Meet Betsy Whitney, current President of the Rotary Club of Rocky Point. Whitney has worked in the Rocky Point community at for 10 years. Prior to being the President of the Rotary Club of Rocky Point Whitney was the club's treasurer.
The Rotary Club of Rocky Point is a member of Rotary International and was established in 1979. The main objective of the Rotary Club is to improve the quality of life for people. Rotarians consider themselves a global network of community volunteers.
Rocky Point-Miller Place Patch recently sat down with Whitney and asked:
Can you tell us a little about the Rotary Club?
It’s an organization for business people, or retired business people. Not everyone is still working at this point. We meet weekly, Tuesdays at 12:15 at the . We are always looking for people to join us, come down and see what it’s about.
How many current members do you have?
We have 17 members, we are a smaller club, we are all very active. Members are primarily from Rocky Point, Wading River and Miller Place.
What are your duties as President?
As president, usually it’s a one year term. They asked if I would do a second year so I did. It is a lot, it’s facilitating the meetings, running them every week, and having an agenda. We always have a guest speaker, making sure the speaker is on a variety of topics. Usually it’s someone involved in the community or someone doing something interesting. On the district level, I attend some district functions.
What are some of the events the Rotary Club has been involved in?
In the community we do a variety of things. Some of them are directly under what the Rotary International is doing, but then a lot is what is local to the community, or what the needs of the community are at any given time.
Locally we do a lot of our fund-raising and then we do a lot of donations. It really just depends on who comes to us or makes a request to us. We give a donation every year to Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck in East Moriches that is ran by the Moriches Rotary Club. We help support them, and we also go in the summer time and cook the kids dinner one night and one day we do lunch. We adopt a family through the holidays, and we’ve done food drives throughout the year.
We also do something with People of the Year. We do a joint project with the Lions' club. When the Beacon announces their People of the Year we have a dinner to honor them and highlight them, and we invite their families.
Can you tell us about the exchange program Rotary International has?
This year we have one exchange student. We have had up to five at a time. We have someone that is a Youth Exchange Officer and he coordinates the students. They live with three different families while they're here from September to June. They spend the whole year, and we send students out. We have a committee that goes out and interviews them to make sure, because it’s a big commitment. Our exchange students are in high school.
Rotary also gives scholarships each year?
We give three scholarships each year to high school students, Rocky Point, Miller Place and Shoreham-Wading River.
Do you also participate in the group study program with Rotary?
Rotary International also has a group study exchange. Every other year a group from another country comes here and sees what we do business wise, vocation wise. We had a group from Brazil this year. We hosted them for a couple of weeks. It’s to bridge that international gap; if you get to know people one on one on that level there is more understanding globally.
We have people coming from India next week, purely for them to see what life is like here; and then next year a group will go to India.