Posted on Mar 22, 2018
Read a report of our 53rd Birthday luncheon by President Sadia Bihi-Gilmour

Last Thursday, New Paltz Rotary Club had a birthday party; what a celebration we had for ourselves! In last week’s meeting, we organized a nice party for the club to observe the 53rd year of the Club. We had guests, many club members, as well as the District Governor Jim Damiani there; even Club Charter Member Phil Schunk and his wife Jane.

Many told inspiring as well funny stories regarding the Club’s and Rotary International’s history. I especially enjoyed hearing how women, with help from the U.S Supreme Court, were finally admitted to Rotary in 1987.  

Phil reminded us of how a couple of members quit the club after New Paltz club admitted a female member. Today, women membership is one of the fastest growing segments of Rotary International.

As the district governor shared a delicious lunch with us at Garvan’s during the celebration, he expressed his desire for our club to participate in the coming-up Walk for Polio at the Walkway Over the Hudson on June 2nd. In addition, Jim offered to come to our Planting Project on Earth Day and urged us to stay focused on reducing and repairing the harmful effects of climate change; the new initiative of Rotary International.

We are grateful for all who attended this remarkable club’s birthday celebration. Many are responsible for the day’s success.  A special thanks to speakers Maria Rice, Andre Venables, Mark Masseo, Toni Hokanson, Phil Schunck, and Rick Alfandre, and a thank you Joe Moriello for being Mr. Rotary himself, as well as the historian of our club; the club appreciates your efforts.

I would also like to thank our decorators for the event. Great job to members Kelly Chatham, Edna Harrison, and Linda Ferrante; the room looked great! And to Garvan and his team - thank you for feedings us all year (especially for bountiful lunch and Guinness Chocolate Cake). We had a wonderful celebration.

We can't forget our website team Red Zimmerman and Julie Bain for their work updating the site. Your efforts of bringing a new energy to the club communication channels are not going unnoticed.

I am delighted and humbled to be a member of this club.

Sadia Bihi-Gilmour

President, New Paltz Rotary Club