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Longwood Rotary Club
PO Box 781
Kennett Square, PA  19348
Longwood Rotary Foundation
PO Box 382
Kennett Square, PA  19348
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Rotary Foundation
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Director at Large, Representative to Gundaker Foundation
Mike Duncan
Apr 02, 2020
President, Chester County Hospital
Paul Quintavalla
Apr 09, 2020
Students of the Quarter
Apr 16, 2020
Unionville and Kennett High School
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  Longwood Rotary Foundation 
  P.O. Box 781, Kennett Square, PA 19348
Serving Our Community
Unfortunately, the Longwood Rotary Gala scheduled for Saturday, March 14th at Longwood Gardens has been cancelled.  We will have more information to follow.  Thank you for your patience as we prepare a plan.

Out of an abundance of concern for the well-being of Longwood Gardens guests and community, and in keeping with the CDC’s guidance to practice social distancing, Longwood is canceling all assembled group activities and events from March 13 through April 22, which includes the Longwood Rotary Gala originally scheduled for Saturday, March 14th.

Please note that Longwood Gardens does remain open in the effort to maintain its commitment to remaining a safe place of beauty and respite for the community.

We appreciate your understanding during this time of uncertainty.

Meeting Information

We meet Thursdays at 6:45 AM
The Terrace Restaurant located inside
Longwood Gardens
Kennett Square, PA 19348
United States of America
Club News
Our meeting scheduled for March 19 has been cancelled. We do not know when our next meeting will be scheduled.
The Board will monitor the local situation via guidance from the Chester County Department of Health regarding large gatherings on a WEEKLY basis. Decisions will be made by Sunday night /Monday morning related to the upcoming Thursday meeting. This decision will be sent via direct email from President Bob Curran and the newsletter.
We anticipate meetings, when they resume, will be at the Hilton Garden Inn, Route 1, Kennett Square through the end of April since that  is the earliest we expect Longwood Gardens to reopen, per their announcement this week. 
The business of the Longwood Rotary Club will continue via excessive communication. Your health and safety is our number one concern and with a large number of our members in the defined high risk category our decisions will continue to reflect that fact.

Partnerships, For the People

From its inception, Habitat for Humanity of Chester County has operated tirelessly and selflessly to provide affordable housing opportunities for the citizens of this county, and in a region where being able to afford a proper living space has priced out entire swaths of our county’s demographic, they are the exceptional outliers.

The extent and reach of the organization’s humanity is staggering. Since 1989, Habitat volunteers have worked with future homeowners to build and renovate more than 150 homes throughout the county, to meet the needs of low-income families who dream of being able to live in their own home. The proof of this “hand up, not a hand out” mission is being seen throughout the county – in Downingtown, in West Chester and Cambria Terrace in Coatesville, a single family and twin home community that’s being constructed at the former site of the Oak Street Projects. Once complete, the community will introduce more than 60 families to a dream they previously had never thought would be possible.

While these achievements are monumental, they don’t happen overnight, and they do not happen without hard work. They happen through partnerships, beginning with the future homeowners, who devote 200 to 400 hours of sweat equity, as well as take classes in budgeting and home improvement.

(Caption from left)   Roger Taylor- Rotary District #7450, Robert Curran- President Longwood Rotary Club, Matt Holliday-President Greater West Chester Rotary Club, present a check for $8800 to the Maternal & Child Health Consortium, Milena Lanz -Executive Director Maternal & Child Health Consortium of Chester County (MCHC), Kristin Molavoque-President Board of Directors MCHC, Cecilia Avce-Director of Programs MCHC, and Alma Vidal-Manager Healthy Start & Family Benefits MCHC

In a strong showing of collaboration, the Longwood Rotary Club (Kennett Square) joined by the Greater West Chester Rotary Club and Rotary District #7450 came together to raise $8800.00 for the Maternal & Child Health Consortium (MCHC) of West Chester & Kennett Square.

These funds will be used to cover annual expenses for Parenting Classes (Parents As Child’s First Teacher) for Pre-Kindergarten children. These classes are just one step in the larger Kindergarten Readiness Program to help close the gap for families and children as they enter the public school system. This evidence based curriculum helps parents see their children learn, grow, and develop to realize their fullest potential, while providing support in the process of growing and developing. The program empowers parents, builds relationships with their children, and focuses on language, motor skills, socio-emotional development and cognitive development. The program also teaches parents how to navigate the school system and know what to expect when their children start Kindergarten.

Hundreds of underprivileged students in southern Chester County will not go to school unprepared this year thanks to a Longwood Rotary Club book bag project.

Over the weekend, about 60 volunteers helped to stuff book bags at the Kennett Senior Center with notebooks, rulers, glue, scissors, index cards, highlighters and other items essential for school. Students who receive these book bags otherwise would go to school unprepared, and much less likely to succeed.

“There were smiles all around,” said Jordan Gushurst, who heads up the project for the Longwood Rotary Club along with George Gower. “All kids picked the backpacks they wanted.”

The book bags will be distributed to 435 of the neediest students in grades K through 12 in the Avon Grove, Kennett Consolidated, Oxford and Unionville-Chadds Ford school districts.

The book bags will save parents about $50 to $60 in school supplies. For the most part, students in families living at poverty level or below poverty level receive book bags.

Gushurst said the book bags were purchased last year at clearance prices. He said all of the book bags are quality book bags that should last for years. He said this encourages students to care for their book bags so that next year they receive only supplies.

Longwood Rotarians recently donated over 60 man hours by dismantling pavilion #4 at Anson B. Nixon Park.  This service project was the first stage in an effort to move and rebuild Pavilion #4, which is an under utilized pavilion in the park, to a new location close to the playground.  

As a longtime supporter of Anson B Nixon Park, Longwood Rotary’s George Gower took the lead on this project and organized over 15 fellow Rotarians to tear off the existing shingles and carefully remove and preserve the existing structure so that it can be re-assembled at its new location.  

Many thanks to Richard Lyon (Wallace Landscaping, and current President of the board of Anson B Nixon Park) for donating his time and heavy equipment which greatly helped in moving the items in a more efficient manner.  Great work!

Longwood Rotary awarded Mariel Di Natale a grant to fund the fabric and supplies for the Days for Girls project. Mariel led a group of other girls in the construction of 20 Menstrual kits to be distributed to women and girls in need in third world countries. After investing over 55 hours in her project and earning this award, Mariel plans to continue making them throughout the summer.

A Unionville ninth-grader, Mariel earned her Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest Award in Cadettes Girl Scouts, by combining two of her passions.: her excellent award-winning sewing skills and her desire to fight for gender quality and accessible healthcare for women.

Using her outstanding sewing skills for an incredible and meaningful project for Days for Girls, Inc. Mariel worked with Longwood Rotarian, Leonie Kolvenbag, who introduced her to this project.

Days for Girls purpose is to increase access to menstrual care and education by developing global partnerships, cultivating social enterprises, mobilizing volunteers, and innovating sustainable solutions that shatter stigmas and limitations for women and girls.

The Kennett Rotaract Club had a successful fundraiser at the Kennett Brewing Company. Approximately $500 was raised through contributions to the tip jar. As you can see from this picture, many Longwood Rotary members had a great time at the fundraiser, helping ensure its success.

Longwood Rotary Club Foundation has distributed its one-millionth dollar in grants to support projects locally and globally, strengthening this community.

Initially, this was done through small fundraising efforts throughout the year. As Longwood Rotary saw the community need growing, as well as the desire to make a more significant impact in the community, the club began to implement a single fundraiser — the Gala — to raise funds for the Foundation.

Some of the local projects and organizations that have received support from the Longwood Rotary Club Foundation include Anson Nixon Playground equipment and installation, Book Bag Project and activities with Kennett Area Community Service, Project C.U.R.E., La Comunidad Hispana, Stroud Water Research Center, Tick Tock Learning Center, The Garage Community and Youth Center, Kennett Senior Center, Girls in Science & Technology Program, Project WIN at Kennett High School, Domestic Violence Center of Chester County, Reins For Life, Arts Holding Hands and Hearts, and Community Volunteers in Medicine.

Karen Ammon, executive director at Tick Tock Early Learning Center, said the funds provided by Longwood Rotary provide affordable education to low-income parents.

"This helps us with our overall mission of serving the community by providing high quality, affordable childcare to working families. Parents and caregivers can fully focus on work knowing their children are safe, happy, well fed and well educated," she said. "Thanks to the Longwood Rotary Tick Tock Early Learning Center was able to improve safety and security center wide."

"Longwood Rotary's $1,500 grant to AHHAH to build 10 PULL (Pop Up Lending Libraries) Stations in Kennett Square set in motion a community collective impact campaign in Kennett Square focusing on arts and children's literacy. The money helped pay for materials used to build the PULL Stations," said Jan Michener, Executive Director, Arts Holding Hands and Hearts.

President Tammy Duering awarded Dick Sanford, founder of Operation Warm, with Rotary's Community Service Excellence Award. 
Dick Sanford, Operation Warm's founder, reminded us that Operation Warm was started by the Longwood Rotary Club 20 years ago this year when Dick decided to do something about the children he saw waiting for school buses with no coats during the winter. The club joined Dick in buying new coats for 58 kids at a local store. From that beginning it has grown into a separate national operation that will provide new winter coats for 425,000 kids attending kindergarten through sixth grades this year.
The coats will be distributed through 1,000 events spread through across all 50 states. The events are managed by Operation Warm in conjunction with corporate, Rotary, fire house, union and other sponsors. The sponsors fund and help staff the three hour events where up to 500 kids shop for their new coat. Every sponsor finds this to be one of the most satisfying activities they can do. Often those who work at the event find themselves in tears at the overwhelming joy the kids show in their new coat, possibly the first truly new piece of clothing they ever owned. The coats are a source of immense pride and confidence for their wearers. 
Our very own Jordan Gushurst was published in the Chester County Weeklies
Now that we are in July, it is a good time to enjoy a break in the routine of school and after-school activities. My wife and I are blessed to have good jobs, healthy children, and a great home in beautiful Chester County PA. Life can be hectic and stressful at times, however I recognize that my family does not experience the financial and emotional challenges that many do. Along with the beauty of this area and the high-quality schools comes the reality that life can be very expensive in Chester County, especially for people who work in jobs that pay below average wages. Several years ago, I asked myself what was the best way to help my children appreciate the blessings they have received. The answer was to get more involved in community service projects. I joined the Longwood Rotary Club and have enjoyed working on a wide variety of projects to give back to the community. My favorite projects allow me to include my children, and in this column, I am now inviting you to take part as well.