Welcome to Lake Placid New York and the beautiful Adirondack State Park
If you are not a member of our club but would like to visit us as a guest, please email rotarylakeplacid@gmail.com and we will contact you.  Our meetings are held at the Hampton Inn, 801 Mirror Lake Drive, Lake Placid NY and in line with current public health guidelines.  Meetings are each Thursday at 7:20am unless a special event/meeting is planned.
A Lake Placid Trolley rider waiting on her ride at the Cascade Acres shelter
Bus Shelter in place at the Four Seasons Apartment location
Side view of shelter at the Four Seasons location.
From an idea to concept to design to construction, two of the three initial bus shelters from our club's major community project are in place.  Signage and glass panels have to be installed, but the thoughts, plans and hard work of our bus shelter committee have become a reality.  We thank our many donors who funded this project, especially the Uihlein Foundation, for their generosity.  We know these shelters are a welcome and useful convenience, to be used by town/village residents and visitors alike.   Sometimes good things take a little time to happen but we did it!  
Home Page Stories
A thank you to Rick and Kate Thompson for hosting our August social.  The rains stayed away to allow us to enjoy good food, good conversation and good music.  
A Rotary wheel unexpectedly turns up at the summit of Colorado's Mt. Evans (14,130 ft above sea level).  It was placed there in 1941 by Rotarians in what is now District 5450 in honor of the Rotary International convention that was hosted by the Denver Rotary Club in June of that year.  It was to be dedicated by then Rotary International President Armando de Arruda Pereira of Sao Paolo but due to weather and travel issues, it actually was dedicated in August by the succeeding RI President, Tom Davis of Butte, MT.
Rotarians Charlotte, Stephanie, and Lee were at the Octoberfest themed aid station at this year's Lake Placid Ironman.  Thus the Tyrolean hats. Despite what you may be thinking, nothing stronger than Gatorade was handed out to the athletes.  
The first social of the 2023 - 2024 Rotary year was held at The Boat tasting room in Lake Placid.  Our social events are held on the third Thursday of each month and provide an opportunity to just gather and talk outside of the usual meeting structure.  These social events are open to guests and are a great way for someone who is thinking about joining Rotary to meet the club members in an informal setting.
Today we had the pleasure of inducting Daci Shenfield as a Companion Member in our club.  Daci stands between Membership Chair & Past President Heather Perkins and Club Treasurer John Huttlinger..  Daci is the daughter of another Past President, Tina Leonard.  Our club has worked closely with Daci and the Lake Placid NY Rotary Foundation in establishing the Tina Leonard Award which is given annually to a student in our school district who has shown the strength to overcome disabilities and challenges in their life.  Welcome Daci!
Last done in the height of the pandemic (2020), it was time for another cleanup at Mill Pond Park in Lake Placid.  Heat and humidity didn't stop volunteers Mary Liz, Andrew, Peter, Randy, Krista and visiting Rotarian Kier from doing that was needed to be done so that there's a clean play area for the kids.
Our 30th Changeover Event (June 22, 2023) as we thanked the past year's leadership and congratulated our incoming leadership team.  A Paul Harris Fellow Award was presented to past Co-President Harris Semegram.  There's a carousel of pictures from our event playing on the left side of this page.   Good food, lots of Rotary comradery and another evening of good times when the Rotary Club of Lake Placid gets together.   We're looking forward to our Duck Race on September 23rd, many, many informative and interesting speakers, fun social events and of course continuing our strong history of sponsoring and taking action on projects to better our Lake Placid/North Elba community.
The 2023 Tina Leonard Award was presented to Grace Ericson, shown here with Tina's son and daughter, Joe Leonard and Daci Shenfield.  Essays were submitted to the selection committee with the submitters identity hidden  in order to impartially focus on each essay.  Grace's essay showed how a series of life events tragically impacted her in a very personal and stressful way. The selection committee - which included four members of Tina's family, felt that Grace's story personified what the Award stands for.   Yet at the same time, Grace learned the skills, drive and determination to pursue a path forward for success and to help others.
ur June 15th meeting featured Sue McKinney, a visiting Rotarian from the Uptown Oakland (CA) club. Sue divides her time between the US and Vietnam where she works with the Rotary Vietnam Project to help stop the very serious global issue of human trafficking. We had a very enlightening presentation which included a video which you can see here.  https://youtu.be/OBE-XYzLUjc  Sue told us how people from areas of extreme poverty can be duped into being ensnared into being sold just like a piece of property numerous times over. This is not something that happens in other parts of the world.  Sue said that if you know the code words, etc. we would find that human trafficking exists even here in the Adirondacks.  If you suspect that a person is being trafficked, report it anonymously to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.  
We were fortunate to have been contacted by Sue McKinney via Rotary's International Travel and Hosting Rotary Fellowship https://www.ithf.org/  Sue was visiting Lake Placid for an event and while here, offered to speak to our club about the very serious issue of human trafficking.  On a lighter note, Sue offered to teach a basic lesson in Mah Jong.  So accompanied by some good food and wine, the game table was set up.  Similar to gin rummy, mah jong is a game of skill, strategy and luck.  Very interesting and rumor has it that this may turn into a regular game among club members.
Rotarian Debbie Erenstone and her husband Jeff are principals at Mountain Orthotic and Prosthetic Services.  Mountain O&P is a dedicated supporter of Operation Namaste, a 501(c)3 whose mission is to help determined people achieve mobility by providing tools and support to Orthotic and Prosthetic practitioners around the world.  Jeff travels worldwide as part of his work with https://www.operationnamaste.org/.  Recently Jeff, Debbie and the kids visited Nepal, a nation of scenic beauty and culture that frequently suffers from devastating earthquakes.    Nepal is one such country in need of quality prosthetic care.  Debbie presented a slideshow of the family's trip to Nepal, showing glimpses of the people, their traditions, and of course the Himalayas.  Here are just a few of what our club had the opportunity to view:
Rotarians had a table at this year's Community Day, joining over 40 other organizations to highlight and thank the many volunteers who make Lake Placid a great place to visit and live.  Shown here are (L to R) Martha Spear, Greg McNally, Chandler Ralph and Susan Friedmann
Today we welcomed Tiffany Rea-Fisher, Director of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative (ADI).  The Adirondack Diversity Initiative works to make the Adirondacks a welcoming and inclusive place for both residents and visitors while ensuring a vital and sustainable Adirondack Park for future generations.  Tiffany brings to her role as Director extensive experience in the performing arts and organizational leadership.  Approaching her Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) work through the lenses of both the arts and culture, she uses positive disruption through inclusion as a way to influence her work.  While fairly new in her role with ADI, Tiffany has maintained a presence here for many years as the first woman of color to serve as Director of the Lake Placid School of Dance.  In her conversation with us today, Tiffany focused on the opportunity to make the Park a more welcoming environment for all.   https://www.diversityadk.org
Wearing appropriate safety vests and armed with pickup tools and the requisite orange bag, Lake Placid Rotarians and friends took to the designated stretch of Route 73 for cleanup operations.  Reports indicate that this year the amount picked up for disposal was a little more than in past years.  In this case more is not better.  This road patrol finished the two mile stretch of highway in a little under two hours, undeterred by the current crop of very hungry black flies and mosquitoes.
Nicholas George, Executive Director of High Peaks Hospice addressed this week's meeting to provide an insight on how hospice offers care that helps the whole family when a terminal diagnosis is received.  End-of-life care is a difficult subject to discuss but hospice provides a team of doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains and trained volunteers to help with the whole range of needs - physical, emotional, social and spiritual.  Under hospice care, the terminally ill are able to fill their time with dignity, in comfort and in the location of their choice, whether it be at home, a nursing facility, or hospital. Hospice services are covered by the Hospice Benefit under Medicare with no copays or deductibles.  No one is refused care due to inability to pay. http://www.highpeaks hospice.org
Rotarians, armed with various tools of not-so mass destruction, took to the grounds of the Shipman Youth Center to clean up winter and spring debris.   This annual activity - and sometimes it's twice a year - is an on-going commitment by our club to this very important Lake Placid institution.  he Shipman Youth Center is a not-for-profit community organization providing support to children and youth ages 10-18. The center was inspired by Thomas Shipman, a designated Lake Placid youth police officer who died unexpectedly in 1995.  Programs include home work time and assistance, community services, recreational services, weekly family style dinners, dances, and guest speakers. SYC provides a supervised safe and exciting environment where local children can grow and develop as individuals.
Saturday May 13 brought 14 Rotarians to the North Elba Recycling Center where a collection point was set up to accept Lithium Ion (Li-on) batteries for recycling.  Over 225 lbs. of batteries were collected! Li-On batteries require special handling to recycle and as such are not included with household waste.  Our club partnered with Redwood Materials for special to ensure safe handling of these batteries in facilities that are set up for this.  It's quite specific so here's something from the EPA to explain further: https://www.epa.gov/recycle/used-lithium-ion-batteries  Thanks to Stephanie, Bill, Bridget, Tracey, Heather, Charlotte, Martha, Hannah, Susan, Lee, Chandler, Sean, John and Greg for volunteering.  
From the box to planting to blooming. Our "End Polio Now" tulips say hello and remind you that Rotary clubs across the world continue to work hard to eradicate polio.
Another fun night as Trivia Night returns in-person at the Craig Wood Golf Clubhouse.  MC Sean Donovan kept the players on their toes with some very challenging questions developed and carefully documented by our question selection team.  And once again, funds were raised to support various literacy projects in the Lake Placid / North Elba area.  Congratulations to teams Irish Mafia and Scatterbrains who wound up in a tie for first place.  Rounding out the standings were the Literacy Bombers, Komodo Dragons, and team "Don't Have A Name Yet."  Thanks for playing!
This scholarship award has been given each year since 1994 to a Lake Placid High School Junior or Senior who has demonstrated excellence in vocal and/or instrumental music. This year's winner is Nadia Phillips. Nadia received a $1,000 award to use towards college applications or other college related expenses. Nadia was chosen by a committee including the LPHS music faculty, guidance counselor and principal as well as a representative from Rotary. At our May 4th meeting, Nadia performed Beau Soir by Debussy. Our congratulations to Nadia and her family.  Please enjoy this video of the presentation and Nadia's performance  https://youtu.be/471Z-t2UFcE
Bluseed Studio's Lisa Crocker joined us today, presenting an overview of the non-profit community arts center in Saranac Lake.  What does BluSeed do?  What doesn't it do.  Operates an art gallery/event space, runs an art thrift store, has studios for ceramics, textile and printing, provides classes and workshops for kids and adults as well as hosts live music and performance events.  So much going on that you should visit their website at https://www.bluseedstudios.org/  On the website you'll find a link to their Bluskies Spring Silent Auction, in progress now through May 6. Click "Read more" for some of the images from Lisa's presentation deck.  And join the mailing list while on their website.
A bonus post via The Adirondack Explorer and Our Story Bridge.  Club member John Huttlinger, Jr. shares the illuminating story of the creation of the LPCA in the 1970’s, including his personal connection to the project as well as how the arts center has become a beloved and welcome addition to the community. This is part of North Elba Narratives - Telling Tales Oral History Project.  Listen here:  https://bit.ly/3N8cLI9
DG Michel Wong Kee Song, along with his wife Suzanne, visited our club today.  As is customary when a District Governor visits, our meeting featured DG Michel speaking to us on on some Rotary history. Did you know that Rotarians participated in the draft of the San Francisco Conference, consulting on what became the United Nations charter in 1945. DG Michel spoke of the worldwide purpose of Rotary but not to overlook key elements of a local club meeting - community service and to have fun while doing that.  Please click on "Read More" for pictures from today's visit.
The Rotary Club of Lake Placid is sponsoring a lithium-ion (Li-on) battery recycling event on May 13th. Make this a part of your spring cleaning!
Time: May 13, 2023, 9am – 3pm
Location: North Elba Town Transfer Station, 74 Recycle Circle Lane, Lake Placid
For full details, click this link https://rotarylakeplacid.org/SitePage/lithium-ion-recycling-event  Click "Read more" to see all the places where Li-on batteries might be in your home.   
We asked Carolyn Walton, Founder and Executive Director of https://www.thewoodsprogram.com/ to come back to our meeting to give us more insight into the workings of her program, the local schools involved with this project and her observations of the positive behavioral changes of the student participants.  To untether today's youth from their electronic devices in order to experience the wonders of nature and to begin to experience various character and confidence building exercises is challenging, especially when there is to cell phone service and other modern conveniences.  A very interesting presentation which generated a lot of insightful questions from those in attendance.  More:  https://bit.ly/3m8kWJu
Charlie Reinertsen is a photojournalist with a passion for depicting nature stories and whose work has been featured in many print and digital publications in addition to his work at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake.  At this week's meeting Charlie made a detailed and fascinating presentation about the life cycle of monarch butterflies and their migration from a habitat in Mexico.  Charlie showed several photographs from a trip to this biosphere reserve showing this phenomena as the monarchs overwinter in this habitat before they begin a multigenerational journey of thousands of miles when warmer weather comes to northern climates.  You can see the full presentation here https://youtu.be/wgBj7gOf-_o and a selection of photos from Charlie's trip to the Oyamel forests in Mexico is here for you to enjoy.   See more of what Charlie does at his website http://twolined.com
A tasty Ethiopian feast was held as a fundraiser for our International Service Committee on March 23.  James Beard semi-finalist chef Alganesh Michael prepared spiced beef, curried chicken, curried lentils, shiro, collard greens and injera.   This delicious food was enjoyed by all with one guest proclaiming it "the real deal."  Chef Alganesh zoomed in to talk about her background and discuss the dishes she had prepared.  Paired with several wines (including an Ethiopian variety), it was an enjoyable evening with great conversation.  Truly a different kind of fundraiser and a successful one at that.  Visit chef Alganesh at http://atasteofabyssinia.com  Dinner photo credits Andy Flynn / The Lake Placid News.
Thanks to all our players who helped raise over $700 to benefit area literacy projects.  It was a fun, past-paced event.  Here are the final scores (one team did not finish).
We heard from Brian Woods, Exec. Director of the Adirondack Rail Trail Association http://adirondackrailtrail.org who took us through this major all season recreational plan in the North Country.  Built over the former NYCRR trackage from Lake Placid to Tupper Lake, the trail will provide an accessible location for all sorts of activities in a healthy lifestyle.  It's sure to bring new visitors and economic opportunities to the area as well as relieving some pressure on existing trails that are being impacted by overuse.  Brian presented a demo of a local business guide and trail map highlighting things to do and see on the trail as well as businesses in the tri-lake area via this project to further connect our communities.
A glimpse into the scope and activities of the US Secret Service was provided this morning by our guest, retired Secret Service Special Agent Andy Orringer.  Andy took us through the origin of the USSS (to track down and arrest counterfeiters) through its expansion into the protective details of the President and Vice President, candidates for these offices and foreign dignitaries.  The USSS employs about 6,000 people: 3,200 special agents, 1,300 uniformed officers and >2000 technical and support personnel.  We learned about the different types of crimes the USSS investigates and the USSS organizational structure.  Andy was posted to several field offices in the USA and also served as a liaison officer in Canada and other countries.  Andy also answered members' questions as he provided a very informative presentation.  If you'd like to find out more about the Secret Service, sign up for their newsletter https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDHSSS/subscriber/new?qsp=CODE_RED
The mission of the Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA) is to build, maintain and advocate for a system of community and backcountry trails for ski touring, mountain biking and other human-powered activities in the eastern High Peaks region of the Adirondack Park.  At this week's meeting we heard from Josh Wilson, Executive Director.   Your favorite story poster wasn't at the meeting but using something called the Internet, the best thing to do is refer you to BETA's website for the full story and picture gallery.  Trails through our park don't get there by themselves you know.  So please visit https://www.betatrails.org/, check out their activities and see the ways you can participate.
Final scores from this month's event.  Over $500 was raised for the Literacy Committee.  A fun evening with some very challenging questions.
Coming off a fun virtual trivia contest the night before (raising money for literacy efforts in our area), our club proudly presented a check for $1,500 to Catherine Bemis, Principal of St. Agnes School.  Catherine will be using the funds to order new reading materials to introduce and further enhance student experiences with the joy of reading.  Shown presenting the award are Mary Liz Alexander and Randy Quayle of our Literacy Committee.  We also welcomed back a former club member, Carolyn Walton.  Carolyn briefed us on a program she is developing with area schools to introduce the positive aspects of wilderness experiences via hands-on camping experiences.  Please visit her website (parts of which are under construction) to learn more about what interesting experiences await participants http://www.thewoodsprogram.com  and as featured in the Lake Placid News https://bit.ly/3XprXT8
From Rotary International:  

Rotary International President-elect R. Gordon R. McInally called for members to capture the world's attention and lead the way toward possibilities far beyond our current expectations.

McInally, a member of the Rotary Club of South Queensferry, West Lothian, Scotland, revealed the 2023-24 presidential theme, Create Hope in the World, during the Rotary International Assembly in Orlando, Florida, USA, on 9 January. He urged members to promote peace in troubled nations, help those affected by conflict, and maintain the momentum of initiatives begun by past leaders.  For the complete story ; https://bit.ly/3ZqlngM 

Our first meeting of 2023 was a busy one.  We welcome Greg McNally as our newest club member and we look forward to his contributions to our many projects.  We also heard from Laura Coffin on receiving an award from the Educational Opportunity Fund and how Laura is restructuring the LP Elementary School reading program to further the joy of reading while improving literacy levels.  Jeff Erenstone presented on Operation Namaste which provides technology and support to deliver prosthetic services to underserved areas of the world.  Learn more at https://www.operationnamaste.org/
The Rotary Club of Lake Placid NY brings gifts to residents of Elderwood along with pizza for the staff. A group of Rotarians and members of the Northern Lights Choir joined together to sing some Christmas carols.
The Ecumenical Food Pantry is located in a space which is difficult for the loading / unloading of food and supplies.  The Thrift Shop is in a cramped area which doesn't provide a good experience when shopping there.  There's always a need for some folks to be able to obtain used furniture at no or minimal cost.  Mayor Devlin has an ideal to utilize space on the grounds of the Shipman Youth Center to have a building which would house the Pantry, the Thrift Store and have a furniture "depot."  Mayor Devlin has already scoped out the design for a building which would have easy access, good parking and have a welcoming atmosphere.  It's all conceptual now and the cost has to be dealt with (in light of increased expenses everywhere).  Our club was very interested in what Mayor Devlin had to say as he mentioned what possible sources of funding could be obtained.  This is a great, forward-thinking idea and our club looks forward to helping bring this to a reality for the betterment of our community.  
Speaking to our club today, Ed Dempsey called our attention to ADK Bridges to Empowerment, an alliance which establishes a structured program of volunteer mentors to provide guidance to families who need a little direction.
Mentoring activities include financial literacy counseling, helping people navigate community services, and teaching life skills such as time management, organizing, and parenting.  This is a developing program in our area and Ed is looking to hear from persons who might like to be among those who offer a "helping hand" to others.  Ed can be reached at eddempsey99@hotmail.com
North Elba Councilwoman Emily Politi paid us another visit, providing updates on two projects currently underway here.  Affordable housing is a big issue nationwide, not just in our community.  But the Homestead Development Corporation has found a way to provide quality homes at a reasonable entry point for aspiring home owners.  The Makeover McKinley project as as its goal the transformation of an existing park into an area with new playground equipment, pickleball courts and improved accessibility for those with mobility issues.  Emily's presentation may be found in our public files space https://bit.ly/3rn6iwW   For more information about these projects, there are contact links at the end of the presentation.
A return visit from Lori Fitzgerald this morning.  If we had to list all the things Lori is involved with, we would run out of space on this website.  Club members were keenly interested in Lori's updates as to expectations for the 2023 World University Games, happening in not to many weeks here in Lake Placid.  Covered were expectations as to crowd size (athletes, support staff, onlookers), housing for athletes and visitors alike as well as demands on the town and village infrastructure.  Needless to say, the large numbers of people who will be descending on our little town will create certain conditions that we'll have to deal with - such as road closures (especially Main Street), limited parking and so on.  Lori also talked about projects the Development Commission and the Arts Alliance are dealing with and various issues that are faced in terms of project funding or the need to engage certain professional expertise to deal with community issues (housing, transportation and what Lori called "over tourism."  Another interesting talk but as Rotarians, we know we'll be called upon to assist wherever we can and we'll step up to the plate.
It was a a chilly evening at the John Brown Farm Historic Site but our Thursday Night Socials continued with a group gathering under the pavilion tent.   Good food and a hot game of dominos which lasted beyond sundown.   Fun times with good friends.
What a great day and a great time for all.  Right now we don't have the final tally but thanks to our very generous donors and ticket purchasers, it looks like we're on course for a record-breaking total of funds to make available through our Donations Committee.  The 2022 team is sorting out the details, reviewing notes on what when right and where enhancements can happen.  There will be more pictures posted at a later date, but in the interim, you can check out our Facebook page for more stuff  https://www.facebook.com/rotarycluboflakeplacid
Sawyer Cresap is the Exec. Dir. of AdkAction and at today's meeting, Sawyer took us through several of the projects that are making a difference to Adirondack communities.  From seeking to improve broadband, delivering meals to those in need or stressing the need to have pollinator-friendly native plants, AdkAction seeks to plan and develop projects that matter and improve the quality of life now and for the future.   We invite you to learn more about AdkAction by visiting their website https://www.adkaction.org or downloading their latest annual report https://bit.ly/3wvSTp1
This morning we welcomed two new members to the Rotary Club of Lake Placid, May Chow and Marcy Miller.  Both May and Marcy say they are excited to have been inducted into the club and we look forward to their contributing their skills and talents on our various committees, Welcome May and Marcy.  In the picture (L to R) are Kate Thompson (May's sponsor), May, John Huttlinger (Treasurer),  Marcy, and Harris Semegram (Marcy's sponsor).
2023 - 2024 Area Governor Martha Pritchard Spear presents a video of her participation in the Rotary District 7040's Annual Conference
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Celebrating Four Lake Placid Rotarians
A short video celebrating four of our club members who are 80 years old in 2022
Shelter Box
Emergencies don't take holidays
Floods, earthquakes, severe storms happen 24/7/365.  A gift to ShelterBox, a Rotary sponsored program. can provide several different types of urgently needed emergency equipment.    Just use the link on the left side of this page to download the ShelterBox gift form showing many ideas . Your one gift will bring much help and aid to those in need.  Learn about ShelterBox by visiting https://www.shelterbox.org 
A Statement from Rotary International
As a global network that strives to build a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change, Rotary values diversity and celebrates the contributions of people of all backgrounds, regardless of their age, ethnicity, race, color, abilities, religion, socioeconomic status.  https://www.rotary.org/en/about-rotary/diversity-equity-and-inclusion
Officers /Click on a name to contact a Club Officer
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The Rotary Foundation
Service Projects Co-Chair