Mark Perlman, a fellow Rotarian and published author, spoke to Fishkill Rotary Club about his work of Historical Fiction, The Reluctant Soldier. The story follows the main character, Virgil Carpenter, as he reluctantly becomes involved as a soldier during World War One. He joins the famous Black "Harlem Hellfighters" and during his adventures becomes acquainted with a number of luminaries such as Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Beach and Josephine Baker, all living at the time in Paris. Mark documents the Jazz Age in France between the two World Wars, and his story follows Virgil as he is recruited by the French Resistance during World War 2. Mark shared a number of vintage photographs of this era during his remarks. His interesting talk was very well-received by the club members. Mark dedicated his book "to the brave men of the 369th U.S Infantry Regiment during World War 1. They truly earned their nickname, the Harlem Hellfighters."
Representatives from Hope Not Handcuffs and the Town of Fishkill Police Department (shown here with Fishkill Rotary President Mindy Potter (right) came to a meeting of Fishkill Rotary to share information about that program. Hope Not Handcuffs provides an opportunity for a person struggling with any drug or alcohol addiction to visit any of the participating police agencies and ask for help finding viable treatment options. They will be greeted with support, compassion and respect and will be provided with a variety of community resources to help them overcome their addiction.
Martha Elder, a longtime volunteer with Second Chance Foods (pictured on the left next to Fishkill Rotary President Mindy Potter), visited Fishkill Rotary on Wednesday, November 8 to share her organization's goal: to connect the fresh, healthy available food in our area to people who need assistance - before it goes to waste. The volunteers follow a basic process to achieve this goal which consists of three steps: collect, cook and connect.
Second Chance Foods first collects fresh foods from orchards, local farms, grocery stores etc. that have a surplus. The next step is to prepare the food and pack it in containers. Finally, the containers of food are delivered to those in need through local relief organizations, food pantries and Second Chance Foods' own weekly distribution. This is a wonderful organization doing work that is critical to the health of our community. Interested in volunteering? Visit www.secondchancefoods.org.
Fishkill Rotary Club helped helped the Fishkill/Fishkill Elementary School Community celebrate Halloween this past week. Rotary participated in the Trunk or Treat celebration on Saturday, October 28. On Halloween morning, Rotarians handed out bags of candy to Fishkill Elementary School students as they took part in their Annual Halloween Parade from the school through the village. A good time was had by all and the students were MOST POLITE and VERY THANKFUL for the treats and the chance to "show off" their costumes. Good manners and appreciation are qualities that are quite alive and well among all of the Fishkill Frogs. See slideshows below!
Virgil Capollari (pictured above with Fishkill Rotary Club President Mindy Potter) addressed the club concerning his role as Veterans Advisor and Advocate. Virgil stressed the importance of educating veterans about the benefits they are afforded on the federal, the state and the local levels. Virgil also serves on both the Dutchess County Veterans Affairs Committee and the Town of Fishkill Veterans Committee. Virgil, a vet himself, emphasized the importance of the task of educating veterans so that they may gain access to the benefits they most richly deserve.
(Above) Aimee Taft and Todd Bowen, representing Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County, flank Fishkill Rotary President Mindy Potter. Aimee and Todd discussed the number of initiatives undertaken by Habitat for Humanity, especially the organization's upcoming 4th Annual ReStore ReDo. This event features local community members "re-doing" furniture items of their own or an item selected from the ReStore. All projects will be sold at auction and the funds raised will support Habitat's mission to build safe and financially sustainable housing in Dutchess County.The finished pieces may be viewed in the ReStore location in Wappingers Falls from October 15th - 25th. There will be a live auction preview night on ReStore's Facebook page on October 15th at 5:30 p.m. By the way, Todd is a proud member of the Wappingers Rotary Club!
The meeting held on Wednesday, August 16 at I-84 Diner proved to be a very busy and worthwhile one. As the slideshow below illustrates, Fishkill Rotary was joined by two of the John Jay High School students who attended RYLA earlier in the summer. First, the two sophomores picked the winning raffle ticket for the Billy Joel concert on August 29, 2023. The lucky winner will receive two tickets to the show and limo service both to and from MSG. Following the drawing, Hiroyuki and Shayleen spoke to the club about their experiences at RYLA. They both shared their favorite activities and expressed thanks to the club for giving them the opportunity to participate in the leadership conference.
The next speaker, also pictured below, was Pedro Almondo, General Manager of Sam's Club in Fishkill. Pedro expressed his willingness to work with Fishkill Rotary on projects to benefit the community. Sam's Club works with a variety of communities on beneficial projects throughout the country. Members also heard from Branca and Amanda (not shown) from Grace Smith House, an organization dedicated to supporting and safeguarding, families in crisis. Overall, a very informative and interesting meeting!!
On Wednesday, March 8 at their regularly scheduled Rotary meeting at I-84 Diner, Fishkill Rotary inducted three new members to the fold. Longtime community volunteer Eddie Colon, Town of Fishkill Board Member Carmine Istvan and the Wappingers Central School District (represented by Superintendent Dwight Bonk and Board President John Lumia) took the Rotary oath as recited by Fishkill Rotarian Roberta Theiss. The new members then received a Rotary pin from their respective sponsors. After each of the new members addressed those at the meeting, it became very clear that Fishkill Rotary had become, due to the various talents of the inductees, an even more energetic and enthusiastic organization committed to doing good in the greater community!
Again this winter season, Fishkill Rotary Club has provided high-quality warm, winter coats to needy youngsters in the area. This year, Fishkill Rotary was able to order and distribute over 50 brand new winter coats to students at Fishkill Elementary School in the Wappingers Central School District.
This year marks the thirteenth consecutive year that Fishkill Rotary has provided warmth and support to elementary school-age children in an effort to enhance both student self-esteem and school attendance, especially during the coldest months. This project also addresses two of Rotary International's Areas of Focus: Saving Mothers and Children and Supporting Education.
AS YOU CAN SEE FOR YOURSELF FROM THE IMAGES BELOW, A PICTURE CAN INDEED SPEAK 1,000 WORDS!!!
Fishkill Rotarians shown delivering warm coats for kids at Fishkill Elementary School on November 9. Dr. Andy McNally (2nd from left) accepted the coats on behalf of the student body of Fishkill Elementary School.