Giving Back

Plainfield-North Plainfield Rotary Club – ‘Service Above Self’ for 94 Years

cc3c5e535b9027ac385e_club_banner_09302015.jpg
Members of the Plainfield-North Plainfield Rotary Club. Credits: Michael Townley
20a0795af55c8b14fc40_2012_dictionary_plfd__11_.JPG
The Rotary Club's Dictionary Project at Cedarbrook School in Plainfield. Credits: Michael Townley
1f1d01fd52a997ff7320_2014-2015_rutgers__3_.JPG
The Interact Club working the concession stands at Rutgers.  Credits: Michael Townley
eb548fd501507c7f2452_2014-2015_track_meet__13_.JPG
Each year, the Plainfield-North Plainfield Rotary Club funds and hosts a Track and Field Meet for middle school students.  Credits: Michael Townley
3806148442d1d3d94513_2014-2015_track_meet__25_.JPG
Each year, the Plainfield-North Plainfield Rotary Club funds and hosts a Track & Field Meet for middle school students.
ae036c0fc98e6deadbdb_2015_pancake_breakfast__1_.JPG
Interact Club volunteers at the Plainfield-North Plainfield Rotary Club's pancake breakfast.    Credits: Michael Townley
721eae9696686ac51dc2_2015-2016_giving_garden__6_.JPG
The Interact Club at the Giving Garden in Warren.
cc3c5e535b9027ac385e_club_banner_09302015.jpg

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Since 1921, the Rotary Club of Plainfield-North Plainfield has played an active and important role in the community.

The club, the oldest service organization in the Plainfields, is comprised of a diverse group of business, community and professional leaders. Plainfield-North Plainfield Rotarians participate in a broad range of humanitarian, intercultural, and educational activities designed to have a positive impact on the quality of life in the communities they serve.

“We are a service club. Rotary’s objective is ‘Service Above Self’ and our guiding principles are the following: Is it the truth, is it fair to all concerned, will it build good will and better friends, is it beneficial to all concerned,” said Ravenell Williams IV, president of the Plainfield-North Plainfield Rotary Club. “Our main goal is to give back to the community.”

Sign Up for E-News

On a local front, the organization works to effect change within the community, develop leadership skills, gain an understanding of- and have an impact on – local and international humanitarian issues, and develop relationships with other community and business leaders.

Throughout the year, the Plainfield-North Plainfield Rotary Club conducts various fundraising projects. For the past 17 years, Rotary members have worked at the concession stands at Rutgers during basketball season, raising some $10,000 a year for the club. Additionally, the club holds a Wine Tasting Dinner each spring that honors a member of the community with the ‘Service Above Self Award.’

The club also holds a free Pancake Breakfast for Seniors in April and donates monthly to the Starfish Food Pantry in Plainfield, also providing 12 complete dinners each Christmas Thanksgiving and Easter. Additionally, for the past six years, the Plainfield-North Plainfield Club has tended up to three plots at the Giving Garden at Wagner Farms Arboretum in Warren. Members dedicate their time and talent to grow various vegetables and fruits, which are then donated to Starfish, the Salvation Army and other community food banks.

Each year since 2004, the Club’s Dictionary Project has provided the gift of learning to students. Each fall, members and volunteers visit every elementary school in the two communities to hand out the free dictionaries and are thanked by school administrators and children who look forward to the arrival of the Rotarians and their gifts.

“We receive many, many ‘thank you’ notes every year,” said Williams. “They are very heartfelt and heartwarming.”

According to Michael Townley, a member of the club since 1984 and its current secretary, literacy is so important to developing young children and instilling in them a longing for learning. “When we give out the dictionaries, we speak to the third graders about why we serve others, how they can serve others, and how knowledge and learning will help them grow to be future business and professional leaders, we see their eyes light up and feel their enthusiasm,” said Townley. “We ask them to cherish their gift, which is a key to their future.”

For many years, the club has also provided financial support to graduating high school seniors going on to accredited, post-secondary colleges or universities. “We don’t have a specific total of the money awarded,” said Townley. “We do know that the club has awarded scholarships for many, many years, including at one time scholarships to student nurses at Muhlenberg Hospital.”

The Plainfield-North Plainfield Rotary Club awards its own scholarships totaling $6,000 to $8000 a year and also selects and interviews applicants and awards another $16,000 to $18,000 in scholarships for the Plainfield Foundation.

“We formed a non-profit corporation in 2007 to help us in our efforts to improve education and literacy,” said Williams. “Through this corporation, we raise money and also accept donations to help us provide the dictionaries and scholarship assistance that many students need.”

Additionally, for the past 88 years, the club has held a Track and Field Meet for middle school students. Funded solely by the Rotary, the meet is the club’s most important annual community service project. Rotary Club members and their friends serve as the officials at the meet with assistance from members of North Plainfield High School’s Interact Club, the youth-based service club sponsored by Rotary International.

“I am blessed to have been invited to join this club,” said Townley. “Rotary has given me specific opportunities to help others while enjoying the friendship and camaraderie of people from the community with a like spirit, people who I am proud to call friends.”

As a member of Rotary International, the Plainfield-North Plainfield club also supports and is dedicated to projects that provide health care and medical supplies; clean water; food; job training; youth development; and education and literacy to millions of people in need, particularly in underdeveloped countries. Over the past twenty-seven years, Rotary and its partners have reduced polio cases by 99 percent worldwide with Rotarians working to help immunize more than 2 billion children against polio in 122 countries.

There are some 1.2 million Rotarians in 33,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographic areas with the Plainfield-North Plainfield club one of 39 clubs in New Jersey’s Central District. At its peak, the Plainfield-North Plainfield Rotary Club was comprised of more than 150 members; today the club includes approximately 20 extremely active and dedicated individuals.  

“We are relatively small group but we accomplish great things,” said Williams, noting that in addition to members, the club receives assistance from some very dedicated volunteers, including some very responsible students who belong to Interact club at North Plainfield High School and the Earlyact Club at West End School. “These two service clubs for youth follow the Rotary model in working toward community service,” said Williams, adding, “The  Interact Club is highly regarded at North Plainfield High School, and undertakes many projects to benefit others. They also support our club at the Giving Garden, at Rutgers concessions, at our Senior Citizens Pancake Breakfast, our Track and Field Meet, and every other project we undertake. We couldn’t do half of what we do without the Interact Club’s support.”

According to Williams, membership in the Rotary is exciting, challenging and rewarding. “You become a member of a world wide organization that helps people in need in your community as well as communities all over the world,” he said.

The Rotary Club of Plainfield-North Plainfield welcomes new members who have an interest in serving others while working with others and while developing new friendships. Club members gather weekly for a luncheon meeting at 12:15 p.m. Wednesdays at Giovanna's Restaurant on South Avenue in Plainfield. Membership is by invitation only and open to business and professional leaders – both men and women – whose work fits in an ‘open’ classification and who have been invited to join the club. Members must live or work in in the club’s territory or a bordering municipality. 

“Anyone who is interested in joining Rotary is invited to come to a meeting and see what we are all about. This is an opportunity for Rotary to learn about you and for a potential member to find out what we are all about,” said Townley, noting that to become a member one must be sponsored into the club and approved by the board. “We strive to serve others and anyone who has that service drive is welcome to be a member.”

For more information on the Rotary Club of Plainfield-North Plainfield, visit http://www.rotarypnp.org or email RotaryPNP@verizon.net.

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

North Plainfield/Green Brook/Watchung

Found: Green Brook and Warren, Do You Know this Dog?

April 18, 2018

WARREN, NJ - Do you know me? I'm a young, male German Shepherd who appears to be around a year old. Found near Warrenville Road near the Green Brook, Bound Brook border and now at Somerset Regional Animal Shelter. Call  908-725-0308.

Travels Jersey Shore Seal Sighting on Spring Lake Beach

April 26, 2018

SPRING LAKE, NJ — Another seal came ashore — this time at the jetty on the south end of Spring Lake's beach.

Photographer Nancy Orlowski was walking the beachfront when she spotted this seal at about 3 p.m. on April 18 and took these real-time animated photos. It’s not known whether it returned to the ocean.

On April 12, a harp seal made its way onto Belmar's Fifth ...

Regional Travel Update - Gov. Murphy Announces Proposed NJTransit funding increase

Newark, NJ – Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday spread a message of hope regarding future improvements to NJTransit services and infrastructure due to a proposed $242 million increase in funding for NJTransit for the 2019 fiscal year. 

At a press conference held at NJTransit’s Central Maintenance Facility on Doremus Avenue in Newark, Murphy, Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, and other ...

Down the Shore: Registration Now Open for NJ State Police Basic Boating Safety Course at the St. Francis Community Center May 1 and 3

BRANT BEACH, NJ - Are you ready for sun and warmth?  Spring and summer fun is not that far away even though the weather has been so cold recently.

The St. Francis Community Center is offering a Basic Boating Safety Course in May.  Registration is open for the course that is being held on Tuesday, May 1 and Thursday, May 3 from 5:00 to 9:00 PM at the St. Francis Community Center, 4700 ...

TAPintoTravels Area Teens Invited to the First Meeting of Aviation Explorer Post 523

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Exploring helps young people make more informed decisions about future careers and learn about different jobs within a particular field. 

In that vein, Aviation Explorer Post 523 will hold its first meeting for young men and women, ages 14-20, on Wednesday, April 18 at 6 p.m., at DM Airports, 8 Airport Road in Morristown. Future meetings will ...

Nightmare Commute for Raritan Valley Line Commuters Monday

UNION COUNTY, NJ -- Raritan Valley Line commuters spent more than three hours trying to make their way home from New York City on Monday following the breakdown of a train near Union Station during rush hour.

At 9:47 p.m., NJT tweeted:

Raritan Valley Line westbound train service is operating on or close to schedule following an earlier disabled NJ Transit train near Union ...

Travels Update - Long Beach Island Summer Shuttle No Longer A Free Ride

BRANT BEACH - The Long Beach Island Shuttle, an extremely popular service for visitors and residents of Long Beach Island, will have a fee for the first time beginning Memorial Day weekend. 

The Long Beach Township Board of Commissioners made the announcement at their meeting on Monday, April 9. 

Here is the overview on the fees:

One-way shuttle rides from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Down the Shore: Registration Now Open for NJ State Police Basic Boating Safety Course at the St. Francis Community Center May 1 and 3

April 18, 2018

BRANT BEACH, NJ - Are you ready for sun and warmth?  Spring and summer fun is not that far away even though the weather has been so cold recently.

The St. Francis Community Center is offering a Basic Boating Safety Course in May.  Registration is open for the course that is being held on Tuesday, May 1 and Thursday, May 3 from 5:00 to 9:00 PM at the St. Francis Community Center, 4700 ...

Travels Update - Long Beach Island Summer Shuttle No Longer A Free Ride

BRANT BEACH - The Long Beach Island Shuttle, an extremely popular service for visitors and residents of Long Beach Island, will have a fee for the first time beginning Memorial Day weekend. 

The Long Beach Township Board of Commissioners made the announcement at their meeting on Monday, April 9. 

Here is the overview on the fees:

One-way shuttle rides from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Baby Seal Waddles Its Way onto Belmar Beach

BELMAR, NJ — A baby seal waddled its way onto the Fifth Avenue beach earlier today to enjoy one of the warmest days of spring so far.

Around noon on April 12, photographer Nancy Orlowski took these snapshots, which have also been posted on the Belmar Facebook page where it states that the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey has been notified.

This is the second known instance ...

Op-Ed: New Jersey’s Out-of-Network Bill is a huge blow to the middle-class

April 17, 2018

As Trenton currently looks to balance the budget, once again it’s our state’s hardest working citizens who will be left holding the bag. This time, though, it will be the hardworking office and ancillary staff from our small business private medical practices.  A bill called “The Out-of-Network Consumer Protection Bill” A-2039/S-485 looks poised to make ...

Holy Savior Academy Excels in the Arts - Annual Spring Musical, Art Show to Take Place in May

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The students and staff at Holy Savior Academy, a pre-K3 through eighth grade AdvancedED accredited Middlebrook Deanery Catholic School located in South Plainfield, have been busy gearing up for two widely anticipated spring events. In May, the drama club will present its 4th annual Spring Spectacular Musical and a school wide art show will also take ...

Obituaries

Jul 28, 1955 - Feb 8, 2018
Owner/Chef of Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes  Beloved Husband, Father, Brother and ...
Read more

Watchung Borough Council Recognizes Watchung Hills Senior Julia Cunningham, Proclaims April 19 Julia Cunningham Day

April 21, 2018

WATCHUNG, NJ - Watchung resident and Watchung Hills Regional High School graduating senior, Julia Cunningham was recognized at a special meeting of the Watchung Borough council Thursday. 

Councilman Bill Nehls praised Cunningham, “ as probably one of the best basketball players in the state,” and “an inspiration for girls in the seventh and eighth grades, ...

WHRHS Softball: Watchung Hills Rolls Over Ridge, 10-1

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - Robin McCabe struck out 13 and allowed just one run on five hits to lead the Watchung Hills softball team over Ridge on Wednesday, 10-1. 

“It was a huge win today,” said WHRHS assistant coach Jeff Dealaman. “Our girls were fired up coming into the game as it was our last game before the county seeding meeting tonight and it was against a ...

North Plainfield Baseball: Weyand Shuts Out South Hunterdon, 4-0

LAMBERTVILLE, NJ -Bruce Weyand went 3-for-3 with a solo home run, two RBI, and two runs scored, and he pitched a complete game shutout, to lead North Plainfield over South Hunterdon on Tuesday, 4-0.

Weyand allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out 11. Antwan Barbour went 2-for-3 for North Plainfield. The Canucks improve to 3-2 and next play at Manville on Thursday.

Warren Township Superintendent Addresses Walkout Incidents at Warren Middle School, Police Called

April 25, 2018

WARREN, NJ - Social media and in person discussions over the weekend regarding incidents during a walkout at Warren Middle School on Friday stirred up the Warren community. Warren Township Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Matt Mingle read the following statement at Tuesday’s meeting of the Warren Township Board of Education:

There are allegations being discussed in the ...

New DMV Facility Should Ease Crunch in Somerville

 

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - B. Sue Fulton is just beginning to find her away around her new office in Trenton , but the newly-sworn director of the Department of Motor Vehicles found her way to Somerville Saturday at the invitation of state Sen. Christopher Kip Bateman for a visit to the local DMV office on Roosevelt Place which has been causing headaches for neighborhood residents.

She ...