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Meeting Time 6:15 p.m. Wednesday Evening
Buffalo Launch Club
Previous Rotary Page

Real Kids. Real Stories. - Rotary Hosts Authors - October 2019

    GRAND ISLAND (October 16, 2019) - Real Kids. Real Stories. Real Issues. That is what Zuiker Press is all about and its co-founder Anthony Zuiker, will talk about this latest venture and his career as the creator and former executive producer of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” the long-running, multi-franchise CBS megahit series, during the Rotary Club of Grand Island’s dinner meeting on Wednesday, October 23 at 6:15 p.m at the Buffalo Launch Club.
   The meeting is open to the public but seats are limited and reservations are required. Dinner cost is $25 and reservations may be made by emailing mike@billoni.com or calling 578.8948 by 3 p.m. Monday, October 21.
   In this next stage of his career, Zuiker and his wife, the former Michelle Territo, who was born in Buffalo and is a long-time educator of grammar school children, are taking story telling in a new direction - one focused on helping kids heal and understand themselves and others through the words of children affected by the subject. “I believed these books and stories could help kids,” Zuiker said. “What I did not expect was how Michelle and I would grow as people from this experience.”
    The first four titles of books Zuiker Press is presently distributing to school districts in WNY, including the Grand Island School District are: “Mend: A Story of Divorce,” (5th grade and up); “Click: A Story of Cyberbullying,” (6th grade and up); “Imperfect: A Story of Body Image,” (8th grade and up); and “Colorblind: A Story of Racism,” (7th grade and up). Future titles include subjects such as school shooting, transgender, Autism, suicide, etc. the subjects of each story are Zuiker’s authors and their ages range from 14-24 and the readership ranges from age 11-17 (Grades 5-12). For more information, contact Mike Billoni at 716.578.8948; mike@billoni.com.


Rotary Club Teams with GI Schools Interact Clubs - October 2019

    Rotary Club of Grand Island’s High School Interact Club to be heavily involved in Supervisor Candidates’ Night. Four students will Moderate Questions for the three candidates.
    The Rotary Club of Grand Island’s first Town Supervisor Candidates’ Night, with assistance from the Grand Island High School Interact Club, will be held Wednesday, October 16 from 7-9 p.m. in the Grand Viking Theatre inside the high school at 1100 Ransom Road.
    The candidates running for Supervisor are Thomas Franz, Conservative Party; Jim Sharpe, Democratic and Working Families Parties; and John C. Whitney, PC, Republican and Independence Parties.
    The Rotary Club announced two dozen students from its High School Interact program will participate in the event as moderators, greeters and runners to obtain questions from the audience. The three candidates will be seated behind a table on the stage and four students will serve as moderators, asking the questions. They will be assisted by Rotarian Mike Billoni, chair of the event.
   Seniors Lucas Kruse and Luke Hess and sophomores Alexis Nguyen and Natalie Carter will be the moderators. Junior Amina Shaibi will serve as time-keeper. Kruse and Hess are co-presidents of this year’s High School Interact program under Laura Estenoz, a High School teacher and the long-time Interact Advisor.
    Serving as greeters and runners will be: senior Breckin Morris; juniors Emily Cohen and Jaime Lechner and sophomores Ashley Battaglia, Riley Joseph, Hannah Martinez, Hayley Pizur, Tom Banas and Riley Weber. “It is extremely inspirational by the way these students have accepted our invitation to participate in this important event and how they have stepped up into leadership positions,” said Sherry Miller, president-elect of the Rotary Club of Grand Island and the club’s liaison with the High School and Middle School’s Interact Clubs and the Earlyact Clubs in the Huth Road and William Kaegebein Elementary Schools. “We are very proud of these students,” she added.
   The Interact Clubs are Rotary International’s service clubs for young people ages 12-18 that are sponsored by individual Rotary Clubs, which provide support and guidance, but the high school and middle school clubs are self-governing and self-supporting. The Earlyact Clubs are service clubs for elementary students from ages five to 13 and they are also are self-governing and self-supporting.
   After the candidates are introduced by the moderators, each will have five minutes to present their position. That will be followed by questions with candidates having two minutes to answers. Rebuttals will be one-minute. The format will not allow for audience members to ask questions from their seats. The questions must be sent via email to mike@billoni.com prior to the Candidates’ Night or they can write their question on a card that evening and they will be brought to the moderators by the student runners.
   The Rotary Club of Grand Island has been meeting here for 61 years. To learn more, visit www.rotaryclubgi.org. For more information, contact Mike Billoni at 716.578.8948; mike@billoni.com.


Rotary Club of Grand Island to host Supervisor Candidate’s Night - September 2019

    The Rotary Club of Grand Island will present its first Town of Grand Island Supervisor Candidate’s Night on Wednesday, October 16th from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. in the Grand Island High School Theatre, 1100 Ransom Road. The event is free and residents are encouraged to attend to learn about the three candidates for the town’s highest elected office. The date gives voters plenty of time to decide before the State’s first early election period that begins on October 26th. Election Day is Tuesday, November 5th.
    The candidates running for Supervisor are Thomas Franz, Conservative Party; Jim Sharpe, Democratic Party and John C. Whitney, PC, Republican and Independence Parties. After the candidates are introduced by the moderator, they will each have five minutes to present their position. That will be followed by questions. The format will not allow for audience members to ask questions from their seats. The questions must be sent via email to mike@billoni.com prior to the Candidate’s Night or they can write their question on a card that evening and they will be brought to the moderator.
    “There are a lot of important issues for our residents on Grand Island. It is the desire of our Rotary Club members to provide the candidates with the respect they deserve in answering the questions and presenting their point of view. We do not feel they can do that if guests ask questions from their seats with the potential of a shouting match occurring. That will not be tolerated,” said Michael J. Billoni, the event chair from the Rotary Club of Grand Island.
   “Our Rotary Club is in its 61st year and our members have a strong desire to continue to be active in the town and we feel an event like this is extremely important for the residents to hear an open exchange of ideas and platforms from the town’s next supervisor,” he added. For more information, contact Mike Billoni at 716.578.8948; mike@billoni.com.


Rotary Club Donates to Miracle League - August 2019

Standing behind Miracle League players from left for the check presentation is Coach Alex Kovacs, Rotary Club President Elect Sherry Miller, Coach Lori Reid and Rotary Club member Mike Billoni.

   In this photo the Rotary Club of Grand Island makes its eighth payment of $2,500 to the Miracle League towards the $25,000 commitment made. The League said it will use this payment for uniforms and supplies for the players.


GI Rotary Paper Shred Event - June 2019

   The GI Rotary is hosting their annual paper shred event on Saturday, June 15th at Key Bank, in Top's Plaza. It takes place from 10:00 a.m. - noon. The cost is $10 per box.


Undies Sunday Thank You - March 2019

Jonathan Beckman, Community Mission of Niagara Falls; Susan Falbo, events and volunteer manager at the mission and Rev. Mark Breese, agency minister.

Rotary Club of Grand Island members sort through the multitude of donations to Undie Sunday. From left Richard Earne, club president and members Sherry Miller and Mike Billoni, Faye Teluk, chair, Undie Sunday and Dan Flair, treasurer.

   Our homeless neighbors in Western New York are a bit warmer these days because of the wonderful, generous people of Grand Island. Hundreds of pairs of socks and underclothing, plus cash, were donated to the recent Rotary Club of Grand Island’s annual Undie Sunday promotion.
    The less fortunate clients of Buffalo City Mission, Harbor House, St Luke’s Mission of Mercy and The Community Mission of Niagara Falls were the beneficiaries of these donations and they were extremely grateful for these much-needed gifts. On behalf of all of them, we say “Thank You, Thank You, Thank You” to our generous neighbors and to the churches and businesses who collected the items. "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." Aesop




Rotary Undie Sunday Has Additional Drop-Off Sites - February 2019


Yusuf Mojawalla making a donation at his family’s Island Ship Center.

    The annual Rotary Club of Grand Island’s Undie Sunday has added three additional donation locations, announced a busy opening weekend for donations and a Buffalo television station will broadcast live on Monday from Momma De’s Bakery & Café on Whitehave Road to promote this important cause.
    Donations of new and unused underclothing and socks for homeless men, women and children in Western New York may be placed in the hampers at the following churches through February 24 at the following Grand Island churches: Bible Fellowship Center, 1136 Baseline Rd.; Bible Presbyterian, 1650 Love Rd.; Island Presbyterian, 1822 Huth Rd.; CrossRiver Church, 2920 Grand Island Blvd.; St. Martin’s in the Fields Episcopal Church, 2587 Baseline Rd.; St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic Church, 2100 Baseline Rd.; St. Timothy’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1453 Staley Rd.
    In addition, donations may also be placed in the hampers at Ace Hardware, 1889 Whitehaven Rd; Grand Island Library, 1715 Bedell Rd; Heron Pointe, 1993 Grand Island Blvd.; Island Pharmacy, 1728 Grand Island Blvd.; Island Ship Center and Momma D’s Bakery & Café, 1879 Whitehaven Rd.; KeyBank, 2180 Grand Island Blvd.; M&T Bank, 2381 Grand Island Blvd.; Northwest Savings Bank, 2300 Grand Island Blvd; Tops Friendly Markets, 2140 Grand Island Blvd.; lobby of Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Rd.
   "We are extremely pleased with the number of donations we have seen after our opening weekend. With it being so cold, these donations are much needed by the homeless,” said Faye Teluk, Chair of the Rotary Club of Grand Island’s Undie Sunday committee. The donations will be sorted on February 25 before being delivered to the Buffalo City Mission, Community Mission of Niagara Falls, Harbor House and St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy.
    Spectrum News (Ch. 9 on Spectrum Cable) will conduct live interviews with Rotary Club of Grand Island members and town residents about this important promotion on Monday, Feb. 18 from 5:15 a.m.- 8:30 a.m. at Momma De’s Bakery & Cafe, 1879 Whitehaven Rd.
    Undie Sunday has impressed Yusuf Mojawalla, 19, the manager of his family’s Island Ship Center on Whitehaven Road to the point he has promoted it heavily on his and the company’s social media network. “We love this promotion because it allows us to make a donation of an item we do not think much about. But, for the homeless in our community, they are so appreciative to receive new, clean socks and undergarments. Our customers were so happy to see the hamper in our store and they all said they were going shopping for these important items.
   “Our family prides itself on giving back to our community,” explained Yusuf, a Grand Island High School graduate, former President of its DECA program and current freshman at Medaille College who says he follows JFK’s famous message, "Don’t ask what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
   Helping others in the community is the culture his parents, Fahim and Seema have instilled into the staff at Island Ship Center over the past 14 years. Each fall, on Veteran’s Day, they work with the DeGlopper Post of the American Legion on Grand Island Blvd. to collect all types of essential gifts for local residents serving our country as active duty military. Volunteers help sort the donations, pack and address the boxes before they are shipped to each of the hometown military, who are pleasantly surprised when they open the huge care package from their neighbors back home on Grand Island. For more information on Undie Sunday, visit www.rotaryclubgi.org or call 716.863.2577.




Rotary Undie Sunday For Two Whole Weeks - February 2019


Pictured from left: Grand Island Rotary Club member Michael J. Billoni; Richard Earne, Club President; Dan Flaim, Treasurer; Faye Teluk, Undie Sunday Chairperson; member Kyle Clayton.

    The timing of this year’s Rotary Club of Grand Island’s Undie Sunday to benefit the homeless in Niagara Falls, Buffalo and surrounding areas is ideal considering the recent below zero temperatures during the Blizzard of 2019. Beginning on Sunday, Feb. 10 and concluding on Sunday, Feb. 24 Island residents are encouraged to donate the basic needs of new and unused underclothing and socks for homeless men, women and children.
    Donations may be placed in the hampers at the following churches on Grand Island: Bible Fellowship Center, 1136 Baseline Rd.; Bible Presbyterian, 1650 Love Rd.; Island Presbyterian, 1822 Huth Rd.; St. Martin’s in the Fields Episcopal Church, 2587 Baseline Rd.; St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic Church, 2100 Baseline Rd.; St. Timothy’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1453 Staley Rd.
    In addition, donations may also be placed in the hampers at Ace Hardware, 1889 Whitehaven Rd; Grand Island Library, 1715 Bedell Rd; Island Pharmacy, 1728 Grand Island Blvd.; Island Ship Center and Momma D’s Bakery & Café, 1879 Whitehaven Rd.; KeyBank, 2180 Grand Island Blvd.; M&T Bank, 2381 Grand Island Blvd.; Northwest Savings Bank, 2300 Grand Island Blvd; Tops Friendly Markets, 2140 Grand Island Blvd.; lobby of Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Rd.
   "We sincerely appreciate the generosity of the Grand Island residents who donate to this extremely important program. These items provide a personal dignity, comfort and warmth for the homeless in our community," said Faye Teluk, Chair of the Rotary Club of Grand Island’s Undie Sunday committee.
    The committee commended Tops Friendly Markets and Niagara Frontier Publications for providing the advertisement in the Island Dispatch, Island Ship Center for donating posters and Popular Graphics for creating the banner which will be posted on the Town sign at Whitehaven and Grand Island Blvd. The donations will be sorted on February 25 before being delivered to the Buffalo City Mission, Community Mission of Niagara Falls, Harbor House and St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy. For more information, visit www.rotaryclubgi.org or call 716.863.2577.




Rotary Undie Sunday For a Whole Week - February 2018



   From February 10 to 18th, we hope you will consider donating NEW underwear and socks in the HAMPERS placed in churches, schools, Tops, Town Hall and the Grand Island Memorial Library. G I Rotary will get them to Buffalo City Mission, and Cornerstone Manor, their shelter for battered women, to allow the homeless and battered, a chance at fresh things as winter drags on in Western NY. Flyer.





Rotary Club Volunteers at Gus Macker - June 2017



   Members of the Grand Island Rotary Club staffed the Gus Macker registration tent, checking in over 800 basketball players over Gus Macker weekend. The Rotary support allowed players to smoothly collect their player shirts, gym bags, bracelets and court assignments.




Rotary Club Week Long Undie Sunday - February 2017



Be on the look out for the Undie Sunday hamper.

Principal Kerri Nowak with students.

    Help the homeless and abused between Feb 5 -12th by bringing new, unused underwear and sock packages to bins set up in Grand Island schools, churches, Top's Market, County Library and Town Hall. The Rotary Club is sponsoring Undie Sunday for a Whole Week! Packages for men, women and children are welcomed and needed. GI Rotarians will take them to City Mission of Buffalo and St. Luke's Mission of Mercy. Please help the homeless, the abused and the under-privileged with NEW underwear, that means so much. Rotarian Kerri Nowak, Principal of Huth Rd School is heading up this program. She and other Rotarians will see to it that those near the bottom get some help!




Grand Island Rotary March Meeting - March 2016

   The GI Rotary Club dinner meeting is Wednesday, March 9th at 6:15 p.m. at the Buffalo Launch Club. Guest speaker is Supervisor Nate McMurray, sharing his agenda for Grand Island. If you would like to attend, please email: enrae.richard@gmail.com by Tuesday night, March 8th. Dinner is $20 per person.




Grand Island Rotary Art Auction - October 2015

   The Grand Island Rotary is sponsoring an Art Auction on Saturday, October 24th at Byblos Niagara Resort beginning at 6:00 p.m. Admission is $10 per person and includes Hors D'oeuvres, dessert and beverages. A cash bar is available. There will also be a 50/50 raffle and silent auction. See flyer for details. Proceeds benefit the Rotary Student Scholarship and activities funds. Tickets can be purchased either at the GI Key Bank Branch or by contacting Richard Earne at 773-6346.
    This is a great opportunity not only to acquire nice pieces of art at very reasonable prices, and in all price ranges, but also to support a worthwhile cause. The starting bids on the art offered is usually around 1/3 the price you would pay for the same thing at traditional art galleries. Opening bids can start as low as $25 and are in a wide price range to suit everyone's tastes. So, not only do you save on the art for yourself, but a portion of the proceeds goes towards the Rotary's Scholarship fund. Great for the purchaser and great for the students.




Rotary Sponsors Document Destruction Event - June 2015

    The Rotary Club of Grand Island is having a document destruction event at the Key Bank parking lot in Tops Plaza on Saturday, June 27th from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. The event is confidential and $10.00 per banker box. There will also be a drop off service. See
flyer.