Club News
Rotary Club of Hamburg installs new officers, honors former Mayor Tom Moses, awards 3 Paul Harris Fellows, marking 80 years of service to Hamburg and the world. 
The Rotary Club of Hamburg installed its new slate of officers June 28 in ceremonies that also marked the service organization’s 80 years of existence. It was founded on Feb. 24, 1942 and chartered in June that year. Diana Straube was sworn in as the new president. Tim Hoelscher, CPA was sworn in as treasurer and Tim Straube took the oath as secretary for the Rotary year of 2022-23 which begins on July 1. District Governor Elect Scott Marcin administered the oath of office. 
The Rotary Club honored former Village of Hamburg Mayor Tom Moses, an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Hamburg, was honored for his many years of community service as both mayor of Hamburg and as a longtime volunteer with the Hamburg Fire Department. He was presented the Rotary Club of Hamburg Outstanding Service Award by outgoing President Michele Hanley, who was also recognized for her year of service to the organization. 
Paul Harris Awards were presented to club members Lisa Avery, Patricia Castiglia and Earl Knauss in recognition of financial support of Rotary. Master of Ceremonies and Rotarian Tom Johnston presented those awards. Three former members were given the designation of honorary members: Jerry Bastedo, Bill Bredenberg and Sid Jack. 
The Rotary Club of Hamburg supports efforts of Rotary International globally, such as the eradication of polio, and locally presents Warm the Children, provides college scholarships to Hamburg, Frontier and St. Francis high school students and is one of the four service organizations that coordinates the Burger Fest each July. The Rotary Club meets Tuesday evenings at 6 p.m. at Uncle Joe’s Diner. 



Just in time to safely destroy old financial documents after tax time, the Rotary Club of Hamburg once again held a secure shredding event on Saturday, April 30 with Lincoln Archives in the parking lot of Northwest Bank on South Park Avenue in Hamburg. The club netted over $1,500 while enjoying fresh air and sunshine. In Photo  #1, President-Elect Diana Straube, left, and President Michele Hanley stand in front of the club’s inflatable logo sign. In Photo #2, Rotarian Patricia Castiglia directs traffic toward the shredding line. The Rotary Club of Hamburg was founded in 1942 as a part of Rotary International with a motto of “Service Above Self.” The Rotary Club oversees the annual Warm the Children Program, has supported hundreds of civic and charitable causes locally and internationally since its inception, and funds annual college scholarships for Hamburg graduating high school seniors. It is one of the four service clubs that has run the annual BurgerFest for over 20 years. 

The Rotary Club of Hamburg-KeyBank BurgerFest Cruise replaces the former car show on Main Street at the BurgerFest on Saturday, July 16th this year.  There is no pre-registration required and there is no cost to participate. Those bringing their entries to the cruise should arrive between 10 a.m. and noon and enter Main Street from Center Street.
The cruise will be open to a larger variety of vehicles, not just classic cars, from noon to 3:30 p.m. The BurgerFest will take place along Main and Buffalo streets and in the Hamburg Village Municipal Parking Lot from 11:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. with the streets closed to traffic until 8 p.m. Live bands, a beer tent and activities will continue in the Municipal Lot until closing. 
Two awards will be presented at the close of the cruise at 3:30: the Rotary Club of Hamburg-Keybank BurgerFest Best of Show Award and the People's Choice Award, selected by the crowds on hand. For more information, call Tom Johnston at 716-627-4411. “We are changing the car show to a cruise show, which was necessary because of Covid-19 and because Dr. Sid Jack, founder of the show has retired and moved out of the area,” Johnston said. “A cruise show allows anyone to display their car, truck, motorcycle or unusual vehicle.” Johnston also thanked KeyBank for its longtime sponsorship and support. 
For more information about Burgerfest click here: Burgerfest 2022
The Rotary Club of Hamburg purchased No-Sew Fleece Blanket Kits and got to work making blankets for ECMC's Palliative Care Unit.  These blankets are given to patients as they are admitted to the Unit and are provided to the family in memory of their loved one.  This is the third year the club has made and donated blankets.  See additional photos.  
Top Row from left to right - Rotarians Dale Stanley, Barb Stanley and Michele Hanley (Club President)
ECMC Staff - Sue Derenda (LPN, Palliative Care) and Santocha Gompah (Unit Manager, Palliative Care).
Thanks for joining us for our second annual Drive-thru Corned Beef Dinner.  It was held on Thursday, March 17th at the Hamburg Moose, 45 Church Street from 3-7pm.  Again, this year we sold out of dinners!
For more information about our club and how you can be part of our community events, send an email to  
The Rotary Club of Hamburg at its March 8 meeting at Uncle Joe’s Diner heard a presentation by financial planners Matthew Shontz and Linda Banks of Equitable Advisors. The club, founded in 1942, oversees the distribution of food through its Farms to Families program, coordinates the annual Warm the Children winter clothing drive and is one of four service organizations that organizes the annual BurgerFest in the Village of Hamburg on the third Saturday in July. From left are: Rotary Membership Chair Tim Straube, Rotary President Michele Hanley, Matthew Shontz and Linda Banks. 
Bryanna Prince, Events and Volunteer Coordinator for the Buffalo area Salvation Army, right, accepted this year’s sock donation at the Feb. 22 meeting of the Rotary Club of Hamburg at Joe’s Diner. Pictured with her are from left: Rotarians Jeff Kusche, President Michele Hanley, Patricia Castiglia and Jill Martucci, chair of the Sock Distribution Committee. 

The Rotary Club of Hamburg has distributed100 pairs of winter quality socks to the homeless in Buffalo annually since 2016. The project began in answer to a challenge from Rotary International to engage that year in activities designed for the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Foundation. The club membership felt that because of Western New York’s cold winters and increased population of homeless people that the distribution of warm socks would be meaningful while filling an urgent need.
Thank you for supporting our first Winter/Valentine Craft Show that was held on Saturday February 5th from 10 am - 3 pm.  It was held at the Hamburg Moose Hall, 45 Church Street in Hamburg.  Keep us in mind when you are looking for Valentine gifts or Mother's Day gifts. Mark your calendars for next year! More information will be posted in December. 
As temperatures dip and snow falls, over 375 children are wearing winter jackets, warm hats, gloves and cuddly pajamas, courtesy of caring individuals, organizations and local foundations, which have made generous contributions to this year’s Warm the Children program.
Volunteer shoppers accompanying families from the Hamburg area to Walmart, repeatedly tell the story of grateful moms, dads and grandparents, many of whom become emotional as they select new clothing for their children. “The mom I shopped with just sobbed, as we were leaving the store, so grateful for her kids’ new clothing, which she would not have been able to afford,” said one veteran shopper.
Warm the Children is the grateful beneficiary of a $15,000 grant from the East Hill Foundation, which seeks to address basic needs of those in the Western New York community. The Alice L. Say Family Foundation, Kevin P. Lockwood Memorial Fund, Louise K. Mokadam Family Trust and Ferrous Manufacturing have also made significant donations to assist Rotary Club of Hamburg operate the program.
Donations are still being accepted. Giving levels include: Joyful Benefactor ($500 or higher); Caring Supporter ($200-$499); Special Friend ($100-$199). Donations in ANY amount are greatly appreciated!
Those wishing to contribute may do so by making checks payable to Warm the Children Fund, and either mailing or bringing donations to Evans Bank, 5999 S. Park Avenue, Hamburg, NY 14075. Or, contributions may be made online at
As Western New Yorkers continue to navigate their lives during the pandemic, many understand the importance of providing basic needs, particularly for children during cold, WNY winters.  
Rotary Club of Hamburg is proud to sponsor Warm the Children, which provides new, warm, winter clothing to boys and girls from families who reside in Hamburg, Angola, Blasdell, Derby, Boston, Eden, North Collins, Lake View and Brant. Last year, as a result of the kindness and generosity of donors in the community, Warm the Children brought joyful smiles to approximately 400 youngsters in need! 
“This is our 14th year of coordinating Warm the Children for local families in need and we are tremendously grateful for community support,” says Elizabeth Angelbeck, who directs the program with schools, churches and social service agencies in the Southtowns.  100% of all contributions go toward the purchase of new clothing for children in need and is fully tax-deductible.  All administrative costs are absorbed by Rotary, while Club members are responsible for program coordination, with assistance from Evans Bank and community volunteers, who meet families at Walmart in Hamburg to make their clothing selections. 
Those wishing to contribute may do so by making checks payable to Warm the Children Fund, and either mailing or bringing donations to Evans Bank, 5999 S. Park Avenue, Hamburg, NY 14075.  Or, contributions may be made online at
Photo caption
Hamburg Home Depot selected Warm the Children as the beneficiary of the Home Depot Foundation’s Surprise  Program presenting the Rotary Club of Hamburg a $1,000 check on Nov. 16 during Rotary’s meeting at Uncle Joe’s Diner. Pictured from left are: Erin Mungovin, operations assistant store manager, Patrick Morgan, store manager, Rotarian Liz Angelbeck, Warm the Children coordinator and Maria Rebmann, associate support department manager.
Snowsuits.  Boots.  Warm pajamas.  These are just a few of the items families in need will have the opportunity to purchase over the next two months through this year’s Warm the Children program. Over 80 community volunteer shoppers are eager and ready to accompany families in need to Walmart in Hamburg, where they’ll be able to select new, warm, winter clothing for their youngsters.
As we continue to navigate life in a pandemic, schools, churches and human service agencies rely on organizations like Warm the Children to provide essentials to families in need. Qualifying families who reside in Hamburg, Angola, Blasdell, Derby, Boston, Eden, North Collins, Lake View, Brant and portions of Lackawanna must be referred to Warm the Children by school and church staff. 
 “As Rotary Club of Hamburg enters its 14th year of sponsoring Warm the Children through the Club’s Foundation, we are very grateful for community support, which includes a major donation of $15,000 from the East Hill Foundation, $3,500 from the Louise K. Mokadam Family Foundation and a $1,000 grant from Home Depot in Hamburg,” explains Elizabeth Angelbeck, who coordinates the program each fall.  Last year, as a result of kindness and generosity of donors in the community, Warm the Children brought joyful smiles to approximately 380 youngsters!
100% of all donations to Warm the Children go toward the purchase of new clothing and is fully tax-deductible.  Administrative costs are absorbed by Rotary, while Club members coordinate the program with assistance from Evans Bank and community volunteers.
“This year, we hope to assist between 400-450 children, depending upon contributions received.  We know the need is great, especially due to the pandemic,” says Elizabeth Angelbeck. Those wishing to contribute may do so by making checks payable to Warm the Children Fund and either mailing or bringing donations to Evans Bank, 5999 S. Park Avenue, Hamburg, NY 14075.  Contributions may made online at
The Rotary Club of Hamburg participated in the 2nd Annual Dr. Ron Mergl Pedal/Participate for Polio fundraiser.  District 7090 has a goal to reach  $60,000 USD, which will be tripled by the Gates Foundation. 
The Rotary Club of Hamburg sponsored a riding team consisting of Hamburg residents Tom Nemmer and Jay O'Donnell.  On October 6th, Tom and Jay rode 52.3 miles.  They rode for 4 hours and 21 minutes with an elevation of 1,439 feet.  Currently donations have reached $545 which will be tripled by the Gates Foundation.  
Help us meet the District's goal. Now is not the time to loose focus.  We are so close to eradicating Polio from the world! You can donate a flat amount or pledge by the mile.  All donations will go solely towards Polio eradication. Donations can be made through PayPal or by mailing a check to Hamburg Rotary Club, PO 340, Hamburg, NY 14075.   If mailing a check, please specify that your donation is for Petal for Polio.  
For more information on the eradication efforts and how close the world is to being Polio free visit  Click here for more information on Pedal for Polio
Rotary Club of Hamburg has ‘Passing of the Gavel’ ceremony, awards honors
The Rotary Club of Hamburg held its Passing of the Gavel ceremony June 29 at its annual spring picnic at the Taylor Road Cabin in a far from usual rite of passage to swear in its new board of officers for 2021-22.
Michele Hanley was sworn in as president, taking over from John Nowak and Diana Straube became president-elect, committing to be president next year. Other officers are: Tim Hoelscher, treasurer; Tim Straube, secretary; and Eileen Hotho, publicity chair. Paul Harris Fellow Awards were presented to Dave Woolley, Lisa Avery, Tom Eaton and John Nowak.

The Rotary Club of Hamburg and Village of Hamburg Parks & Recreation held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the morning of on April 7 at the small public park at Main and Buffalo streets. The ceremony marked the official opening of the three bicycle repair

The Rotary Club of Hamburg May Lottery Calendar raffle is winding down.  Members of the club have purchased gift cards or items from local vendors as a way of supporting local business during this difficult time.  Some businesses added an additional prize to support Rotary.  In the end we had a month full of great prizes!  We would like to thank local vendors, our members and of course those who have purchased tickets to this important fundraiser.  Check here to see our lucky winners!     
Since 2007,  Rotary Club of Hamburg has sponsored Warm the Children, providing new, warm winter clothes for less fortunate families in the southtowns.  To date, 300 children from 125 families are wearing new jackets, hats, sweaters and other new clothing, thanks to the generosity of community members, organizations and local businesses.  Rotary hopes to assist up to 400 children this year.
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