On August 12, 2020, new Rotary President Julie Murphy was sworn in by Rotary District 7475 Governor Ann Walko, for the 2020-2021 Rotary year. The Rotary year began on July 1, however, due to the Coronavirus, the ceremony was postponed and held via Zoom rather than in-person. The following officers were also inducted: Deanna Dell-Bene: President-Elect, Patty Laguna: Secretary, and Don Rosenberg: Treasurer.
The evening started with a presentation by outgoing President Wayne Zuhl. He gave out two Paul Harris awards to Rotarians Deanna Dell-Bene and Carmela Resnick for their outstanding work and dedication during the past year, specifically for their work associated with Coronavirus efforts. Additionally, Dell-Bene received a Rotarian of the Year award. Zuhl demonstrated excellent leadership during a difficult year, and several key initiatives were completed during his presidency. These included: the creation of SPF Resource Central – a centralized Coronovirus information resource for the towns of Scotch Plains and Fanwood; a GoFundMe initiative which raised $16,000, with $3,000 raised during an online Benefit Concert managed by Theatrical Artist’s Prep; and a Rotary Mask Team who has been making fabric masks for the past several months. The GoFundme money was donated as follows: $9,000 for PPE for Overlook Hospital, approximately 3,000 for local food banks and the remainder will be used to purchase gift cards for healthcare workers and first responders. We will be asking members of the community to nominate recipients. Zuhl was presented with a Paul Harris award for his leadership.
President Julie Murphy continues the work started by Zuhl. As of this month, the Rotary mask team has raised closed to $10,000 from the sale of fabric masks and every dollar has been donated to local food banks, including: IHM Food Pantry, Fanwood Presbyterian Food Pantry, El Centro, The Community Food Bank of New Jersey, Starfish in Plainfield, St. Mary’s Dinner Program in Plainfield, JFS Jewish Family Services Central NJ in Elizabeth, Wynona’s House, Heart for Humanity. The Rotary Club continues to sell the masks at the Scotch Plains Farmer’s Market every Saturday.
Murphy has several important goals for this Rotary year: Increasing the diversity of club members to include different ethnic groups, getting new members energized, holding virtual fundraisers, and continuing to improve the club’s visibility in the local community.
The Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary Club has been serving the community since 1938. The club meets on Wednesdays at noon via Zoom. For further information about the club, go to fsprotary.org or visit their Facebook page: Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary Club. For membership information, contact Steve Goldberg at email@example.com.