News Stories
The Yonkers-East Yonkers Club rises to the leadership role yet again.  Our Past President Rev. J. Loren Russell will become the 11th District Governor for Rotary District 7230 from our Club, when he assumes the role on 1 July 2023. 
 
Loren became Club President for the third time in 2015-16.  It was during his presidency that the concept of the Basketball courts Global Grant was first approved by the Club.
 
Loren was formally named District Governor Nominee Designee on 23 January 2021.  He will become District Governor Nominee on 1 July 2021, District Governor-Elect on 1 July 2022, and finally District Governor on 1 July 2023.
 

James ‘Loren’ Russell was born in Harlem, New York, and raised in the Bronx, where he and his wife (Evelyn) of soon-to-be thirty-two years currently reside.

Loren began his professional career as a life insurance agent, quickly rising to sales manager and then senior management. To fulfill his entrepreneurial ambitions, Loren established The JLR Company in 1992 to provide financial planning services in general, “Biblical Economics” services to the religious community, and motivational and developmental seminars and workshops. He served 7 years with the Southern Baptist Convention as the Northeast Strategy Coordinator, Regional Church Finance Consultant and Church Planting Coordinator for NYC.

Loren earned the Master’s of Divinity degree from Drew Theological Seminary and received an Honorary Doctorate of Ministry from Virginia University of Lynchburg. Through The JLR Company, Loren provides financial, strategic planning, and business consultations to churches, not-for-profit organizations, and businesses nationally, with a specialization in urban church strategies.

See his full Biography

 
The screening of the civil rights documentary "Brick By Brick" was the highlight of the Club's observance of Black History Month.  The screening was followed by a panel discussion hosted by J. Loren Russell.  Among the panelists were the producer of the Documentary Bill Kavanagh, who made the film availabe for screening, Attorney Michael Sussman who played an important role in movement, Dr. Jim Bostic, Gene Capello,  Dr. Sharon Conn and our very own Greg Arcaro.  Yonkers Assemblywoman Shanae Williams also made time to participate in the lively panel discussion. 
 
President Steve welcomed everyone to the event saying he has been a resident of Yonkers for 21 years and he has seen  some of the events depicted in the film.  During the panel discussion, the panelists agreed that while we have come quite a ways from the 1989 Court decision, but much still needs to be done.. Bill Kavanagh said, this film took a while to put together particularly locating the original footage of the events of the time. Brick by Brick: A Civil Rights Story follows three families in a contemporary American battle for equal opportunity. One city's struggle over racial discrimination and how to redress long-standing institutional housing segregation is the subject of a confrontation that challenges and changes Yonkers, New York. Drawn deeply into the conflict, the people in Brick by Brick: A Civil Rights Story show how contemporary America confronts the issues of race and opportunity. Through their city's crucible, they deal with the meaning of civil rights in a current-day context.
 
This is second time that this documentary has been screened by our Club - the first screening was at the Will Library in Yonkers.
Our Club participated in Rotary's "Million Mask Challenge", sponsored by Rotary International and The Rossi Foundation.  On 14 January, a 26-foot truck, emblazoned on all sides with the Million Mask Challenge Tour message, brought 300,000 face masks to our Rotary District stopping at 3 distribution points - White Plains, Harlem and Staten Island.  Our Club was allocated 6,000 surgical masks and 1,000 children's masks. 
 
Representatives of 27 Clubs in Westchester and the Bronx gathered at the White Plains High School as the truck rolled in to be welcomed by District Governor Mary Shackleton, Westchester County Executive, George Latimer, White Plains Mayor Tom Roach, White Plains Schools Superintendent Joseph Ricca.  Immediate Past District Governor, Mahbub Ahmad, and Assistant Governors, Gladys Muller (Area 1), John Ehrlich (area 2), Libby Hollahan (Area 4),  Bina Ahmad (Area 5) and  Sandy Wolstein (Area 6) supervised the distribution.  In total, 115,000 surgical masks and 27,000 children's masks were allocated to the 27 Clubs in the White Plains stop.  Club Member Maria Abdullah collected the masks on behalf of President Steve Simpson.
 
District Governor Mary Shackleton, welcoming the assembled dignitaries said, "These masks are going to go to some of the underserved communities, food pantries, public housing, so that the people who really need them, have protection."
 
  
This is a story of service and leadership. It’s a story of how our District and Zone responded to a crisis, rallied its resources, put boots-on-the-ground to bring disparate and far-flung communities together to spread goodwill. Most importantly, it’s a story about working together and using our collective professional backgrounds through the Rotary network to make a difference.
 
The masks were made available to Rotary by Rotarian Ted Rossi of the Rotary Club of East Hampton, Connecticut and the President of the Rossi Foundation.  This is how Rotarian Rossi summed up his motivations for the project:
 
“The states are not able to deliver to smaller community organizations and nursing homes, so I realized this is perfect for Rotary. We could facilitate the supply of masks that Rotary clubs can take and distribute in small lots within their communities. What started out as a small project snowballed into something really big.”
 
This project reinforces how Rotary uses its professional backgrounds, diverse perspectives, and global connections to change the world for the better. We were able to secure extensive media exposure for Rotary, with the help of iHeart media, News 12,  ABC News.
An amazing partnership came together to bring food supplies to the children of Haiti.  Our Club partnered with the Heritage E-Club, and Century 21 Royal to send urgently needed food supplies for children in Haiti.  The Club Board approved $600 from our Foundation as seed money for the project.  Other Club Members, notable among them George John, VP Bina, PDG Mahbub, PDG Greg Arcaro and Aura Latif provided additional donations of cash and supplies of nearly $2000, while 3 members of the HeritageNY Rotary Club provided donations of more than $850 to cover the cost of purchasing the food, supplies, barrels and shipment.
 
On 10 November, Father Philippe Charles, co-ordinator of the project, together with George John purchased the supplies.  Friend of Rotary Paul Porooshasp provided his pickup truck to haul the supplies to George's office at Century 21 Royal.  VP Bina, PDG Mahbub helped George, Paul and Philippe to unload the supplies consisting of 300 lbs of rice,  150 lbs of flour, 300 lbs of beans, 80 lbs of oatmeal, 64 lbs of pasta, 12 gallons of cooking oil,  corn flakes, peanut butter, tomato paste, sardines and dry milk.  Century 21 Royal agents Jithin Varghese and Stanley Matthew provided 3000 masks while Ashsh Joseph of  UNMB Mortgage donated bulk packs of noodle soup.
 
The next day Rotarians and other volunteers gathered at the Century 21 Royal office and packed all the supplies into 6 barrels  donated by Jeffrey Landsman for shipment to Haiti.  The barrels will be delivered to the Rotary Club of Delmas-Centre in Port au Prince.  They will be distributed through the Administrator of the Sainte Thérèse de L’Enfant Jésus’ School and Maria - one of the most reliable humanitarian groups in Haiti.
 
In the next few days, a 7th barrel will be assembled with clothing, school supplies for shipment to Haiti.
 
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!
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