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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
Online
Potsdam, NY 13676
United States of America
Home Page Stories
Thanks to the generosity of one major sponsor and many other local business sponsors, students at the BOCES Seaway Career & Technical Education Center have received scholarships, despite the cancellation of a major Potsdam Rotary fundraising event. The club's annual scholarship gala was cancelled this spring, due to COVID-19 guidance; however, the event's sponsors still followed through on their donations toward the scholarships. Northern Insuring Agency provided a gift of $1,500, matching scholarship donations by other businesses and organizations.
The Rotary Club of Potsdam invites the North Country community to its 16th annual Potsdam Rotary Scholarship Golf Tournament, which has been rescheduled from May to Friday, August 7, at the Potsdam Town & Country Club. Registration will begin at 10:30 a.m., with a shotgun start at 11:30, and a fun clambake celebration afterward. Registrations for foursomes are now being accepted at potsdamrotary.org (click on "Potsdam Rotary Scholarship Golf Tournament 2020" under Upcoming Events).
O'Dourghty Cunningham of Massena Central School, a student in the Metalworking program at BOCES Seaway Tech, is the Rotary Club of Potsdam BOCES Student of the Month for January. At a Rotary luncheon honoring Cunningham, he met with Potsdam Rotarians and was commended for his academic excellence by Seaway Tech School instructor Nanci Collins. Left to right: Potsdam Rotary President Duane Pelkey, Collins, Cunningham and Rotary Vocational Service Chair Paul McGrath.
Stephen McCargar of Potsdam Central School, a student in the Natural Resource Management program at BOCES Seaway Tech, is the Rotary Club of Potsdam BOCES Student of the Month for December. At a Rotary luncheon honoring McCargar, he met with Potsdam Rotarians and was commended for his academic excellence by Seaway Tech School instructor John Morgan. Left to right: Potsdam Rotary President Duane Pelkey, Morgan, McCargar and Rotary Vocational Service Chair Paul McGrath.
Makali Russell of Massena Central School, a student in the HVAC/R program at BOCES Seaway Tech, is the Rotary Club of Potsdam BOCES Student of the Month for November. At a Rotary luncheon honoring Russell, she met with Potsdam Rotarians and was commended for her academic excellence by Seaway Tech School instructor Mark Murphy. Left to right: Potsdam Rotary President Duane Pelkey, Murphy, Russell and Rotary Vocational Service Chair Paul McGrath.
 
The Rotary Club of Potsdam has donated $1,000 to the Potsdam Holiday Fund. The club will also provide about $1,000 in new books for the fund to distribute as holiday gifts to children. 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 can be sent to the Potsdam Holiday Fund, PO Box 827, Potsdam, NY 13676. Read more at http://www.potsdamholidayfund.org. Left to right: Rotary Club President Duane Pelkey and Potsdam Holiday Fund President Pam Yurgartis.
Cora Capozzi of St. Lawrence Central School, a student in the Health Careers program at BOCES Seaway Tech, is the Rotary Club of Potsdam BOCES Student of the Month for October. At a Rotary luncheon honoring Capozzi, she met with Potsdam Rotarians and was commended for her academic excellence by Seaway Tech School instructor Richelle Cisco. Left to right: Potsdam Rotary President Duane Pelkey, Cisco, Capozzi and Rotary Vocational Service Chair Paul McGrath.
Brandon LaShomb was installed earlier this year as the 2019-2020 vice president of the Rotary Club of Potsdam. LaShomb graduated from Norwood-Norfolk Central School in 2008 and from SUNY Potsdam in 2012, where he received a bachelor of science degree in business administration with a minor in music business. After graduating from college, LaShomb worked locally at entry-level positions, and then moved to New York City. But it was not long before he decided Potsdam was his home, and he started with Community Bank N.A. in 2015. There, he advanced from Electronic Banking, through Trust Services, to Commercial Banking. LaShomb says he is a firm believer in community involvement and networking. He credits his success to his relationship with Rotary, the St. Lawrence Leadership Institute, and community support. He looks to augment the growing number of professionals in the area through chairing the St. Lawrence County Young Professional Network. LaShomb also serves as the treasurer of the Potsdam Community Dog Park and as a committee member of the St. Lawrence Leadership Institute. LaShomb is the son of Kimberly and John LaShomb Sr., and the grandson of Gordon and the late Eileen Perry, and Barbara and the late William LaShomb.
Duane Pelkey was installed earlier this year as the 2019-2020 president of the Rotary Club of Potsdam. Pelkey graduated from Massena Central in 1983 and SUNY Potsdam in 1989 with a degree in writing, minoring in psychology. He started his career with KeyBank in Watertown, got his first branch management assignment in the Binghamton area, and first joined Rotary in 1991. Pelkey managed a number of progressively larger branches for financial institutions throughout the Southern Tier. He was working for Fleet Bank in 2001, when Community Bank made one of its many acquisitions and he joined them as a commercial lender. Back in the North Country since 2006, Pelkey has sat on numerous boards and volunteered for many worthwhile organizations. He currently works as a commercial banker out of Potsdam, and he and his wife, Laurean, co-own a year-round ice cream and frozen yogurt shop in Potsdam.
Lindsey Besaw of Brasher Falls Central School, a student in the Criminal Justice program at BOCES Seaway Tech, is the Rotary Club of Potsdam BOCES Student of the Month for September. At a Rotary luncheon honoring Besaw, she met with Potsdam Rotarians and was commended for her academic excellence by Seaway Tech School instructor Juddy Plumb. Left to right: Potsdam Rotary President Duane Pelkey, Besaw, Plumb and Rotary Vocational Service Chair Paul McGrath.
Amber Clark was inducted as the newest member of the Rotary Club of Potsdam at its October 30 meeting. She has worked at 3 Bears Gluten-Free Bakery & Café since its inception and at Cubby T. Clown & Company, where she is known as "Rooster." She is also a personal care assistant / direct support professional / home health aide for Community Health Center of the North Country and the Resource Center for Independent Living. Clark grew up in the Brasher Falls area and was involved with Girl Scouts, theater (both on- and back-stage), Students for Environmental Awareness, Supporting Peers Options to Resist Tobacco, and anything pertaining to music. She was introduced to the Potsdam Rotary Club by her close friend Beck Tessier. "After realizing how similar its' goals are to my previous engagements, and how welcoming the other members are, deciding to join was one of the easiest decisions I've made all year," says Clark. Photo caption: Amber Clark was inducted as the newest member of the Rotary Club of Potsdam at its October 30 meeting. Left to right: President Duane Pelkey, Clark and her new member sponsor, Beck Tessier.
The Rotary Club of Potsdam recently made a $200 donation to the Potsdam Fire Department in recognition of the department’s support of the club’s annual Rubber Ducky Pluck. The proceeds from the event send children with disabilities to summer camp at Dodge Pond and benefit other Rotary community projects. Above, Potsdam Fire Department Chief Timothy L. Jerome (center) accepts a check from Rotary Vice President Brandon LaShomb, while Jerome's grandson, Ryan Jerome, assists.
Taylor N. Robertson of Potsdam, N.Y., was inducted as the newest member of the Rotary Club of Potsdam at its April 24 meeting. She works in the Admissions and Financial Aid Office at St. Lawrence University.
 
Robertson graduated from Chateaugay Central School in 2008 and the University of Rochester in 2012, with a bachelor of arts degree in political science and a minor in legal studies.
 
After graduation, she worked for her alma mater in the departments of Epilepsy, Emergency, as well as Budgets and Planning, before returning home to the North Country in 2016.
 
Robertson is a member of the Potsdam Community Band, the St. Lawrence University Wind Ensemble, the Potsdam Dog Park Committee, the Chateaugay American Legion Auxiliary, and the American Association of Notaries.
 
She is the daughter of Patti Kavanaugh-Robertson and Tod Robertson, and the granddaughter of Jeanette and the late Ken McGowan, and Olive and the late Frank Kavanaugh.
The Rotary Club of Potsdam will honor Chamil Perera and Romeyn Prescott, both of Potsdam, with the Paul Harris Award, and Emily Brouwer of Potsdam and Kate Mikel of Norwood with the Service Above Self Award, at its annual dinner on Wednesday, June 5, at the Elks Lodge, 10 Elm St. in Potsdam, N.Y.
 
Perera and Prescott 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."
 
Brouwer and Mikel will be honored with the Service Above Self Award in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the Potsdam community.
Duane Pelkey will also be installed as 2019-2020 president at the event.
 
All Rotarians; family, friends and colleagues of the honorees; and community members are invited to attend the dinner.
A social hour gets underway at 5:30 p.m. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m.
 
Tickets are available by advance purchase only for $30 per person. Checks can be made out to “Potsdam Rotary” and sent to Potsdam Rotary, PO Box 912, Potsdam, NY 13676. All reservations must be received by Friday, May 31. Please call Michael Griffin at 315-265-5584 with questions.
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