June 30, 2021, Chappaqua, NY–Members of the Rotary Club of Chappaqua, gathered at Crabtree’s Kittle House for their annual awards presentations, honored outgoing president Eileen Gallagher with the Paul Harris Service Award and Horace Greeley High School Senior Tuan Anh Dang who received the Rotary’s Student Community Service Award. The in-person celebration brought Rotary members to the Kittle House, where the group has resumed meeting every Monday to honor community members and to plan their signature events, including Community Day, this year on September 18.
Long-time Rotarian Don Roane presented the prestigious Paul Harris service award to Gallagher, a two-term President of the Chappaqua Rotary, citing “her tremendous dedication and service to the community.” Gallagher is hardly leaving her Rotary efforts behind, however. She has been asked to work with a number of towns in northern Westchester, including Chappaqua, to create an ‘e-club’ which will meet via Zoom or in person, when desired. “It’s an exciting chance to create a virtual club, which will fill a tremendous void in the area for those who wish to serve the community at large but whose schedule does not allow for in-person weekly meetings,” said Gallagher. “Covid has brought valuable insight into how we are able to connect over the internet, with the flexibility to meet in person when desired, and with the aim to “grow Rotary”, this will be a step in that direction.”
“There is a Wall Street e-club with members from other parts of the world, which had intrigued me,” explained Gallagher, “because of its innovative, inclusive and accessible meetings. This club will be able to fill that void in Northern Westchester.” For more information and to join, write to Gallagher, firstname.lastname@example.org
On behalf of Westchester County Executive George Latimer (a long time Rotarian), New Castle Town Council member Lori Gowen Morton presented Horace Greeley graduating senior Tuan Anh Dang with the Rotary Student Community Service Award; in addition, Gallagher presented Dang with a $1000 scholarship from the Rotary for his outstanding achievement and dedication to ‘service above self.’
In the opening to his “Service to the Community” essay to the Rotary, Dang relayed how vital the support of a young college student mentor/instructor had been to him when he was a child enrolled in an English as a Second Language course. It was taught, he recalled, by ‘a lanky 19-year-old’ named Eric volunteering from the University of California in Santa Barbara. Dang wrote of the friendships formed, and comradery that took shape between himself and his classmates during that time.
“Despite not having a single language in common (Spanish, Chinese, German, Vietnamese), Eric still managed to teach us all English,” Dang stated. “While trying to help us integrate into the broader community, he created one right within that class. Even after the course ended, we all became proficient; the people in that class became some of my closest friends after elementary school… I’m not sure Eric knew that he had just fostered a dozen children and made them all feel at home in this country for the first time.”
“I strive to pay the favor forward to other immigrant children by teaching ESL classes at Neighbors Link. In their confused eyes, I see my younger self who was equally perplexed by this odd world.”
In his sophomore year of high school, Dang was chosen as the Westchester county representative to the Youth to Youth International Conference, a youth leadership drug prevention program. That experience was instrumental to embarking on summer internship with the New Castle United for Youth, a local coalition for whom Dang helped organize events “with the goal of creating a support network that extends to all those who seek help in our town.”
With a new incoming president Marlene Canapi on board beginning July 1, Rotary members are planning the comeback date of Saturday, September 18, for Chappaqua’s annual Community Day, canceled last year due to Covid. To keep up with Community Day plans and all Rotary activities in Chappaqua, visit Chappaqua Rotary Club | Facebook