By Robert Kimmel —
With several state and county representatives attending and offering their accolades, the Rotary Club of the Tarrytowns celebrated its 100th anniversary Monday evening. It was in November 1921 when the initial group of 17 members formed the original local club encompassing members from Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow and Irvington.
Gathered at the Beekman Ale House in Sleepy Hollow, club members heard tributes from State Senate President Pro Tempore and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, State Sen. Pete Harckham, Assemblymember Thomas Abinanti and Westchester’s Assistant Director of Intergovernmental Relations Ellen Hendrickx, representing County Executive George Latimer.
Presented by Stewart-Cousins and Harckham, a State Senate Proclamation read: “Today, the club is comprised of more than 40 business, professional and community leaders who are dedicated to providing humanitarian service and support to Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Irvington and beyond. It is the intent of this Legislative Body to honor and extol those individuals and organizations who perform exemplary service on behalf of their communities, State and Country.”
The proclamation went on to tally the numerous community organizations to which the Rotary contributes annually and the scholarship funding it makes available to worthy students, summing it up as “providing exemplary service to communities throughout Westchester.” It also recognized the club arranging even more expansive aid: “…following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Club organized a fundraising campaign to purchase a pickup truck for the Salvation Army to use in New Orleans to assist victims.”
In noting the Rotary’s motto, “service above self,” Stewart-Cousins remarked that when good help is being offered to the community, the Rotary is often part of that assistance. Sen. Harckham added his praise for the Club, mentioning its long history of service.
Abinanti presented the Rotary Club a Citation from the State Assembly describing its commendations of the club and added his own tributes. The Proclamation from County Executive Latimer described his praise of the Rotary’s work.
Acknowledging the Rotary’s assistance to Tarrytown’s residents, Village Administrator Rich Slingerland spoke of its charitable works. He had also served as the club’s most recent past president. Praise also came from Anthony Giaccio, Sleepy Hollow’s administrator, as it did from Christopher Borsari, superintendent of the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns.
Accepting the honors for the Rotary was its president, Mimi Godwin, who along with Rotarian JoAnne Murray, organizes the club’s annual Duck Derby, its major, annual fundraising event. Both are always present at the Derby, costumed as large ducks.
Godwin and Murray took the occasion to provide a $1,000 donation from the Rotary to the Community Food Pantry of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown.
Rotarians attending the event also brought bags of food, which the club will provide to the food pantry and the RSHM Life Center for Thanksgiving. The Community Opportunity Center (COC) and Open Door will be the recipients of toys contributed by the club for the holidays. The Rotary also recently provided major funding for construction of a press box at the Sleepy Hollow School Athletic Field.