Kiwanis club celebrating 70 years with more to come


Bob Rubinstein is the epitome of the Kiwanis Club of Riverdale. He has been with the organization for 60 years and the club is now 70 years old. That is just part of the legacy of the longtime trailblazing attorney of Riverdale and Manhattan.

Rubinstein, 91, is credited with helping integrate Riverdale to include non-white residents and has taken on a variety of civic projects over the years, such as preserving Seton Park against plans for a senior center there when Robert Wagner was mayor.

On Friday night at the VIP Country Club in New Rochelle, Rubinstein was lauded for not only his tenure as a Kiwanian in Riverdale but for a career as a community volunteer. He received a Legion of Honor award for his unselfish and caring work.

“It’s a celebration of 70 years of service to the Riverdale community,” Ralph Vasami, Yonkers Kiwanis Club president, said about the Riverdale Kiwanis club. “It’s a legacy that needs to continue, especially in the times that we live in today.

“I want to congratulate Bob Rubenstein for 60 years of Kiwanis service. It’s a milestone that few reach. Bob and his wife, Barbara, have been valuable members of our division for many years.”

Vasami also gave a shout out to Nanda Chavez, Kiwanis Riverdale president, for being elevated to a district lieutenant governor for 2024-25.

While Rubinstein thanked all participants for the recognition, he couldn’t help but take the opportunity to laud the Riverdale organization.

“I want to encapsulate 70 years of work by the Kiwanis,” he said. “I want to say through 70 years of operation, we are there. If the baseball team wanted a scoreboard, they would come to us. If the hungry wanted food at Thanksgiving, they come to us. If the Key Club kids want to go to a convention, they came to us.”

“No one else realizes the impact we have on the community,” he added. He cited the Riverdale Neighborhood House and the Riverdale Senior Services as two organizations that have received Kiwanis support over the years.

“We’ve done so many things, it would be impossible to list them all,” he said.

Rubinstein harkened to the days of yore when the club had their own characters who made their meetings special: “There was Ben “Shutterbug” Sherman, who was the picture taker of everything. There is Jeff Berson. He has run the Key Clubs at Bronx Science and Circle K at Mount Saint Vincent and Manhattan Colleges. He just came all the way up to Florida to be here tonight.”

Bob Rubinstein, Kiwanis Club of New York, Barbara Rubinstein, Key Club, Ralph Vasami, Nanda Chavez,