Article and Photos by Grace Bennett
The gifts of beautifying through gardening, and of community sharing, were celebrated during a warm and lively Rotary Club of Chappaqua Awards dinner and ceremony. The event took place this past Saturday at Crabtree’s Kittle House.
The Chappaqua Garden Club and Horace Greeley High School Senior Sophie Odrich received the Rotary’s Community Service Awards. Chappaqua’s Ann Herrero received the Rotary’s Paul Harris Award for “Service Above Self.”
Rotary president Don Roane, and Rotarians Edward Melvin, Eileen Gallagher and Executive Secretary Peter Davidson presented the awards, after which each of the award recipients received separate honors from: Westchester County Board of Legislators chair Mike Kaplowitz; State Assemblyman David Buchwald; and Robert Greenstein, Town of New Castle supervisor. State Senator Terence Murphy, who was not able to attend, sent his commendations as well.
In explaining the Rotary’s choice of the Chappaqua Garden Club, Melvin spoke to the Club’s Margaret Federici and Melanie Smith Klein, who had stepped up to accept the award on behalf of the club’s membership: “The idea of a garden, has always been important in the imagination, as a metaphor for human activity and as the cradle for creation, going all the way back to the original garden, the Garden of Eden.” The Chappaqua Garden Club’s members volunteer year round to beautify green spaces throughout New Castle; annual projects includes work at the 9/11 Memorial in Gedney Park and at the intersection of Route 120 and Hunts Lane. The Club received the County Legislators proclamation declaring March 6th, Chappaqua Garden Club Day.
Next, Eileen Gallagher explained the honor to Sophie Odrich for ‘Kittle Kares,’ a weekly effort packaging and delivering food from the Kittle House (following a Sunday brunch) to Neighbors Link Community Center in Mount Kisco. “It was started by Sophie’s sister, Natalie, approximately two and a half years ago. Sophie started helping her about one and a half years ago and has been doing it solo or with friends since then,”said Gallagher.
“The individuals at Neighbors Link look forward to an excellent Sunday dinner every week, as a result. Chef Jay and Mr. Crabtree have been enthusiastic helpers since the day of its inception. Jay estimates that nearly 2000 pounds of food have been donated since it started,” she added.
Kaplowitz proclaimed March 10th, Sophie Odrich Day in Westchester.
Finally, Peter Davidson, bestowed the Paul Harris Award on Ann Herrero, a 22 year Chappaqua resident and director of Financial Planning at Hudson Peak Wealth Advisors in Pleasantville. He cited her long time service to the Rotary in various roles, including vice president and president of the Club. “The Club wants to recognize her in appreciation of that and the outstanding job she has done in addition to her many other achievements in our community.” Those include service on the League of Women Voters, Chappaqua PTA and on the board for 16 years for the Chappaqua Summer Scholarship Program. And finally too, March 17th was proclaimed Ann Herrero Day by the County Legislators.