Posted by Caroline Gosselin on Mar 13, 2012
Mark your calendars! The Maplewood Rotary Club’s 15th Annual Affair of the Heart Gala benefiting the Gift of Life NJ will be held on Friday, April 27, 2012 at the Maplewood Country Club. Your Rotary hosts will be providing a wonderful cocktail hour, live and silent auctions, delicious food, and live entertainment. Come and support this wonderful program and help us honor our Citizen of the Year, Maplewood fire fighter Joe Callaghan who truly embodies the Rotary motto of Service Above Self! 


Operating under the motto, Service above Self, Rotary members spend countless hours working towards improving the lives of the less fortunate, combating issues such as world hunger, poverty, illnesses, and education, to name a few.  Rotary is an organization that gives back to the community at every step. The Affair of the Heart is one of the Maplewood Rotary Club’s three major fundraisers and brings together about 150+ guests; Rotarians, local supporters, family and friends to celebrate the joys of being a part of such an amazing community and support our Gift of Life programs.

Each year the club chooses a recipient for its Citizenship Award. The award is given to an individual who lives by the Rotary International motto “Service Above Self”… a person who goes above and beyond in their personal efforts to make Maplewood and the surrounding communities a better place to live.  This year we will be honoring Maplewood Fire Captain Joe Callaghan, a 20-year veteran of the force, for his "gift of life". In 2011, Joe unselfishly donated one of his kidneys to fellow firefighter Greg Snell who had been forced to retire from the force after suffering double kidney failure after 18 years the job.

Proceeds from the evening will go to support the club’s involvement in the district’s Gift of Life Program. Gift of Life NJ is a regional charity operated solely by volunteer Rotarians from District 7470. It organizes, sponsors and hosts children from under developed countries that are in dire need of life saving heart operations. The surgeries are done at hospitals in the United States and through medical missions abroad.

Over the past 22 years of our Club's involvement with Gift of Life, we have proudly saved the lives of nearly 100 children through surgeries in the U.S. and medical missions abroad. In the past three years alone, through the generous support of those that have attended the Affair of the Heart, our club has committed over $70,000 to helping these children. We sponsored missions to the Dominican Republic in 2009 and 2010 which successfully operated on over 40 children. The 2009 mission was headed-up by Dr. Joanne Starr, a remarkable surgeon dedicated to the cause, and a former Maplewoodian. This year our club has risen to the challenge again to help save more little hearts, this time with a June 2012 mission to Kemerovo, in Siberia, Russia, with the goal of operating on 18 – 20 children with congenital heart defects. We are so grateful this year to have Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage join us as the principal sponsor of the Affair of the Heart. Their pledge to help us fund the mission to Siberia will allow us to help even more children in the future.

There is always much work to be done. The waiting lists keep growing and the Maplewood Rotary Club wants to continue to be there to help. For many of these children, we are their last hope.  Don’t miss this opportunity to have a wonderful evening and help your local Rotarians work to save children around the world…one little heart at a time!

Tickets are limited. For more information on this event, please contact Rick Porter, Co-Chairperson, Gift of Life at, Steve Gussen at, or Caroline Gosselin at

Please "Like" the Rotary Club of Maplewood's Facebook page:!/pages/Rotary-Club-of-Maplewood-NJ/160490080636681 , check out the event section to see who else is attending! 

Read more about Joe Callaghan and Greg Snell here:

Star  Ledger:

Alternative Press:

Rotary is designated 501 (c) (3) organization.