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Paramus Rotary Club Meeting of Thursday, February 06, 2014


The very special guest at the Paramus Rotary Club Meeting of Thursday, February 06, 2014 was Grace Agwaru. Grace is Gift of Life’s first child. She underwent heart surgery on November 15, 1975 at five and is now a GOL global ambassador.

Back in the early 70s Grace was diagnosed with a hole in the heart. Her father as introduced to the Kampala Rotary Club which ran an article about her plight. The story was published in the Rotary Times, a Rotary monthly magazine. Robbi Donno, a United States Rotarian, read her story and felt he could do something. He recounted her plight to his club members and they decided to help. After fundraising, Grace was booked into St. Francis Hospital in Long Island, N.Y. for heart surgery. Grace never had any other health complications after her surgery. She became a very normal child.


“What GOLI did for me inspired my education and the need to take care of myself and give back to GOL,” says Grace, who is now 39-years old. Until recently when she started working as a GOL ambassador, Grace has been using her agricultural skills to work with communities in Soroti in group development projects. Presently, Grace is based in New York where she carries out her duties as a global ambassador for Gift of Life International.


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This week’s program, Women and Men’s Heart Health of Valley Hospital, was presented by Patricia Delaney of Cardiac Outreach. Originally Heart Care for Women, this program for created to raise awareness of the cause, symptoms, and prevalence of heart disease in women, and to educate women about preventing, diagnosing, and treating heart disease in women. Many women think the signs of a heart attack are unmistakable, but in fact they can be subtler and sometimes confusing.


The program has recently expanded to include Men’s Heart Health, and now free programs are made available at “Lunch and Learns”, in school presentation, as well as presentations “at work”.

For more information please contact The Valley Hospital at 223N. Van Dien Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ 07450 or at their website www.valleyhealth.com

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At today’s meeting, Superintendent of Paramus Schools, Mr. Kenneth Rota was officially installed as the newest member of the Paramus Rotary Club. According to Paramus Board of Education President “We needed someone who is well rounded,…Mr. Rota’s philosophy and experience with high school and all levels is a great match.” Previous to Ken’s arrival in Paramus he served as superintendent in East Rutherford. Prior to East Rutherford, Ken was the principal at Glen Ridge High School…he also served for a brief stint as the interim superintendent of that school district. Ken resides in Ridgewood with his wife Jill and their son and daughter.

Ken, it’s taken us a while (too long) to make this official – congratulations!!!

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