The Hammonton Rotary Club installed officers, awarded a scholarship, welcomed a new member and celebrated some achievements during its 54th annual installation dinner Thursday, June 23 at Rocco’s Town House.
Robert DeRose was sworn in as club president, accepting the gavel from outgoing President Clarence Mattioli in front of a crowd of fellow Rotarians, family members, friends and guests.
The recent Drexel University computer engineering graduate said he’s inspired by Rotary’s rich tradition of service in Hammonton and worldwide, and he pledged to make Rotary a fun, growing organization that builds on its past success by attracting new members.
“I don’t want people to ask, ‘What is Rotary?’ I want them to ask, ‘Rotary, where can I join?’ DeRose said.
Outgoing President Mattioli highlighted some of the club’s many successful projects throughout the year including the popular wine event, golf tournament, pancake breakfast, and service to the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry. He said he looks forward to the youthful enthusiasm that DeRose will bring to the club as president.
Club Vice President Don DeFiccio announced the award of the 11th Annual Hammonton Rotary Club Foundation Scholarship to Caryn Sanfilippo, a 2011 graduate of Hammonton High School who will be attending the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey for psychology, and later its graduate program for physical therapy.
Micky Doto was sworn in as the club’s newest member, accepting his membership pin from past President Joe Brown who sponsored him as a club member. Mattioli presented Doto with a service award from the club for his outstanding contributions coordinating the town-wide graffiti cleanup and adding to the success of Rotary’s annual wine tasting event.
Former club President Frank Bartolone presented of a Paul Harris Fellowship on the club’s behalf to member James FitzPatrick. Named after the founder of Rotary, the award represents a $1,000 contribution by the club in the recipient’s name toward Rotary International’s successful worldwide campaign to eradicate polio.
On hand to install the new president and club officers for 2011-2012 was Alan Stein, district governor for Rotary District 7640.
Stein gave an overview of Rotary, explaining the many ways it carries out its “Service Above Self” motto as well as this years’ Rotary International theme, “Reach Within to Embrace Humanity.”
He outlined a few of the numerous programs Rotary offers including its international student exchange and the Rotary Youth Leader Awards, a week-long conference for high school juniors under way June 26-30 at Stockton College. Rotary clubs within District 7640 (southern New Jersey) have sponsored a combined 149 students this year, including four sponsored by Hammonton Rotary – Rebecca King, Nicolette Djokovich, and Harrison Hitman from Hammonton High School, and Mark Errera from St. Joseph’s High School.
Other Hammonton Rotary programs include support of local sports teams, holiday food basket donations, meeting special needs as they arise including the recent donation of $6,000 to pay for new k-9 dog for the Hammonton Police Department.
These are in addition to Rotary’s International programs, the best known of which is its 25-year campaign to rid the world of polio. Stein said Rotary’s world-wide vaccination campaign has reduced the childhood scourge to a handful of cases.
Emcee for the evening was past club president and current Secretary Dill Donahue who pointed out that Kessler Hospital began 50 years ago with a six-month campaign by Hammonton Rotary that raised $500,000.
Donahue also noted that the Hammonton Rotary Club can trace its origins to the Berlin Rotary Club, which chartered Hammonton Rotary in 1958.
Sworn for a term that spans July 2011 though June 2012 were President Robert DeRose, Vice President Don DeFiccio, Secretary Bill Donahue, Treasurer Jerry Daunoras, and Sergeant at Arms Micky Doto. Sworn in to the Board of Directors were past Presidents Clarence J. Mattioli, Joseph Brown and Frank Bartolone; and member James FitzPatrick.
The Hammonton Rotary Club meets at 7 p.m. Thursdays at Rocco’s Town House, accept for the first Thursday of the month when it meets at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Hammonton.
Learn more at http://www.hammontonrotary.org.