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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:
731 Episodes
In the heart of Dutchess County, Habitat for Humanity is transforming lives and landscapes. Through the tireless efforts of individuals like Rotarians Todd Bowen, the Senior Project Manager, and Jessica Muccio, the Director of Development, this organization is making the dream of homeownership a reality for families in need. With over 40 homes built for first-time owners and more than 250 repairs completed to help existing homeowners maintain their residences, Habitat for Humanity is addressing the critical need for safe and affordable housing. Dutchess County faces a significant challenge, with 6,000 families lacking suitable housing. “Our goal is to bridge the gap between need and availability,” says Jessica Muccio. “Every family deserves a safe place to call home, and every hand helps us come closer to making that a reality for our neighbors.” The projects led by Habitat for Humanity are funded through a mix of corporate partnerships, individual contributions, and ReStore outlets. These stores sell donated home goods and furniture, with proceeds going directly into building new homes. “It’s the cycle of giving that sustains our projects,” Muccio explains. “When you shop or donate at a ReStore, you’re not just clearing out your space; you’re helping to build a home.” Volunteers are crucial to Habitat for Humanity’s mission. From construction sites to the ReStores, people from all walks of life come together to lend a hand. Todd Bowen, overseeing the construction projects, emphasizes the value of this community effort. “Seeing volunteers work side by side with future homeowners is incredibly rewarding. Our builds are about more than just houses; they’re about community, hard work, and shared dreams,” he shares. Bowen’s role involves meticulous planning and coordination to ensure that homes are not only built but are tailored to the needs of each family. “Every family is different, and so is every home we build. From laying the foundation to selecting the siding, it’s a collaborative process that makes each house unique,” Bowen remarks. The success of Habitat for Humanity in Dutchess County is a testament to the power of community and the enduring belief that everyone deserves a decent place to live. Through the dedication of individuals like Todd Bowen and Jessica Muccio, and the support of volunteers and donors, Habitat for Humanity is building more than homes; it’s building hope. --- Support this podcast:
In a world where the shadow of homelessness looms large for many, Hudson River Housing emerges as a beacon of hope. Led by the passionate Christa Hines, Hudson River Housing dedicates itself to combating homelessness and housing insecurity. Serving approximately 3,000 individuals annually, their mission extends across Dutchess County, focusing on providing not just a roof over heads but a foundation for a brighter future. Hudson River Housing’s endeavors span a broad spectrum, from emergency shelters accommodating an unprecedented number of individuals nightly to transitional housing and affordable apartments. Amidst rising economic pressures and the lingering aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization witnesses an escalating need for its services, a testament to the ongoing housing crisis that grips the community. But Hudson River Housing’s impact doesn’t end with providing shelter. They stand at the forefront of developing affordable housing projects, fostering opportunities for homeownership, and tailoring services to meet the diverse needs of veterans, seniors, and youth. In Pine Plains, for example, they are working on a project to create 36 affordable apartments, demonstrating their commitment to expanding their reach and addressing the housing shortage. However, the journey to creating a world where everyone has access to safe and affordable housing is fraught with challenges. The stigma surrounding low-income housing and the “not in my backyard” mentality persist as barriers. Yet, Christa Hines and her team remain undeterred, fueled by compassion and the belief in the dignity of every individual they serve. As we reflect on the critical work of Hudson River Housing, it’s evident that the path to overcoming homelessness is paved with collective action, understanding, and unwavering support for organizations like these. They remind us that behind every statistic is a story, a life yearning for stability, and a place to call home. In supporting Hudson River Housing, we embrace the opportunity to be part of a solution that not only transforms lives but strengthens the very fabric of our community. --- Support this podcast:
Dive Heart, a unique initiative founded 22 years ago, has been changing lives through the power of adaptive scuba and scuba therapy. This nonprofit organization, spearheaded by Rotarians Jim Elliott and Tina Marie Hernandez, focuses on empowering children, veterans, and others with disabilities. By offering them an opportunity to experience the weightlessness of underwater environments, Dive Heart helps improve their confidence, independence, and self-esteem. The transformative effect of adaptive scuba diving is profound. For individuals who have spent much of their lives confined to wheelchairs or limited by their disabilities, the experience of standing upright underwater is nothing short of miraculous. Dive Heart doesn’t just offer a temporary escape; it facilitates a shift in perception, enabling participants to see themselves as divers, adventurers, capable of achieving more than they or others might have thought possible. Beyond the individual benefits, Dive Heart is committed to advancing research and education in the field of adaptive scuba diving. Collaborating with university medical centers worldwide, the organization is exploring the therapeutic benefits of scuba diving, particularly in deep warm water pools. Their ambition is to build the world’s deepest warm water therapy pool in the Chicagoland area, a project estimated to cost between $130 to $150 million. This facility will not only serve as a therapeutic space but also as a center for research, training, and rehabilitation, inviting students, therapists, and professionals to learn and innovate in the realm of adaptive diving. The initiative is rooted in a deep belief in the transformative power of diving. From aiding pain management and PTSD symptoms to providing a unique form of therapy for individuals with autism, the potential health benefits are vast. Dive Heart’s approach is inclusive, offering programs in pools for those who might not be ready or able to dive in open water. Importantly, these pool programs are offered at no charge, emphasizing the organization’s commitment to accessibility and empowerment. Dive Heart’s vision extends beyond the individual, aiming to inspire communities and foster a sense of purpose among people of all abilities. By highlighting the stories of participants and volunteers, Dive Heart showcases the profound impact of seeing beyond disabilities to the possibilities that lie within each person. Their work is a testament to the power of community, innovation, and the belief that everyone deserves to experience the joy and freedom of diving into new challenges. For those interested in supporting Dive Heart’s mission or learning more about their programs, visit Whether it’s through participating in a dive, volunteering, or contributing to their ambitious pool project, there are numerous ways to get involved and help make a difference in the lives of many. --- Support this podcast:
In the spirit of giving and community service, Keith O’Hanlon, known for his striking resemblance to Santa Claus, has been making waves across local communities by offering his time as Santa to support food pantries and veterans. His journey into becoming Santa began in 2015 when he was asked to play Santa Claus for a veterans’ Christmas party organized by Angela Flesland. Despite initial hesitations, Keith felt a calling, a destiny to embrace the role, especially after his first interaction with a child at the event, which left a profound impact on him. Keith’s commitment goes beyond just appearances; he requests donations of non-perishable food items or checks written to the Pleasant Valley Ecumenical Food Pantry as his appearance fee. This initiative has seen him supporting not just veterans but also local food pantries that have been under increased strain since the COVID-19 pandemic, doubling their food distribution efforts to meet the growing need within the community. Apart from his solo efforts, Keith has enlisted the help of friends who have volunteered to become Mrs. Claus and elves, further enriching the experience for children and adults alike. These volunteers, who also invest their own resources into their costumes, assist Keith in understanding the latest toys and wishes from children, ensuring every child’s request is met with a knowing nod from Santa. Keith’s unique approach to playing Santa extends to his mode of transportation – a 1970 M35A2 military deuce and a half truck, affectionately named Lucy Deucy, which he uses to deliver the collected food donations. This, along with his Victorian and European-inspired Santa suit, sets him apart from the traditional Coca-Cola image of Santa, aligning more closely with the historical and cultural depictions of Saint Nicholas. Beyond his Santa duties, Keith is a retired Marine, emphasizing the lifelong commitment and service ethos of the Marines. His work as Santa is an extension of his service, offering joy, hope, and assistance to those in need during the holiday season. Keith’s story is not just about playing a role; it’s about embodying the spirit of giving and community service, making him a true embodiment of Santa Claus. --- Support this podcast:
In a recent humanitarian effort, Rotarians in Zambia, assisted by various organizations, accomplished the remarkable feat of delivering 8.5 tons of medical equipment and supplies to Machili, Zambia. The focus of this substantial aid was primarily on improving maternal and dental health care in the region. This initiative was particularly crucial given Zambia’s high rates of dental issues and maternal mortality. The project, which was significantly funded through a global grant, cost around $350,000, although the initial budget was set at $49,000. One of the key organizations involved in this project was Project Cure, known for its commitment to providing medical supplies to needy areas. Their contribution and continuous efforts can be supported through online donations. Further details of the project were discussed by Rotarian Stephen Caine on Radio Rotary. He elaborated on the challenging journey of shipping the medical equipment to a refurbished health center in rural Zambia. The Bernhills-Baltimore Lake Rotary Club played a pivotal role in raising the necessary funds for this mission. Despite facing delays and the potential for scams, the equipment was successfully shipped in a 40-foot container from Savannah, Georgia, to Zambia. The project saw contributions from various individuals and organizations, including a notable donation of $5,000 from a 90-year-old man. Stephen Caine, a retired military officer and active Rotarian, was instrumental in coordinating the delivery of medical supplies to Zambia. The Rotary Club, which meets at Boston Spa Town Hall on Monday nights, continues to be a beacon of service and support in various community and international projects. --- Support this podcast:
Radio Rotary recently featured an inspiring segment on Rotary’s humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. BJ Mickelson, a dedicated Rotarian, took center stage in discussing his remarkable contributions to aiding Ukrainian refugees. Initially, BJ successfully raised between $2,500 and $3,000, which he used to distribute essential supplies in Germany to those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. Demonstrating an unwavering commitment, BJ later ramped up his efforts by raising an impressive $28,000. He not only made informative presentations in the Hudson Valley about the situation but also personally traveled to Ukraine as part of the relief initiatives. This hands-on approach in the conflict zone included delivering critical medical supplies and securing housing for internally displaced persons, underscoring the dire needs of those affected by the conflict. BJ spoke about the historic and culturally rich town of Lviv in Ukraine, which he highlighted for its significance. Beyond his immediate relief efforts, BJ plans to continue supporting Ukraine, particularly with a focus on helping children during Christmas. This year, his mission involves a unique approach – using his Santa Claus persona to raise funds. The initiative aims to provide Ukrainian children with Ukrainian language Paddington Bear books during the holiday season. These books, priced at $15 each, are more than just gifts; they are symbols of hope and comfort to the young recipients. The proceeds from this initiative are dedicated to this cause, with BJ’s Rotary club, Highland, playing an active role. The effort is part of a broader mission encapsulated on the website, which serves as a platform for donations and spreading awareness. This heartwarming story not only highlights the relentless spirit of Rotarians in bringing aid and solace but also sheds light on the wider impact of conflict on communities, especially children. As BJ continues his commendable work, he also harbors hopes for peace and the eventual return of Crimea to Ukraine. --- Support this podcast:
In a recent edition of Radio Rotary, the focus was on the admirable work of Toys for Tots, a program dedicated to bringing joy to children during the holiday season. The show featured insights from Sergeant Samuel Lewis, Mike Binns, and Randy Turner, who play key roles in the Hudson Valley Toys for Tots and Ulster County Toys for Tots programs. Toys for Tots, a program initiated by the Marine Corps Reserve, began with a simple yet profound goal: to provide gifts to children who might otherwise go without during Christmas. It has grown into a nationwide campaign, with the mission of ensuring that every child receives at least one toy during the holiday season. The program’s logo, designed by Walt Disney himself, symbolizes the initiative’s enduring commitment to bringing happiness to children. The success of Toys for Tots is largely driven by community involvement. From the donations of new, unwrapped toys to monetary contributions, every effort counts in making a significant impact. Local radio support, particularly from stations like WBPM and WGHQ, has been instrumental in spreading awareness and rallying community support. An important aspect of the program is its local focus. Donations made in a county stay within that county, ensuring that the benefits are felt close to home. The program has evolved to include a literacy component, providing books to children in low-income neighborhoods to promote education and break the cycle of poverty. Volunteers play a crucial role in the success of Toys for Tots. From assisting with in-person registration to sorting and distributing toys, community members can contribute in various ways. The program’s reach and effectiveness are a testament to the collective effort of dedicated individuals and the generous support of the community. Toys for Tots is more than just a holiday charity; it’s a beacon of hope and joy for children and families in need. Its commitment to bringing smiles to children’s faces during the holiday season and its ongoing efforts to promote literacy highlight the program’s broader impact on the community. --- Support this podcast:
In the latest episode of Radio Rotary, we spoke with Alex Geller of the Red Hook Library on the importance and evolving role of local libraries in the community. The Red Hook Library, a notable institution, is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. Established in 1898, it has been a cornerstone of the community, adapting to the changing needs of its patrons over the years. The library, housed in an architecturally unique octagonal building built in 1865, is more than just a place for books. It has transformed into a hub of community activity, offering diverse programs and services. The addition of a children’s library and community room has expanded its offerings, making it a more inclusive space for all age groups. Today, libraries are more relevant than ever. With the advent of the internet and digital media, libraries have evolved to meet the digital needs of their communities. They offer a range of services from internet access and computer literacy assistance to online resources and educational programs. Libraries also provide a social infrastructure, offering a sense of community and connection, especially vital during times of isolation like the COVID-19 pandemic. Red Hook Library, for instance, hosts language classes including Spanish and American Sign Language, and offers English as a Second Language classes. They also provide unique services like homebound book deliveries, ensuring that everyone in the community has access to their resources. The library’s role in fostering early childhood literacy is highlighted through programs like reading a thousand books before kindergarten. This initiative not only promotes literacy but also encourages parental involvement in their children’s education. In conclusion, local libraries like Red Hook continue to be essential community resources. They adapt to meet the changing needs of their patrons, providing not just books, but also technological assistance, educational programs, and a sense of community. The celebration of Red Hook Library’s 125th anniversary is a testament to its enduring value and impact in the community. --- Support this podcast:
Radio Rotary recently featured a discussion with Jennifer Donahue and Rotarian Helen Ronsky about the contemporary focus of the Girl Scouts. The conversation highlighted the organization’s evolution, particularly in addressing mental health awareness and community service. In today’s digital and social media-driven world, the Girl Scouts play a crucial role in providing support, resources, and an empowering environment for young girls. The guests emphasized the organization’s commitment to developing leadership skills and fostering confidence in girls from a young age. The Girl Scouts in the Hudson Valley region offer a diverse range of programs, including those in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and robotics. This variety caters to the different interests of girls and aims to equip them with skills applicable to various aspects of life. The programming is girl-led, allowing members to choose activities that resonate with their interests, a key factor in boosting their mental health and self-confidence. Furthermore, the Girl Scouts are heavily focused on mental health, partnering with the National Alliance for Mental Health to introduce new patches around this theme. The goal is to teach resilience, and readiness, and give more strength to girls, considering the alarming statistics around mental health issues among young people. The organization’s website,, offers comprehensive information on the Girl Scouts in the Hudson Valley, including ways to get involved and learn more about their programs. This platform serves as a resource for those interested in contributing to or benefiting from the organization’s initiatives. This episode of Radio Rotary not only highlighted the progressive activities of the Girl Scouts but also emphasized the importance of modern, holistic programming in nurturing and empowering young women. The Girl Scouts’ focus on mental health, leadership development, and STEM education positions them as a vital organization in today’s society, shaping future leaders and confident individuals. --- Support this podcast:
In a recent episode of Radio Rotary, an inspiring showcase of community support and service, listeners were introduced to the remarkable work of Dutchess Outreach. This organization stands as a beacon of hope in Dutchess County, offering an array of essential services to those most in need. From providing hot meals and running a food pantry to organizing a significant coat drive, Duchess Outreach embodies the spirit of community assistance and compassion. We delved into the organization’s various programs and celebrated the dedicated individuals who have been at the forefront of these efforts. A key feature of Dutchess Outreach’s work is the coat drive, which Mary Dines has successfully run for 20 years. The drive focuses on collecting new or gently used coats for those in need, a vital service during the colder months. With Dines retiring, Robin Tannenbaum is set to take over this critical program. Dutchess Outreach, preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, relies on a combination of federal grants, private grants, and donations to support its food and clothing programs. The organization also provides financial life planning and housing assistance, addressing broader needs within the community. The organization’s website,, offers more information on their services and ways to get involved. They are located at 29 North Hamilton Street in Poughkeepsie. The coat drive, a significant part of their work, has been instrumental in receiving donated brand-new coats for distribution. Dutchess Outreach serves as a powerful reminder of the impact that dedicated organizations and individuals can have on their communities. As Dutchess Outreach approaches its 50th anniversary, its commitment to providing essential services like nutritious food, clothing, and life-planning assistance continues to make a profound difference in the lives of many. The collaborative spirit showcased by the coat drive, supported by various community partners, underscores the strength and unity found in collective efforts. Radio Rotary, through such features, not only informs but also inspires its listeners to recognize and contribute to the invaluable work done by organizations like Dutchess Outreach in their own communities. --- Support this podcast:
We focus on World Polio Day, the dedicated efforts of Rotary International and its partners in the fight against polio were brought to light. Despite the remarkable progress made, polio continues to exist in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and sporadic cases are reported worldwide. Rotary’s commitment to eradicating polio dates back to 1979, with the launch of the Polio Plus program in 1985 and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, in collaboration with organizations like the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the CDC. In the 1980s, the world witnessed a thousand new cases of polio each week. Now, thanks to concerted global efforts, there’s been a 99.9% reduction in polio cases. Polio, a highly infectious disease that primarily affects children under five, can cause crippling effects on the central nervous system. The importance of vaccination in preventing polio’s spread cannot be overstated, and it’s crucial for both adults and children. World Polio Day serves as a reminder of the progress made and the actions still required to completely eradicate this disease. Rotarians play a significant role, not only through donations to the Polio Plus program but also by participating in national immunization days. These involve administering oral polio vaccines to children, an activity that requires no medical background as guidance is provided by healthcare workers. Carol Tjoa, a Rotarian, discussed Rotary’s endeavors to overcome resistance to immunizations and the necessity of continued support and donations. Notably, the Gates Foundation generously matches every dollar raised by Rotarians 2 to 1. The Rotary Club of North Rockland, of which Carol is a member, actively participates in these efforts and hosts events like the World Polio Day event on October 24th. Being a Rotarian offers a unique opportunity to contribute to the global eradication of polio, promoting health, and disease prevention, and enhancing lives around the world. Additionally, the Rotary Foundation’s commitment extends beyond polio eradication. They focus on surveillance programs and plan to continue their mission of promoting peace and fellowship through various programs even after polio is eradicated. The involvement of organizations like the Rotary Club highlights the importance of community and global efforts in tackling major health issues. The eradication of polio stands as a testament to what can be achieved through collective action and perseverance. For more information or to join in these efforts, visiting the Rotary Club’s website is encouraged. --- Support this podcast:
The Red Hook Rotary Club, known for its active community engagement, honored Brent Kovalchik as its Citizen of the Year. For over two decades, the club has recognized individuals who have made significant contributions to the community. Kovalchik, a former Deputy Mayor of the Village of Red Hook, has been instrumental in the installation of a central sewer system. This initiative is crucial for the village’s restaurants and ensures the safety of drinking water, marking a major improvement in the local infrastructure. This event is one of many initiatives by the Red Hook Rotary Club and Red Hook Rotary Foundation, which also support scholarships, vocational scholarships, and various community projects. Rotary, as an international organization, extends its influence and power far beyond local communities, and those interested can learn more on the Red Hook Rotary site or In addition to his work in local government, Brent Kovalchik is now engaging with other organizations, such as the local historical society, taking a more leisurely approach than in his previous roles. --- Support this podcast:
The Italian Festival in Kingston, New York, is a vibrant celebration of Italian culture. Organized by the Italian American Foundation, the festival on the picturesque Kingston waterfront in Ulster County aims to celebrate and preserve Italian heritage, featuring an array of Italian food vendors offering everything from sausage and peppers, meatballs, pizza, and calzones, to mac and cheese, cannoli, espresso, and fried dough. In addition to the Italian delicacies, the festival will cater to diverse tastes with food trucks serving Jamaican, Mexican, and other cuisines. Local restaurants like Mariners Harbor and Savona’s Pizza also join the festivities. The festival is not just be about food; there’s an impressive lineup of entertainment and fun activities. Visitors enjoyed performances by opera singer Andrew Holben, the jazz quartet Leonisa Ardizon, the flamenco Italiano band Vince Chiarelli, and a tribute to the Rat Pack by Michael Dell. The headliner for the event was Louis Prima Jr. and the Witnesses, ensuring an upbeat and lively atmosphere. Additionally, a second stage featured artists from O Positive, showcasing a variety of music genres including Portuguese and Brazilian folk, West African, Mexican folk, and jazz. --- Support this podcast:
In a recent episode of Radio Rotary, a heartwarming story unfolded about Sparrows Nest, a charity providing meals to families grappling with serious illnesses. Founded by Krista Jones, the organization emerged from a deeply personal experience. A decade ago, Krista was moved by her friend’s struggle with stage 4 colon cancer, particularly the challenge of maintaining proper nutrition. This led her to start cooking meals for her friend and her family, offering much-needed relief during a difficult time. Following her friend’s passing, Krista felt compelled to expand her efforts. The charity, named Sparrows Nest in memory of a song played at her friend’s funeral, symbolizes the care and protection she aimed to provide. What started in Krista’s home kitchen soon outgrew its bounds, requiring a larger space to accommodate the increasing number of families in need. Currently, Sparrows Nest serves around 430 people weekly, with an ambitious goal to double this number. Their varied menu ensures that families receive different meals each day, fostering a sense of food security. The organization, detailed at, encourages involvement and provides information on how to receive assistance or volunteer. Sparrows Nest’s reach extends beyond just the patients; it also supports caregivers who need strength to care for their loved ones. This holistic approach to care has made the charity an essential pillar in the community. The organization is actively seeking volunteers for various roles, including meal delivery drivers and those willing to help with homemade cards and goody bags. In addition to their regular services, Sparrows Nest is expanding to a larger facility. This move will not only enhance their capacity to serve cancer patients but will also allow them to assist individuals with other types of illnesses in the future. They aim to serve up to a thousand people a day in the new facility. Fundraising efforts for this expansion include a capital campaign and a live auction. Radio Rotary, sponsored by various local businesses and Rotary Clubs, provides a platform for stories like that of Sparrows Nest, emphasizing the importance of community initiatives and the impact of individual actions. Through such stories, the show highlights the power of compassion and the difference it can make in the lives of those facing life’s toughest challenges.   Listen to the recording: --- Support this podcast:
Radio Rotary recently featured Meg Boyce and Tina Eckert from the Alzheimer’s Association Hudson Valley Chapter, highlighting the critical issue of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, impairs a person’s ability to perform daily activities due to physical changes in the brain. These changes include the buildup of sticky plaques, the presence of tau protein, and overall neurodegeneration, often impacting short-term memory first. Tina Eckert plays a pivotal role in organizing the Walk to End Alzheimer’s events, crucial fundraisers for Alzheimer’s research and support programs. The upcoming walk, scheduled on the Walkway over the Hudson on October 14th, invites participants to register at The event is vital for raising funds for Alzheimer’s research and support, with the Red Hook Rotary Club and other Rotary clubs actively participating. Notably, the Alzheimer’s Dementia Rotarian Action Group, a national team, has impressively raised over $500,000 since 2019. The program also sheds light on the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s and its history, including the story of the first diagnosed case. Recent advancements in research, including new treatments that slow the disease’s progression, were discussed. However, challenges like access to PET scans and Medicare coverage limitations were acknowledged. The episode emphasized the importance of mental health awareness, encouraging listeners to seek help for conditions like anxiety and depression. Furthermore, it concluded with a discussion on modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s, such as diet, exercise, and sleep, reinforcing the importance of lifestyle choices in disease prevention. The Walkway Over the Hudson event stands as a beacon of hope and support for those affected by Alzheimer’s, representing a unified effort to combat this challenging disease. The program encouraged listeners to participate in this event, emphasizing the power of community involvement in making a difference. Learn More: Listen to the recording: --- Support this podcast:
In a recent episode of Radio Rotary, a significant focus was on the commendable efforts of Rotarians Roberto Bonner and Fanfan Joseph in supporting nursing education in Haiti. This initiative, which emerged following the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, has led to the establishment of a vital nursing program. Both Bonner, the president of the Pleasant Valley Rotary Club, and Joseph, a past president of the Carpathian Rotary Club in Haiti, have been instrumental in this project. The nursing program, a comprehensive four-year course, includes a variety of classes and practical training. It equips nurses in Haiti with skills beyond typical nursing tasks, enabling them to perform functions such as taking vital signs, prescribing medications, and even suturing wounds. This expanded role is particularly crucial given Haiti’s high need for medical professionals due to past disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes. The program’s success is evident in its outcomes. It has already seen the graduation of one class of 16 students, with an upcoming graduation in December for 18 more students. Graduates from this school are well-prepared to assist in disaster situations, a critical need in Haiti. The school’s accreditation by the health ministry and the requirement for students to pass a national exam for their authorization license ensure the quality and credibility of the education provided. The Pleasant Valley Rotary Club’s financial support for the nursing school in Haiti underscores Rotary’s commitment to service and global health initiatives. The nursing school, offering various departments like economy, tourism, computer science, and more, has a website and contact number for those interested in supporting or learning more about their impactful work. This episode of Radio Rotary not only celebrated the achievements of the nursing school in Haiti but also emphasized the broader network of support and sponsorship from various organizations and Rotary clubs, showcasing a community united in its efforts to make a positive global impact.   Learn More: Listen to the recording : --- Support this podcast:
Pleasant Valley Weekend, an eagerly awaited annual event in September, promises a host of activities and attractions for the community. Held in Pleasant Valley, this vibrant celebration will take place from September 8th to 10th at Katy Field, located behind the Town Hall on Route 44. The event is free to attend, though some activities and the purchase of beer may incur charges. A key highlight of the weekend is the car show organized by the Pleasant Valley Rotary Club. The show, featuring classic cars from the 1920s onwards, will be held in the Katy Field parking lot. For those interested in showcasing their classic cars, registration is available at, with a $10 registration fee. This event promises a fun and nostalgic journey through automotive history, complemented by food vendors and music. The Pleasant Valley Rotary Beer Pavilion will be a central attraction, offering beer, wine coolers, ciders, and hard cider. This Pavilion symbolizes the spirit of community celebration in Pleasant Valley. Additionally, the event will include a variety of vendors and exhibitions, offering an array of goods and services to visitors. For families and children, there are numerous free activities planned throughout the weekend. From line dancing to live bands, the weekend is packed with entertainment. The event will also feature a parade on Sunday, September 10th, starting at 1 p.m., adding to the festive atmosphere with various groups and music bands participating. Pleasant Valley Weekend is more than just a celebration; it’s a community gathering that brings together people from all walks of life to enjoy, engage, and experience the essence of Pleasant Valley. With its array of activities, food, music, and the classic car show, the event promises something for everyone, making it a not-to-miss occasion in the community calendar. For More Information Visit Listen to the podcast on : --- Support this podcast:
The recent film “Join or Die,” focusing on civic engagement in American democracy, offers a powerful exploration of the current state of community involvement in the United States. Drawing inspiration from Benjamin Franklin’s historical “Join or Die” flag, the film delves into the deep polarization affecting the nation and the urgent need for renewed investment in civic engagement and local communities. Based on Robert D. Putnam’s influential book “Bowling Alone,” which chronicles the decline in group participation and its societal impacts, “Join or Die” aims to motivate viewers to become actively involved in their communities. The film highlights the importance of young people joining groups and community organizations, exemplified by the story of Paul Harris, the founder of the Rotary Club, who initiated the movement in his 20s. Additionally, the film discusses the decline in various forms of community participation, from attending public meetings to religious services. It points to factors like increased TV consumption and technology usage as possible reasons for this trend, with the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbating the situation. Despite these challenges, the film provides hopeful examples and strategies for revitalizing community life. The film’s significance extends to its diverse range of perspectives, featuring interviews with notable figures such as Hillary Clinton and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. It also includes insights from Rotarian Agatha Bacilar and director/producer Rebecca Davis. Bacilar, inspired by Pete Davis’s book “Dedicated,” emphasizes the importance of commitment to local communities. “Join or Die” is not just a film but an invitation to action. It urges viewers to engage in their communities and join organizations. The film is scheduled for screening on August 30th in Red Hook, followed by a Q&A session with the producers, offering an excellent opportunity for viewers to delve deeper into the themes of the movie. Furthermore, the film’s promotion ties in with broader societal concerns, like mental health awareness, urging individuals to seek help for conditions like anxiety and depression. It is a reflection of a growing recognition of the interconnectedness of personal well-being and community health. “Join or Die” stands as a poignant reminder of the power of community and the vital role each individual plays in shaping the fabric of American democracy. Its message is clear: engagement and commitment can transform communities and, by extension, the nation. Visit For Podcast --- Support this podcast:
Victoria Marsella (“Tori”), vice-president of the MARC Foundation, visited Radio Rotary to tell about the Foundation’s programs for providing financial support to efforts to prevent drug and alcohol misuse and to support recovery from addiction. The MARC Foundation originated as a support for MARC residential treatment houses, which are now a part of Mental Health America of Dutchess County (MHA). While continuing support for the houses, the Foundation has expanded its mission and now helps fund many local organizations and individuals dealing with drug or alcohol misuse. For example, the Foundation offers transition financial help for persons who have completed their treatment and are returning to normal life. With MHA, the Foundation has built a Drug Overdose Memorial on the Dutchess Rail Trail, a place that offers several ways to remember victims of drug misuse. Each year on International Drug Overdose Awareness Day (August 31) the Foundation invites organizations and individuals to participate in a candlelight vigil at the Memorial.The Foundation raises money for support from annual events such as a golf outing and a bowling tournament. Learn more MARC foundation: Mental Health America of Dutchess Country (MHA): International Drug Overdose Awareness Day: - :~:text=August 31 is recognized as, end overdose and related harms. Hope on a Mission: Council on Addiction Prevention and Education (CAPE): CATEGORIES Addiction Recovery Education Events Financial Aid Service Organizations WORDS TO LIST: Drug overdose, Addiction, Alcoholism, Drug misuse --- Support this podcast:
Radio Rotary interview Todd Bowen, president of Wappingers Rotary and, at 21, the youngest club president ever in District 7210. Bowen, originally from Pine Plains, got his start in Rotary when his family moved to Wappingers Falls, putting Bowen into Roy C. Ketcham High School, where he joined one other male student and 28 young women in the school’s Interact Club, a Rotary-sponsored service organization Bowen was recruited to be Interact’s secretary, which led in the following years for him to become president of the club (twice). He spearheaded the group’s raising $1,000 to finance a ShelterBox. By the end of his second year leading the club, it had grown to 140 members. While attending Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh, Bowen joined Wappingers Rotary in 2018 Today he works at the charitable organization Habitat for Humanity while maintaining important roles in the club’s Housing Support project, the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), and trying to start a Rotary Satellite club. Bowen is also active at the District Level, currently as Executive Secretary of District 7210. Learn more Rotary Club of Wappingers Falls: Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County: Rotary Interact: ShelterBox USA: Rotary Satellite Clubs: // CATEGORIES Housing Assistance Rotary Club Projects Youth WORDS TO LIST: District 7210, Rotary Club of Wappingers Falls, Rotary Officers, Satellite Clubs --- Support this podcast:
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Awesome Article! Very interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing.

Oct 16th
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