January 22, 2015 Meeting Program - ROTARY AWARENESS
Club member, Jeannie Brady, organized the program for January 22, 2015 meeting, Rotary Awareness. In addition to Jeannie, Rotary Club members Frank Oliver, Stephanie Holdt, Tom Daniels, Diane Ljungquist, Sandy Lane, and Al Noble related the circumstances that led to Tunkhannock Rotary Club membership.
Jeannie led off the program relating that her first experience with Rotary was at the age of 15 in her birthplace, Taiwan. At that time, she learned one of the main programs within Rotary International was the Exchange Student program. When she moved to the United States and Tunkhannock, Mr. Fitz would hurry out the door of their workplace to attend the weekly Tunkhannock Rotary meeting. She asked if she could join, but at that time was told there were no women members. By 1989, a woman had been granted membership in Rotary and when someone approached Jeannie to consider membership, she joined Rotary on September 25, 1989. She has served the club in several capacities including Club President. She feels that the Rotary matches qualities that her mother instilled in her and the Buddhist philosophy of the ‘3 Givings’ – give of yourself in service, knowledge, and financially. The Rotary project that most specifically touches her heart is Roadside Clean-Up. Her mother in Taiwan for many years had made it her own personal community service project to keep the streets clean in their neighborhood.
Frank Oliver spoke about his reasons for joining Rotary. Frank left Tunkhannock in the late 1970’s to become a fund-raising consultant working on several projects throughout the United States. During his career experiences, he learned of Peter Drucker’s belief that the Salvation Army “is by far the most effective organization in the U.S. No one even comes close to it in respect to clarity of mission, ability to innovate, measurable results, dedication and putting money to maximum use.” [Purtell, G. (April 2002). “The Most Effective Organization in the U.S.”: The Salvation Army and Peter Drucker. Capital Research Center, Compassion and Culture.
Retrieved from www.capital
research.org.] Frank added that from his perspective, Rotary somewhat mirrors the Salvation Army, an organization that relies on local volunteers who do things that relate back to the Salvation Army’s overarching mission. In his experiences while working in several locations throughout our country, he encountered individual Rotary Clubs whose members were completing projects that related to and were appropriate for their community while still reflecting Rotary’s overarching mission. He attended Rotary Club meetings as a guest speaker to provide information about various fund-raising projects in which he was involved. And, throughout the country, Rotary Clubs were extremely supportive of those projects. Three years ago, Frank returned to Tunkhannock to enjoy retirement. Since his return, he has become involved in several community service projects that have also been supported by Rotary. When asked to join a community service group, Frank typically asks, “What is the mission of your group”. It would seem that the mission of the Tunkhannock Rotary matches Frank’s mission. When asked to join the Tunkhannock Rotary, he said, “Yes”.
Due to a friend’s health event that greatly impacted Stephanie Holdt, she decided to obtain the necessary certification to work for Aflac Insurance. That decision ultimately brought her to employment as a Health and Life Agent at Tri-County Insurance Company in Tunkhannock. Tri-County President and CEO Al Noble and Samantha Maruzelli (Partner and Agent) are valued members of the Tunkhannock Rotary Club. Their invitation to attend a Rotary Club meeting resulted in Stephanie becoming a member. Stephanie, who before joining Tri-County was involved in a real estate company with her husband, has three children. When they were young, she was actively involved as a volunteer with various school activities. Now old enough to tell her that type of involvement is an embarrassment to them, she finds she can satisfy her desire to be involved in community service projects through Rotary.
Tom Daniels related that his journey to Tunkhannock Rotary membership took a number of years. When growing up on Long Island, he participated in Boy Scouts. Upon moving to Tunkhannock, he continued his involvement in Boy Scouts as his own sons earned the ultimate Boy Scout Eagle Award. Sadly, he and his family lost their home to the most recent major flooding that occurred on the Susquehanna River. The outpouring of help he and his family received from the community as they went through the process of flood recovery including building and settling into a new house was amazing. On many occasions, Tunkhannock Rotary Club member Harry Sharpe had asked Tom to join Rotary. Now that the new house is completed, Tom related that he has simply run out of excuses and deciding that the timing was right joined the club this past December. He sees his membership in Rotary as an organized way to give back to the community in the spirit in which the community responded during the flood recovery. Tom concluded by mentioning he is convinced that one of his sons, who has been involved in several community service projects including helping in Haiti, is destined to be a Rotary member.
Diane Ljungquist currently the CEO at Tyler Hospital related that her parents raised her to work hard and give back to the community. As a child she was involved in Girl Scouts beginning at the Brownie Scout level. As her career path led her from Berwick to Wilkes-Barre to Tunkhannock, she has been involved in service to her community. When approached to join Tunkhannock Rotary, her two biggest concerns were: 1) would she be able to make a difference and 2) did she have the time to be a member. She is glad that she was asked to join Rotary and that she said yes. She has found membership has enabled her to become better acquainted with the community and is impressed with the difference the local Rotary makes in our community and Rotary International makes in the world.
Sandy Lane related that she was one of the earlier female Tunkhannock Rotary Club members. She has served in a variety of leadership roles including President and currently as Treasurer. She mentioned that upon gaining employment as Business Manager in the Tunkhannock Area School District, School Superintendent Kent Kresge informed her it was expected that she become involved in a community service club. Kent also a Rotary member, suggested that Sandy consider joining the club. Sandy was hesitant at the time because there were no other female members. As soon as a few ladies joined the club, Kent approached her again and she decided it was time to join. While Sandy has many positive Rotary experiences, she related her experience with hosting a foreign exchange student from Serbia. While in the United States as a foreign exchange student, Dia decided that she wanted to stay in the United States and attend Drexel University. Sandy concerned about cosigning for a rather large sum of money it would take to begin the process, mentioned in passing to Rotary member Don Sick (now deceased) how upset she was to tell Dia she could not help her with her dream. Don’s response was, “Give me 24 hours”. Within that time, Don found a core group of people including Sandy to be responsible for the financial funding needed. Dia completed her degree at Drexel, paid everyone back ahead of schedule and currently lives with her husband in the Philadelphia area. Now that she is retired, Sandy has time to visit Dia more often.
Al Noble first came to Tunkhannock as a student teacher in 1957. He added that the aforementioned Kent Kresge was also a student teacher at the same time. After teaching in the Wyalusing school district for five years, Al left education to begin a career in insurance. He first became involved in another community service group in Tunkhannock that had their meetings in the evening. He found it difficult to attend the evening meetings and discontinued his membership. At the time he was first asked to attend a Rotary meeting, nothing really came of it. Sometime later when he was asked to join Rotary, he accepted. The first project he coordinated for Rotary was the Road-Side Clean-Up project. Upon mastering that activity, he was asked to become involved in more projects that led to his being considered the ‘club fundraiser’. Al has been involved at the district level of Rotary for many years especially the Leadership Education Program.
A common theme that was prevalent with all the speakers was the desire to give back to the community that many times had provided assistance to them or a project that was/is extremely important to them. Additionally, the majority of them added that they reason they joined the Tunkhannock Rotary Club was very simple, it was because . . . someone asked them.