Northeast Region Spotlight
Greetings from Upstate New York here in the heart of the Northeast Region. I am Rosemary Abowd Schwendler, an ‘81 graduate and longtime member of the ND Club of Northeastern New York. I’m originally from the Detroit area where my dad (’49) and mom raised a dozen kids. Nine of us earned at least one degree from Notre Dame. Here in the Northeast Region our clubs stretch from Toronto, Canada through Upstate New York and across to Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. We are 17 clubs, mostly B, C, D and E-sized, with AA Boston Club on the east coast.
Our Regional Directors Network includes a wonderfully enthusiastic group of ND alumnae: Maryanne Rogers ’76 (NDSA), Hazel Navarro ‘91(Diversity), Marta Stepien ’13 (YoungND) and Lauren Mack ’98 (NDWC).
Up here, we joke that there are just two seasons: July and winter. Everyone is really enjoying July particularly as vaccination rates rise and states have removed many of the COVID restrictions. Calendars are filling with late summer and fall gatherings and community service projects.
We still wait for the border to open so we can visit our Canadian friends to the north. Meanwhile, the ND Club of Toronto/Central Ontario hosted their student send-off virtually with a great turnout of some extremely excited students and parents. The ND Clubs of Worcester, Rhode Island/SE Massachusetts, and New Hampshire will all host an in-person send-off in the next few weeks. The ND Club of Vermont held an online student mixer in early June to answer questions and introduce everyone and will follow with a send-off in August.
SSLP students are everywhere! The ND Club of Maine was one of only a handful of clubs able to successfully transition its Summer Service Learning Project (SSLP) to a virtual program last summer. This summer, they welcomed Mary back for an in-person program at the Mideast Youth Center (MYC) in Bath Maine. She is doing a fabulous job for the center!
In Central New York/Syracuse, the club is hosting five SSLP students at their local non-profit partners The Brady Faith Center and Hopeprint. Nearly all the students are from out-of-town and the club provides gift cards for groceries, meals to share, invitations out to local events and hospitality throughout the summer.
The ND Club of Rochester (picture below) kicked off their return to in-person events with a new service partnership with Nativity Preparatory Academy in May and a night at the ballpark in June! They also hosted a golf outing the afternoon of Sunday, July 18th, where golfers and club members were invited afterwards to join in for a pizza and social hour on the deck at Shadow Lake in Penfield NY.
In true New England style, the ND Club of Cape Cod will host a Lobster Roll Cruise on Cape Cod Bay in August. And the ND Club of Northeastern New York will host their 33rd Monsignor O’Malley ND Golf Classic to raise money for the club scholarship fund. The ND Club of Buffalo/Western New York joyfully resumed their First Friday Senior Alumni gatherings for senior alums who need an outlet once a month to ask questions and share ND news … or maybe to help other attendees with a specific charitable activity …or maybe simply to satisfy the need to get out of the house and be seen again! With football season starting soon, the ND Club of the Finger Lakes and the ND Club of Triple Cities (Binghamton) look forward to resuming in-person game watches in September!
Community service projects abound. The ND Club of Mohawk Valley (Utica, NY) has been extensively assisting in the development of the brand new Irish Cultural Center (ICC) located in Utica’s Brewery District. This is an authentic Irish Pub and Restaurant; an outdoor Irish Garden; a first-floor event center for Irish performers; and a second-floor museum, HARP (History, Ancestry, Research and Programming) which has revolving exhibits from national Irish organizations. Needless to say, the ICC (www.iccmv.org) is the headquarters of the Notre Dame Club of the Mohawk Valley!
Shout out to the ND Club of Boston who recently won a Lennon Life grant to help them with their work with Boston Healthcare for the Homeless! The club provides a team of tireless Vaccine Ambassadors who assemble comfort kits for those being vaccinated by the Care Zone van that reaches out to the most vulnerable population -- the homeless, the elderly and single moms – living in shelters and on the streets of Boston.