Rotary Club of Englewood NJ 

We meet each Tuesday at 12:15pm 

Crowne Plaza Englewood 

401 S Van Brunt St, Englewood NJ 07631 

Rotary at it's best - serving and supporting our local community. See below for details on grants we awarded to local organizations.

Englewood Rotary Club – May 22, 2018

Meeting Location: Crowne Plaza, Englewood

Presiding:  Jennie Katsaros

Recorder:  Steve Wiessner

Birthdays/Anniversaries:  Jim Cole

Visiting Rotarians and Guests: Visiting Rotarians, Assistant Governor Phil Wells

Guests:  John Blakely and our grant recipients, Amanda Missey of BVMI, Dick Kennedy of The Community Chest, and Nina Bachrach and Dorothy Kaplan Roffman of the Thurnauer School


Jennie made the following announcements

  1. Our installation of new officers with Janet Sharma as President will occur at the home of Florence and Bob Marchi from 6:00-9:00 pm on Tuesday, June 19th. No lunch that day. Important:  Let Florence know if you are coming.; 201-567-5218. Florence and Bob need this as a guarantee for the caterer. The cost is $55 per person. Send the check in to our PO Box #412, Englewood, NJ 07631.

  1. A review of scholarship applications occurred at Jennie’s home on Wednesday, May 23rd at 7:30 pm

  1. Jennie welcomed Aleta Frezzell and John Blakely back after lengthy bouts of illness which engendered loud cheers from all in attendance.

  1. Jennie updated members on the food cost problems.  She stated that the Crowne Plaza has offered to provide the club with a $550 per lunch alternative that is slightly less than we are currently locked into, that would include a more limited food menu, with coffee, tea, and soda as currently, but no dessert or fruit.  


There was a lot of discussion of the issue and some comments were:

  1. Charlotte Bennett Schoen thought we should be open to looking outside of Englewood

  2. Joyce Grossbard stated that her brother is in the hotel business, and he felt that we were getting a good deal already at the Crowne Plaza based on his knowledge of the pricing and service that we are receiving

  3. Florence Marchi noted that we should consider other meeting times besides lunch as we evaluate alternatives, and that the quality of the food being served is important to get to a 25 person guarantee as some people attend the meeting but do not pay for the food currently.

  4. Janet Sharma said that she will put together a survey on the subject which should be sent out to members in the near future

  5. Assistant Governor Phil Wells stated that many other clubs are having the same problem, and other clubs have made decisions to move/change things that have not always worked out.  The minimum guarantee is a problem others clubs are wrestling causing similar frustration.


The best scenario is that we get 25 members to come to luncheons and pay for a meal each week which is the minimum guarantee we must pay weekly.


After considerable discussion, Jennie concluded the discussion stating that more research is required, and no decision has been made.  She also noted that unless we receive a better option to pursue, that we will continue with our current $25 per person, 25 person minimum guarantee until a better alternative is provided and agreed to.

  1. Jennie and Steve distributed checks from the Grants Committee recommendations to the following organizations:

  1. Bergen Family Center: $3,150 towards their HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Pre-school Youngsters) program.  Bergen Family Center will provide the 30 week HIPPY program to support three Englewood residents as part of this agreement. Bergen Family Center’s President & CEO and club member Mitch Schonfeld discussed HIPPY and thanked the club.

  1. Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative (BVMI):$3,000 to support salaries for key clinical staff that provide care to patients and support to volunteers including a nurse practitioner, certified diabetes educator, and nurse navigator to support better health outcomes for the Englewood and Englewood Cliffs residents they serve.  BVMI’s President & CEO Amanda Missey explained their Englewood initiatives and thanked the club.

  1. Community Chest of Englewood with a grant of $4,000 towards The Community Chest’s Professional Development Institute.  The Community Chest will implement a professional development series supporting nonprofit organizations in the Englewood area for topics that are of importance to the agencies.  The Community Chest’s Board President Dick Kennedy thanked the club and provided information about their Professional Development Institute.

  1. JCC Thurnauer School of Music with a grant of $3,000 towards their Music Discovery Partnership program. The Thurnauer School of Music will provide increased scholarship assistance to families in Englewood who are most-in-need, in order to help them cover the cost of ancillary fees associated with program activities such as choral uniforms, competition fees, and choral festival trips. The School of Music’s founder Dorothy Kaplan Roffmann and their Director of Arts & Culture Development Nina Bachrach discussed their Music Discovery Program and thanked the club for our generous grant award.  


Happy Dollars:

Many Happy Dollars were given for the return and improving health of Aleta and Blakely.



The topic of this luncheon was a Club Assembly.  Jennie asked for reports from the various committees to convey to members.

  1. The Grants Committee gave the report for the entire 2017-18 year, stating that the club provided 7 grants to area nonprofit organizations totaling $21,236.  In addition to the 4 groups that were awarded to organizations above this spring, the club also awarded grants in the fall cycle to Arts Horizons Creative Spirits program for $3,500, Flat Rock Brook Nature Center to install a shed for their new utility vehicle for $2,500 and the Friends of the John T. Wright Arena for their Skating Scholars program with students at the Janis Dismus Middle School for $2,086.  

  1. Joyce Grossbard gave the report on the Dictionary Project.  All 3rd grade students in Englewood’s public and private schools have received dictionaries except that 185 dictionaries needed to be distributed on Thursday, May 25th at Grieco Elementary School.  


Attendance: 20 out of 61 (33%)


Upcoming Programs:

May 29:    Lynne Algrant, CEO of the Bergen Volunteer Center (Tentative)

June 5:     Captain Gregory Halstead, Englewood Police Department (Tentative)

June 12:    To Be Determined

June 19:     Installation at the Marchi Residence, no luncheon