Upcoming Speakers & Topics
BOCES Student of the Month
Jun 05, 2024 12:00 PM
Rev. William R & Crystal E Cuthbert Vocational Excellence Award Sponsored by Brookfield Renewable US
NO NOON MEETING
Jun 12, 2024 5:30 PM
5:30 p.m. Changeover Dinner at Lobster House in Norwood
Dick Christi
Jun 19, 2024
St. Lawrence Cancer Foundation
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Club Information
Rotary Club of Potsdam, New York, U.S.A., District 7040
Potsdam

Service Above Self

We meet In Person & Online
Wednesdays at 12:00 PM
Potsdam Town Hall Community Room
18 Elm St.
Potsdam, NY 13676
United States of America
Our club meeting is currently conducting hybrid meetings. In-person and via Zoom. Please click below or email us, if you wish to join us on Zoom.
Home Page Stories
Devin Love of Massena Central School, a student in the Visions Medical Careers program at BOCES Seaway Tech, is the February recipient of the Potsdam Rotary Club’s “Rev. William R. and Crystal E. Cuthbert Vocational Excellence Award Sponsored by Brookfield Renewable U.S.” At a Rotary luncheon honoring Love, he met with Potsdam Rotarians and was commended for his academic excellence by Seaway Tech School instructor Richelle Cisco. The Potsdam Rotary Club meets at noon at the Potsdam Town Hall community room every Wednesday. Guests are welcome. Left to right: Potsdam Rotary President Duane Pelkey, Love and Cisco.
The Rotary Club of Potsdam recently honored three St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES Seaway Career & Technical Education Center students as recipients of the Potsdam Rotary Club’s “Rev. William R. and Crystal E. Cuthbert Vocational Excellence Award Sponsored by Brookfield Renewable U.S.”
 
Olivia Clark of Colton-Pierrepont Central School, a student in the Culinary Arts Program, was honored as the November recipient of the award.
 
Justice Brown of Massena Central School, a student in the Criminal Justice Program, was honored as the December recipient of the award.
 
Bryce Yette of Potsdam Central School, a student in the HVAC/R Program, was honored as the January recipient of the award.
The Rotary Club of Potsdam will host its first vendor/craft fair to benefit its literacy programs on Saturday, April 6, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Market Square Mall, 22 Depot Street in Potsdam.
 
Rotary literacy programs include the distribution of books at Fright Night in October and again during the Potsdam Holiday Fund Santa's Workshop in December. Potsdam Rotarians have read to elementary students in the past as well and a reading program for seniors is currently being considered.
The Rotary Club of Potsdam is seeking 15- to 17-year-old high school students from the Potsdam area who are interested in being part of the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA), May 24-26, at RKY Camp on Eagle Lake, one hour north of Kingston, Ontario. Potsdam Rotary is sponsoring up to three students who will incur no costs of their own to attend the camp, other than their personal transportation.
Kalei McDonald of Massena Central School, a student in the Health Careers program at BOCES Seaway Tech, is the October recipient of the Potsdam Rotary Club’s “Rev. William R. and Crystal E. Cuthbert Vocational Excellence Award Sponsored by Brookfield Renewable U.S.” At a Rotary luncheon honoring McDonald, she met with Potsdam Rotarians and was commended for her academic excellence by Seaway Tech School instructor Alexandria Arquitt. Left to right: Potsdam Rotary President Duane Pelkey, McDonald and Arquitt.
The Rotary Club of Potsdam has donated $1,000 to the Potsdam Holiday Fund as well as $550 worth of children’s books.
 
The Potsdam Holiday Fund, Inc. is an all-volunteer non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides new gifts, warm clothing and food to families and senior citizens in need in Potsdam, Madrid, Hopkinton, Nicholville, Brasher Falls, Chase Mills, Fort Jackson, West Stockholm and Winthrop. Donations to the Potsdam Holiday Fund are still needed and welcome at potsdamholidayfund.org or Potsdam Holiday Fund, PO Box 827, Potsdam, NY 13676.
 
Left to right: Potsdam Rotary Club President Duane Pelkey presents a check to Potsdam Holiday Fund President Traci Giffin.
Zachary Monroe of Massena was recently inducted as the newest member of the Rotary Club of Potsdam. He is the director of development and community relations at Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley.
 
Monroe brings with him a wealth of experience and a profound commitment to service. A Brasher Falls native, with more than eight years of dedicated work in non-profit fundraising and management, his professional journey has been characterized by passion and excellence.
 Tobi Morin of Potsdam Central School, a student in the Software Development & Business Design program at BOCES Seaway Tech, is the September recipient of the Potsdam Rotary Club’s “Rev. William R. and Crystal E. Cuthbert Vocational Excellence Award Sponsored by Brookfield Renewable U.S.” At a Rotary luncheon honoring Morin, she met with Potsdam Rotarians and was commended for her academic excellence by Seaway Tech School instructor David Wells. Left to right: Wells, Morin, and Rotary President-Elect Sunday Smith. 
Paula Sturge of Canton was recently inducted as a member of the Rotary Club of Potsdam. Sturge is the director of 3rd Party Payer Contracts and Reimbursement Analytics at St. Lawrence Health. Sturge graduated from Lowville Academy and Central School, attended SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton, and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Clarkson University. Over the past 30 years, she has worked in the accounting field throughout the North Country in public accounting, banking, academia, and healthcare.
Christina Delorenzo of Potsdam was recently inducted as a member of the Rotary Club of Potsdam. Delorenzo is the chief financial officer of Health WorkForce New York. DeLorenzo brings over a decade of invaluable healthcare experience to her role as CFO for multiple prominent organizations in New York State. She holds both a bachelor of science degree in organizational management and a master of science degree in healthcare administration from Roberts Wesleyan College.
 

Christian Thompson of Hannawa Falls was recently inducted as a member of the Rotary Club of Potsdam. Thompson is the Director of Business Applications at St. Lawrence Health. A native of California, Christian   has lived in the North Country since 2013.  He serves on the boards of Helping Hands of Hannawa Falls and Grace House in Canton.

He is very active in his faith through New Hope Community Church and in the community at large. Christian loves spending time with friends, exploring the trails of northern New York, snowboarding, and is an amateur nature photographer. He is also in training to run a half marathon. Christian, who has two adult sons, says that he is “looking forward to contributing and helping to support this community.” Left to right: President Duane Pelkey, Thompson, and Membership Chair Sunday Smith.

The Rotary Club of Potsdam is working with GardenShare and the Potsdam Neighborhood Center to reduce food insecurity in our community via exposure to the local farmers market. The Potsdam Rotary has purchased $1,000 worth of $20 Potsdam Farmers Market vouchers from GardenShare and is distributing them to those in need via the Potsdam Neighborhood Center.
The Rotary Club of Potsdam will again host an annual scholarship gala to benefit BOCES Seaway Tech programs, after a hiatus during the pandemic. The Midnight Masquerade Gala fundraiser will be held on Saturday, September 16, at the Elks Lodge in Potsdam. RSVP BY SEPTEMBER 6. A 5 p.m. cash bar will be followed by a buffet dinner, prize drawings and dancing to tunes by DJ Myke LaVarnway. The cost is $35 per-person advance purchase with a limited number of tickets. If available, tickets will be $40 at the door. The evening also includes a 50/50 raffle, chance auction, prizes for best costumes and a trivia contest. Tickets can be purchased online at potsdamrotary.org (click on "Donate") or from any Potsdam Rotarian. Tickets may also be purchased by mailing a check for $35 per person to "Potsdam Rotary, PO Box 912, Potsdam, NY 13676." If purchasing by mail, please include attendees' names or email them to gala@potsdamrotary.org. Please email any questions to gala@potsdamrotary.org.

 
SUNY Potsdam President Suzanne Smith was recently inducted as a member of the Rotary Club of Potsdam.
 
Smith, her husband, Brett Lloyd, and son, Sam Lloyd, moved to Potsdam in April as Smith proudly took on the role of the 18th president of SUNY Potsdam.
 
Prior to that, she served as the provost/vice president for academic affairs at Georgia Southwestern State University from 2018-2023.
Claire McFarland of Potsdam was awarded the "Potsdam Rotary Scholarship Sponsored by Brookfield Renewable U.S." at the Potsdam High School Senior Awards Night in June. The $1,000 scholarship is awarded to a Potsdam High School senior pursuing higher education who exemplifies the Rotary motto of "Service Above Self."
 
McFarland will be a first-year student in August at St. Lawrence University, where she plans to pursue a degree in biology. She is considering joining the Peace Corps after graduation and hopes to find a job working with plants or animals. "At some point, possibly after starting a family, I want to get my graduate degree and pursue more specialized careers, like becoming a plant geneticist person or cancer research," says McFarland.
 
Brookfield Renewable U.S. partners with more than 300 charities and community projects across the United States.
 
"Brookfield is pleased to be working with Potsdam Rotary in making this scholarship available to a student who shows so much promise, like Claire," says Brookfield Renewable U.S. Stakeholder Relations Manager Mark Luciano. "We believe that it is our responsibility to make investments like this in the youth of the communities where we live and work. Congratulations to Claire. We wish her much success in her future."
 
It's that time of year again! The Rotary Club of Potsdam will hold its annual Rubber Ducky Pluck during the Potsdam Summer Festival on Saturday, July 15, at 2:30 p.m. at Ives Park in Potsdam. The majority of the proceeds send children with disabilities to summer camp at Dodge Pond as well as benefiting other Rotary community projects. Tickets are available from any Potsdam Rotarian for $5 per ticket. You can buy tickets online at potsdamrotary.org. Just click on "Donate" and under "Use this donation for" select "Duck Pluck Ticket Donation." You can also order tickets via email at info@potsdamrotary.org. Ticket holders need not be present to win.
Emma Moreau of Brasher Falls Central School, a student in the Education & Human Services program at BOCES Seaway Tech, is the Rotary Club of Potsdam BOCES Student of the Month for May. At a Rotary luncheon honoring Moreau, she met with Potsdam Rotarians and was commended for her academic excellence by Seaway Tech School instructor Kayla Merchant. Left to right: Potsdam Rotary Vocational Service Chair Amanda Wilson, Moreau, Merchant, and Rotary President Duane Pelkey.
Duane M. Pelkey of Madrid was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow and inducted as 2023-2024 president by the Rotary Club of Potsdam at their annual meeting on June 8. He was honored for his demonstrated commitment to the goals and purposes of Rotary and "in appreciation of his tangible assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world." As noted in a nomination of Pelkey for this honor, "Duane stepped up at a critical time and exhibited leadership, despite the fact he has been there before."
Sunday Smith of Potsdam was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of Potsdam at their annual meeting on June 8. She was honored for her demonstrated commitment to the goals and purposes of Rotary and "in appreciation of her tangible assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world." As it says in one of the nominations of Smith for this honor, "Sunday has participated in nearly every event with enthusiasm and for the betterment of our club."
The Rotary Club of Potsdam will honor Duane Pelkey of Madrid and Sunday Smith of Potsdam as Paul Harris Fellows, and Bobby Gordon of Potsdam with the Service Above Self Award at its annual dinner on Thursday, June 8, at the Lobster House in Norwood. Pelkey will also be installed as the 2023-2024 president at the event.
 
Tickets are available by advance purchase only for $40 per person. To pay online, go to potsdamrotary.org, click on "Donate," and select "Use this donation for Annual Dinner." Or checks can be mailed to “Potsdam Rotary” at PO Box 912, Potsdam, NY 13676. (If you mail a check, please email your RSVP to info@potsdamrotary.org for a guest count.)
 
Pelkey and Smith will be honored as Paul Harris Fellows for their demonstrated commitment to the goals and purposes of Rotary and "in appreciation of their tangible assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world."
 
Gordon will be honored with the Service Above Self Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the Potsdam community.
 
All Rotarians; family, friends and colleagues of the honorees; and community members are invited to attend the dinner.
 
A social hour with a cash bar gets underway at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m. A selection of seven entrees will be available to order at the dinner: prime rib, beef brisket, chicken parmesan, haddock (broiled or fried), maritime platter (broiled shrimp scampi, fish filet, fried clams, and fried shrimp), vegetarian ravioli, or pasta primavera.
 
All reservations must be received by Monday, June 5. Please email info@potsdamrotary.org or call 315-265-5584 with questions.
Destinee Haught of Potsdam Central School, a student in the Cosmetology program at BOCES Seaway Tech, is the Rotary Club of Potsdam BOCES Student of the Month for April. At a Rotary luncheon honoring Haught, she met with Potsdam Rotarians and was commended for her academic excellence by Seaway Tech School instructor Nicole Rutledge. Left to right: Potsdam Rotary President Duane Pelkey, Rutledge, Haught and Rotarian Sunday Smith.
Shannon M. Sullivan of Hannawa Falls was recently inducted as a member of the Rotary Club of Potsdam. Sullivan is the senior director of revenue cycle operations at St. Lawrence Health. She was born and raised in the North Country and received her bachelor of science degree in business administration from Clarkson University. Sullivan is a Certified Professional Coder and Revenue Cycle Representative. She enjoys running, reading and being with her daughter, Maria, in her spare time. Left to right: President Duane Pelkey; Sullivan; her sponsor, Michael Griffin; and Membership Chair Sunday Smith.
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