Sunday, November 27, 2022

From the ranks: Rotary members’ view

By Cathy DeDe, Chronicle Managing Editor

The Chronicle invited members of Glens Falls Rotary to comment on their experiences with the club, what they tell people about it, and who or what typifies the Glens Falls Rotary experience for them. We asked, too: Is it fun, or serious?

Here’s what some said.

Kim Heunemann is Vice President/President Elect of the Rotary Club, and a member for 8 years.

What is a favorite project that Glens Falls Rotary does? Warm the Children and shopping with families.

Favorite traditions? Getting together and chatting with fellow Rotarians while raising funds for our community.

Is it fun, or serious? There is a good camaraderie with our club members, and it shows with our ability to raise funds and do good for both our local community and globally. We are serious about making sure anything we raise in our community goes out to people and non-profits that need it.

Kids are always a focus of Glens Falls Rotary Club
Rods, trophies, prizes at a Glens Falls Rotary Club Fishing Derby in Crandall Park.

Who or what typifies GF Rotary for you? Cindy Amell, past President, who passed away unexpectedly. She was a light in any room — her laughter was infectious and she was good at bringing joy to group of people. She believed in the ideals of Rotary and promoted that within the club during her tenure as President.

Why join? If you are looking for a way to meet good people, enjoying business connections, and if the motto “Service above Self” rings true, come try selling some fried bread dough with your peers, running in the annual 5K, fishing at the Fishing Derby or Road Cleanup Day, and many more ways to support the club and the people in our community. Rotary has lots of options to make our community a better place to live and work.”

Teresa Dunn is a newer Rotary member. “She’s a wonderful, warm firecracker of a person, and has done a ton of great work already,” Club president Jennifer Brink adds.

“I joined Rotary in October of 2021 and am SO GLAD I DID,” Mrs. Dunn says.

Favorite project: Definitely being part of a great committee of Rotarians planning our 100 Year celebration, Rotary Rockin’ 100.

Favorite tradition that I worked at for the first time is the Rotary’s Bread Dough truck at the Balloon Fest in Crandall Park.

Is it fun, or serious? The fun comes in the people you meet and friendships that are developed. The seriousness comes with providing Service above Self to many organizations that foster growth and change within the community, and the young people Rotary serves.

Notable person? For me, Kim Heunemann is a very special person and Rotarian. It is she who brought me into Rotary and I remember my induction as if it were yesterday.

Why join? To provide service to others, promote integrity, goodwill, and peace and to meet great folks with the same reasons.

Joan Tarantino, Executive Director of the Conkling Center, is a 10-year Rotarian, among other volunteer efforts in the community. She and Rachael Hunsinger Patten of the SUNY Adirondack Foundation co-chair the Rotary 5K Corporate Challenge.

Favorite Project: Raising funds to distribute to community organizations providing services to community members. I volunteer in the Bread Dough trailer which is always fun and an opportunity to get to know or catch up with other Rotarians.”

Favorite tradition: The Pledge of Allegiance prior to each meeting.

Is it fun, or serious? Rotary is both fun and serious. Fun while fundraising and serious for the organizations and individuals benefiting.

Most interesting person: Art Norton

Why join? Opportunity for Service Above Self, education, networking, and Fun.

Gordon Woodworth, 15 years in Rotary, said, “I love selling fried bread dough at the balloon festival or at LARAC. We have a great time doing it, and the support we receive is phenomenal.

Is it fun? Rotary is tremendous fun. Our members are members because they enjoy helping others. That’s refreshing and rare. It’s also serious. Our work with the Ben Osborn Fund and with SAIL is very important and rewarding.

Who or what typifies Rotary for you: My favorite five people to sit with at Rotary are, in no particular order, Tom Hoy, Bill Fitzgerald, Dave Bogue, Kevin O’Brien and the late Colonel Robert Krug. That’s an impressive group.

Why join? Rotary is quintessential Glens Falls. We help others and we have fun in the process. The fellowship is unmatched. Give it a try!

Kathy Grasmeder, 22-year Rotarian and the Club’s Immediate Past President, “has been a very inspiring leader,” Ms. Brink says.

Favorite project: The Dictionary/Book Project. Our club provides books to all 3rd graders in our area to promote literacy. Third grade is the point when children are going from learning to read to reading to learn.

Favorite traditions: Manning the Bread Dough trailer. We have so much fun amongst each other while we are raising money to give back to the community. Also, Shopping for Warm the Children. You can see first-hand how you are helping local families.

Is Rotary fun? Everyone has such a great attitude, any project a member proposes to help the community is implemented.

Who typifies what GF Rotary means to you? Dave Bogue mobilized the mobile food pantry with the Salvation Army during the pandemic.

Why join? If you are interesting in giving back or making an impact on the community, you should join!

Brian Corcoran, Senior Finance Director at Lee Enterprises (and former publisher at The Post-Star), has been in Rotary since 2014.

Favorite Rotary project: Warm the Children.

Favorite tradition: Working the bread dough trailer.

Is Rotary fun: Yes, you get to know other community members on a personal basis who you would not normally cross paths with. Over lunches and selling bread dough, you get to know others very well and see how much you have in common.

Is it serious: There is always a tremendous amount of community need whether it is food insecurity, clothing needs, or general support, and we all work together to do our part to help out in Rotary.

What or who typifies GF Rotary? The always going above and beyond by several Rotary members to make sure everything is done and covered in inspiring. Not to name names but Kevin O’Brien and David Bogue always do what is needed, and I don’t know how they find the time to do it all.

Why join Rotary? It doesn’t take a lot of time nor money to be a Rotarian but just a commitment to make a positive difference in the Glens Falls community.

Rotary Club’s leaders

President — Jennifer Brink
President-Elect — Kim Heunemann
Treasurer — Brian Corcoran
Secretary — Kevin O’Brien
Club Service — Ed Fitzgerald
Club Historian — Jacky Touba
Program Chair — Kim Heunemann
Rep for Past Presidents — John Schutze
Rotary Foundation — Neil Lebowitz
Immediate Past President — Kathy Grasmeder
Membership — Kathryn Vogel
Public Relations— Danielle Grasmeder
Club Administration — Matthew Baitinger
Executive Secretary Director — Dave Bogue

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