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Author: Jonah Triebwasser

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In RadioRotary’s weekly 30 minute interviews, two entertaining professional radio hosts, Sarah O’Connell and Jonah Triebwasser, chat with Rotarians and non-Rotarians, people who live by Rotary’s motto, “Service above Self.” Guests are humanitarians who work on many levels in programs that address such important issues as poverty, education, health, the environment, and employment and vocations. Each interview provides timely information that focuses on improving the quality of life for everyone, both here and abroad. Support this podcast:
529 Episodes
RadioRotary welcomed two guests from Dutchess Outreach, the sprawling organization that provides healthy food, good advice, emergency relief, and even clothing needs for the needy in the County. Sarah Salem, the Director of Development for Dutchess Outreach, explains the many services and the goals of this catalyst for community revitalization, while Nyhisha Gibbs describes the Children’s Coat Closet and the drive to provide warm clothing to those who lack it. Dutchess Outreach has roots in a 1974 effort to provide emergency services in Poughkeepsie and opened its first Food Pantry two years later. Since then the services have expanded greatly, with the emphasis on providing healthy food that is accessible even in “food deserts.” Recently Dutchess Outreach has started farming to improve the supply of healthy food, a project that takes Sarah Salem back to her own roots, since she became involved in Dutchess Outreach from her experiences working at an organic farm.Learn more:Dutchess Outreach: Deserts in America: Self-Storage: CountyEventsNutritionService Organizations--- Support this podcast:
Krista Jones returns to RadioRotary with the latest developments at Sparrow’s Nest, the charity that provides food to the families of persons who have cancer. Ms. Jones started the charity in 2009 when a good friend was dying of colon cancer, Ms. Jones recognized that cancer treatment, which can wear a person out, affects the whole family, and a night off from cooking would help renew spirits. Soon Ms. Jones learned of four other friends with cancer and began to cook for them as well. The concept worked and soon more families were found that needed help. Seeing the need, she formed Sparrow’s Nest with many volunteers helping in the mission. Today Sparrow’s Nest has moved from Ms. Jones’ kitchen to a professional kitchen and office in a commercial space, now feeding about 400 families in the region within 35 miles of the kitchen in Wappingers Falls. Drivers bring healthy food for two meals a week from the central kitchen.  The food is provided free for caregivers with children 18 or under. Sponsors and donor underwrite the costs and volunteers do the work.Learn more:Sparrow’s Nest:’s Nest Facebook Page: and Cancer Treatment:’s Farm:’s Café and Catering: OrganizationVolunteers--- Support this podcast:
In 1954 when she was 6 months old, Louise Rourke contracted polio, also known as infantile paralysis. Initially she lost the power of moving either leg or her left arm, although her left side eventually recovered with medical help supplied in part by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (the March of Dimes). After several corrective surgeries, she was able to walk with the aid of a brace on her right leg. By the time she was a teenager, she could walk without the brace, but age caught up to her in 2007 and she needed the brace once more. Like some other polio survivors, she found that swimming was excellent exercise, although her right leg just dangled in the water. Living on the shore of 32-mile-long Lake George in upstate New York, she learned of women who had swum the entire length of the lake, so she conceived of a plan to earn money for polio eradication by swimming the length of Lake George herself. This RadioRotary program tells how she got through the task and what she accomplished for polio eradication, which became multiplied by a factor of 3 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.Learn more:Polio: Polio Now: and Melinda Gates Foundation: George: Lake George Rotary Club: Polio InitiativePolioPlus--- Support this podcast:
The 2019 Rotary International Convention in Hamburg, Germany, was covered by RadioRotary interviewers; this is the third report on some of what they found. A Rotarian from the Netherlands told RadioRotary about efforts of her organization to reduce human trafficking with education and empowerment of youth. Another NGO (non-governmental organization) called Medair works to provide quick relief and shelter in cases of disasters or civil conflict. A Rotarian physician from Johns Hopkins in Maryland is part of the Rotary Action Group (RAG) on Mental Health Initiatives, working primarily to reduce high suicide rates in Lithuania and India. A Rotarian from Zambia describes efforts to provide new professions for commercial sex workers; he was promoting the Rotarian shirts made by former sex workers who now operate sewing machines. And, closer to home, Rotarians from Media, Pennsylvania (Jeffrey Cadorette), and Millbrook, New York (Cindie Kish), tell about the polio eradication program known as “Drop to Zero” and the possible drop to ground level from the skies for six Rotarians, including Cindie and Jeffrey, if goals are met.Learn more:Just Ask (human trafficking prevention): Action Group on Mental Health Initiatives: Shirts, Hats, and Aprons made by former sex workers: Drop to Zero: Zones 24-32: AssistanceDisaster ReliefGlobal Polio InitiativeHuman Trafficking (new category)International ProgramsMental Health (new category)PolioPlus--- Support this podcast:
RadioRotary interviewers discovered some great projects at the 2019 Rotary International Convention in Hamburg, Germany. Rotarians and other humanitarian groups are doing good around the world, improving hearing and sight, providing light and shelter, and preventing polio and other communicable diseases. Rotarians for Hearing work in Nigeria, South Africa, and even the United States, concentrating on ways to provide aids to the hearing impaired, while the Eye Foundation of American helps solve vision problems in newborn children. ShelterBox tents include not only the supplies needed after for a whole family a disaster but also a LuminAID solar cube that lights the night (and in some cases charges the phone). Vaccination is succeeding in eliminating polio, but simple hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent communicable diseases.Learn more:Rotarians for Hearing RAG: Polio: Foundation of America: Hygiene for Health: ReliefGlobal Polio InitiativeHealthInternational ProgramsPolioPlusQuality of Life--- Support this podcast:
RadioRotary interviews Highland Rotarian Tony Marmo and Anna Palazzo Brett about the annual Italian-American Festival on the Strand Walkway at the Roundout in Kingston, NY, also known as the Kingston Waterfront. Ulster Country, like much of the Hudson Valley, has a rich Italian heritage, much of it stemming from the skilled masons and quarry workers imported to build the mansions and dams throughout the Valley. The Festival celebrates this with emphasis on the foods and music that came to American from Italy along with the workers. The event is free, but the Ulster Italian-American Society realizes a profit from the many vendors of all kinds who rent space at the Festival and from several local sponsors such as the Reis Group of insurance brokers. The money raised goes to good causes such as the several scholarships awarded to local students who have an Italian heritage.Learn more:Ulster Country Italian American Foundation:, NY, Waterfront: Italian Heritage Museum in Albany: Group: Rotary: Valley--- Support this podcast:
RadioRotary interviews Pari Farood, Executive Director of Miles of Hope, an organization that provides aid and comfort to breast-cancer sufferers throughout the nine counties of the Hudson Valley. Miles of Hope was founded in 2004 by Dana Effron and Cathy Varunok who had already devoted themselves to raising money for the fight against breast cancer but recognized that there needed to be a more local organization. The name originates with the annual fall Breast Cancer Walk at James Baird State Park in Dutchess Country, but there are additional fundraising events throughout the year. With the money it raises, Miles of Hope provides many services to improve the lives of persons with breast cancer ranging from help paying bills and for associated medical services to college scholarships for students whose lives have been affected by the breast cancer of a relative or friend. An important service is the peer-to-peer hotline (800-532-4290) where those affected by breast cancer can exchange information on how to deal with the problems that arise.Learn more:Miles of Hope: Action Partnership for Dutchess County: York State Breast Cancer Services: Cancer: AidHealthHudson ValleySupport Groups(photo by Jonah Triebwasser)--- Support this podcast:
RadioRotary interviews Asheville (NC) South Rotarian Peter Marks, President and CEO of Seed Programs International (SPI), a global effort to improve food supplies by providing vegetable seeds and gardening advice especially to regions of the world where poverty is endemic. The nonprofit repurposes excess seeds provided by seed companies and other donors. Most vegetable seeds are tiny and many varieties have long shelf lives, so when stocks of seeds are not sold, SPI will take them, repackage the seeds, and ship them to Africa, Central American, the Caribbean, or Asia, where they can launch gardens of healthy vegetables. SPI works with many organizations to provide the seeds, including Rotary clubs, the United Nations, and the United States military services among others. Seeds include all kinds of vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, melons, carrots, and various greens (but not grains such as maize, wheat, or rice). One of the partner programs is Rotarians Against Hunger, a coalition of North Carolina clubs that package meals for places where hunger is a problem. There is much more to tell, so listen to the whole program.Learn more:Seed Programs International: Against Hunger: Club of Asheville South: ProgramsNutritionRotary Club Projects--- Support this podcast:
This week’s guests on RadioRotary were from the Pleasant Valley Lions Club—Fred De Wald and Pam Highbridge. Every year the Lions Club raises money and improves the Town’s health with its annual Bike-A-Thon, a chance for bikers of all ages to ride together on what has so far always been a beautiful fall day. In 2019, the Lions devoted the occasion to the “Ride to Rebuild” the Pleasant Valley Free Library, which suffered a devastating fire on Election Day 2018. Bikers could choose a 10-mile ride that has traffic eliminated, a ride with a break at Terhune Orchard for free apples and cider and another treat—bananas and water—back at the Pleasant Valley Firehouse. Or they can take a 25-mile along regular roads. Sponsors of riders have a chance to win a discount on a new bike or a child’s bike helmet. The Lions run several events each year, including a “Breakfast with Santa” jointly with Pleasant Valley Rotary.Learn more:Bike-A-Thon: The Ride to Rebuild: Valley Lions Club on Facebook: valley lions club&epa=SEARCH_BOXLions Clubs International: Valley Free Library: of LifeService Organizations--- Support this podcast:
For the past 12 years, Crisp Architects has presented the FineHome Source Home Show in Millbrook, NY, every September, becoming bigger and better each year. This RadioRotary interview with Millbrook Rotarian Jimmy Crisp, live from a Rotary meeting, describes it all. The show features many artisans and manufacturers displaying every possible artifact for enhancing, improving, or creating an excellent living space. In addition, the show offers free samples of local food and drink, demonstrations of blacksmithing, fly fishing, and other crafts, including book signings by local authors and an antique auction. Parking is free, and the small suggested donation per person goes entirely to paying for a ShelterBox, the amazing tent and supply source that can house and provide for a family of 10 for up to 6 months, deployed for disasters around the world; a ShelterBox will be among the displays. The whole event takes place under and around a large tent in front of the town bandshell on the main street in Millbrook.Learn more:FineHome Source Home Show: Architects: https://www.shelterboxusa.orgRotary Club of Millbrook (NY): ReliefEventsQuality of Life--- Support this podcast:
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