Williamstown Rotary group looks for new members

Foundation will resume in person meetings this month

The Williamstown Sunrise Rotary Foundation wants new members to join its first in person meeting since the start of pandemic restrictions over a year ago.

“We are here and we didn’t get closed down because of COVID,” said Eli Berkowitz, president of the foundation. “Right now, we are doing Zoom meetings, but our first in person meeting will be at Geets Diner & Bar in Williamstown on the 31st of March at 7:30 in the morning. Everybody is welcome to come.”

The Rotary is a worldwide organization best known for the work done in eradicating polio. According to Berkowitz, there are only two countries left in the world with traces of the disease.

Locally, the Rotary is responsible for helping organizations across Williamstown, including the town’s K9 association, the Community Options Organization and the Williamstown Food Pantry. The Rotary also collects donations to create scholarships for students seeking higher education after high school graduation.

“We are a community service organization … We do a lot of charity work and give back to the community,” said Berkowitz. “Over the years we give to a bunch of charities. There is an unlimited amount of things that we do.”

The foundation currently has about 30 members from South Jersey, including in Washington Township, Sicklerville, Glassboro and Williamstown. Members met in person every fifth Wednesday of the month, but once COVID restrictions started, all in person meetings were moved to Zoom and many of the fundraisers the organization planned were canceled. Because of  that, the Rotary had to find a new and safer way to continue collecting donations, including raffles on its Facebook page to continue a steady flow of donations.

“We have an online donation every few weeks. You make a $10 donation and you could win a prize,” Berkowitz explained. “We have a $200 gift certificate to the Library IV, and coming up, we have $289 worth of auto maintenance from Miles Auto.”

The Rotary is hopeful it can hold its comedy night in person in June. A golf tournament is set for May. Both events give patrons the opportunity to donate to the club in exchange for a night of laughs or a sponsorship opportunity on the golf course.

Besides donations, Berkowitz believes the best way to help it by getting involved.

“Anyone that wants to join and is interested in volunteering some time is more than welcome to join us,” he noted. “We encourage people to get involved. That’s what we are all about; people enjoy helping people.”

To get involved with the Rotary foundation, visit its Facebook page,   Williamstown Sunrise Rotary Foundation, send an email to  wsrrotary@gmail.com or call Berkowitz at (609) 605-5456.