The Rotary Club of New York




June 30, 2003



Fellow Rotarians,


Our next New York Rotary meeting on July 1st will be Transition Day with President Silvio Amori as our speaker. This is Silvio’s last day as President of our legendary club and it is time to reflect on the last year. Silvio has had a successful year as President. During his leadership, we have had the following accomplishments:


·        50 new members in 2002-2003. Our membership is now 207, which is the highest in many years. You can see pictures at from the recent inductions of Sandra Navidi and Alessio Cloni as new members on June 24th.

·        We have had many fellowship days.

·        Tremendous success with the International Breakfast Meetings thanks to Sylvan Barnet and Giorgio Balestrieri

·        Rotary After-Hours every third Thursday of the month has been very successful thanks to David Del Monte.

·        Many great speakers thanks to Larry Parks.

·        The donation of $100,000 to Polio Plus thanks to Silvio Amori, Morton Eydenberg and the New York Rotary Foundation

·        5,000-6,000 visits per month to the New York Rotary website from Rotarians around the world. I would like to thank Silvio for his great support.

·        We had a successful District 7230 Conference thanks to President Elect Greg Lynch.

·        The Rotary Club of New York helped me create a very successful Group Study Exchange Program my thanks to President Silvio, Greg Lynch Ivan Vosloo and the New York Rotary Foundation.


You can read more about Transition Day in the latest Bulletin at (click on the link).


Silvio’s legacy as President is also preserved on our website at


Lilian Coury has written the Reporter of the Week in the Bulletin. Thank you Lilian for such a well-written and detailed account of Dr. Stephen Kagan’s speech. Lilian has been a member of our legendary club since 1999 and she will become a Director of the Board starting on July 1st. Lillian’s classification is coaching and she is President of Pegasus Pathways, Inc.


The Bulletin announces the birthdays for Jack Haikala on June 29th, Allison Alessi on June 30th and Kemal Peker on July 1st, David Serko on July 3rd and Helmut Fischer on July 9th. Happy Birthday to all of you! For those, who are interested in astrology, we have many members born in the Cancer sign. By the way, my father was a Cancer too. He was born on the 4th of July, the same day as our great nation. If astrology applies to countries, I guess that our country was also born a Cancer.


Silvio has done it again! The Board of Directors has just approved another two new members. They are Liberio Romano and Denise Scotto. Liberio’s classification is Infrastructure Services and Denise’s classification is International Advocacy. Welcome to our club! There is always room for extra members. Thank you Silvio!


Last week, I wrote about a historic event in Rotary’s relation with the United Nations. You can also read about Rotary’s involvement with the UN and other humanitarian organizations on Rotary International’s website at


I have often said that we Rotarians belong to an International Fellowship with 1.2 million members. I experienced a manifestation of this fellowship at our last meeting, when I sat next to Jack Transport from the Rotary Club of Leeds W. Yorks in England. Jack is a passionate ukulele player and a collector of many ukuleles. He told me about his meeting with Beatle George Harrison, who was also passionate about ukuleles. Jack sold George a ukulele in 1991 for approximately $1,300 and they ended up talking to each other in a parking lot for about 40 minutes. Jack told me that George Harrison was a very shy, but a very nice person. The ukulele fellowship put Jack and George Harrison together and the Rotary fellowship put Jack and me together. For those, who don’t know what a ukulele is, think of it as a very small guitar with only 4 strings. It is mostly played in eccentric places like England and Hawaii. Maybe that’s why George Harrison had a second home in Hawaii and spent 50% of his time there and the other 50% of his time in England.


Here is different example of Rotary fellowship interaction. I received the following excited message from Past President Helen Reisler:


Dear Matts,


I am sending you this E-mail I received from LOU DIPAOLO today, which made my heart sing. I would like to share it with other Rotarians to confirm the point, once again, that we in Rotary are all links to one another. We are an integral part of a chain that reaches out all over the world to people in need.  When you act upon a vision, you cannot lose patience or become discouraged. Working as a team helps that vision to become alive and grow, sometimes in the most unexpected ways.


The situation that Lou is referring to began during my Presidency when I attended”Habitat For Humanity" breakfast that my daughter had invited me to. There were over 600 people in that room and the stories we heard from those involved, as well as the videos we saw, left no doubt in my mind that this was a Rotary project. I asked Lou, Clarence Plummer and Matt Salerno to become involved and connected them to Habitat's Executive Director. Regardless of the fact that our main focus was diverted to "9/11" that year, somehow, these 3 motivated Rotarians kept the ball rolling and this was the result. We helped to build comfortable and beautiful houses for some deserving people in one of the poorest sections in NYC; the Italian Trade Commission became involved, as well as the Italian Tile Industry who donated the materials. All this from one early morning breakfast.


I continue to encourage our members to keep involved in the "outside world",
to be alert and ask yourselves if there is a potential connection to our Rotary goals, and always, always,---take pictures !!


Yours in Rotary,
Helen Reisler



Here is the message from Lou Di Paolo that Helen was so excited about:



Dear Helen,


I loved seeing your photo in the District newsletter. And 3 times!!


I have a letter for you from Roland Lewis to our Habitat for Humanity committee, which owes its existence to you. You created it during your term. Then we had 911 and our committee focused elsewhere. However, Matthew Salerno, one of our committee members was able to secure for HH a substantial donation of tile. The value of the tile is not the issue but you would want to know it was approx. $70000-$80000.


The letter from Roland describes what happened. I ask that if you develop these public relations for Rotary and our club you get the facts also from Matthew Salerno. He is in the Hillier office in Princeton at 609 452 8888. He can tell you the whole story and lead you to the Italian Trade Commission who is thrilled with our attention as we are theirs. This is truly a global event, which Italian Rotarians would enjoy knowing about.


I am faxing the letter to you now at the number from our Roster. I know you will know what to do with this great news.


Good luck and keep up our beautiful PR.

Your cub reporter and news scout,




You can see that the legacy of Past President Helen Reisler lives on.


I received the following message from Aili McConnon a few days ago, where she thanks our New York Rotary Club for a donation:



June 25, 2003:


Dear Rotarians:


The Legacy Project would like to heartily thank the New York Rotary Foundation of the Rotary Club of New York for their donation to The Legacy Project Anthology--a 9/11 responsive project designed to promote compassion for the victims and survivors of such calamities. Research for the virtual and print anthology is ongoing. Please visit and join the citizens of over fifty countries who are accessing our web site to learn more about The Legacy Project.  Many thanks. Keep up the great work Rotarians.




Aili McConnon




Aili McConnon

Literary Program Editor

Princeton ReachOut'56 Fellow

The Legacy Project

810 Seventh Avenue, 31st Floor,

New York, NY, 10009.

212-843-0372 phone

212-843-0371 fax



As Alili said, you can see our New York Rotary dollars at work by visiting the Legacy Project’s website at


Even though the Group Study Exchange Project for 2002-2003 is finished, the relationships that we developed still remain. My wife Sundra and I just received the following message from Dia Van Staden, who was one of the South African team members:



Hi Matts and Sundra!


Yes! I did receive the t-shirts. Thank you so much! They arrived on a day when I was "homesick" for your side of the country and that was excellent timing!


I have just completed the Miss Limpopo Pageant and had the best show in eight years. Now, maybe I can start reflecting on the five weeks in USA, because there has not been time to do so. I need to spend quality time in doing so!


I'll be going to Zimbabwe for the weekend and look forward to see for myself what is going on there.


How are things on your side? Thanks Matts, I receive the Rotary info regularly.


I will soon - end of July - leave my company to start my own event management and training company. I will also run functions and projects for charity organizations in doing so.


I will soon forward information on what the charity originations on this side need seriously to be able to cope with their daily functioning.


Keep up the good work and regards to Rotary New York District 9250 from SA!





Thank you


Thank you Dia! It was great to hear from you. Have you thought about joining Rotary since you returned? It is great to have access to such a fellowship when you start your own business.


By the way, Dia was the only woman in the South African team, but she could whack any of the other team members, if she wanted too. She grew up with many brothers, so she knows how to hold her own.


Now that our Rotary year has come to an end, I would like to thank our outgoing District Governor Bob Benson. His support to me in my capacity of GSE Chairman has been indispensable. Bob is a low key and soft-spoken person, but his actions speak volumes. Through no fault of his own, his term as District Governor was not an easy one, but he resolved the issues with a lot of patience and tenacity. Thank you Bob for a great Rotary year!


Don't forget to reserve your table for our next meeting. You can reserve via e-mail to our office at, or call Andreas or Ana at 212-633-1311. You can also fax in the RSVP form, which you can download at Our fax number is 212-633-1954. At our next meeting, the culinary staff at the Princeton Club will serve us Salmon.


I recommend that you visit our New York Rotary website every week at 


Rotary is about having fun

and do good things!



Matts Ingemanson

Internet Communication Officer

The Rotary Club of New York



Group Study Exchange

Rotary District 7230


Ambassador of History

The History of Rotary Project




The power of the Internet puts the brains of millions of people together. It also puts 1.2 million Rotarians together. It does not matter where we are and when we are available. The Internet makes it possible for Rotarians around the world to instantly participate.


This newsletter has also been posted on our website at


I want to thank our Executive Director Andreas Runggatscher and his Executive Assistant Ana Rivas for working so hard every week creating and mailing the Weekly Bulletin. In addition to mailing it out to our members, they also send me the electronic Bulletin so I can upload it on our website. They are also working very hard with the administration of the World Trade Center - Disaster Relief Fund.


In order to read the PDF file of the Bulletin-on-the-Web, you need the latest version of the Acrobat Reader (Version 5.0). If you don't have Acrobat Reader 5.0, you can download it for free from the web at:



You can find the following interesting websites at:


1.      New York Rotary Club at

2.      The History of Rotary at

3.      Rotary District 7230 at 

4.      District 7230 Group Study Exchange Project at

5.      Rotary Youth Leadership Awards at

6.      Rotary Radio every Tuesday 5-6 PM EST or 2-3 PM PST at


7.      Matts Ingemanson, Helen Reisler and Jim Thompson from the New York Rotary Club were interviewed on Rotary Radio Tuesday July 9, 2002.


You need Windows Media Player to listen to Rotary Radio. Windows Media Player is included with Windows Millennium and Windows XP. If you use Windows 95 or Windows 98, you can download Windows Media Player for free from Microsoft.


Click here to download Windows Media Player