Last week Ellen Smith of Keeping Our Promise explained how they are helping Afghans settle in the Rochester/Syracuse area.
President Melissa began the meeting with a nondenominational invocation borrowed from the Lions Club. followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Susan Hasenauer.
Trudy Hicks has been under the weather for the past couple of weeks. 
  • Michaela Colacino sent in a thank you note as recipient of the Charles Stott scholarship.
  • We need volunteers to help take notes during the weekly meetings for the Rotary bulletin. Please let President Melissa know if you can help.
  • RIPE Jennifer Jones will be the guest speaker for the Empire Multi-District World Polio Day being held at the Ramada, Liverpool on October 29th. (In case you are wondering what the acronym RIPE is: Rotary International President Elect)
  • RLI (Another acronym: Rotary Leadership Institute) is being held virtually on October 16th.
  • Michele McManus updated us on the upcoming Laurel House Gala. HUGE auction!
  • Michele also announced that the RPO (Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra) is will be performing again at NHS (Newark High School) on December 3, 2021.
  • Service Above Self Dinner will be held on October 28th.Auction items are needed by this coming Thursday.
  • Membership: President-Elect Mitch asked everyone to bring at least one guest to a Rotary meeting during this Rotary year.
Scott Healy discussed how one can become a Benefactor of the Rotary Foundation. Today there are over 100,000 Benefactors around the world.
Dave Johnson was born and raised in Wayne County. He attended Wayne Central and received degrees from SUNY Brockport and Empire Sate College. He has worked for the Arc Wayne since 1997, and has been the director of the Arc Wayne Foundation since 2012. He lives in Victor with his life partner Tracy Crosby and has two teenage daughters. He enjoys spending time with friends and family and roots for the NY Giants and NY Yankees.
Rotary Anniversary: Dustin Riccio (6 yrs) and Steve Hasseler (3 yrs)
Dustin Riccio (Sept 24)
Mark Thoms (Oct 2)
Wedding Anniversary
Pat and Dave Albrecht (Sept 17 - 56 years)
Peter and Patti Dohr (Oct 1 - 38 years)
  • Mitch Ruffalo was happy to announce that the wedding of Joe Ruffalo and Caitlin Lockwood was a great success.
  • Bob Bendix announced that Newark was again selected as a finalist for the DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative).
  • Adam O announced that his new building on West Shore Boulevard was approved. Also, the hot tub, countertop and SUV that he ordered last year finally showed up!
  • Steve Taylor announced that NAFCO will have a new owner. The new company, with facilities in Germany, focuses on jet filters and some of that production will be brought to Newark, which means additional capital spending and employees added locally!
  • Jean Bendix happily announced Lucina Hallagan's upcoming birthday.
Linda Werts introduced Ellen Smith who created and leads Keeping Our Promise, Inc. Ellen gave a very thorough presentation of the organization and the reasons for its creation. Some of the highlights are:
  • KOP's mission: To provide comprehensive resettlement assistance to endangered wartime allies who serves U.S. interests in conflict and war zones.
  • Ellen began volunteering in 2014. No One Left Behind is a nationwide organization with a similar mission.
  • She learned that no one single institution can can work miracles. The community needs to come together to get things done. 
  • The organization supports visa advocacy (letters of reference for a visa), raising money for rent security deposit and 1-2 months rent, hygiene and cleaning supplies, SNAP program, home furnishings, phone with three months service, rides to appointments and grocery shopping and cars (wheels for work).
  • The refugees and family members being brought to the United States are interpreters, security guards, logisticians, cooks, drivers, cleaners...
  • Ellen gave stories of those who were brought out. Facebook and WhatsApp have been vital for communication.
  • Ellen provided a very brief history of Afghanistan. The country was modernizing during the 1950's and 1960's. The Soviet occupation in the 1980's followed by the Taliban rule has made it conservative and repressive, especially for women. 
  • There is a great need to help those who have resettled in the United States.
Speaker: Dave Johnson - Arc of Wayne Foundation
Greeter: Ken George
Cashier: Marge Gile