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News Stories
The final round of the Yonkers Rotary Youth Speech Contest will be on Wednesday 27 April.  Three finalists will complete for the top prize.  They will be scored by 5 judges.  Mayor Spano is expected to be present at the event.at 6:15 pm at The Fairways at Dunwoodie in Yonkers.
 
16 students participated across three days in the preliminary round. Each student’s speech was scored by three judges. All high school grades (9 through 12) were represented by those students.  The three finalists who will be speaking at the final round are all sophomores (Class of 2024) (in
alphabetical order):
• Brieanna Boateng, Riverside High School
• Diamond Krigger, Charter School of Educational Excellence High School
• Adrina Tiju, Yonkers Middle High School
 
To participate in this contest, students had to exercise several different skills. First, they had to use their critical thinking skills to formulate a response to the contest topic. Next, they had to use their research skills to find information about their contemplated response. Then, they had to use their writing skills in order to craft a speech that, they thought, would be effective. Fourth, they had to use their public speaking skills to practice how they would deliver their speech in a meaningful and impactful manner. Finally, of course, they had to use their self-confidence and self-esteem – no matter how much they practiced, it’s always very different practicing by oneself or with close friends and family than it is when delivering a speech to a live audience!
The Club has announced the launch of its first annual Youth Speech Contest for youth who live in Yonkers enrolled in grades 9 to 12.
 
The contest provides a challenging way for youth in grades 9 through 12 to develop critical thinking, ethical decision-making, and public speaking skills. This year, participants will present a five-minute speech based on what they would like to see improved in Yonkers and why.
 
Youth interested in participating in the contest may register either online (available here) or by sending by email, a completed registration form (available here) to Contest Coordinator and Rotarian Alan Gray at alangrayjr@gmail.com. The deadline for registering for the contest is March 11, 2022. There is no fee to register.
 
A preliminary round of judging will be held on March 28, 29, and 30, 2022 at 5 p.m. at the Yonkers Riverfront Library. The preliminary round will be held via Zoom if circumstances so require.
 
Three finalists will be selected by a panel of judges to advance to the final round. The final round will be held at the Club's meeting at 6:15 p.m. on April 27, 2022. Each of the three finalists will receive a plaque and a cash prize: $500 for first place; $300 for second place; and, $200 for third place.
 
Questions may be sent to Contest Coordinator and Rotarian Alan Gray at alangrayjr@gmail.com
 
The Club has donated over 200 hardcover books to the Riverfront Library in Yonkers.  September was Rotary's Education and Literacy month during which Rotarians are urged to undertake projects that expand education and literacy opportunities across communities.  The donated books are from the personal collection of Vice-President and Area Governor Bina Ahmad and Past District Governor Mahbub Ahmad.  Five Club Rotarians were present at the handing over of the books to the Director of the Library Sandy Amoyaw, who is also the Club Historian and a long-time Club Member,  In addition to the two donors, Lawrence Farah and Anissa Latif also helped with unloading the books.,
 
The Director of Yonkers Public Libraries Jesse Montero was a guest speaker at our Club meeting on 27 September.  He said the Library system was looking to expand its' holdings to cater to a wider audience.  Accepting the books, Director of the Riverfront Library, Sandy Amoyaw thanked AG Bina and PDG Mahbub for their thoughtful donation.  He said the books will help expand the breadth of the holdings of the Library and may be shared with the other branches of the Yonkers Library system.  AG Bina said most of the books were collected over a period of years for their home library which they are now downsizing.  PDG Mahbub said the books in a large library will be available to many more readers rather than just beautifying a small home library.  Most of the books are contemporary fiction, including sets by authors, John Grisham, Lawrence Sanders, Clive Cussler, Robin Cook, and others as well as classics.  This is the Club's third donation of books to the Yonkers Libraries,  Earlier donations were to the Will Library and the Riverfront Library.
We are saddened to announce the passing away of our beloved Peggy Murphy, past Club Secretary.  Peggy passed away on 16 September after a sudden illness. She was 77
 
Peggy was born January 1, 1944, in Flushing, New York to Robert and Elizabeth Van Arsdale. She spent her first years with her maternal grandparents in Bayside while her father fought in World War II. The family then moved to Canton, Ohio briefly before relocating to the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area. She returned to New York City and enrolled at the Katherine Gibbs School and shortly after completion she worked as an executive secretary for Eastern Airlines. Around 1967, she met the love of her life, John Murphy. They were wed on 2 October 1971. That night they danced to “Misty” by Ella Fitzgerald. Her world was shattered when John preceded her in death on 11 October 2004. She busied herself by playing Sudoku, never shying from a high-difficulty game. She loved pizza on a Friday night and ice cream on days that ended in Y. She found joy in her pets—Killian, Snoopy, and Hudson. Peggy preferred you not interrupt Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune and if you knew the answer, you best bite your tongue and not call out.
 
She loved to watch the Mets, Giants, and Rangers play. She was a huge Florida State fan. Throughout her life, she loved The Beach Boys and was beyond words excited to see them in concert a few years ago. She loved working with children. Her work as a class mother at St. Matthew School in Hastings-on-Hudson served as an inspiration to become a teacher, working mostly with 4th grade. For twenty-two years, Peggy worked at St. Mary School in Yonkers, New York.
 
Peggy loved to help people and her willingness to serve people to make this world a better place. That love lead her to Rotary, where she served with distinction.  She held the Yonkers-East Yonkers Rotary Club together as Secretary for a number of years. She was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow. She was involved in a number of projects that focused on improving the circumstances of children. Two such projects include the delivery of school supplies and pencil boxes to Yonkers Public School primary students and the playground installation at School 9 in Yonkers (which was her husband’s grade school).
 
Her greatest joy was found in helping others. She did not realize how much she was loved or fathom how greatly she will be missed by those she leaves behind.  Peggy joins her beloved John and is survived by her daughter Anne Elizabeth.
 
Visiting hours will be at Whalen & Ball Funeral Home on Sunday 19 September 2-6 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Church on Monday, 20 September at 11 am. The final Disposition is private.
 
Peggy was an advocate for young women who could use help in advancing their education. The Club is considering establishing a scholarship in Peggy's name to help ypung women with their education.  Anyone wishing to donate can do so via the Club website.  Please be sure to indicate "Peggy Murphy Memorial Scholarship".
In the aftermath of the devasting 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti on 14 August, our Club has undertaken an urgent project to send relief supplies to the stricken people of Haiti. The Club Board has approved the purchase of 12 barrels to be loaded up with clothing, non-perishable food items, and school supplies.  Club Volunteers will load up these barrels with the donated supplies on 8 September 2021 at 5 pm.  The project headquarters is at the office of Club Membership Chair George John, Century 21 Royal at 679 Central Avenue, Scarsdale.
 
These supplies will be shipped directly to a number of orphanages in Haiti with whom the Club has had prior dealings.  These are Orphanage Notre Dame du Perpétuel Secours, Bahon’s Community in Action, Maria’s Children.  Another orphanage - Orphanage Ste. Thérèse de l’Enfant Jésus is run by the President of the Delmas Rotary Club in Haiti.
 
A committee has been set up to coordinate the arrangements of the supplies, the packing, and the shipment of the barrels to their destination. With full support from President Steve, Fr. Philippe Charles leads this Committee with Maria Abdullah and Wilner Luctamer as members.
 
Donations have been received from Club members as well as members of other Clubs, particularly the Heritage NY E-Club.  Our Club had earlier sent 7 barrels of supplies to Haiti in November.  Those barrels were received there by the Delmas Rotary Club and distributed among the children in the orphanages.  That project consisted largely of non-perishable food supplies and masks.
 
In the meantime, the Rotary District 7020 which Haiti is part of, has established an Earthquake Response Committee which has conducted a needs assessment and determined that the most needed items right now are the following: drinking water, tents, and tarps, food, hygiene kits, medical materials, , wool blankets, large, portable water containers, First Aid kits, kitchen materials, buckets.    They have arranged for swift clearance of all items to get them out quickly into the areas in greatest need.  Also urgently needed are Doctors, Volunteers, first responders,
It is a proud day for our Club.  Our VP Bina Ahmad was awarded the District's highest recognition - the Rotarian of the Year Award by outgoing District Governor  Mary Shackleton, at the annual District Awards ceremony on Monday.  The event took place via Zoom.
 
In awarding this honor to VP Bina, who is also the District's Area Assistant Governor for Area 5, DG Mary cited Bina's dedication, innovation, development of 2 new Clubs, social media activities and her support for the District's goals as the main factors for selecting her for this award.  In receiving the award, VP Bina said she was humbled and honored to be selected for this award.  In an emotionally choked voice, she said she believed teamwork was the key ingredient for success.  She expressed her gratitude to DG Mary and thanked her for her outstanding leadership.
 
Bina joined the White Plains Rotary Club in June 2011 and transferred to the then East Yonkers Club July 2012.  With the merger of the two Yonkers Rotary Clubs in July 2013, she has continued her membership in the Club.  She was Club Rotary Foundation Chair for 4 years from 2015-16 and became Vice-President in 2019. She is a Major Donor to the Rotary Foundation and a member of the Paul Harris Society.
 
At the District level, she has been Assistant Governor for 2020-21 and 2021-22, and was co-Chair of the District Conference Committee for 2018-19. She was District First Lady during 2019-20 and had the privilege of visiting all 44 Clubs in our District. She has been pro-actively promoting Grow Rotary initiatives and was instrumental in the creation of the first new club in the District in a decade – the E-Club of Heritage New York, in January 2019. Since then, she has driven the formation of two other Clubs – the Westchester Rotary Club in December 2020 and the East-West Rotary Club in June 2021.

Bina joined the then Dime Savings Bank in 1988 and transitioned to JP Morgan Chase via mergers. As Branch Manager and Vice-President since 1998, she gained broad experience in all aspects of business and consumer banking sales and operations as well as management, earning many high performance awards. She retired as Vice-President of a commercial bank, in 2014.
 
From the late 1980s, to the early 2000, Bina prepared and presented a weekly Radio news and information program for the United Nations.
Following her studies at Holy Cross College, Bina graduated from the University of Dhaka with a B.S, with honors in Psychology with minors in Political Science and Sociology.

Bina and her husband, fellow Rotarian Mahbub are long-time Westchester residents and raised their two sons in Scarsdale.
 
Congratulations Bina, you have made us proud!
 
Two Club Members IPDG Mahbub Ahmad, and PDG Matts Ingemanson also received the Service Above Self Awards.
 
In other District Awards, PDG Andy Morzello was given the Lifetime Achievement Award, while Jason Gonzalez received the "Rotarian of Vision Award".
During the pandemic, our fundraising efforts came to a near standstill. Our good friend Ronnie Gantz stepped in to the rescue. Ronnie arranged online auctions at no cost to our Club featuring donated guitars signed by celebrities to be auctioned off online via the auction website Charitybuzz.  5 guitars went up for auction in the first lot. The second lot featured 10 guitars signed by Charlie Daniels, Axl Rose, Willie Nelson, Stash, Carly Simon, Sammy Hagar, Judy Collins and B. B. King.
 
The two auctions significantly replenished the Club's Foundation resources, permitting the Club to undertake projects which could not otherwise have been undertaken.
 
In recognition of his efforts to assist the Club with its much-needed fundraising, President Steve Simpson truly believes in acknowledging non-Rotarians who assist us with our mission.  Ronnie was invited to an in-person meeting as our guest, where President Steve and Foundation Trustee Jeffrey Landsman presented Ronnie with a special plaque, the 2020-2021 Presidents Award. 
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