MAPLEWOOD, NJ – Pam Taylor has been elected and installed as the new President of the Maplewood Rotary Club.  Taylor, a realtor with Jordan Baris, has been a member of the philanthropic organization for five years.

“I am really looking forward to this,” Taylor said.  “I’m hoping we can increase our membership, do some good things and have a lot of fun.”

There are currently 22 members of the service organization, which raises money for a number of worthy causes.  Members are not required to live or work in Maplewood, just to be willing to work for some good causes.

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Their largest event of the year is the annual “Affair of the Heart” dinner dance, which raises funds to save the lives of children.  Last year the organization donated $10,000 to the Saint Barnabas Medical Center Foundation in support of the life-saving work being done by the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The decision to honor the NICU came following the birth of “miracle baby” Aria Grace Calvosa, daughter of Rotary Club member Angel Calvosa and her husband Greg.

Taylor is the local club’s first African-American female president and looks forward to bringing a wider array of members.

“When I joined the club, it was a little short on diversity, although they were making a concerted effort at that time to become more diverse,” Taylor said.  “At the time I was only the second woman.”

She would like to bring in more women as well as younger members, but she realizes that parents of young children have more time constraints and may not be willing to attend the club’s weekly meetings.

“Some clubs do not meet every week, or have some weeks when just the Board meets,” she said.  “We have talked about that and we have talked about leveraging technology to allow people to participate remotely.”  She said the club will continue to find creative ways to increase participation.

“When you do volunteer work, you have to make it fun for people,” Taylor said.  “We make it fun and there is a real sense of teamwork, too.”

The Maplewood Rotary Club meets on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. at Highland Place.  Learn more at