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Catherine Friedman (left) and Phyllis Dunn were two of the Rotary Club of West Chester volunteers recently helping promote the club's 15th Annual Chili Cook-off on Sunday, October 8th  in downtown West Chester.  The cook-off attracts as many as 10,000 chili lovers to taste over 60 different kinds of chili. In past years, approximately $60,000 in profit annually has been raised to benefit 13 to 15 Chester County charities and the club's international projects. Wristbands are now on sale for $12 each or three for $30, through the chili cook-off link. (Click here)  Wristbands may also be purchased at the cook-off. Join us for some good eatin'!
At the recent District 7450 induction of the new district governor, Dawn deFuria, our own PDG Bob Poole was honored with a special Service Award for his many years of participation in and support of Rotary. Joining him after the ceremony were friends and West Chester Rotarians (from left) Alicia Blessington, Leslie Streitwieser, Wendy Leeper, Charles Streitwieser, Bob, Sue Casso Rogers, Mickey and Bob Hall, Jeanie McGinn and Dwight Leeper.
 
At the conclusion of the festive presidential gala, at which Mickey Hall was inducted as club president by District 7450 Governor Dawn deFuria, Mickey extended heartfelt thanks to outgoing president Bob Rogers and "his people" Sue, for the wonderful leadership provided in 2016-2017, by presenting the Rogers with a fun gift basket. Nearly 60 guests enjoyed an evening of good fellowship, interesting silent and live auctions, a buffet dinner, and special entertainment from one of our talented club members, Catherine Friedman, who dedicated jazz songs to both outgoing and incoming presidents.
 
 
Through its Rotary Readers program, the Rotary Club of West Chester recruited 19 individuals to read to elementary school children, kindergarten through third grade, during the past school year. Fourteen of the readers are members of the Rotary Club, the other five are former members, members of another Rotary Club or community volunteers. Many of the volunteers have been reading for over 10 years. Among the readers are (seated from left) Sue Greenberg, Faith Woodward, Rotary Readers Coordinator Christina McCawley, Glen Jensen, and (standing form left) Christine Wildauer, Dwight McCawley, Bob Poole, Jack Wintermute and Catherine Friedman. Jensen arranged for over
940 dictionaries to be given to all second graders at the end of the school year. Other readers (not pictured) include Craig Kalemjian, Bill Ronayne, Lenore Guthrie, Bob Struble, Joe Panaro, Paul Woodruff, Rev. Chris Franz, Larry Miller, Marlou DeHoratius, Monique Singh, and Iliana Tati.  
 
 
Two students each received a $3,000 Rotary scholarship for their exceptional volunteer work and leadership in school and their community. Joining in the celebration are (from left) Matt Connell, Maureen Wallace, vice principal, East  High School, Kristin Connell, Georgette Brady, Brynn Connell, Rustin High School senior, Holly Brady,  East High School senior, Deborah Sahijwani and Linda Hicks, member and chair, respectively, Rotary Scholarship Committee, and Dr. James Scanlon, Rotarian and Superintendent West Chester Area School District.
The three Nicaraguan boys who received prosthetic limbs with the help of the CARS project, visited the club with their moms this past Thursday, already fitted with their new prosthetic limbs. The youngsters and their moms (seated from left) are Daniel Hernandez Solano and mom, Jessena Hernandez, Carlos Reyes Leon and mom, Alba Castro, and Alexis Morales Pineda and mom, Cristian Pineda. Gathering around the youngsters are members of the CARS Committee and other supporters of the CARS project (from left) Charles Streitwieser, Elissa Montanti, Founder and CEO of the GMRF, Diane Lemonides, Carol Hanson, Glen Sweet, and our exchange student from Argentina, Gabriel Bay, Richard and Steve Powell of the Powell Family Foundation, Rob Feenan, Ernest Zlotolow, Dave Barkasy, and Stephanie Byrwa, PR Manager for Shriner's Hospital. Daniel received a left leg prosthetic, Carlos received two prosthetic legs, and Alexis received a left hand and wrist.
 
 
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.
 
Matt Holliday presents a check for over $1,200 to Adrian Grieve, executive director of the American Red Cross, Eastern PA, Tri-County Chapter, at a recent meeting. The donation was generated by proceeds of the weekly 50/50, which garnered higher than usual support due to frenzied 50/50 activity the past few weeks.
 
International Committee members of the Rotary Club of West Chester, Ernie Zlotolow (left) and Bruce Beadle, along with Club President-elect,  Mickey Hall, display a check for $7,500 that the club received for the CARS (Children with Amputations Rehabilitation Strategies)  program, that aids children with amputated limbs. The check, representing funds from The Rotary Foundation, passed through to Rotary District 7450, of which the West Chester club is a member, is designated to provide prosthetic limbs to four children from Rwanda and Ethiopia, along with an ulnar transplant for one girl. Another $500 was also contributed by District 7450's Gundaker Foundation. The children, accompanied by guardians, will receive prosthetic legs at the Shriner's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. The project is a joint effort of Rotary, The Powell Foundation, and Shriner's Hospital, which partners with GMRF (Global Medical Relief Fund).
 
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.
Kathy Hrenko (left), director of the East Coast branch of Project C.U.R.E., shares information about the project with Ernie Zlotolow, Cristina Combee and Carol Hanson after her talk at a recent meeting. Kathy, who also is a member of the Longwood Rotary Club, talked about the project, which is the largest provider of donated medical supplies and equipment to developing countries around the world. They recently opened a collection site/office in West Grove to serve the Mid-Atlantic region. Ernie, Cristina and Carol have all worked on international projects through Rotary, and are interested in our club possibly participating in this project.
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).
 
Outstanding area high school students honored by the Rotary Club of West Chester at the annual student recognition meeting, included (seated from left) Kevin Diestelow, Meghan McDonald, Tuyen Nguyen, Julianne Rodgers, Hatim Amiji, and (standing from left) Rotary President Katie Martin, West Chester Area School District Superintendent and Rotarian Jim Scanlon, East High School Principal Kevin Fagan, Isabella Paul, Dean Maupin, Anika Guskick, Henderson High School Principal Jason Sherlock and Scholarship Committee Chair Linda Hicks. Paul and Guskick were each winners of a $5,000 scholarship for their school and community volunteer activities, which they described in written essays. Diestelow and Mauphin, along with Maria Marabito and Kelli Jackson (not pictured) attended RYLA, and McDonald, Rodgers, Amiji, Nguyen and (not pictured, Jessica Nichter) were selected as Students of the Year by their respective high schools.
 
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
Monica Buffington, Paul Merluzzi
Sep 28, 2017
Conducter Michael Hall - including musicians from the Symphony!
Nancy DeLucia and Ernest Zlotolow
Oct 05, 2017
VOSH - Eye Glasses Program
WC Chili Cook-Off
Oct 08, 2017
Noon to 3pm - West Chester Borough on Gay Street
DF Pace - Note Night Meeting, no luncheon
Oct 12, 2017
West Chester with the WEGO and Sunrise Clubs At Country Club
Rotary Club Program
Oct 19, 2017
Classification Talks
Rotary Holiday Party
Dec 15, 2017
Bill & Doreen Winters Home - more details to be posted