Welcome to the Rotary Club of Allentown

Are you an established professional who wants to make positive changes in our community and the world? Allentown Rotarians share a passion for community service, action and fellowship.  Joining Allentown Rotary connects you with this diverse group of people enabling you to contribute to our city, develop your leadership skills and make life-long friendships.  Click here for info on Joining Allentown Rotary!
Club News

The Allentown Rotary Club and the Allentown Rotary Club Foundation have established a $50,000 fund to distribute to local nonprofit organizations on the front lines dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Allentown Rotary Club Emergency Aid Fund will provide financial assistance to nonprofits supplying food, shelter, medical/emergency care and educational services  to members of the Allentown community. 

In the first round of funding, the Rotary Club’s Emergency Aid Fund awarded grants of $5,000 each to the Allentown Rescue Mission, Casa Guadalupe, Meals on Wheels of the Greater Lehigh Valley, and the Ripple Community, Inc.   The sum of $2,500 was also awarded to Phoebe Home in memory of the Reverend Dr. Grant Harrity and in honor of Richard M. Snyder, both of whom were long-time active members of the Allentown Rotary Club. 

Applications for the second round of funding of up to $27,500 are currently being accepted and can be found at the website of the Allentown Rotary Club or by sending an email to mailto:Info@AllentownRotary.org.  Second round grants will range from $2,000 to $5,000.  The deadline for submitting applications will be June 12, 2020.  The application can be found here. 

Allentown Rotary President-elect Kati Labuda, submitted the following message for this issue of the SMILE:
As the new Rotary year approaches it will be unique.  The world is a different place today as we know it.  I am excited and nervous at the challenges and opportunities before us.  I ask myself, “what is Rotary?” Rotary has so many meanings to all of us.  Rotary is an extension of our families.  We have built many friendships and will continue to do so.  We also have the ability to help others.  While I believe that this is always important, I think it is more important now than ever before.  We can help those in our community and also around the world. 
Service may be different this year.  As you all know, Allentown Rotarians have participated in many projects
Rosaria Stoops, Manager at Allentown Mission, sent us this message earlier this week.  Haven't sent an Amazon order yet?  Just use this link!    "Help us help our men" by donating supplies. Please send them "Attention Rosaria"
I would LOVE to say thank you to all my fellow Rotarians and friends! When one hears “essential employees” you can look at it in so many ways. I think of it as the people who are in the nursing homes helping with the true high rise people, the flight crews who must keep operating since some flights HAVE to happen, then we have the postal workers, UPS, FED EX, and my favorite AMAZON. Not even going into health care workers, testing site places, and many other people. I never thought taking a job at a non-profit as a fundraiser, I would be an Essential employee.
I think of myself as special, oh sure! What really defines essential? This is something I have thought about for many nights when I have tried to go to bed, when I am BEYOND tired, when the world is a blur, I have no idea what day it is, I don’t even KNOW the number of hours I worked! For our New Norm/survival is so different then back in 2019. I feel like back in 2019 I was carefree and now I have aged 10 years! I have not been “zoomed” into a rotary meeting in so long, but I have never felt so committed to our goals more then now. Service above Self, its truly an honor to serve the homeless community during this.
I feel a sense of pride when I say I work at the Allentown Rescue Mission, that we are still open. That instead of our emergency shelter being open ONLY from 4pm - 8am we have it open 24 hours a day! That we are still taking in new men. That
For the past few weeks we have been encouraging members to support local Lehigh Valley non-profits who are on the front lines of fighting COVID-19 and helping the homeless and the hungry.  How would you like a donation to be multiplied 20 times?  Your $10 donation could have the impact of $200! 
Please read the appeal below which is from the president of the Hermanus Rotary in Hermanus, S Africa.  Ann hosted and organized our DIstrict's 2 day RFE (Rotary Friendship Exchange) stop in her club's town last September.  Normally. Rotarians from South Africa would be visiting us in the next year or two - but given the Corona VIrus, that exchange is on hold indefinitely.  Here's a chance to help Rotary "Connect the World" - if you'd like to donate, contact the editor for details. 
21 April 2020
Lou and Barb Bottitta, The Rotary Club of Allentown
Dear Lou and Barb
An Appeal for Financial Aid for a Feeding Scheme in Hermanus
I trust this letter finds you both well.
We are appealing to fellow Rotarians living in countries where the exchange rate is very favourable. Currently the Dollar/Rand is about  R19 to $1. A killer for us.  One Big Mac meal in USA could give a family of 2 food for a week.
As previous visitors to our town we'd like to share with you the challenges we face in our beautiful town during the current world pandemic.
Our economy is driven by tourism, a small scale wine industry and the abalone industry. In 2018 we had months of social unrest due to land grab issues which halted the tourism industry and most of our businesses. People were retrenched. The abalone industry exports most of its product to Asia, but the Hong Kong riots, followed by the Corona virus, has ended this industry resulting in huge job losses.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic South Africa is in total lockdown which means  that the wine industry has been shut down, they can’t export their products plus, alcohol sales are banned in SA during lockdown.
Hermanus has had an unprecedented influx of economically disadvantaged and poorly skilled people from the Eastern Cape, plus foreigners from all over Africa, arriving in the town looking for work. Our region has one of the highest TB, HIV/Aids and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome stats in the world. All these factors have been compounded by the arrival of the pandemic and the lockdown.  Many of these people live in shacks made of corrugated iron.
Some are lucky enough to have a small home, but they accommodate extended family. Social issues

If Central Casting in the Hollywood days of yore was to send out a call for an actor to play a Secret Service agent Joseph T. Petro would fill the bill. Ramrod straight, steel gray hair and quietly distinguished, Petro looks like someone who could keep his cool no matter what the “bad guys” tried to do to the nation’s chief executive. 

In fact, Petro, an Allentown native was, for 23 years a Secret Service agent. He was on details that protected Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and, when he came to America, Pope John Paul II. He also served the Secret Service in many other ways.

At its February 20th meeting members of the Allentown Rotary Club and their guests had a chance to hear from Petro as he spoke about those times outlined in his recent book “Standing Next to History.”

Petro began his talk by outlining a little history about how the Secret Service. It was created at the end of the Civil War primarily to detect counterfeiting. However, the act creating the Secret Service was left unsigned on President Lincoln’s desk when he left for Ford’s Theater, never to return. His successor Andrew Johnson did sign the bill. Petro highlighted the Secret Service history from its early beginnings up to our own time.  He pointed out that the FBI was created in 1908 out of the Secret Service, a subject, Petro noted, that the FBI can be a little touchy about it. During the Vietnam War Petro served as a Navy lieutenant on the river boats that patrolled South Vietnam’s rivers.  August 1974 found him part of the Secret Service security detail assigned to then vice-president Gerald R. Ford. Petro recalled vividly the night President Nixon left office.  Just 

Forty-two million people are displaced by armed conflict or persecution, and 90 percent of armed-conflict casualties are civilians, half of them children. Through service projects, fellowships, and other Rotary-sponsored campaigns, members train adults and young leaders to prevent and mediate conflict, and aid refugees who have fled dangerous areas. Members also pursue projects to address the underlying structural causes of conflict, including poverty, inequality, ethnic tension, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources.

If you are not a Rotarian and you are reading this article, Join Rotary and help spread peace around the world.  Give now to promote peace.

Read news about Rotary peace initiatives

The Dieruff Interact Club has closed out the year co-hosting a successful “Toys for Tots” Drive where over 100 gifts were collected! We’d like to thank The Allentown Rotary Club, Builders Door & Hardware Inc, Cuts & Styles, and the many students and faculty members at Dieruff High School for their generous donations!  

The Club enjoyed a holiday party on December 17th, which kicked off with an informative presentation of Camp Neidig by attendant and club member Jahnya Jordan. She shared, with enthusiasm, the fun she had this past summer and the new friends she met while at camp. 

Laughter met work- as it always does when this group gathers together. A competitive “candy ball” game closed out our party after a discussion of what events the club would like take on in the new year. 

We now have an Instagram account and invite you all to follow us @dieruff_interact_club. Junior Alondra Ramirez has taken on the roll of webmaster and is looking forward to keeping the world updated on our happenings! 

Happy Holidays and best wishes for the new year from the Husky Pack!
The Miracle League event on Saturday September 27th was a beautiful day and it was awesome to see the happiness of the players and their families! 
Don, John and I stayed for all 3 games, while Wally and Kathy each did one game.  We also had additional volunteers from some of our families, as well as from the Allentown West and Slatington Clubs.  DG Herb Klotz stopped by for a photo op!  It is a wonderful facility where all the kids feel like they belong and are able to be included.  There were kids as young as 4 up to their 30’s, all playing.  There was a ball that beeped so that the boy who is blind could hear it and know when to swing.  All the kids get a chance to hit and to spend as much time in the field as they were able. 
There were 3 games and each Rotarian was paired with a child.  We would assist them with hitting, when needed, run the bases with them and play catch with them when their team was in the field.  Every child had a chance to hit each inning and the last hitter always hits a homerun!  John Hannis may still be recovering from the little ball of energy he was paired with in the final game!  😊  It was a fun day and everyone left with a smile on their face!  Thank you all for your support!  As Wally so perfectly stated “we were surrounded by gentle innocence.” 
Stay Connected
RI   Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Instagram
Allentown   Facebook    Instagram
About Our Club

Allentown Rotary Means Business!


Service Above Self

Fridays at noon
Bell Hall
612 Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA 18101
United States of America
District Site
Venue Map
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Chair Rotary Foundation
Membership Chair
Immediate Past President
Community Service Chair
Smile Editor
Badge Board
Program Chair
Interact Chair
Speakers & Networking Events
Tom Yarrish
Jun 05, 2020
Computer Security Forensics
Steve McGorry
Jun 12, 2020 12:00 PM
Classification Talk & "How Covid Pandemic Has Impacted our Business"
Judy Barberich-Brogan
Jun 19, 2020 12:00 PM
Allentown Rotary Grant Awards
Don Wieand / Kati LaBuda
Jun 26, 2020 12:00 PM
Change-Over Meeting / New President
Jul 03, 2020 12:00 PM
Walaa Jaber, Allen HS & Batool Salloum, Dieruff HS
Jul 10, 2020 12:00 PM
Scholarship Awards
June 2020
Upcoming Events


Change your community with us by volunteering on a local project.


We work with groups and organizations of all sizes to accomplish even more.


Discover and celebrate diverse perspectives with a global organization.