News Story
October 24 is World Polio Day.  This year's observance is particularly significant because it marks the achievement of another milestone in Rotary's 41-year battle against polio - The African continent being declared polio-free.
 
Our Club has always been in the forefront of supporting the world campaign for polio eradication.  In August, our Club contributed just over $9,000 to The Rotary Foundation's End Polio Fund bringing our Club's total contribution over the last 5 Rotary years to a little over $70,000..
 
In 1988, there were an estimated 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries, when Rotary International and the World Health Organization launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.. In the year 2000, a record 550 million children - almost 10% of the world's population received the oral polio vaccine. By 2003 Rotary's total contribution to polio eradication exceeded $500 million and only six countries remained polio endemic.
 
In 2009, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation begins its matching grants challenge by which any amount raised by Rotary for polio eradication is matched 2 to 1 by the Foundation.  By 2011 Rotary's funding exceeded $1 billion and by the following year, only 3 countries - Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan were Polio endemic.  This year 2020, saw Nigeria and the African continent, being declared polio-free. And only a few weeks ago, Dr. Tunji Funsho, chair of Nigeria National PolioPlus Committee, is one of TIME Magazine's Most Influential People for 2020 for his contributions to the eradication of wild polio in the African region. Read his story: http://endpol.io/tftime
 
In observance of World Polio Day, the Disrict has drawn up an elaborate program of virtual events, fundraisers, panel discussions, bike-athon, walkathons, Oktoberfest, and an online video contest.  See more information
Our Club has achieved the 2019-20 Rotary Presidential Citation -Platinum level - the highest Rotary honor for a Club and a very rare accomplishment for a Club to achieve this honor 4 years in a row.  It is a fitting tribute to our Club in it's centennial year..  The award was announced by our very own 2019-20 District Governor Mahbub Ahmad in a letter to President Steve Simpson and all members of the Club. 
 
The Presidential Citation is awarded to a Club which achieves a set number of preassigned goals in two categories - Unite People and Take Action - like membership growth and retention, service projects, contributions to the Rotary Foundation, augmenting Rotary's public image, among others, Those Clubs achieving the goals in these two categories  then compete for Platinum, Gold or Silver Awards depending on the number of additional goals they are able to achieve in a third Category.
 
Our Club is only one of three out of the 44 Clubs in our District to achieve the Platinum Award.  A total of 10 Clubs achieved the various levels of the Presidential Citation,
 
Past District Governor Mahbub congratulated President Steve for his dynamic leadership and thanked all members of the Club for their diligent work in bringing the honor to not only their Club but also to the District. He paid tribute to the memory of Shahid Latif, President of the Club during the first part of 2019-20..  President Shahid would have been thrilled at this achievement of his dear Club.
During the pandemic, our Club has continued its activities in service of the Community.  Club members regularly provided food supplies to the needy in our community.  Partnering with sister organizations, like Gullotta House, and local restaurants, our Club made available hundreds of freshly-prepared hot meals, every week.    Some of our Club members took on these responsibilities by being there for the community.  While the virus was raging, they did not hide from it - rather they came out to fight against it and its impact on our community.
 
The Club Board decided to honor these brave COVID warriors with Paul Harris Fellow recognitions.  The honorees are: 
 
Steve Simpson
(President)
Tim Hodges
(President-Elect)
Greg Arcaro
(Secretary)
George John
(Membership Chair)
 
Father Philippe
(Sergeant-at-Arms)
 
 
Congratulations, Warriors!
Even before the pandemic Rotary has been thinking ahead and planning for the Rotary of tomorrow, where Clubs will be innovative with new types of Clubs, new membership categories, new ways of meeting.
 
Responding to this call, our Club has taken the lead and sponsored a new Satellite Club. A satellite club functions as a short-term, transitional step on the way to becoming a full, independent Rotary club. This allows interested persons to become Rotarians without meeting the requirement of having at least 20 persons to organize a separate Rotary club.  The Rotary Satellite Club of Yonkers-East Yonkers-Edgemont was officially approved by Rotary International in February of 2020 with 9 members. Following a period of organization the new Club has begun its regular activities. 
 
Satellite clubs set up their own board and have their own officers. However, instead of a President, a satellite club has a Chair.  Atul Saxena is the Chair of the new Satellite Club while Parul Bhatnagar is our Club's adviser to the Satellite Club to help it learn about Rotary and its activities. The 9 members are mostly residents of the Edgemont area and hope to increase their membership and charter their own Club.  Our Club is extending its full support to the new Rotarians and their nascent Club.  The Club has been assigned to the District's Area 5, with our own Bina Ahmad as the Assistant Governor. .
Our evening meeting on 29 July was a special event.  The Club presented 2 Community Service Awards of $1,000 each to two graduating High School seniors - Honor Pickering and Christopher Antonelli.  
Mayra Tepan, Chair of the Youth Service Committee spoke about how this project was one of the Club’s activities to promote community service and that the Club’s Board supported the Committee’s recommendation to provide $1,000 awards to the following two high school graduates:
Honor Pickering (left) of Riverside High School was the first recipient of the scholarship.  She spoke about her community service and plans for attending college
 
Christopher Antonelli (right) of Archbishop Stepanic High School  was the second recipient.  He spoke about his community service and plans for attending college
 
President Steve thanked Honor and Chris for their community service, wished them success, presented them with (virtual) checks and encouraged them to join us at a future Club meeting!
 
Another highlight of the evening was the presentation of awards to 4 graduating seniors who are members of the Interact Club of Sacred Heart School.
Principal Jade Sharp of Yonkers Middle School has been selected by the Yonkers Board of Education as the Administrator of the Year.  Principal Jade will be honored at a special meeting of the Club in the Fall..

“There are many extraordinary educators throughout our District,” noted Superintendent of Schools Dr. Edwin M. Quezada, Principal Sharp, is a consummate knowledgeable professional, he said .

“Yonkers is fortunate to have many talented teachers and administrators,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “These awards are an opportunity for our Yonkers Public Schools community to publicly recognize the incredible contributions great teachers have on the academic, social and emotional development of our children. The Mayor congratulated Principal Sharp, saying, she has proven to go above and beyond to make the difference our students need and deserve..

The Leadership in Education Award, also known as the Administrator of the Year, is presented to an administrator who personifies the spirit, dedication and accomplishments of an outstanding instructional leader. For several decades, the Rotary Club of Yonkers sponsored this award. When they merged with East Yonkers Rotary, they vowed to carry-on the tradition cosponsored with the Board of Education.

“The Rotary Club of Yonkers-East Yonkers is pleased to partner with the Yonkers Board of Education in presenting the 2020 Leadership in Education Award to Jade Sharp, Principal of Yonkers Middle High School,” noted Rotary Club President, Steve Simpson. “Rotary’s motto is ‘Service Above Self’ and, for us, the Leadership in Education Award recognizes the importance that administrative leadership plays in helping today’s students learn and become tomorrow’s community-minded leaders.”

Yonkers Rotary first partnered with the Board of Education to present this award in 1986. Rotary President Simpson added, “At that time there were 18,850 students enrolled in Yonkers public schools. While the times have certainly changed, and the school district has grown to over 26,000 students, the importance of education and leaders who are passionate and effective has not changed and our Rotary Club is pleased to recognize Jade Sharp as this year’s Leader in Education.”

Y-EY Works with Gullotta House to feed Westchester
Our Club has been working with Gullotta House to help provide on-the-job meals to Yonkers Hospital staff, EMS, police, and Fire Departments.  The Club has provided a grant to help offset the cost of these meals.  Gullotta House - a fully volunteer organization, pooled resources from other organizations to continue providing meals not only to our frontline responders but also to homebound and needy seniors and families.
 
PPE Supplies for St John's Hospital
The AFYA Foundation, based in Yonkers, through the good offices of the Club and District, provided 1,000 Face shields and 700 masks to the Emergency Room staff at St. John's Riverside Hospital., Additional supplies being procured for the Hospital.
 
Club Donates funds for wait staff at Zuppa Restaurant
The Club has been meeting at Zuppa Restaurant for some time for our evening meetings.  However, with the outbreak of the pandemic and the stay-at-home situation, the Club has switched to online meetings.  The Restaurant is closed and the wait staff thee are no longer able to work.  The Club decided to repurpose some of the money, members would have spent on lunches at the restaurant and donate these funds to the wait staff there to help them tide over the current difficulties.  
 
Club Food-Packing for Seniors Continues
The Club has continued its food-packing project for homebound seniors and the handicapped in partnership with Yonkers Community Action Program -YCAP.  Club volunteers have been packing over 100 bags of food every few weeks for delivery to those in need. 
 
Club convenes online meetings
Our Club has responded to the current situation by setting up online meetings.  Through a program of support from the District, the club has been conducting its regular Club meetings as well as Board meetings via Zoom Conference calling.  Attendance has been at par with our regular in-person meetings,  Most members agreed that Club business is being conducted efficiently but they do miss the fellowship that the in-person meetings offered.
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Yonkers-East Yonkers

Service Above Self

We meet In Person & Online
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(now via Zoom Conference)
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Yonkers, NY 10710
United States of America
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OR, make check to "Yonkers-East Yonkers Rotary Foundation",  mail to: P.O. Box 771, Yonkers, NY 10710
 
Want more information?  Contact us: info@yonkersrotary.org
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