When Michelle Hanks first got involved with the Peekskill Rotary club, she found it difficult to attend meetings because they met for lunch and it interfered with her work schedule. After a conversation with outgoing President, Sharon Irving, she wanted to create an evening meeting where members could meet after working hours – and the district agreed.
The Rotary Club of Cortlandt Manor was chartered in April 2010 and Hanks will be the next president of the club. As the in-coming President and co-founder, Hanks is excited to lead the rotary because her main goal to give back to the community.
“I feel that we are fortunate to have what we have, and that it is our duty to give back,” said Hanks.
As a mother who was involved with her daughter's extracurricular activities and the PTA, Hanks wanted to continue to give back to the community after her daughter grew up. She believes that “being involved with the rotary club is perfect.”
“It’s like being in the right place at the right time,” said Hanks. “Everything seemed to fall into place.”
Hanks favorite memory so far while being involved with the rotary club is when the club helped bring the Kelly Miller circus to Cortlandt in June 2010. “I remember sitting in the tent [during the show] and looking around and seeing all these people have such a great time,” said Hanks. “It was a great feeling knowing that our little club brought happiness to people and how a few people together can make a difference.”
The Rotary Club of Cortlandt Manor gives back to various volunteer and charitable organizations in the area, including the Mohegan ambulance core, the Salvation Army, the Eagle Scouts, and has helped create a healing garden.
On a larger scale, the Rotary Club of Cortlandt Manor participates in the “End Polio Now Campaign” which benefits the Rotary International’s End Polio Now Campaign and raises awareness to “wipe this disease out.” In the past, the Rotary Club of Cortlandt Manor along with the Rotary Community Corps of Keon has raised over $500 for the cause by giving out stickers in the Jefferson Valley Mall in December 2010 and 2011.
Hanks believes that everyone can help the community in their own way – whether it is through helping out with your children’s schools or volunteering in the community. “Everyone has a way of helping at the end of the day, you really do feel great about yourself – and you’ll have that feeling when you’re at a meeting for the rotary club,” said Hanks.
“I have been fortunate to be able to do this – it is a blessing,” said Hank.