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Club News

Some people still think that human trafficking can’t happen here.  But anyone who attended the Allentown Rotary Club meeting on Friday September 14, quickly learned that it is in the Lehigh Valley and growing.

This message came Tashina Khabbaz of VAST, Valley Against Sex Trafficking. K habbaz is a graduate student currently working toward her M.A. in Education at Lehigh University. She first became interested in She has since served with them for many years.

VAST is a non-profit organization aimed at uniting and empowering individuals in the Lehigh Valley to encourage the eradication of sex trafficking in our region. It has a plan that involves three approaches: awareness, action and aftercare efforts.Human trafficking takes many forms around the world she notes. It is defined by the United Nations, in part, as “the recruitment, transportation, transfer harboring or receipt of persons by means threat of force or other forms of coercion."  It includes "forced labor, sex trafficking, bonded labor, debt bondage among migrant laborers, involuntary, forced child labor and child soldiers.”  

Khabbaz pointed out the network of “johns,” men looking for sex and “pimps” the middleman that exploit the vulnerable young women that are the objects of the sex trafficking. 

She pointed out that the pimps

The reason I suggested this particular song is because I think it reflects both the determination, the urban nature of the city residents.  The chorus is a kind of anthem of pride and rediscovery.  I think it encompasses what is happening in Downtown Allentown, not always neat and pretty but not willing to idle it's engines.
~ Nan

Throughout the coming year, we will share information about what your Committees are doing "behind the scenes" - let's start with the newly formed Communications and Public Relations Committee.  Although no meetings have been held yet, lots of hours are invested every week in external and internal club communications,  Here are some highlights:

 Social Media:

   •     Facebook "reach" was up over 500% during the last month - the Romper Day and Allentown Band posts were the big reasons for this jump.  To further extend our impact, we encourage members to "Share" our Allentown Rotary posts on their personal timelines.  "SHARE A SMILE" - it is much more powerful than just a LIKE!   The Facebook stats below show how we are extending our message, "#People of Action" far beyond our Friday meetings and project days!

Thanks to Chris Bauder and Ethel Drayton-Craig for providing  

We filled our Bell Hall meeting room again last Friday as we welcomed three new members to Allentown Rotary!  Our 2 "Next gen" additions are Nancy Wilson-Joseph and Connor Corpora. Grant Fox, husband of Rotarian Jean Fox, joined as an honorary member in recognition of their many years of service to the club. All were welcomed with a hearty round of applause!
The presentations last week were from Barb and Lou Bottitta, Don Wieand, and Marci Schick, all of whom  attended the Rotary International Conference in Toronto a few weeks ago (see banner photo of the four at top of SMILE).  
Barb led off with an emphasis on the Rotaract members who were very well represented at the RI conference.  Rotaract is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and a young Rotaract woman from Germany was selected to introduce two days of the conference's main tent activities.  Lou and Barb both highlighted the Friendship House, Rotary's enormous arena floor full of projects and fellowships which are supported by Rotary members around the world.  Lou also spoke about WASH, just one of RI's 6 world-wide major initiatives  -  Through water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs, Rotary’s people of action mobilize resources, form partnerships, and invest in infrastructure and training that yield long-term change.
Lou shared slides showing that when people have access to clean water and sanitation, waterborne diseases decrease, children stay healthier and attend school more regularly, and mothers can spend less time carrying water and more time helping their families.  Learn more at  https://www.rotary.org/en/our-causes/providing-clean-water
Don was up to bat 3rd and hit it out of the park with his talk about Marie-Paule Attema, a Rotary Peace Fellow.  We can't give Don's talk justice in print - please watch this video of Marie-Paul's speech and then formulate your own conclusions.  Don summed up his feelings when he described how brilliantly this Canadian immigrant, Marie-Paul, represents the goals and principles of Rotary.  He then said that he felt like the American dream had moved north of the border and become the "North American Dream."
Marci concluded our 4 inspirations with her remarks about the "Next Gen" of Rotary members and what our Strategic plan and guiding principles will do to make RI goals impactful in the Lehigh Valley.  Our Club vision statement was central to her remarks: "To be the strong and vibrant downtown Allentown service club that reflects the values of Rotary International - Service, Fellowship, Diversity, Integrity, and Leadership - while addressing the pressing needs of our local community with a focus on the education of our city youth."  See her talk here.
Thanks to our DIstrict Governor, Cindy Hornamen, for visiting our Club last Friday to highlight next year's district conference.  I'd like to remind everyone that our club announced an incentive for early-bird registration for the District Conference to be held downtown Allentown May 3 - 5, 2019 at the Renaissance Hotel and Symphony Hall..
The ARC will provide a subsidy of $79 for the full weekend and $74 for one day registration This brings the District's already discounted early bird cost to $150 for the full weekend and $100 for Saturday only.
1) register at the district's discounted rate by October 31; 
2) send your receipt to Tom Christman via email to request your subsidy from the ARC.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Cindy Hornaman <hornamca.ptd.net@clubrunner.email>
Date: Fri, Jul 27, 2018 at 5:10 PM
Subject: Visit to the Allentown Rotary Club
To: "Marcella M. Schick" <mms@mmsadvancement.com>
Thank you to the Allentown Rotary Club!
Hi all, I just wanted to write a short note to thank you for the nice visit that I had with your Club today.  It is wonderful to see a group of people who are friends and serve the community through Rotary and have fun as well...

There is a real vibrancy in your club and excitement--
Editor's Note: this is the written text that Marci Moyer Schick spoke from on Friday night, June 29th, when she accepted the gavel as Allentown Rotary Club's next president.  Even if you were there, it's worth reading again to reinforce Marci's major goals and themes for the coming year.  Marci is a previous Rotary President, having served in the role early in her professional career.  The gavel plaque pictured below is from her tenure as the Liberty Bell Club president, a club which is no longer in existence.
When I tell prospective members about the benefits of being a Rotarian, I talk about four things. The first three easily come to mind.
  • Fellowship and Networking – Rotary was founded by Paul Harris 113 years ago as a way to find fellowship and friendship and to build connections within his community.
  • Service - Soon after, service found a place in Rotary, and as our organization expanded, so did its influence.
  • Global Impact – Today Rotary gives us the chance to be part of something with the power to change the lives of families and communities across the world..
There is a fourth thing I tell potential members, and it has to do with the personal growth that we gain through membership. Our Allentown Club offers exceptional programs, giving us the opportunity to hear new ideas and new information. But that is not the only way that we can “grow” in Rotary.
I became a member almost 30 years ago when I was the same age as many of the young members we are inviting to join our ranks today. I was quickly given the chance to take leadership roles within my Rotary club. The role models and experiences I have had through Rotary have been invaluable. Rotary is still teaching me important lessons in how to make positive change in our changing world.
Our club is very fortunate to have a great group of new members with fresh ideas and energy.
I hope that each one of you will find opportunities for growth and leadership in the Allentown Rotary Club as you put your ideas into action. The officers and board of this club pledge to support you in achieving your goals!
Rotary transforms lives and communities. To continue to transform as a Club, we need to think differently about our role in Rotary, and Rotary’s role in the world.
  • We need to put more emphasis on our public image and the ways we communicate and get our work done, staying current to attract new members and partners to make a difference in our community.
  • We need to focus on larger projects that have a more lasting impact, taking the time to research and consider multi-year commitments.
  • Most important of all, we must all embrace our role as Rotarians to inspire others to join with us in making a difference.
Barry Rassin, our new RI President, chose this year’s theme saying, “Rotary shows us what is possible, inspires us to reach for it, and gives us a path to act — and to Be the Inspiration to our world.” I look forward to a year of working with each one of you to inspire new avenues for friendship, service and lasting impact in our community and the world. 
Rotary's New Vision statement!
Editor's Note: This is the text of the Thank You and recognition message that last year's President, Barb Bottitta, gave at the Change Over Dinner on Friday night, June 29th.  There is also a link to the 6 pages of slides that Barb used for her talk.
Also, an update to the membership goal that Barb discussed Friday night.  We checked ClubRunner after July 1st  and our membership was reported to RI at year end as 65.  We had a successful membership year with 9 new members.  Since 8 members left the club for a variety of reasons, our net gain is 1, the first positive net growth in several years.
2017 - 2018 Highlights
Before I present the gavel to our new President, Marci, I'd like to take a few minutes to look at the progress our club has made in the past year.  I came into the Presidency with several major goals and I'm pleased that we met or surpassed all of them:
  • WE Updated the Strategic Plan for the Club
  • WE Completed & Dedicated the Centennial Fountain
  • WE Implemented the membership, newsletter, website and social media functions of Club Runner
Even in the area of membership, where we did not quite meet our growth goals, we were successful in many other ways. Our extra special recruiting events (esp. The Vault and our visit to Rolf's corporate headquarters) and our creation of new membership categories such as Spouse & "Under 40" resulted in many new, young and energetic members.  Our membership challenges are not unique among Rotary Clubs, so the really good news is that for the first time in 4 years, we did not have a net loss for the year.
I'd like to acknowledge Marci, Kati and Murtaza for the yeoman jobs they did in recruiting and orientation for new members this year.We are certainly have great momentum going into the new year, as evidenced by THREE new member pinnings in one meeting this month.I am optimistic that our efforts to grow the club and energize it with young professionals representing diverse nationalities and ethnicities will pay BIG dividends for the Club in years to come.   
As we've said many times, growing the membership is everyone's responsibility, and I hope you'll take advantage of the weekly SMILE, the new website, our social media posts and just old fashioned WORD OF MOUTH to share our good news and "People of Action" stories across Allentown and the Lehigh Valley.Rotary International as given us the "People of Action" tools that emphasize verbs like Inspiring, Connecting and Transforming and that, to me, is the present and the future of Allentown Rotary.
In addition to our major goals and completing our usual, annual projects, we added the Tree Planting in Cedar Beach as an effort that could very well become an annual project.  I'd like to acknowledge Gary Rohrbach, Asst Governor and Past Pres of Emmaus Rotary, who is here tonight, for his generous donation of the 65 saplings that we planted. 
Financially, we invested over $146K in the community this past year though the Fountain, Dictionary, Tree planting and other projects. AND we had over 600 volunteers hours committed to Community Building "People of Action" projects. Those Volunteers Hours were through the efforts of the Rotarians in this room and those who were not able to be here with us tonight, SO GIVE YOURSELVES A ROUND OF APPLAUSE!
I'd be remiss if I didn't thank Ken Kirshner and his Program committee for the interesting and educational programs that they arranged for this year's meetings.  I know I regularly received very positive comments about the high quality of our speakers and topics this year, so THANK YOU Ken and your committee members!
Next, I am pleased to announce that at last night's District Meeting, And, for the first time in many years, Allentown Rotary earned The Club Achievement Award from our District.  This award is given to Clubs who developed a Strategic Plan and who achieved other 6 significant projects during the year.  Our goal this past year was to complete at least 5 projects, we actually completed over 30. 
Rotary is not and should not be about rewards and recognition, but this Achievement Award is well deserved and it is recognition from our fellow Rotarians, their Clubs and the District for the turn-around we have started to engineer this past year.  We are becoming a Club that is more Project oriented and more a "People of Action"
Lastly, maybe the most important accomplishment of the year was putting in place a transition for presidents that gives the Club consistency and experienced leadership from one year to the next.  Marci, Don and I worked so well together developing a new Strategic Plan, updating the Constitution and restructuring our committees that I am confident that  the Club is in good hands for the future.  The new "Triumvirate" is Marci, Don and Kati LaBuda and I will work with the 3 of them to give them whatever help and assistance I can to make their years HUGE successes.
Before I turn over the gavel to Marci, I'd like to ask all the past Allentown Rotary Presidents in the room to stand up for a round of applause -- Marci, Don, Kati and I are building on the foundations you put into place during your years as Presidents.
 A lot of people who have achieved success in later life tend to forget how difficult the struggle was.  Roger Mullin did not.  As CEO of Mack Trucks, he had achieved a place in 20th century corporate America that many would envy.  But he wanted to make it easier for others.  And he decided to do it through the Allentown Rotary Club Foundation.
So, in 1988 he created the Roger and Louisa Mullin Scholarship.  “Kids with talent should get what they deserve,” he said.  Since that time ARC has seen to that.  Working with guidance counselors at William Allen, Central Catholic and Dieruff high schools the students are selected on the basis of financial need and community service.
 At its May 18th meeting the club awarded this year’s scholarship to Christina Mitry of Dieruff High School.  Mitry, who came to the the U.S. from Syria with her parents in 2010 will receive $3000 per year for four years, which she plans on spend at Muhlenberg College studying bio-chemistry which she hopes to use toward a degree in medicine.  She is pictured here with some Rotarians from the Allentown Rotary Scholarship Committee.  Below, Judy Lovett Belaires presents the scholarship to Christina.
 She hopes to use that degree to work with children.  She feels in this way she can make a contribution to society.  “Working with children is my passion,” she says.
Although she and her family left their native land before the current unrest struck it many of her family members have been displaced by it.
As she told of a cousin who was in the army but has apparently disappeared, her eyes became tearful.  “Maybe he was captured by ISIS, we just don’t know,” she said with sadness in her voice.  “My major wish is for peace in Syria.”
Another feature of the day is hearing from past recipients of the scholarship. On hand for the event was Derek Reynoso the 2016 scholarship awardee.
An art student from William Allen High School Derek is using his scholarship at the University of West Virginia to study potter making and art. He is now a junior and has sold several of his pieces, has shown his work in Hawaii and is currently getting ready to spend a semester in China.
 Derek’s family are from the Dominican Republic originally. “When I was in middle school and high school I assumed that like the rest of my family when I graduated I would enter the workforce,” he says. “But now I am the first member of my family to go to college,” he says. “It is an incredible feeling.”       
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Bell Hall
612 Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA  18101
United States
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September 2018
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect & Service Projects Co-Chair
Immediate Past President & Rotary International Foundation Chair
Membership Chair & Pres-Elect Nominee
Communications/Public Relations Chair
Service Projects Co-Chair
Scholarships, Grants and Fundraising Committee Chair
Program Chair
Badge Board Chair
Smile Editor/ClubRunner Master
Interact Liaison
Allentown Rotary Foundation Chair
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