Thursday, December 19 was sunny and cold as Pawling Rotary celebrated with their very favorite event: The Rotary Holiday Party and Great Give Away. Rotary President Lori Johnson commented, “This is my favorite time, when we get to give gifts to all the local and international organizations that work so hard for youngsters and their families. This is why we work so hard to raise money throughout the year. We love giving it all away!”
Rotary’s holiday luncheon took place in the seasonally decorated Lankler Hall at Christ Church on Quaker Hill, where the Christ Church Singers regaled more than sixty guests with holiday classics. Catering was provided by Vinnie’s and was plentiful and delicious.
This year, grants and gifts were given to the Rotary Foundation, Rotary Polio Plus and Rotoplast, which provides free surgery to children suffering from cleft lip or palate. Additionally, a donation was made to Shelterbox, which provides temporary shelter to families who are displaced due to natural or man-made disasters. More locally, Rotary honored the following organizations: Blue Path Service Dogs, which provides service dogs to children with Autism; Ryan McElroy Foundation; Pawling Resource Center; Ty Lewis Campbell Foundation; Pawling Free Library, for their children’s programming; The Interact Club; Pawling Fire Department; Smith Johnson Scout Cabin; Pawling American Legion, for their scholarship program; Camp Herrlich, which provides after school programming for Pawling children; and Camp Sundown.
This year’s holiday gift donations totaled almost $14,000 and was 32% higher than the holiday donations that were able to be made last year. This increase is due to the “…generous support that Rotary receives from the community,” stated Jeff Asher, former president and current secretary of the Pawling club. In all, Pawling Rotary gave over $21,000 in gifts and scholarships in 2019.
Pawling Rotary is a service organization affiliated with Rotary International. With a motto of “Service Above Self,” they welcome new members who desire to help others. Inquiries about membership may be directed to John Ammaturo at 855-3010.