Solving real problems takes real commitment and vision. For more than 66 years, Rotary Club of Great Neck's people of action have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to take action on sustainable projects. From literacy and peace to water and health, we are always working to better our world, and we stay committed to the end.

 
Free Thanksgiving Dinners
In Memory of Sal Berrito

When the Rotary Club of Great Neck started their annual turkey drive in the garage of our late member Milton Tamarin in 1991, we began a tradition of getting Thanksgiving meals together for local families in need.

The project continued to grow every year because there was more need for it, and soon it moved to the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, a friend of the club since the 1960's. The club packages over 1,200 full Thanksgiving meals for families on Long Island, with the help of donations and many volunteers from the community. Club members use their professional connections to secure discounts from local businesses on the items that go into the package, then donate their time and skills to organize the whole event.

These assembled Thanksgiving packages include a 14-pound turkey, stuffing, five pounds of potatoes, carrots,  canned peas, corn, string beans, cranberry sauce and gravy. There is also a dessert. The full meal is enough to feed a family of six with leftovers.

“We want people to be at home with their families on Thanksgiving, because that’s what Thanksgiving is about.”

Roger Chizever, Turkey Committee Chairman

After putting the meals together, we give them out to other organizations like the Mental Health Association, St. Mary’s Church, Temple Beth-El, St. Aloysius Church, children’s centers, and other groups. The organizations pass the meals on to families that need their help. In 2018, the club worked with about 19 groups, many of them in Great Neck.

To find out how you or your business or organization can support a family this Thanksgiving or to make a donation, call Roger Chizever at (516) 487-9392 or email him at turkey@rotaryclubgreatneck.org.

 
                          
 

School Supplies for At-Risk Youth

Every year, the Scholarship Committee provides school supplies for over 20 students of our partner organization COPAY Inc. In addition to their academic program, COPAY also offers their students cultural enrichment and recreational activities, so the Scholarship Committee also provides art supplies to support the success of all the students.
 

Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral cancer accounts for roughly three percent of all cancers diagnosed annually in the United States, or about 49,700 new cases each year. Together, the Rotary Club of Great Neck, led by rotarian Lidia Epel, DDS and the Nassau County Dental Society host a yearly Oral Cancer Screening Day. Everyone in the community is welcome to come for a free consultation with a trained specialist. Over 450 free oral cancer screenings have been performed as part of this program over the 7 years it has been running.
 
Summer Concert Series

Originally founded and conducted by rotarian Michael Flamhaft, the Rotary Summer Community Band is an ensemble comprised of musicians from within our community ranging in age from 16 to over 65. Every summer since 2001 the band has played a series of free concerts free of charge for the public. The band is currently under the direction of Anthony Bavota, who has conducted for the past three years.

The conductor coordinates more than 40 members, who play instruments including flute, trumpet, oboe, clarinet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, bass clarinet, piccolo, percussion, as well as alto, tenor and baritone sax.

These concerts are a public service aimed at promoting culture, the arts, and creating an opportunity for residents to gather and interact with their neighbors in a festive environment.
 
 
Rotary Youth Merit Awards (RYMA)
Rotary's stated mission is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace. To that end, The Rotary Club of Great Neck annually recognizes students who have demonstrated “an exemplary level of community service, as determined by their school administrators.” These students have shown a willingness to put “Service Above Self,” which is the Rotary Club motto.
 
These students exemplify the best aspects of character as they work with seniors, help with food collection for the needy, lead their peers in various school activities, tutor younger students and set an example for others to follow. 
 
 

After-School Scholarships

In 2019, The Rotary Club of Great Neck met with local school officials and social workers and together identified that funds are needed to assist children in the Great Neck Community. There are many parents who hold multiple jobs and cannot afford tuition for daycare or after school/summer recreation programs. The new Rotary After-School Scholarship Program will go directly towards helping children and families in the community.
 

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