On Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, Helen Rentoulis spoke to the Rotary Club of Westfield at the Addams Tavern luncheon.
Her husband Peter came from Greece at the age of 14 by himself. After working hard for many years, they eventually purchased the Lido Diner on Route 22. As a young waitress at a diner in Hillside, NJ, Helen often served both NY Yankees Hall of Fame inductees Joe DiMaggio and Phil Rizzuto. In September of 1999, they sold the Lido Diner and purchased Vicki's diner in downtown Westfield at 110 E. Broad Street. They are known for their personal service and charitable works in town.
They go through 30,000 eggs and 300 pounds of bacon every week, and have many regulars. For many years they had delivered dinners to shut ins, but more recently focus on delivering food — including Turkeys — to the St. Joseph's Social Service Center in Elizabeth. In 2004 Peter and Helen Rentoulis were awarded the Rotary Jimmy Coventry Award for local businesses which demonstrate excellence in business and high ethical values.
Ray Kostyack's father owned the restaurant “Ray's” in Downtown Westfield on the corner of Central and North Avenues. Ray volunteers to help to St. Joe's in Elizabeth, including cooking turkeys every Thanksgiving. Rotary Club President Liz Ensslin has focused the club activities on food insecurity this year, and has run two projects which made 1600 sandwiches which have been donated to St. Joe's.
Bernadette Murphy is the Director of the St. Joseph Social Service Center at 118 Division Street, Elizabeth. They provide Food Assistance, Health Services, Employment Assistance, Counseling Services, Children's programs, including school supplies and summer sleep away camp, job hunting skills, they house the homeless, and run a Soup Kitchen. They have a daily sandwich program, plus provide: food for 250 people every Saturday; monthly food bags for 400 to 500 families; and and 700 bags of food at Thanksgiving. Director Murphy states that they have a need for more turkeys and is asking them to be donated to St. Joe's for Thanksgiving. For info, go to St. Joe's website http://www.sjeliz.org.
The Rotary Club of Westfield meets on Tuesdays for lunch, and guests are always welcome. Website http://www.westfieldrotary.com For more information contact club secretary Michael Hart. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.