Club Information


Central Ocean

Central Ocean Rotary

We meet Tuesdays at 12:15 PM
1171 Hooper Ave.
Toms River, NJ  08753
United States
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Club News

We are offering a $1,500 scholarship to students that meet the following criteria: 

  • An Ocean County resident
  • A graduating high school senior
  • Presently attending one of the following schools:
    • Donovan Catholic
    • Toms River HS East
    • Toms River HS North
    • Toms River HS South
    • Ocean County Vocational Technical School

Plan on attending a:

  • 2 or 4 Year College Program Next Year
  • Technical School/Certification School for a Vocation
Applications must be submitted by March 31st, 2018 Apply Online

Thank you to all of the wonderful attendees of our 8th Annual Gift Auction. Buster from the Lakewood BlueClaws came by to get the party started! Attendees got to take a chance at hundreds of gifts and prizes! We sincerely thank everyone for their support of our club and community. Click here for a short slideshow of the event.


A few of our members attended The Arc, Ocean County Chapter Bowl-A-Thon at Finnigans Lanes. We are proud to sponsor this event as well as the all the great work The Arc does for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. To learn more about their work visit their website:


Meet Kaitlyn Molnar. A high school student who wrote a master's paper on E-coli and how essential oils can help fight it. After listening to her presentation and her experiment with essential oils it made us think back to the times when a building a volcano was enough to pass... These kids have a great future ahead of them!


Rory Hogan stopped by and talked to us about how pollution affects our ecosystem. DID YOU KNOW that fertilizers that we apply to our lawns are washed from runoff into rivers, streams and even the ocean? This excess nitrogen causes pollution in our area.

In high school, Rory worked on a project where he planted indigenous plants right here in Ocean County and discovered that there were certain plants that lowered the nitrogen levels from the earth. These plants are the Joe Pye Weed, Bee Balm and Switchgrass. They required minimal care and we can all do our part by planting these around our community to help the environment.


Our club proudly attended the Rotary District 7500 Gift of Life Gala supporting life saving heart surgeries for children around the world. A very special thank you to club member and Gift of Life board member Melanie Bucca for her hard work at the event.

Central Ocean Rotary member Melanie Bucca, who is also on the board of Rotary District 7500 Gift of Life, talked to us yesterday about the great work Gift of Life is doing helping children in developing countries.  Rotary District 7500 Gift of Life supports programs that enable medical teams of doctors, nurses and technicians provide advanced training in pediatric cardiopulmonary surgery to establish a permanent presence in countries throughout the world to provide life-saving services to an ever-increasing number of children with cardiac problems.

To learn more or to help on their projects visit:


Many thanks to Amanda Oglesby from the The Asbury Park Press for being a great speaker to our group. Amanda taught our Rotary members about the process of writing quality journalism!

We are thrilled to welcome our brand new members Gary Fuller and Johanna Burton-Fuller. They are not new to Rotary, they lived in Arizona and Mexico and they were part of their local Rotary Clubs. They have now moved to Toms River and are excited to continue their Rotary work. Gary and Johanna WELCOME! We will do great things together 

May your holidays sparkle with moments of love, laughter, and goodwill. And may the year ahead be full of contentment and joy. 
From all of us at Central Ocean Rotary of Toms River have a Happy Holiday Season 

Members of our club lit up Harbor House by hanging holiday decorations and lights. A Central Ocean Rotary tradition, the lights and decorations bring joy to the residents and staff of Harbor House, a safe haven for homeless youth in our community. Thank you so much to Ken and the entire staff, plus all of the Rotary volunteers who came out to get the lights and decorations up this year.

Fellow Rotarians Dara Heidt and Micki Ginsberg from The Rotary Club of Moorestown visited us yesterday to talk to us about their Solar lights for Uganda project. One solar light at a time, they will replace kerosene lamps with solar lights in Uganda. This project will provide at least 400 school children, living in villages without electricity, with solar lamps making it easier for them to work and study. Kerosene lamps have caused burns, eye irritation, breathing difficulties and sometimes fires.

We were visited at our last meeting by Sandra Levine of Sandra Levine Productions to discuss her Toms River baseball documentary premiering in 2018. The film will feature baseball coach Ken Frank, baseball player Todd Frazier, and Toms River High School South. Rotary club members were treated to 5 minute reel of the film.

We had the pleasure of inducting our newest member of our club Ben Giovine. Ben currently serves as the president of the Toms River Regional Schools Board of Education and works for New York Life. We are so happy to welcome him as a Rotarian. Pictured with Ben is sponsor Christine Girtain and club membership chair Michael Bucca.

Members of our club and others helped collect bags of donated items for Scouting For Food. This initiative by the Jersey Shore Council Boy Scouts of America collects non-perishable food left in bags on the doorsteps of generous donors, which are then distributed to food pantries and hunger relief agencies. Special thanks to Jerome Townsend for setting up the project and involving our club!

Members of our club attended the Rotary District 7500 Thanks for Giving Dinner. Club president Michael DellaRocca received our Rotary Foundation District Grant, which will be used to purchase laptops for deserving students on their way to college. Also, past Rotary International Director Karen Wentz spoke to everyone about the Rotary Foundation.

RN Susan Gato came and talked to us about Polio. She is a polio survivor herself and we learned so much about the struggles people with polio go through and what they have to live with.

Rotary has reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent worldwide since the first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979. We are close to eradicating polio, but we need your help. Whether you have a few minutes or a few hours, here are some ways to make a global impact and protect children against polio forever:

Join us welcoming our newest member Linda Alpay from Home Title Insurance Agency! We look forward to working together making our community a better place! 

Club members and community members all worked together to Rise Against Hunger. Volunteers put together packages of ready to eat meals that are to be shipped to areas in need. Over 75,000 meals were packaged across three sites. Central Ocean secretary Marion Callazzo is pictured sealing the bags. More photos are on our Facebook page. 

Our guest Justin picked the winners of the 32nd Annual 50/50 Raffle today! The winners are:

1st prize - Ticket #83 - Melanie Bucca, Shannon Rabea, Brittany Richstein, Carrie Andrews, Ashley Worden

2nd prize - Ticket #28 - Elizabeth Rastelli, Michael DellaRocca, Mark Rushwald, Dick Read, George Hanna

3rd prize - Ticket #144 - Henry Hengchua

Our club sold out all 150 available tickets. Thank you so much for all who purchased a ticket to support Central Ocean Rotary!

Venus Majeski from the New Jersey Institute for Disabilities (NJID)stopped by on Tuesday to tell us about her organization. NJID offers specialized programs and support for infants, children and adults with disabilities throughout the state. With a dedicated staff of more than 500 employees and 41 program sites throughout the state, NJID is one of the largest not-for-profit agencies of its kind in the nation. Each year, more than 1500 infants, children, and adults with disabilities and their families are helped by NJID's unique continuum of services.
If you would like to learn more about this great organization visit:


Channel Wilkins, President CEO of O.C.E.A.N., Inc. stopped by to talk to us about the great things they do for our community. 

Some of the program they work on are:
- O.C.E.A.N., Inc. Head Start Child Development Program
- Weatherization
- Home Energy Assistance
- Housing Rentals / Construction
- Housing Counseling
- First Time Homebuyer
- Homelessness Prevention

To learn more about what they do visit their website:

We were visited by American Legion Post 129 of Toms River, NJ members Ralph Wolff and Commander Michael Schaffer. They talked to us about the amazing things they do in our community for veterans and we hope to work together very soon.

The American Legion is the nation’s largest veterans service organization, committed to mentoring and sponsorship of youth programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting a strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.

To learn more about the great work they do or to check out their latest events visit:


We met Pastor Jason from Wellspring Church in Toms River. He is the former youth pastor of Bayside Chapel. During his time there he was asked to consider starting a church in Toms River and the rest is history.

Wellspring Church meets every Sunday at 10 AM at Toms River Intermediate-East. To learn more visit:

We were happy to welcome Linda Keenan from the Fulfill NJ food bank. She brought our club members up to date on the state of food distribution in our area and how we can help. For more information, please log onto

Thank you Dr. Anthony Pellegrino of Absolute Chiropractic for your discussion with our club about approaches to wellness from a proactive versus a reactive way. Thank you also for your efforts to assist with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in Texas.

We were visited by Dave Greiner from Exelon. He gave us a very informative update/talk about energy and the Oyster Creek Generating Station. We learned about Geenhouse Gas Emissions, why Oyster Creek is shutting down and what would be some of the consequences.

If you would like to learn what it takes to run the Oyster Creek Generating Station visit:

Thank you, fellow Rotarian John Byrne from Rotary Club of Toms River, for coming on Tuesday to talk to us about the Military Troop Banners Program in downtown Toms River.The Military Banner Tribute Program salutes our brave men and women honorably discharged who serve, or have served in the military by displaying military banners in the community between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. 

To participate or to learn more about this great program visit: ️

Welcome to our newest member Melinda Allen from Kearny Bank. Melinda was sponsored by Jerome Townsend and inducted by membership chair Michael Bucca. We are so excited to have Melinda on board!

A great and inspirational visit from District Governor Diane Rotondelli! Thank you for visiting our club and bringing us up to date on the world of Rotary. Pictured with Diane is club president Mike DellaRocca.

Our guests this past Tuesday were recent District 7500 Rotary Youth Leaders Academy (RYLA) participants Mark and Matt Koerner. They completed the program this past June and came to tell us what they learned. We had a great time listening to their stories. Special thanks to the Koerner family for joining us for lunch and always being a part of our Rotary family. 

Our meeting was very educational. Our guest, Steve Baeli, talked to us about the history of Toms River.

Did you know that there were Ocean County residents on the Titanic? Did you know that Toms River used to be part of Shrewsbury back in the day? We learned a ton about our area yesterday, thank you Steve!

Club members enjoyed a night with friends and family at our annual excursion to the BlueClaws. Buster stopped by of course! Let's go BlueClaws!

We had the pleasure to have Jhanna Even from Harbor House as our guest. For those who don't know, Ocean’s Harbor House is dedicated to assisting homeless, runaway, abused, neglected and abandoned youth, ages 10-21 not only from Ocean County but all New Jersey. They provide a safe haven and caring environment for vulnerable youth to enable them to unlock their potential and learn skills that will empower them to build healthier lives, relationships, and futures.

To learn more about them or how you could help visit:

On June 27th District Governor Elect Bill Donnelly introduced Michael DellaRocca as our new president. Special thanks to outgoing President Michael Bucca for your great leadership this past year!

Also, many awards were presented that night... 
- Service Above Self Award to Jill Houston
- Paul Harris Fellow to Christine Girtain
- Multiple Paul Harris Fellow to Mark Rushwald.

As president, you lead and motivate your club, ensuring that club members feel valuable, inspired, and connected to each other. Best Wishes for an equally successful 2017-18 year to incoming President Mike Della Rocca!

Our club's focus has always been our youth and helping them achieve their dreams of becoming successful and productive individuals. We had the honor to present 6 outstanding Toms River high school students checks to pursue their education dreams. Join us in congratulating: Julia Mazza, Holly Phillips, Iyanah Thomas, Kristen Parks, Joseph Signorelli and Samantha Goodyear (not pictured) wishing them a bright future ahead. Be bold, be courageous, be your best! 

Cherie from Hands on CPR Training was our guest. What a cool meeting we had! She demonstrated CPR and choking techniques and showed us how to use the AED machine during an emergency.

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Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Vice President
Public Image Chair
Public Image Co-Chair
Rotary Foundation Chair
Central Ocean Foundation
Service Projects Co-Chair
Club Membership Chair
District Conference Chair
Club Administration Chair
Service Projects Chair
Immediate Past President
Sergeant at Arms
Sergeant at Arms
RYLA Coordinator
International Service Chair
Scholarship Chair
Speakers Coordinator