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Gail Matarazzo
President 2017-18

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Greetings from Asbury Park Rotary

Welcome to our Club! Where Service and Fellowship Flourish!

Asbury Park Rotary

We meet Wednesdays at 12:15 PM
The Renaissance
1110 Valley Rd & Hwy 35 S
(Just North of Wegman's)
Ocean, NJ  07712-3977
United States
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Member Spotlight
“I tell it like it is”. This comment is all too familiar to many who know Mike Fornino.  Most think they know Mike but really are not aware of his long and distinguished life of dedication and involvement in many areas. Mike reminds us of his immigrant parents from Italy/Ireland and points to their work ethic and many other positive ideals that formed Mike’s love of country and family. He is unwavering in this regard. His father died when Mike was only 13.
This July 18th, Mike will be celebrating his 83rd birthday and on July 1st will be Mike’s 54th year as a Rotarian with 53 years of PERFECT ATTENDANCE. Bypass heart surgery in 2003 nor anything else gets in his way in maintaining this record.
Mike was born and raised in Long Branch and was graduated from Long Branch High School in 1953. He went to Monmouth College as a night time student and during the day, worked as a mechanic at a new car dealership in town. He was “drafted” in 1958 into the U.S. Army and was later stationed in Vincenza, Italy. After his military service Mike completed college and received his Business Administration degree from Monmouth College. Also following discharge, he became the Service Manager at his old job but ended up having a problem with arthritis at the age of 26. Concrete floors exasperated this issue and decided to join his brother Ben’s bill collection business in 1962. They had an office in Perth Amboy and that is where Mike was invited to join the Perth Amboy Rotary Club in 1964. Two years later he transferred to The Rotary Club of Asbury Park, where the business was located and also where he met his future wife Sandy who was working as a legal secretary. This June, they will have been married 50 years and have lived in Neptune from the beginning. Mike and Sandy have two sons, Gregory and Mike Jr. with one set of twin grandsons and one granddaughter. 
In 1976 Mike parted with his brother and with nothing but a hand shake with his new business partner Jerry Wagenheim, created Atlantic Advisors in Asbury Park that lasted 41 years. They owned the Walter Reade Building on Mattison Avenue which was sold in 2014 and moved their operation to Ocean Township.
While still in Long Branch, Mike was a member of the Jaycees as well as being president of the Long Branch Republican Club. Competitive ice skating (racing) was the sport of choice for Mike from 1957 until just 6 years ago. He won a competition at Madison Square Garden in 1958 and was a top racer and champion in the region for years. Other sports were running, softball, bike riding and rollerblading.
Once in Neptune, Mike continued being involved. He was President of our Rotary club for the year 1972-73, a Paul Harris Fellow and a RI Sustaining Member for many years. He was appointed to Neptune’s Planning Board, the Board of Adjustment and Board of Health at different times and elected to the Board of Education. He is proud that he successfully had the New Jersey Supreme Court overrule the Board of Education claiming that they had been conducting teacher negotiations illegally for 35 years. “The Neptune Decision” took 5 years of litigation. He was not well liked by the teacher’s union.
Mike’s long membership in Rotary defines him in so many ways and has set an example for so many members over the years. There is no one more proud to be a Rotarian than Mike Fornino, and it shows. He shows up to work on practically every event.  “I will never forget the night our club raised $25,000 in 15 minutes to benefit Mary’s Place in Ocean Grove”. Polio Plus, Rotary Shelter Boxes are just a few projects Mike says that “defines” Rotary. The one thing that Mike claims that Rotary did for him was “to help me get over my shyness”. Hard to believe that one but that’s what he says.  Mike also takes credit for sponsoring Jim Jeffries as a member in 1986.
Sandy Fornino has been equally active. She has been an active member of the Woman’s Club of Asbury Park for 57 years. Sandy attends practically every event our club holds and is very supportive. She is a “Reading Buddy” and President of the Friends of Neptune Library just to name a few areas of civic involvement.
Mike has said many times, “Rotary is the finest organization of its kind in the world and Rotarians are the finest people in the world”. If everybody in the world could live by our motto, Service Above Self, think about how great that would be”. Mike Fornino, every Rotarian’s, Rotarian.
Stories of Asbury Park Rotary in Action
 Rotarian Brooke Bennett participated in the Police Unity Tour Ride.
 She's the rider on the right.
 Asbury Park Rotary had a table at the Greater Ocean Chamber of Commerce Expo last week.  Great way to meet future Rotarians!
Rotary Fun Fact: in April 1950, our Rotary club raised money for the Boy Scouts for their Camp Brisbane, and the following year contributed to both Forestburg Scout Reservation and to a Boy Scout troop in Rome, Italy.
We welcomed Don Zumbach, Thunderbird District Executive, for Boy Scouts of America, Monmouth County.  The Thunderbird Council covers the area of West Long Branch through Manasquan. Don shared that through 100 years of Scouting in Monmouth County, this area has an 83% retention rate.  Their scout reservations of Quail Hill and Forestburg have both seen substantial upgrading: Quail Hill has upgraded roads, updated the ranger station, renovated the chapel and is currently improving the pool; Forestburg has added a zip line, is reroofing and improving the electrical system. The conversation moved into the recent decision on the part of the Boy Scouts to admit females into their program.  Don pointed out that both the Venturing (age 14-20) and the Exploring (high school age) programs have been co-ed for many years. That what is new is the younger aged scouts.  He was also quick to remind us that “scouting is a movement, and we will move into the future making adjustments as are needed along the way.”  For more information review their website www.monmouthbsa.org.
Brian and Donnie celebrated Birthdays!
Last call for Wine Dinner Auction items!  Please bring any items to tomorrows meeting.
Our newest member Major Stanley Newton of the Asbury Park Salvation Army.
Stanley comes to us from the Rome NY Rotary Club.

Rotary Fun Fact: Rev. Vern Matthews, President from 1990-91, led the Asbury Park Rotary with the first induction of female members: Betty Erickson, Eileen Sheridan and Susan Soviero.




JoAnn Burney, founder and Alison Monte, Allaire Community Farm.


This was not the first visit from Allaire Community Farm, and it was wonderful to hear their update on their program.  We were reminded that Allaire Community Farm is a sanctuary where passionate people make an impact on their community by creating an encouraging environment that fosters healing and hopeBut more exciting was their news of the move to the property next door.  With the support of the town and the state, they were able to secure a mortgage for the new property.  On this property, they will provide: a BBQ plaza in memory of JoAnn’s brother-in-law, have stunning and productive green houses, provide farm-wide handicapped accessibility, year round education opportunities, pony rides, birthday parties, and much more.  Their barn will provide much needed storage, have a multi-purpose room, shelter for animals and space for therapeutic driving.  It was hard not to be infected with their enthusiasm and we wish them well in this new endeavor.  Perhaps they can return next year and report on their accomplishments?

This week’s speaker, Commander Charles “Jim” Mack of VFW Post 2226, presented information on how the VFW serves our veterans of war. Their mission is to foster camaraderie among US veterans of overseas conflicts and to serve our veterans, the military and our communities and advocate on behalf of all veterans. The purposes of the VFW….are fraternal, patriotic, historical, charitable, and educational; to preserve and strengthen comradeship among its members; to assist worthy comrades; to perpetuate the memory and history of our dead, and to assist their surviving spouses and orphans. The VFW Hall is open for meals and our own Dina Blackwood bore witness that it serves a stellar breakfast.  Located at 212 Norwood Ave., Oakhurst, the restaurant is open to the public.  Meetings and members, however, is limited to veterans, and they meet the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm.  For more information, contact Jim at jmack6649@gmail.com or friend them at www.facebook.com/vfw2226.
Rotary Fun Fact:  On September 8, 1934, when 125 injured passengers from the burning Morro Castle were taken to the Jersey Shore Medical Center (as it’s now known as), Harry  Jackson enlisted the help of his fellow Rotarians, Jess Webster and Fred Havens, to install additional phone lines which they were able to accomplish in a short period of time.