Rotary cancels Tastings, starts mail fundraiser

Editor’s note: This press release was provided by The Rotary Club of the Pelhams.

The Rotary Club of the Pelhams announced that its fall 2020 Tastings event will be cancelled due to the uncertainties of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the club is seeking donations for the Gift of Life heart surgeries funded by the event and for its 2020 Rotary Scholarship awarded to PMHS graduating senior Charlotte Howard.

A town wide mailing also urges gift cards and take out orders be placed with restaurants, bakeries, caterers and sponsors who have participated in past Tastings events.

Donors of $300 or more to Rotary Club of the Pelhams through this fundraising appeal will be eligible for a chance to win a Charles Fazzino piece of art that has the COVID-19 crisis as its theme “to send virtual hugs out to the whole world.” The raffle for the framed and hand signed art will be held on July 22, 2020. Donations may be made at or by checks made payable to Pelham Rotary Charities Fund mailed c/ Donna Shirreffs, 146 Loring Avenue, Pelham, NY 10803.

The Rotary message in the invitation says: “Because COVID-19 remains a threat to safety in large gatherings, the Rotary Club of the Pelhams has canceled plans to hold its 16th annual Tastings food and wine fundraiser this October. With this invitation, we are asking you to support Gift of Life heart surgeries for children and other programs funded by Tastings; the restaurants which participate in this event; and Rotary’s annual scholarship presented to a graduating PMHS senior.

Proceeds from the 2019 Tastings provided $31,000 to the Gift of Life heart surgery medical missions in Lebanon, Syria and the Philippines to help over 200 children. Locally Tastings funds contributed to the New York Raptors; the Pelham Children’s Center; Project Community – Project Child; Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital’s coat drive for children; and most recently to Pelham Together.

Rotary awarded a $12,000 Rotary Scholarship to Charlotte Howard this June, a $2,000 increase over past years’ total. Rotary scholarship applicants are considered for their scholastic achievement, extracurricular activities and community service, with the latter in particular as to how it carries out the Rotary motto “service above self.”

Ms Howard was a member of the National Honor Society as well as the English, Math, World Foreign Language and Social Studies honor societies. She was Executive Editor of the Pelham Examiner, captain of the Track Team and Editor of the PMHS Yearbook. Her community service includes the Charlotte Cares fundraising website for Dream Big Ghana that fundraises to build compost toilets for families in Dzita, Ghana. She was Captain of Polar Plunge to help sponsor Special Olympics athletes and was a volunteer in Guatemala, teaching English.