“Service Above Self” is the motto of the Rotary, an organization of civic volunteers. Sister Anna Roche, SC, founder of Monroe-based Garden of the Child, is guided by a similar creed. In 1989, Sister Anna approached Leo Kaytes, a Warwick auto dealer and then president of the Warwick Valley Rotary Club, with an idea for starting an early childhood/middle school detection, intervention and prevention program. With seed money from Warwick Rotarians, Garden of the Child was started.
Sister Anna recently received her 28th annual contribution from the Warwick Valley Rotary Club, totaling more than $28,000 in two decades. Her educational program services students from kindergarten through the eighth grade. Seminars and the summer programs offer enrichment in the areas of art, music, fashion, cooking, baking, the basic drills and skills of several sports and tutoring.
The Garden of the Child assists youngsters from Chester, Goshen, Warwick, Monroe, Florida, Washingtonville, Harriman, Central Valley, Woodbury and Cornwall.