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In addition to the critical work being done by Rotarians worldwide, our Rotary Club here in West Chester, specifically our International Service Committee (ISC), continues its important work. We recently became aware that the COVID Respirators, which we funded with our sister Tigre Rotary Club near Buenos Aires, Argentina, ended up being donated by the manufacturer! So the funds were used to buy an Oxygen Concentrator (pictured), which is needed to feed the COVID oxygen hoods. The concentrator was donated to the community hospital’s Intensive Care Unit that allows treating patients with dyspnea quickly and efficiently.
“This is one of the most frequent problems in the COVID pandemic, avoiding unnecessary hospitalization by the hospital Care Team,” according to the International Service Director of the Tigre Club. “It is also used in other respiratory syndromes. Thanks to every one of you for choosing to make a difference and to save lives,” he added.
And thank you to Ernest Zlotolow for keeping us informed of the important and ongoing work of our ISC!
Ernest Zlotolow, a leader in our club’s International Service Committee (ISC), is pictured above in a 2016 photo taken with Nsengumuremlyi theoneste (known to us as Theo) with his legal guardian, Consolee, when he became a protégé of our club. Theo was a lame orphan from rural Rwanda, who was brought to Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia by CORS (Charitable Orthopedic Rehabilitation Strategies), a division of our Greater West Chester Rotary Foundation, for treatment and prosthesis for his missing limb. Our ISC funded his high school studies, and additional personal contributions from club members provided Theo with a monetary graduation gift. Theo focused his studies in software coding, using a laptop and software sent to him by CORS. These enable him to support himself and be a productive member of his community.
Several club presidents and organizers caught up with each other at the recent Minglefest event held at  Timothy's in West Chester, including Steve Brown, (from left) president of the  Rotary Club of West Chester, Judy Curtin, president of the Sunrise Club, Gary Pawliczek of Kennett Light, Debi Friedmann, president of West Chester Passport Club, and Alyssa Harnish from the WEGO Club. A new event for the district, Pawliczek, Membership Chairman of District 7450, teamed up with Friedmann to host the event, which attracted over 50  Rotarians from West Chester, West Chester Passport, Sunrise, WEGO, Longwood, Kennett Light clubs, and even a Rotarian from Newark , De! Harnish, Assistant District Governor, stopped by to lend her support.
President Steve and Past President MichelleMichelle Venema, our Rotary Club president during a challenging 2020-2021 year, received a standing ovation for her amazing leadership as she presided at her first – and last – in-person meeting of her presidency. And, Steve Brown was warmly welcomed as our incoming club president.
Although he has only been a member of our club since 2017, Steve comes to our club with a long history with Rotary. He joined Rotary in 1988 in Fairfax, Virginia, where he accepted his first position as CEO of a small hospital. When the Chief of Pathology invited him to join, in Steve’s words, “I was immediately hooked on the fellowship, comradery, and service to the community that Rotary provided.” When the club sponsored a new club, the Fair Oaks Breakfast Club, Steve volunteered to become a charter member. Steve’s tenure in that club lasted for the 18 years he was with the Inova Health System, until 2001 when he was offered the CEO position with a healthcare system in Kirkland, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. One of the Kirkland Club founders invited Steve to join, and within three years, he became president of the club (2006-07).
June 24th, 2021 - We will be returning to in-person meetings
   12:00 noon, West Chester Golf and Country Club
   Lunch Buffet will be served, $15.00 per person
Mask Update  -  Indoors: Masks are not required for non-serving staff, WCGCC members and guests who are vaccinated. Masks must still be worn by unvaccinated staff, members and guests when not seated.
About a dozen Rotarians signed up to help residents around Marshal Square Park with mulching and spreading this summer, according to Mac Neilon, coordinator of community volunteer projects for our club. However, on Saturday morning, almost double that number showed up, when Rotarians brought their children and spouses to help with the project. Mac reports that this has become an annual volunteer event for our club, as each year, the park committee contacts him to enlist volunteers from our Rotary  club to help at the park. Along with the volunteers from the neighborhood, the work was completed in record time.
A small, but fun-loving group of Rotarians gathered in The Pub at Arbor Square (senior living community) for one of the monthly club socials, planned by Phyllis Dunn and her committee. Among those attending were President Michelle Venema, Doug Meis, Phyllis's husband, Dan, Randy Lyndell, Phyllis and Catherine Friedman. The Pub, located on the second floor, was adjacent to a lovely outside deck that enabled guests to watch the planes landing and taking off from the nearby airport. In addition to the adult beverages, tasty appetizers were served, including the most delicious crab cakes Randy said he has ever tasted!
Dwight Leeper, West Chester resident, and member of the Rotary Club of West Chester, and Sam Lowry, of the Downtown Rotary Club of Huntsville, Alabama, wrote a proposal to The Rotary International Foundation requesting a Global Grant to provide Deep-Water Hand Pumps to improve the health and quality of life in five, small, rural communities in Senegal, West Africa. In January 2021, the West Chester club was awarded a $131,215 Global Grant for the project.
The ultra-deep pumps (LifePump) are capable of operating more efficiently than hand pumps currently in use in Africa, going three times deeper, with a projected life span of 30 years.  Pumps currently in operation don’t reach potable water, resulting in villagers’ drinking water from dirty runoff, mud puddles, and ponds that livestock wade through. Consequently, people face chronic illnesses that prevent children from attending school, adults from working, and perpetuate the cycle of poverty.
On a cold and blustery Saturday in March, a stalwart team of Rotarians, under the leadership of our dedicated fruit sale chair, Christine Wildauer (top, center) braved the weather to distribute the fruit purchased  during the annual Rotary fruit sale. Bundled up and properly masked, Rotarians handed out the fruit boxes, aided by Bill Friedmann (front, right). Among those picking up fruit was Ernest Zlotolow (front, center). If you look closely enough, you can recognize other Rotarians behind their masks. The fruit sale this year benefitted The Barn at Springbrook Farm, which provides programs and camps for children year around. Approximately $5,500 was raised through the sale, down from the usual funds raised, but good, given the virus  and its regulations. Our thanks to Christine for containing to chair this committee year after year.
Congratulations!  It is with great pleasure that we inform you that the Rotary Club of West Chester has qualified for and been awarded District 7450’s Literacy Award.  We have been recognized with this award because of our outstanding Literacy projects completed during this 2019-2020 Rotary year. With completion of three (3) projects, we have demonstrated efforts to combat illiteracy in our community and our world.
District 7450 is extremely proud  and hope that West Chester Rotary will continue with our efforts to strengthen and promote Literacy.