Youth Development Forum Was a Great Success!

The first Youth Development Forum held on March 4th served 35 students. Spearheaded by Linda Riondet and Len Vannicola, the day was very rewarding for students and guest speaker alike.
Youth Development Forum Was a Great Success! lan 2023-03-23 04:00:00Z 0

Rotarian of the Quarter - March 2023

Jim Horn was awarded Rotarian of the Quarter for his tireless work securing sponsors for our Annual Fundraising Gala held very year at Longwood Gardens. When Jim commits to working on a project, he always comes through. We are so grateful that Jim, a charter member of this Club, is still so committed and active in the good works of Rotary. 
Rotarian of the Quarter - March 2023 lynn Nathan 2023-03-23 04:00:00Z 0

Bus Trip to NYC - December 10.2022

Thirty-eight hearty souls went to NYC on December 10th on a private bus. Some went to the theatre. Some did a restaurant crawl. Some went shopping, but all had fun sightseeing in the big apple for the holidays. Rotarians serve their communities and have fun to boot!
Bus Trip to NYC - December 10.2022 lynn Nathan 2023-01-09 05:00:00Z 0

Rotarians of the First Two Quarters

Linda Riondet spearheaded the Book Bag Project which provided over 550 bookbags and school supplies to children from kindergarten to high school. Leonie Kolvenbag raised over $13,000 for the End Polio Now Campaign which was a multi-club effort. The campaign received matching funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Rotarians of the First Two Quarters lynn Nathan 2023-01-09 05:00:00Z 0

Club Says Thank You to Cafe Staff

Vicki Gehrt, Rotary Club of Longwood Treasurer (far right), presented the staff of the Longwood Cafe some holiday checks to show our appreciation.
Left to right: Senior Security Officer - Joseph Susco, Cafe Manager- Marisol Lopez, Head Cashier - Yoselin Baez, Sous Chef - Beau Chatburn.
Club Says Thank You to Cafe Staff lynn Nathan 2023-01-07 05:00:00Z 0
Interact Groups from KHS and UHS lynn Nathan 2022-10-27 04:00:00Z 0

Danish Exchange Student Arrives

Signe Marie Poulstrup arrived from Denmark on August 11. 2022. Lynn Nathan and Rob Newman were at Newark airport to greet her and take her back to Kennett Square. She will spend the first half of her year at Lynn's home and go to Kennett High School as a sophomore.
Danish Exchange Student Arrives Lynn Nathan 2022-08-12 04:00:00Z 0

Kennett Library Topping Off Ceremony

The Kennett Area Rotary Alliance donated their first installment of a $50,000 pledge to the new Kennett Library and Resource Center on July 14, 2020. 
Kennett Library Topping Off Ceremony Lynn Nathan 2022-07-20 04:00:00Z 0
Local Heroes: Chester County Rotary Clubs 2020-11-09 05:00:00Z 0

EPN Tulip Sale

story thumbnail
End Polio Now TulipsBeautify your home and provide 125 children with polio vaccine at the same time. Buy End Polio Now tulips (that is the registered name of this exclusive tulip variety), and the $25 you spend will be matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to provide a total of 125 vaccine doses for 2021. 
Contact Leonie Kolvenbag,  Longwood Rotary Club who is accepting orders. 
Until we end polio everywhere, children are at risk everywhere!
EPN Tulip Sale Bob Merkle 2020-10-11 04:00:00Z 0

End Polio Now Tulip Sale

Thursday is the End Polio Now Tulip kick-off. Help our Club support the eradication of the Polio by buying a box or two. We are very close to ending it worldwide!
One box has 25 tulip bulbs for $25, shipped from the Netherlands at the end of October / early November, just in time for planting to enjoy next spring.
In addition to having great tulips for next year, you will earn Paul Harris Fellowship points with your purchase. And the Gates Foundation doubles the funds raised, so one box will vaccinate 50 children.
Make your check payable to Longwood Rotary Foundation.  Questions; call/email/text Leonie
End Polio Now Tulip Sale Bob Merkle 2020-10-05 04:00:00Z 0

Third Meeting in the Park

We will be meeting in Anson Nixon Park again this week. The meeting starts at 7:30 AM. 
Brett Dolente will talk about the importance of voting. 
Third Meeting in the Park Bob Merkle 2020-10-04 04:00:00Z 0

October 1, 2020 Meeting

A quick reminder that we will be meeting virtually again at 7 AM. The link will be sent to you separately as usual. 
October 1, 2020 Meeting Bob Merkle 2020-09-28 04:00:00Z 0

September 22 Meeting in Anson Nixon Park

We will be meeting at a slightly later time in Anson Nixon Park - 7:30 AM. This will ensure we have light as the sun should be up by then laugh
If we have poor weather forecast for Thursday morning, the decision about holding the meeting will be made and communicated Wednesday evening. 
Our speaker will be Leah Reynolds, Executive Director of the Kennett Area Community Services will update us on what I am sure has been a challenging year for the food cupboard and its other services. 
Leah Reynolds took on the role of Executive Director of KACS in July 2019. She holds a Master of Science in Professional Leadership with a focus on non-profits and a degree in Legal Studies. Leah has more than 25 years of successful experience leading both small and complex nonprofit organizations, developing initiatives that have led to transformative change. She has also been a life-long volunteer assisting people in recovery from addiction and those facing issues of poverty. Her passion is to create collaborative relationships in order to build up communities so they, in turn, can build up the people in them. This has been a career as well as a personal pursuit. 
September 22 Meeting in Anson Nixon Park Bob Merkle 2020-09-20 04:00:00Z 0

BRAFFLE - Branford Rotary's Outrageous Restaurant Raffle

There is a Rotary Club in Branford Connecticut that saw a problem in their community – not at all unlike what is going on here.  This is the story of how they met the challenge with a most unusual combination of fund raising, and community support. This week's speaker is a member of their club – and the story of how every Club can make a difference in their community.

So far Braffle has raised more than $73,000 to help Branford restaurants and struggling local families by Rotary building a partnership with Branford Counseling & Community Services and local restaurants.

BRAFFLE - Branford Rotary's Outrageous Restaurant Raffle Bob Merkle 2020-09-13 04:00:00Z 0

Miniature Trains and Towns of PA

Ron Hoess is a retired molecular biologist who was a researcher at DuPont and Bristol Myers. Since his retirement Ron has pursued his interest in both trains and Philadelphia industrial history.  Currently he has combined these interests in constructing a train layout that depicts North Philadelphia circa 1958.  Using a variety of archival resources all the structures are being scratch built in order to accurately portray this area of Philadelphia.
Miniature Trains and Towns of PA Bob Merkle 2020-09-07 04:00:00Z 0

Thank You from The Garage Community and Youth Center 

story thumbnail
The Garage Community & Youth Center’s students and families exist in a reality where they are marginalized due to race, socio economic status, language barriers, and other contributing factors. The shutdowns related to COVID-19 have only compounded the daily struggles faced by families in our community and have made everyday existence difficult and uncertain.
Through the generous funding provided by The Longwood Rotary, The  Garage was able to work with the Kennett Consolidated School District to distribute essential school lunches to the community youth who have been displaced due to COVID-19 school closures. Without these deliveries, a significant population of the Kennett Consolidated School District would be denied essential daily nutrition.
The Garage was able to distribute over 3,500 lunches (100 per day) to 40 community households, Mondays through Thursday for 7 weeks. Through the time, energy, and efforts of staff and volunteers and the financial support of funders including Longwood Rotary. The funding provided allowed The Garage to support the salaries of staff members who were present on the front lines of this project and provide appreciation to the volunteers through gift card purchases.
The Garage and its families are extremely grateful to community partners such as Longwood Rotary for providing funds and support to ensure this program’s success.
On Behalf of our Board, Staff, and Families, Thank You!
Thank You from The Garage Community and Youth Center Bob Merkle 2020-08-30 04:00:00Z 0

First LIVE Meeting in 6 Months!

THIS WEEK we are meeting in Anson B Nixon Park starts at 7 AM, but we welcome arrivals as early as 6:30. Enter the park's main entrance and drive through the intersection in the park. A greeter will direct you to parking. Remember your masks, chair, and whatever refreshments you wish to bring with you (of course, that are acceptable in the park!!)  
If weather is an issue, we will not meet at all on September 3 and we will reschedule our outdoor meeting venue.
  • First 15 minutes or so, time to socialize
  • The program includes the following:  John Marble, our Sergeant of Arms will be our MC; we will give out Paul Harris pins and awards for those who attend that have earned them; we will celebrate the July, August and September birthdays of our members who are in attendance; Richard Lyons will speak briefly about Kacie's Cause; an open mic for those who wish to share any experiences.
Please email Vicky Gehrt,, to let her know you are coming. 
First LIVE Meeting in 6 Months! Bob Merkle 2020-08-30 04:00:00Z 0

How are Kennett Square Restaurants Doing? 

Ahmed Chraga will update us on the current retail and restaurant world through his in depth experience. As an entrepreneur and restaurateur, Ahmed founded and is the CEO of Byrsa Bistro, and Byrsa Winery. He is also co-owner of The Sporting Gentleman, the Orvis store in Glen Mills. 
How are Kennett Square Restaurants Doing? Bob Merkle 2020-08-24 04:00:00Z 0

Local School District Reopening Plans

School Superintendents Dusty Blakey and John Sanville will discuss plans for their respective school systems to reopen this fall. Each has been designed to meet the needs of their unique school districts. 
Local School District Reopening Plans Bob Merkle 2020-08-17 04:00:00Z 0

Water is Life Kenya, (WILK)

Joyce Tannian is the Founder of Water is Life Kenya, (WILK) a DE non-profit organization. While working as a volunteer in Kenya in 2006, Joyce saw the glaring need for clean, accessible, and dependable water in rural communities in southern Kenya, and took action. Today, Water is Life Kenya’s 23 major water projects provide clean water to more than 55,000 people, transforming their lives.

An innovator and creator, Joyce and her team went on to develop WILK’s Livestock as a Business program, which increases incomes by training farmers in improved livestock keeping. Higher incomes, plus effective local water management committees trained by WILK, ensure a consistent clean water supply,

Water is Life Kenya then started the Fair Trade Certified beaded handicrafts business, bringing additional income to dozens of families. Profits help fund WILK’s clean water projects.

To learn how Joyce got started, watch her Tedx talk “Singing Water out of the Ground in Kenya.”

Water is Life Kenya, (WILK) Bob Merkle 2020-08-09 04:00:00Z 0

2020 - 2021 Rotary Budget Discussions

Our meeting on July 30 will be focused on two budget presentations.  The first will be Jeff Cyron and Vicki Gehrt presenting the Club budget for 2020-21 and the second will be Rob Newman, who will present the Club Foundation budget for 2020-21.  
Come - Listen - Ask us Questions!  These budgets are "ours" collectively and you need to have a deep understanding of our income and expenditures and the opportunity to ask questions.
2020 - 2021 Rotary Budget Discussions 2020-07-27 04:00:00Z 0

Cathy Davis and Hosts for Hospitals

HOSTS for HOSPITALS (HfH) is a nonprofit agency now in its 21st year of operations. HfH provides deeply discounted lodging as a caring response to the housing needs of patients and their families who come to Greater Philadelphia for specialized medical care. The housing needs are met through the use of volunteer-Host and Private-Setting homes. 
Cathy Davis was born and raised in Philadelphia and now resides in West Mt Airy with her husband and 3 daughters. She is an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill where she co-chaired the Outreach Committee for 5 years. This gave her the opportunity to work with HOSTS for HOSPITALS as well as other local non-profits. Cathy and her family have been HOSTS for 13 years and often take International students as well. “Hosting families in need made every day a teaching moment in our house. Our children witnessed how people all over the world can become unified when faced with challenging medical situations. We taught them what a difference showing kindness and hospitality makes in the world!”
Cathy Davis and Hosts for Hospitals Bob Merkle 2020-07-20 04:00:00Z 0

Southern Chester County Business Conditions

Ms. Cheryl Kuhn. President and CEO of the Chester County Chamber of Commerce, will give us an update on how our local businesses are faring now that we are in the Green Phase.
Southern Chester County Business Conditions merk 2020-07-12 04:00:00Z 0

Payroll Protection Program Improves Again

The SBA has released a new application form for forgiveness of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The instructions provide some clarity regarding the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 that was signed by the president on June 5th 2020. The most significant changes were the extension of the eight week covered period to twenty four weeks and the reduction of the payroll requirement from 75% to 60%. Borrowers can choose whether to use the eight week or twenty four week periods.

The interpretation by some that the 60% payroll requirement was a "cliff" is not correct. This means failure to have 60% of your loan amount in eligible payroll costs will not cause the borrower to lose all forgiveness. Forgiveness will be prorated so that payroll will make up 60% of the forgiven amount.

One of the key takeaways from the updated instructions is the individual limitation for payroll costs ($100,000 annualized) increased substantially with the longer covered period ($15,385 for the 8 week covered period and $46,154 for the 24 week covered period). The limitation for owners (owner-employees, self-employed individuals, or general partners) using a 24 week covered period is capped at $20,833 or the 2.5 month equivalent of their applicable compensation in 2019. For borrowers using an 8-week covered period the cap is $15,385 or the eight week equivalent from 2019. The owner payroll limitation prevents the borrower from increasing the owners pay in 2020, however there are no similar rules related to family members or other related parties.

The forgiveness amount can be reduced by a Salary/Hourly Wage Reduction or by a Full Time Equivalency (FTE) Reduction Calculation.

  • The Salary/Hourly Wage reduction only applies if an employee's salary or rate was reduced. It does not apply if an employee's total pay reduced because of reduced hours.
  • The FTE reduction still applies, however it includes some notable exceptions. There is still an exception if the FTEs reduced but were later restored by the date the forgiveness application is submitted. There is now an additional exception if the borrower was unable to operate at the same level of business activity due to compliance with requirements of certain government agencies for social distancing and other safety requirements related to COVID-19. This new exception provides much needed relief for businesses that have had to close or alter their business to comply with government mandates.

There is an EZ application form for borrowers who have no employees or did not reduce their FTE count or meet one of the exceptions to the FTE rules. It is essentially the same application without the FTE forms.

Applications will be submitted through your lender many of whom are expected to create online portals. At this point, most lenders are not ready to accept applications for forgiveness. Documentation will need to be submitted to the lender with the application including payroll reports, payroll tax forms, lease agreements, cancelled checks and invoices for payment of utilities, health insurance and retirement benefits. Additional documentation is required to be maintained by the borrower, including documentation of Wage/Salary information and documents supporting FTE exceptions.

With the changes, most businesses should have no issue attaining full forgiveness. If restrictions can be lifted in the near term, we hope that these funds will allow small businesses to recover quickly.

Again, thanks to Fenstermacher and Co. for the information in this article. 

Payroll Protection Program Improves Again Bob Merkle 2020-06-21 04:00:00Z 0

Merck Manuals Explained

Dr. Robert S. Porter, editor-in-chief of The Merck Manuals, the internationally recognized medical reference books published by the American pharmaceutical company Merck & Co., explained how the manuals were developed and are maintained as a primary reference source for the medical community as well as consumers throughout the world. Under Dr. Porter's direction the manuals transitioned from print books to online references in both professional and consumer editions
Go here for the full story. 
Merck Manuals Explained Bob Merkle 2020-06-21 04:00:00Z 0

Celebrate the Annual Renewal of Longwood Rotary Club

Our June 25th meeting will be a celebration of the successful, if very different, Rotary year we are concluding and the club members who made it successful. This will be followed by the installation of our Officers and Directors for the Rotary year 2020/2021
Celebrate the Annual Renewal of Longwood Rotary Club Bob Merkle 2020-06-21 04:00:00Z 0
Learn about the Brandywine Conservancy's Work Bob Merkle 2020-06-15 04:00:00Z 0

What is the Merck Manual?

Dr. Robert S. Porter is editor-in-chief of The Merck Manuals, a role he has filled since 2006, having joined Merck in 2001. Prior to that, Rob was in the practice of Emergency Medicine at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA. He is Clinical Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University, where he has been on the faculty since 1984. He received his MD from Hahnemann University in 1980 and is a graduate of Duke University.
Dr. Porter will help us understand the uses and sources of information in the Merck Manual, which has been the authoritative reference of current medical information for both physicians and individuals around the world for over 100 years. 
What is the Merck Manual? Bob Merkle 2020-06-15 04:00:00Z 0

Learn about the Brandywine Conservancy

Ellen M. Ferretti, our speaker for June 11, was named the director of the Brandywine Conservancy in June 2016. She brought more than 30 years of natural resource management and conservation/environmental experience with her to the Conservancy. She served as Secretary for Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and Deputy Secretary for Parks and Forestry for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Under her leadership, land conservation was a key priority and, working closely with staff and stakeholders, significant natural areas were protected as public lands. She also has proven success in land use planning, partnerships and collaborations, and fiscal management and operations.
Ferretti oversees the conservancy’s important work to protect water, preserve land, and engage communities. The organization’s three programs—Land Conservation, Land Stewardship, and Municipal Assistance—are renowned for their multi-tiered approach to conservation through working with private landowners who wish to see their lands protected forever, and providing innovative community planning services to municipalities and other government agencies. She is a graduate of Wilkes College with a BS in Environmental Science.
Learn about the Brandywine Conservancy Bob Merkle 2020-06-07 04:00:00Z 0
Kate Danaker of the Square Roots Collective Bob Merkle 2020-05-31 04:00:00Z 0

Paid Temporary Drivers Needed

The Square Roots Collective needs drivers for 15 passenger vans (no special license needed) to deliver meals to various food distribution sites in the community. The Program runs from June 8th to August 8th ( 8 weeks), Monday through Thursday working from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM. Drivers will be paid $10 per hour. If  you or someone you know can help out a lot or a little please contact Kate Daneker at 484-678-3889 or
Paid Temporary Drivers Needed Bob Merkle 2020-05-31 04:00:00Z 0

2020/2021 Officer Induction Ceremony 

The induction of Vicki Gehrt as our President and her supporting Officers and Directors will be Thursday June 25th at 7 AM via our Zoom meeting. We will celebrate the new Rotary term with President Gehrt and her Board of Directors as we hear about the club's goals for the 2020-2021 year.
2020/2021 Officer Induction Ceremony Bob Merkle 2020-05-31 04:00:00Z 0

Our New Normal Meetings

Starting this week we will be changing our meeting time a bit. Meetings as of Thursday June 4 will start at 7 AM every week. The meetings will continue to be conducted through Zoom for now. 
NEW MEETING FEATURE: At the end of each meeting we will pick a member's name to win a free full AUTO DETAILING  service done at your location. The only requirement to win is you must still be on the Zoom meeting to win. 
Our New Normal Meetings Bob Merkle 2020-05-31 04:00:00Z 0

Meet Our Students of the Quarter Live!

In our first live Zoom meeting you will get to meet our new students of the Quarter from both the Kennett and Unionville High Schools. You will be able to ask questions of the students at the end of their presentation as you always can. 
You will receive the link to access our Zoom meeting Wednesday in an email. Simply clock on the link and you will be taken to the meeting. If you are not a Zoom user, leave about 5 minutes for the Zoom add-in to be downloaded and installed on your computer or smart phone. Our meeting will start promptly at 7:30 AM. 
Meet Our Students of the Quarter Live! merk 2020-05-25 04:00:00Z 0

May 29 - a LIVE Longwood Rotary Meeting

We’ll join together via Zoom for our first LIVE online weekly Longwood Rotary Club meeting on Thursday, May 29. We’ll start with our usual bell ring at 7:30 AM. NOTE Pajamas are acceptable attire
May 29 - a LIVE Longwood Rotary Meeting Bob Merkle 2020-05-18 04:00:00Z 0

How Does Medical Research Work Anyway? 

This week, Rob Newman (upcoming President of the Longwood Rotary Foundation) will share his professional expertise on the science behind the medical research we hear so much about these days. Watch Rob’s fascinating story to help us better understand the technical, scientific and timeline challenges ahead between now and a future COVID-19 vaccine.
PLUS, Jordan Gushurst will present part 2 of 3 about Longwood Rotary’s transportation improvement initiative.
How Does Medical Research Work Anyway? Bob Merkle 2020-05-17 04:00:00Z 0

May 14 Home Edition Features

Our speaker this week will be Raina Ainslie who manages the Raised Garden Program for the Chester County Food Bank. the Garden consists  1000 raised beds that have historically provided 33% of the food the Food Bank distributes to their network of food cupboards, meal sites and social service organizations. Currently less than half of the gardens are available due to COVID-19.  Please join us to learn how our “Service Above Self” efforts can help increase the raised garden food supply in our area and in your own neighborhood or home.  
Plus, a cool video produced by our Unionville High School Interact Club reviews their accomplishment during the 2019-2020; and enjoy some Mother’s Day selfie pics sent in by ALL of you. 
May 14 Home Edition Features Bob Merkle 2020-05-11 04:00:00Z 0

Drs. Blakey and Sanville on how Covid-19 impacted education

As we know from our families, friends and newscasts, education went virtual overnight thanks to Covid-19. One of the fastest and largest changes in education ever. Drs. John Sanville and Dusty Blakey will share “what’s happening” in our area with students, teachers, staff, online learning, grade points, college plans, events, graduations and proms. Join us for a lively and informative discussion from our educational leaders.  
Drs. Blakey and Sanville on how Covid-19 impacted education Bob Merkle 2020-05-03 04:00:00Z 0

April 30 Home Edition Features

Matt Eick, EMS Captain at Longwood Fire co, will update us on the impact of Covid-19 on their work. 
Vicki Gehrt, President of the Longwood Rotary Foundation, will tell us the Foundation Board's plans for the remainder of the year, and recent donations made. 
April 30 Home Edition Features Bob Merkle 2020-04-26 04:00:00Z 0
April 23 Home Edition Featuring Paul Redmond Bob Merkle 2020-04-20 04:00:00Z 0

April 30, 2020 Home Edition

Our featured speaker this week is Matt Eick, the EMS Captain at the Longwood Fire Company. It will be an interesting view on the impact of Covid-19. 
April 30, 2020 Home Edition Bob Merkle 2020-04-19 04:00:00Z 0

Rotoplast 2020

Paul Quintavalla, a former District Governor, will update us on how Rotoplast will operate in this most unusual year. 
Rotoplast 2020 merk 2020-04-13 04:00:00Z 0

Current State of Nonprofits in Southern Chester County

Our featured speaker this week will be Carrie Freeman, Executive Director of the United Way of Southern Chester County, who will share how our community non-profits are helping those in need in our area at this time.
Carrie is very much on top of the impact the corona virus is having on our nonprofits through regular weekly conversations with them, and her participation in a county wide committee that is managing the funds made available through the recent Congressional action. 
Current State of Nonprofits in Southern Chester County Bob Merkle 2020-04-06 04:00:00Z 0

Mike Duncan

Michael Duncan is a 1978 graduate of the United States Naval Academy with a degree in Engineering Physics.  His naval career as a nuclear engineer included a tour on a fast attack submarine, followed by an academic appointment at The Naval Submarine School where he served as a tactics instructor for senior officers. 
A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Mike entered the developing field of managed health care in the late 1980’s and was asked to run his first HMO in 1989.  In this capacity, Mike focused on new models for health care delivery, including the application of managed care principles to rural and frontier communities.  He was active in the health care reform movement in the early 1990’s.
Since 1995, Mike has served as Chief Executive Office of three large academic physician groups - Columbia Doctors, a 1,400 member physician group at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Temple University Physicians, and the University of Oklahoma Physicians.  He also led a startup Medicaid HMO, served as CEO of a Rehab Hospital and was President of a Physician Hospital Organization during the course of his career.
In May of 2011, Mike joined the Chester County Hospital and Health System as President and Chief Executive Officer.  This organization, nationally recognized for low-cost, high-quality patient care, is now a member of the University of Pennsylvania Health System/Penn Medicine. 
Mike’s management philosophy is “Love People, Expect Excellence.”
Mike Duncan Bob Merkle 2020-03-28 04:00:00Z 0

Speakers List Inaccurate

Please ignore the Speakers list below. It will not be updated until we have dates for resuming our regular meetings. The erroneous information has been kept in the newsletter as a space holder. 
Speakers List Inaccurate Bob Merkle 2020-03-24 04:00:00Z 0

March 19 Meeting Cancelled

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.
March 19 Meeting Cancelled Bob Merkle 2020-03-15 04:00:00Z 0

Deena Jones, Gundaker Foundation

Deena is the Gundaker Foundation President for 2019 to 2020. She has spent 7 years in rotary and involved in countless positions within her rotary clubs over that time. Through invitation from Jay Childress, she was asked to join on as part of Gundaker on behalf of their local rotary club, and the rest is history. The Gundaker Foundation’s mission is to provide and match grants within the community to support district club efforts, which was a driving factor in her involvement and now leadership for the Foundation. 
Deena is an owner of two Servpro franchises alongside her husband, Kevin. She is a loving mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend to many in her large family
Deena Jones, Gundaker Foundation Bob Merkle 2020-03-10 04:00:00Z 0

Sue Minarchi, Executive Director of Family Promise

Sue Minarchi has been Executive Director of Family Promise of Southern Chester County since its founding in 2015.
Sue's executive experience in the nonprofit sector includes over 10 years as president of the board of directors of the Christian C. Sanderson Museum in Chadds Ford. Her business career includes 15 years at DePuy Synthes Companies, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Sue held a variety of roles at DePuy, including leading project teams involved in the design, marketing, and manufacturing of orthopedic medical devices. Prior to J&J, Sue led the marketing efforts for five office product lines at Ricoh Corporation for 13 years.
Sue Minarchi, Executive Director of Family Promise Bob Merkle 2020-03-01 05:00:00Z 0

Outlook of Kennett Square

Matt Fetick, a lifelong resident of Chester County, is the mayor of the Borough of Kennett Square and will discuss hte future outlook for the borough with us. Matt is in his 3rd term as Mayor of Kennett Square, and takes great pride in being able to serve his neighbors and support his town.

Matt kicked off his professional career as a paramedic and then served as a police officer for nearly 10 years. Following his career as a first responder, Matt launched his real estate business in 2005. Today that business includes real estate sales in Chester County, Real Estate brokerages in Delaware, Maryland and London England with over 650 agents and nearly $2.4b in annual sales. In addition, Matt owns supporting businesses including a mortgage company, title insurance agency, short and long term rentals, and his newly launched property and casualty insurance agency. Matt continues to serve several non-profits.

Outlook of Kennett Square Bob Merkle 2020-02-16 05:00:00Z 0

Student of the Quarter Expands

For the first time we will be recognizing a student of the Quarter from both Unionville and Kennett High Schools at our meeting this week, February 13. 
Student of the Quarter Expands Bob Merkle 2020-02-09 05:00:00Z 0

Elder Abuse and Fraud

Victoria Long, our speaker this week, joined SeniorLAW Center in April 2019 as an Elder Victim Legal Advocate for Chester County in their newly opened office in West Chester, Pennsylvania. In that role, Victoria helps with representation, education and advocacy for victims of elder abuse and financial exploitation in Chester County.
Victoria has an Associates’ of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies from Philadelphia County Community College. She previously worked as a Property Manager where she successfully set up multiple affordable housing programs for Seniors, Veterans, Refugees, and the LGBTQ+ community.
Elder Abuse and Fraud Bob Merkle 2020-02-02 05:00:00Z 0

Eden Ratliff - Kennett Township Manager

Eden Ratliff is the newly appointed Township Manager of Kennett Township, PA. As an Eagle Scout and accomplished public servant, he has dedicated his professional career to improving municipal governments to efficiently deliver public services while meeting the needs and strategic vision of a community.
The opportunity to rebuild police departments focused on proactive engagement and community policing are just some of the examples of how Eden has has met community needs through innovative management. He is passionate about public utilities as public goods including water, wastewater, and stormwater. In September Eden testified in front of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee to advocate for Commonwealth citizens who face increasing costs relative to stormwater management.
Eden is a Chester County native and holds a bachelors in Political Science, a masters in Employment and Labor Relations, and is wrapping up a masters in Public Management. Eden looks forward to talking about his strategic vision for the community and the community’s role in accomplishing that vision.
Eden Ratliff - Kennett Township Manager Bob Merkle 2020-01-27 05:00:00Z 0

Who  are Our Immigrant Neighbors?

Nancy Ayllon-Ramirez is an Immigration Attorney who is passionate about sharing her immigrant experience with others in an effort to break down barriers that divide our communities. Nancy will share important topics our club should consider as we develop our initiatives that came from the community needs assessment. Aside from the legal concepts of immigration, this conversations will serve as a cultural educational opportunity. 

Nancy has been a Longwood Rotary member since June 2019, but a community member since 1993. 

Who are Our Immigrant Neighbors? merk 2020-01-19 05:00:00Z 0

The Health of the Orchestral Art Form in the United States and How the Kennett Symphony Compares

This week we look at the field of the orchestral arts; test your knowledge of the art form (it will be fun!); hear a performance by a professional musician (it will be inspiring!); and Enter To Win for your chance to be a part of the orchestral art form right here in Chester County (if you win, the performance will amaze you!).
The Kennett Symphony provides the musical landscape of an historic region renowned for the arts. Founded in 1940, the Symphony is a professional orchestra that serves all ages who want music to enrich their lives, and who want to experience the world of music through a fresh approach to classical and contemporary symphonic works. The Kennett Symphony creates an inclusive and engaging environment that allows everyone to share in the uplifting experience of quality live symphonic music in an approachable and affordable way.
Monica Buffington, our speaker and Executive Director of the Kennett Symphony has cultivated a multifaceted career in music including work as an arts administrator, performer, educator, and governance partner.  As Executive Director of the Kennett Symphony, her strategic vision and implementation has lead the organization through a successful turnaround in all areas of its business. Monica serves as Principal Flute of the Kennett Symphony and is Co-Principal Flute of the Bay Atlantic Symphony Orchestra. She maintains two teaching studios and performs chamber music in the tri-state area for her event music company. Monica holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from West Chester University, and is a summa cum laude graduate of Yale University where she studied on full scholarship for her Masters. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Fundraising Executives, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Pennsylvania Resources Council, and is a member of the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce. 
The Health of the Orchestral Art Form in the United States and How the Kennett Symphony Compares Bob Merkle 2020-01-12 05:00:00Z 0
January 16 Meeting Location Bob Merkle 2020-01-05 05:00:00Z 0

District Governor Mardinly JOIning Us

District Governor Peter Mardinly will join us at our meeting this week in the Terrace Restaurant Terra Cotta Room (our usual meeting room) to give us an update on the District and Rotary activities. 
District Governor Mardinly JOIning Us Bob Merkle 2020-01-05 05:00:00Z 0

2019 Holiday Season Meeting Schedule

We have no meeting on December 26, 2019 and January 2, 2020.
Our next meeting will be January 9, 2020, when District Governor Peter Mardinly will visit our club. 
The next Longwood Rotary E-News will be published January 7, 2020. 
Have a wonderful and safe Holida. 
2019 Holiday Season Meeting Schedule Bob Merkle 2019-12-22 05:00:00Z 0

Longwood Christmas Planning

Ever wonder how Longwood Gardens transforms itself for Christmas every year? Jim Sutton, a lead display planner, will explain how the magic really works. 
Longwood Christmas Planning Bob Merkle 2019-12-15 05:00:00Z 0

2020 Census

The census experiences a low response rate in the Kennett Square area. Since Joy Dvornicich feels the Census is a good way to bring in much needed funds to help Pennsylvania sustain and build healthy and successful communities she left the VA recently to work on the 2020 Census. Joy will speak about how we can work together to inform the public and encourage a complete response to the 2020 census. There are $675 billion dollars which will be distributed to the states in the next ten years based on these numbers.

Joy has worked for the federal government for over 20 years. She is a U.S. Navy veteran, worked for the CDC for 5 years as a microbiologist in the Pennsylvania state bioterrorism laboratory, and worked 10 years for the Veterans Administration as an emergency manager. She earned her MPH from West Chester University and is earning her Ph.D. in Public Administration/Public Policy with a concentration in Emergency Management now.

2020 Census Bob Merkle 2019-12-15 05:00:00Z 0
Introducing our Student of the Quarter Bob Merkle 2019-12-08 05:00:00Z 0

Good Neighbors Home Repair

Good Neighbors Home Repair has been serving low-income families of Southern Chester County with critical home repairs for 28 years.  The work is done at no cost to the homeowner.  The repairs are done to make the home "warmer, safer, drier and healthier".  Examples of repairs made include roofs, windows, siding, heating systems, water heaters, repairing porches and steps, and critical electrical and plumbing repairs.  Three years ago Good Neighbors expanded into New Castle County because there was a severe need.  This year, Good Neighbors will serve 80 families in each county.  We are supported by grants and donations and our budget is $700K.
Harold Naylor is the Executive Director.  He has had 20 years of non-profit leadership experience following a career in DuPont and other companies.  Harold also serves on the board of A Door of Hope pregnancy care center in Wilmington, and an elder at Faith Presbyterian Church.  He and his wife, Cynthia, have 4 adult children and live in North Wilmington
Good Neighbors Home Repair Bob Merkle 2019-12-01 05:00:00Z 0

Gifts for Holiday Hope Chest collected December 5

Project “Holiday Hope Chest” is a grass roots project that offers needy area residents an opportunity to shop for free for the holidays. A “store” is set up for one day at the Pennock’s Bridge campus of he Technical High School. The store includes an inventory of new items including toys, games and clothing that are available to shoppers at greatly reduced prices. Each shopper is given a Holiday Hope Chest voucher with which items are purchased.
Eligible participants are selected by community agencies including Head Start, Family Promise and the Carter Community Development Corporation, just to name a few. Since its inception in 2014, Holiday Hope Chest has grown steadily and served more than 200 families last year alone.  
Please bring toys for the age group of 5 years to 12 years for the Holiday Hope Chest. They will be collected as you enter Longwood Gardens. 
Gifts for Holiday Hope Chest collected December 5 Bob Merkle 2019-11-25 05:00:00Z 0

Happy Thanksgiving

Have a great Thanksgiving with family and friends after a lazy start to your Thursday!
Happy Thanksgiving Bob Merkle 2019-11-25 05:00:00Z 0

2020 RYLA Nominations Due

Ethel Ann Murphy announced it is time to nominate high school sophomores to attend the 2020 RYLA program, which will be February 7 through 9. If you know of a candidate please let her know by December 24. 
2020 RYLA Nominations Due Bob Merkle 2019-11-17 05:00:00Z 0

Roses for Sale

The frost took all the blooms in your garden, but the Haverford Rotary club's annual rose sale will be taking place at our club on November 14. Buy some and bring the beauty of flowers back into your home! 
Roses for Sale Bob Merkle 2019-11-10 05:00:00Z 0

Angel Flight East

Ellen Weber is the Executive Director of Angel Flight East, where she directs operations and fund raising to provide free air transportation to meet the medical needs of hundreds of children and adults annually throughout the Northeastern United States, and facilitates partnerships with other volunteer pilot organizations. 
Ellen has managed teams and community programs for regional chapters of national organizations including Boy Scouts of America and United Way, leading capital and work place giving programs in excess of $5,000,000. She has been recognized by the Boy Scouts of America for its National Marketing Award and is a member of the Rotary Club of Chestnut Hill. 
Angel Flight East Bob Merkle 2019-11-04 05:00:00Z 0

Family Lives On

Family Lives On Foundation supports the lifelong emotional well-being of children children ages 3-18 whose mother or father has died by helping them continue cherished family traditions. The Tradition Program provides opportunities for intentional remembering, creating a safe haven for grief, communication and celebration.
Family Lives On staff have 3 – 6 therapeutic touch points with every family, the first when they enroll. At this session, a Family Service Coordinator and trained volunteer conduct a “Family Meeting” with the children and surviving parent or guardian to discuss traditions that the child shared with his or her deceased parent.  This process not only conveys to the family the value of remembering, but also helps the child/teen to choose a tradition that he/she wants to continue. Family Lives On then arranges, pays for, and ships the items identified within the tradition request directly to the child on an annual basis for a period of 5 years or until he or she turns 18.
Celebrating a unique experience the child had with their deceased parent, is a powerful holistic therapy that focuses on maintaining necessary emotional bonds with mom or dad, helping them move forward into the future.
Tanna Wagner, the Development Manager at Family Lives On Foundation, will explain the entire program for us. Tanna and her husband, Erik, live in Douglassville, PA. They have two grown children – Andrew and his wife, Taylor, who live in Wyomissing, PA; and their daughter, Allie, who lives in Annapolis, MD. Tanna enjoys good food, practices yoga, enjoys walking, biking, hiking, kayaking, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
Family Lives On Bob Merkle 2019-10-27 04:00:00Z 0

I Saved 100

Dare to Dream, End Polio Now pins, which feature the phrase "I Saved 100"  will be available for purchase for $20. Every pin bought buys 100 polio vaccinations. 
I Saved 100 Bob Merkle 2019-10-27 04:00:00Z 0

Donations for KACS

Food donations and Happy dollars will continue for KASC this Thursday.
Last week's results:  247 lbs of food collected and $300 Happy dollars to which the Foundation added $200. The total of $500 will buy 20 additional $25 Giant gift cards. 
Donations for KACS Bob Merkle 2019-10-20 04:00:00Z 0

Nuclear Energy – The Bridge to a Clean Energy Future

Charlotte Geiger feels nuclear energy is a bridge to our clean energy future. Nuclear energy also benefits the communities and states that supports it. What in the current economic climate is forcing the premature closure of nuclear generating stations, including Three Mile Island Unit 1, which permanently shutdown on September 20th of this year? 
Our speaker will be Charlotte Geiger, has been in the nuclear industry for over 36 years and lived in the Kennett Square area for over 22 years.  She works for Exelon Generation in the nuclear generation group and has supported a variety of engineering projects for those generating facilities.  She has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and is a Professional Engineer licensed in Pennsylvania.  She also is a mother of two young men, Matt and Garrett, who graduated from Unionville-Chadds Ford High School and are now married and starting families of their own.  She has one grandchild, Jimmy.  Charlotte is a firm believer that nuclear generation must continue to be used to support the clean energy goals of the country, and hopes that one day there will be new nuclear plants being built in the United States (besides the two under construction in Georgia), instead of the current trend of decommissioning our existing facilities.
Nuclear Energy – The Bridge to a Clean Energy Future Bob Merkle 2019-10-13 04:00:00Z 0

Second Quarter 2019/20 Invoices

By now you should have received your second quarter invoice. Please pay electronically through the QuickBooks link by the due date, 12/11/2019
Second Quarter 2019/20 Invoices Bob Merkle 2019-10-13 04:00:00Z 0

Teen Mental Health

Jeff Goodwin's two sons suffer from significant mental health issues.  As a result, he has spent years navigating our current mental health system.  "The key barriers to care for us and many families are access, stigma, and cost. The average delay between onset of mental health symptoms and clinical intervention is 8 to 10 years for teens and young adults." 
Jeff hopes to offer a way of eliminating some of these barriers by developing a platform that links licensed counselors with teens and young adults suffering from depression, anxiety, and addiction.  
Jeff looks forward to sharing his thoughts as a parent of children with mental health disorders, what they could have done differently, and how they may be able to help others to make a difference. 
Jeff has lived in Chester County for the past 25 years with his wife and three children.  His background is in Healthcare IT and he has owned a healthcare IT consulting firm.
Teen Mental Health Bob Merkle 2019-10-06 04:00:00Z 0

The Barn at Spring Brook Farm

The Barn and its programs annually serve over 350 children with disabilities between the ages of 2 and 12 through Individual Programs, Camp Geronimo, field trips and free Socialization Events involving animal assisted experiences. The Barn is reliant upon the generosity of volunteers throughout the region for its success. 
Nan Latona is the Executive Director of The Barn at Spring Brook Farm. Although she is new to The Barn, Nan brings 20 years of experience working with and for nonprofit organizations throughout the Greater Philadelphia area.
The Barn at Spring Brook Farm Bob Merkle 2019-09-15 04:00:00Z 0
Representative Christina Sappey Speaking Bob Merkle 2019-09-08 04:00:00Z 0

Unionville Community Fair

This year will be the 95th Unionville Fair, and our speakers hope you will visit and/or volunteer. Our speakers include Annaliese Rizzo, this years Queen of the Fair. Annaliese is a graduate of Avon Grove High School & the Chester County Technical High School in West Grove. Annaliese was in the Animal Science Program at CCTHS. Annaliese will speak about her experience competing in the Queen Program and what it has done for her personal growth, meeting new people, the exciting new events at the Fair, and the need for volunteers. 
Debbie Pritchard has been Director of the Unionville Fair for many years and always attends the State Competition with the Queen in January, giving advice on hair, dress style and coaching for the speech the Queen of each Fair is required to give before a panel of judges.  She is a wonderful advocate for the program and loves to see how each young lady grows and progresses through this experience.
Bonnie Musser is the President of the Unoinville Fair. She and Debbie have been involved with the Fair as long as they can remember, and are passionate about the Fair. They work to promote what it stands for and its importance to the community in its mission to showcase and educate visitors about the importance of agriculture in Pennsylvania and how it affects all of us.
Unionville Community Fair Bob Merkle 2019-08-31 04:00:00Z 0

Adverse Childhood Experiences

According to a joint discovery by the CDC and Kaiser Permenente in the mid 1990’s, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are one of the greatest threats to public health we face today.

Exposure to childhood traumas dramatically increases the risk for 7 out of 10 of the leading causes of death in the United States. This is because the brain and body experience traumatic events in way that prevents the formation of coherent memories. This prevents the victim’s ability to recount, reflect and make meaning of their experience. Traumatic events often leave victims isolated in confusion because they cannot recount the event without reliving it, which is a symptom of PTSD. Victims of trauma require non-conventional interventions for healing.

Art in general, but theater, the dramatic enactment of traumatic stories in particular, is a powerful medium for victims of trauma in their pursuit of peace, understanding and wholeness. 

Rev. Yung Me Suh Morris is an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). She employs Trauma Theory as an interpretive lens to read the Biblical Narratives. She understands it as a book written by a people who have endured unspeakable trauma to provide a record of thanksgiving for their survival and a poetic dream for a future that does not yet exist.
Adverse Childhood Experiences Bob Merkle 2019-08-24 04:00:00Z 0

Rice Donation for the Food Cupboard

Kennett Area Community Service, our local food cupboard, notified us they have an urgent need for 1 LB bags of rice. During the next 2 meetings Bonnie Korengel will have her car outside of the Visitor Center to collect donations. 
Thank you for helping with this urgent need. 
Rice Donation for the Food Cupboard Bob Merkle 2019-08-18 04:00:00Z 0

2019 Housing Initiative Vote

The specific ask of the club ( and voting question) is to authorize the Longwood Rotary Foundation to release funds during the 2019-2020 Rotary fiscal year for the following:
1)  $8000 to  Good Neighbors projects using the new model  that Longwood has developed with Good Neighbors, which combines both project funding and volunteer labor for ongoing small projects that Longwood would manage under the Good Neighbors umbrella. The funds are expected to be used for a number of as yet undefined projects. 
2) $10,000 to fund the Habitat for Humanity interest payment on their construction loan for 5 housing units in West Grove. The money will be released in two separate $5000 amounts. The first $5,000 will be paid after the full $50,000 needed for interest payments is funded. The second $5,000 will be released based on construction work progress. Our funds ($10,000) will be held in escrow until the payment conditions are met.
Longwood Rotary Foundation's 2019-2020 approved budget includes a line item for Housing of $18,000. So this vote will approve releasing the money as it is needed.
Foundation By laws require that any funding greater than $5000 be approved by the Club. The vote ( paper ballot) at our 8/22 meeting will require a quorum (44 members) be present to be held, and a majority vote is needed for approval. If you cannot attend the meeting and would like to vote please send me a yes or no vote via email to Bob Curran.
2019 Housing Initiative Vote Bob Merkle 2019-08-18 04:00:00Z 0

Painless Donations to Longwood Rotary Foundation

Remember when you are shopping on Amazon for back to school purchases, birthdays, holidays or anything else, to go to and select Longwood Rotary as the non-profit you want to support. Then 0.5% of your qualifying purchase value will be donated to our Foundation, costing you nothing. We collect a few hundred dollars per year already, and would love to see that amount grow.
Painless Donations to Longwood Rotary Foundation Bob Merkle 2019-08-18 04:00:00Z 0

The Current State on Bees and other Pollinators

Brenda's Troutman's interest in gardening began at a young age when she started helping her dad in the vegetable garden. As time went on the garden became hers since none of her five siblings had any interest in it. She expanded the garden to about ½ acre, feeding her family of nine plus producing enough extra food for a roadside vegetable stand.

Through the years her interest expanded to include sustainable living practices, creating a balance ecosystem in her backyard, and the use of native plants and providing for pollinators. Concerned with what was happening with bees she announced to her husband that she wanted to get into beekeeping six years ago. As hobbyist beekeepers Brenda and her husband have maintained an average of ten hives since.

In 2015 Brenda was excepted into the Penn State Master Gardener Program for Delaware County. Through Master Gardeners she Chairs the Adult Community Center in Folsom, writes articles for the Master Gardener newsletter, participates in hands on gardening workshops, gives talks on beekeeping, the use of native plants in the landscape, and developing and certifying gardens as pollinator friendly.

The Current State on Bees and other Pollinators Bob Merkle 2019-08-18 04:00:00Z 0

Making Children's Wishes Come True

Make-A-Wish® brings wishes to life for children with critical illnesses, giving them “the best day ever”. We believe a wish experience can be a game-changer. The belief that a wish experience can be a game-changer guides us and inspires us to grant wishes that change the lives of the kids we serve. In the United States and its territories, on average, we are able to grant a wish every 34 minutes.
There are over 400 local children waiting for their wishes to be granted in the Eastern Pennsylvania/Delaware area. We need the help of the community in order to make these children’s wishes come true. Make-A-Wish Philadelphia, Delaware & Susquehanna Valley is on a mission to make every day this year the best day ever for a local child.  They have a goal of granting 365 wishes. 
Michelle Wall is the Community Relations Manager for Make-A-Wish Delaware. Michelle serves as an ambassador to educate both individuals and groups on the mission of Make-A-Wish to build the chapter’s capacity to grant a wish to every eligible child in the state of Delaware.
In addition, Michelle is an active volunteer for the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society, where she was named 2014 MS Society Volunteer of the Year, she serves as a captain for an MS annual walk team, “These Four Walls”, and has chaired the chapter’s MSquerade Ball earning over $200,000 for the organization. She was elected to a five year term for the Appoquinimink School Board in 2015 and was named the 2016 National Mother of the Year by American Mothers, Inc.  Recently, the Wilmington Jaycees recognized Michelle as their 2018 Outstanding Young Wilmingtonian for her continued efforts in serving the community.
Michelle Wall has proudly called Delaware her home for the last ten years. She resides in Historic Odessa with her family in a home that was built in 1847. 
Making Children's Wishes Come True merk 2019-08-11 04:00:00Z 0

Agenda for August 8, 2019 Meeting

Greer Firestone is the founder and driving force behind Heart in the Game (HIIG), a 501c3 non-profit that was founded in 2014 after student-athlete Grace Firestone suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest 2 days after her high school graduation.  HITG’s mission is to make Delaware the “Heart Healthiest” state.  Their program advocates for screening every middle and high school student in Delaware for underlying cardiac issues that put them at risk for Sudden Cardiac Arrest....for FREE. Also, they work to provide regular, free community education opportunities to learn bystander CPR, as well as provide grants to place public access AED’s in strategic locations where they don’t exist today.  Over the past 5 years Heart In The Game has staged 22 events in Delaware, offering FREE EKG screening and training in CPR/AED.
Greer Firestone is a Delaware native who graduated from Brandywine High and University of Delaware. In his senior year at UD he founded and became the first General Manager of the campus Radio Station WHEN. He is in their Hall of Fame. Greer is a theater critic and proponent for performing arts for over 30 years. He founded, produced and directed DE's BEST OF BROADWAY from 1985 to 2000, a community theater group that donated over $100,000 to local charities. Greer is a playwright, having written several Broadway style musicals that are licensed to community theaters nationally. His most popular show, JUDY GARLAND “World’s Greatest Entertainer”, was performed at the baby grand in The Grand Opera House in Wilmington in March. There are possibilities for a national tour. Coincidentally, Greer performed at Longwood with the Brandywiners in 1978 and 1991 in the lead role in KISMET as Haaj The Poet.
Agenda for August 8, 2019 Meeting Bob Merkle 2019-08-04 04:00:00Z 0

Canine Partners for Life

Canine Partners for Life (CPL) is a non-profit organization in Cochranville that trains and places full-service, alert, and companion dogs with people who have a physical, developmental, or cognitive disability to provide them with greater independence. Though the majority of clients live within a 250 mile radius of Cochranville, they have placed more than 750 dogs nationwide since their inception in 1989.
Dana Looker has served as the Associate Director of Development at Canine Partners for Life for the past four years. Her chief responsibilities include Corporate and Foundation relations, annual giving (donor relations and solicitations for giving under $1,000 per year), as well as supervising the maintenance of CPL’s donor database and planning CPL’s annual special events. Prior to Canine Partners for Life, Dana worked in fundraising for Ursinus College and the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia, PA. Dana lives in Coatesville with her husband and four furry children.
Canine Partners for Life merk 2019-07-28 04:00:00Z 0

Chester County Mental Health Initiative

Tracy Behringer will speak about mental health in general, including some local information, and then introduce the county's focus on prevention and early intervention with the Mental Health First Aid program. This is an internationally acclaimed program for everyday citizens to learn how to help someone who is struggling.
Tracy is a consultant for Chester County's Department of Mental Health/Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities for community outreach and education. In that role she develop public awareness projects, presentations and programs, produces monthly newsletters, and serves on the Chester County Suicide Prevention Task Force. Tracy is a certified instructor for Mental Health First Aid and QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Suicide Prevention programs.
Chester County Mental Health Initiative Bob Merkle 2019-07-23 04:00:00Z 0

Agenda for Next Meeting

In our next meeting we will: 
  • Induct 2 new members: Bill Borton and Stephanie D'Amico.
  • Happy Dollars will continue to support our book bag project.
  • Dr. Rod Wallace will help us see how businesses can benefit by solving societal problems. In particular he will consider how you could apply lessons from other industries to create opportunities from local challenges.
Agenda for Next Meeting Bob Merkle 2019-07-14 04:00:00Z 0

June 2019 Secretary's Report

89 members of which 83 are active, 3 Leaves of Absence (Iacocca, Khan, Rover), 3 Corporate Members with additional 5 alternate Corporate members.
Resigned from the Club; Tom Brown, Chad Laurence, Rudy Karkosak, Debbie Lewis. Paola Rosas.

Club Dues;
Rotary year runs from July 1st through June 30th. 1st Quarter Invoices will go out in July. Please pay via Quick Book link in the email and use the FREE bank transfer option to avoid our Club paying credit card fees.

June 2019 Secretary's Report Bob Merkle 2019-07-01 04:00:00Z 0

Longwood Rotarian in the News June 17

Leonie Kolvenbag was recognized for suggesting the Days for Girls project to Mariel DiNatale, which she completed to earn her Girl Scout Silver Award. Our club was recognized for helping fund the purchase of fabric and supplies for the Days for Girls project. Mariel led a group of girls in the construction of 20 Menstrual kits to be distributed to women and girls in need in third world countries through Days for Girls. Read the full article.
Mariel attended our June 20 meeting to thank us for our support. 
Longwood Rotarian in the News June 17 Bob Merkle 2019-06-23 04:00:00Z 0

June 20 Meeting - Vote on Educational Committee Funding Request

At this week's meeting we will vote on the Education Task Force proposal to allocate $27,000 to scholarships for pre-kindergarten classes from the club Foundation.
Hundreds of children in Southern Chester County live in families that cannot afford the average $10,000 per year it costs for a pre-kindergarten program. They live on less than $25,750 per year. The scholarships will be granted for students to attend specific pre-kindergarten programs that have been highly rated by the state authorities. 
Additional funds will be sought from other Rotary clubs, private foundations, businesses and other sources. Therefore we anticipate there is a strong chance we will not have to spend the entire commitment for the scholarships. 
June 20 Meeting - Vote on Educational Committee Funding Request Paul Merluzzi 2019-06-17 04:00:00Z 0

Education Task Force Progress Report

Jackie Crego reported the key results of the Education Task Force research efforts as the following: 
  • 27.5% of Chester County children reside in families earning less than the Federal maximum income defining poverty -  $25,750 for a family of four. A high percentage of these residents are non-Cuban Hispanic. 
  • Non Cuban American Hispanics are also one of the most educationally vulnerable minority groups in the U.S. with 44% of their children starting kindergarten somewhat behind their peers; by age 13 they are at least one year below expected grade level performance; and more than 40% drop out before completing high school. 
The costs of this low educational performance is high. Within the education system it raises the cost through grade repetition, high levels of truancy and the efforts to combat it. Since a high percentage of the students performing below grade level don't graduate high school, there is also the long term cost of a lower quality work force at a time when education and skill requirements are increasing. These costs are reversed when failing students are helped to succeed. Tests run in other areas have shown the return from improving kindergarten readiness is $17 for every dollar invested. This research convinced the committee that early education had to be an early focus. 
There are programs in Southern Chester County that are successful in improving kindergarten readiness, which today means having the child possibly reading, definitely recognizing numbers and letters, counting, and having other basic skills. One successful program is operated by the Maternal and Child Health Consortium (MCHC). It is a comprehensive program with evening classes that teach young parents how to become educators of their children by speaking with them, reading to them, and other simple learning/teaching activities. The group learning is supported by home visits to work with individual families.
The entire program was at risk when MCHC found it extremely difficult to get the target families to the evening classes. These families could not afford baby sitters, often have transportation issues, and struggled to find time to have dinner before the meetings since they frequently work multiple jobs. When financial assistance was provided to overcome these barriers 78 families with 92 children participated. The level of preparedness for Kindergarten was significantly improved, as reported by the kindergarten teachers. 
Our Longwood Club Foundation committed $2,000 to support the full $8,800 cost for a year of the MCHC program. Then Bob Curran, Foundation president, invited other clubs to join us in this project and sought District and Gundaker grants. The net result was to fully fund the program's required $8,800. The District donated $4,400, the Gundaker Foundation donated $1,000 and the West Chester lunch club donated $2,200. The effort to acquire funding through Rotary sources wa sso successful, our $2,000 commitment will not be fully spent on this initiative. 
Education Task Force Progress Report Bob Merkle 2019-06-17 04:00:00Z 0

New Members Inducted June 6 

Four new members were inducted.
Francisco Zambrano, left in the picture, was sponsored by Jim Horn, not shown. 
Dave Haradon sponsored both Nancy Ramirez, second from left, and April Ennis-Pierson, center right. 
Paul Kirchner, second from the right, was sponsored by Allison Brunovsky, shown on the right. 
New Members Inducted June 6 Bob Merkle 2019-06-09 04:00:00Z 0

The Spayed Club

The Spayed Club is a veterinary practice started in 1991 by Donna Dybus with the mission of eliminating euthanasia of animals in area animal shelters. It is part of a long term effort that has been largely, though not fully, successful to date. As of 1990, the year before the Spayed Club organized, 75,000 animals were euthanized in the Philadelphia area. This has declined to 4,023 as of last year. This change has largely relied on the spaying and neutering of animals as they enter a shelter, improving their opportunity for adoption, and reducing the number of unwanted litters. 
The Spayed Club started by providing vouchers to pay for spaying and neutering surgeries in 1991. At that time these procedures took several hours, each performed in a private vet practice. In 1994 the process was organized into a production line like process, reducing the time required for each surgery by hours. Today, with the proper physical plant, a vet can perform 35 to 40 surgeries per day instead of the previous norm of about 6. This new approach to the procedure was developed in Asheville, NC. It took quite a while for the new approach to be adopted in Pennsylvania. In 2009 the Spayed Club opened a clinic to practice the new procedure in Sharon Hill. 
The clinic was successful, but left one reason for pet abandonment unresolved - making basic vet care affordable for those with limited incomes. Basic vet care was added to the services of the Spayed Club in 2015, eliminating a large reason pets are sent to shelters. The primary care service provides half the revenue needed to operate the Club. The rest of the cost is covered through donations from many organizations, including the Longwood Rotary Club Foundation, which contributed $1,000 earlier this year. President Tammy Duering expanded this support with a $500 Presidential grant during our meeting. 
One unique class of animals is only serviced through the Spayed Club - feral cats. These cats are not pets. They live successfully on the streets, and may provide a useful service as rodent catchers. When they are collected they are brought to the Club where they are spayed or neutered. While the animals recover from the surgery, they receive rabies shots and a flea treatment. After the are fully recovered from surgery, they are returned to where they were found so they can resume their daily lives without adding to the already 400,000 feral cats already on the streets.  
The Spayed Club Bob Merkle 2019-06-09 04:00:00Z 0

Rotary International Council on Legislation

The Rotary International Council on Legislation met April 14 through 18 in Chicago to review and vote on policy and procedure changes for Rotary. The meeting, which occurs every three years, brought together 800 Rotarians from around the world. One of our District delegates was our own Bonnie Korengel. Bonnie was one of about 80 women participating in the council.
In order for business to be understandable to everyone, 8 official languages are recognized. Each of these languages is supported by real time translation of delegate speeches. This also requires all speakers be fully identified before they speak including what language they will use. 
All potential actions to be voted on were submitted one year in advance of the conference after approval by the local district. Months before the conference these issues were distributed to all districts for consideration and a local position to be determined. As each issue came to the floor for debate, delegates requested to be listed to speak on the topic, and were given about 5 minutes for their comments, speaking in the order in which they "raised their hand". If a delegate speaking before them made the comment they intended to make, they removed themselves from the speaker list. With this tight procedure the conference was able to review and make a decision on 117 possible enactments. 
One of the changes approved was to redefine Rotaract. Membership is now open to all young adults, not just professionals. Rotaract Clubs were moved to the level of full Rotary Clubs, instead of being "dependents" of sponsoring clubs as they have been. This decision has opened quite a few questions related to implementation which have yet to be answered. 
Rotary International Council on Legislation Bob Merkle 2019-06-09 04:00:00Z 0

May 2019 Rotarian of the Month

President Tammy Duering, shown on the left, recognized Dawn Talley, on the right, as our Member of the Month. Dawn brings boundless energy to finding and managing our volunteer projects. 
May 2019 Rotarian of the Month Bob Merkle 2019-06-03 04:00:00Z 0

Meet our New Member: Michael Essmaker

Michael Essmaker, on the left was sponsored by Dave Haradon, shown on the right, Please be sure to introduce your self to Michael if you have not done so already. 
Meet our New Member: Michael Essmaker Bob Merkle 2019-06-03 04:00:00Z 0

The Square Roots Collective

Michael Bontager is well known and respected in our community as an entrepreneur and a current or past board member of several area non-profits.  Michael is currently serving on the board of directors of Longwood Gardens.
The basis of Michael's strategic approach to Kennett Square economic and cultural development has been profoundly affected by a book he read, The Logic of Failure: Why things go wrong and what we can do to make them right; by Dietrich Dorner. The book is based on a 10 year study of how we can solve problems effectively. We must keep in mind not only many separate features but also the influences among or between them.  Complexity is the label given to the situation where there are many interdependent variables in a system. The more variables and the greater their interdependence, the greater the system’s complexity.  Great complexity places high demands on the community planner’s capacity to gather information, integrate findings, and design effective actions. The links between the variables oblige us to attend to a great many variables or features simultaneously, and that makes it impossible for us to undertake only one action to effectively change a complex system. The interrelatedness of the variables guarantees an action aimed at one variable will have side effects and long-term repercussions among other variables.  Simply stated, no decision can be made in isolation. Therefore, “Adhoc-ism”, or taking quick individual actions,  has detrimental effects for the community.  Community leaders and elected officials must think holistically.
Once Michael provided this perspective, he proceeded to explain his passion for Kennett Square through four areas of focus: 1) employment; 2) Life Satisfaction; 3) Housing; and, 4) Capital Formation. All must be worked together to really impact life in Kennett Square.
The name Square Roots Collective’s is an aggregate of the vision itself: “Square” represents Kennett Square; “Roots” represents faith, the foundation of his passion for Kennett Square, “I grew up here” he said.  “Collective” has to do with the constituent contributors, four area churches, multiple non-profits and for profits, lots of people and lots of groups.
Michael explained that “The Creamery” represents the for-profit component of his effort. It provides employment, preserves history, and displays local art. This single effort impacts life satisfaction and capital formation.  The Square Roots Collective has begun with housing as its non-profit initiative.  Maple Grove Housing, the development Michael is working on,  is a new model for those in our community on the edge of falling into the cracks of homelessness. Two other initiatives under the Square Roots Collective are the Kennett Trail Alliance and Constellation Network. Together we can pull together to solve systemic issues in our community moving the needle to make Kennett Square an even better place in which to live.
The Square Roots Collective John Marble 2019-06-03 04:00:00Z 0

Interact Year Report

The Interact Club has grown tremendously over the past year. Currently it has 100 members. The club now holds 2 meetings per month and has been involved in a variety of activities.  Some of the favorite activities include making meals for Rise Against Hunger, Alex Lemonade Stand fundraising, and the Pulsera Program.
The Interact Club plans to continue its current high level of activity over the next year in order to sustain its momentum. 
Interact Year Report Bob Merkle 2019-05-28 04:00:00Z 0

Jiyun Aileen Kim

Aileen introduced herself in September 2018 when she arrived as our new Exchange Student by dancing to K-Pop. Today she said goodbye by telling us about the highlight activity of each month she has been here. 
One of Aileen's first activities on arriving in August was preparing a Korean dinner for her host family.  In September a Phillies baseball game made her list.  We hope she does not share the Phillies' 2018 record with her friends. Ugh. The pace picked up in October with a selfie with the Eagles Mascot, a Halloween Party complete with costumes and a trip to Washington, DC to see the sights.  The Holiday Parade in Kennett Square made the cut and then it was off to NYC with the Interact Club. Christmas with all the traditions, a sleep over and last dinner with Aileen's first host family rounded out her first Semester in December. 
January Aileen reported lots of shopping trips to area malls bargain hunting.  February's highlight was her RYLA weekend experience and celebrating her birthday.  Snowboarding in March nearly did her in.  The snowboarding was fun and she did well, but she was barely able to walk the next day.  Snow boarding requires many different muscles than used in her dancing.  April was her second trip to Washington, DC. In May Aileen experienced her first ever high school prom.  Aileen really liked that.  She exclaimed many times that there are no Proms in Korea.  She made a point of telling us how much she enjoyed staying up until 3 AM and then sleeping until 3 PM that afternoon. 
Aileen thanked the club for the support.
Jiyun Aileen Kim Bob Merkle 2019-05-28 04:00:00Z 0

Successful Rotaract Fundraiser

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. 
Successful Rotaract Fundraiser Bob Merkle 2019-05-28 04:00:00Z 0

Kennett Food Co-op

Britton Mendenhall and Maureen O'Shea are two of the leaders working to establish a food co-op in Kennett Square. They explained "A food co-op is a food store owned by members of the community it serves. Anyone can buy there, its just locally owned and community focused." The impact of that focus is a business that buys locally, whose profits are invested in the community and whose merchandise is focused on healthy eating.
The local focus has a significant economic impact on the community. Typically 80% of the merchandise is bought from local farms and purveyors, so the co-op supports open space initiatives and family farms. Wages and benefits paid are higher. The profits are reinvested in Kennett Square. That means the dollars are spent multiple times in our community, increasing our total local economic activity by 1.6 times sales.   
Currently the co-op is in the planning stages. After the first 100 shareholders have paid in to the company, a formal market study will be conducted. This study will identify possible locations within the borough in a pedestrian friendly location with adequate parking, a major challenge. It will also identify likely customers and their location, and help define the weight to put into the merchandise categories to be carried. The current plan is for a fairly small footprint, perhaps four thousand square feet of space. The study will help finalize this decision too. Co-ops in the area, such Natural Foods in Hockessin and the co-op in Swarthmore, are helping with planning. 
Local suppliers are fairly easy to find. Look at who is selling in our farmers markets. They would love a location that sells their produce every day in Kennett Square.
Owners pay $300 per share. The target ownership to open is 1,000 members. After a short time recruiting owners, there are over 50 now. 
Kennett Food Co-op merk 2019-05-20 04:00:00Z 0

Jose Perez - Our Newest Member

 Jose, shown on the left in the photo, was sponsored for membership by Dave Haradan, shown on the right. Please be sure to introduce yourself to Jose when you see him at our meetings or around town. 
Jose Perez - Our Newest Member Bob Merkle 2019-05-20 04:00:00Z 0

The Leadership Funnel

Erik Doebel is the CEO and founder of Leader 193, a consulting firm helping individuals and businesses improve their leadership effectiveness by learning the SEAL approach to leadership. Erik feels "Combat shows the quality of leadership very quickly. Good leaders accomplish the goal with the lowest losses."
Erik learned one of the critical lessons about leadership when he was learning to parachute during SEAL training. "The basics of a successful jump are really easy - adopt the correct body position when you leave the plane; stay aware of your surroundings, especially altitude; and pull the rip cord at the proper altitude. I did everything wrong. I started tumbling on leaving the plane because I didn't adopt the correct posture and lost track of my altitude. Luckily I got it under control at the last minute and just beat my companion dive instructor to pulling my rip cord to open my parachute. As you can see I landed safely. On landing my instructor told me to immediately repack my chute and be ready to jump again within 20 minutes. 
Under those conditions you learn quickly one of the important aspects of leadership. You have to recognize the emotion driving your actions, fear in that case, and manage that emotion so it helps, not hurts your performance. Managing your emotions requires you to be in the moment, not daydreaming or thinking about what might be coming up next, to get it right all the time." 
The Seal culture is defined by four key aspects: action, say yes first, work with big ideas, and discipline. The critical action step to SEALs is planning. When you plan you are unemotional. Developing plans allows you to look for the big idea that will ensure success. Planning is a methodical process that involves everyone impacted by the action plan, leaving everyone with defined actions they can be held accountable for. Holding people accountable for meeting their component of the plan is discipline. Plans also give you the comparison basis to know when you need to adjust actions to reach the goal based on performance as it happens. 
To build a truly great team the discussions among team members need to be honest. Everyone needs to be sensitive to the feelings of the others on the team without seeking retribution. And of course there must be the basics: be on time, pay attention, and be truthful.   
The Leadership Funnel Bob Merkle 2019-05-12 04:00:00Z 0

2 New Members Inducted

President Tammy Duering inducted two new members this past week. 
New member Erick Luna Valenti is shown in the photo to the left with his sponsor, Len Vannicola, standing to Erick's left. 
Our second new member is Bill Adelman, shown in the photo below with his sponsor, Dave Foresman. standing to Bill's right. 
2 New Members Inducted Bob Merkle 2019-05-06 04:00:00Z 0
Paola Rosas - New Paul Harris Rotarian Bob Merkle 2019-05-06 04:00:00Z 0

Rob Newman

Rob grew up on a dairy farm in a small town in Michigan. He attended a one room school house, they really existed in rural Michigan even in the 1950's, was a member of the 4-H Club, and generally followed the agriculture track, including planning to become a veterinarian. Rob qualified for and attended the Air Force Academy as pre-med student as his first step toward becoming a vet. However, the immediate needs of the Air Force during the Vietnam War intervened and they insisted he become a fighter pilot. He did and loved the flying. Rob flies regularly still. 
After his tour was up, Rob went to work for GE Imaging for his first civilian job. GE Imaging had just launched the first MRI system. With GE's help Rob obtained a Masters in Medical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and an MBA from University of Maryland at Baltimore. With this combination of degrees Rob entered what he calls the "research triangle " of medicine. Its not a place in North Carolina, but engineering, marketing, and medicine working together to develop new medical devices. It allowed Rob to be involved in bringing MRI images into the operating theater to provide real time information, and create new imaging capabilities that allowed doctors to see more deeply and clearly into the body. 
Rob then was involved in developing ultrasound surgery devices, and robotic cardiac surgery methods and machines. These developments occurred while working for startup firms. Developing and rolling out many of these devices had Rob in the operating room with the surgical teams. The patient impacts were enormous and Rob loved it. He then became involved in developing orthopedic joint replacements and related procedures and tools. The cumulative impact of these medical device developments has changed surgery procedures that put the patient into the hospital for days into outplacement surgeries where the patient is home for dinner. 
Of course working for all these different businesses required Rob to move around the country a fair amount. While living in the Kennett area Rob joined the Longwood Rotary Club to develop local relationships and become a part of the community. He loved being a member of his first Rotary club, us, so when Rob made his last job change and moved to the Menlo Park CA area, he joined the Rotary club there. "What a difference. They had the wealth to be a money raising club, and that was pretty much their entire role." As Rob prepared to retire he and Robin moved back to this area and Rob rejoined Longwood Rotary. He picked up his interest in working with students and is again very active in student exchange programs for our club and the district. The thing that has most impressed Rob about the exchange student experience impact, is the students learning how those living outside the US see us. 
In addition to supporting Rotary, Rob is a member of Angel Flight. This is a group of pilots that transport medical patients from their homes to the distant cities, like Philadelphia, where they can get the sophisticated medical care they need. 
Rob Newman Bob Merkle 2019-05-06 04:00:00Z 0

Melissa Detrich

Melissa's interest in cooking started in her home so early she knew she wanted to be a chef by age 5. She spent a lot of time watching and helping her grandmother cook for family occasions, so she associated food with love, family, fun and warmth then and now. When she wasn't watching her grandmother cook, Melissa watched Julia Childs cooking on TV.  "This was way before Food TV and modern cooking shows. You watched entire meals prepared with limited preparation done beforehand. They were serious cooking shows.", Melissa said. 
Melissa worked in a family owned Italian restaurant in her teens. This is where she learned success in the hospitality and restaurant industry was dependent on great team work. "If any person performs their job poorly, costs go up in a very low margin business, and/or the customer experience is poor and the critical repeat customers aren't earned. Either or both of these can kill a restaurant quickly." 
Melissa chose to attend Johnson and Wales College, a unique training ground for chefs. It combines the experience of working in the restaurant business with academics. Its closest rival for training chefs is the Culinary Institute of America, which doesn't provide the same level of academics. "The school rivalry lives within my house all the time. My husband is a Culinary Institute grad." 
The most critical aspect of running a restaurant is showing up. So every absence from a cooking class dropped your grade by one letter. Restaurants are an incredibly competitive business. So everyone competed against every other student in class by the use of performance curves, forcing a distribution of grades based on relative performance. The key evaluation factors used in class are the same used by the industry:
  • your passion for food , that you show you want learn and grow constantly;, 
  • caring and concern for the patrons, 
  • a strong sense of urgency, because the majority of business is done within a very few hours of the day. 
The key difference between evaluations in class and on the job is that in class there is really only one person evaluating you. On the job your boss and everyone else on the staff is constantly evaluating you. If you don't measure up, the staff don't want you around because your performance will adversely impact the entire team. So they can work to push you out. 
In addition to these pressures, Melissa was one of the few women attending Johnson and Wales. Professional cooking was still a male dominated world, so it was a very anti-female culture at that time. Despite this Melissa graduated in 1997 with excellent grades and went to work for Aramark Corporation. 
Melissa's first assignment was running the food service for Pfizer in Connecticut. Pfizer had just released Viagra, so money was no object and rapid growth was the driving factor. She had the opportunity to provide super food in a variety of settings throughout the corporate campus while her staff exploded. 
After several job changes Melissa became the Associate Director of Membership at Longwood Gardens. Their focus is building an emotional connection with members; and providing members with the information they want at exactly the time and in the format wanted. In Melissa's experience Longwood Gardens is an extremely customer focused organization. The unique factor at Longwood is the planning time horizon focus - while the next quarter is important, the next century is the focus 
Melissa Detrich Bob Merkle 2019-05-04 04:00:00Z 0

Needs Assessment Committee Progress

The five committees working to develop project specifics, Education, Transportation, Housing, Life Style and Job Training, reported on the information they have gathered and early ideas for projects that are being considered. 
The committee defined its goal as supporting young children and adults who desire to improve themselves. This makes most educational pursuits within committee purview. They also have decided the best way to have early positive results is to assist existing programs that have proven themselves. Therefore their initial recommendation is to support two programs offered by Maternal Child and Health Consortium (MCHC).
The first of these is a 2 week camp offered to children about to start kindergarten that have not attended a pre-kindergarten program. These students are completely overwhelmed for the first month or so of school since there are so many new experiences, all happening without the immediate support of their usual caregiver. The camp is operated at the Mary D Lang School with the help of the Kennett Consolidated School system. By allowing the children to ride school buses, be separated from likely the only caregiver they have experienced, be in a large group of kids their own age, and otherwise experience typical school patterns, the children are able to adjust to the new patterns before school starts. The impact on their behavior that first month or so of school, letting them participate with the other students in all activities, was immense last year when the pilot program was run. 
The camp has a total cost of $10,000, which we may be able to help fund. It also needs volunteers to work with the kids in their "early school days experience" between noon and 4:30 in the afternoon from July 8 through 16. We hope you can help out.
The first thing the committee did was determine what actions were already being taken and work to reduce this enormous sized issue down to manageable chunks. Existing research on transportation patterns, shows that about 58% of those with lower incomes drive cars that are often unreliable. When they breakdown their owners are ripe for "plucking" by less scrupulous service stations with high charges, and unneeded additional work sold  to them. While their car is in the shop they may unable to get to work or shop for food. This pattern suggests there is a need for a rating system of service providers so those with less service orientation can be identified. A loaner car service would prevent the accompanying loss of income that often puts everything at risk for the family while repairs are made to their car. There may also be a place for a fixed price preventive maintenance program that would minimize surprise large bills, the biggest enemy of people living paycheck to paycheck. 
Since there is a private-government effort already underway to improve the SCOOT bus service, this area is not being considered. 
This is another huge issue that is being broken down into bite sized chunks by the committee. Several opportunities have been identified, each targeting a separate area of concern within housing. 
KACS is exploring the concept of creating a master long term lease of housing that would substitute their corporate credit for the individual's, ensuring more reliable payment to landlords for a long period for reduced rent. This is a program we may be able to assist financially.
A group is exploring acquiring current rental space and redesigning it to provide smaller living spaces at more achievable rents for those collecting disability benefits. With a focused clientele such as this additional support services can be offered that these renters may uniquely need. 
Habitat for Humanity works to enlarge the stock of lower cost housing. Their Oxford project has a unique challenge Habitat hasn't faced before. They will be building 5 unit blocks of housing, increasing the initial capital needed for construction. Here a new approach to funding such as construction lending might be a solution. These loans require interest only payments, so the initial capital need is to cover the interest on such a loan. 
The final possibility under consideration is to expand our involvement with Good Neighbors home repair efforts. This would be a hands-on construction effort for us to support. 
Evaluation of these efforts is ongoing. 
Life Style
Here the initial focus is on improvements to Anson Nixon Park. Moving an existing pavilion from its current location along the entrance drive to near the playground would increase its use and rental income for the park. This would likely require a combination of hands-on effort and funding. The current budget estimate is at $5,750 for materials and site preparation. The other immediate need within the park is to "clean up" the playground equipment. It has had 5 years of continuous service and some pieces are showing the resulting wear. 
Job Training
The goal for this committee is to help lower income people prepare themselves for jobs that pay a higher wage. The initial concept being explored is a mentoring program. 
Needs Assessment Committee Progress Bob Merkle 2019-04-28 04:00:00Z 0

April 2019 Rotarian of the Month

Lynn Nathan has been chosen as our Rotarian of the Month for her continuing service to many projects. She chaired the effort for 2 galas and plays an active role putting together galas still, organized the Ride for Kids childhood cancer fundraising effort for six years, organized the District Conference when Dave Haradon was the District Governor, hosted five exchange students in her home and is still involved with the exchange program at both a district and club level. Lynn is a tireless volunteer who helps whenever asked. 
April 2019 Rotarian of the Month Bob Merkle 2019-04-28 04:00:00Z 0

Five New Paul Harris Fellows

Pictured at the left are our five newest Paul Harris Fellows. From the left they are Susan Minarchi, John Stradling, Mike Moyer, Brendan Murphy, and Rob Schultz. Thank you and congratulations to all of you! 
Five New Paul Harris Fellows Bob Merkle 2019-04-21 04:00:00Z 0

The Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County

The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County (TLC) started as the Kennett Township Land Trust, an all volunteer organization dedicated to preserving open land within Kennett Township. The Trust acquired land, the township adopted a preservation tax, and the resulting workload kept expanding until the Trust transformed itself into The Land Conservancy, a non-profit land preservation organization staffed by a core of seven professionals dedicated to its mission to ensure the perpetual preservation and stewardship of open space, natural resources, historic sites, and working agricultural lands throughout Southern Chester County.
Abbie Kessel, the Conservancy's Conservation Director shown to the right of President Tammy Duering in this photo, is focused on land acquisitions that fit the unique TLC role in local land conservation efforts - building corridors of preserved land by collecting small parcels of adjacent land. TLC focuses on developing preservation corridors to help bring the County's vision for development into reality by providing the green landscape within the areas designated for concentrated development.  As a result most of its land is in the eastern portion of southern Chester County since that is the area meant to be more densely developed. 
Once land is acquired the focus shifts to maintenance. This includes restoring historic structures where they exist, and developing historic sites so that we can understand their significance. For example, the New Garden AME church site has been restored. The graves of black Civil War soldiers are properly maintained, and the foundations of the church have been rediscovered, the church was burned down by the Ku Klux Klan about 100 years ago. Archeological digs at the site have shed light on the church members' lives. 
The land is returned to native plantings and erosion damage is minimized. This starts by removing invasive species. Unfortunately the removing invasive species role never seems to end. As the plantings are changed trails and other features are developed for all of us to enjoy. Stream banks are planted with trees to buffer the water coming off the land to ensure it is of the highest quality. This improves the drinking water quality for those using municipal water systems that rely on surface water sources. Land in agricultural use may stay in such use. 
The Stewardship effort is assisted by paid high school interns. The students are improving the land while participating in a strong Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) environment that shows the value of these disciplines. TLC also offers education in the form of the Pennsylvania Master Naturalist program, a 50 hour training program conducted on weekends. 500 students participate in school trips to sites to learn about our natural environment. They learn about edible plants, work on stream studies, go birding and generally learn how we depend on these natural environments. 
TLC both buys land and acquires easements that control the degree of development. Easements, because they cost less, are preferred. Easements allow the landowner to meet their financial needs without leaving their land. The earnings from the easement, together with the increased value of the remaining home and home sites (homes overlooking open land have greater value) often make easements of higher economic value to the land owner. 
The Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County Bob Merkle 2019-04-21 04:00:00Z 0

Rotary Legislative Session

The Rotary Legislative Session will have begun by the time you read this article. The Legislative session happens every three years to review and set the operating policies for all Rotarians. Therefore it involves representatives from every Rotary District in the world. Our very own Bonnie Korengel is our District's representative for this session. 
Rotary Legislative Session Bob Merkle 2019-04-14 04:00:00Z 0

Lydell Nolt, Classification Talk

Lydell grew up on his family's farm in Lancaster County along the Maryland border. "It was a great childhood. I learned responsibility and how to do more with less. Unfortunately, I don't see that lifestyle in my family's future." 
Lydell admits he did what was needed to graduate and little more in high school. His extra curricular activity was working part time for a masonry contractor. After graduation, Lydell continued in the masonry trade, starting his own company when he turned 21. A few years later, with his company doing well, a friend suggested he apply to be a police officer in the city of Lancaster. After considering the idea, Lydell became one of the 200 applicants for a single open position. His test results were strong, ranking seventh of the test takers with a 94 percentile score. The city of Lancaster invited Lydell in for interviews, which he took. Then there was dead silence for weeks, typical of police hiring practices. 
Lydell was finally contacted about the next step - the background investigation and polygraph test. Police background tests are thorough. Everyone Lydell knew seemed to be subjected to lengthy interviews. Again, there was a several week period of silence before Lydell was offered the job, which he took. Lydell found he loved police work because of the interaction with all kinds of people. While being a police officer and operating his masonry business with dozens of employees, Lydell went to college for a criminal justice degree to further his abilities in policing. Lydell finally sold his masonry business in 2010 as he moved up the ladder in policing. 
Lydell still uses one of the questions he was asked in his initial interview to be a police officer when interviewing officer candidates. "Do you have a moral objection to using deadly force?" Lydell explained, "The critical moments in policing require split second decisions under stress. This question replicates that situation in an interview environment." What Lydell is evaluating beyond the specific answer is how quickly the candidate responds. By the way, Lydell answered this question uniquely. He has a moral objection to choosing to use deadly force, but he isn't making that decision. The other person involved is by his actions. 
Lydell Nolt, Classification Talk Bob Merkle 2019-04-14 04:00:00Z 0

Student of the Quarter - Julia McDonnell

Mary Beth Lysle, a counselor in Unionville High School, introduced Julia by describing her as very involved in giving. "Julia uses her hobbies and interests to help others constantlly." 
Julia has been a member of Interact throughout her high school career, participating in essentially all of their activities. Julia has helped us at the Gala, on Route 1 clean up mornings, and went to RYLA in her sophomore year. The presentation by Jay Scott, father of Alex and director of Alex's Lemonade Stand foundation, at RYLA had a big impact on Julia. Working with other RYLA members, Julia started a successful fundraising campaign of for Alex's Lemonade Stand in the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District elementary schools. 
Julia has been the Editor-in-Chief of the Indian Post for the past 2 years. Julia sees the Indian Post as a platform for the student's voice in school affairs. In this role Julia was able to attend a Columbia University journalism conference, where she learned a lot about operating a newspaper. 
In her sophomore year Julia founded the Unionville Medical Club. This club is for those students considering a career in medicine. Practitioners are brought in to talk with the students about the many career options available. They also do volunteer work at Project Cure and make blankets for children undergoing medical treatment as part of Project Linus. Julia is further exploring her interest in medicine by taking classes in the Allied Health program at the Technical College High School. 
Julia earned the Girl Scouts Gold Award in 2018 by writing, designing, and publishing a cookbook focused on healthy eating on a budget: The Clean Eats Cookbook. The cookbook is distributed through the Kennett Food Cupboard. It is sold online with all the profits going to the food cupboard. You can buy one at This interest in nutrition also comes out through a second effort. Julia donates food to the St. John's Shelter for Men in Philadelphia. 
Julia makes wooden toys that are donated to Toys for Tots just to make sure she is always busy. 
Julia is looking forward to attending Temple University's pre-med program next year. 
Student of the Quarter - Julia McDonnell Bob Merkle 2019-04-14 04:00:00Z 0

Leonie Kolvenbag spam email

If you receive an email from Leonie Kolvenbag but from an email account that is unfamiliar or not Rotary related, do not open it. Leonie's name has been copied (possibly) from the Rotary Website and is being used to send out spam. For the record; Leonie is not selling weight loss products!
Leonie Kolvenbag spam email Bob Merkle 2019-04-14 04:00:00Z 0

Third Quarter Secretary's Report

4th Quarter Invoices were sent via email, please pay online through the Quick Books link or bring payment to meeting.

MEMBERSHIP as of 4/1/19:
Active members; 87 of which 6 are on leaves of absence. Those on leave include: Iacocca, Karkosak, Khan, Laurence, Lewis, and Rover.
In addition we have 5 alternate corporate members
Those with year-to-date perfect attendance: Arrouet, Brunovszky, Carpenter, Colon, Connoly, Crego, Curran, Duering, Fenstermacher, Foresman, Gehrt, Gower, Gushurst, Haradon, Horn, Hrenko, Kane, Kanofsky, Koenig, Kolvenbag, Korengel B, Listerman, Marble, McDougall, Merkle, Moyer, Murphy B, Nathan–Samick, Newman, Noolan, O’Connor, Reynolds, Rosas, Rybarczyk, Schultz, Scott, Sheehan, Simpers, Steller, Talley, Trevorrow, Vannicola, White.
! If you think you should make the perfect attendance list, log into our website to double check your meeting attendances and  make ups. (FYI; Rotary International changed attendance requirements: you must attend 50% of regular meetings in each half of the Rotary year (previously 60%). 

District Attendance Position: Not number 1. Make sure to scan yourself in at our meetings and give or email your make up meetings and volunteer-project-participation to Leonie Kolvenbag (details and dates), or enter this information on pour website. 
Third Quarter Secretary's Report Bob Merkle 2019-04-07 04:00:00Z 0

Chester County Recycling Program

Steve Burn, the Site Manager for the Southern Chester County Refuse Authority (SECCRA), said we are recycling about 11% of our trash in Southern Chester County, using what is called single stream processing. That means we are putting all our recycled materials into one container without separation at home. SECCRA then passes this along to consolidators after removing the large "unwanted" items to be sorted and shipped to users. SECCRA is burying 400 tons and recycling 50 tons of trash per day through this system. While this is good, it may not be economic to continue this level of recycling.
China stopped accepting unlimited amounts of US recycled materials some months ago. That of value to manufacturers was separated and the rest and burnt for energy generation. China stopped this because of pollution concerns. This means China only accepts "clean" recycled materials, those that can be used in manufacturing. That is impacting the entire supply chain from trash collectors through SECCRA to the high end consolidators of recycled materials. Steve said a number of smaller consolidators have gone out of business already, and everyone is policing their stream of materials more vigorously to stay below the standard 10% rate of contamination with unacceptable materials. 
SECCRA is in negotiations with its recycled materials consolidator currently. Steve expects/hopes that the price they will charge to accept our recycled materials will only rise form $70 to $100 per ton. That means our trash collectors will likely raise their prices to offset this additional cost SECCRA will pass along to them, if they have not started this process already. 
Everyone in the supply chain is emphasizing they want to receive "clean materials" for processing, essentially asking we consumers to do a better job of sorting what is and is not recyclable. The wanted materials include: 
  • cardboard and paper that is not contaminated with grease and other foreign substances
  • cans and glass bottles
  • plastic containers made with types 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7 plastic. Remove the caps as they are not the same type of plastic. 
  • paper back books, magazines, telephone books, catalogs, and office files and papers
All containers need to be rinsed out so that the contents are removed. For example, not rinsing out a bottle that was used for cooking oil will contaminate any paper near it when it breaks during the various stages of recycling. That potentially ups the contamination percentage of a load substantially. Once the 10% limit is reached, entire loads are refused, converting that entire truck full of recyclable material into trash in our land fills. 
Some materials are refused because they jam machinery or don't fit into the recycler's machinery. The classic are plastic bags. They are so light they float around in the processing stream and jam gears. They can be recycled by returning them to the store. They get processed through special machinery when they are presented alone. While aluminum is recycled, not all of it fits into the machinery. The big issue here is aluminum siding. The pieces are too long to be handled. With large metal objects like this you want to sell them to a scrap metal operation. They are structured to process large items. 
SECCRA handles some items specially when the home owner delivers them to the site. These include appliances, electronics and tires. They are delivered outside the "single stream" so they can be processed economically. 
Chester County Recycling Program Bob Merkle 2019-04-07 04:00:00Z 0

March Rotarian of the Month

Brendan Murphy, shown on the right receiving his plague from President Tammy Duering, is our Rotarian of the Month. Brendan was the co-chair of our highly successful 2019 Gala. 
March Rotarian of the Month Bob Merkle 2019-03-31 04:00:00Z 0

Education Committee Report

The Education Committee is one of the five committees created as a result of the Community Needs Assessment. Co=chairs Dawn Doherty-Kohl and Jackie Crego identified five goals supporting education from preschool through adult learning we should focused on:
  • Support literacy by promoting the fundamentals of reading and writing.
  • Train parents as the first teachers of their children.
  • Equip parents with the tools and resources to support learning from birth.
  • Support, prepare and encourage children to succeed academically, socially and emotionally.
  • Support adults in their educational goals to open new life opportunities, e.g. adult literacy, language learning, and GED attainment.
Fortunately their research identified strong programs focused on one or more of these goals. The two they feel we should focus on first are: 
  • Maternal and Child Health Consortium's Kindergarten Transition program. This program familiarizes children who have not attended preschool with the basic school day structure and new experiences, such as riding a bus, so they are able to focus and learn when school starts. They recommend we invest $3,000 into the program. 
  • The second program they feel we should invest in is expanding the Maternal and Child Health Consortium's program teaching parents how to parent and teach their own kids. This would require $10,000, so they see this as a District Grant opportunity. 
There are also many opportunities for us to volunteer time. Some of these we already are supporting, such as Rotary Readers. Others are newer programs such as the Kindergarten Transition program, installing pop-up libraries with Arts Holding Hands and Hearts, or working as an instructor in adult literacy programs. 
Education Committee Report Bob Merkle 2019-03-31 04:00:00Z 0

Update on Kacie's Cause

Dave Foresman reported the contemplation Garden to be added to Anson Nixon Park is moving forward. The park board agreed on a location near the old entrance to the park for its location. Richard Lyon, a park board member and professional garden designer, is now creating the final design. The Garden is expected to be a place of quiet contemplation so it will feature benches, rocks, flowers and other elements. Dave hopes we will be ready with funding and labor assistance when the Contemplation Garden enters the build stage. 
Update on Kacie's Cause Bob Merkle 2019-03-31 04:00:00Z 0

Belize Birds Limited

Bob Brumbaugh is the CEO and owner of Belize Birds, a 1000 acre area of jungle in Belize where he offers "jungle tourism". This led Bob to becoming a one person development agency for the coastal towns near the site.
Bob feels these towns are essentially identical to Hawaii years ago. Gorgeous coastal vistas, warm but not hot weather, with friendly locals living in a mostly undeveloped natural wonderland. It is one of the best places you an go to as a tourist today. He has learned a lot from the local people, including that scorpions make great pets, as long as you remember to remove their stingers first. 
The local government provides free education up to age 14. There is no public high school, hence little opportunity to attend college and join the modern economy for most in Belize. They cannot afford the $450 per year cost. Bob started changing that for the kids in his area. In 2008 he offered three scholarships for high school attendance. He also provides books and computers. Since then he built a library and stocked it with books, and continued to grow the number of scholarships offered to 27 as he found funding support, often through Rotary clubs.
What has amazed Bob is the result, remembering these kids literally come from grass shack homes where essentially no English is spoken. Two have been valedictorians and all graduate. "The thirst to learn is amazing. The kids will sit in the library and read every book they can lay their hands on", Bob noted. "They read to family members so everyone is getting a better education". 
The impact of the scholarships has been community wide. When he started the local elementary school had 123 students attending. Attendance was considered optional by many families because there was no path to useful results for the students. If the kids were needed to work on the family boat or crops they missed days. Many dropped out before graduating. Since Bob started offering the scholarships, attendance has rocketed up. There are now 176 students, so many they had to build another classroom. Birth rates didn't go up, the possibility of education leading to a future changed everything. Student attend regularly and they finish school hoping to earn a scholarship. 
Bob added medical supplies to his investment in the community. He has shipped containers of medical supplies occasionally. He was delighted to learn about Project Cure. 
Belize Birds Limited merk 2019-03-31 04:00:00Z 0

Member Service Awards

President Tammy Duering and President Elect Bob Curran recognized a series of club members for their work for Rotary. 
Bonnie Korengel, center in the picture above, was recognized by the District with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the District SASY Awards banquet last weekend.
Tammy and Bob then went on to announce internal club service award winners. 
Two members were recognized for the high level of service they have provided our club over many years: Ted Trevorrow, pictured above,  and Lynn Nathan, shown below receiving her award from Tammy and Bob. They both live service constantly, through club projects and independent efforts. 
Recognized as the most productive member in the first year of membership was Leonie Kolvenbag, shown below. Leonie co-chaired last year's Gala, then became club Secretary and reorganized that job through the conversion to the Club Runner database. 
Tom Simpers, shown above receiving his award, was recognized for his long history of successfully recruiting new members - 104 in his Rotary career so far. Yes, Tom has a long history as a Rotarian and he is always looking for new members. 
This year's Gala co-chairs, Brendan Murphy on the left and Len Vannicola on the right of Tammie in the picture below, were recognized for the first ever standing room only gala crowd this year. 
Member Service Awards Bob Merkle 2019-03-24 04:00:00Z 0

Service Dogs and Other Dogs

Judy Reese and her service Dog, Shakespeare, helped us understand the difference between service dogs, therapy dogs and emotional support animals. Judy is an expert as she has had a service dog to warn her of impending seizures since she was 8 years old living on the family horse farm. 
Service dogs, or more properly service animals, were recognized in law through the Americans with Disabilities Act. The only service animals protected by the law are service dogs and miniature horses. They are specially trained animals who perform therapeutic tasks for their owners. The tasks they perform range widely: replacing or improving vision and hearing; providing medical alerts; allergy; mobility support; PTSD and other psychological support. Each is trained to serve one single person and his/her unique needs. The training takes years so the initial cost for a service dog is about $25,000, and there are long waiting lists. 
For example, Shakespeare, a Bouvier des Flanders, warns Judy of an impending seizure 15 to 30 minutes before it happens. This allows Judy to sit or lie down so she won't be injured through the inevitable fall the seizures induce. Bouviers were originally bred as cattle dogs, but have been service dogs for over 100 years. During World War 1 they were used by the military to find wounded soldiers and string communications wires across battle fields at night. They were effective because of their standard black coloring and high intelligence. 
Trained dogs provide service for about 10 years after formal training, which starts when they are puppies, before the aches and pains of age interfere with their capabilities. Miniature horses are able to provide service for 15 to 20 years, and yes the miniature horses are house trained just as the dogs are. 
Under the ADA, service animals are able to go anywhere with their masters. The only questions you can ask about a service animal are "Is it a service dog (or horse)?" and "What is the task it is trained for?" These are useful questions to ask since many people are ordering service animal vests, documentation, and  even medical scripts online in order to be able to take their pet with them everywhere. If the owner cannot or will not answer these questions, they are likely not truly service animals and you don't have to give them access.
A way to visually check if an animal is trained for service is to watch how it positions itself around the owner. Service dogs will essentially always put themselves between their owner and other people. They are trained to protect the owner, and this is a standard behavior reflecting this. 
Even if an animal is a true service animal you can ask the owner to remove them from your premises if they are disruptive in any way, including messing inside. The owner is required to properly care for their service animal and the animal has spent years in training to learn how to handle essentially any situation before starting service, therefore no disruptions are allowed. 
Therapy dogs have no special training, They are pleasant dogs who are taken to hospitals and other locations to help patients by being there with them. They provide real help to people but they are not true service dogs. 
Emotional support animals are essentially pets. Any animal qualifies and no training is required. The designation is used to override landlord restrictions on housing animals. Airlines recognized their use as a calming influence during flights. However, there is no definition in law unless it is in local laws regarding housing. Now that many people are trying to use these labels to get free flights for their pets, including birds, snakes and a wide variety of other animals. airlines are redefining their usage of the term. Judy, and many of us agreed, essentially all dogs are emotional support animals with the way the freely give us their love and attention. 
Service Dogs and Other Dogs merk 2019-03-24 04:00:00Z 0

Introducing Megan Walters

Megan Walters was introduced as the alternate member for the Kennett Library. The Kennett Library joined through a corporate membership (multi-person membership), with the induction of Margaret Egli several weeks ago. 
Introducing Megan Walters Bob Merkle 2019-03-24 04:00:00Z 0

Longwood Rotary Foundation Update

Bob Curran, President Elect of our club and President of the Foundation, gave us a quick update on the Foundation Board's work so far this year. A great deal of effort was put into updating the Foundation's processes; resulting in new procedures, revised bylaws, and publishing guidelines describing what we invest in for those applying for grants. The most important new procedure is assigning a club member to each organization we invest as a liaison. This helps us to stay abreast of their progress and needs. Our goal is to become more of a long term partner in delivering their service. 
The Foundation has also been "marketing" itself to area non-profits as a way to identify new opportunities for us to assist the community.
We have invested $46,700 locally and $12,500 in international projects. The Foundation Board has 7 new applications to evaluate within the next few weeks so a decision can be made at the next board meeting. The only request denied so far was for body cameras to be used by local police. We limit our investment in municipal services to those extra items that are life saving, such as Narcan, bullet proof vests and Automated Defibrillators (AED's).
The split between local and international investments is currently 85%/15%. Essentially all requests going forward are epected to be for local investments, so this will probably end up as 95%/5% local/international. 
Longwood Rotary Foundation Update Bob Merkle 2019-03-18 04:00:00Z 0

Start with One Kenya

Jim Hall and his wife have been volunteers for Start with One Kenya since 2009. One Kenya is a non-profit providing a range of services to Kenyans in the areas of clean water, sanitation, education, health care and economic development. Experience has taught Start with One Kenya it is more effective when focused on one big need or issue at a time. It then develops a quality solution, implements it in a way that supports evaluation of the results so that the business case for it can be made, and then expands that solution geographically. 
This approach has been applied to providing clean water. Water quality in Kenya is hundreds of years behind the US. Most people rely on surface water sources that are shared with live stock, the various economic activities in the area, and local wild animals. Usually the water is turbid to just plain muddy, fouled with fecal matter, of many colors, and has a unique taste associated with each source. Even when staying at a four star hotel the water cannot be trusted to be consumed, used for brushing your teeth or washing uncooked food. The four most common diseases within Kenya are waterborne illnesses. 
Compare that to our ubiquitous clean, clear water that is essentially tasteless, and absence of waterborne illnesses.  
The solution often applied to improving water quality is digging new deep wells. One Kenya rejected this approach quickly for a number of reasons: 
  • It is expensive to dig a well and provide the power needed to bring the water to the surface with local generators or gas/diesel pumps.
  • Maintenance is not feasible in many areas, so the wells become useless fairly quickly. 
  • Each well might service 10,000 people. They are micro solutions in a country that needs macro solutions. 
  • Well water often becomes contaminated prior to use because it must be hauled to the use site, usually in unsanitary containers. 
Facing these challenges, One Kenya focused on filtering the water taken from the traditional cistern and surface sources already in use, at the point of use, as the best solution. No power source is needed; each family can be given independent access to clean water; it will work in all areas, urban or rural; it can be done at very low cost; and it is a proven technology.
After reviewing already extant filtration systems, one was found that works well. Negotiating with the manufacturer did not lead to a low enough price to be effective. So One Kenya took advantage of the fact that the technology the company uses is not patented and started a redesign and manufacturing process. The result is the Uzima filter system. It filters out 99.9999% of particulate matter in the water; meaning all bacteria, protozoa and other disease sources are removed. It doesn't remove nano-sized matter, so the taste is generally not changed, not necessarily an improvement but not a negative for the local population either. And the filter lasts for 10 years with regular back washing. In fact, if the filter is not back washed it stops operating, telling the user that "maintenance is required". The entire system consists of a couple of buckets joined by the filter, and a back wash "syringe". 
As a validation test one county sized area was chosen for mass distribution of the filter. 15,000 filter systems went, one per household, to service 65,000 people. Each filter was bar coded so its ownership could be tracked and matched to the results and family history. The results were overwhelmingly successful: 
  • 89% reduction in water borne illness at the household level, and 94% reduction among children 5 and younger. Vaccination for amoeba based diseases is no longer needed 
  • Medical costs dropped from $242 per household to $17 after the filters were distributed. 
  • The number of school days missed dropped from 56 to 3 per household
  • The number of work days missed per household dropped from 74 to 3. 
The total cost of the program was $480,000, resulting in medical cost savings alone of $2,700,000. That is a return of $5.62 per dollar spent just in medical cost savings. The use of "cluster leaders" from the local community has supported the needed detailed tracking of results, and ensured any use issues that developed could be handled quickly. 
One test of the ability to scale up the size of a filter system was conducted at a school too. A single "super sized" filter was added to the out feed line of a cistern rain water collection system already in use. It is successfully meeting the needs of hundreds of orphans at the school by cleaning thousands of gallons of water per day. 
These impressive results have started the mass distribution of the Uzima filter system across Kenya with other countries expressing interest in starting a comparable program. 
Start with One Kenya Bob Merkle 2019-03-18 04:00:00Z 0

Dawn Doherty-Kohl

Dawn describes herself as a child of the 1960's, which she feels is signified by her name, Dawn. As evidence, Dawn offered that she was named after the book Dawn in the Morning which was popular in the 60's. Her two sisters, one older and one younger, are very close to her. First their ages only range across 3 years. Second they were best friends growing up, and that continues today. 
Growing up in Towson MD, Dawn was a cheerleader in high school. From high school Dawn went to college at Frostburg State in western Maryland. After graduating with a degree in Finance and Economics, Dawn took time out and spent two years skiing in Jackson Hole Wyoming. Only then did she enter the traditional workforce. She has been a stock broker, investment company wholesale sales person, and banker.
She also started her travelling hobby - going to Europe and Africa on multiple trips. Somewhere in this active time Dawn met her husband, Steve. They moved to Kennett Square 17 years ago to raise their family of two sons, Brennen and Hayden, while Steve continued to build his architecture practice in Baltimore.
The boys are swimming and playing tennis for the Kennett High School teams and doing well in school. They are also both on their way to being Eagle Scouts, just as Steve was in his youth. We can expect to hear about their Eagle Scout projects soon after they have been finalized.
Scouting was the reason for their latest trip to Europe. They attended an international scouting Jamboree in Switzerland this past summer. It was an incredible time for everyone. 
Several years ago Dawn and Steve added another son to their family - Bruno. Bruno, who was basically living as a street child in Guatemala, broke his hip while emigrating to the US. The "coyotes" dumped him into our medical system, and he became a "DuPont child" - receiving his medical care through the Alfred I DuPont hospital. Steve and Dawn took Bruno into their family where he is thriving. They expect he will receive his green card soon. Bruno plans to attend Delaware County Community College next year, and then West Chester University as he prepares to become an attorney focused on immigration. 
Dawn is now the Executive Director of After-the-Bell. Prior to taking on this role Dawn was a program manager and then a program director. 
Dawn Doherty-Kohl Bob Merkle 2019-03-11 04:00:00Z 0

Allison Brunovszky

Allison was born in South Carolina. She and her mother moved to Richmond Virginia when Allison was 8 years old after her parents divorced. After graduating from high school Allison attended art school in Florida. After graduating from art school, Allison moved to Rehoboth Beach DE and then Wilmington, which is when she met her husband, John, in Buckley's Tavern. That is a story Allison chose not to tell us. Allison and John moved to Kennett Square in 1990. 
Allison and John have been married for 31 years and have 3 daughters. Their eldest, Alex, lives in San Diego CA and has their only grandchild - a 4 year old boy. Their middle daughter lives in Austin TX where she rides jumpers in horse shows. Their youngest daughter lives in West Grove and works in the family business - Bavarian Motorsport. She also just became engaged last week. 
Allison grew up in a family in the auto business, so it was not an issue for her to join John in managing Bavarian Motorsport. The business started as a body shop on Birch Street in 1991. Eventually it moved to their current location on Cypress Street, after expanding into a full service mechanical and body shop, and used car business focusing on high quality cars. Several years ago John retired, so Allison is now the CEO. Allison participates in a national group of 20 women who own and manage auto businesses across the country. They get together at varying locations several times a year to swap ideas, attend seminars, and help each other succeed. 
In addition to operating Bavarian Motorsport, Allison is on the board of the United Way of Southern Chester County, and an active supporter of the Kennett Run and the community in general. 
Allison Brunovszky Bob Merkle 2019-03-11 04:00:00Z 0

Providing Sri Lanka with  Project Cure Medical Supplies

Glenn Chelliah is the member of Great Valley Rotary club leading this district international project to provide medical supplies to 2 hospitals in Sri Lanka, Glenn's home country. By providing Project Cure's $24,000 cost, hundreds of thousands of dollars in supplies and equipment will be delivered to two hospitals. each serving 325,000 people per year who generally earn less than $3 per month. All those patients medical needs are met by just 3 doctors working with 325 nurses using very limited supplies and equipment. Needless to say, the wait times for attention can be long - often taking 3 days. 
The project funding will cover the $4,000 cost of the needs assessment always performed by Project Cure staff. Through the needs assessment the exact supplies needed will be determined along with the detailed specifications for any equipment to be shipped, such as electrical supply characteristics and ability to maintain it. The remaining $20,000 budget is the cost of shipping the container to Sri Lanka. Glenn has already worked with the Sri Lanka embassy in Washington DC to ensure there will be no customs charges, fees, or taxes levied; and to ensure all import protocols are expedited to ensure rapid transfer of the materials to the hospitals. Glenn's question to us is: Will we participate in this effort of people-to-people diplomacy? 
Collaborating on this project is the Colombo West Rotary Club in Sri Lanka. (Note: K. Ravindran -the recent Rotary Worldwide President from Sri Lanka is a member of this club.). The Colombo West club will assist with the travel and accommodations for the needs assessment staff from Project Cure and be on site to help resolve any issues that arise during delivery.
Glenn attended an American Jesuit Middle school and High school in Sri Lanka, then received a scholarship to the U.S to study at St. Joseph’s University. After graduate studies he joined the U.S pharmaceutical industry and worked for 33 years both in the U.S and Switzerland before retiring. Glenn and his wife of 40 years moved to West Chester 18 months ago.
Providing Sri Lanka with Project Cure Medical Supplies Bob Merkle 2019-03-03 05:00:00Z 0

Student of the Quarter

Unionville High School Counselor Carolyn Spiegel introduced our Student of the Quarter, Mira Zutshi, as a scholar, athlete, musician and leader. Carolyn said "Mira seeks knowledge for its own sake. When helping someone with a problem or issue, she then uses her knowledge to help that person."
Mira's leadership relies on her strong communication skills, which Carolyn feels are effective because of Mira's strong empathy and flexibility. Mira's talent playing violin led her to participate in the school orchestra, and her first service project. 
Mira said she started to learn leadership through her membership on the high school swimming and rowing teams. Her first exposure to formal leadership training came in her sophomore year when she attended a Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership camp. Her participation in the camp inspired Mira to start Hungry for Music, which helps provide music instruments to those students with the need to play music.
Mira's second major leadership effort focuses on the STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, workshops she provides Philadelphia school students. She started with just two Philadelphia students participating in the after school workshops in electronics and robotics a couple of years ago. This effort has grown so large Mira launched a club at Unionville High School this year to support the program at the several city schools now participating. The participants are drawn to the hands-on activities and learn math and science as a result. 
In addition to the two service initiatives Mira started, Mira works at La Communidad Hispania and the Chester County Intermediate Unit teaching English as a second language and citizenship. During the summer Mira works the information desk at Riddle Memorial Hospital. 
Mira has yet to identify the college she wants to attend, but she is focused on Electrical Engineering as her area of study. 
Student of the Quarter Bob Merkle 2019-03-03 05:00:00Z 0

February Rotarian of the Month

Jackie Crego, right in the photo receiving her certificate from President Tammy Duering,  is our Rotarian of February. Jackie has been a major participant in the Community Needs Assessment effort, currently leading the work to define Education projects for us to consider. Jackie also has re-invigorated our social media communications efforts. 
February Rotarian of the Month Bob Merkle 2019-03-03 05:00:00Z 0

Club Officer Changes

Three of our officer positions will need to be replaced for the upcoming 2019/20 Rotary Year: Secretary, Treasurer and of course our annual need for a new Vice President. Ted Koenig has decided not to continue as Treasurer after 10 years in the role, and Leonie Kolvenbag plans to retire as Secretary after making major improvements in the club's record keeping processes through automation. The Vice President position is designed to move into the President Elect position each year, so it always needs a new person. If you are interested in any of these roles please talk with Tammy Duering or Bob Curran to learn more. 
Club Officer Changes Bob Merkle 2019-02-23 05:00:00Z 0

Ray of Hope

Hemang Desai's, shown at the right in the photo together with President Elect Bob Curran, experience on a social sabbatical in South Africa working with non-profits to improve their performance triggered his interest in helping non-profits all the time. SAP encourages its employees to use their experience helping businesses to do the same for non-profits through these social sabbaticals.
After returning from the sabbatical and talking about the experience with his wife, who is a Director in Price Waterhouse's healthcare consulting practice, they decided to launch a fundraising effort centered around the traditional Indian dance recitals that are part of the dance studio his wife operates on the side. These efforts were successful in raising money for good causes, generating about $70,000 in a few years. But they also learned providing money alone was not sufficient to improve performance and results. That takes more commitment over time. 
So they launched Ray of Hope in 2011 to focus on improving the performance of non-profits providing health care services and education in the US and India. The formal foundation structure allows them to focus on long term relationships, five to seven years, with a few non-profits where they provide funds and management talent to lift the performance of the non-profit permanently. 
The initial efforts focused on the Gwalier Children's Charity in their home region of India. The Gwalier Charity provides residential and non-residential education and services for children with handicaps such as MS. One of the first things they invested in for the school was a bus to bring children to the school from the surrounding villages. Quickly realizing the bus was idle throughout most of the day, they started an outreach health service using the bus as the delivery vehicle. These health camps reach over 120,000 people to educate them in sanitation and other preventive measures, provide vaccinations, as well as delivering acute care. Second an ambulance was acquired to better support the provision of acute care to the region. Cases that cannot be handled within the scope of the health camps now have transport to medical centers. 
Basic utility services are unreliable in the area so they invested in solar panels to power the Gwalier orphanage buildings reliably. Finally they tackled disease prevention by improving the water system for the school. They installed a new water tank to collect rain water and clean it for human consumption. 
At the same time, Ray of Hope has been working with the Inglis House, a skilled nursing facility serving the severely disabled in Philadelphia. Many of the residents were spending hours doing essentially nothing when volunteers were not available to read to them or assist in other ways. Ray of Hope invested in adaptive technology and work stations to allow the residents to use computers independently. They are now able to do things such as read e-books for themselves and type to communicate using eye movements. One of the residents just published a book, typing out the story using eye movements instead of his/her hands to manipulate the keyboard.
Ray of Hope is about to start a new investment cycle in India partnering with the Bal Utsav public school. In India public schools are of poor quality, so everyone who can sends their children to private schools. The goal of the Bal Utsav program is to raise the educational attainment level to that of private schools, making quality education available to everyone. Ray of Hope is focusing on teacher development by providing scholarships, in service training programs and teacher placement. Targeted to the students is the WASH program that teaches about water, sanitation and hygiene, with a particular focus on feminine hygiene. Girls meet with an ob/gyn practitioner twice and receive sanitary supplies. The WASH program eliminates one of the major reasons women are under-educated. 
The primary focus of their healthcare efforts will be Karma Healthcare. This organization provides local health clinics supported by telemedicine. Each clinic is expected to support the health care needs of about 35,000 people with education in preventive practices as well as direct care for specific conditions. 
Ray of Hope Bob Merkle 2019-02-23 05:00:00Z 0

Kennett Rotaract Club Looking to Grow

The Kennett Rotaract Club is seeking to grow its membership of 18 to 30 year olds interested in community service and fun. The Rotaract Club meets twice a month at the offices of La Communidad Hispania at 6 PM. Please let all those you know who might be interested in growing their set of service oriented friends about the club and encourage them to attend. 
Kennett Rotaract Club Looking to Grow merk 2019-02-23 05:00:00Z 0

Our Biggest Polar Plunge Participation Yet

With a team of 8 plungers led by Bob Curran and contributing $2,000 to the Polar Plunge, Longwood Rotary set a new record for itself in donations and numbers. Once again we won the Golden Plunger Award, which President Tammy Duering is holding in the picture to the left, shown with Dave Haradon
Our Biggest Polar Plunge Participation Yet Bob Merkle 2019-02-17 05:00:00Z 0

Rotary Readers

Rotary Readers is so successful improving student performance the Kennett School District wants to make it available to all children in grades 1 through 5. The program is being expanded to add math and mentoring to the basic reading program. 
Volunteers are needed to meet the demand. All you need to do is spend a minimum of 30 minutes per week with the student you are assigned at a time of your choosing. Dave Foresman said "This is the most rewarding thing I have done as a Rotarian. I know I get more from the time I spend with my student than he gets from me." Jennifer Lewis, our new teacher coordinator for the program, is ready to help you complete the required background check. 
Rotary Readers Bob Merkle 2019-02-17 05:00:00Z 0

Himalayan Hope

Hans Sharma, shown at the left, is the founder and CEO of Himalayan Hope Foundation, which has built and is supporting an English language school serving the educational needs of children from kindergarten through high school in his home region of India. Hans started this project in 2000 shortly after his mother died. It was her tireless effort to educate Hans and his siblings that he is memorializing with this effort. Therefore the school is named Gayatri after his mother. 
While the school educates all children it has a special focus on girls, so the ratio is 6 girls to each boy at the school. The focus on educating girls is to ensure their full participation in the region, and because Hans knows from personal experience that woman will use their knowledge and energy to ensure their family and community grows and prospers. 
Gayarti school started 19 years ago as an elementary school. As it has proven its ability to teach a range of grades it has been allowed to add additional higher grades, so it has recently been expanded to the full K through 12 grades. Its first high school graduation will occur within the year. Hans hopes to expand Gayatri into college level teaching at some time. In addition to a sound education the students learn to maintain a sound body by participating in a sports club. The sports club provides a race day that features runs up to a half marathon. This event has grown to attract 500 participants now. 
To attract highly qualified teachers their stipend includes western style housing on the school campus and support to participate in continuing education. As a further way to ensure the quality of education, Gayarti school uses 100 donated laptop computers to provide access to the Khan Academy, a leader in online education, and the general Internet for research. The Teachers are supported by Villanova University students who are members of the University STEM club. They work with the students on their several week long visits to do experiments and provide other assistance, helping to ensure a sound and high quality science, technology engineering and math curriculum. 
To ensure students are able to attend, Gayarti school provides bus transportation to and from school for students. The overall impact is that Hans has in many ways replicated the American public school system. One big difference is the length of the school year - 260 days, a school year that is 44% longer than ours. It is also far less expensive. The entire school operates on a budget of about $5,000 per month, with forty percent of the budget going to transportation. A donation of $2,500 provides a scholarship that will support a student in perpetuity. To date there are 37 scholarships. All of them are merit based except two which are needs based. Successful applicants must pass a test every year to qualify for their scholarship. 
Himalayan Hope Bob Merkle 2019-02-17 05:00:00Z 0

New Paul Harris Fellows

President Tammy Duering, right,  recognized our newest Paul Harris Fellow - Leonie Kolvenbag - by presenting her with her certificate and pin. 
Dave Scott was recognized for achieving his ninth level. 
New Paul Harris Fellows Bob Merkle 2019-02-17 05:00:00Z 0

Community Needs Assessment Project Development

Now that we have defined the 5 areas we want to focus on, it is time to develop specific project definitions within each. This will be done by committees of Club members. The committee chairpersons for each area of focus are: 
  • Education - Heather Connolly, Jackie Crego, Al Iacocca
  • Transportation - Karen Ammon, Allison Brunovsky, Jordan Gushurst
  • Housing - Rochelle Brittingham, Mike Moyer, Rob Newman
  • Community Improvement - Ron Fenstermacher, George Gower, Mike Hughes
  • Job Training - Newt Brosius, Steve Malley, Mark Rybarczyk
Community Needs Assessment Project Development Bob Merkle 2019-02-17 05:00:00Z 0

Jeff Cyron

Jeff grew up in Avon Grove as the oldest of five. He has three brothers and a sister. They are now living all over the US. 
Jeff tried lots of sports as a kid: ice hockey, soccer, baseball, basketball, lacrosse and others. In all of them he was competent but not a star. The sport he has stayed with is ice hockey, even playing on a club team during his freshman year at the University of South Carolina. That was a truly interesting experience. Ice rinks are not exactly common in South Carolina, so they had long road trips for everything, including just getting to practice. Games were often scheduled around football game times and locations. Follow the football team, play an ice hockey game in the morning, and make the tailgate parties and game in the afternoon.
Ice hockey is part of how Jeff joined Longwood Rotary. He plays in an adult league now with Len Vannicola and Mark Rybaczyk. They talked Jeff into joining our club.
Jeff majored in Accounting and has been a practicing accountant since graduating. He worked for 2 Delaware firms and now has joined his father's firm here. 
One of Jeff's favorite activities is driving across the US to visit new states. So far he has visited 34, and his goal is to visit all 50. Frequently these trips are done with his younger brother, so they are a great way to stay connected with his far flung siblings. In addition to travel, Jeff is involved with Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity. Jeff finds interacting with the athletes at Special Olympics events especially rewarding. They are incredibly warm and absolutely love their sport. Working as a Habitat for Humanity volunteer Jeff has helped build about a half dozen homes here in Chester County. The reward here comes from the joy of the families moving in to the new homes. 
Jeff Cyron Bob Merkle 2019-02-10 05:00:00Z 0

Charlie Carpenter

Charlie started his story with the family history of both his mother and father's families. The family history of his mother was told very succinctly - little is known. His father's family is very aware of its history, which reaches back to 1698 when Hans Zimmermann immigrated. Hans was financially successful and bought property from William Penn for a farm and home in Chester County. Apparently William Penn's record keepers preferred to use English and changed "Zimmermann" to "Carpenter" on the land patent. The family name has been Carpenter since. A long tradition of names being changed by officials in the US may have started with Charlie's family. 
The Carpenter family expanded across the US to the midwest, which is where Charlie was born and grew up. Charlie's father married while still in law school, and had a successful practice. However, he felt he missed something by marrying early, so encouraged Charlie to take a year off before going to college. Charlie was more than happy to spend the year skiing the Rockies, working as a bartender. Charlie then worked at a bank for a year. He found the experience boring, so he became an event planner for a restaurant he worked at while skiing. One of the events he planned required him to work with a demanding young woman who called constantly with demands and issues. Charlie grew to hate the sound of her voice when she called. He finally met Tanya at the event. They were married two months after meeting. 
Both Tanya and Charlie maintained careers until they moved to Cincinnati when Tanya's job required it. At the same time Tanya was pregnant. Charlie's grandfather was concerned that Charlie, as the only Carpenter of his generation, have a son so the name would continue. Luckily Sam was born, meeting the demand, since their second child they is a daughter. Tanya's job involved almost constant travel so Charlie became his nanny for five years. 
After his spell as nanny Charlie looked for a new job and ended up managing a farm. This had a certain irony since Charlie's father always wanted to be a farmer. He bought the land but was not knowledgeable enough to operate it, so on a handshake he rented the farm to a local family. That hand shake deal still persists to this day. Operating the farm for a wealthy family led Charlie to managing family trusts, which is his current career. 
Charlie Carpenter Bob Merkle 2019-02-10 05:00:00Z 0

Polar Plunge

Jim Jordan, the CEO and Executive Director of the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance, visited us to encourage our participation in the Polar Plunge. The Plunge generates between $15,000 and $20,000 to support the educational and restoration efforts of the Alliance. Longwood Rotary is of special importance to the success of the Plunge as the leading donor every year in its 11 year history. Last year we contributed $1700. This year we expect to have raised about $2000 through Happy /Dollar donations matched by the club Foundation. Our team of plungers includes Bob Curran, Jeff Cyron, Al Iacocca, Dawn Doherty-Kohl, and Steve Malley expect to enjoy a balmy air temperature in the 40 degree range. 
Polar Plunge Bob Merkle 2019-02-10 05:00:00Z 0

Margaret Egli Returns 

Margaret Egli, center in the photo to the left, was inducted by President Tammy Duering, left in the photo. Margaret is a Board member of the Kennett Area Library and has rejoined our club as their representative. Margaret was sponsored by Karen Ammon, shown to the right in the picture 
Margaret Egli Returns Bob Merkle 2019-02-10 05:00:00Z 0

January Rotarian of the Month

President Tammy Duering recognized John Marble as our Rotarian of the Month. John is always ready to cheerfully help anyone who needs it. Most recently, John completed managing our Holiday Season Longwood Greeter volunteer efforts early January, a major and important club activity 
January Rotarian of the Month Bob Merkle 2019-02-03 05:00:00Z 0

Maternal and Child Health  Consortium 

Milena Oberti-Lanz, Executive Director, explained the overall mission of the Maternal and Child Health Consortium as empowering families to achieve better health. They focus their services on pregnant women, infants and families with young children so their teaching has a long term impact on large numbers. Services are provided from 5 offices spread throughout Chester County, one of which is in Kennett Square. 
Because the US child population is more diverse than the overall population, all of the service providers at Maternal and Child Health Care are multi-lingual. One of the results of our diversity is high infant mortality rates. Many new parents don't understand how our medical system works. Therefore one of the services provided is Healthy Start.
As Cecelia Arce, the Program Director shown left, explained, this program begins during the first trimester of pregnancy and works with the entire family. Case workers ensure the family is getting the needed health care and does special screenings of the mother for depression, which creates risk for the baby and mother when present. These screenings occur three times, the first during pregnancy and the other at one and six months after delivery. They work with the family in their home about once per week to educate the parents in child care and development, ensure they have transportation to get to medical appointments and work, and even help solve housing and employment issues, all done by working with other agencies as needed. 
Many client families are at risk for diabetes, so Maternal and Child Health watches for it among all client family members. Diabetes is more likely among some of our minority populations because of genetic propensity, diet and exercise patterns, the cost of food (junk food is usually cheaper), and the huge change in environment they experienced when they moved to the US. They have gone from growing their own food to buying it from a bewildering array of choices. 
Medical care is expensive so case workers help clients obtain health insurance. Last year 4,000 clients were assisted with insurance applications. Low income clients are assisted applying for SNAP food stamp benefits. These are working poor families impacted by the high cost of housing and poor public transit in Chester County. 
About 52% of the children of clients don't attend preschool for a variety of reasons. Children with no preschool experience are at risk of doing poorly in school, resulting in reading at less than grade level as of fourth grade, which is a strong predictor of dropping out of high school and struggling in poverty as an adult. Therefore Maternal and Child Health provides the Parent as Teacher program where parents are taught child development milestones and practices to help ensure their child meets them. For example, fathers are taught how their children learn so they can then teach their kids how to manage their behavior.  Screening services for development level are part of the program so its success is continuously measured.
One issue identified through this program was that these children are not ready for kindergarten because of all the new experiences hitting them at once, such as busing to school, being in a large group of unknown children overseen by an unknown adult, etc. Therefore, last year a new program was tested to acclimate these children to the kindergarten environment. The parents are helped with student registration for school. The child experiences a two week camp where they get to do all the new things that come with kindergarten: riding buses; being in a large group of kids; and the routines of school, such as lunches, naps, and class times. The program was designed and operated with the assistance of Kennett School District's Mary D Lang kindergarten center staff. The positive impact of the program was noticed by the teachers when school started this fall. Class disruptions caused by stressed out kids almost disappeared. With this successful test completed, the program is being scaled up this year. 
Maternal and Child Health Consortium Bob Merkle 2019-02-03 05:00:00Z 0

2019 Polar Plunge

Support our Club team as they cross the Brandywine River at the Brandywine River Picnic Park this Saturday morning. No mater how warm the air temperature, which is forecast to be a balmy 35 degrees, the river is sure to be icy this year.
The festivities begin about 9 AM with the crossing scheduled for 10. Our team consists of Bob Curran, Al Iacocca and others. If you want to join the team simply register online at, and identify your team as Longwood Rotary. 
We have been the largest group fundraiser for years so give Happy Dollars generously at our meeting this week to support the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance. All dollars donated will be matched by the Longwood Rotary Club Foundation. 
2019 Polar Plunge Bob Merkle 2019-02-03 05:00:00Z 0

Wheelchair Donated

Ted Trevorrow realized a local couple needed a new wheelchair when he saw the husband struggling to push his wife into La Communidad last week. After a quick conversation with Bob Curran, President of our club's foundation, he submitted an application and bought a chair for the couple online at a great price. They had their new chair within a couple of days. 
Wheelchair Donated merk 2019-02-03 05:00:00Z 0

Thank You Oliver Heating and Cooling

Once again Oliver Heating and Cooling is donating a new heating and cooling system to our Gala silent auction. The system will be installed by Oliver personnel, who many of our members know are great professionals to have working  in your home from experience, after you finalize your selection of the system options you need. This has been a major funds generator at our auction now for years. 
Thank You Oliver Heating and Cooling 2019-02-03 05:00:00Z 0

Sustainable Community Project Process

Bob Curran, President of the Longwood Rotary Club Foundation, has developed a process to move from the Community Needs Assessment recently completed to the development of needed and sustainable major projects we can support. 
As a result of the Needs Assessment eight categories of projects were defined: 
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Education
  • Quality of life
  • Community improvement 
  • Health
  • Public safety
  • Job training
These categories identify the areas where the community identified significant needs we can potentially meet. To convert these categories into specific projects we have to decide where we want to focus. To that end, all attending completed a survey in which we ranked these categories by their importance. The results of that prioritization defined the following 5 areas for detailed development into projects, listed in the order of importance we collectively assigned : Education, Transportation, Housing, with Community Development and Job Training essentially tied at number 4. 
Based on this ranking we will meet with those organizations focused in a selected area to develop specific projects for membership consideration and selection. The goal is to have projects ready for membership approval in March this year.
Projects can be of any size. Working with community foundations and funding sources there is no expense barrier to what we can take on. And by making multi-year commitments with the engagement of our current and future leadership (Tammy Duering, Bob Curran, and Vicki Gehrt) time is not an issue. Our critical role is leadership. By leading the discussions of need, turning these ideas into ready-to-go projects, and then working with others in the community to complete the project(s), we will move many ideas from the drawing board/discussion stage to completion. 
Sustainable Community Project Process Bob Merkle 2019-01-27 05:00:00Z 0

Responsibilities of Club Directors

Our club is managed by a Board of Directors with many of the Directors having specific roles. Here are those specific director roles: 
  • Ted Koenig, Treasurer, manages the finances of the club and maintains all financial records of the club. 
  • Leonie Kolvenbag, Secretary, maintains all membership and related records for the club on both the club and Rotary International databases. 
  • Adam Guyer, Club Administration, oversees our governance structures and processes. and takes on additional duties such as working with the Kennett Rotaract Club, which is currently focused on expanding its membership. In his governance role Adam is evaluating our relationship with the District Foundation, Gundaker. Adam is also on the Board of the Baldric Foundation, a childhood cancer focused non-profit many Chester County fire companies support. 
  • Brendan Murphy manages our preparations for the Gala. This makes him responsible for funding he majority of our donations to the community. 
  • Dawn Talley, Projects Director, develops and manages our overall service project workload. Through Dawn's efforts we donate thousands of hours of support to our community and the many non-profits within it. 
  • Mark Rybarczyk, Public Relations and Technology Director, planned and managed our conversion to the new Club Runner website and system for managing newsletter production. This conversion integrated our club records with those of RI for the first time, greatly increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of Leonie's work. For the first time, we now have a consistently current, informative, and interesting website, Instagram, and Facebook presence. This effort is succeeding through the support of Jackie Crego
  • Len Vannicola, Membership Director, works with everyone in the club to recruit prospective members and educate them in our club as they join. Currently we have 86 members and Len would like to see us grow to 95 this year. 
  • Lynn Nathan-Samick, Youth Programs Director, supports our inbound and outbound exchange students. In this role she works closely with our own Rob Newman in his equivalent District level role. Lynn is currently working with the Technical College High School on a new apprenticeship program. Many of the students involved in the apprenticeship program are truly ready for full time jobs in their chosen trade. 
  • Bob Curran is our President Elect. In addition to preparing to lead our club next year he is the President of our club foundation. 
Responsibilities of Club Directors Bob Merkle 2019-01-27 05:00:00Z 0

December 2018 Secretary's Report

With your participation, our Club ranked NUMBER 1 of 64 clubs in our DISTRICT, again!

What counts to your attendance?
Our meetings, Club hands-on projects such as Longwood Gardens Greeters, visiting other Clubs, other volunteer opportunities and community services.
Each reported event-participation will go towards a missed meeting and will help boost our attendance average in the District.

Make sure you scan your badge-barcode at our meetings for your Club attendance.
Keep forwarding your current attendance information to Leonie at

Active Members: 86

Club Resignations:
Monica Buffington, Cynthia Fannon, Greg Suplick, DeForest Johnson, Doug Nakashima

Leave of Absence;
Edward Bassett (winter only)
Rudy Karkosak
Saadia Khan
Deborah Lewis
Chad Laurence
Margaret Rover
December 2018 Secretary's Report Bob Merkle 2019-01-20 05:00:00Z 0

Operation Warm

story thumbnail
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. 
Operation Warm Bob Merkle 2019-01-13 05:00:00Z 0

Kacie's Cause Update

Dave Foresman reported that Kacie's Cause is working with the Anson Nixon Park board of directors to plan a contemplation garden within the park boundaries in memory of the children we have lost to drug overdoses. The concept for the contemplation garden came from Andy Rumford's use of Kacie's favorite tree at their home, a weeping cherry tree, as his contemplation location. It gives him a place where he can quietly heal himself by thinking about his loss and how he can help others avoid the pain he has suffered. The park board has approved the concept and the West Chester chapter of Kacie's Cause has already raised $1,000 toward its cost. 
Kacie's Cause Update Bob Merkle 2019-01-13 05:00:00Z 0

Rochelle Brittingham 

Rochelle, shown in the picture to the left commenting on one of her slides, grew up in Avon Grove with her two sisters and parents. After graduation from Avon Grove High School she attended Millersville University, majoring in psychology and sociology. Through the experience of studying in London Rochelle learned two things: she loved to travel and loved London. London is still her favorite city.
She met her husband, Nick, during her college years, and they married shortly after graduating. 
Rochelle continued to broaden her travel experiences when she attended the University of North Texas to earn her masters degree in emergency management by traveling to Turkey for a research project. After completing her masters, Rochelle and family returned to this area so she could earn her Doctor of Philosophy in disaster management at the University of Delaware. The University of Delaware was the first university in the US to focus on research in the disaster management field, therefore it is widely recognized as the top institution for disaster management professionals. Rochelle continues to participate in research efforts at the University, which focuses on policy questions in disaster recovery and management. 
Rochelle's field work included studies in Japan after the tsunami destroyed the Fukushima nuclear plant, and following up on the Sandy Hook hurricane clean up in New York City. So work related travel has not always been to exciting places like Sweden and Copenhagen. The Fukushima disaster was caused by the power of a truly major tsunami. The local emergency management team stayed at their stations in their three story building well in from the shore line until the building was hit by the wave. They were the people shown on TV scaling a radio antenna on their roof top to safety. When the wave pulled back only the structural steel of the building remained in what was essentially a debris field within the city. 
Currently, Rochelle is working for Chester County as the Health and Human Services Planning Coordinator. This means she was involved in the recent fire that destroyed the senior center in West Chester. Fire is not the primary area of concern in our area though. That is the loss of electricity, especially on a broad basis for an extended period. We all experienced the issues created when we lose electricity for a lengthy time during the power loss several winters ago that persisted for up to a week in some areas of the county. Power losses like this are especially hard on seniors, therefore a focus of planning. In addition to her work with the County, Rochelle is an adjunct professor at Millersville University and a lecturer at Wilmington University. 
Rochelle's at home hobby is weaving. She is currently making large runners. She is the official Girl Scout Cookie Mom this year, supporting her daughters. Rochelle volunteered as a UNICEF gift wrapper at the Christiana Mall during the holidays. For a gift to support UNICEF, she wraps your presents for you.

When asked what most of us never think about in our personal disaster planning, Rochelle said the big forgotten issue is protecting key documents. Insurance policies and other legal documents are usually in our homes, so lost when our homes are heavily damaged. 
Rochelle Brittingham Bob Merkle 2019-01-06 05:00:00Z 0

Going Above and Beyond

Ted Trevorrow, left, was recognized by President Tammy Duering, right, for going well above and beyond leading the community needs assessment effort. Already several strong major project candidates are being considered. 
Going Above and Beyond Bob Merkle 2019-01-06 05:00:00Z 0

Longwood Rotary Foundation Update

Bob Curran, president of the Foundation Board, gave us a quick update on our Foundation. Fiscal year-to-date we have made 27 grants for a total of $41,853. Several of the grants were matched by the Rotary International Foundation, adding $8,275 to what we were able to invest in our community. These investments break out by areas of focus for our foundation as follows:
  • 30% in education
  • 22% internationally
  • 22% with a quality of life focus
  • 11% health and public safety
  • 11% for community and economic development
  • 4% in environmental efforts
All grants are made after a formal application is filed with the foundation. 
In addition to making grants the past 6 months, the board has focused on preparing to take advantage of the results of the community needs assessment, and providing more than just money. The bylaws have been reviewed and adjusted as needed to make them consistent with expected future activities. Bob and other board members have begun developing relationships with other funding sources and community organizations so they can work together on the needs assessment results.
Part of this preparation was instituting the liaison program with those groups we invest in. This helps us better understand their needs long term, ensures our investment is spent well, and helps us create linkages between groups when appropriate. A number of members volunteered in response to Bob's request for members to work as liaisons with several of the groups we work with regularly. 
Longwood Rotary Foundation Update Bob Merkle 2019-01-06 05:00:00Z 0

Habitat for Humanity - Potential Project

Chip Huston, Executive Director of the local Habitat chapter for the past 14 years, noted they have now built 152 homes in Chester County. 46 of these are in Coatesville with the remainder in West Chester. 
Habitat homes are good for the community, adding an average of $3,600 to the tax base. Much of the construction materials  are bought locally, supporting and expanding our local economy. Perhaps more importantly, they provide housing to those we depend on for many basic services and to fill lower income jobs in a county with a large and growing housing affordability issue. Finally these new homes often provide a stabilizing influence to neighborhoods that could easily slide into poor condition. 
The homeowners are selected through a rigorous process. They are low income, have a history of paying their bills, and must pass tests after taking classes on home maintenance and personal finance. The typical Chester County Habitat buyer has a household income between $25,000 and $50,000, versus the average county income of $84,000. 
The secret to making the homes affordable is building simple three bedroom designs in the 1500 square foot size range without garages; combined with creative financing using a combination of first and second mortgages. The goal is to keep total monthly housing costs at 30% of income which is about $800. Buyers are reducing their housing costs from the typical $1300 rent required for a single bedroom apartment, helping them better afford the other costs of living in Chester County. 
Habitat is getting close to final approval for a new 40 home development in West Grove to be placed on 6.8 acres. These 40 homes will cost a total of about $5 million when completed. Like all Habitat for Humanity homes they will be provided to their new owners after they complete training and supply at least 200 hours of volunteer labor for its construction. Like all Habitat homes they are designed to fit into their local neighborhood. In this instance that means building blocks of five townhomes, a first for Habitat locally. The other first with the West Grove development is using the US Department of Agriculture as a source of funding, possible because of the location. It means the mortgage interest rate is expected to be in the one to two percent range.
Building is expected to start in the June 2019 time range and take 4 to 6 years to complete. 
Habitat for Humanity - Potential Project Bob Merkle 2018-12-22 05:00:00Z 0

Anson Nixon Park Inclusive Playground - Potential Project

George Gower has been working with the Anson Nixon Park Board to develop plans for upgrading the current playground we helped install several years ago to provide fixtures suitable for children with handicaps. The planned changes include adding two new play areas, a specially designed swing and spinner, covering the ground surrounding these with rubber material as required by safety requirements, replacing the existing activity panel that is falling apart from constant use, and replacing the mulch around the climbing rocks with rubber material to end the cost of filling the voids in the mulch created by the kids playing on the rocks. 
The cost for this project is estimated to be $41,060. That breaks down to $10,260 for the new play equipment, $800 for the replacement activity panel, $5,000 for site preparation (removing a mature tree that is starting to fail makes up most of this), and $25,000 for the new rubber ground cover material. We would provide a good portion of the labor needed for the installation work. 
Anson Nixon Park Inclusive Playground - Potential Project merk 2018-12-22 05:00:00Z 0

December Rotarian of the Month

Leonie Kolvenbag, right in the picture, was recognized by President Tammy Duering, left in the picture, as our Rotarian of the Month for converting club record keeping to the Club Runner system, her record setting efforts co-managing the 2018 Gala, participating in this year's Polio Day in India, and last for hosting the club lady's night. 
December Rotarian of the Month merk 2018-12-22 05:00:00Z 0

In Memoriam - Tom Wells

Tom Wells, husband of our former member Donna Wells, was one of our many active, unofficial family members. We just learned Tom passed away in November. Tom and Donna retired and moved to the Carolinas several years ago. 
In Memoriam - Tom Wells Bob Merkle 2018-12-17 05:00:00Z 0

2018 Christmas Food Basket Prep

Longwood Rotarians, friends, and  family members gathered at the Kennett Food Cupboard to assemble 500 food baskets for Christmas this past Saturday. Pictured left to right are Jackie Crago, Ron Fenstermacher and Matt Grieco standing behind both his sons. 
2018 Christmas Food Basket Prep Bob Merkle 2018-12-17 05:00:00Z 0

December 13, 2018 New Member Induction

Tom Simpers, left most, sponsored Jane Donze, to his immediate right, for membership. We have lost count of the number of new members Tom has brought to Rotary. Len Vannicola, center right, sponsored Jeff Cyron. Please welcome both when you see them at our meetings or around town. 
December 13, 2018 New Member Induction Bob Merkle 2018-12-17 05:00:00Z 0

Student of the Quarter - Sophia Qureshi

Sophia Qureshhi, to the right of President Tammy Duering, was recognized as our student of the quarter. Her high school counselor, Laura Elfreth, introduced her as excelling academically as well as being active in politics, international immigration/refugee and health issues. 
Sophia has been active in politics for a number of years, with a strong interest in getting people to vote. As a co-founder of the Democrat's club in Unionville High School, Sophia helped lead several get out the vote efforts targeted on everyone, not just Democrats. In fact, this past election the get out the vote effort was a joint campaign of the Unionville Democrat and Republican clubs. They conducted a door-to-door campaign talking with everyone to encourage voting. In the future Sophia sees the two clubs joining to work together again on youth voting and anti-gun violence. Sophia sees much more active youth involvement in politics after the past campaign season based on the growth in activity between 2016 and 2017. 
This past summer Sophia accompanied her father, who is a doctor, to some of the unofficial Syrian refugee camps in Jordan. These camps house thousands of people and receive no government services since they are not officially recognized. At these "random" camps she helped distribute clothes, toys and money. As a result of that visit, Sophia recognized the huge need for women's health and hygiene assistance in Jordan. On returning to the US, Sophia set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for refugee women's health issues. To date she has raised $2,000. 
Sophia plans to go into international law for her career. She has yet to decide on her college choice. 
Student of the Quarter - Sophia Qureshi Bob Merkle 2018-12-17 05:00:00Z 0

Issues in Aging

Natalia Thompson, Admissions Director for the Genesis Healthcare Breckensville facility in Hockessin Delaware, discussed the issues of dementia, which impact about one-third of families in the US. Dementia is a major and rapidly growing reason for the growth in long term care. Dementia is a slowly progressing "disease" that heavily impacts all the family members of those afflicted. Billions of hours are invested in providing care, which can be needed all day.  Care givers can become isolated and exhausted. Eventually the care giver needs help to meet the needs of the person with dementia. 
Dementia is associated with the shrinking of our brains as we age. The shrinking creates space within our skulls that is filled with increasing volumes of the normal fluids surrounding our brains. The net result is damage to those areas of our brain responsible for thinking, planning, and remembering. The hippocampus is also damaged, impairing our ability to create new memories. We don't know what causes dementia, but we do know there is a genetic component. There is no cure, just the ability to manage the symptoms more effectively. 
A major difficulty in diagnosing dementia is the symptoms are similar to those experienced when there is a vitamin B12 deficiency, or we are dehydrated, depressed, or experience a number of other conditions. The underlying causal condition can start 15 to 20 years before any symptoms are recognized. Even after symptoms start to appear we are often quite productive, further compounding diagnosis issues. 
Symptoms include: 
  • difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • time/place confusion
  • cannot understand visual images
  • misplace things and cannot retrace your steps to find the item
  • poor judgement
  • withdrawal from normal activities
  • changes in mood and behavior 
Dementia is often accelerated by accidents such as falls. The body shifts its use of nutrients to support repairing the injury, resulting in a more rapid advance in dementia. That is one reason for the apparent correlation between balance issues and dementia. Basic physical exercise ensures stronger muscles and better balance, helping prevent dementia by limiting falls in addition to improving blood flow to the brain. Thinking games such as crossword puzzles and sudoku help reduce the advancement of dementia. You really can directly exercise your brain. 
Issues in Aging RAM 2018-12-10 05:00:00Z 0

RYLA Recruiting Starts

Ethel Ann Murphy started recruiting for the 12 sophomore high school students our club will sponsor to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) weekend in February 2019. If you know a worthy student please reach out to Ethel Ann. Since our club pays the participation fee, this is free for the students. 
RYLA Recruiting Starts RAM 2018-12-10 05:00:00Z 0

News from Saadia Khan

Clearly Saadia is still active even though she is mostly in Chicago this year. She reserved a table for the Gala for herself and friends. Saadia plans to return full participation in our club in April 2019 . 
News from Saadia Khan RAM 2018-12-10 05:00:00Z 0

Hands Across the Sea Grant

The District grant check in the amount of $1,897 was presented to President Tammy Duering. These funds, matched with our equal donation, will provide library books for 2 schools on St. Lucia. The books were selected from a list provided by the local teachers so we know they will support their school effectively. 
Hands Across the Sea Grant RAM 2018-12-02 05:00:00Z 0

Wilmington NC School Support

Bonnie and Mike Korengel drove the school supplies we donated and coats from Operation Warm to Wilmington NC where they were delivered to the Wilmington Rotary Club for distribution. Mike and Bonnie reported: "The entire area is nowhere near back to normal. All hotel rooms within miles of the city are occupied by local residents who lost their homes to the hurricane. Streets are lined with the debris and furnishings pulled from flooded homes waiting for pickup and disposal. Many schools are still closed. The city is a long way from recovered or even being cleaned up so reconstruction can start in many neighborhoods." The school supplies we provided will at least help start the return to normal conditions for several hundred families. 
Wilmington NC School Support RAM 2018-12-02 05:00:00Z 0

New Member Induction 

Dr. Daniel Kim, right, was sponsored by President Tammy Duering. Dan may be our first member living in Media. 
New Member Induction RAM 2018-12-02 05:00:00Z 0

Jen Dresser Found a Rotary Home

Jen sent a note to President Tammy Duering to let us know she has found a Rotary home in Albuquerque. She joined the Rotary Club of Albuquerque, which has over 200 members. A bit different from us in size but apparently not in spirit. 
Jen Dresser Found a Rotary Home RAM 2018-12-02 05:00:00Z 0

Kennett Consolidated School District is Thriving

Dr. Barry Tomassetti, Superintendent of the Kennett Consolidated School District, started by reminding us that the District is ranked in the 96th percentile of districts nationally. This exceptional performance is achieved by living the District mission every day, which Dr. Tomasetti summarized as: "No matter who comes in, improve their success every day".
This approach is critical to success in a district as diverse as Kennett. 45% of the students are economically disadvantaged. So far this year 95 new students have enrolled coming from Mexico and Guatemala. Yet students from all backgrounds graduate and go on to post-secondary education in a wide range of environments, including Ivy League Colleges. 
The District is justifiably proud of its STEM program. The program is integrated into classes from kindergarten through twelfth grade. It takes potentially dull information and relates it to the real world by using hands on activities such as building a marshmallow throwing machine in third grade, or building bridges and testing them to the point of collapse a few years later. Various technical tools are introduced so the students experience some of the tools used by engineers and other professionals. Right now there is even a group of seniors working with Bentley Architects on design projects. An example of the success of this approach can be seen in the internationally recognized robotics team. 
Parental engagement is a critical success factor in the US approach to education. Therefore, the District works to teach parents from other countries how to become engaged in the education of their children. This effort starts with preschool kids, such as those participating in Head Start. Parents are brought together with successful students from the same culture to learn what their kids can achieve and the support successful students need. These parents also get assistance to show them how to support early brain development through games, reading and other shared activities with their children. Parents with older children are involved in the APEX program where they work with volunteer parents from the community to learn how our education system works and they can support it, and the value their children will gain from a solid education. 
Dr. Michael Barber, Assistant Superintendent of the District, then explained how the English Language Development (ELD) program works. This program is integrated into normal class work for all grades. The ELD program relies on full content mapping of regular classes so the ELD teachers can use materials used in the class the students are taken from. This allows students to receive special instruction without losing ground in regular courses. The ELD program is successful. Standard required student testing shows all fourth graders are improving their English language skills. Very few comparable districts can make that claim. 
Kennett Consolidated School District is Thriving RAM 2018-12-02 05:00:00Z 0

Jose is a New Dad!

Aiden Manuel Colon was born on November 24th, at 2:09 p.m.  He was 8 lbs., 11 ozs., and 20.5 inches long at birth. This may be one of the few restful moments for Karin and Joe over the next year.  
Jose is a New Dad! RAM 2018-12-02 05:00:00Z 0

Congratulations Jose Colon!

Posted on Nov 27, 2018
story thumbnail
Congratulations to Jose Colon and his wife on the birth of their son!  Aiden Manuel Colon was born on November 24th, at 2:09 p.m.  He was 8 lbs., 11 oz., and 20.5 inches long.  Baby and mother are doing great and Jose is very proud!
Immediate past president Lenny Rivera (pictured on right) got to meet Aiden and reports that he is very cute!
Congratulations Jose Colon! MGR 2018-11-27 05:00:00Z 0 New Rotarian,baby,jose colon

Notes and Ephemera after Thanksgiving

First, please note we have had to change our speaker for this week. It is now Dr. Barry Tomasetti, Superintendent of the Kennett Consolidated School District. He will speak about the about the new initiatives, strength and quality of programs and overall status of the district. 
We were Number 1 out of the 64 Clubs in the District with 88.68% average attendance for the month October. 2nd was South West Philadelphia - Eastwick  with 84.62%, 3rd was Feasterville with 81.50%, and 4th is Kennett Square with 75.76% average attendance. The attendance rankings are not separated by large margins, so it is important you send your make-ups to Leonie Kolvenbag so they can be reported to the District (as required by Rotary International). 
Today is Giving Tuesday. I am sure you have been receiving reminder emails about this opportunity from the organizations you have been supporting. Please support the local non-profit of your choice, or Rotary, with your gifts.
Notes and Ephemera after Thanksgiving RAM 2018-11-25 05:00:00Z 0

Longwood Gardens Greeting Has Begun

Thank you to all those signed up for the first weekend of greeting Longwood visitors. If you have not signed up yet, please do so for the remaining days. The visitors are always friendly and fun. 
Longwood Gardens Greeting Has Begun RAM 2018-11-25 05:00:00Z 0

November 15 New Member Induction

President Tammy Duering, left above, inducted what appears to be a huge number of new members in the above picture. It was really two, one of which is a new corporate member. 
Steve Maley, the individual new member inducted, is third from left in the above picture. He, was sponsored by Dave Haradon, second from left.
Inducted as a corporate member was Kennett Township, represented by Lydell Nolt, center left, Lisa Moore, center right, Michael O'Brien, third from the right, and Robert Lysle, second from right in the above picture. Bob Listerman, far right, was the township's sponsor.
November 15 New Member Induction RAM 2018-11-19 05:00:00Z 0

Arts Holding Hands and Hearts

Arts Holding Hands and Hearts is a non-profit that was started by Jan Michener, its current Executive Director, in 2013 to serve the vulnerable youth in Chester County.  Its goals is to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations that traps multiple generations in poverty. To accomplish this goal AHHH focuses on the arts, literacy, and mindfulness.
  • Arts stimulates brain growth, promotes healing and connects the head and heart.
  • Literacy defines a child's future success in school and life. If a child is not reading at grade level in third grade there is very high probability they will become a societal problem. 
  • Mindfulness improves attention, self-control, and emotional resilience to offset the high level of stress these kids experience. 
The impact of the full AHHH program is being studied now. The results will tell Jan how successful AHHH is in changing the multi-generation cycle of poverty and provide the information she needs to expand and improve the program. 
One of the best ways Jan has found to engage the community in this effort is through Pop-Up Lending Libraries, or the PULL campaign. These are small boxes filled with books for children that are available in public spaces such as restaurants, stores, and non-profits. Each box is unique in design and decoration. The design is determined by the volunteer builders, as long as the box meets the size criteria. Artists then take over and paint each box with a unique design. Boxes are being built by high school students, residents of Kendal-Crosslands, and others. Many of the boxes are being painted by recognized artists, as well as students at the Garage and the Unionville High School arts society. The demand to participate is so strong in the Kennett area the planned number of PULL boxes has almost doubled to 27. Longwood Rotary has funded 10 of the boxes. 
Jan knows the books are being used. 40,000 books have been distributed through the PULL program in the past 3 years. That means 40,000 books are now in the homes of children where they can practice their reading skills at their own pace. 
To support this rapidly expanding program, Jan is beginning formal fund raising efforts. One new effort consists of partnering with the Kennett Book Resale shop. Customers can buy bags of children's books for $10 and donate the books to PULL. This supports the PULL program and the Kennett Area Senior Center. Another effort will be a 5K and 1K walk/run scheduled for April 27, 2019. 
Arts Holding Hands and Hearts RAM 2018-11-19 05:00:00Z 0

New Camp Dreamcatcher Storage

Camp Dreamcatcher had repeated flooding problems this past fall, destroying a good portion of their supplies. With President Tammy Duering's leadership that is now past. Tammy obtained the financial assistance of the West Chester Sunrise Rotary Club, Tri-M Corporation, and the WE Go Rotary Club to add to our $2,000 contribution to fund building a new shed at Camp Saginaw 
This past weekend members of all the supporting organizations joined together to move the supplies from the old storage location into the new shed at Camp Dreamcatcher. Pictured to the left the team is emptying the old storage area in record time. The annual movement of materials is now a thing of the past. 
New Camp Dreamcatcher Storage RAM 2018-11-19 05:00:00Z 0

Ready to Greet Longwood Holiday Guests

The Gardens are just about ready for us to start greeting their guests. The trees are lit and final touches were being placed on decorations this past week. Are you ready for your shifts? 
Ready to Greet Longwood Holiday Guests RAM 2018-11-19 05:00:00Z 0

Aileen Kim, Exchange Student 

Ji Yun KIm, left, is our Korean exchange student attending Unionville High School. She is a 16 year old from Busan, South Korea, a seaside city known for its beautiful beaches. Her English name is Aileen Kim. Aileen was sponsored by the Busan Hoedong Rotary club for her exchange year. 
Aileen has long wanted to come to the US. She fell in love with our country through American films. Her favorite is Spiderman. Hopefully she will not be disappointed by our lack of such heroic crime fighters in the Kennett area. 
As a coastal city, Busan shares the low (frigid) winter temperatures of the rest of Korea, but escapes the snow much of Korea experiences. The city has four seasons with beautiful foliage in the fall just as we have here. 
Aileen's family consists of her parents and older brother, who is a musician. Her brother has been in a band since he was in high school and continues to play in bands now.
Aileen shares her brother's interest in music but expresses it as a singer and dancer. She performs traditional Korean dances as well as dancing to her favorite musical genre, K-Pop. Aileen is a member of the World Angel Peace Corp singing group sponsored by Rotary. They sing at many district and other Rotary group meetings. They most recently performed at the Rotary International World Conference in Canada. Aileen's dedication to music is strong considering she spends about 2 hours per day practicing. 
An unexpected story Aileen told us is that Koreans celebrate Halloween. They celebrate by attending costume parties, but not trick or treating. Clearly Aileen enjoyed our version of Halloween when she reported she collected 128 pieces of chocolate through her trick or treat efforts. 
Aileen Kim, Exchange Student RAM 2018-11-10 05:00:00Z 0

Brendan Murphy Classification Talk

Brendan Murphy, shown at left, grew up in the Annapolis Maryland area and then attended the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. After the academy he became a helicopter pilot, which the Navy labels an all-purpose pilot since they can fly fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. He has been retired from the Navy for several years now after rising to a Captaincy during his 25 year naval career. Currently Brendan is a financial adviser. 
Brendan's wife Tina is an interior designer. They met when they were 15 and have been together, except for one breakup in high school, since. They married shortly after Brendan graduated form the Naval Academy, marrying in the Academy chapel in a traditional Academy ceremony. Since Brendan thought the idea was to procreate between tours of duty away from home, they had their daughter, Emily, and son, Andrew, pretty quickly. Emily was a semi-professional ballet dancer through college. She stopped dancing after an injury and is now an occupational therapist. Andrew followed Brenda into playing lacrosse in school, though he may not have achieved the same level as Brendan, who played on two NCAA championship teams while at the Academy. Andrew is now looking to have a career in medical devices. 
Brendan's naval career took he and his family across the country multiple times. Their longest stop was in Norfolk Virginia. They ended their 5 year tour on the Texas coast just before the hurricane struck. The coastal town they were living in was totally destroyed. Good timing counts. His deployments included 4 ship board tours and 2 land based. One of his land based tours was in Busan South Korea. 
One of Brenda's more interesting tours was in the US Joint Forces Command in Irag early in the war effort there. The role of the Command was to enter their assigned geographic area and set up headquarters before the forces arrive, and start planning for their use when they arrived. Brendan was stationed in Al Anbar province when the local population decided to start defending themselves from the terrorists. The local leaders set up their own defense force which the Americans advised. The result was the withdrawal of 7,000 US forces, who were replaced with a team of 200 advisers, and the pacification of the province.
Because the Navy believes in developing well rounded leaders, Brendan served as the ship navigator on two ship board tours. This is the third highest command position on a ship. Not bad for a hunter/killer helicopter pilot. 
Brendan's last major command position was the Director of Safety and Occupational Health. He was selected for the position to instill the air safety culture into the broader navy. A challenging position but Brendan made it work. 
Brendan joined Longwood Rotary to continue his career of service. In addition to being a member of our club, he is a member of the VFW, the American Legion, Knights of Columbus and several Navy related service organizations. 
Brendan Murphy Classification Talk RAM 2018-11-10 05:00:00Z 0

November 2018 Rotarian of the Month

Our Rotarian of the Month is Bonnie Korengel, shown on the right in this picture of her receiving her certificate from President Tammy Dueing . Bonnie spent many hours organizing Julia Phelps'. Rotary International Foundation Trustee, presentation at our recent meeting. At the same time, Bonnie has been leading our Gala ticket sales efforts, which are better than half way to sold out already. And of course Bonnie works constantly at the District level to support Rotary initiatives. 
November 2018 Rotarian of the Month RAM 2018-11-10 05:00:00Z 0

Keeping Warm as a Greeter

Ron Fenstermacher, left, and John Marble, right in this picture, described the need for careful clothing selection to keep warm while greeting Longwood Garden's guests during the holidays. The key is to layer clothing with a top layer that is weather resistant. With the right selection greeting guests is fun for you and the guests. 
Keeping Warm as a Greeter RAM 2018-11-10 05:00:00Z 0

Disaster Relief Mission Completed

Bob Curran has returned from Houston where his team of 20 volunteers worked on starting the clean up of a home. They completely tore down three rooms. The mold had gotten its usual fast start requiring them to even remove and replace the floor joists. Other groups will complete the tear down phase so reconstruction can begin right away. 
Disaster Relief Mission Completed RAM 2018-11-10 05:00:00Z 0

2018 Holiday Greeters Get Ready

John Marble is coordinating our efforts as Longwood Gardens Holiday Greeters this year. As you can see from the picture, he has already started member instruction on their duties and tools already as well as started the process of members signing up for their work times. 
2018 Holiday Greeters Get Ready RAM 2018-11-04 04:00:00Z 0

Project Cure Work Day

Over 20 Longwood Rotarians spent Saturday morning, November 3, sorting medical supplies at the Project Cure warehouse. Project Cure plans to provide up to 60 shipping containers of free medical supplies to third world countries this year. Each shipment starts with an onsite detailed inventory of needs and capabilities of the requesting site. Shipments are coordinated through the local Rotary clubs to ensure safe arrival at the planned destination and minimize the chance for loss of the $400,000 to $500,000 in medical equipment and supplies each container generally holds. 
Project Cure Work Day RAM 2018-11-04 04:00:00Z 0

 November 2018 Club Assembly

President Tammy Duering announced that this year she and our planned next two presidents, Bob Curran, President Elect, and Vicki Gehrt, Vice President, are working together to create a strategic plan for the club that will ensure continuity of effort on our projects. That is one of the reasons for having done the Community Assessment, which was reported on at last week's meeting.
Working jointly also ensures the club and our separately chartered 501(c)(3) Foundation, which is led by Bob Curran, operates in close coordination to serve our community. The Foundation board, which meets monthly, makes the formal decisions on what donations we make and organizations we support financially. A new policy the Foundation put in  place this year is assigning a club member to track the performance of the organizations we fund and periodically report to the Board on that performance. In addition to Bob Curran, the Foundation Board consists of Tammy Duering, Bob Listerman, Dawn Talley, Jose Colon, Paola Rosas and Christine McDonald
Following are the detailed responsibilities of our current officers and directors: 
Vice President: Vicki Gehrt identifies the speakers for all our meetings and helps them prepare for speaking. While this can be said quickly it involves a lot of work and time coordinating everything. 
Treasurer: Ted Koenig oversees the finances of the club. This includes preparing budgets, maintaining the financial records, ensuring all bills are proper and paying them, and reconciling all records to each other. He also works closely with our accountant to ensure our taxes are filed properly and on time. 
Secretary: Leonie Kolvenbag has worked closely with Mark Rybarczyk to convert our records to the Club Runner system. She maintains all our membership records at the club, district and Rotary International levels; prepares member invoices quarterly; maintains our attendance records including volunteer and meeting make-up efforts; coordinates our invoicing with Longwood Gardens for our breakfast meetings, and collects happy dollars many weeks. One of Leonie's major goals is to better coordinate the multiple record keeping systems and go paperless. 
Club Administration Director: Adam Guyer just finished our multi-year effort to update club bylaws, and is now researching the District Gundaker Foundation. He generally goes where he is needed, which includes working with Rotaract currently. 
Gala Director: Brendan Murphy is the leader for the essentially all year effort it takes to manage our annual Gala. This is a major project management effort that generates essentially all the funds we have to invest in our community the following year. Brendan reported about half the tickets are already sold and sponsorship and advertising sales underway. 
Projects Director: Dawn Talley coordinates all our service projects in the community. She identifies the need for individual projects with input from all members, selects the leader for each service project, and supports them with member and volunteer recruiting. 
Publicity and Technology Director: Mark Rybarczyk converted all our records and most of our repeating processes to the Club Runner system. He has redesigned and relaunched our web site and keeps it up to date and works with a small team of members to maintain our social media presence.  
Membership Director: Len Vannicola formally brings the new members you recommend into the club by conducting the "fireside" chat where the responsibilities of members are covered in detail. He is also willing to support all of us in our recruitment efforts as needed. 
Youth Programs Director: Lynn Nathan coordinates all our youth programs with the support of individual program coordinators. This includes Rotaract, Interact and student exchanges plus RYLA participation. 
Rotary International Foundation Director: John Stradling coordinates and manages the annual contribution efforts to the RI Foundation Annual Fund, which provides the funds for district, club, and international grants that fund many of our larger projects. The minimum annual goal for our club is to have every member contribute at least $100, with the higher goal to beat last year's average donation per member. Currently 94% of our members have contributed to the annual fund. 
November 2018 Club Assembly RAM 2018-11-04 04:00:00Z 0

Donate to Longwood Rotary Foundation at NO Cost

When you shop at and select Longwood Rotary as your charity, one-half percent of your purchase price is donated to Longwood Rotary Foundation. So as you start your holiday shopping, please remember you can donate to our foundation at no cost to yourself.  To help you get started Amazon is offering a special donation rate of 5% of your purchase price from now through November 2, 2018. 
Donate to Longwood Rotary Foundation at NO Cost RAM 2018-10-29 04:00:00Z 0

Rotary International Foundation Centennial Year

Bob Curran, right center,  announced he is leading 20 people to Houston to help with rebuilding efforts this past weekend. We hope Bob and crew are having fun as well as working hard this week in Houston. 
Julia Phelps, left, was introduced by Bonnie Korengel, left center and President Tammy Duering, right. Julia is a former teacher, school principal and administrator. In the Rotary world, she has had many roles including club president, various district roles and now she is a Trustee of the RI Foundation
Arch Klumpf started the Rotary International Foundation in 1917 with a $26.50 initial donation, and that donation was made only because a club had the extra money in their treasury at year end, or there would have been no donation at all. There was really no club interest in the Foundation when it was started. Clubs were totally focused on working on local issues to themselves.  From this humble beginning the International Foundation has grown to become one of the most respected and successful foundations in the world. It has been a top rated foundation by all the rating agencies/organizations for the past 10 years because of its careful management of resources and the success of its investments. 
Last fiscal year, 2017/18, was the first in which the Trustees set a goal for fund raising. The $360 million goal was thought audacious, but easily surpassed with $414.7 million donated. A major share of the above target dollars came from one major donation, so the goal for 2018/19 is $380 million. Julia has her eye set on a goal greater than $400 million for the near future. 
The current year goal breaks out to $137M for the Annual campaign, which are the funds we receive back three years after donation for local and international investment by the districts and clubs. $61.5M for the endowment, which is money to be invested for long term uses. And the final major tranche is the $150M for End Polio Now. Two-thirds of this total will be given to Rotary as matching funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. And inevitably when accounting for such large sums there is the Other category, with a value of $31.5M. 
The top priority of the Foundation is eradicating polio. This has become a largely women dependent effort in the remaining countries afflicted with polio. Mother to mother conversations are what create the incredible trust parents place in Rotarians when they pass their young children to a total stranger who may not even look like them,  to receive 2 drops of an unknown liquid. That trust is what will allow us to win. But polio is stubborn. Pakistan again has new cases with 22 reported so far this year. That equals the number for all last year. 
The second priority is the Annual Fund. The results achieved from these investments is phenomenal. Four science teachers from Victoria Garden City, Nigeria came to Massachusetts to learn better ways to teach science. One of the new approaches they learned is live demonstrations using every day materials. In other words, doing experiments. The result has been a large increase in student performance throughout their entire district. They raised the district's performance by sharing what they learned through the Rotary grant with their fellow teachers. That is the leverage we get from a few thousand dollars in Rotary Foundation investment. Similar results have been achieved in women's health care and other areas throughout the world.  
Julia was particularly proud of the Foundation recently being recognized with the Peace Jam One Billion Acts of Peace award. The One Billion Acts of Peace Campaign is led by 14 Nobel Prize winners, including the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, and aims to create One Billion Acts of Peace worldwide by 2020, whilst in doing so inspiring peacemakers, community leaders, and individuals to join the cause and take an active role in changing the world. As Julia noted there is a very strong link between the goals of Rotary and Peace Jam. 
Rotary International Foundation Centennial Year RAM 2018-10-28 04:00:00Z 0

Funding Leukemia Research

Eagle Scout candidate Padraic Richardson is supporting the foundation's efforts to fund leukemia research by building collection boxes for their use. The BraveEli foundation was created by a student, Eli, Paddy knows who has leukemia. The foundation has been using coffee cans as collection points since its founding. This works but has issues, most importantly theft of the donations. Therefore Paddy designed two different size collection boxes to support collecting in the different environments used by the foundation. The large box, measuring 27 X 16 X 16, is a freestanding box that sits on a table for use at events. The small box, 6 X 6 X 6, is for use in retail and similar environments. The advantage of both designs is the money cannot be reached once deposited into the collection slot. Therefore theft will be reduced greatly. 
Presidnet Tammy Duering awarded Paddy $200 for his project from the President's discretionary account in our Foundation. 
Funding Leukemia Research RAM 2018-10-28 04:00:00Z 0

October 2018 Rotarian of the Month

Mark Rybarczyk was chosen as our Rotarian of the Month because of his successful effort to convert the club to the Club Runner system for all supporting automation, considerably reducing the time invested regularly in maintaining accurate records for the Secretary, Treasurer and others in the club. He also hosted the successful Chili Cook Off at his home, which raised $370 for our foundation. 

October 2018 Rotarian of the Month RAM 2018-10-28 04:00:00Z 0

Anson B Nixon Park Playground Improvement

George Gower reported on a possible project the club can take on. The playground we helped provide the Park several years ago is not accessible to all children. Changes ranging from adding some specialized play areas to putting a fence in front of a bench would improve this issue. Each change would be targeted to a specific accessibility issue. For example, placing a fence in front of a bench makes the area more appealing to children with autism because the bench becomes a safe spot to them. The preliminary budget estimate for such a project is about $30,000 if we contribute the labor for installation. George will continue to develop this project and report back to the club in the future.
Anson B Nixon Park Playground Improvement RAM 2018-10-21 04:00:00Z 0

Community Needs Assessment Committee Report

Our community assessment effort is being led by Ted Trevorrow, who made the report to us based on the meeting held at Longwood Gardens a few weeks ago. 
The meeting was attended by a total of 36 community leaders, including municipal officials, police, school administrators, and the leaders of essentially all the non-profits in our community. The needs assessment meeting was the first time all of these people were in the same meeting. Attendees found this alone was helpful as many were able to find points of shared interest and activity as the discussion progressed where they could coordinate services and activities. Ted knew the meeting was going very well when this started to happen. That impression was confirmed when the attendees volunteered they want to attend any other such meetings we organize and said they hope we will organize such meetings. 
Dave Haradon led the discussion by asking a series of selected questions of the attendees, Their comments and suggestions were recorded and displayed for all to see, helping the conversation develop. This developed a long list of ideas which Ted, Dave and Karen Ammon have summarized into the following major areas of concern or need: 
  • Gentrification is good for generating tax revenue and community growth by has the backspin of forcing those with lower incomes out of the community. This needs management. 
  • Housing affordability is a major issue and is impacting major industries such as mushroom growing by making labor scarce
  • Public transit is non-existent, increasing the impact of the housing affordability issue 
  • The Hispanic residents are being adversely impacted by deportation and immigration issues. They fear talking with the police and interacting with government, and is reducing their opportunities in general. 
  • Greater community collaboration is needed among service providers. A specific need identified was having a common database to coordinate services among non-profits. 
  • Child care is very limited. The impact is disruption in the labor market 
  • Youth issues such as drugs, drinking and vaping are of concern. 
The next steps are to develop a list of project ideas built around the areas of concern identified for our membership to choose from. An early idea developed was to select one family each year for Rotarians to mentor. Nothing will be brought to the club for consideration until the list is fully developed. 
Community Needs Assessment Committee Report RAM 2018-10-21 04:00:00Z 0

Kasie's Cause Grant Update

Dave Foresman, who is following up on Kasie's Cause, to whom we made a grant, reported they are starting a conversation with the Anson B Nixon Park board about creating a contemplation garden within the park. The likely big issue is the park seeking a perpetual maintenance fund to support such a garden area. This could generate a new request for a grant. 
Kasie's Cause Grant Update RAM 2018-10-21 04:00:00Z 0

Thank You from Longwood Gardens

Chris Benevento, the VP of Guest Services, thanked us for our work welcoming guests to the Gardens on fireworks and holiday display days. Our presence frees up others on the Longwood staff to work within the Gardens to help guests enjoy their day on these busiest days of the year. We are a tremendous help to Longwood Gardens
Thank You from Longwood Gardens RAM 2018-10-16 04:00:00Z 0

Oct 2018 Student of the Quarter - Alex Rizaldi

Above, President Tammy Duering, left, presents Ales with her award certificate. 
Laura Elfreth, a Student Counselor at Unionville High School, introduced Alexandra as one of the most effective student leaders she has known. Our club knows Alexandra as a four year member, and now President, of the Interact Club, which is the largest and most active it has ever been. 
Laura said Alex's personal traits include independence, self sufficiency, confidence, and enthusiasm. She combines these to help others be successful and hence be a strong leader herself.
Alex attended the Governor's school and RYLA, which helped her develop her leadership abilities. 
Alex is a member of the Spanish Honor Society. Through the Honor Society Alex volunteers to teach English in the Adult Literacy program and prepare people to take the citizenship examination. 
Alex founded the Medical Club in her sophomore year, and is the president. The club brings together students who are interested in medicine to discuss and learn about medical issues through speakers' presentations. They also volunteer at Project Cure and make blankets that are distributed to fire companies for use by those who have lost their homes. These activities directly support her ambition to go into medicine and become a doctor. 
Alex is the business editor of the school newspaper, The Indian Post. In this role Alex identifies and develops stories about local businesses, with her focus on developing feature articles. 
Alex's favorite activity is playing "mallet".  She is a leader of the school band's percussion section and a member of the Cadet Drum Corp. Whenever she feels pressured, Alex relaxes by practicing her drumming. That is fortunate since she spends up to 20 hours per week practicing with the two groups. 
Oct 2018 Student of the Quarter - Alex Rizaldi RAM 2018-10-16 04:00:00Z 0

First Newsletter from Club Runner

This is the first newsletter produced using the new Club Runner system. It is as close to a duplicate of the newsletter that was sent to you via Constant Contact on Tuesday as this system permits, excet we changed it to a 2 column format. 
The Meeting Summary is now in the left column. It is followed by the list of Officers and Directors. 
The right column is future oriented with the lists of coming speakers, events and greeters and thinkers. The listing of coming speakers and events shows the titles for each meeting or event with that title being the link to the details. The detail information contains the descriptions that were used in the Constant Contact format. For Coming Events that description is enhanced with maps to show location and a few other things. This same information now appears on our web site and in the newsletter. 
First Newsletter from Club Runner RAM 2018-10-14 04:00:00Z 0

Backpacks for Needy Kennett Area Students

story thumbnail
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.
Backpacks for Needy Kennett Area Students 2018-07-23 04:00:00Z 0 Backpacks,Kennett Area Students,backpack project

Paul Harris Fellows Recognized

Congratulations to the following members who achieved the designated Paul Harris Award Level. Each Level is earned by donating $1,000 to the Rotary International Foundation. 
New Paul Harris Fellows
  • Newt Brosius
  • John Mangan
  • Bill McDougall
  • Mark Rybarczyk
Paul Harris Plus 1
  • Bob Curran
  • Tammy Duering
  • Vicki Gehrt
  • Lenny Rivera
  • Ted Koenig
Paul Harris Fellows Recognized rm 2018-06-28 04:00:00Z 0

Frank Wargo's Rotary Story

Posted on Jun 07, 2018

Frank is a past District Governor of District 7890 in Connecticut. He is also a boyhood friend of our own Paul Merluzzi. They attended high school together just a short time ago. 

Having retired from his fire extinguisher business, Frank travels the world as a Rotary leadership instructor. As a result he has been to India 11 times since 2003. These travels have shown Frank the real value of Rotary projects. 

On one of his early trips, Frank went to a remote village, you had to walk the last half mile to get there, to dedicate a new well and waste system. At the conclusion of the dedication ceremony the village leader thanked Frank for Rotary's precious investment almost in tears. 

Frank Wargo's Rotary Story RM 2018-06-07 04:00:00Z 0 Frank Wargo,Longwood Rotary Club,Rotary International

New Member Induction

Posted on Jun 07, 2018

President Lenny Rivera inducted three new members, the largest induction event in our club's history. From left in the  above picture, Lenny Rivera sponsored Jackie Crago, Karen Ammon was sponsored by Ted Trevorrow, and Ron Fenstermachersponsored Charlie Carpenter

New Member Induction RM 2018-06-07 04:00:00Z 0

Saving lives in Ghana

What is it like taking a large team to Africa?  It has probably been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. In mid February, I began leading Rotary members from all over the East Coast of the United States through Ghana. I’ve tried to give the team a warm Ghanaian welcome like I’ve received on my earlier trips. A large trip is a real blessing because each person sees Ghana and our work in a different way.

A highlight for the team was greeting the chief of Sagadugu. The team got excited about buying goats and food for children in the villages where I support eight churches. It was good to see the pastors of most of the eight churches, and I had to explain that we were just passing through on our way to Bolgatanga.
Saving lives in Ghana 2015-05-01 00:00:00Z 0

India celebrates three years without polio

Throughout India and around the world, Rotary clubs are celebrating a major milestone: India has gone three years without a new case of polio. The last reported case was a two-year-old girl in West Bengal on 13 January 2011. To mark this historic triumph, Rotary clubs illuminated landmarks and iconic structures throughout the country with four simple but powerful words, "India is polio free."
The three-year achievement sets the stage for polio-free certification of the entire Southeast Asia region by the World Health Organization. The Indian government also plans to convene a polio summit in February to commemorate this victory in the global effort to eradicate polio.
India celebrates three years without polio 2014-02-26 00:00:00Z 0