Recent Impact
 
The last quarter is always the busiest for the Newtown Rotary Club. During the fourth quarter 2024, we re-instated our quarterly happy hours with “Cocktails for a Cause.” During our inaugural event, held at Relic, we raised $1,000, which we donated to a local breast cancer non-profit Main St.
 
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Next up was our annual Pedal for Progress bike and sewing machine collection. Rotarian Jerry Agasar began this collection 21 years ago and has spearheaded it since. This year we collected 291 bikes, 27 portable sewing machines, and raised around $4,000. The money raised helps offset the large shipping costs for getting the bikes and sewing machines to developing countries. The bikes aid in traveling to communities with better job opportunities, while the sewing machines offer the chance of an entire business venture.
 
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One of the most exciting collaborations we’ve ever done…Newtown Rotary teamed up with Warrington Rotary and Warwick Farm Brewing for a special beer release "Race to Victory," a hazy IPA, to benefit Rotary International's “End Polio Now” campaign. The beer release night was epic, a great time with two clubs coming together in fellowship.
 
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Our Fall Food Drive, headed up by Rotarian Shari Donahue, took place at McCaffery’s Market in October. In addition to the food donations collected for our local Wrightstown Food Pantry, we also raised $1,250 to donate to their efforts.
 
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November 4th, members rolled up their sleeves for our annual Fall road cleanup, picking up trash on our adopted highway in front of Newtown Middle School.
 
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Later the same day our NextGen leaders were speaking at the Bucks County Community College Emerging Leaders Summit, spreading the word about Rotary.
 
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Another tradition we hadn’t done in a while was resurrected this year, “The Million Dollar Lunch.” In lieu of our normal meeting, we met at the historic Newtown Theatre and Rotarians brought their own lunches, donating the normal lunch fee to the Wrightstown Food Cupboard.
 
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Our annual holiday luncheon was held at the American Legion Hall and catered by a great friend to Rotary, Chef Joseph Garvey. We feasted on delicious prime rib, and an assortment of other delectable foods while being serenaded by the Goodnoe Elementary Children's Choir. After the choir sang, we had a special surprise in store for them! Santa came out to say hello and deliver special treats to each of them.
 
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December is a month of service…and one of our busiest. We’ve dubbed Rotarian Paul Salvatore, “Mr. December” as he heads up our holiday events. Kicking off our December festivities, we won first place for our float in the Newtown Holiday Parade! Our local interact clubs were also at the parade volunteering ahead of time to make sure things went smoothly as the parade was set up. Our President, Mick Petrucci, was also the emcee for the parade!
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The Annual Santa Breakfast takes place the first Saturday in December. Each year, the local school district sends a list of deserving students in the district. This year we served approximately 190 people between the students and their families at the Washington Crossing Inn breakfast with Santa, complete with a wrapped present for each child.
 
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We also really enjoy our work with the Angel Tree, the school district helps by giving names of those that could use help during the holiday season. Each Angel represents a wish, and we are blessed to help fulfill them. Drop off locations are at the Newtown Post Office and the Northampton Library. This year we collected over 1,600 gifts for the angels, including children and parents- the gifts were sorted into their families, and each family received wrapping supplies to wrap their own gifts.
 
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We provided a Thursday night Christmas party for the children at the Lower Bucks Homeless Shelter with ice cream donated from Zebra Striped Whale (owned by Rotarian Shari Donahue) and photos with Santa. (Photos with the children can not be used due to confidentiality.)
 
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This year, one of our newest Rotarians, Donna McCormick-Miller, led the charge to garner volunteers to lay wreaths at the Washington Crossing National Cemetery. All who attended said it was a breathtaking experience and sight to behold.
 
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On December 24 we packaged and delivered meals to the 93 people living in the motels on Route 13 and Route 1.
 
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Ending our season with a bang...Christmas day we served the 80 residents of the homeless shelter, offering another exquisite Chef Joe Garvey meal- complete with shrimp and clams. (Resident faces have been blurred.)
 
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Written by: Stephanie Eubanks, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Newtown Rotary Club, Jan. 12, 2024
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