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PC/Rye Brook Rotary Club Serving Up Change

RYE BROOK, N.Y. - Anyone who knows a member of the Port Chester Rye Brook Rotary Club will tell you that Rotary is more than sharing weekly meals at T & J’s Trattoria in Port Chester.

Although the Rotarians do break bread at the Italian eatery every Tuesday at 12:15, the weekly meetings are not limited to light banter amongst friends. Much of what gets discussed are ways members can devote themselves to improving the two adjoining but different communities.

“Our primary motto is service before self,” says current Rotary President John Kiyak. Kiyak, who joined the Rotary Club about four years ago, owns Port Chester Rug and Linoleum Company on Bowman Avenue. “Rotary is all about serving the community,” added Kiyak, “We’re constantly searching for new and better ways to impact the community in a positive way”.

Rotarian Jerry Ploss of Rye Brook, the Rotary’s incoming president, echoed Kiyak’s remarks. “As a volunteer organization, it’s important for us to constantly be on the look out for new people and fresh ideas” Ploss said.

The Rotary cycles presidents on a year-to-year basis in order to “keep things fresh”, but allows for former presidents like Ploss to be reinstalled. Currently the Rotary is made up of about 30 people, 15-20 of which are consider “active” members.

The club just recently finished it’s mentorship program with Saving Our Society and is currently gearing up for their holiday bell ringing collections.

Among the many things the Rotary offers the community is a $6,000 scholarship over four years to a local high school student in need. They also sponsor a Skype program for Rye Brook elementary schools that allows students to meet and learn with a class from Guatemala.

Kiyak stressed that the Rotary is constantly looking for new members who can “add their extraordinary talents to the club”. The Rotary holds open breakfast meetings at the Rye Hilton on the first Tuesday of every month.

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