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Rotary Fruit Sale Co-chair Brian Fahey (left) shows off one of  the colorful signs being posted around town, with help from Domenic Lanciano of Pee Jay's Fresh Fruit, at the annual Rotary Fruit Sale kicked off January 11th. The sale will feature five choices of fruit items, from California Navel Oranges, to Florida Red Grapefruit, to Oregon/Washington Pears and two boxes of mixed fruits, ranging in price from $26 to $30. Similar to last year, buyers may choose to credit a charity of their choice from those who have qualified to participate: Chester County Family Academy, Chester County Volunteer English Program, Domestic Violence Center of Chester County, Friends Assn. for the Care and Protection of Children, Home of the Sparrow, Interfaith Housing and West Chester Area Senior Center. Buyers may also choose to purchase fruit to be donated to The West Chester Food Cupboard.
Orders must be submitted by February 19th. To submit orders online with a credit card: www.FreshFruitOrder.org/WCRotaryFruitSale Additional order forms are available from Christine Wildauer or Brian Fahey, fruit sale co-chairs. Questions? Christine, 484.678.6150, lorgusflowers@gmail.com; Brian, 302.530.0772, bfahey@wcfriends.org.
Bronwyn Martin (standing fourth from left), Foundation Chair of Rotary District 7450, recently presented a $1,500 District check to members of the Operation Warm Committee of the Rotary Club of West Chester. The grant enabled the committee to purchase 175 winter coats for children in 11 area elementary schools. Different from other winter coat programs, these coats are sized to individual students by  school case workers before being purchased. Committee members pictured include (standing from left, Glen Sweet, who was instrumental in preparing the grant application; Jeannie McGinn, Brandon Smith, Martin, Mickey Hall, club president; Winnie Stroup, and front (from left), Cynthia Stroup and Patty Jefferis. Other committee members (not pictured) include Fran Curtin, Steve Founds, and Glen Jensen.
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.
Linda Hicks gets assistance from Kyle Rheiner, Cristina Combee and Matt Holliday as she loads her car with items donated for the Stockings for Soldiers (SFS) project, with which Rotary has been involved for a number of years. Linda coordinated the sewing of holiday stockings by the West Chester club members earlier this year, and then put out collection boxes to receive small food and personal items to go in the stockings. New this year is the collecting of used American flags. SFS project volunteers cut out the stars, embroider the edges, then package them to be inserted in the stockings. The flags are then given to the Boy Scouts for proper disposal. Linda noted that she has taken three carloads of items to the SFS project office in Delaware this year, with significantly more items than have been donated previously.   "Rotarians were so very generous this year," she said.
In keeping with the District 7450 Celebration of 30 Years of Women in Rotary, and Rotary International's observance, the Rotary Club of West Chester joined in the commemoration at last week's meeting by presenting a rose to each Rotary woman in attendance. In addition, President Mickey Hall gave a brief history of the struggle for women to join Rotary, finally succeeding in 1987-88, due to the perseverance of a Rotary Club in Duarte, CA. Those receiving roses were (standing from left) Patty Jefferies, Faith Woodward, Jeanie McGinn, Sue Flynn, Fran Luft, Sheriff Bunny Welsh, Club President Mickey Hall, Deb Sparre, Glen Sweet, Christine Scott, Phyllis Dunn, Diana Liberi, Joanne Tadeo, and (seated form left) Winnie Stroup, Cathy Palmquist, Linda Hicks, Carol Hanson, Sue Casso and Michelle Venema.
The women seated in the front are among the earliest women members. Carol Hanson is holding the plaque presented to her as one of 12 women honored at the district dinner for her long service in the field of healthcare. There are over 130 members in the West Chester club; over 50 are women. Six of the women have served as club president.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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