Posted by Jim Bolas
President Heather Dieckmann chaired the meeting
Club Meeting Program Schedule
March 29th - No Meeting - Holy Thursday
April 5th – District Governor Ward Garner
April 12th – Open
April 19th – Dr. Lisa White – Integrated Leadership Systems
April 26th – Pancake Festival Proceeds Distribution Dinner
May 3rd – Annual Tech Awards Dinner
  • Heather Dieckmann
  • District 7300 Rotary Foundation Luncheon – A show of hands was requested of those members who plan to attend the annual District.7300 Rotary Foundation Luncheon at the Rivers Casino at noon on Sunday, April 15th. Payment of the $60 is to be made to Ray Kells who will pay the District. Heather volunteered to make a themed basket for the luncheon to gain a Paul Harris for the Club.
  • Upper St. Clair-Bethel Park Rotary Club – The breakfast club asked if our Club would be interested in going to a Pirate game with its members. The Club members agreed it would be good for fellowship and to respond favorably.
  • Judy Lorigan – Heather introduced a Rotarian who is returning to the area after living in Canton, Ohio for 10 years. Judy informed the members she is a 30 year Rotarian being one of the first women to join Rotary in District 7300. Was a long time member of the Bethel Park Rotary Club where she was President. Knows the Rotary Club of Bethel-St. Clair well. Now lives in Collier Township and interested in joining a club in South Hills.
  • Ray Kells
  • Easter Egg Hunt – The Easter Egg Hunt was very successful with 347 children attending (100 more than 2017 and 40 less than 2016). Laura Maines did a great job as the Easter Bunny. 8 members from Interact helped versus 28 last year. St. Patrick’s Day and the school musical were factors. Breakdown of the kids was: 0-23mos – 39; 2-3 – 79; 4-5 – 99; 6-7 – 72 and 8+ - 44). The members thanked Ray for his leadership role in the event.
  • Barbara Piconi
  • 2018 Bob Williams Scholarships – 10 students plus 4 alternates were chosen to receive $4000 scholarships this year. One of the recipients was a vocational student and one was from Bethel Park.
  • 2018 Club Spelling Bee – This year’s 3rd grade Spelling Bee will be held March 28th at St. Louise de Marillac. Members are welcome to attend. Contact Barbara for more information.
Program –      Matt Fricker – Associate Pastor – John McMillan Presbyterian Church –                                Helping The Needy in Houston’s Recovery from Hurricane Harvey
Jim Hinerman introduced Matt Fricker, a 2013 graduate of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently an Associate Pastor. He has been involved as Director of Youth Ministry programs at a number of churches in Pittsburgh and San Antonio. Matt served in the U.S. Army from 1999 to 2008 and served in Iraq. He currently is the High School Coordinator for the Wilmington Missionary Conference and has led numerous mission trips for both adults and youth to Vietnam, Houston and Puerto Rico. Matt has a wife and 2 young children. He loves the Philadelphia Eagles and Flyers but also the Pittsburgh Pirates and University of Pittsburgh sports teams.
Matt presented the following information to the members on his Houston mission:
  • Hurricane Harvey (a Category 4 storm which hit between Aug. and Sept, 2017) impacted the Houston area with up to 55” of rain. The hurricane unloaded about 33 trillion gallons of water on the Houston area.
  • Despite the heavy flooding only 10,600 of Houston’s residential homes were destroyed, mainly in poorer neighborhoods in flood plain areas. The City of Houston has about 950,000 housing units. (City of Pittsburgh has about 160,000 housing units). Note: Internet reports indicate a current tally of 12,700 Houston homes being destroyed and 203,000 damaged.
  • Matt stated that the Houston area experienced $80 billion of damage from the storm. The population of the Houston area is about 6.5 million. Note: The National Hurricane Center estimates the overall damage from Hurricane Harvey at $125 billion effecting 13 million people from Texas through Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky.
  • Due to multiple disaster events in 2017 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is currently $25 billion in debt. The Federal government has established that the agency can not exceed $30 billion in debt and will be shutdown without a change in legislation.
  • Homeowners in flood plain areas need to have flood insurance which costs $300/mo. Many can not afford the premiums.
  • Immediate disaster relief is provided through the likes of the Red Cross and local organizations such as churches. However, the Federal government will not provide funds to help rebuild churches due to separation of church and state.
  • FEMA will pay for families to live in temporary living space (motels, trailers, etc.) for up to 6 months while their homes are being rebuilt or repaired. Tight quarters for large families.
  • He noted that in rebuilding homes waterproof vinyl plank flooring is used which utilizes a “Easy Click” installation method which makes removal, cleaning and reinstallation easy.
  • Matt said that his mission helped repair badly damaged homes. The mission team also stayed in tight quarters while there but they ate well. Will be returning in November and Club members are welcome to join the mission team.
  • Also there will be a mission to Iraq to help needy families rebuild their homes.