2023-2024 Awards
Fundraiser of the Year - Win a Bundle – New Paltz – This fundraiser included a dinner, live and
silent auctions, fisherman's raffle and 50/50. In addition, tickets are sold for $100 each which enters you to win a bundle & up to $10,000. The club raised $66,700 and the funds were used for the Back Pack Program. In addition, they used it for Operation Warm Coat, Fishes and Loaves, and their international project, Friends of Guirgho.

Service Project of the Year - Period Product Initiative –Suffern
Estimated 16.9 million women who menstruate are living in poverty. This project supports a
fundamentally basic human need which is not easily covered by public funding. These products
are distributed at the local (Sloatsburg) Food Pantry in the Suffern Community which serves over
3,000 community members.
Community Engagement – West Point-Highland Falls:
After the flood on July 9th, 2023, West Point-Highland Falls was there to support the
community, with monetary donations and volunteers. They also support 2 local food pantries
which many families depend on. Rotarians in the club also worked with local community
leaders, local churches, American Red Cross, and the American Legion. On top of that they also
helped get the word out about Disaster Relief aid available from Samaritan Purse, Team
Rubicon, Catholic Charities, and Realtors Relief Foundation.

Community Engagement - Wallkill East: Wallkill East Rotary embodies the spirit of community engagement through its numerous impactful annual events. Here are a few to mention: aw Jam Fundraiser: In its fourth year, this event has raised over $80,000 for Pets Alive, significantly contributing to their new build project currently underway., Coat Drive: The club collected and distributed over 500 winter coats for men, women, and children in need. National Night Out: They supported this community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. the club secured volunteers and managed the food tent, obtaining donations, and preparing and cooking all the food.

Community Engagement - Wappingers Falls: Wappingers Falls adopted a total of 13 families for the holidays. 3 for Thanksgiving and 10 for Christmas but Christmas is a little more special. Rotarians get assigned a student and is provided different gift recommendations. Rotarians shop for a gift, wrap it and then the families receive the food and the gifts for the holidays. Since we are talking about the holidays we also host a senior lunch for a local senior residence each December. Rotarians socialize with the seniors, help serve food and give them small gifts to take home as many of these seniors are alone for the holidays. These examples all together has 100% club member participation which is amazing! Lastly their biggest difference is they have fundraised all Rotary year long to give out $11,500 worth of scholarships to high school seniors.
New Rotarian of the Year - Tim Nilsen –
Tim puts his heart into whatever he's involved in. This past fall, the Brewster club took over a major fundraiser and he was part of the team that handled the transfer as well as dealing with the local officials to make the event happen. He pretty much single handedly brought back the Fall 5K race, and even the fall of rainy weekends couldn't stop the race from being a success. He's part of the 4 person Interact Advisor Team for our club and the students love when Tim is
involved with projects. They definitely look up to him. Tim is the youngest member of the
Brewster club but he hasn't let that stop him.

New Rotarian of the Year Holly Brooker - Holly has become a vital aspect to the Highland club. Not only getting their club in a better position with their website and social media, but has also brought several ideas forward to the fundraising team. Holly has also provided several guest speakers to the club meetings.
President of the Year - George Biskup
George was nominated by over eight Rotarians. George has increased the visibility and value of
the West Point-Highland Falls Rotary to the community. He has acknowledged the importance of
each members opinions and suggestions. George is the first to arrive and perform at every
activity/program that he asks the members to support.
President of the Year - Wendy Maitland 
Wendy Maitland’s leadership style is all about inspiring, not “commanding”, and in this past year
Wendy has inspired the Rhinebeck Club & members to continue to increase their membership (even after she inspired them as their Membership Chair to gain nearly 30 members in the previous two years), increased Fundraising, which resulted in increased Service Projects and Support for The Rotary Foundation.

Rotary Hall of Fame: Laurence Palant –
Larry is extremely dedicated to Rotary & doing good for humanity. He is extremely resourceful and has a quick mind with an amazing talent of making connections or making a new application of an idea. Suffern Rotarians are in awe of his dedication to “Service Above Self” & to our community and to Rotary. Suffern is grateful to have their own “Mr.Rotary”.

Rotary Hall of Fame: Sal Lucido –Sal has shown relentless dedication and made significant contributions to Rotary since he joined the Wallkill East club in August 2014, immediately assuming a leadership role. He has served as a past President, past District Officer, and has attained multiple Paul Harris Fellows. However, his true passion shines through his role as Chairman of the Foundation Committee.

Rotary Hall of Fame: Steve Laubach
Steve has been a member of Rotary for 40 years! He was one of the leaders of the Highlands
Club first large project, an Adult Day Care Center. He has served as Assistant Governor for
District 7210 Region 2 for two years from 2011 to 2013.  He served as District Secretary in the
2013-2014 Rotary year.  He has also co-chaired several District 7210 Conferences. He has also
been a Club President over four times. He is the person who exemplifies the importance of
Rotarians of the Year:
2-5 Years -  Ali Unlu - Ali has not only been a member of Rotary from his first day, but a
Rotarian. He is first at every meeting he attends and completes set up before anyone arrives, he
makes sure everyone has a seat and shows the true spirit of Rotary. Ali has raised the positivity
in the Warwick Valley Club by putting Rotary and the 4 way test in the forefront of all he does.

5-10 Years – Judy Klein- Judy is devoted to all things Rotary. Especially, anything that has to do
with hunger which is Suffern’s Weekend Snack Attack program, she leads with extreme care.
She chairs many of our fundraisers with efficiency & positivity. She is very knowledgeable about Rotary and has sponsored many new members, mentors new members.

10 Plus Years - Jack Strassman –
Jack Strassman epitomizes the core values of Rotary. He completely commits himself to
improving the world, devoid of any personal agenda or desire for recognition. Since 1996, he has
played a pivotal role in the Liberty Rotary Club, contributing tirelessly to numerous initiatives
and fundraising endeavors, both locally, across the district and around the world. A born leader,
Jack inspires and supports his fellow members, always keeping our collective objectives in clear

Youngest President in District 7210 - Todd Bowen III – Todd joined Rotary in 2019 at the age of
18 after being in the RCK Interact Club in High School for four years. In July of 2023, Todd
took the helm of the Rotary Club of Wappingers Falls at the age of 21, making him the youngest
Club President in District 7210. He is also serving as club president again this coming year and
serves on the district level.