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The Global Medical Relief Fund (GMRF), which is supported in part by the Rotary Club of West Chester through its CORS (Charitable Orthopedic Rehabilitation Strategies) program, recently held its  4th Annual Awards Dinner in Staten Island, NY. Our club's International Service Committee members were invited to attend the fundraising "Evening of Hope," and to honor eight outstanding Community Partners, Outstanding Volunteers of the Year, and Youth in Philanthropy. Because CORS members were unable to attend, Cathy Palmquist and her husband attended the gala to represent the West Chester club. (Pictured above, from left) Kenan Malkic, Elissa Montanti, Founder and Executive Director of GMRF, and Cathy Palmquist. Kenan was the inspiration for the GMRF program, explained Elissa, who has been a frequent visitor to our club, introducing some of the children we have helped.
 
In equally generous words, "for her tireless work promoting the RCWC,"President Bill named Cathy Palmquist Rotarian of the Year.  Our Rotary club is always in the local press and that is due to her efforts.  Cathy is a silent Rotary champion always behind the scenes taking amazing photographs of every Rotary event.  Even when she can't attend, Cathy always has a representative documenting our successes.   Cathy,  we LOVE you for everything you do and so deserving of this honor.
Outgoing President Bill Friedmann noted that to be a Rotarian is more than being actively  involved in a club. Some individuals have the attributes of a good Rotarian "by making a difference in the world, being a leader in their community, and being a great friend." He then invited Tracy Sammarone to the podium, extolling her extensive support of Rotary, and named her  an Honorary Rotarian.
Tracy, you are always serving in every Rotary event, we LOVE you as well!  Thanks for everything you have done in your volunteer service with Rotary. 
It's hard to determine who is happiest - Incoming President Matt Holliday
(right) receiving the presidential gavel or Outgoing President Bill Friedmann! Topping off another gala presidential induction, orchestrated as usual with dignity and humor by PDG Dwight Leeper, Marjorie Wentz, president-elect of the passport club, gave a fitting invocation, before the program began. The festivities were held at the Chester County Bar Association, with Wendy Leeper and Sue Casso making arrangements for the delicious food and set up. 
At a recent club meeting, President Bill Friedmann (right) surprised Dr.Robert Poole with a certificate in recognition of Bob's 59 years of membership in the Rotary Club of West Chester. Bob has served Rotary in many capacities, as our  club president, and as a Past District Governor of District 7450. Through the years, in his professional life as a beloved physician, he provided leadership, and participated in numerous committees, and activities of Rotary, as well as in the community. Bob has been a frequent mentor, loyal friend, and outstanding role model. We salute you for many years of untiring service to our local club, the community, and Rotary International. A most deserved recognition, Dr. Robert Poole!
Ellen and Mark Morun (center) were named Honorary Rotarians by the Rotary Club of West Chester by Carol Hanson and President Bill Friedmann at a recent luncheon meeting, in recognition of the Moruns many years hosting Rotary Youth Exchange students. This year they are hosting Gaspar Vigneaux Poirot from Chile, sponsored by the Sunshine and Longwood Rotary Clubs. The Moruns have hosted 27 students over the years, 15 longtime (full year) students and 12 short term exchange students. Hanson, who has worked with the Rotary Student Exchange program for a number of years, cited the Moruns for taking on a lot of responsibility by hosting the students, and providing students a positive experience.
Representatives from the 16 non-profits who received Community Philanthropic awards at a recent Rotary luncheon include (seated, from left) Jackie Crego, Kennett Youth Garage; Glenda Brion, Community Warehouse Project; Dolly Wideman-Scott, Domestic Violence Center; Captain Maria Corraliza, Salvation Army; Jeanne Meikranz, Arc of Chester County; Sue Flynn, Chester County Family Academy; Laura Simpson, Crime Victims Center; Michelle Maloney, Chester County Women's Services, and (standing from left) Catherine Friedman and John Lilley, Friends Assn.; Carol Baker, Read 2 Dream; Dr. Adam Chambers, Chester Co. Women's Services; Jen Hohenberger, Chester County's Children; Ebbie Alfree, The Hickman; Kathy Sullivan, West Chester Senior Center; Pam Leland, The Hickman; Ellen Donohoe, West  Chester Senior Center; David James, Safe Harbor of Chester County; Carol Robinson, Volunteer English Program; and Joyce Lacy, North Star of Chester County.
 
John Schwab, pictured at the recent presidential festivities at Barnaby's, decked out in his special Rotary shirt designed by Debi Friedmann, was named Rotarian of the Year by outgoing President Mickey Hall. In honoring John, Mickey commented on John's quiet, behind-the-scenes presence on the governance committee, helping with strategic planning, and being her sounding board and advisor on so many occasions during her presidency. John has been a member of the club for over 24 years, has served as President, and in many leadership positions through the years. Congratulations, John!  A well-deserved recognition.
 
During the Presidential Induction at Barnaby's last week, outgoing Club President Mickey Hall, performed one of her last acts as president by naming Debi Friedmann, wife of our incoming President Bill, as an Honorary Rotarian. President Mickey noted the  many activities Debi is involved in throughout the county, such as Chambers of Commerce, and cited the many times she has stepped in to help our club with projects, resources and activities. Debi is also going to help significantly with the upcoming Chili Cook-Off this year. Being the wife of the new club president, just imagine the opportunities for her involvement in our Rotary Club! Congratulations and welcome, Debi!
The annual presidential induction is always a gala event, with tempting and interesting items offered at the silent auction, lots of action at the live auction, and of course, the installation of our incoming president. Dwight Leeper did an outstanding job of handling the induction, including the tradition of the passing of the gavel from the oldest to newest serving president. Mickey Hall, outgoing president, delivered the gavel to incoming president, Bill Friedmann, and he in turn, presented her with a presidential plaque to note her year of outstanding leadership. Dwight also inducted the new and returning board members, before Bob Frame launched into the always fun, live auction featuring dinners and vacation events, which  make this a special, and profitable, event for club members, their spouses and significant others.
Children from the Chester County Family Academy again visited the Rotary Club to share special holiday music with Rotarians and their guests. There were several musical offerings beginning with the violin performance. Later in the popular program, more children joined in to sing songs with bells, and with lighted little flashlights. At the conclusion of the program, the children sang "This Little Light of Mine," then walked among the Rotarians giving them their flashlights and wishing them Happy Holidays.
Eleven Chester County agencies were awarded $24,000 in grants from the Rotary Club of West Chester, reflecting proceeds from Rotary's Annual Chili Cook-off held earlier this month. Representatives of agencies receiving grants at a recent Rotary luncheon meeting included (standing from left) Matt Holiday, standing in for Catherine Friedman, Friends Association for the Care and Protection of Children., Hallie Romanowski, Act in Faith, Kathy Sullivan West Chester Senior Center, Dolly Wideman-Scott, Domestic Violence Center, Michelle Maloney, Chester County Women's Services, Nicholas Lohr, Interfaith Housing Assistance Corporation, Mickey Hall, Rotary club president, Myriam Ruager, Chester County Women's Services, and (seated from
left) Carolyn McKenna, Home of the Sparrow, Denise Antonelli, Act in Faith, Terri Potrako, Volunteer English Program, Sue Flynn, Chester County Family Academy, and Nancy Zion, Chester County Children, Inc. Also awarded a grant was Young Men and Women in Charge. Holliday is chairman of the Community Philanthropic Committee of the Rotary club, which selects the awardees from
requests submitted.
Chris Feryo and Diane Lemonides show some of the homemade soups that were prepared by Rotarians this year to help with the club's annual Soup for Safe Harbor project. Chris joined Diane this year in collecting soup  for three weeks in February, taking soup to the shelter on Thursdays after the club meetings. About 25 gallons of soup were collected and donated this year.
 
Among the many Rotarians who helped ring bells for The Salvation Army this year were Rachel Barakat and Phyllis Dunn (center and right) along with Rachel's friend, Mike. Over the years, despite snow and cold, Rotarians have helped raise thousands of dollars, urging shoppers at Acme and Kmart to fill the kettles for the Salvation Army's number one fundraiser each holiday season. Many Rotarians have helped for over a decade, including Jack Wintermute and Ken Hickman, who helped again this year.
 
Approximately 80 youngsters from the Chester County Family Academy filled our meeting room a few days before Christmas with  their joyful holiday songs, as has been their custom for the past few years. The first group of youngsters played holiday songs with vigor on their violins. The second group of youngsters, many with their siblings in tow, lifted their little voices in heartwarming songs. The last group of older students sang the song they had composed just for Rotary - a wonderful tradition that we look forward to each year. One of the best parts of the performance is when they were through singing, they moved among the tables, distributing their handmade holiday cards to all of the Rotarians. Rotarian Bunny Welsh, a CCFA board member, commented on the wonderful program at the academy that benefits these precious children. The children's singing and presence reminds us of what the holidays are really about.
 
 
Representatives  from local charities, who received grants totaling $33,400 from the Rotary Club of West Chester, were recognized and presented their checks at a recent luncheon meeting. Representatives included, (seated from left) Carol Baker, Read2Dream; Catherine Binz, Community Volunteers in Medicine; Gina Harrison, Safe Harbor; Lorri Sarosy, Friends Association; Sue Flynn, Chester County Family Academy; Hallie Romanowski, Act in Faith; and (standing from left) Shauna Yeldell and Matt Holliday, co-chairs of the Community Philanthropic Committee (CPC), Jeanne Meikrantz and Michael Donovan, ARC of Chester County; Jeanne Corman, Safe Harbor; Kenneth Klein, Chester County Children's Inc.; Victoria Dow, West Chester Public Library; Rich Roberts, Young Men & Women in Charge Foundation; Dolly Wideman-Scott, Domestic Violence Center of Chester County; Joyce Lacy, Interfaith Housing Assistance Corp.; Kathy Sullivan, West Chester Area Senior Center; Terri Potrako, Volunteer English Program; and Denise Antonelli, Act in Faith.
Funds for grants are generated by the annual Chili Cook-off. Thirty-one applicants for grants were screened by the CPC this year.
 
 
Children from Rwanda and Ethiopia (seated) and their guardian (seated left), who are being fitted with prosthetic limbs or a bone transplant at Shriner's Hospital in Philadelphia, had lunch with the Rotary Club of West Chester  to meet and thank Rotarians for helping raise funds for them to participate in the CARS (Children with Amputations Rehabilitation Strategies) program.

Members of the Rotary CARS Committee, CARS, and Global Medical Relief Fund
(GMRF) staff, who joined in welcoming the youngsters and explaining the program, include (standing from left) Larry Miller, Lance Helms, Luis Velazquez, Dave Barkasy, Elissa Montanti, Ernest Zlotolow, Monica Watson, Rob Feenen and Glen Sweet. Helms is head of Shriner s Orthotics & Prosthetics, Velazquez is the master technician in charge of children's prosthetic legs, Montanti is the founder and CEO of GMRF, a strategic partner with CARS, Watson is GMRF Patient Coordinator, and Zlotolow is chair of the Rotary CARS Committee.
 
Mac Neilon, Rotarian and a bunch of his running club members are excellent chili cooks, as well as devoted runners. They were among the 67 teams of chili cooks who participated in the 14th Annual Chili Cook-off. Despite early morning rain, which discouraged some people, loyal followers of the cook-off were rewarded  with sunshine and brisk winds by early afternoon that made the day and chili a perfect combination.
Occasional rain showers did not dampen the enthusiastic and festive club picnic on the ample, covered porch at Bill and Dorene Winters beautiful home on Sunday. Club President Bob Rogers manned the grill, with Sue by his side to handle all the details,  along with Rob Malone and the Winters. Over 35 folks, Rotarians, spouses and prospective Rotarians, enjoyed beverages, traditional picnic fare with all the trimmings, delicious appetizers, scrumptious salads and amazing desserts, as well as good fellowship.
Ernest  Zlotolow was presented a large, framed citation from outgoing Rotary Club President, Katie Martin, when she named him Rotarian of the Year for 2015-16. Katie related Ernie's many activities and projects during the gala presidential induction celebration at the West Chester Golf and Country Club in June. She especially noted his diligence in regularly reporting  his activities and projects around the world to her. Ernie received a standing ovation from members and guests at the gala. Congratulations, Ernie! A most deserving recognition!
 
Immediate Past Club President Katie Martin, accepts a Rotary International Presidential Citation from newly installed District 7450 District Governor David Haradon (left), while incoming President Bob Rogers looks on.
Presidential citations are presented to only a few clubs internationally, who achieve exceptional goals during the past year, as the West Chester club did under Martin's leadership. Katie has been appointed to the position of Youth Service Chair, overseeing all youth efforts in District 7450, including but not limited to, the student exchange program, Interact and Rotaract Clubs, and Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA).
 

Christine McCawley (left), chair of the Rotary Readers Committee, recently acknowledged this past year's readers at local elementary schools, including (second from left) Joe Panaro, Phyllis Dunn, Bob Poole, Catherine Friedman, David Wood, Christine Wildauer, Bill Ronayne, Jen Fiorillo, Dwight McCawley, Faith Woodward, Jack Wintermute and Glenn Jensen. Christine read the names of a number of other readers, who were not at the meeting.
 
Outgoing President Katie Martin puts the president's pin on Incoming President Bob Rogers lapel, effectively turning over the club presidency at the recent gala induction, dinner and auction. In addition to the installation of President Bob and the board members by PDG Dwight Leeper, Rotarians and their spouses enjoyed a tasty buffet and special Rotary cake.
The silent and live auctions brought in over $6,000, according to Sue Casso Rogers, mistress of ceremonies for the evening. Bob Frame lead the brisk bidding on the five live auction items. A fun evening was had by all!
At a recent meeting, Rotary Foundation co-chairs, Phyllis Dunn and Steve Founds (from left) recognized members who have recently given to Rotary International and become Paul Harris Fellows or added to earlier donations.
They include (third from left) Winnie Stroup, John Olszewski (plus 8), Mac Neilon (plus 2), Jack Wiintermute (plus 6) and Katie Martin (plus 1). Others recognized (not pictured) include Sue Greenberg (plus 4), Sue Casso Rogers (plus 4), Paula Ott (plus 1), and Chuck Swope (plus 1).
 
Members of the Rotary Readers group of the Rotary Club of West Chester show some of the more than 900 dictionaries they will hand out to the second grade classes they read to each year in local elementary schools. The Rotary Readers and the chairpersons pictured are (standing from left) Iliana Tati, Jack Wintermute, Bill Ronayne, Glen Jensen, dictionary distributor chair, Bob Poole, Mac Neilon, Christine Wildauer, Phyllis Dunn and (seated from
left) Sue Greenberg, Catherine Friedman, Faith Woodward, and Christine McCawley, Rotary Readers Chair.
 
 
 
 
Speakers
Rotary Happy Hour
Nov 26, 2019
Happy Thanksgiving
Nov 28, 2019
No Meeting
Christmas Concert
Dec 19, 2019
Chester County Family Academy