among Grand Island Pediatrics, the Grand Island Central School District and local community groups to increase a child’s success with developing early literacy skills, through the promotion of parents reading aloud with their infants.  Pediatricians can provide advice on the importance of developing early literacy skills through read-aloud activities, and influence a culture of reading within the family.  This project will focus its efforts on having an island pediatrician distribute a book to an infant’s caregiver at “well baby” visits in the 2nd, 6th, 12th, 18th and 24th months.  The books will be kept by the families and the infant’s library will grow with each visit. 

What is the Growing Readers Program? Brian Graham 2019-06-15 04:00:00Z 0

Shred - It on Grand Island!

Posted by Christine Learman on Jun 01, 2019
SHRED-IT on Grand Island! Safe, reliable, document destruction of your boxes of those old financial or tax papers. Saturday, June 15 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 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.
Shred - It on Grand Island! Christine Learman 2019-06-01 04:00:00Z 0

Visit by DG Schreck and action by all!

Posted by Michael Billoni on May 22, 2019
Compliments from District Governor followed by Action!
Rotary District 7090 Governor Melisa Schrock attended the Rotary Club breakfast meeting on May 9 at the Holiday Inn Express, commending them on the four youth clubs it sponsors within the Grand Island Schools, High School and Middle School Interact Clubs, plus Early Act Clubs at Huth Rd. & Kaegebein Elementary Schools. Just two days later, Club members, Interact members and advisors showed their interest in community service, spending hours cleaning up Beaver Island Parkway. Ms. Schrock, said recruiting new Rotary members continues to be a major initiative for all Rotary Clubs. In her words: “The new generation of Rotary Club members are going to be extremely interested in service projects so I encourage you to continue your focus on service projects and youth involvement.” She also received from the several youth Clubs, thru Advisor Sherry Miller, the $943.20 the students raised in Purple Pinkie Polio Fundraisers held during the spring to bring attention to Rotary’s primary goal of eradicating polio world-wide. The Rotary Club of Grand Island will celebrate its 60thanniversary at a dinner meeting on June 26 at the Buffalo Launch Club.
Visit by DG Schreck and action by all! Michael Billoni 2019-05-22 04:00:00Z 0

Youth Service Groups Challenge Rotarians!

Posted by Sherry Miller on Apr 01, 2019
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!
Youth Service Groups Challenge Rotarians! Sherry Miller 2019-04-01 04:00:00Z 0

Successful Meat Raffle makes for Growing Readers

Posted by Brian Graham on Mar 10, 2019
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! 
Successful Meat Raffle makes for Growing Readers Brian Graham 2019-03-10 05:00:00Z 0

Bitter Cold makes Extra Need!

Posted by Faye Teluk on Feb 07, 2019
    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 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.
Bitter Cold makes Extra Need! Faye Teluk 2019-02-07 05:00:00Z 0

2nd Annual Meat Raffle Night!

Posted by Brian Graham
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:
2nd Annual Meat Raffle Night! Brian Graham 2019-01-14 05:00:00Z 0

We Showed Rotarians at Work (in the Rain)

Posted by Sherry Miller on Dec 11, 2018
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!
We Showed Rotarians at Work (in the Rain) Sherry Miller 2018-12-11 05:00:00Z 0

Light Up the Boulevard for Holidays

Posted by Sherry Miller on Nov 14, 2018
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.
Light Up the Boulevard for Holidays Sherry Miller 2018-11-14 05:00:00Z 0

Support Rotary Foundation and its Projects

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Nov 01, 2018
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!
Support Rotary Foundation and its Projects Henry G. Kammerer 2018-11-01 04:00:00Z 0

Ukraine Educators see STEM in Action in WNY

Posted by Faye Teluk on Oct 30, 2018
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.
Ukraine Educators see STEM in Action in WNY Faye Teluk 2018-10-30 04:00:00Z 0

Adopt-A-Hiway in Rain!

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Oct 28, 2018
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.
Adopt-A-Hiway in Rain! Henry G. Kammerer 2018-10-28 04:00:00Z 0

GI Rotary Welcomes Ukrainian Study Group

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Oct 11, 2018
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.
GI Rotary Welcomes Ukrainian Study Group Henry G. Kammerer 2018-10-11 04:00:00Z 0

Rotary Action - Beyond Fund Raising

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Sep 26, 2018
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 Action - Beyond Fund Raising Henry G. Kammerer 2018-09-26 04:00:00Z 0

Taste of Grand Island Offerings!

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Sep 08, 2018
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.
Taste of Grand Island Offerings! Henry G. Kammerer 2018-09-08 04:00:00Z 0

Annual Donation to Miracle League

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Aug 11, 2018
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.
Annual Donation to Miracle League Henry G. Kammerer 2018-08-11 04:00:00Z 0

Picnic Meeting to Honor Students

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Jul 27, 2018
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.
Picnic Meeting to Honor Students Henry G. Kammerer 2018-07-27 04:00:00Z 0

New Rotary Year - New Venue

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Jul 19, 2018
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!
New Rotary Year - New Venue Henry G. Kammerer 2018-07-19 04:00:00Z 0

Wonderful End to Great Rotary Year

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Jun 21, 2018
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! 
Wonderful End to Great Rotary Year Henry G. Kammerer 2018-06-21 04:00:00Z 0

Ending Rotary Year with Style

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Jun 12, 2018
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!
Ending Rotary Year with Style Henry G. Kammerer 2018-06-12 04:00:00Z 0

Document Destruction: Shred-It! June 9

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.
Document Destruction: Shred-It! June 9 Henry G. Kammerer 2018-05-29 04:00:00Z 0

Wardinski Sausage Business from Inside

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on May 24, 2018
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.
Wardinski Sausage Business from Inside Henry G. Kammerer 2018-05-24 04:00:00Z 0

With Help! We got Parkway Cleaned Up!

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on May 19, 2018
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!
With Help! We got Parkway Cleaned Up! Henry G. Kammerer 2018-05-19 04:00:00Z 0

Beaver Isle Pkwy Cleanup

Posted by Sherry Miller
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!
Beaver Isle Pkwy Cleanup Sherry Miller 2018-05-07 04:00:00Z 0

International service brought Home!

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Apr 28, 2018
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.
International service brought Home! Henry G. Kammerer 2018-04-28 04:00:00Z 0

A Nature Trail thru Us!

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Mar 19, 2018
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!
A Nature Trail thru Us! Henry G. Kammerer 2018-03-19 04:00:00Z 0

Meat Raffle - A Partnering Success

Posted by Michael W. Heigel on Mar 07, 2018
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.
Meat Raffle - A Partnering Success Michael W. Heigel 2018-03-07 05:00:00Z 0

So Close to Eradicating Polio

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Feb 23, 2018
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.
So Close to Eradicating Polio Henry G. Kammerer 2018-02-23 05:00:00Z 0

Undie Sunday All Week Long

Posted by Dick Earne on Feb 01, 2018
Grand Island Rotary is encouraging Grand Islanders to buy and donate packages of underwear, socks, etc for homeless men at Buffalo City Mission, and women & children at the batter women's shelter, Cornerstone Manor. Hampers will be placed at churches, schools, Tops, Town Hall and G I Library to receive those contributions. Men at City Mission, women and children at their shelter, all are in need of new underwear, socks, etc, particularly in this winter season. Please help us help them.
Undie Sunday All Week Long Dick Earne 2018-02-01 05:00:00Z 0

Meat Raffle: Fun and School Success! 

Posted by Michael W. Heigel on Jan 08, 2018
Meat Raffle for Fun and School Success!
On Saturday, Mar. 3, Grand Island Rotary will host a Meat Raffle, primarily to support Growing Readers, a G I school program to develop literacy among Grand Island youth. While patrons are having a fun evening: wildly bidding and taking chances of excellent meat packages, they will also be supporting a program to buy ‘Read-to-Me’ books and have local pediatricians give them to new parents, encouraging them to read to their toddlers and youth. The program has been shown to really make youth interested in reading themselves, giving a proper start toward school. A FUN time, great EATING after, and a worthy LITERACY project gets support! Tickets are $10, giving you beer/wine/pop – bring a cooler and some $1 bills to the K of C Hall, Whitehaven Rd. Grand Island; when you leave you will have great eating awaiting you, and you will know you have helped Growing Readers become good students. Call (716) 773-6020 or Email: for tickets or information.
Meat Raffle: Fun and School Success! Michael W. Heigel 2018-01-08 05:00:00Z 0

Encouraging Kindness in Youth

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Dec 13, 2017
Holiday Concert showed more than talent – students thinking KINDNESS! G I Rotary combined their December meeting with Kaegebein School Holiday Concert, preceded by dinner in cafeteria. Tables were decorated with KINDNESS CHAINS where Early Act members and other students had made a link after they performed a Random Act of Kindness at Home or School. School teachers and administrators are finding that the negative: Don’t Bully does not work nearly as well as the Positive: Try Random Acts of Kindness! A great chance for Grand Island Rotarians to see what really works well in developing kindness and service in youth, while minimizing awful instances of bullying.
Encouraging Kindness in Youth Henry G. Kammerer 2017-12-13 05:00:00Z 0

Success as an Entrepeneur

During the Oct. 25 meeting of G. I. Rotary at the Buffalo Launch Club, Mike Ludwig described his progression from a 'Dry Wall Installer' to a successful Entrepreneur. Mike, along with his wife and with financial advice from Christine Learman CPA, created and grew Island Pet Lodge to the leading pet care facility on the Island. Features such as 'Doggie Day Care', television set playing animal shows for their guests, suites to allow doggie pairs to stay together while boarding, supervised and cushioned outdoor play yard, all left the non-pet-owners at the Rotary Meeting shaking their heads in disbelief. However it did show everyone what it takes to have a successful pet boarding operation in this age. These 'Vocation Successes' stories are part of the Rotary mission to help develop vocational service, along with community and youth service, among its Members and the larger Community. The photo shows Rotary Member John Harbison, Rotary President Mike Heigel, with speaker Mike Ludwig and Rotary Director and advisor to Island Pet Lodge, Christine Learman. Then a photo from Island Pet Lodge showing pure enjoyment during a stay there.
Success as an Entrepeneur Henry G. Kammerer 2017-10-30 04:00:00Z 0

Update on Polio Eradication

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Oct 23, 2017

World Polio Day is this Tues, Oct. 24. Polio? ? ? you say, we haven't heard about that disease in 60 years! Of course, that's right - the vaccines wiped it away from US and North America quickly - no more iron lungs, no heavy leg braces. But it remained a crippler in South Asia and Africa. Rotary, the Gates Foundation and World Health Org. have been fighting it for almost 30 years - so close now - only 11 new Wild cases in the entire world so far this year (Pakistan & Afghanistan). We and all 1.2 million Rotarians urge you to help ERADICATE POLIO!

Update on Polio Eradication Henry G. Kammerer 2017-10-23 04:00:00Z 0

Taste of Grand Island Success

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Oct 01, 2017
Taste of Grand Island success!  Rotary made a great start on fund raising for student scholarships and our commitment to help maintain the Miracle League field and Handicapped Playground. So many good folks bought chances for a Tree of LOTTERY TICKETS, and a tub of UPSCALE LIQUOR, putting over $1200 in our treasury! Club Members had supplied the top-shelf bottles, Rachel and Madison Carpet One provided the pastries to sell and helped insure that Tonawanda Salvation Army soup kitchen got a big helping of excess pastries! Watch for more fund raisers to support community service works by Grand Island Rotary.
Taste of Grand Island Success Henry G. Kammerer 2017-10-01 04:00:00Z 0

Raffle Opportunities at Taste of Grand Island

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Sep 11, 2017
Grand Island Rotary offers folks attending the Taste of Grand Island, Sat. Sep. 23 chances to make their visit really memorable! Take chances on a Tree of LOTTERY TICKETS, and a tub of UPSCALE LIQUOR, perhaps you will walk away with days of pleasure – both Dollars and Great Drinking. And you will feel good about buying the raffle tickets also – they will support High School Scholarships, the maintenance fund at the Miracle Field and Handicapped Playground, plus other community service works by Grand Island Rotary.
Raffle Opportunities at Taste of Grand Island Henry G. Kammerer 2017-09-11 04:00:00Z 0

Simple Message - Huge Impact

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer
Simple Words – A Huge Impact: Grand Island Rotary heard some simple words Wed. evening at the Launch Club from 2017 / 18 District Governor Reg Madison; Making A Difference sounds simple and obvious, but the implication is Huge. Rotary really does Make A Difference: a million or more service minded folks around the world doing service projects. Many, probably most, of those projects are at home – pick-up along Beaver Isle Pkwy, helping Salvation Army raise funds, youth collecting for cancer patients at Roswell; then including raising $’s to COMPLETELY ERADICATE POLIO around the World in a few more years. A simple message to give heart to our efforts and inspire us to do even more. It was also great to have District Governor Reg present ADDITIONAL Paul Harris awards to long time Members Skip Mazenauer and Jerry Barlow. Their service and effort over the years has been much appreciated and certainly warranted the Paul Harris (our Founder) awards representing the equivalent of several Thousand $'s extra effort for Rotary.
Simple Message - Huge Impact Henry G. Kammerer 2017-08-19 04:00:00Z 0

More pleasant summer meetings!

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Aug 17, 2017
Very fine summer party at the Heigels – a chance to talk: some about current events, some about more pleasant things. And equally important to hear a range of music: jazz / Caribbean / pop swirling around us thru the trees and over the water. Note that Skip and Dick Earne seem more interested in talk than the inviting water next to them. Others enjoy the shaded trees plus canopy; Grand Island Rotary enjoying a great summer afternoon, Using the dessert cake to acknowledge the Rotary theme for 2017 / 18: Making A Difference – thru community service here in Grand Island and elsewhere. Thru all those pleasant conversations - a commitment to have Grand Island Rotary Make A Difference thru its service.
More pleasant summer meetings! Henry G. Kammerer 2017-08-17 04:00:00Z 0

Beyond 'Just' a Summer Picnic Meeting

Pleasant summer picnic meetings of GI Rotary are not just for enjoyment – active, service-minded students were honored and heard from at their most recent picnic meeting. Olivia Turck received Scholarship Check from Chairman Mike Lockett (over 55 years we have presented High School Scholarships); she aims for a Physician Assistant career, starting at Daemen College. Unfortunately our other Scholarship winner Jacob Masucci could not attend. Another excellent High School student and member of Interact (Rotary Service Club at H.S.): Grace Federico described the exciting / challenging / thought-provoking weekend she spent at ‘SLAPSHOT’ (Student Leadership Award Program for Students High On Training) an experience sponsored by US and Canadian District 7090 Rotary Clubs in Ancaster, Ontario. Her glowing words further our commitment to that great program. Grand Island Rotary is proud of its support, both currently and in years past, of youth excellence at Grand Island High School. OK, there is excellent socializing around the pool and under the trees, also!
Beyond 'Just' a Summer Picnic Meeting Henry G. Kammerer 2017-07-26 04:00:00Z 0

Celebrating a New Member

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Jun 24, 2017
Celebrating a New Member
During the President’s ‘Change-Over’ Dinner this week, GI Rotary welcomed as a New Member Major Celestin Nkounkou of the Tonawanda Salvation Army Corps. Major Celestin and his wife Stephanie (also a Salvation Army Major) were welcomed by Incoming President Mike Heigel and President-Elect Kerri Nowak. Majors Celestin and Stephanie’s leadership of Tonawanda Corps in their many services to all of God’s people in this area fits beautifully with Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self. Major Celestin has thanked us for our past service ringing the Bell at the Red Kettle Drive in the Holiday Season and challenged us to look deeper for more that we can do in our community. Now if only he could get the service of crows to lift him to GI Rotary meetings at the Radisson – less than a mile as the crow flies – over 9 miles by auto – are aerocars ever coming? ? ?
Celebrating a New Member Henry G. Kammerer 2017-06-24 04:00:00Z 0

G I Rotary  celebrates year-end and new year coming!

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Jun 22, 2017
An old setting – a new restaurant – a new year for GI Rotary. Excellent way to celebrate a year finished, a new year starting, as Dan Flaim ‘retires’ and Mike Heigel assumes President of Grand Island Rotary. Marcy Casino on Delaware Lake looks peaceful in an archive shot, it was hopping on June 21st as The Terrace restaurant attracted GI Rotarians and numerous patrons. PDG Dick Earne installed Mike Heigel as President to replace Dan Flaim, Kerri Nowak was installed as President for 2018 / 19. Of special note, Dan Flaim received a Paul Harris Award, as Past District Governor Pravin Suchak described the way it signifies donations that have been made to the Rotary Foundation, a fund that has led the way for world-wide efforts for clean water, fighting disease, poverty and coming close to FOREVER ELIMINATING POLIO!
G I Rotary celebrates year-end and new year coming! Henry G. Kammerer 2017-06-22 04:00:00Z 0

G I Rotary helps Grand Island put on Gus Macker 3 on 3 Tourney

Grand Island is doing its best to be a center for basketball fun and challenging sport in Western NY, with sponsorship of yearly Gus Macker Tourneys. Takes a lot more than just putting backboards, nets, along our main street – Twelve Rotarians and some of their friends ran the check-in, registration tables on June 10th. Useful, rewarding, service to the community, even tho it required being at work 7:30 AM on a Saturday morning. But that’s the meaning of ‘Service Above Self’! Were the other two, not in the photo, taking a quick nap? Remember - it was early morning.
G I Rotary helps Grand Island put on Gus Macker 3 on 3 Tourney Henry G. Kammerer 2017-06-16 04:00:00Z 0

Shred-It available again!

Posted by Christine A. Learman on Jun 06, 2017

We are here for you again! You must have old tax, financial records that need to be safely, reliably, destroyed. Saturday, June 17 in Key Bank parking lot near Grand Island Tops market, for only $10 per box, GI Rotary offers this useful public service. Clean out your unneeded papers, but ones you don't want anyone else to see! Shred-It truck service is sponsored by Christine Learman, CPA, Accounting and Tax Services.

Shred-It available again! Christine A. Learman 2017-06-06 04:00:00Z 0

Youth Service Clubs growing on Grand Island

G I Rotary now has youth service clubs at 4 Grand Island schools: Interact Clubs at the High School and Connor Middle School, plus EarlyAct Clubs at both Keigebein and Huth Elementary Schools. All of these combine fun and socializing with service projects - collecting book bags for Guatemala, putting 'Sticker-Shock' stickers on beer cases at the super market to combat underage drinking, Adopt-A-Hiway cleanup along Beaver Island Parkway. These and many other activities in this school year were wrapped up with a celebration early in May as Rotary District Governor, Marlee Diehl from Albion joined us and the students, to present the Middle School Interact Club with its charter. Service is the core of these Clubs, but fun must be part also, so the year-end celebration included pizza and Balloon Man, Fred Farnham from Welland Rotary! Service, with a good helping of fun, gives the youth a great start in developing habits of service in later life, thus making for a rewarding life and a useful Citizen.
Youth Service Clubs growing on Grand Island Henry G. Kammerer 2017-05-24 04:00:00Z 0

Best Day Ever at Niagara Falls

Posted by Michael W. Heigel on Apr 11, 2017
Best Day Ever at Niagara Falls – GI Rotary’s Member, Mike Heigel, is using his professional tour guide expertise to show you and your friends – Features of Niagara Falls you’ve never seen before!  Even if you’ve lived here all your life. Saturday, April 29, be ready to spend all day seeing and hearing wonderful stories while Mike and his other experienced tour guides ‘bus’ us around the Falls area. Lunch, Maid of the Mist boat ride, other features included. Please set that day aside and begin lining up friends and relatives to join you. Posters are available to spread the word, talk to Mike for those posters or more info, 912-7128. For tickets ($100 / person) call Mike: 912-7128 or Email him: 
Best Day Ever at Niagara Falls Michael W. Heigel 2017-04-11 04:00:00Z 0

Developing Community Service Habits in Young Students

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Apr 01, 2017
The Early Act Club – 3rd, 4th, 5th grade students at Grand Island's Huth Rd School (one of two Early Act Clubs sponsored by Grand Island Rotary) showed a wonderful start toward interest in community service, by collecting snacks for pediatric patients at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Rotary, a world-wide organization, emphasizing Service Above Self as its motto, is proud to sponsor Early Act Clubs which encourage youth to begin thinking community service. These students were particularly happy with the mound of snack bags collected from Huth Rd School families, and at the end of March delivered them to the pediatric floor of the Cancer Institute – hoping those bags brightened the day of kids fighting cancer, as much as a snack bag brightens their day coming home from school! To further encourage the Early Act students, we have supplied them with distinctive Tee shirts! Thanks, Mary Haggerty and Kerri Nowak for your efforts with these Early Act clubs.
Developing Community Service Habits in Young Students Henry G. Kammerer 2017-04-01 04:00:00Z 0

Bringing all Health / Medical Aspects Together!

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Mar 23, 2017
Last evening G I Rotary was fortunate to hear from Russ Certo, developer and head of MOG (Medically Oriented Gym) at Grand Island Physical Therapy. Even as changes occur at national level in health care, more important to most individuals will be clustering of the right professionals with the right service at the right time to provide an opportunity for each to live a long, healthy, active, life. Having medical professionals, physical therapists, fitness and exercise experts, employee wellness plus nutrition counselors and providers, all available thru a coordinated organization will help bring us wellness, even in this modern, hectic (and cost-conscious) world. Russ and the MOG have joined TRILOGY, an association of community service suppliers, both in and outside classic healthcare providers, to bring a better solution for community health.
Bringing all Health / Medical Aspects Together! Henry G. Kammerer 2017-03-23 04:00:00Z 0

Seeing the New Way of Teaching STEM

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Mar 10, 2017
Touring and Seeing the New Way of Teaching STEM
G I Rotary was treated to a fine tour of the new Science and Technology Wing of G I High School this week. It was hosted by Brian Graham, G I School Superintendent, and Rotary Club member. A room full of Computer Aided Design stations is just the start – or really the culmination of the teaching process! Build ‘toys’ – model bridge, cardboard chairs, ping pong basket ball game; but build them, not for fun: for a challenge and only after creating CAD layouts and optimizing material use. A new way of school instruction, yes; it’s a way to prepare students for technology in the new world. Technology today needs more than just math and chemistry. We were impressed, with both the facility and the teaching methods. (Oh, and the breakfast pizza was great also.)
Seeing the New Way of Teaching STEM Henry G. Kammerer 2017-03-10 05:00:00Z 0

New Features make a Good Project, Great!

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Feb 21, 2017
Undie Sunday – a great success! Over 20 large bags, stuffed with packages of new underwear and socks were delivered to Buffalo’s City Mission and St Lukes Mission of Mercy last week, as G I Rotary completed a project to help the homeless and abused. it’s! For over 10 years GI Rotarians have embraced this project, this year’s chair, Kerri Nowak, enlarged the one day project into a week (Undie Sunday for a Whole Week) and added a new feature – Red Clothes Hampers to be a distinctive drop-off spot for the collection. It worked! Adding collection spots at the schools helped also – EarlyAct students (Rotary’s service club for elementary students) at Huth Rd show off these distinctive hampers. Take a consistently good project, add a few new features, involve students, schools, churches and the community, the result: a real help for the folks that society forgot, pushed to the side and abused in our inner cities, an area that is as much a part of our larger community as the pleasant parks, woodlands and boating sites in our upscale suburb!
New Features make a Good Project, Great! Henry G. Kammerer 2017-02-21 05:00:00Z 0

Blood Drive Sunday, Feb. 26

G I Rotary has teamed with Trinity United Methodist Church on Grand Island to sponsor a Blood Drive, Sunday, Feb. 26, 9 AM - 12:30. The UNYTS Blood Drive Bus will solve the problem for those who have work or other commitments keeping them from donating during the week. Sunday morning you may be free, or have time before or after church; blood is always needed. Feel good about spending a half hour providing a life-saving supply of blood to the community. Appointments can be scheduled by calling the Trinity Church office, 773-3322 or by going on-line to and entering sponsor code: 003034. Grand Island Rotarians have a tradition of helping their community in many ways, here is a new way we Serve Humanity!
Blood Drive Sunday, Feb. 26 Jason Myers 2017-02-13 05:00:00Z 0

Undie Sunday all Week Long!

Posted by Kerri Nowak on Jan 25, 2017
Help the homeless and abused between Feb 5 and 12! Bring NEW, UNUSED, underwear and socks packages to bins that Grand Island Rotary will set up in Grand Island schools, churches, Tops, library and Town Hall; it’s Undie Sunday for a Whole Week! New Socks, Underwear for men, women and children are welcomed and needed. GI Rotarians will take them to City Mission of Buffalo and St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy. Please help them with NEW underwear, that means so much. Watch for Clothes Hampers around the Island from the 5th to 12th, pick up a package or two, drop them in the hampers and Rotarian Kerri Nowak at Huth Rd School, plus other Rotarians, will see to it that those near the bottom get some help! 
Undie Sunday all Week Long! Kerri Nowak 2017-01-25 05:00:00Z 0

Additional Level of Donation to Rotary Foundation

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Jan 19, 2017
Mike Heigel of Grand Island Rotary received a pin, certificate and commemorative book at the Jan. 18, 2017 dinner meeting to acknowledge his reaching a second, higher level of giving to the Rotary Foundation; the Paul Harris +1 Pin. His contributions, plus credit for extra giving by Grand Island Rotary, brought him to the $2000+ giving level. The book “Doing Good in the World” documents 100 years of The Rotary Foundation and its service to humanity. Recently famous for its drive to Eradicate Polio from the Entire World, The Rotary Foundation does thousands of projects; locally making grants for: College Scholarships and improving literacy with school books in Niagara Falls, and internationally: funding for providing clean water wells from Haiti to Ethiopia, in addition to Polio Eradication! As the grant-making charitable arm of Rotary world-wide, the Foundation provides the funds for both local and far distant projects, helping individual Clubs make a meaningful difference at home and abroad.
Additional Level of Donation to Rotary Foundation Henry G. Kammerer 2017-01-20 00:00:00Z 0

Ringing Bell for Salvation Army Kettle

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Dec 30, 2016
Rotarians are great, and particularly when working together, they accomplish great things. BUT there is nothing like youngsters to attract donations to the Salvation Army Kettle. Our Grand Island Rotarians did their best, but Interact and Early Act members from GI schools really made the difference, as we collected over $1400 for Salvation Army during Holiday weekend sessions at our local Tops Market. Rotarians – Mike Lockett, Jason Myers and others, keep up the good work, but use photogenic kids whenever possible!
Ringing Bell for Salvation Army Kettle Henry G. Kammerer 2016-12-31 00:00:00Z 0

Not Your Grandpa's Rotary!

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Oct 23, 2016
Not Your Grandpa’s Rotary!
Packaging surplus food into useful small family packs, stitching up menstrual pads for girls in poor areas; doesn’t sound like old Rotary, does it! Yet that’s what was happening at Saturday’s District 7090 Conference in Batavia – hands on work, not just talk and party. Having pre-arranged bulk stock of pasta and other foods, scoop measured amounts into bags that are then heat sealed, making family sized meal packages that local food pantries can distribute. Or sewing up pads of cloth for girls that have no money or access to sanitary pads, that most expect to buy easily at the neighborhood store. Great examples of what Grand Island Rotary and other Clubs in WNY, Niagara Peninsula Ontario, are doing – creating service projects in new, unique ways.
Not Your Grandpa's Rotary! Henry G. Kammerer 2016-10-24 00:00:00Z 0

Stirring District Governor's Visit

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Sep 13, 2016
An excellent meeting with our Rotary District 7090 District Governor, Marlee Diehl at the Buffalo Launch Club – she, a focused, dynamic, speaker gave several key take-a-ways: the unique value of Rotary in leading the eradication of Polio, making an extra push for donations to Rotary Foundation in it’s 100th year all the more worthy; the tremendous range of local projects done, from Grand Island’s Miracle League and book donations, Niagara C. Central’s dictionaries for kids, to water purification in foreign lands. Then there is the working / learning / networking / fun side of Rotary: Marlee’s description of the District Conference in Batavia, Oct 21 to 23, certainly a must do event. GI President Dan Flaim, after thanking Asst. Governor of our area, John Cooper of Niagara Falls, then gave DG Marlee Diehl a Grand Island Rotary coffee cup to remind her of the excellent evening and meal at Buffalo Launch Club that evening.
Stirring District Governor's Visit Henry G. Kammerer 2016-09-14 00:00:00Z 0

Near the End for POLIO

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Aug 26, 2016
Scientific American magazine in their ‘100 years ago’ column this month, gives a reminder of the SCOURGE OF POLIO then; now it’s ancient history, forgotten, in Western World. However it still disables and destroys hope in such places as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. Rotary International, with we 23 Grand Islanders, plus 1.2 million more service-minded men and women, has committed $70 million to lead the fight to finally ELIMINATE POLIO world-wide.
There is a precedent: Smallpox, another disease absolutely dependent on human carriers, was wiped out 25 years ago. Rotary, with WHO (World Health Org.) and Bill Gates Foundation believe we can truly make the world Polio Free in a few years. Dollars, of course, we do need to donate to fund the effort; but Rotarians on the ground in outlying, sometimes dangerous, areas, administering polio vaccine drops; then going back in two years - giving drops again to make sure. Succeeding generations may forget Polio, we hope they will not forget Rotary and its role: Serving Humanity.
Near the End for POLIO Henry G. Kammerer 2016-08-27 00:00:00Z 0

Flexible Meeting times and venues!

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer
Rotary International Encourages Club FLEXIBILITY
Some would claim that Rotary, with its elaborate Rotary International structure, has been a tradition-bound organization with ‘rules’ – dignified, worthy, rules to be sure, but ’rules’. Today, one needs tradition, but one also needs flexibility. Earlier in 2016, Rotary International leadership altered, reduced those rules, particularly encouraging Clubs to amend bylaws to make meeting schedules, and what constitutes a meeting (traditional ‘sit-down’ meals or service projects or ?) flexible. The Calendar on this Web Site now includes a schedule of meetings, service and other projects for much of 2016 / 17, that follow this new plan. Grand Island Rotary intends to remain the premier service club in its community by adopting this FLEXIBILITY.  Perhaps some items on this calendar may change, Club Members: examine the plans, help make flexibility an asset, not chaos!
Flexibility can extend to additional membership categories, such as: associate, corporate, family, memberships. But hey, Grand Island Rotary needs time to get flexible meeting arrangements set, give us time to get to flexible membership!
Flexible Meeting times and venues! Henry G. Kammerer 2016-07-27 00:00:00Z 0

Celebrate the Old - Welcome the New!

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Jun 30, 2016
President's Dinner, Wed, June 29 '16 at Crazy Jake's, No. Tonowanda, provided a great chance to Celebrate Rotary - review a successful year under President Amber Storr and welcome Dan Flaim as President for 2016 / 17. Amber reviewed a number of great projects from the past year - almost all shown below in Stories on this web site, so we don't have to repeat them here! She did present a Rotarian of the Year award to Hank Kammerer, who, "coincidentally", is the author of this and most other stories on this web page (and on Grand Island Rotary Facebook page) and he is also Bulletin Editor, sending out precious tidbits of info and events almost every week, some of which actually help Members stay informed of the doings of Grand Island Rotary. Hank proudly admitted to being a 47 yr Member of GI Rotary (let's face it, he did NOT join as a 6 yr old, he was 33 when joining, do the math yourself). Seriously tho, he did express appreciation for the Award, the beer glasses, and strongly encouraged all to CELEBRATE AND BE PROUD OF ROTARY as he has done through these years. Dan Flaim was installed as President for 2016 /17 by Past District Governor Dick Earne; Dan outlined some great ideas for the coming year and looks for good attendance at the Summer Picnic meetings hosted by Members, which occur in July and August.
Celebrate the Old - Welcome the New! Henry G. Kammerer 2016-07-01 00:00:00Z 0

Interact youth fighting underage drinking with "Sticker Shock'

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Jun 25, 2016
Interact Students at Connor Middle School on Grand Island placed 'Sticker Shock' labels on beverage cases at the Grand Island Tops Super Market to remind purchasers it is illegal to provide alcohol to youth. Allison Hill, Peyton Shearer, Maya Ruiz, Carissa Hoover, Amina Shaibi and Despina Minasidis all took part. These students were building on the start with service projects they got in another Rotary service by youth project: EarlyAct clubs in their elementary schools. Both Interact and EarlyAct represent programs where students themselves develop service projects on the model shown by Rotary Clubs over the years. The project was sponsored by One Island One Team Drug Abuse Prevention Coalition (and Erie Co. Alcohol Abuse Council) and led by Interact Club Teacher Advisors Carley Antonelli and Crystal Barnes. Oh, and the students got pizza and pop from Tops Manager Patty Bianco after their work!
Interact youth fighting underage drinking with "Sticker Shock' Henry G. Kammerer 2016-06-26 00:00:00Z 0

Shred-it is Here!

Posted by Christine A. Learman
Shred-it is Here! – Saturday, June 11
Safe, reliable document destruction done while you wait, or equally safe: after you drop off your boxes of those old financial or tax papers. Saturday, June 11 from 10 AM till Noon 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 for its many projects supporting Island youth and community service. The activity is sponsored by Christine A. Learman, CPA, PC.
Shred-it is Here! Christine A. Learman 2016-06-06 00:00:00Z 0

Honoring Service-Minded Students

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer
Grand Island Rotary continued their 25 yr tradition of honoring service-minded High School students at a 2016 Awards Dinner, May 31, at Buffalo Launch Club. Twelve students were honored, representing many aspects of service – to churches, youth and sports groups, medical or old age facilities and community activities. We Rotarians are, once again, impressed with their service activities, even as they work hard to maintain high academic standards. Our congratulations to they, and of course to their parents and teachers who foster and encourage in them, the ideal of Rotary: “Service Above Self”. Pictured below are the 12 students, Front row: Melanie Sweeney, Maya Harper, Julia Lawley, Michela Kozek, Gabrielle Robinson, Yaling Chen; Back row: Amber Schwinn, Emelie-Jo SCheffler, Benjamin Freedman, Adam Drefhout, Justine Cardone, Marissa Freedman; with Rotary Pres. Amber Storr on left and High School Asst. Principal T. Michael Carter on right. Rotary is particularly proud of Michaela Kozek who has been selected as a Rotary International Youth Exchange winner to spend the next year in Finland before returning for college in the US. She is studying Finnish language privately in addition to maintaining her high grades in high school (animal science) studies.
Honoring Service-Minded Students Henry G. Kammerer 2016-06-05 00:00:00Z 0

Learning about other Youth Programs

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer
Grand Island Rotary has always been strong on Youth activities (scholarships, Interact, EarlyAct, etc) but we can always learn from other successes in Youth area. GI Chamber of Commerce has run a hugely successful KIDBIZ program for 20 years. Their long time Chair, Jim Sharpe, described KidBiz to us at the 5/25 meeting. Getting youngsters, 2nd to 5th grade to think up their own way of selling a product or service, keeping a rigorous expense list (yes - pay parents gas mileage for any 'running' they do for supplies!), finding a partner to share business (and profit), making a full list of needs (selling supplies, tent, table, etc) really teaches them the start for modern business economics. Our Member, Mary Taggerty, Principal of Kaegebein School, echoed the praise and value of this project. This year's event is Saturday, June 25, 9 AM - 3 PM. I for one, am fascinated, never attended before - this year, for sure.    
Learning about other Youth Programs Henry G. Kammerer 2016-05-26 00:00:00Z 0

Parkway Cleanup - Getting Help

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on May 04, 2016
Grand Island Rotary has been proud of its long tradition of 'Adopt-A-Hiway' cleanup of the Beaver Island Parkway leading down to widely used Beaver Island State Park. As summer travel season approached we wanted to get the Parkway cleaned up, but we were short of Rotarians to do the job - G. I. High School students in Robert Simpson's Government Class came to the rescue! A long-time service project saved by energetic High School students - thanks all of you, a few Rotarians were available to help, but we couldn't have done it without the students. Thanks to all! Isn't it great to have trash in beautiful orange bags rather that spread along the roadway?
Parkway Cleanup - Getting Help Henry G. Kammerer 2016-05-05 00:00:00Z 0

Pride, Horror, Hope in Syria - a Personal Story

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Feb 10, 2016
Pride / Horror / Hope / Help: GI Rotary Club Member Elias Tochan (a Syrian native) gave a gripping story last evening (2/10/16) at our Launch Club meeting. Palmyra, Syria had been the PRIDE of Syrian history & culture – a key (rich) city in the Roman empire route bringing spices and gems from the East. Elaborate statues and mosaics showed its rich history. Massive colonnades, Triumphal Arches survived for almost 2000 yrs, now the HORROR as they are destroyed by ISIS. Why? What they couldn’t cart off to sell on the archaeology black market, ISIS blew up! Elias certainly HOPES that some may be restored, and that the destruction finally energizes the world to HELP. Thanks for the evening, Elias, we are sure it was a tough story to tell, we also HOPE for recovery. Here’s an example of what Elias was talking about, Palmyra’s Colonnade & Triumphal Arch before, then in rubble after destruction by ISIS:
Pride, Horror, Hope in Syria - a Personal Story Henry G. Kammerer 2016-02-11 00:00:00Z 0

Refugee Resettlement Done Right!

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Feb 03, 2016

Sure, bringing refugees here is a sensitive subject: checking health and qualifications, avoiding those intent on harm, all very necessary. Hidden is the longer challenge: truly resettling them into productive US lives. John Harbison of our Club, plus Jason Myers of East Amherst Rotary described yesterday how Journey’s End Refugee Services (and others) are creating success stories here. Green Shoots for New Americans helps / trains refugees to ‘urban farm’ and make a profit from it! West Side Bazaar provides an incubator for their small businesses. Jason has been helping with the business practices side of a unique multilingual newspaper: Karibu News. Imagine a paper with articles on people and activities around the city – and those articles in English / French / Swahili / Arabic (and some other I don't recognize)! Its tough to imagine a huge wave of refugees from Syria and other ‘hot spots’. Surely we in WNY can take some, groups like Journey’s End can make them into useful souls here. Whether GI Rotary can run service projects to help (helping refurbish houses? ?) requires more thought and planning, we will try to do all we can. Meanwhile we help collect warm clothing for those that are here.
Refugee Resettlement Done Right! Henry G. Kammerer 2016-02-04 00:00:00Z 0

Saga of a Card Shop

Posted by Henry Kammerer on Jan 23, 2016
Continuing our tradition of interesting talks by our own Members, Maria DelSignore provided a wonderful set of tid-bits of her years running 'Maria's Card Shop' on Grand Island. She relived the saga of the explosion of interest in Beanie Babies with the background dealing with (and 'sometimes' profiting from) the quirks of the Beanie Baby inventor / promoter. Those of us that have never been 'behind the cash register' of a small retail store were fascinated by her description of running a small shop that she occasionally had to dash away from, to take care of home emergencies. But the highlight of the morning lecture was her unfolding and reminding us of her MOST NOTEWORTHY ACCOMPLISHMENT - the Grand Island scenes Afghan that she developed and had produced. Many of us have one tucked away, or gave one to out-of-town kids to remind them of their hometown! Of course, she also topped all of us who occasionally drop stories about our kids living 100's to a few 1000 miles away, as she described her visits to a daughter in Ireland, before traveling on to see relatives in Italy! Thanks, Maria, for a great description of segments of your life.
Saga of a Card Shop Henry Kammerer 2016-01-24 00:00:00Z 0

Vocation Talks Open Windows to our Members!

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Jan 07, 2016
We know fellow Rotarian Mike Lockett as a hard worker, his talent in filling chili quart containers is legendary – but do you really know his background? That’s the point of having occasional Vocation talks at GI Rotary meetings! This week Mike described his life and career, emphasizing his great luck (well really, his intelligence and test taking ability) in obtaining free, very high quality education all the way to a PhD, in the UK in 1960’s. That start, plus further hard work, intelligence on his part and migrating to US, give us his current status: retired from Praxair as a noteworthy engineer elected to prestigious National Academy of Engineers, Professor in Chem. Engineering at UB, and devotee, along with Julie, of Scotties. Thanks for the wonderful talk Mike.
Vocation Talks Open Windows to our Members! Henry G. Kammerer 2016-01-08 00:00:00Z 0

Unique Addition to Art Auction!

Chair Ron Sutton has added a distinctive and unique Grand Island item to the Art Auction, Saturday, Oct 24 at Byblos Resort on G I. Chain Saw artist / sculptor, Clair Talbot has created an Owl in a tree growing out of the Grand Island shaped logo, to provide a more local flavor to the art auction items. Of course, that's not all - school students at Huth Rd. and Kaegebein schools have prepared art and personalized some old school desks to add to the bidding excitement. There are several other tree trunks on Grand Island sculpted with eagles, people and other features to join the Owl when it finds a home.
 Bidding should be intense for this unique piece - be there Saturday evening, 7 PM to join the excitement! 




Unique Addition to Art Auction! Henry G. Kammerer 2015-10-21 00:00:00Z 0

Art Auction Coming!

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer
On Oct. 24, we will host an ART AUCTION at Byblos Resort Hotel on Grand Island. View, then bid on: art work, notable posters and reproductions, memorabilia, illustrations - all the things we need to brighten and complete the furnishing of our homes. And enjoy Hors D'oeuvres plus your favorite beverage while you view the offerings. Tickets ($10 each) are available from any Grand Island Rotarian. All profits will be used to fund scholarships that GI Rotary has given to deserving High School Seniors for over 40 years. GI Rotarians have raised, and given out, over $75,000 for Scholarships through these years, part of our way of improving the community around us, through Service Above Self.
Art Auction Coming! Henry G. Kammerer 2015-08-22 00:00:00Z 0

GI High School Student Recognition Awards

Posted by Henry G. Kammerer on Jun 23, 2015
All schools and communities recognize their athlete and academic winners, Grand Island Rotary makes sure that students who have shown outstanding Service to their community are recognized also. A superb group of Grand Island High School students who followed the Rotary Motto of Service Above Self (whether they knew that phrase or not) were honored in May at our Student Recognition Dinner, hosted by GI Rotary and the GI High School PTSA. Yes, some of them were also excellent scholars, some were outstanding athletes, most importantly ALL had served the surrounding community: performing 100's of hours of service to church groups / hospitals / youth sport clubs and unique Grand Island groups such as Miracle League for disadvantaged youth, Relay for Life cancer support and Neighbors Foundation helping the poor. Chronicling their activities is too extensive for listing here; it took two full pages in the local paper, The Island Dispatch of June 19, 2015 for the twelve of them. We in Grand Island Rotary are proud to honor them: Julia Drozdowsky,  Katherine Fonte, Alexander Garey, Rebekah Gaydosh, Kathryn Gentz, Khristian Cole Kline, Thomas Major, Jake Matwijkow, Alexandra Miller, Meaghan O'Leary, Margaret Rustowicz, Benjamin Shaw.
GI High School Student Recognition Awards Henry G. Kammerer 2015-06-24 00:00:00Z 0

New Member Improves Literacy

Rotary encourages New Members to bring new ideas, new challenges, and move the Club forward with new energy. New Member, Maria DelSignore, with a long interest in students and reading, plus roots in Niagara Falls, NY, thought Grand Island Rotary could help Niagara Falls public schools improve their library resources. She was told there were matching grants from Rotary International available to Improve Literacy - just submit a grant application! But how? We don't know - haven't done it - why don't you investigate! She did / she succeeded (yes, it took effort and some mis-steps), soon a Club commitment of $1500 was doubled with Rotary International funds; students at the Geraldine Mann School in the LaSalle District of Niagara Falls now have a large shelf of age-appropriate books. 
New Member Improves Literacy 2014-12-30 00:00:00Z 0

Support to Grand Island's Unique 'Miracle League' Handicapped Accessible Field

Grand Island has developed, under the auspices of The Miracle League of Grand Island & Western NY, a unique handicapped accessible ball field and playground facility. Grand Island Rotary Club joined other groups in being a founding, and continuing, supporter of this facility. We have often supplied Rotarians to operate the concession stand during 'Tee Ball' games and helped assemble the special equipment that allows wheelchair-bound children to enjoy swinging and gentle 'whirling' activities. Heart-rending at times, but quite rewarding, our support of this unique facility matches the Rotary Motto: Service Above Self

Support to Grand Island's Unique 'Miracle League' Handicapped Accessible Field Henry G. Kammerer 2014-12-28 00:00:00Z 0

Service Above Self - The Rotary Motto

Is Community Service of Interest to You?

Would you like to make a difference locally
or internationally? That is the Rotary Club of Grand Island! Since 1959, the Rotary Club of Grand Island, part of Rotary International, has been one of thousands of clubs worldwide, composed of over one million business, community and professional leaders, who have a passion to help the less fortunate. Whether that is financial and 'hands-on' support to the Miracle League Handicapped Accessible Ball Field, help with sponsoring a service Club 'Interact' at High School (and related clubs at Middle and Elementary schools), scholarships for High School students, book buying, literacy projects in Grand Island or areas schools, or International projects in Haiti, Nepal, Ethiopia, Bolivia; all these activities have been ongoing at Grand Island Rotary. Consider joining us for these rewarding activities.
Service Above Self - The Rotary Motto Henry G. Kammerer 2014-12-27 00:00:00Z 0
Welcome to our new website! Angelo Grande 0