Guest Speakers

Upcoming Speakers

If you or your organization would like to speak or give a presentation during one of our bi-monthly meetings, please contact Blair Frodelius at

Past Speakers

January 12, 2021 – Mary Jane Milano, Community Development Manager of the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network joins us. Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network (FLDRN) is a not-for-profit, organ donor program that coordinates organ and tissue donations in New York State’s Finger Lakes, Central and Upstate regions. We work closely with the region’s hospitals to ensure that the organ donor decisions of area residents, in consultation with their families, are carried out at the time of death. Explore below to learn more about our services and history.

December 8, 2020 – Sarah Ioele from Father Champlin’s Guardian Angel Society joins us. Two decades ago, Father Joseph Champlin realized that too many children in need were not graduating from high school. He desperately wanted to find a way to stop the cycle of poverty by helping these kids receive a quality education based on a strong set of values. In 1997, he started the Guardian Angel Society to raise funds for tuition assistance to allow children to attend Cathedral School and to provide mentor relationships for the young children so they would enjoy academic and social success. CAP is a sanctuary for so many children – an oasis where they feel safe, loved and accepted. From there, many students choose to continue on to Bishop Grimes Prep, Bishop Ludden or Christian Brothers Academy (CBA). Father ensured scholarships would be available to those families in need until the kids’ high school graduation.

November 10, 2020 – Annette Simiele Associate Director from the Multiple Sclerosis Resources of Central New York, Inc. joins us. Multiple Sclerosis Resources of Central New York, Inc. (MS Resources) Founded in 1998 is a local 501(c)3 not for profit local health agency created to provide local services for local clients with multiple sclerosis. This agency was developed by a group of concerned individuals within the community that felt persons with MS needed additional assistance to help then meet their daily needs in this area. This agency is not part of a large National organization. It is an agency that is part of your community All the funds raised by MS Resources stay in our community and are spent on MS clients in our community.

October 13, 2020 – Kate Veley and Tina Morgan from Make-A-Wish Central New York visit us. Every 35 minutes Make-A-Wish® grants the wish of a child diagnosed with a critical illness in the United States and its territories. We believe that a wish experience can be a game-changer. This one belief guides us in everything we do. It inspires us to grant wishes that change the lives of the kids we serve. Make-A-Wish® Central New York serves – 15 counties including Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Otsego, Oswego, St. Lawrence, Tioga & Tompkins.

September 8, 2020 – Rod Leman joins us. Rod serves as the Vice President of Business Operations at Cactus Family Farms L.L.C. (CFF), the pork division of Cactus Feeders Inc., of Amarillo Texas. The pork division is headquartered in Webster City, Iowa. Rod joined the company, formerly known as Swine Graphics Enterprises, in 1992 where he was an owner, and served in various management capacities. CFF is owns 25,000 sows in Iowa and 9,000 sows in South Carolina that produce more than 700,000 market pigs each year. He is a member of the Webster County Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) and is a graduate of the IPPA’s Leaders of Tomorrow program. He has also served on the IPPA’s public relations committee since 2013.

August 11, 2020 – Chuck Tomaselli shares “The Environment is Rotary’s Business” District ESRAG Presentation. Environmental Sustainability Rotarian Action Group (ESRAG) assists Rotary clubs, districts and multi-districts in planning, implementing and evaluating service projects, building awareness, and inspiring action. These projects promote environmental sustainability, awareness of climate change, and actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to mitigate climate disruption. ESRAG promotes educational resources, initiates dialogue about environmental sustainability, and uses best practices in models and assessments for both projects and daily choices. This work advances the Object of Rotary through positive impacts in all six Areas of Focus.

July 14, 2020 – Cheryl Matt our District Governor Nominee Designate joins us virtually on Zoom. Cheryl joined Rotary in 1994 and belonged to those Clubs located where she worked. She was a Board member and President-Elect in Canastota Rotary, President of Baldwinsville Rotary and Board member while in the Rome Rotary. After retiring in 2012, she joined the Rotary Club of Dewitt where she is the immediate Past-President and Membership Chair. She is also an Assistant Governor. Cheryl has completed the graduate level of Rotary Leadership Institute and is a Paul Harris plus 4.

March 10, 2020 – Reenie Dailey, Partnership Outreach Manager of Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways, Inc. joins us. 2.5 million strong—more than 1.7 million girls and 750,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Their extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, they’ve honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. They’re the preeminent leadership development organization for girls.And with programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success.

February 25, 2020 – Rose Viviano, Director of the ArtRage Gallery in Syracuse joins us. The gallery, with its unique mission to exhibit art for social change, continues a long tradition of progressive social activism in Central New York. Since 1982, the Syracuse Cultural Workers has published the work of artists creating work on social justice and environmental themes. From this work, Dik Cool realized there was a need to show this type of art, and more of it, to a local audience. And thus, a new organization, The CORA Foundation was formed. The first project of The CORA Foundation was to establish ArtRage Gallery.

February 11, 2020 – Frieda Weeks, Executive Director of Hope for Heather joins us. The Hope for Heather is a not-for-profit corporation in memory of Heather Weeks, who lost her life to cancer at age 24. Heather was an advocate for women’s cancer and committed to raising funds to find a cure. Through your donation, the Hope for Heather will continue Heather’s dream of educating all women on the major symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. This corporation’s mission is to raise funds to support ovarian cancer research, to promote education and awareness, and to help to provide comfort to women and their families devastated by cancer.

2019 Past Speakers

November 26, 2019 – Lynn Hy, Chief Development Officer of Food Bank of Central New York joins us. Food Bank of Central New York is a not-for-profit organization working to eliminate hunger through nutritious food distribution, education, and advocacy in cooperation with the community. We partner with 280 emergency food programs in the counties of Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, and St. Lawrence. The core of our work is achieved by partnering with local agencies that distribute food to individuals and families in need. The key partners that make up our emergency food network are food pantries, soup kitchens, and emergency shelters. Other not-for-profit agencies such as day care centers, rehabilitation centers, senior centers, and group homes are able to utilize membership as a way to supplement their agency food needs.

November 19, 2019 – Cooper Sirwatka from CNY Fair Housing joins us. CNY Fair Housing is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1991, dedicated to eliminating housing discrimination, promoting open communities and ensuring equal access to housing opportunity for all people in Central and Northern New York. The organization, based in Syracuse, New York, 1) investigates rental, sales, insurance and financing complaints and provides free legal representation to victims of illegal housing discrimination 2) trains housing professionals, service providers and individuals and families on Fair Housing rights and responsibilities and how to identify illegal behavior 3) produces reports for planning purposes including Assessments of Fair Housing, makes policy recommendations and performs self-monitoring investigations and testing for housing providers.

November 12, 2019 – Sheila Dion, the Founder of Erin’s Angels, joins us. Since nutrition affects cognitive, social and emotional development, children who do not get proper foods are more likely to have problems learning, growing and interacting. Erin’s Angels ensures that children who rely on subsidized lunches continue to receive food vital to their growth and development.   Currently, Erin’s Angels works with 70 students weekly to ensure they are sent home with food to supplement and provide meals while they aren’t in school. In order to provide these services, and extend services to 33 more students, Erin’s Angels needs additional funding in order to continue providing and growing their services.

November 5, 2019 – Trina Tardone, Director of Go Red for Women for American Heart Association joins us. The American Heart Association’s signature women’s initiative, Go Red for Women, is a comprehensive platform designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women globally. It’s no longer just about wearing red; it’s no longer just about sharing heart health facts. It’s about all women making a commitment to stand together with Go Red and taking charge of their own heart health as well as the health of those they can’t bear to live without. Making a commitment to your health isn’t something you have to do alone either, so grab a friend or a family member and make a Go Red Healthy Behavior Commitment today.

October 29, 2019 – Andrea Stukey Colella, Executive Director of From The Ground Up Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc. joins us. From the Ground Up Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc. (FTGU) offers Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) to persons of all abilities, life challenges and stages. The intuitive and accepting nature of the horse, as well as its movement, motivates participants to achieve physical, emotional, social and educational goals. The horses’ size instills confidence, mutual respect and trust in all who partner with them on the ground or in the saddle. It is our mission to facilitate all that is possible through this partnership.

October 22, 2019 – Nina Albino-DeVoldre, Executive Director of Charity for Children joins us. Charity for Children, Inc. (CFC) is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit “child-centered” organization dedicated to providing services for children with disabilities, diseases and disorders in Central New York. As a non-profit charitable organization, Charity for Children provides financial and educational services to needy families of Central New York with children who are afflicted with disabilities, diseases and disorders. The Agency was formed in 2004 to offer support to Central New York families that begins where other agencies typically end. Charity for Children is not affiliated or associated with any other health of human service agency.

October 15, 2019 – Representatives from the Community Foundation and the LeadSafe CNY program join us. The Central New York region is rich with history, dating back to a population boom during the industrial revolution. But along with that comes an aging housing stock that in many ways provides substandard living conditions for today’s residents.   An elevated blood lead level of over five mcg/dl in children is considered high lead exposure. However, any level of lead present is considered dangerous. According to the Onondaga County Health Department, more than 11 percent of Syracuse children tested in 2017 were shown to have elevated levels. There is a new energy in Syracuse as passionate and knowledgeable community organizations and public officials are coming together to eradicate childhood lead poisoning. We are excited to be a part of this effort to enact real change for the benefit of our children. We are optimistic about the future as we work together to make the city of Syracuse lead-safe.

October 1, 2019 – David DeFrancis and Anne Costa from Aurora of CNY join us. Aurora of CNY has a long history of providing individual rehabilitation, support and employment services, along with professional Interpreter Referral Services through the Marjorie Clere Interpreter Referral Service. Aurora of CNY is the only area non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting independence and opportunity for people of all ages with vision or hearing loss.

September 24, 2019 – Elizabeth Esmark & Rick Rarick from Matthew 25 Farm join us. They are a not-for-profit farm with two locations, in Tully and LaFayette, NY. They grow & distribute fresh vegetables & fruits to those in need throughout CNY. Food from the Matthew 25 Farm goes to local food pantries and families in need. Over the last 4 seasons they donated over 300,000 lbs of food!

September 17, 2019 – Michela Hugo from CNY Diaper Bank joins us. The Central New York Diaper Bank is a nonprofit that was created to assist social service organizations in the Syracuse area distribute diapers to families in need. Our mission is to ensure all Central New York families have access to an adequate supply of diapers, and to build awareness of diaper need in our community. Since May 2016, the volunteer-run CNY Diaper Bank has distributed 224,000 diapers to families in Syracuse through a growing network of 15 partner agencies.  The need in Syracuse is SO great–we have several agencies on our waitlist.  We need your support to continue to expand our reach and ensure that all CNY babies and toddlers stay clean, dry and healthy.  It is hard for many of us to imagine that families struggle with something as basic as diapers, but they do.  Everyday–local families go without.  Ages 0-2 are a critical time in a child’s development and they must have basic needs like diapers in order to thrive.

September 10, 2019 – Club member Eric Larison shares information about Contact Community Services and September being suicide awareness month. Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues. In 2016 alone, nearly 45,000 individuals died by suicide, leaving behind their friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of loss. In many cases, friends and families affected by a suicide loss (often called “suicide loss survivors”) are left in the dark. Too often the feelings of shame and stigma prevent them from talking openly.

September 3, 2019 – Ellen M. McCauley from the Department of Adult & Long Term Care Services joins us. The Onondaga County Office for Aging is one of 59 Area Agencies on Aging in New York State and is part of the national aging network. Their aim is to be a focal point for information, advocacy, and coordination of eldercare services. As such, we assist seniors and caregivers by providing the services and benefits that older adults need to live independently.

August 27, 2019 – Katie Lannon, Community Relations Coordinator for 13thirty Cancer Connect, Inc. joins us. 82,000 teens and young adults ages 13-30 are diagnosed with cancer in the United States each year. 13thirty Cancer Connect’s community-based center in Rochester, NY has been a second home to hundreds of teens and young adults with cancer since 2001. A place so vital for current patients and survivors alike, that a Syracuse teen, Charlie Poole, traveled 95 miles with his mom to meet new friends who understood. Charlie’s love for 13thirty Cancer Connect became the driving force behind our planned expansion to Syracuse. He looked for resources and support for other teens and young adults with cancer in his community but found none. Driving two hours to Rochester was worth the effort to Charlie and his mom but we knew it shouldn’t be so hard. We had to make it easier for others like Charlie.With the support of many 13thirty Champions, we are now able to confidently begin serving Syracuse teens and young adults at our new 13thirty Cancer Connect center dedicated to Hannah and Charlie.

August 13, 2019 – District Governor Randy visits us. A little about Randy: He has been a member of the Sauquoit Rotary Club since 1979. He was a Youth Exchange Officer (YEO) for ten years and has been a part of the District Youth Exchange Committee. Randy has been a club president three times, is a Paul Harris Fellow +6, a Paul Harris Society Member and is currently the Assistant Governor in Area 2. Randy and his wife Jan have been Youth Exchange host parents
and because of all of his years in working with youth, many call him “Uncle Randy.”

August 6, 2019 – Larry from Larry’s Light LGM Foundation joins us. The purpose of this group, is to keep Larry’s light alive by spreading positivity and love. We host fundraisers for underprivileged children in need of bikes and bike safety equipment. We will also raise money to sponsor families in need during the holiday season. Our events are fun, family friendly events with food, fun, games, raffles and music. This group is for anyone looking to give back to the youth in our communities, anyone who knows what it’s like to lose someone far too soon, and anyone looking to make the world a better place than it was when we arrived.

July 30, 2019 – Toni Brauchle & Amy Venditte from CanTeen join us. The CanTeen provides teens between 8th and 12th grade a safe place to hang out after school! The CanTeen is a place where teens connect with friends, have fun, and grab a bite to eat. Everyone is welcome. The CanTeen is celebrating 20 years of building relationships with youth in our communities. Research has show it takes the support of fives adults (outside of their family) to nurture a young person into a healthy productive adult.

July 23, 2019 – Mark C Piersall, Executive Director of Heritage Farm, Inc. joins us. Many harvests ago a shared vision existed between a husband and wife that an actual working farm designed specifically for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, would tender a very therapeutic and enriching venue to foster growth and independence. In the spring of 1985 that vision came to life, a byproduct of community collaboration and dedication to providing a unique alternative to service delivery resulting in the birth of Heritage Farm. Individuals who attend Heritage Farm utilize a variety of different artistic mediums from paint, wood, wool and clay as opportunities for self-expression, tactile development, and education. Participants gain experience in farm-related tasks such as caring for small livestock or exploring horticultural endeavors in the vegetable patch, greenhouse and herb gardens. Participants grow their own bounty, gather eggs from the chickens and make jams or jellies from farm grown raspberries and grapes. Individuals can choose to experience the woodshops or craft rooms to forge wonderful folk arts and other primitives to share with their families and friends. Offered services include Group Day and Community Habilitation, Respite, Recreational and After-School services, Supported Employment, Service Coordination, Children’s Summer Program, and Self-Advocacy.

July 16, 2019 – Erin Engle from Griffin’s Guardians joins us. Griffin’s Guardians is a recognized nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides support and financial assistance to children battling cancer in Central New York. We work hand in hand with the Child Life Specialists at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital to stay up to date on what the patients’ and families’ current needs are. In addition, we strive to bring awareness to Pediatric Cancer and to provide financial aid for funding Pediatric Cancer Research.

July 9, 2019 – Jason Torreano, the Executive Director of joins us. Inkululeko (E-ncoo-Lou-Lay-Ko), a Xhosa word, means “freedom.” It is the name of, and the spirit of, this non-profit organization that serves students in Grahamstown, South Africa. Inkululeko’s mission is to provide South African township youth with the skills, support and guidance necessary to apply, attend and succeed in university; to challenge the bigotry of low expectations for township youth; and to provide sustainable, positive change – student-by-student, generation-by-generation. Inkululeko focuses its efforts on 15-20 youth per year. It admits students beginning in grade eight and works with those students through high school to ensure the student is continually achieving academic success. Inkululeko has forged collaborations with local and international non-profit organizations and also with Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa – and Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.

June 18, 2019 – County Executive Ryan McMahon joins us to tell us what’s happening in Onondaga County and provide us with details on programs that he has undertaken since he took over as County Executive. He will also be glad to take questions about plans that the county government has to improve the quality of life in Central New York.

June 11, 2019 – Alamin Abdullah Muhammad from We Rise Above The Streets Recovery Outreach, Inc. joins us. Alamin Muhammad knows firsthand the pain of homelessness and hunger. He also knows how much just a little help means. Muhammad is now the man helping those in need – one weekend at a time. His organization delivers high energy messages that encourage people to live up to their full potential by breaking the cycles of homelessness and crime many face daily.

May 21, 2019 – Alan Hall & Pat Burke from Family Focus Adoption Services join us. Since its inception as an accredited non-profit agency in 1987, Family Focus has added its own unique voice to the adoption community with its pioneering philosophies, training and adoption practices. Family Focus’s board and staff, many of whom are adoptive parents, share a belief that adoption transforms the lives of children and the families that adopt them.

May 14, 2019 – Dana Balter from Enter the Public Square joins us. Their mission is to build civic engagement with Americans ages 3 to 103. EPS’s nonpartisan canvass moves beyond the election cycle and stimulates debate, information sharing, and data collection through meaningful conversations. EPS’s University Fellowship program equips local University students with the tools needed to spark and facilitate civic engagement in their communities. EPS’s Public School program offers practical civic engagement through supplemental, age appropriate curriculum addressing issues such as current affairs, media literacy, group decision making, and policy analysis.

April 30, 2019 – Rob Bick joins to share about his non-profit organization called “Live While You’re Living”. Plenty of people talk about making the world a better place. Ann Marie Bick actually did it. “Ann Marie firmly believed that everybody has the ability to do good in this world,” said her husband, Rob Bick. “If you met her, you could not help but be influenced in a positive way by her.” Ann Marie, mother, wife, friend, fighter, entrepreneur, advocate, motivational speaker, writer, passed away Dec. 7, 2018 from metastatic breast cancer. She was 55. Rob hopes to carry on his wife’s legacy through a foundation in Ann Marie’s name to raise awareness about metastatic breast cancer. The foundation’s name will reflect Ann Marie’s favorite saying. “Ann Marie used to give motivational speeches, and one of the big hits of hers was, why wait until you’re dying to live life?” he said. “You should live while you’re living. So it’s going to be called the Live While You’re Living Foundation.”

April 23, 2019- Club member Dan Golden and Raymond Fougnier, a member of the Solvay Village Board of Trustees will present about the Solvay Library‘s new Electric Car Charging station. Electric Vehicles (or EVs) never require a trip to the gas station, tune-ups, transmission repairs, spark plugs or oil changes. Your hands will never smell like toxic petrochemicals. EVs have far fewer moving parts than gasoline cars. There’s no engine, transmission, spark plugs, valves, fuel tank, tailpipe, distributor, starter, clutch, muffler, or catalytic converter. There are a lot fewer things to break down, so maintenance costs are much lower.

April 16, 2019 – Tina Saxby and Jon Smith have been holding Financial Wellness Workshops at the county libraries through the fall and winter. Today they join us to share about how money works by teaching us aspects of the banking and insurance industry that don’t want us to know. We should all come away with a better handle on our finances!

April 9, 2019 – James Nightingale, Police Captain for the Camillus Police Department joins us to share about autism. Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. We now know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, and each person with autism can have unique strengths and challenges. A combination of genetic and environmental factors influence the development of autism, and autism often is accompanied by medical issues such as: Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, Seizures & Sleep disturbances. Autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children. Many people with autism also have sensory issues. These can include aversions to certain sights, sounds and other sensations.

April 2, 2019 – Brewster Sears from Skaneateles joins us to share his experiences in guiding kayak trips to visit the whales off the North Coast of Quebec. Between May and October, up to 13 species of cetaceans are found in the salty waters of the St. Lawrence, including blue whales, the largest animals on the planet, and impressive humpbacks, which swim up into the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord near Tadoussac to feed. Brewster will share stories and photographs from his excursions.

March 26, 2019 – Matthew C. Cullipher from The People Project joins us. They began as a 501(c)3 charitable organization out of Syracuse, NY with a vision to provide an education for children living in extreme poverty in Trujillo, Peru. Their charity has given away nearly $1,000,000 in financial and humanitarian donations worldwide in our 13+ years of existence. They have had the privilege of touching over 400,000 lives in 12 nations since our humble beginning. They have given away over 200,000 meals, helped plant a Teen Challenge center in Peru, given away over 150 tons of humanitarian goods globally, opened community centers in the US, opened two schools globally, opened various soup kitchens globally and locally, helped to plant orphanages and churches globally, and helped to educate thousands!

March 19, 2019 – Mary Beth Frey Executive Director of the Samaritan Center joins us. The Samaritan Center is a 501c3, interfaith effort of community members committed to serving the hungry and those in need in order to promote their welfare dignity and self sufficiency.  It is rooted in the belief that sound nutrition is the first step in enabling people to cope and become productive, self-sufficient members of society. Since 1981 Samaritan Center has worked to fight hunger in the greater Syracuse community by providing nutritious hot meals to anyone in need 7 days a week – no questions asked.

March 12, 2019 – Daryl Files from InterFaith Works joins us. InterFaith Works was founded in 1976 to build bridges of understanding among people of different religions and across racial divides. In the U.S. climate of concern for interracial understanding during the decades of civil rights activity, InterFaith Works aligned to fulfill this important function. The agency was also ahead of the curve on creating interreligious understanding, working first among Catholics, Protestants, and Jews, and then expanding to include Muslims, Sikh, Buddhist, Mormon, Baha’is, and other faith groups. The need for this work heightened after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and continues to serve as a vehicle to address hate towards those who are considered “different.”

March 5, 2019 – Phyllis Amaral joins us. Phyllis works for PhysioChains Education (specializing in Parkinson’s Regeneration Training). PhysioChains LLC is a human movement and movement disorder education company based in Central New York. CEO and founder, Karl Sterling travels extensively throughout the world, researching and collaborating with leading neurologists and brain experts and developing cutting edge educational programs. PhysioChains currently offers level 1 and 2 “Parkinson’s Regeneration Training” courses throughout the world.

February 26, 2019 – Kristen Campbell and Emily Vargas from the Alzheimer’s Association joins us. The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Their mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

February 19, 2019 – Thomas M. Winn, Chief of Police for the Camillus Police Department joins us. As the primary law enforcement agency in our community the men and women of the Camillus Police Department serve with unmistakable pride and integrity, which has garnered the organization tremendous community support. Subscribing to a philosophy of community policing, we provide a unique and personalized brand of customer service seldom seen in other police agencies. Through strong police/community partnerships, the Town of Camillus enjoys an extremely low crime rate which contributes to a very desirable quality of life for our residents.

February 5, 2019 – James B. Sleeper, Chairman of The Syracuse Ride for Missing and Exploited Children. In the latest reported annual numbers, for Onondaga County; 443 children were reported missing and 1,917 were reported as Abused or Mistreated. The Syracuse Ride for Missing Children is a group of local volunteers who believe we can have a positive impact on these numbers. For the 17th year, as volunteers they are working with he National Center of Missing and Exploited Children of NY (NCMEC/NY) in their  mission is to find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation and prevent future victimization. WE provide hope to the families of the missing, and funding for  their mission efforts  improving children’s lives. We deliver our message on an escorted bicycle ride  through Onondaga County. Along the way we stop at schools to raise awareness in children about being safe.

January 29, 2019 – Bodie Centore, an 8th grader at Onondaga Hill Middle School in the Westhill School District is participating in the St.Baldrick’s Day fundraiser on March 25th at Kitty Hoynes. It is his 7th year and he is trying to raise $30,000 for children’s cancer research. children’s cancers are different than adults. Some are so unknown that there are not treatments effective enough to cure them. Bodie will join us to ask for the club’s help and support.

January 22, 2019 – Mark Matt from the Izaak Walton League joins us. Fellow Rotarian Mark shares how for 90 years, New York “Ikes” have tackled a wide range of conservation issues, including helping to stop dam construction in the Adirondacks, raising awareness about the dangers of acid rain, and launching anti-pollution legislation to address toxic waste in the Great Lakes. More recently, they worked for expanded angler and boater access on the Finger Lakes promoted statewide recycling and composting.

January 15, 2019 – Rob Neiderhoff joins us to share about his work with Monarch butterflies in Central New York. An adjunct biology professor at Onondaga Community College began raising monarch butterflies in 2017. Since then, Niederhoff has given talks at the Liverpool Public Library and local schools about the importance of protecting monarch butterflies. “There are far fewer butterflies, especially monarchs, than there were when we grew up,” Niederhoff says. Increasing residential development, changing weather patterns, and destructive deforestation and pesticide use have caused the population of monarch butterflies in Mexico and the eastern United States to plummet, reaching a record low in 2012. “Their overall numbers are down 90 percent from the late 1990s,” Niederhoff says. Niederhoff began planting milkweed to try to boost the butterfly population around his home.

2018 Past Speakers

December 18, 2018 – Chris Hussak and Jon Wright from Sleep in Heavenly Peace join us. All children deserve a safe, comfortable place to lay their heads. Across the US, too many boys and girls go without a bed—or even a pillow—to sleep on. These children end up sleeping on couches, blankets, and even floors. This can affect their happiness and their health. That’s where Sleep in Heavenly Peace comes in. They’re a group of volunteers dedicated to building, assembling and delivering top-notch bunk beds to children and families in need. If a child needs a bed, we want to make sure they get one. No kid sleeps on the floor in our town.

November 27, 2018 – Gus Hernandez from Echelon Syracuse joins us. E.S. seeks to mobilize the next generation for The Salvation Army by providing opportunities for young adults to engage with the organization through networking, fundraising, and volunteering. As young professionals, not everyone has the capacity to make large donations to The Salvation Army.  What young professionals part of Echelon CAN do is share their skills, passion, and talent to make a difference.  Young professionals are motivated to serve a cause they are passionate about – Echelon Syracuse is passionate about the work of The Salvation Army in our community. In 2016 over 38,500 people were helped by The Salvation Army in the Syracuse area.

November 20, 2018 – Virginia B. Carmody, Executive Director Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County joins us. Through the leadership of the Central New York Community Foundation, a community-wide literacy initiative was launched and has evolved into the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County. They are a community coming together around shared problem-solving and promoting the vision of 100% literacy through 100% community engagement. In Onondaga County, over 200 community members met in extensive planning sessions to establish a community-wide literacy plan with a focus on specific community literacy outcome indicators and priority recommendations. In summary, the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County is NOT a new program, it’s a community mandate to connect and maximize available literacy resources across the lifespan.

November 13, 2018 – Cindy Meili, Veterans Outreach Coordinator for the Town of Elbridge and Skaneateles will visit. You may have seen the banners of along Route 5 highlighting active servicemen and servicewomen. Cindy is the person headed up this campaign. Watch this video to learn more, and then attend our meeting to dialogue with her. 

November 6, 2018 – Blessed U. Sikhosana from Syracuse University joins us to share about her work with Girls education in Zimbabwe. Blessed is the founder and driving force of the Blessed Sikhosana Foundation, which funds sustainable developments, such as sponsoring and educating village girls, as well as clean water and medical projects in rural areas of Zimbabwe. A dedicated advocate for African refugees in Central New York, she assists them with housing, employment, and educational issues. “We have received 20 donated computers and are looking for space on Syracuse’s North Side to establish a computer center,” she says. “Our refugee children are having difficulties passing their Regents examinations, and we hope a computer center will help, especially for those who are having trouble with English.”

October 30, 2018 – Andrea Marshall & Sam Rowser from On Point for College join us. Most of On Point’s students are low-income, first-generation college students ages 17-29, who are recruited at high schools, community centers, youth homeless shelters, and refugee sites throughout the community. A third of our students have no parents in their lives. More than half are no longer in high school, and have no guidance counselor to assist them when they come to us. Without On Point, for many of these students, there would be no college. On Point further exceeds the odds by maintaining a 70% freshman to sophomore persistence rate – exceeding the national average. We also help over 300 students and graduates find employment – including full, part-time, and seasonal jobs and internships – each year.

October 25, 2018 – Mike Waters, sports columnist from is the keynote speaker at the CSG Rotary Community Recognition Luncheon taking place at the BPOE Elks Club on Newport Rd. in Camillus.

October 16, 2018 – Renee McCaffrey from Sarah’s Guest House joins us. Sarah House, as it was known, was founded in 1994 by Mary Keough. Mary was inspired by her nephew Billy Johnson to open CNY’s only adult Hospital Hospitality House. Billy was 22 when he was diagnosed with leukemia. He and his family traveled to New Hampshire and Minnesota for his bone marrow transplants. It was during these travels that Billy learned of the Hospital Hospitality House concept. People often need to travel away from home for necessary medical care – not everyone can afford to stay in a hotel. He discovered a “home away from home” for families and patients – an affordable and compassionate alternative to a hotel. Billy shared the idea with his aunt Mary and soon an opportunity arose. Father Ahern of Most Holy Rosary asked Mary and her husband Dick if they had a purpose for a vacant caretaker’s house next to the convent, and Sarah House was born. It was a small 4 bedroom house that was located right next door that was torn down in 2010. Sarah House opened its doors in 1994. Billy and Mary’s dream has allowed us to serve more than 1,000 individuals for more than 3,000 nights per year – people from all over the world…providing them with a home like atmosphere while they or their loved one receives medical care.

October 9, 2018 – Thomas M. Griffith from the Central New York Community Foundation joins us. The Central New York Community Foundation was established in 1927 to serve as a permanent community endowment built by the gifts and charitable legacies of individuals, families and businesses for the betterment of the region. It is the largest charitable foundation in Central New York with assets of more than $272 million. It has invested more than $190 million in community improvement projects since its inception. As a grantmaker, civic leader, convener and sponsor of special initiatives, the Community Foundation strives to strengthen local nonprofits, encourage better understanding of the region and address the most critical issues of our time. Its vision is to create a vibrant Central New York community that provides opportunity for everyone and builds a hopeful, prosperous region for future generations.

October 2, 2018 – Rich Synek from joins us. Feed Our Vets was founded by Vernon Center, NY Postmaster and Navy Veteran Rich Synek. One day, a World War II Veteran came into Rich’s Post Office and bought a single stamp. When Rich asked him why he didn’t buy a book of stamps, the man broke down and confessed that he and his wife only had enough money to eat properly for two weeks out of each month, and that the last few days of the month, the couple had nothing to eat at all. That night, Rich and his wife, Michele, went out and bought groceries for the Veteran and his wife, and brought the food to their home. When they realized how widespread the problem of Veteran hunger is, they established the first Feed Our Vets Food Pantry. They have been feeding Veterans ever since. Rich is a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Marine Corps League, AVERS (American Veterans for Equal Rights), National League of Postmasters (NLPM), National Association of Postmasters of The United States (NAPUS), and is a Master Mason.

September 25, 2018 – Marvin L. Joslyn, Rotary District 7150 Governor 2018-19 makes a visit to our club to share his goals for Rotary in our district.  Please make sure to attend this special meeting! Marv joined the Baldwinsville Rotary Club in 2008. He served as President of the club in 2011-2012. He and his wife have been active in many committees and he currently is the co-treasurer. He held the position of Assistant Governor from 2012-2015. Marv has also served on the District Conference Committee. He is a Paul Harris Fellow (+1). Marv and Janet have discovered the many rewards of shared Rotary experiences. They reside in Baldwinsville and have 2 children. Marv is enthused about the opportunity to work with other Rotarians to continue to grow District 7150 and make it known as an organization that truly serves the needs of our local communities and people throughout the world.

September 18, 2018 – Erin Zacholl from Helping Hounds joins us. Helping Hounds Dog Rescue provides a compassionate approach to dog rescue by matching homeless dogs from over crowded shelter systems with loving homes. The Helping Hounds Dog Rescue’s mission is to take unwanted, neglected, abused, stray or homeless dogs from high-kill shelters and provide them with emotional, medical, behavioral and physical support so they can be adopted into loving permanent homes.

September 11, 2018 – Amie Zwecker, Marketing and Development Manager of LAUNCHCNY joins us. LAUNCH is a local nonprofit formerly known as the Learning Disabilities Association of Central New York. They serve children, teens and adults with learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, ADHD, autism and more. Their youngest client is four and the oldest is 82. They have been serving the Syracuse community since 1985. They currently have a program, Adult Social Recreation, that is planning a trip for their clients. They are asking Rotary Clubs, businesses, foundations and individuals to help them raise $4,500.

September 4, 2018 – Ellen Beckerman, Executive Director at The Haven at Skanda joins us. The Haven at Skanda provides a loving home to rescued and endangered animals where they can relax, live in their own natural rhythms of life, and emerge into who they really are. We offer programs to kids and adults where they can experience the brilliance of animals, and discover new possibilities. The Haven provides preventive programs and education to the public, so that together we can create networks of support so no animal ever need suffer. We do not duplicate services already provided in the community, but seek to meet unmet needs.

August 28, 2018 – Paula Miller, Executive Director of The William G. Pomeroy Foundation joins us. The William G. Pomeroy Foundation’s statewide Legends & Lore Marker Grant Program, launched in partnership with the New York Folklore Society to promote cultural tourism and commemorate legends and folklore. The New York Folklore Society fosters the study, promotion, and continuation of folklore and folklife of New York’s diverse cultures through education, advocacy, support and outreach.

August 21, 2018 – Bill Pfohl, the Communications Officer for Hospice of Central New York joins us. Hospice of Central New York, as our community’s expert resource at the end-of-life, provides comprehensive comfort care to patients and families through unique interdisciplinary services, bereavement counseling, education and collaboration. Hospice of Central New York commits to quality end-of-life care, accessible to everyone, and effective collaboration with community partners.

August 7, 2018 – Assistant District Governor Bill Conole and Mary Giroux will join us to make a presentation on the Rotary Leadership Institute Program(RLI) is a multi-district, grassroots leadership development program of member districts organized into regional divisions in various parts of the world. RLI seeks to have Rotary Clubs in its member districts identify those Rotarians who appear to have the potential for future club leadership (not necessarily as club presidents) and provide those so identified with a quality education in Rotary knowledge and leadership skills so important in voluntary organizations.

July 31, 2018 – Torrey Lansing, Development Associate for Joseph’s House for Women joins us. Joseph’s House for Women is headed into their 5th year of service in the Syracuse Community. They are a home for homeless pregnant women, and have helped over 75 women and this summer they will have their 50th baby that will call Joseph’s House their first home.

July 17, 2018 – Tom Kehoskie and Bob Feyl from the Aviation Historical Society of CNY will visit to share their vision for a museum located right here in Camillus.  Their mission is to advance public knowledge of the art of collecting, preserving, restoring and displaying aeronautical memorabilia, aircraft, aircraft engines, engine and aircraft components and related equipment including documents, writings, paintings, photographs, etc…

July 10, 2018 – Tori Shires, Chief Development Officer at the Rescue Mission (and also a new Rotarian in the Baldwinsville club) will join us to share about the work being done in Syracuse with the disadvantaged and homeless. The Rescue Mission was founded in Syracuse in 1887, and has a long history of serving those in need. While our programs have evolved over the decades, our values of faith, hope and love form the foundation of our service.

July 3, 2018 – Democrat John W. Mannion will run for the 50th district state Senate seat that may soon be vacated by John DeFrancisco. Mannion, 49, is a biology teacher in the West Genesee Central School District. Mannion is the second Democrat to announce his candidacy. Mannion lives on the west side of Syracuse with his wife, Jennifer Brady Mannion. They have three teen-aged children. He is president of the West Genesee Teachers Association and a member of the Onondaga County Teachers Association. He has also taught at Nottingham High School and Christian Brothers Academy.

June 19, 2018 – Nicole Anzalone, AuD, CCCA, FAAA of Preferred Audiology Care right here in Camillus will share some of the amazing new technologies available for those who are having difficulty hearing clearly. There are custom-fit hearing aids, bluetooth enabled devices and even help for tinnitus.  You won’t want to miss this presentation!

June 12, 2018 – Darlene Endy from Road2RecoveryCNY will join us and share about her mission to help those in our community. Central New York is in the midst of a major opioid addiction epidemic. As such the resources for treating addiction and long-term recovery programs are limited, leaving a large population without access to care and recovery.  R2RCNY’s vision is to create a nonprofit fund dedicated to supporting young adults, addicted to opiates, and in need of financial support to get their addiction treated and into long-term recovery.  They help support this population into recovery programs that have proven success and result in sustainable change and lasting recovery.

June 5, 2018 – Kerin J Rigney from the DeWitt Town Board will talk about how infrastructure affects the lives of people in the Syracuse, NY and it’s relevance to the future of I-81. It’s time for a frank discussion about why the suburbs should support a community grid in the heart of Onondaga County — our city of Syracuse. Protests from some business owners and suburban political leaders lead us to believe that maintaining Interstate 81 as an elevated highway or spending money on tunnel is in our best interest. But before hopping on that bandwagon, let’s consider carefully the benefits of the community grid in the long term for the entire region and our responsibility for future generations.

May 29, 2018 – Derrick Pratt, Program Director at the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum and member of the Old Erie Canal Community Working Group visits. The Old Erie Canal Community Working Group is an organization that aims to foster partnership and growth in and around the 36 mile Old Erie Canal State Park, which runs from DeWitt to Rome, between municipalities, local businesses, tourism sites, and other interested parties. Ultimately, its goal is to develop the Old Erie Canal corridor as a major tourism and recreation destination, which will promote the growth of all of Central New York. Over the organization’s 7 year history it has made great strides in promoting the Erie Canal and reaching its goals, including the founding of a number of successful bicycling programs as well as its most recent venture, the Old Erie Canal Boat Float. The Boat Float was started last year and is a 10 mile paddle from DeWitt to Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum that aims to promote the Canal as a recreational paddling destination for kayaks and canoes. Last year was a tremendous success for a first time event, drawing over 100 boats into the water, and this year looks to be even more successful.

May 22, 2018 – Bob Langston and Cindy Kissane will visit and share about a local project coming up in June called Workcamp.  It is hosted at West Genesee HS and co-sponsored by Onondaga Hill Presbyterian Church. The Workcamp will be benefiting between 60-65 homes and families in the community. Syracuse hit the news in 2015 for a distinction no one wants: it had the highest concentration of African- and Hispanic-American poverty in the nation. The report also revealed that 31 percent of Syracuse residents lived below the federal poverty line, and one of every two children lived in poverty there. Equally important, Syracuse has welcomed more than 4,000 refugees since 2010, which has fueled the rate of poverty. Workcamp will make a real difference here through a variety of projects: painting, building wheelchair ramps, fixing sagging porches, etc.

May 15, 2018 – Neil H. Ringler, Interim Chair, Department of Environmental and Forest Biology at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry will visit to share important information about Onondaga Lake. Since our club is right next to the lake, we should know more about how it impacts our local community.  This should be a fascinating presentation!

May 8, 2018 – Kyle Washington, Executive Vice President & Chief Strategic Officer of will visit and tell us about his company. Everyone knows that they need to get up and exercise more. But work is consuming an increasing amount of our lives, and people are either working more hours at one job or they are holding down two. And many of these jobs require either sitting or standing for extended periods of time.

May 1, 2018 – The Town of Onondaga and the Town of Onondaga Historical Society have declared 2018 as the “Year of the Rock,” commemorating the anniversary of the Split Rock Explosion that took place on July 2, 1918. As part of the centennial, Richard Miller, wrote a four-part series, of which his first publication, “Flames Like Hades”. Miller’s book is the result of 30 years of dedicated research, with the intent of turning some of the mystery of the event into historical fact. As Natalie A. Williams-Dardaris, Town of Onondaga Historian points out, this was “a literally earth-shaking event” as the eruption of The Split Rock explosive factories rattled the town and involved scores of injuries and a deaths of 60 people. But most of the stories about the night of the explosion have been oral stories, which are easily lost to time. Now, Miller’s books hopes to shed a new light on the events and maybe even bring this local history into the national awareness.

April 24, 2018 – Rick Rarick from Matthew 25 Farm will present on the work they are doing in the community.  They are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity, with farm locations in Tully (Hamlet of Vesper) and LaFayette (Hamlet of Cardiff), New York.  They work to ensure that no Central New Yorker goes without fresh produce.  To accomplish this, they grow, harvest and distribute fresh vegetables and fruit to those in need throughout CNY.  We also advise others on growing and preserving their own fresh produce.

April 10, 2018 – Andy Zepp from the Finger Lakes Land Trust will visit. The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) was founded in 1989 to protect forests, farmlands, gorges, and shorelines in the Finger Lakes region of New York.  We have saved over 19,000 acres by creating public nature preserves and helping landowners to conserve their beloved properties.  We are a small nonprofit organization. The Land Trust’s conservation work is designed to benefit everyone who lives or travels to the region.  Our preserve lands are open 365 days a year, free of charge for anyone who wants to explore.

April 3, 2018 – Danielle LaTour, Community Development Manager for the Northeast Region of the American Cancer Society, Inc. will join us to share the latest information on the fight against cancer, and things that we can do to help and also keep ourselves healthy!

March 27, 2018 – Matt Seubert from AccessCNY joins us to share about the work that they do in the Syracuse community. AccessCNY offers person-centered services that empower individuals of all ages and abilities to reach their full potential as part of our shared community. Services are provided with dedication, compassion, innovation, and commitment. AccessCNY provides services to over 3,000 individuals in five primary areas: programs for individuals with developmental disabilities or acquired brain injuries (ABI), services for those with mental health issues, clinical services for those with disabilities, preschool education and Consumer Directed Homecare. All services empower individuals to reach their unique level of independence.

March 20, 2018 – Richard Scheutzow from Nickels Energy Solutions, LLC will share information on renewable energy. NES focuses on designing solar power installations and reducing energy usage for residential and commercial property owners in Central New York. Nickels Energy Solutions was founded by Steve and Kevin Nickels – two brothers born and raised in Syracuse, NY.

March 13, 2018 – Bodie Centore, a 7th grader at Onondaga Hill Middle School in the Westhill School District is participating in the St.Baldrick’s Day fundraiser on March 25th at Kitty Hoynes. It is his 7th year and he is trying to raise $20,000 for children’s cancer research. children’s cancers are different than adults. Some are so unknown that there are not treatments effective enough to cure them. Bodie will join us to ask for the club’s help and support.

March 6, 2018 – It’s a dog day!  Guiding Eyes For the Blind will visit and tell us about how our canine friends serve our community.  Guiding Eyes for the Blind works to enrich the lives of the blind and visually impaired by providing them with superbly bred and expertly trained guide dogs. Guiding Eyes breeds, raises, and trains guide dogs and trains students to work with guide dogs that have been carefully selected to match their individual needs. Our training programs and life-long follow-up support are completely free of charge and are made possible through the generous support of individuals, corporations, foundations, and organizations.

February 27, 2018 – Chris Gardner from FMF&E Wealth Management, LLC will join us to talk about his new book A Very Personal Finance Story. The book begins with the birth of Chris and Lori Gardner’s micro-preemie identical twin boys and their fight for survival. Throughout the book, Chris weaves together experiences from his own life with financial topics to present a unique and very personal look at family, love and money.

February 20, 2018 – Executive Director, Suzanne Williams, and Outreach Coordinator, Sarah Allen from Syracuse Habitat For Humanity will join us and give an update on some of the programs and initiatives that they are planning for 2018. Syracuse Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with God and people everywhere, from all walks of life, to develop communities with people in need by building and renovating houses, so that there are decent houses in decent communities in which people can live and grow into all that God intended.

February 13, 2018 –  Amanda E. Perrine, the new Director of the Maxwell Memorial Library will join us to share her vision for community outreach through the library’s many programs and resources.  The library offers opportunities to become involved with book clubs, preschool and toddler story times, volunteer service, and an active Friends group that supports the library through regular fundraising events. Maxwell also has an excellent summer reading program for babies through teens, with the ever-popular Wild Wednesday family nights. All activities, programs, and services are free.

February 6, 2018 – Srdan Lukic from local organization Fight For Hearts joins us to share about their mission in the Central New York area. Founder and CEO of Fight For Hearts.  Srđan Lukić was born with a Congenital Heart Defect and survived 3 open heart surgeries.  With B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an MBA (non-profit Management track), Srđan works as a regional Engineering Manager for an RF Consulting company. Combination of work experience, education as well as time served on the board of directors of Syracuse Friends of Boxing (non-profit), helped Srđan start Fight For Hearts. Srđan has boxed competitively from 2003-2012, finishing his career with 54 bouts, 3 NY State Golden Gloves titles, and representing USA two times in international competition.

January 30, 2018 – Pam Weaver. the NY Deputy Executive Director for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children will visit and share vital information with us about her organization. Thirty-two years ago, police could enter information about stolen cars, stolen guns, even stolen horses into the FBI’s crime database – but not stolen children. Several tragic cases began to awaken the nation to the problem that there was no coordinated national system for addressing missing children cases. In 1981, 6-year-old Adam Walsh was abducted from a Florida shopping mall and later found brutally murdered. When Adam first disappeared, his parents, John and Revé Walsh, turned to law enforcement to help find their son. To their disbelief, there was no coordinated effort among law enforcement to search for Adam on a state or national level and no organization to help the family in their desperation. In January 1984, the Walshes and other child advocates incorporated The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children® (“NCMEC”) in the District of Columbia as a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation to help find missing children and prevent child victimization.

January 23, 2018 – Eric Bacon from the Camillus Parks & Recreation will speak about the various programs and events that are available to the community. Did you know our community offers 12 parks providing: – Athletic Facilities – Playgrounds  – Picnic Areas and Shelters – Walk/Hike/Bike Trails – Open green space – Erie Canal – Beach Swimming – Skiing/Snowboarding?

January 16, 2018 – John Bruzdzinski & Stephanie Bingham from Big Brothers Big Sisters will share the story of their mission in the Central New York area. PEACE, Inc.’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of Onondaga County helps children, who face adversity, change their perspectives and give them the opportunity to reach their potential in life. We do this with professional mentor managers matching children with community volunteers and guiding them through one-on-one mentoring relationships. We partner with families, volunteers, organization and the community to inspire positive changes in all.

January 9, 2018 – Ian Richardson from the Hillside Children’s Center will join us and share about his organization.  Hillside Family of Agencies is family driven, youth-guided, trauma-informed, and culturally competent. They promise to provide compassionate, comprehensive, innovative and effective services to help families in the communities they serve reach their full potential. They partner with youth, adults and their families to provide individualized health, education and human services through an integrated system of care.

2017 Past Speakers

December 12, 2017 – Thomas Deuson from ShelterBoxUsa will join us to share about his organization. ShelterBox is a global organization made up of people who believe in shelter as a human right – that shelter from the chaos of disaster and conflict is vital. When people are plunged into crisis, normality is suspended. But good, quality shelter can cut through the chaos. This is why we provide the tools that enable people to rebuild homes and transform their lives. We do things differently. We were born different. We started life as a small organization in the UK and have grown to make a big impact across the world. We don’t follow the crowd – we’ve carved our own path that leads straight to the families we support.

November 28, 2017 – John and Caity Ginnan are nationally appointed U.S. missionaries to New York. Together they lead Youth Alive® New York. Youth Alive® provides churches statewide with the leadership, network and resources to grow movements of middle, junior high and high school age students reaching students. This ministry works cross-denominationally with churches, their pastors, youth leaders and supporters, students as well as schools, school administration and a host of youth and community related organizations in order to accomplish its mission: to activate student leaders for the social and spiritual renewal of every school and community. In an effort to support schools, Youth Alive also supports a school assembly resource, The Seven Project, as a fully customizable resource for today’s public schools. The Seven Project has been presented to tens of thousands of students in public schools nationwide.

November 21, 2017 – Colleen Deacon, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Representative for the Central New York Region will share some of the initiatives that the Governor is rolling out. Deacon headed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s regional office in Syracuse, and previously worked in the administration of former Syracuse Mayor Matt Driscoll. She emerged in the public spotlight after winning a three-way Democratic primary for Congress, earning the party’s ballot line in the Nov. 8 election against U.S. Rep. John Katko, R-Camillus. Deacon has lived almost her entire life within a block of her childhood home, a 4-bedroom colonial on Crawford Avenue on Syracuse’s East Side. Her parents still live in that house.

November 7, 2017 – Mary Kate Intaglietta, the Executive Director of Paige’s Butterfly Run, Inc. will join us to share her organization’s efforts in raising awareness and support of pediatric cancer in our community. Each year over 60 children will be newly diagnosed at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. The impact of a diagnosis is far reaching, as it affects not only the child but their family and community. Our mission –  to help local families who have already heard “your child has cancer”, as well as those who will soon hear those dreaded words. As a result of community support, they’ve raised over $2,500,000 to support cancer research and patient programs at The Center since 1997.

October 31, 2017 – MOST (Museum of Science & Technology) President, Toni Martin will share some her new initiatives that have increased attendance and community support for Syracuse’s Museum of Technology. “I love that there’s something for every age here,” she said. “I would like to make the MOST another destination for people who want to go out and have a great time.” Martin, 60, who is from Mexico and currently lives in Syracuse, said she’s always loved the MOST and she used to bring her four daughters to the museum frequently when they were young.

October 24, 2017 – Tracy Klefbeck, the new principal at West Genesee High School will join us and share her goals for the new school year and tell us about some of the many programs that are offered to students and their families. Tracy earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and her Masters of Science in Education from SUNY Oswego. She holds certifications in New York State for Elementary Education 1-6 and she just completed her Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership at Le Moyne College this past May.

October 10, 2017 – Dale Johnson from Tillie’s Touch will share about his organization. This new organization’s purpose is to assist in making a child’s dream of playing a sport possible. Tillie’s Touch will provide the necessary equipment for any child when the family is unable to do so. Since the inception of the organization in 2009, Tillie’s Touch has also found that there is a strong need for school supplies that some families in the area just cannot afford. As a result of this Tillie’s Touch has extended its reach to not only sporting equipment, but school supplies as well. Each August, we organize a school supply give away for local children and their families. An average of 400 back packs filled with school supplies are given away to children in the local community during a youth day picnic.

October 3, 2017 – Stephanie Fox, the Director of Community Engagement at Hopeprint will share their mission with us. Hopeprint’s focus is on the empowerment of resettled refugees to thrive. While there are a number of entities working hard to assist resettled refugees in surviving (i.e. food access, government services, healthcare, etc), we are focused on the post-resettlement time period and empowering them along the next steps towards a thriving life. We welcome them into our “family” through our hospitality gatherings and homes, mentor them along the steps to their goals for a thriving life, and connect with community resources that exist to support their endeavors. Think of it as the guides and fellow journeymen along the pathway from a life of survival to a life of thriving.

September 26, 2017 – Jenni Gratien, Executive Director of Chadwick Residence will visit us. Chadwick residence helps women at risk routinely transition from shelter to success. Their residents live, learn and grow with education and housing assistance. Chadwick Residence opened its doors to homeless women and children in the fall of 1986. It was named in honor of former patron and board member Axilda M. Chadwick, who was a longtime advocate for women, the elderly, education and literacy. For nearly three decades, women have successfully completed programs in nursing and childcare while others have received degrees from Onondaga Community College, Le Moyne College and Syracuse University. Helping the women reach their goals fulfills the Chadwick Residence mission to empower women to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve independence and self-sufficiency.

September 19, 2017 – Greg Michel, Executive Director of Onondaga Earth Corps will share his organization’s mission with us. The OEC models itself on the highly successful and effective Youth Conservation Corps model that has been in operation throughout the United States since the 1930’s to address critical environmental and human service needs. OEC crew members participate in urban forestry projects, storm water management projects, private property management and community environmental education and outreach. Urban forestry projects include tree inventories, neighborhood outreach, tree planting, and tree care. Storm water management projects include rain gardens, rain barrel construction, demonstration of a green roof, and neighborhood outreach. As well, Onondaga Earth Corps is helping train the next generation of preservationists.  Young people gain experience in carpentry, masonry, preservation craft, and remodeling skills.

September 12, 2017 – Ryan Harriott & a guest will present a program on The Women’s Opportunity Center.  The WOC originated from a group formed in a local woman’s kitchen in 1979 that helped displaced homemakers enter the workforce after divorce, separation, or widowhood. Since then, the WOC has been part of the statewide Displaced Homemakers Program, which presently includes 13 centers across New York State. Since 1979, the WOC has helped over 15,000 women and men overcome obstacles and achieve success through employment and training services. The Women’s Opportunity Center is celebrating 35 years of Service to the community this year.

September 5, 2017 – Several board members from Two Brothers’ Light Inc., will attend our meeting and share the personal story behind their local organization. Two Brothers’ Light (TBL) works to bring support services to local community members who have been struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.  TBL wishes to lift up and help heal those who have suffered the devastating loss of a loved one to suicide or those who are healing from a loved one’s attempt at taking their own life. This meeting is held at 6:00pm at Twin Trees Too on Milton Ave. in Solvay.

August 22, 2017 – Kim Bermel from HOPE for bereaved, Inc. will join us to share her mission. HOPE for Bereaved currently offers 12 monthly support groups with each addressing a different type of experience. Some groups include widows and widowers, children, parents, survivors of a loved one completing suicide and LGBT. HOPE for Bereaved group sessions attempt to ensure no grief goes unresolved. Therese Schoeneck founded HOPE for Bereaved in 1978 after the death of her daughter, Mary, in a car accident. At the time, Central New York did not have a support group available for parents dealing with the death of a child. Determined that something positive would come from Mary’s death, she formed a bereaved parents support group that eventually became HOPE for Bereaved. Each year, HOPE touches the lives of people of all ages in our community and beyond.

August 15, 2017 – Karen Macier and Marti Hahn from District 7150 will be making a 15 minute presentation on the Rotary Leadership Institute. The Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) is a multi-district, grassroots leadership development program of member districts organized into regional divisions in various parts of the world. RLI seeks to have Rotary Clubs in its member districts identify those Rotarians who appear to have the potential for future club leadership (not necessarily as club presidents) and provide those so identified with a quality education in Rotary knowledge and leadership skills so important in voluntary organizations.

August 8, 2017 – Katie Clift from West Genesee High School was accepted to attend Honeywell Educators at Space Academy (HESA) at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL, from June 14-20. She was among over 200 teachers from around the world who embarked on the learning adventure of a lifetime. She went through real-life astronaut training, including a high-performance jet simulation, scenario-based space missions, land and water survival training, and a state-of-the-art flight dynamics program.  She will share techniques to encourage students to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers and use creative ways to bring lessons learned at Space Academy into the classroom.

July 25, 2017 – Our new District Governor, Phyllis Danks will visit and share her vision for District 7150.

July 11, 2017 – Gretchen BeVard from GMB Consulting Services, LLC in Camillus will tell us about how her company is helping to “green” the CNY region through energy saving and cutting edge technologies. GMB Consulting Services was started in March of 2015. Gretchen wanted to start a company that would specialize in what has become her passion: sustainable and energy efficient buildings.

June 20, 2017 – Matthew Urtz, Madison County Historian, and a member of the Cabinet of Freedom for the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum (NAHOF), will be the speaker. Matt will be speaking about cultural organizations in the county, the Timbuctoo exhibit from Lake Placid, and other 2017 summer heritage events.

June 13, 2017 – Our very special guest will be Ruth Johnson Colvin, the founder of the non-profit organization Literacy Volunteers of America, now called ProLiteracy Worldwide in Syracuse in 1962. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in December 2006. She turned 100 in December 2016. As Ruth recently told CSG member Blair Frodelius, “I have been honored by being a Harris Fellow, and I’m always impressed with what Rotary does for so many needs, including my passion for literacy. You probably know that my husband and I have been in 62 countries, having worked as volunteers in 26 developing countries, and so often we’d contact the local Rotary group, to let them know of the literacy needs in their country.”

June 6, 2017 – Patti Marvin from the West Genesee SEPTSA will talk about her work with the families in our area with the Special Education Parent Teacher Student Association (SEPTSA) are designed to help parents advocate for special needs children. It is a place for parents and teachers to exchange information on various programs, funding, ever-changing state and federal laws and to support each other on the many problems of adjustment, growth, and development our members face. The West Genesee Special Education PTSA was founded on February 2, 2009, and represents students K-12 in the West Genesee School District.

May 30, 2017 – Mackay Rippey will give a presentation on the local dangers of Lyme disease and how to protect yourself when enjoying the great outdoors of Central New York. Lyme disease can affect many body systems including the joints, heart, and brain. It is a progressive disease which becomes more debilitating and harder to treat the longer a person has been infected.

May 23, 2017 – Laurie Black from Early Childhood Alliance will visit and share what they do to help youngsters in CNY. The goal of the ECA is: All young children in Onondaga County are healthy, thriving and ready to succeed in school; all families of young children are supported in their parenting and have the knowledge, skills, confidence and resources they need to raise their children in healthy and nurturing environments.

May 16, 2017 – Mary Alice Smothers from PEACE Inc. will share about the many programs her organization offers the community. Incorporated in 1968, PEACE, Inc. is a non-profit community-based organization with the mission of helping people in the community realize their potential for becoming self-sufficient. PEACE, Inc. believes in the strength of the human spirit and is dedicated to changing lives by teaching people how to help themselves and support those around them. To this end, PEACE, Inc. provides a continuum of services for the entire family from infants to the elderly. The majority of individuals we serve have incomes placing them at or below the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

May 9, 2017 – Diana Abdella from the CNY Veterans Parade & Expo will share her experiences honoring veterans at the Great New York State Fair each autumn. Here’s a video showing what happens at the parade. The purpose of the CNY Veterans Parade and Expo is to thank veterans for their military service and to recognize their importance in our communities.

May 2, 2017 – Sue Potrikus from the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps will speak about her organization’s efforts to clean up Central New York’s Onondaga Lake water system. Hundreds of community volunteers have become environmental stewards of Onondaga Lake since the formation of the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps in summer 2012. The Corps is an expanding organization of community volunteers who are contributing to restoration projects that are creating or improving wildlife habitat in the Onondaga Lake watershed. The Corps seeks to inspire future stewards of Onondaga Lake and its watershed through a hands-on, experience-based program that offers citizens and organizations the opportunity to participate in activities that help restore and sustain Onondaga Lake and its value as an Important Bird Area.

April 25, 2017 – Geoff Herbert will speak about his journey growing up with a profound binaural hearing loss. As he puts it, “I have a lot of experience with special needs programs, disabilities, and general struggles with being different. Through years of hard work, I overcame many obstacles and eventually became a radio DJ for more than 10 years — possibly the only deaf radio personality in America. I still work in media, now as a producer for, but I also speak to schools and special needs groups about my own experiences and attempt to inspire them to know they can do anything their heart desires. I’ve been a keynoter at Disability Mentoring Day in Central New York, a frequent guest speaker at Syracuse city schools and a featured speaker at TEDxBuffalo.”

April 18, 2017 – Emil Cost from Camillus will join us to share his experiences in playing with big bands in Central New York during the heyday of swing music.  He played trombone with the Jack Edwards band in the late 1940’s and just turned 90!  He’s not slowing down and is trying to form a new band in 2017.

April 11, 2017 – Katie Benson, Director of the Maxwell Memorial Library in Camillus will speak about the many programs and opportunities offered by the library which is celebrating it’s 99th year in 2017!

April 4, 2017 – Dereth Glance, Executive Director of the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA) will give us an insiders look at what happens to all of our recyclables.  We’ll also find out how OCRRA helps home gardeners with composting. Just in time for spring planting!

March 28, 2017 – Susanne Greehagen will present a fascinating talk entitled “Live Oaks & Dead Folks”, a “Virtual Tour of Oakwood Cemetery.” She will introduce the club to some of the famous and infamous residents of Syracuse’s most historic cemetery.

March 21, 2017 – Rick Rarick from Matthew 25 Farm will present on the work they are doing in the community.  They are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity, with farm locations in Tully (Hamlet of Vesper) and LaFayette (Hamlet of Cardiff), New York.  They work to ensure that no Central New Yorker goes without fresh produce.  To accomplish this, they grow, harvest and distribute fresh vegetables and fruit to those in need throughout CNY.  We also advise others on growing and preserving their own fresh produce.

March 7, 2017 – Neil MacMillan author of “Haunted Onondaga County” will give a fascinating program on the various locations and buildings in our community which are said to host spirits.

February 21, 2017 – Carol Charles from Vera House will present an overview of the programs they offer to the community. It is the mission of Vera House, Inc. to end all domestic and sexual violence, to assist families in crisis, to support those affected by domestic and sexual violence to live safe, self-sufficient lives, to empower women and children, and to promote a culture of equality and respect in all relationships.

February 14, 2017 – Dan Golden, Director of the Solvay Public Library will share some of the new programs and developments which our taking place in our local community.  As Dan recently said, “Communities such as Solvay and Geddes need a resource that satisfies various informational and entertainment materials that residents are unable to purchase for themselves. They need a place where they can safely seek out knowledge, entertainment and continuing education. The value of the Solvay Public Library stems from its role as a place where the community can discover, learn, and grow.”

February 7, 2017 – Whitney Lash-Marshall, Executive Director of Baltimore Woods Nature Center will speak about the wide variety of programs offered to the public.  Baltimore Woods Nature Center is a not-for-profit place-based nature education organization. Their mission is to connect people with nature, both from the headquarters on 180 acres of land in Marcellus, NY, and from satellite programs in urban areas.

January 31, 2017 –  Dr. Leslie Kohman, from the Upstate Cancer Center will describe what Cancer is, what it does, and how we treat it. The presentation will review some recent statistics on Cancer and trends in the rates of Cancers that we see today. Cancer screening methods will be discussed as well as what new services can be offered to outpatients and their families. New cancer technologies will be explained, integrative and complimentary cancer techniques will be addressed and the benefit of being treated in a Commission on Cancer accredited cancer program will also be discussed.

January 24, 2017 – Liz and Dave Bebee from the Camillus Erie Canal Park will share some of their stories.  Offering visitors a variety of informational and entertaining options ranging from over 10 miles of scenic wooded paths and walkways, to boat rides along the historic Erie Canal, the Park is the perfect setting for a leisurely stroll or an evening dinner cruise.

January 17, 2017 – Carrie Scholz from Health Navigation of CNY will present a program. Health Navigation of CNY is here to support individuals and their loved ones who have health care needs, and to facilitate successful navigation through the complex healthcare system.

January 10, 2017 – Stephanie Montero and Jeff Parker from Arise Inc. will give a presentation about The Ombudsman Program, an effective advocate and resource for older adults and persons with disabilities who live in nursing homes, assisted living and other licensed adult care homes. Ombudsmen help residents understand and exercise their rights to good care in an environment that promotes and protects their dignity and quality of life.

January 3, 2017 – Adam Sudman from My Lucky Tummy and With Love Restaurant will speak about his initiatives in bringing ethnic cuisine to the Syracuse community.  His two projects include a pop up food court that looks to our Refugee & New American communities for culture, perspective & a beautiful meal that circles the globe; and a Teaching Restaurant & Entrepreneur Incubator from Onondaga Community College – with a new national cuisine every 6 months! (This meeting is at 6:00pm at Twin Trees Too in Solvay)

2016 Past Speakers

December 20, 2016 – Andrew Lunetta from A Tiny Home For Good Inc. will speak about affordable housing for those who would otherwise be homeless. Well maintained, dignified, and safe housing is a struggle to provide for those who rely on day-to-day labor or temporary assistance as is the case with many facing homelessness. Instead individuals turn to the streets and emergency shelters as permanent residencies. A Tiny Home for Good, Inc. builds and manages tiny homes. Built on vacant city lots, the homes are 300 square feet and are equipped with all the amenities of a regular home. Each home is rented to one individual who has faced homelessness. Rent is determined on a sliding scale dependent on the resident’s income. Each resident is connected with a professional care manager through a partnership with one of the several care management organizations in the Syracuse area.

December 13, 2016 – Kerry Quaglia from Home Headquarters will  speak about how her organization meets the needs of underserved Central New Yorkers by providing low-interest home loans and grants, homeowner education and counseling, and real estate services designed to make safe and affordable home ownership a reality.

November 29, 2016 – Warren Pfohl from David’s Refuge will speak about his organization. David’s Refuge provides a place of respite free of charge for parents and guardians who care for children with special needs or life threatening medical conditions, allowing them the much needed time to rest, reflect and recharge from the stress of full-time caregiving.

November 22, 2016 – Kristin Earle, Development Director for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – Central New York Chapter.  The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to cure cystic fibrosis and to provide all people with the disease the opportunity to lead full, productive lives by funding research and drug development, promoting individualized treatment and ensuring access to high-quality, specialized care.

November 8, 2016 – In honor of Election Day (finally!), club member Blair Frodelius will present a program of patriotic songs highlighting the stories behind each one and leading a sing-a-long.

November 1, 2016 – Noel Frodelius-Fujimoto will talk about her experiences as a Rotary exchange student and the inside story of what it’s like to work at the Seattle Art Museum, who hold one of the world’s premier collections of Asian artworks. (This meeting is at 6:00pm at Twin Trees Too in Solvay)

October 25, 2016 – Join us as we watch a short video from the TedTalk series. Peter Sage is a well known international & serial entrepreneur, author, philosopher and teacher. His unique way of looking at and relating to life has inspired tens of thousands of people worldwide to Reinvent themselves. Whether by improving or turning around a business or developing a new and empowering psychology through practical yet profound shifts in awareness, Peter hopes his insights and teachings can offer something of value to those who seek it.

October 18, 2016 – Eric Bacon from the Camillus Parks & Recreation will speak about the various programs and events that are available to the community.

October 11, 2016 – Lynn Fox from Clear Path for Veterans will join us, along with a guest and their guide dog. Clear Path’s program is about the journey, not just about training a dog for service, emotional support or just general dog training. The path they guide you through focuses on social engagement, positive outlooks, finding home and building trust through relationships with a canine partner.

October 4, 2016 – John Tumino, founder of In My Father’s Kitchen. In My Father’s Kitchen, Inc. is a faith-based organization offering non-denominational and non-discriminatory assistance to homeless people through direct street outreach. As founders John and Leigh-Ann build relationships with chronically homeless individuals they identify and meet the unique needs of homeless people not yet ready to leave the streets and who refuse to stay in emergency shelters. As a result, IMFK provides food and basic necessitates to homeless individuals where they live on the streets, on a consistent and compassionate basis, until the homeless individual is comfortable accepting help and working with community agencies to secure housing. (This meeting is at 6:00pm at Twin Trees Too in Solvay)

September 13, 2016 – Bill Conole from Honor Flight  The program recognizes and honors the sacrifices and commitments of Veterans, primarily from WWII, but also the Korean and Vietnam Wars as well. The program provides transportation for these veterans to visit the memorials in Washington DC and participate in recognition events.

September 6, 2016 – Bob Fangio from the Amaus Dental Clinic will speak about outreach to the poor who can’t pay for dental care. The free dental clinic, the only one in the Syracuse area, serves people without dental insurance who cannot afford to pay out of pocket for dental care. Patients include ex-convicts, people who’ve lost dental benefits after retiring, losing jobs or becoming disabled, and low-wage workers. (This meeting is at 6:00pm at Twin Trees Too in Solvay)

August 30, 2016 – Joseph’s House  Joseph’s House promotes the sanctity of life and the dignity of women by providing a nurturing home for mothers facing an unplanned pregnancy. The physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of the mother and her baby are cared for through the loving direction of staff members and access to resources including, educational, occupational and spiritual in the Catholic tradition, giving them the opportunity to achieve their God-given potential.

August 23, 2016 – District Governor Peter F. Cardamone will visit us.  He says, “For this year’s DG club visits, I want to spend time listening to club members on my club visits. My part of the meeting will be short. Please ask your members to come to this meeting prepared to tell me what is important to them and your club. Of what accomplishments are your club members most proud? How can we collaborate (Area Clubs and the District) as we share making “Rotary Serving Humanity” a reality?”

August 16, 2016 – Todd Freeman, Principal of Split Rock Elementary School will talk about community connections for student safety.

August 2, 2016 – Justin Bymaster of Aflac. Aflac is a Fortune 500 company, providing financial protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. When a policyholder or insured gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fairly, promptly and directly to the insured. For nearly six decades, Aflac voluntary insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. (This meeting is at 6:00pm at Twin Trees Too in Solvay)

June 14, 2016 – Samantha Waters, recipient of our Solvay High School scholarship will speak about her journey.

June 7, 2016 – Mike Waters from the Post Standard will present on SU basketball’s new season.

May 31, 2016 – Jeff Wright from Move Along  Jeff Wright, was considering a career change after suffering a fractured L4 vertebra in an accident. Jeff is a multi-national design engineer & project manager who’s worked with top manufacturers like Whirlpool, GE, Bosch and many others while overseeing budgets in excess of $20 million. His injury caused him to look at other options and he had heard of Move Along and realized how important a role it played in the community. Jeff chose a new course: he left the 6-figure income, big-budget world of engineering and joined Move Along to help develop it into a regional player in the adaptive sports world. Jeff is now the Executive Director for Move Along, a local non-profit organization founded in 2009.

May 24, 2016 – Bob Balk from the Moravia Club will give a presentation on the Agitos Foundation. The Agitos Foundation is the leading global organisation developing sport activities for people with an impairment as a tool for changing lives and contributing to an inclusive society for all. Its vision is to lead the Paralympic Movement’s aspiration of driving change towards an inclusive society.

May 17, 2016 – David Vermilya & Debra Ancillotti, co-directors of the The Town Shop Youth Center in Camillus will speak about their work.

May 10, 2016 – Paul Baum from Camillus will speak about his life serving in the US military during World War II in Japan and the Philippines.  He was recently featured on the front page of The Eagle Observer’s March 23rd issue.

April 26, 2016 – Matt Murphy is from the Marcellus Rotary Club and will be presenting on his club’s strategies for maintaining a robust Youth Exchange Program.

April 12, 2016 – Bob Burns from the American Legion will speak about the Boys State Program.

March 22, 2016 – Rick Rarick from Matthew 25 Farm in LaFayette will speak during our Tuesday meeting and luncheon. Matthew 25 is a small not-for-profit, public charity, with farm locations in Vesper and LaFayette, New York.  They work to ensure that no Central New Yorker goes without fresh produce.  To accomplish this, they both grow and distribute fresh vegetables to those in need throughout CNY.  They also advise others on growing and preserving their own fresh produce.