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Stephanie Blaisdell is the brand new New Paltz Rotary Membership President. (Picture through Lauren Thomas)

This summer season, contributors of the New Paltz Rotary Membership got person teeth-flossing equipment all the way through the membership’s annual induction rite at Garvan’s in June. In some other circumstance, it might most effective be herbal to take this gesture as a refined trace that one’s private hygiene may well be in query. However in true educator model, SUNY New Paltz Vice President of Pupil Affairs, Stephanie Blaisdell, captivated the room through the use of the dental device to introduce herself as the brand new Rotary president.

This 12 months Rotary contributors aren’t most effective inspired to floss, but in addition reminded to FLOSS (Fellowship, Finding out, Alternative, Provider and Sustainability). The acronym is a results of Blaisdell’s revel in all the way through Rotary Global’s management building program referred to as PETS (President Elect Coaching Seminar). Each and every incoming Rotary bankruptcy president is requested to get a hold of a theme for his or her 12 months in workplace and PETS exists to assist contributors, who’re slated to be president, in finding their imaginative and prescient and the equipment to achieve success. 

“I got here out of PETS and used to be enthusiastic about what I truly worth about Rotary and upon mirrored image, I spotted I had spelled the phrase ‘floss’ and became that into an acronym to constitute my initiative.” Upon becoming a member of the bankruptcy, Blaisdell used to be in an instant inspired with the paintings that the Rotary bankruptcy supplies in New Paltz and hopes to construct upon a cast basis. “The theory is that even one thing as fundamental as flossing may also be progressed over the years so whilst I don’t carry the rest in particular new, we will be able to support upon the vital methods we’re offering for the New Paltz neighborhood.”

The FLOSS initiative

F.L.O.S.S. isn’t just some way for Blaisdell to spotlight the truth that she doesn’t intend to mend one thing that isn’t damaged, however it additionally honors the have an effect on her father had on her. “That is significant to me. My father used to be a dentist and he’s truly my fashion for carrier. He used to be all the time very carrier minded and energetic in our neighborhood rising up. He introduced loose dental clinics, traveled in a foreign country to supply loose dental carrier and volunteered on the YMCA, amongst different organizations,” says Blaisdell.

Blaisdell moved to New Paltz from Memphis, Tennessee in 2017 the place she served as Assistant Vice President for Pupil Affairs and Pupil Construction on the College of Memphis. Her husband, John Blaisdell, is the Director of Campus Protection and Safety at Marist Faculty and they have got 3 youngsters who are actually in faculty. In addition they have two canines, one in every of which is a treatment canine who involves paintings along with her at SUNY New Paltz as soon as every week. “Anna (my canine) is somewhat well-known at SUNY New Paltz as she comes as soon as every week to assist scholars de-stress.  They pass over their canines!” says Blaisdell. 

Even though Blaisdell used to be acquainted with Rotary via her brother (an energetic member in a San Diego Bankruptcy), she used to be most effective presented to the New Paltz Rotary Membership in2018 when a pal invited her to wait an tournament on Valentine’s Day. “I knew about Rotary however I hadn’t made the relationship for myself till I moved right here. I discovered that it used to be an effective way to get to understand and serve the neighborhood. I discovered numerous like-minded folks fascinated by carrier and it used to be simply an excellent connection.”In a while thereafter, Blaisdell served as vice chairman after which president-elect, sooner than being inducted as president on June 23.

Fellowship and finding out cross hand-in-hand as the primary two phrases represented in FLOSS. Blaisdell believes fellowship is vital to Rotary and Rotarians in accordance with her studies with the gang.“It intended such a lot to me to connect to folks when I used to be new to the neighborhood.” She stresses that the membership is determined by energetic contributors and encourages others taking a look to present again to New Paltz to enroll in. “We’re all the time on the lookout for individuals who need to get interested by carrier to enroll in us.” ‘Finding out’ is a phrase this is central to Blaisdell’s existence and profession and got here naturally during the fellowship she’s won via Rotary. “I worth life-long finding out and all of us can be told such a lot from each and every different and problem-solve in combination via our weekly conferences, occasions and neighborhood tasks.”

Alternative, the 3rd a part of FLOSS, represents the powerful scholarship program and Adolescence Trade program introduced via Rotary. Consistent with the New Paltz Rotary Membership website online, “Rotary Membership scholarships are open to all graduating highschool seniors who live inside the New Paltz Faculty District and who shall be pursuing a postsecondary stage or coaching at any two- or four-year faculty, business college or tutorial establishment.” 

The Adolescence Trade program is obtainable each and every 12 months when global trip has been allowed and is open to scholars between ages 15-17 years of age. Packages for the alternate program are open now and Blaisdell encourages scholars in New Paltz to use. “It’s this sort of life-changing revel in for college kids so to cross in a foreign country.”

Possibly maximum central to Rotary and the fourth a part of FLOSS is the act of carrier. Amongst its many tasks, New Paltz Rotary’s primary carrier challenge is the BackPack Program which continues to supply a weekend provide of meals to youngsters who’re food-insecure and qualify without spending a dime and lowered lunches. The neighborhood call for for this program highlights the significance of Rotary’s dedication to carrier.  “Recently this program supplies meals to 62 households. The pointy building up (100% during the last two years) plus inflation implies that we’re going to be over price range this 12 months, so donations are wanted” says Blaisdell.

Sustainability is the overall a part of Blaisdell’s FLOSS initiative. It additionally occurs to be Rotary Global’s most up-to-date pillar and used to be added in 2020. “We’re teaching ourselves concerning the small adjustments we will be able to make as a membership, as neighborhood contributors and as people.  As an example, we switched from the use of plastic water bottles at our occasions just like the Walkathon and as a substitute use aluminum (Trail logo) bottles.  We interact in neighborhood clean-ups and take care of our personal Rotary Park in New Paltz.  We also are taking a look at sustainability extensively — just like the UN Sustainable Construction objectives — so it’s extra than simply protective the surroundings, it’s about maintaining our neighborhood and our membership through making an investment in folks.”

Serving others

Rotary Global’s motto is ‘carrier above self’ and it’s transparent that Blaisdell isn’t any stranger to this idea. She has spent maximum of her profession in management roles serving others. However Blaisdell is humble about her profession accomplishments. Prior to shifting into management roles in schooling, Blaisdell got down to be part of the school and paintings on analysis. “I by no means supposed to be in management. If truth be told, I were given my Ph.D. in Counseling and Psychology and used to be going to be a psychologist.” This 12 months marks her 30th 12 months in schooling and serving others. “I like operating with scholars. It doesn’t matter what age a scholar is, they’re at some extent of their existence the place there may be simply such a lot doable. It truly is a privilege to be ready the place I will be able to do one thing that may assist an individual flourish of their existence.” 

Blaisdell is the 7th consecutive lady to steer the New Paltz Rotary bankruptcy and succeeds Lauren Rooney who served as Rotary president all the way through remaining 12 months’s time period. “Within the time that I’ve been a member of Rotary, I spotted that this 46-member team is a well-oiled gadget, and I’m venerated to steer this team of native leaders.”

Upcoming Rotary occasions

Tickets are on sale for New Paltz Rotary’s annual fundraiser, Win-A-Package, for $100 and shall be hung on October 22 from 7 to 9 p.m. This 12 months’s tournament shall be live-streamed. Handiest 300 tickets shall be bought so probabilities of profitable or splitting the $10,000 grand prize or 20 smaller money prizes will stay the night time thrilling. There may also be drawings during the night time for wine and spirit baskets, lottery price ticket baskets and reward certificate. Proceeds from this tournament shall be used to fund carrier tasks together with the BackPack Program, scholarships, the Adolescence Trade program and a lot more. Any person considering buying a price ticket can touch Geraldine Kelly at 845-417-3547.

Different upcoming Rotary occasions come with a blood pressure on October 15 from 8 a.m. to at least one p.m. at New Paltz Elks Resort and the Halloween parade on October 31 at 6 p.m. in New Paltz

For more information concerning the Rotary Membership of New Paltz, consult with www.newpaltzrotary.org.