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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:
540 Episodes
RadioRotary interviews Poughkeepsie South Rotary president Christina Boryk, executive director of Rebuilding Together Dutchess County. Rebuilding Together is the nonprofit organization (once known as “Christmas in July”) that for the past 27 years has repaired, revitalized, and rehabilitated homes for homeowners who because of age or disability or poverty are unable to make the necessary repairs that would make the dwelling safe and healthy. The service is free to the homeowner. The volunteer workers install grab bars, ramps, and smoke and carbon-dioxide alarms, and make other modifications as well as undertake minor repairs. Larger-scale projects are handled by outside contractors. They have repaired more than 800 homes since the program started. The program is funded by state and local grants, by local corporations such as Central Hudson, and donations. Learn more Rebuilding Together Dutchess County: Rebuilding Together Dutchess on Facebook: Office for the Aging, Dutchess County: National Center for Healthy Housing: Poughkeepsie South Rotary Club: CATEGORIES Aging Dutchess County Housing Assistance Service Organizations Volunteers --- Support this podcast:
New Paltz Rotarian Laura Rooney has had many adventures all over the world, but she still had Mount Everest on her “bucket list” until recently when she turned 50 and thought it was time to get on with it. Not quite true mountain climbers, some 40,000 persons each year hike far up Everest with no desire to use the special equipment most climbers need to reach the 27,000-ft-high peak—Everest Base Camp is high enough, at 17,500 feet, for serious hikers; it is some 3,000 feet higher than the highest peak in the lower 48 states. Ms. Rooney describes what it is like to fly into Lukla, Nepal, arriving at the most dangerous airport in the world. Then, with Sherpas as guides, she walked 4 or 5 miles for 8 days up the mountain for a rise in elevation of 8,000 more feet to reach Everest Base Camp, spending the nights in various villages or camps along the way. She was part of a small group of 15 trekkers who slept on mats in small dome tents. When they reached Everest Base Camp, they were living on a glacier. Being a Rotarian, she got people to sponsor her hike by donating to the New Paltz Rotary’s BackPack Program, and she wore ribbons honoring the contributors on her own backpack as she climbed. Downhill was easier, only a 4-day hike. Learn more New Paltz Rotary Club: Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla: - 36e71e064a1a Everest Base Camp Trek: Living at Everest Base Camp: CATEGORIES Rotary Club Projects Travel --- Support this podcast:
Navy Veteran Nelson Eddy Rivera, now Director of the Dutchess County Division of Veterans Services, is interviewed about the many ways both man and women veterans in Dutchess Country (or other New York State Counties) can get help. Every country in the state has been mandated since 1946 to have veterans’ services available. These include help in filing disability claims or obtaining educational benefits. The division also helps surviving partners of veterans; among other ways, the division helps arrange funerals, which for honorably discharged members of the armed services will include at least three soldiers, who will fold a memorial flag and play taps on a bugle. One special benefit for veterans in Dutchess County is a discount card, honored at many stories around the county. Learn more: Dutchess County Division of Veterans Services Discount Cards for Veterans New York State Division of Veterans --- Support this podcast:
Pastor Steve Dambra visits RadioRotary to tell about the Odyssey Church, which serves the developmentally disabled community of Dutchess County (and others who choose to attend). Located at the ARC Vocational Center in Poughkeepsie, Odyssey provides the all the services you expect from a Christian Church—a Sunday service at 10:00 a.m. that is filled with hymns and prayers, Bible study, even baptisms. Sermons are kept simple, focusing on a single topic. Much of the congregation is bussed in from group homes around the county. Members of the congregation participate in the organization in many ways. The church is also planning to partake in a celebration run by the Tim Tebow Foundation, called “A Night to Shine,” a prom night where every participant is a King or Queen of the Prom. Odyssey Church is part of the outreach from the Hopewell Reformed Church, a pillar of religion and good works in Dutchess Country that has been active since 1757. Learn more: Odyssey Church: Hopewell Reformed Church: The ARC of Dutchess: Tim Tebow Foundation Night to Shine: CATEGORIES Developmentally Disabled Events --- Support this podcast:
RadioRotary often discovers remarkable people living in the mid-Hudson region who are not well known to the general population. Cari Swanson of Wind Rock Farm in Amenia is an example. When asked if she is a horse whisperer, she replies that she is a horse listener. Whatever you call it, she is able to train horses to act in movies and on television as well as teaching rescued horses how to live with and work for humans. Among her horse's credits are the white angel horse from the movie Winter's Tale and the various horses that make a setting in the year 1900 authentic on Cinemax's series The Knick. Ms. Swanson's horse rescue operation is the focus of the interview. The seven abused horses that she trains at any given time at the nonprofit Red Horse Rescue will eventually move to their permanent homes when they have been restored to physical and mental health. There are many ways that horses have helped humans over the past 6,000 years. Among them, Ms. Swanson and her horses provide equine-assisted psychotherapy to veterans and autistic children. Learn more Cari Swanson enterprises: Red Horse Rescue: Windrock Farm on Facebook: Equine Assisted Psychotherapy--Eagala: CATEGORIES Animals Arts & Letters Mental Health --- Support this podcast:
Sue Doyle of the Poughkeepsie Arlington Rotary Club was given the 2019 Tansukh Dorawala Humanitarian Award of Rotary District 7210 for her service to the community. This RadioRotary Program covers some of the ways that Ms. Doyle, known to regular RadioRotary listeners as the voice of Absolute Auction & Realty, works with other volunteers in several organizations. Fishkill Food Pantry serves about 200 families in southern Dutchess Country and Cold Spring with 5-day emergency meals, available once every 28 days. Their healthy food is provided in part by the Food Bank of Dutchess County but mostly by local donations directly to the pantry in downtown Fishkill. The Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) of Beacon is a no-kill refuge for dogs and cats that stay until a family adopts the pet for a permanent home. Not only does ARF of Beacon provide food and medicine for locally abandoned pets, it also collects unwanted dogs and cats who otherwise would be killed from animal shelters across the country. In addition to her work with the Fishkill Food Pantry and ARF of Beacon, Ms. Doyle has been an asset to the Pleasant Valley Free Library by providing company trucks needed to move books, along with her husband Rob Doyle will be honorary chair of the MARC Foundation 2020 Annual Dinner, and helps her Rotary club bring assistance of Caramia Bacchiochi's Hope on a Mission, which provides meals each week for Poughkeepsie's homeless population. Learn more Fishkill Food Pantry on Facebook: Animal Rescue Foundation of Beacon: ARF in Beacon on Facebook: Poughkeepsie Arlington Rotary: MARC Foundation: CATEGORIES Addiction Recovery Animals Homelessness Humanitarian Service Nutrition Service Organizations Volunteers --- Support this podcast:
Rotterdam Sunrise Rotarian Miriam Cajuste visits RadioRotary to build support for improving the availability of clean water in Matogou, Haiti, a Global Grant project of the Rotary Foundation. The effort is led by New York State's Schenectady Rotary paired with the Rotary Club of Port-au-Prince Champ-de-Mars om Haiti. For several years the Schenectady club has been supplying gravity-driven water filtration systems to Matogou. These essentially consist of two large buckets on a special stand with a carbon filter between them—effective, but slow. For an ordinary fasmioly, the bucket has to be filled three times each day. Although the carbon filters are made in the United States, everything else about the filtration system is made in Haiti. With the Global Grant, Schenectady wants to build a new well with a pump and filters, which would supply clean water outlets to three locations in the village. Because then project is based on a Rotary Foundation Global Grant, every dollar contributed to the project will be matched by three from the Foundation. The construction for the new well is scheduled to begin in April 2020. Learn more: Matogou Haiti Clean Water Project: Matagou Global Grant: Rotterdam Sunrise Rotary: Schenectady Rotary: Port-au-Prince Champ-de-Mars Rotary: CATEGORIES International Programs Rotary Foundation Water Projects --- Support this podcast:
In the United States today, some 30 million adults are functionally illiterate, reading below the sixth-grade level. RadioRotary interviews Sam Slotnick, the Literacy Center Coordinator at the State University of New York at New Paltz (SUNY New Paltz), who works with with a program that brings together teachers who are becoming specialists in reading with elementary or high-school students with reading problems. For the teachers, it is part of their MS degree in Literacy Education. For the students it is a chance to be in a one-to-one (or one-to-few) learning program at a nominal cost. The program begins with a free assessment of reading for individual students. Then about fifty to seventy students from around the Hudson Valley enter the program for either a spring or a summer term. Mr. Slotnick offers this advice to parents: Read to your children; read topics that interest the child; and take your children frequently to the local library. Learn more: Literacy Center at SUNY New Paltz: Literacy Connections of the Hudson Valley: Master of Science in Literacy Education--SUNY New Paltz: CATEGORIES Children Education Literacy Youth --- Support this podcast:
Pleasant Valley Recreation Director Sandy Coe and local businessman Frank Mazzella visit RadioRotary to tell about the full-day celebration that is the Pleasant Valley Festival of Lights. The event, which combines food and Santa, pets and Santa, a parade and Santa, and many other holiday traditions, started a few years ago with a simple lighting of the Town Christmas tree. Today it runs from a breakfast (with Santa) starting at 8 in the morning and concluding about 12 hours later with a parade followed by hot chocolate and cookies at the Fire House. Aside from Main Street--site of the parade of floats, fire trucks, walkers, and Santa in a horse-drawn carriage--the main action is at three important locations in Pleasant Valley: the Fire House, the Library, and the Mill Site Historical Museum. Starting with a pancake breakfast, continuing with cookie sales, a chili cook-off, food trucks, and lots of hot chocolate, it is easy to spend the day in downtown PV, enjoying readings and encounters with various animals in addition to the main event, the parade. Learn more: Festival of Lights: Pleasant Valley Recreation: Pleasant Valley Fire Department: Pleasant Valley Rotary Club: Pleasant Valley Lions on Facebook: CATEGORIES Animals Children Events --- Support this podcast:
RadioRotary interviewers visited the 2019 Rotary International Convention in Hamburg, Germany, where they found many Rotarian groups and other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) doing good in the world. This radio program, the fourth in a series, covers a few of these projects. Roots of Life deals with land that has been planted with land mines, which linger long after wars have passed, and replants the land with grape vines, growing grapes for wine, raisins, or food, which not only helps save lives but also provides economic benefits to farming communities. Gift of Life offers life-saving surgery to children who were born with congenital heart disease. Both organizations work with Rotary to connect around the world. The Rotarian Action Group (RAG) Against Slavery helps rescue the millions of people still enslaved, often for sex but also by businesses, and offers programs to rehabilitate them for a life of freedom. There are many locations where the Don’t Meth With Us Foundation is fighting drug abuse—primarily methamphetamine but also opioid addiction. War Child, which has independent branches in the United Kingdom, Holland, and Canada, supports all young children who have been affected by armed conflict, with education and safe zones around the world. Learn more: Roots of Peace: Gift of Life International: Rotarian Action Group Against Slavery: Don’t Meth With Us Foundation: War Child: CATEGORIES Addiction Recovery Children Education Health Human Trafficking International Programs Service Organizations --- Support this podcast:
Cara Mia Bacchiochi returns to RadioRotary to describe her continuing effort to help Poughkeepsie women who are homeless, most addicted to drugs or alcohol. At the corner of Main and South Clinton every Saturday morning and evening, sometimes in rain or snow, Bacchiochi and volunteers distribute food, clothing, and personal care items to homeless women,restoring dignity to homeless, addicted women of the streets. Ms. Bacchiochi herself drank excessively and used drugs, living in jails and on the street from 1985 when she came to school in Poughkeepsie. She then lived on the streets until 1990. Periods of sobriety after 1990 were interrupted by relapses until found herself back in jail in 2013 in the same cell she had occupied in 1990. In jail, she read The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and recognized that her purpose would be to help women with lives like hers. After she was released from jail that last time, finally sobered up and living clean, she started a career helping other women kick their destructive lifestyle With Hope on a Mission (HOAM), founded in 2015. She now feeds and helps dozens of the women of the streets and homeless men as well. To donate or volunteer, you can phone (914) 456-2633 or visit its Facebook page: Hope on a Mission HOAM. Learn more: Hope on a Mission HOAM Facebook Page: Cara Mia Bacchiochi on Facebook: St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment and Recovery Centers: Rick Warren books: CATEGORIES Addiction Recovery Dutchess County Homelessness Service Organizations --- Support this podcast:
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: Cranksgiving: Food Deserts in America: Guardian Self-Storage: CATEGORIES Children Dutchess County Events Nutrition Service 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: Sparrow’s Nest Facebook Page: Nutrition and Cancer Treatment: Minard’s Farm: Lola’s Café and Catering: CATEGORIES Health Nutrition Service Organization Volunteers --- 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: End Polio Now: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Lake George: Northern Lake George Rotary Club: CATEGORIES Global Polio Initiative PolioPlus --- 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): Medair: Rotary Action Group on Mental Health Initiatives: Rotary Shirts, Hats, and Aprons made by former sex workers: Polio Drop to Zero: Rotary Zones 24-32: CATEGORIES Business Assistance Disaster Relief Global Polio Initiative Human Trafficking (new category) International Programs Mental 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: End Polio: LuminAID: ShelterBox: Eye Foundation of America: Hand Hygiene for Health: CATEGORIES Disaster Relief Global Polio Initiative Health International Programs PolioPlus Quality 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: Kingston, NY, Waterfront: American Italian Heritage Museum in Albany: Reis Group: Highland Rotary: CATEGORIES Events Hudson 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: Community Action Partnership for Dutchess County: New York State Breast Cancer Services: Breast Cancer: CATEGORIES Events Financial Aid Health Hudson Valley Support 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: Rotarians Against Hunger: Rotary Club of Asheville South: CATEGORIES Health International Programs Nutrition Rotary 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: Pleasant Valley Lions Club on Facebook: valley lions club&epa=SEARCH_BOX Lions Clubs International: Pleasant Valley Free Library: CATEGORIES Events Quality of Life Service Organizations --- Support this podcast:
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