Williamsville Rotary Meeting February 24, 2014

Door: Richard Wojtowicz

Pledge: Ron Prazmark

Anthem: Vern Anderson

Four Way Test: John Crawford

Grace: Roger Gross                  

50/50 Ticket Sales:  $457.  Bruce Lucsok drew the ten of diamonds and won $10. He donated it back.

Visiting Rotarians: None

Guests: None  



This week’s speaker was Ms. Donna Ringholz, the Executive Director of Bornhava in Amherst, NY. Bornhava is an early intervention and preschool program, nurturing and educating children with developmental disabilities in partnership with families to prepare the students for a full and productive life through encouragement and support.   Bornhava is a Danish word meaning: "a high-quality early childhood program with a home-like environment." 


Bornhava is approved by the NYS Education Department to provide programming for young children with developmental disabilities and to offer support and resources for their caregivers.  Established in 1983, Bornhava's intent is to offer a home-like atmosphere where high quality therapeutic and educational interventions are provided for children with special needs from birth to 5-years of age. The focus is not only on the specific needs of these children, but also on family involvement and interaction with typical children.


Currently, Bornhava's staff serves approximately 150 children, with a commitment for personalized attention to address each of their unique strengths and weaknesses. Intervention plans are developed for children with mental and physical challenges, sensory deficits, communication delays, and various developmental disabilities. These comprehensive services to children and their families are made possible through the Departments of Health in Erie and Niagara County, the NYS Education Department, and private donations.


Highlights of Ms. Ringholz’s presentation included:

·         Bornhava started in 1983 with 9 children and 6 staff members.

·         The school uses developmentally appropriate practices to support, e.g., five-year olds with two-year old capabilities.

·         Bornhava serves Erie, Niagara, and Orleans counties.

·         The main facility is on Chateau Terrace in Snyder, but the school has other smaller facilities to reduce transportation costs.

·         There are 7 major funding sources; parents are not required to pay.

·         The school has integrated classrooms where “normal” children are grouped with developmentally disabled children

·         School cares for children up to five years old.

·         About 125 children attend the school.


Annual Celebration:  The date is Saturday – March 29, 2014, 7PM-10PM at the Park Country Club.  Tickets for the event have been distributed to members for both the Event tickets at $35.00 each and the Grand Prize Raffle Drawing / Wegmans Groceries for 1-year ($35.00 per raffle ticket).   Mark your calendars to attend this major Club event date.  As Tim would say, to “break even” on the Wegmans prize alone, we need to sell a minimum 148 tickets.”  If each member sold 10 (actually 8, since the member and wife or significant other would be 2 of the 10), the Club would have net proceeds from this alone of $12,250.   This would provide approximately $7,000 for Club donations.   If 15 tickets per member were sold, this would increase to $13,175.  Sponsor donations would further enhance the “donation pool.”  Wegman’s and Global Wines and Spirits are two sponsors to date.  To see the impact of ticket sales, sponsors, etc., see the “What if ….”   analysis sent by email to all members and the event goal.


WINE WALL DONATIONS NEEDED!!!!! Please remember to bring a bottle of wine or a gift certificate (UP TO $25.00 in value) to the February 24th, March 3rd, March 10th, or  March 17th Club meetings.  If you have any questions, please E-mail Carolyn Leed at Carolyn@cleedlaw.com.  If you would prefer to make a cash donation towards the Wine Wall, Carolyn would be happy to make the purchase of bottles of wine or gift certificate(s) on your behalf.   Thank you for your generosity!


SLAPSHOT EventFor youths ages 15-18.   Do you have an interested candidate?  Since the SLAPSHOT event (April 25-27, 2014) is in Canada, the candidate must have either a current U.S. Passport or a NYS Enhanced Driver’s license for entry into Canada (Ancaster, Ontario) and back into the U.S.  SLAPSHOT = Student Leadership Award Program for Students High On Training. Registrations must be in by 3/31/2014.


District Assembly May 3rd, 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM at the Conference Center, Niagara Falls, NY (101 Old Falls Street).  Pre-Registration or on-line registration will be required.  Mark your calendar for this event.   More information coming.

RYLA Event: The District’s RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) committee is pleased to announce that RYLA will be taking place June 8-14 at SUNY, Fredonia. Don't miss the opportunity to send a candidate(s) to this exciting week-long leadership program for 19-25 year olds.



Ed S. sent out by email the 2014 application form, poster, and a document to provide members with some background information about RYLA. The fee is $ 750 and the early bird (April 22, 2014) discounted fee is $ 675. Former exchange students, Rotaractors, and SLAPSHOT alumni make great candidates for RYLA.


A few clubs have been creative in funding this program. There are businesses, government organizations and charitable/not-for-profit organizations that have some bright, promising young people on staff demonstrating great leadership potential. Some of these organizations have gladly paid the fee for RYLA. It is an amazing deal for such a fantastic week-long leadership program. Check it out on the District website at www.rotary7090.org, click on New Generations/Youth Services or go to  www.ryla7090.com.


Club Web Site Advertising: Did you know that advertising on the Club’s web site is $100/year, July 1 to June 30?   That’s approximately $0.27 per day, and is seen by everyone visiting the Club’s web page.  Pro-rata is also available.  Interested?  Ask Vern Anderson for the details and join other Club members who are already using this form of advertising …. helping their business and their Club.


Annual Meeting:  The Club’s annual meeting is March 3, 2014.  Election to the Club’s Board of Directors is held at this meeting.


Every Rotarian – Every Year (EREY) Wow!!!!   Did you know that for $0.27 per day, less than $2.00 per week, and $8.33 per month you can be an active participant and be recognized in Rotary International’s (RI) EREY Program?  And you can do this with a simple authorization to RI to charge a credit card account for the recurring period (month / quarter / annual ) amount you designate.  This is simple and straightforward. 


Your commitment provides grant funds for RI and our District 7090 for projects that are used to fund local and international service projects, scholarships, and vocational training teams.


Would you please seriously consider an annual commitment to the EREY program?   There is an aspirational goal of $100 per year per member. Please see the attached EREY form whereby you can make this commitment for a tax-deductible contribution (501.c.3 charity) as a recurring monthly, quarterly or annual donation using a credit card ( www.rotary.org/contribute).  You know the good that Rotary and its members accomplish; please seriously consider your participation in EREY. Our Club number is 4756, District #7090, and your individual member number can be found on the mailing label of the Rotarian magazine, an 8-digit number preceded by “#” just above your name.  Ed S. will have each member’s membership number at the Club meetings for information and ease of reference.       Thank You! 


Program Schedule: The February 21st issue of the Speakers’ Schedule was distributed by email to all members. We have openings for speakers.  Doug Littlewood can provide you with the current schedule and available openings.  We have quite a few openings for a speaker after February and the remainder of the year.  If you have a potential speaker, it is suggested that three (3) open dates, in order of speaker preferred priority, be confirmed with Doug Littlewood or Vern Anderson, who will confirm the specific date, and “lock” that date for your speaker.  This will eliminate any conflict with other confirmed speakers. It will also keep the Program Schedule accurate for dates where speaker dates have been reserved.  Please keep Doug and Vern updated if changes need to be made.  In our social and business lives we may know of individuals who have an interesting background, career, or story.  Ask them: “Would you share this with my Rotary Club?


Future speakers: Discussions are taking place for speaking engagements with the following: Mark Thomas (Western Regional Director – NYS Parks); Maria Lehman (Peace Bridge); and Brian Kulpa, Mayor-Village of Williamsville.


Meeting Attendance Ed S. reminded us that the Club’s and RI’s requirements are attendance at a minimum level of 50% of the scheduled meetings, which can also be met by make-ups at any of the District’s 69 clubs throughout the southern Ontario-western New York area. Attendance at Club and/or event committee meetings, Board meetings, and Foundation meetings also count to your attendance requirement.  If you do this, ensure that you receive a Make-Up post card from the Club that you visited which you will turn in to either Matt Balling or Vern Anderson.   Missing four (4) unexcused meetings in a row are the basis for RI membership termination.  A map of District 7090 (sent by Ed S. by email to all members) indicates the relative location of the various District 7090 Rotary Clubs.  If you have a Smartphone, there is a Rotary app that provides detailed information on each of the worldwide Rotary clubs, contacts, meeting location data, etc.


Ed S. also noted that members can make-up a meeting via the District’s new eClub (www.rotaryeclub7090.org), Rotary E-Club of SOWNY (Liz Kovacs, President of this Club will be our speaker on April 28). Be sure to let Vern Anderson know of your “attendance.”

2014 Calendar Marks:

Club: March 3rd – Club Annual Meeting & Elections; March 29th -- Club’s Annual Celebration; June 2nd – Mix ‘N Mingle (Williamsville is the Host Club); June 18th –  our 14th Strawberry Festival; August 10th – Classic Car Show; September 22nd – Annual Golf Outing.


District: February 20th and March 21st – PETS Training; March 31st – Registration Closes for SLAPSHOT; April 25-27th – SLAPSHOT; May 3rd – District Assembly; June 8-14th – RYLA Event; October 25-26 – The Buffalo Bash Event – District Conference /// (See District 7090 web page for details on all District events.)


Fines: Joe Fiorella, Fine Master.

·         Joe Fiorella--$1 for being late; $1 for a great vacation.

·         Mary Biddle-Widman--$1 for being a “new” member (welcome back!)

·         Mike Burns--$1 no pin; $1 no badge

·         Tony Cangialosi--$6 for not checking emails

·         Norm Mattar--$1 for being late

·         Doug Littlewood--$1 for being late

Happy Dollars:

·         Richard Wojtowicz--$1 for a great speaker

·         Bruce Lucsok--$1 for ad airing on WBCX; $1 for a great speaker

·         Lee Broad--$1 for Mary Biddle-Widman for kicking off a program to speak to Rotary Clubs

·         Ed Rath--$1 for the start of his kitchen remodel

We missed you this evening: 

Ron Axelrod, Matt Balling, Paul Banas, Kathy Behan, Shirley Carnall, Bob Chur, Vicki D’Angelo, Tim Henderson, Carrie Leed, Mike Prinzback, Frank Ralabate, Larry Read, Jim Rumsey, Michael Sirianno, Gary Skalyo, Ed Stachura, Mark Storch, Bill Thuman