Last week I had the honor of attending the Kiwanis Club of Penfield-Perinton’s annual Community Awards Dinner. Kiwanis International, founded in 1915, is a global community of clubs, members, and partners totaling more than 600,000 members dedicated to improving the lives of children one community at a time. Each community has different needs, and Kiwanis empowers members to pursue creative ways to serve the needs of children through local service projects and fundraising. Kiwanis clubs host nearly 150,000 service projects each year. The Penfield-Perinton Kiwanis Club was founded in 1962 by a small group led by Robert A. Calabrese, a Charter Member and Legion of Honor 56-year member.
The dedicated men and women of the Penfield-Perinton Club host several fundraisers annually and give back 100 percent of funds collected. The membership supports programs and projects aimed at the youth, seniors, and troubled areas of our community. Administrative operational costs of the club are paid for by the members themselves.
This year, the following organizations received contributions from the club in recognition of their service to the broader Monroe County community: East Rochester Resource Center, Fairport Food Pantry, Flower City Outreach, Golisano Children’s Hospital, MDA Rochester, Mary Cariola (Memorial Garden), Multiple Sclerosis, Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf, Penfield High School Key Club, Penfield Volunteer Emergency Ambulance, Penfield Volunteer Fire Department, Shepherd Home, Villa of Hope, Bethany House, Don Mack Scholarship Fund, and Saint Peter’s Kitchen.
Additionally, the Robert A. Calabrese Award was presented to Betsy Inglis who retired as the Director of the Shepherd Home at the end of 2017. Betsy became the first Executive Director of Shepherd Home when it was being built in 2005 and helped to establish the facility as one of the most recognized and respected comfort care homes in our region. This award recognizes Betsy’s leadership, dedication, passion for making a difference, and support of the community, families and individuals faced with a terminal illness. Betsy, congratulations on receiving this award! By recognizing you with this award, the Penfield-Perinton Kiwanis Club truly honored an individual who models their organization’s values; I cannot think of a better person to receive this very prestigious award!
The employees of our Building/Zoning/Fire Marshal/Code Enforcement Department have placed a food collection bin in the town hall rotunda to collect non-perishable food for the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf. Donations will be delivered to stock shelfs on a monthly basis. This spirit of giving by our employees is what helps make our community so special. If you have business to conduct at the town hall, please feel free to drop off a donation. The Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf supports more than 85 families every week and they are always in need of your generous donations. I would like to give a special shout-out to our employees who have organized and coordinated this effort: Heidi, Kristine, Kathy, Andy, Luke, Phil, and Jeff…great job team!
Last reminder…the Town of Penfield’s sixth annual “Fall Recycling Day” for residents is Saturday, October 13 from 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM at the DPW complex, 1607 Jackson Road. Services for the day are secure document destruction, metals and appliance recycling, brush disposal (no leaves or grass), and clothing and linens donations at the on-site St Pauly textile shed. There will be NO ELECTRONICS recycling at this event due to the ever-changing electronics recycling market. Monroe County’s “ecopark” will accept electronics for a fee, please go to www.monroecounty.gov/ecopark for more details.
I close this week’s column on a sad note as we have lost two individuals who have had a lasting impact on East Penfield and the entire Penfield community. First is G. Peter Wilbert of Wilbert’s, Inc. This family business started in 1952 and spans more than three generations with four automotive recycling facilities, the original operation in East Penfield, and Wilbert’s Christmas tree farm. Pete was known for his love of his family and extended family—the employees of Wilbert’s businesses. He had an amazing work ethic and a great sense of humor. Penfield’s second loss is Rosario A. “Ross” Schillaci. I knew Ross and his family for 40 years. He served our community in countless ways on many committees and boards. Ross was active in farming, construction, and much more. I would often hear him say, “you always look to give back to the community you live in, that is what helps it be a great community.”
Both Pete and Ross will leave a lasting mark on Penfield through their hard work, family involvement, and community involvement. Peace be with both of you and your families.
Until next week and in honor of both Pete and Ross, please consider performing a random act of kindness for a family member, a neighbor, or someone who may need a helping hand. It will make a big difference in their life and yours.