Westfield Rotarians held their annual meeting and induction of officers at the end of June in anticipation of the new Rotary year beginning July 1.
Marta Alexandre, the outgoing president, outlined the group’s accomplishments for the year past funded by several fundraisers. They included initiatives designed to provide food to those who are nutritionally vulnerable, particularly children; collect used bicycles to be shipped to third world countries, and awarded $22,000 in grants to community-based social service organizations. She reported that scholarships for college totaling $98,500 were presented to 22 graduating high school seniors.
As her last act as president, Alexandre presented Paul Harris Fellowship Awards, Rotary’s recognition for persons who exemplify Rotary’s motto, Service Above Self, to Rotarians Nancy Jackson, Steve Ketcham and Chung Shih.
Along with a queue of 11 former presidents, Alexandre passed the group’s historic, hand-carved gavel, symbolic of leadership, to Philip Salerno, Rotary’s new president. Other officers who were elected for terms of one year are: Clark Lagemann, vice-president; Nancy Jackson, secretary, and Steven Ketcham, treasurer. Directors appointed for one year are: Marta Alexandre, Elizabeth Ensslin, Maria Fuentes, Anthony LaPorta and Lowell Schantz.
Salerno praised Alexandre for her strong leadership and management during the year related to Rotary’s avenues of service to community, international projects, the club, vocations and new generations. He bestowed upon her an embellished past-president’s pin and a Paul Harris Fellowship. The presentations evoked a standing ovation from the membership.
In his closing remarks, Salerno thanked the membership for placing their faith in him and pledged to persist with the notable involvement of the club in the community and its exceptional achievements throughout a long tradition that began with the club’s charter in 1921.
For further information and to experience Rotary fellowship during a luncheon meeting, according to Salerno, a warm welcome awaits any Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. at the Westfield YMCA, 220 Clark Street, Westfield.