On December 13th our speaker Michele McCaffrey, from the LI Blood Center kicked off our meeting and we made some plans for our upcoming blood drive. Jim Groom gave us a rundown of our new website:  www.clubrunner.ca/floralpark-bellerose  and we thanked him for inputting content to get the site looking sharp.  Please visit and provide feedback and ideas.  As the evening progressed Greg Kramer and I pulled out our guitars and we all sang a couple of Christmas tunes.  Our guests were Elsie and Patti Kennedy, Beth Kramer, Gabriella Smorlaz, Dorothy Pelligrini and Norine Grodin (Long Term Care Planner).  Thanks to Tom Reilly for keeping track of the meal money and a special thanks to Rich Mooney for a $400 contribution to fund two FPMHS sophomores  (boy & girl) to attend RYLA next March .  Rich was not in attendance given he was celebrating his wedding anniversary but he sent lots of happy dollars.  Nice. 



December 27th:  Forgoing our normal meeting the club hosted our first ever Blood Drive at the United Methodist Church, 35 Verbena Ave., Floral Park from 2:30 – 8:30.  A lot of effort went into the event with fliers, posters, emails, postcards, and a lot of personal asks.  Despite the rain, we had 79 people come to give.  Sixty eight pints of blood were donated and eleven people were deferred.  Tony from the Blood Center was very complementary saying these numbers were excellent given this was the first time we had ever undertaken such a task.  He was very pleased given we were at 91% of our 75 pint target.  We had a huge rush in the beginning which turned into an hour and a half wait so we lost five donors who didn't wish to wait.  The donating tables were actually occupied throughout the event.  So a big thank you to Charlie Calma, Greg Kramer, Shane Parouse and his wife Katia, Mark Reisig and his wife Christy all of whom actually donated.  Thanks to to our blood chairman Bryan Smolarz, John Day, Jim Groom, Karen Calma, Pattie Kennedy, Elsie Kennedy and their two friends as well as Kristian Willie (FPMHS junior) for pitching in and making the drive a success.  We also had a surprise visit from Rotarians Carol & Jay Becker as they were visiting their daughter on the Island.  They both have combined perfect Rotary meeting attendance of nearly 60 years so this letter will serve as their “make up”..


Following our format of meeting on the SECOND and FOURTH Tuesday of the month, our next meeting will be January 10th.  Our speaker was arranged by Shane and the topic is Big Brothers & Big Sisters.  The meeting on January 24th will be a presentation by the Red Cross, arranged by Bryan, and we will also be inducting John Beyer, President of Men on the Move, as our first member of the New Year.  On February 14th, Dr Lynn Pombonyo, Superintendent of the Floral Park-Bellerose School District will be speaking about  the elementary school's state of affairs.  She has been quite supportive of our Halloween Giveaway & now the Blood Drive so she may well be a perfect candidate for membership.


The prospects for our club look promising in 2012 as we look forward to exciting and meaningful   Rotary projects, good fellowship and fruitful networking..   Remember our 2011-2012 Rotary International theme, “Reach Within to Embrace Humanity.”  

Have a healthy and very happy New Year!