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"Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change — across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves"
News Stories
It is a proud day for our Club.  Our VP Bina Ahmad was awarded the District's highest recognition - the Rotarian of the Year Award by outgoing District Governor  Mary Shackleton, at the annual District Awards ceremony on Monday.  The event took place via Zoom.
 
In awarding this honor to VP Bina, who is also the District's Area Assistant Governor for Area 5, DG Mary cited Bina's dedication, innovation, development of 2 new Clubs, social media activities and her support for the District's goals as the main factors for selecting her for this award.  In receiving the award, VP Bina said she was humbled and honored to be selected for this award.  In an emotionally choked voice, she said she believed teamwork was the key ingredient for success.  She expressed her gratitude to DG Mary and thanked her for her outstanding leadership.
 
Bina joined the White Plains Rotary Club in June 2011 and transferred to the then East Yonkers Club July 2012.  With the merger of the two Yonkers Rotary Clubs in July 2013, she has continued her membership in the Club.  She was Club Rotary Foundation Chair for 4 years from 2015-16 and became Vice-President in 2019.
 
Congratulations Bina, you have made us proud!
 
Two Club Members IPDG Mahbub Ahmad, and PDG Matts Ingemanson also received the Service Above Self Awards.
 
In other District Awards, PDG Andy Morzello was given the Lifetime Achievement Award, while Jason Gonzalez received the "Rotarian of Vision Award".
During the pandemic our fundraising efforts came to a near standstill.Our good friend Ronnie Gantz stepped in to the rescue. Ronnie arranged online auctions at no cost to our Club featuring donated guitars signed by celebrities to be auctioned off online via the auction website Charitybuzz.  5 guitars went up for auction in the first lot.  The second lot featured 10 guitars signed by Charlie Daniels, Axl Rose, Willie Nelson, Stash, Carly Simon, Sammy Hagar, Judy Collins and B. B. King.
 
The two auctions significantly replenished the Club's Foundation resources, permitting the Club to undertake projects which could not otherwise have been undertaken.
 
In recognition of his efforts to assist the Club with its much-needed fundraising efforts, the Club decided to honor Ronnie with a plaque.  He was invited to an in-person meeting as our guest, where President Steve presented Ronnie with a special plaque.
All through the COVID-19 pandemic, our Club has been very active in standing by our community.  Here is a roundup of our projects since the beginning of the pandemic:
 
  • Provided funding to employees of Zuppa Restaurant who were laid off or dealing with reduced salary due to the pandemic shutdown.

  • Food drive and distribution of produce to the community in Dobbs Ferry (Satellite Club)

  • Obtained $2,500 emergency Grant from District 7230, to provide hot meals to local community.

  • Assisted with packaging food helping YCAP deliver food to homebound seniors and disabled who would not be able to get out of their homes during the pandemic

  • Donated PPE to community group YCAP so that they could continue their mission of supporting the community when PPE supplies were not available.

  • Delivered hot meals to hospital workers and first responders.

  • Partnered with other groups to deliver turkeys/chicken/veggies to the struggling Hispanic community so that they could have a thanksgiving turkey.

  • Supplied Pumpkins to the same community so that the children could celebrate Halloween during the pandemic.

  • Held a hot meal thanksgiving turkey meal distribution in south Yonkers partnering with our Mayor, City Council, and others

  • Provided PPE to Haiti and food for school children there to combat the virus

  • Partnered with the Michael Nolan Foundation to deliver blankets to people adversely affected by the pandemic and our homeless population

  • Delivered PPE kits to Lincoln Medical Center for Dr. Rajan Khanna and team. Efforts were made by Dimpy Gupta  and Edgemont Rotary-Satellite Club.

  • Distributed 12,000 masks to local community organizations, made available by District 7230 through the generosity of the Rossi Family Foundation..
Yonkers city and community leaders were at hand as the Yonkers-East Yonkers Club distributed over 10,000 masks to local community service organizations on Saturday 17 April 2021.  These masks are part of the 5.5 million maks distributed by the Rossi Family Foundation and Rotary International via local Rotary Clubs in the North-East.  Mayor Mike Spano, County Executive George Latimer, Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins, City Council President Mike Khader, NYS Assemblymember Nader Sayegh, were present as were Rotary District Governor Mary Shackleton, President Steve Simpson, and Assistant Governor Bina Ahmad.  Also attending were Immediate Past District Governor Mahbub Ahmad, Past District Governor Greg Arcaro, and District Governor Nominee-Designee J. Loren Russell - all are members of our Club.
 
The event, organized by Club COVID Committee Chair Maria Abdullah, was held at the Yonkers Christian Assembly premises on North Broadway.  Representatives of  Pamela's Big Heart Foundation, St. John's Hospital, the Fuller Center, and St. Joseph's Church collected the masks... Mayor Spano and County Executive Latimer both commended the Rotary Club for standing by the community and demonstrating compassion and solidarity with the community.  District Governor Mary Shackleton, welcoming the assembled dignitaries said, "These masks are going to the underserved communities, so that the people who really need them, have protection." She said our Rotary District has raised and allocated nearly half-million dollars for COVID-related projects across our District.  President Steve highlighted the fact that despite the pandemic, our Club has distributed thousands of meals, PPE Supplies, and other assistance to people in need.  It is a demonstration of our Club's commitment to our community.
 
This is a story of service and leadership. It’s a story of how our District, Zone and Club responded to a crisis, rallied resources, put boots-on-the-ground to bring disparate and far-flung communities together to spread goodwill. Most importantly, it’s a story about working together and using our collective professional backgrounds through the Rotary network to make a difference. This project reinforces how Rotary uses its professional backgrounds, diverse perspectives, and global connections to change the world for the better.
 
The Yonkers-East Yonkers Club rises to the leadership role yet again.  Our Past President Rev. J. Loren Russell will become the 11th District Governor for Rotary District 7230 from our Club, when he assumes the role on 1 July 2023. 
 
Loren became Club President for the third time in 2015-16.  It was during his presidency that the concept of the Basketball courts Global Grant was first approved by the Club.
 
Loren was formally named District Governor Nominee Designee on 23 January 2021.  He will become District Governor Nominee on 1 July 2021, District Governor-Elect on 1 July 2022, and finally District Governor on 1 July 2023.
 

James ‘Loren’ Russell was born in Harlem, New York, and raised in the Bronx, where he and his wife (Evelyn) of soon-to-be thirty-two years currently reside.

Loren began his professional career as a life insurance agent, quickly rising to sales manager and then senior management. To fulfill his entrepreneurial ambitions, Loren established The JLR Company in 1992 to provide financial planning services in general, “Biblical Economics” services to the religious community, and motivational and developmental seminars and workshops. He served 7 years with the Southern Baptist Convention as the Northeast Strategy Coordinator, Regional Church Finance Consultant and Church Planting Coordinator for NYC.

Loren earned the Master’s of Divinity degree from Drew Theological Seminary and received an Honorary Doctorate of Ministry from Virginia University of Lynchburg. Through The JLR Company, Loren provides financial, strategic planning, and business consultations to churches, not-for-profit organizations, and businesses nationally, with a specialization in urban church strategies.

See his full Biography

 
The screening of the civil rights documentary "Brick By Brick" was the highlight of the Club's observance of Black History Month.  The screening was followed by a panel discussion hosted by J. Loren Russell.  Among the panelists were the producer of the Documentary Bill Kavanagh, who made the film availabe for screening, Attorney Michael Sussman who played an important role in movement, Dr. Jim Bostic, Gene Capello,  Dr. Sharon Conn and our very own Greg Arcaro.  Yonkers Assemblywoman Shanae Williams also made time to participate in the lively panel discussion. 
 
President Steve welcomed everyone to the event saying he has been a resident of Yonkers for 21 years and he has seen  some of the events depicted in the film.  During the panel discussion, the panelists agreed that while we have come quite a ways from the 1989 Court decision, but much still needs to be done.. Bill Kavanagh said, this film took a while to put together particularly locating the original footage of the events of the time. Brick by Brick: A Civil Rights Story follows three families in a contemporary American battle for equal opportunity. One city's struggle over racial discrimination and how to redress long-standing institutional housing segregation is the subject of a confrontation that challenges and changes Yonkers, New York. Drawn deeply into the conflict, the people in Brick by Brick: A Civil Rights Story show how contemporary America confronts the issues of race and opportunity. Through their city's crucible, they deal with the meaning of civil rights in a current-day context.
 
This is second time that this documentary has been screened by our Club - the first screening was at the Will Library in Yonkers.
Our Club participated in Rotary's "Million Mask Challenge", sponsored by Rotary International and The Rossi Foundation.  On 14 January, a 26-foot truck, emblazoned on all sides with the Million Mask Challenge Tour message, brought 300,000 face masks to our Rotary District stopping at 3 distribution points - White Plains, Harlem and Staten Island.  Our Club was allocated 6,000 surgical masks and 1,000 children's masks. 
 
Representatives of 27 Clubs in Westchester and the Bronx gathered at the White Plains High School as the truck rolled in to be welcomed by District Governor Mary Shackleton, Westchester County Executive, George Latimer, White Plains Mayor Tom Roach, White Plains Schools Superintendent Joseph Ricca.  Immediate Past District Governor, Mahbub Ahmad, and Assistant Governors, Gladys Muller (Area 1), John Ehrlich (area 2), Libby Hollahan (Area 4),  Bina Ahmad (Area 5) and  Sandy Wolstein (Area 6) supervised the distribution.  In total, 115,000 surgical masks and 27,000 children's masks were allocated to the 27 Clubs in the White Plains stop.  Club Member Maria Abdullah collected the masks on behalf of President Steve Simpson.
 
District Governor Mary Shackleton, welcoming the assembled dignitaries said, "These masks are going to go to some of the underserved communities, food pantries, public housing, so that the people who really need them, have protection."
 
  
This is a story of service and leadership. It’s a story of how our District and Zone responded to a crisis, rallied its resources, put boots-on-the-ground to bring disparate and far-flung communities together to spread goodwill. Most importantly, it’s a story about working together and using our collective professional backgrounds through the Rotary network to make a difference.
 
The masks were made available to Rotary by Rotarian Ted Rossi of the Rotary Club of East Hampton, Connecticut and the President of the Rossi Foundation.  This is how Rotarian Rossi summed up his motivations for the project:
 
“The states are not able to deliver to smaller community organizations and nursing homes, so I realized this is perfect for Rotary. We could facilitate the supply of masks that Rotary clubs can take and distribute in small lots within their communities. What started out as a small project snowballed into something really big.”
 
This project reinforces how Rotary uses its professional backgrounds, diverse perspectives, and global connections to change the world for the better. We were able to secure extensive media exposure for Rotary, with the help of iHeart media, News 12,  ABC News.
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