By: Michele DiPasquale
Established by charter in 1953, Pequannock Valley Rotary (PVR) is a local branch of Rotary International – a worldwide service organization of more than 1.2 million professional men and women who are dedicated to helping others.
Serving the large and densely populated communities of Pequannock, Lincoln Park, and Riverdale, Pequannock Valley Rotary’s motto proclaims “Service Above Self.” Like Rotary International, PVR’s mission is to build goodwill and provide humanitarian services, support education, provide clean water, fight disease, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, grow local economies, ensure the growth of community outreach, and work toward making the world a better place.
In only just the last two years, Pequannock Valley Rotary has been significantly engaged in a vast number of events, as shared by Mr. Jay Wanczyk of Pequannock Valley Rotary.
“We are one of the larger and more dynamic Rotary clubs in our district – I’m not bragging – that’s what other Rotary clubs say about us,” he said.
Among PVR’s many accomplishments, it has worked with the “Save-A-Life” program, a fund that’s provided state of the art ballistic (bullet-proof) vests to Pequannock, Lincoln Park, and Riverdale First Aid Squads, Police and Fire Departments.
PVR has an annual scholarship program to merited high school seniors for college or technical schools, has worked with a highly successful after-school program for children in Paterson, NJ, and hosts a Veterans’ Appreciation Lunch where hundreds of veterans are honored from all local towns to give thanks for their service.
Pequannock Valley Rotary hosts an annual charity 5K Run/Walk, as well as a Dictionary and Literacy Program in which all third-graders – in both public and private schools in all three towns PVR serves – receive dictionaries thanks to a grant received by PVR in order to help promote literacy.
Pequannock Valley Rotary hosts a summer food drive by placing bins in several locations in town to benefit the PVR Food Pantry to families in need. PVR hosts a fundraiser with a golf outing in which resources were raised for Community Partners in Hope, Market Street Mission, and Good Shepherd mission, all in areas PVR helps to serve. PVR also supported the Columbia Bank Charity golf outing, the Lincoln Park PBA golf outing, the Pequannock PBA golf outing, and the Pequannock Township First Aid Squad with a Tricky Tray donation.
PVR supported Madison Rotary’s Hunger 3.6 event and supplied food for those in need, as well as the “Fighting Pretty” fundraiser cruise around Manhattan to benefit those battling breast cancer.
PVR has donated funds toward local Eagle Scout projects – one of which aims to recreate the area around the Historic Pompton Plains Station Museum – and donated funds to build a storage shed by the bleachers at the Pequannock Township High School field for band props and equipment.
PVR built and donated benches and storage cabinets for the New City Kids mentoring program in Paterson, as well as a Girl Scout Bronze award project in Lincoln Park to improve their dog park. PVR members also attend and support the Boys Club and Girls Club dinner dances.
Internationally, Pequannock Valley Rotary participated in the Gift of Life annual meeting in which thousands of dollars were donated to pay for the cost of life-saving heart surgery equipment to those in need overseas. PVR also continues to support the Massai Girls Fund which sponsors an educational opportunity for girls and to work toward ending child slavery.
Pequannock Valley Rotary contributes to and participates in Grains of Hope, becoming the largest single contributor of food that went to both NJ and overseas to Haiti.
Rotary members believe in a shared responsibility to take action toward the world’s most persistent issues, and work to help to enhance health, stability, and prosperity across the globe.