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Club Information
Welcome to our Club!
Bethlehem Morning Star

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 7:30 AM
1st Thursdays: 5:30 to 7 pm Zoom
2nd-5th Thursday 7:30 am Zoom
Bethlehem, PA
United States of America
1st Thursday - 5:30 PM / 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Thursdays - 7:10 AM Meet and Greet / 7:30 AM Meeting Starts


Lehigh Valley Community Foundation 
Erika Riddle Petrozelli, new CEO for the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation (LVCF) will join us on Zoom this Thursday. 
Erika will share her vision for the organization and tell us more about the impact LVCF makes in our community.
For more than five decades, Lehigh Valley Community Foundation (LVCF) has helped donors with their charitable contributions with a simple, powerful, and highly personalized approach. LVCF is a philanthropic hub for the Lehigh Valley—who knows and navigates the landscape of the Lehigh Valley’s community needs to connect people who care to causes that matter.
Please join us Thursday to learn about the LVCF and the wonderful support it provides to our community. 
Time:  May 13, 2021 07:15 AM EDT
Zoom starts at 7:15 am for fellowship with the regular meeting starting at 7:30 am.
Think about your fellow MSR members. Any you have not seen in a while...
Please take a little time to "reach out" and touch base with someone. See how they are doing and let them know they are missed at meetings and our events.
This really works! We will once again be joined by one of our favorite Rotarians, Marianne Aronson, on May 13! 
Perfect time is now - especially in view of the situation we are all in! 
Goes just as well for family and friends all around!
Take care and be safe.
If anyone needs ZOOM help, just give a yell!
A year of life has been turned inside out and upside down, and we all look forward to once again sharing time with family and friends.
Our Morning Star Rotary club and its board have been zooming regularly, and together we have helped the community and beyond with $11,000+ in grants and hands-on assistance:
  • TJ Elementary with $1,500 in grocery gift cards.
  • Holiday Hope Chest – members donated wrapped shoeboxes filled with gifts for underprivileged children.
  • Our Hartmann-Hansen Grant of $4,000 went to Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers for a playground.
  • Audrey Rafferty Education Fund grants of $1,500.
  • $1,578 for at least 5 Bethlehem Emergency Sheltering dinners/breakfasts and lunches (includes a donation to help with their extra costs for deal with COVID-19).
  • Rotary International’s PolioPlus $1,500.
  • ShelterBox $1,500 to help those affected by natural disasters and manmade conflict.
However, we were unable to hold any of our 3 annual fundraisers – the Celtic Classic 5K, the Salute the Troops Concert, and the Spaghetti Dinner. Over many months the Board brainstormed concert options , from a virtual performance to an outdoor venue with distanced seating, to moving the date from November to May. Alternate spaghetti dinner locations were investigated. Other online fundraising options were explored. Unfortunately, none of these worked out.
Many thanks to members who have donated!!! Through March  the total is just over $4,000.
However, the shortfall in fundraising has caused our Charitable Account bank balance to decline significantly, and no donation has been given to Victory House yet this year.
We ask your support to allow us to help more.
Family comes first, of course – if money is tight, please take care of them.
If finances allow, please think about what would have been spent on Rotary (weekly meetings, concert tickets, spaghetti dinner tickets, etc.) and donate as you are able.
In addition, if you know others who would have participated in any of our events (tickets, ads, Patron/In Honor Of listings, race runners), please consider asking them to help.
Two ways to donate
If desired, you can specify which project or event you are supporting.
BY CHECK payable to “Bethlehem Morning Star Rotary Charitable Org.” - tax deductible since it’s a 501(c)3.
Mail check to Attn Jean Searfoss, 1409 Bogie Ave, Allentown, PA 18106
ONLINE – click the “Donate” button at
For your donation to count in the 2020-21 Rotary year, please submit by May 31
Please contact Jean Searfoss (Treasurer) with any questions .
Thank you in advance for your consideration and help.
Morning Star Rotary Board of Directors
Although we could not hold our annual Salute the Troops Concert this year, please consider participating and supporting Victory House with their 15th Annual Golf Charity Classic on Monday, June 7, 2021 at Green Pond Country Club.  If you are a golfer, it is a great time to play a round in support of a wonderful organization dedicated to providing local homeless veterans and others with emergency shelter, transitional housing and supportive services. You can go to for more details including the golf outing, sponsorship opportunities and registration.
Building Home Libraries of Diverse Books
Households with home libraries help children expand their vocabulary and allow for better reading comprehension. Studies have shown that being read to as a child and having books in the home are the two most important indicators of future academic success. Lehigh Valley Reads is creating a movement to build home libraries and supply diverse books to celebrate stories that represent the people in our communities and the families who read them.
Lehigh Valley Reads Campaign Director Angela Zanelli gave an excellent presentation on the program and explaining why the focus on the need for children to be on reading level by he end of Third Grade.  Research has shown conclusively the ability to read on grade at the Third Grade level is a most important life success indicator. 
Lehigh Valley Reads focuses on getting "home libraries" in place throughout the Lehigh Valley. "Home Libraries" are the placement of 10 age appropriate books reflecting the needs of our diverse community families. Their strategy follows very closely with the Rotary initiative for Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness. 
A comment often heard, "do prison builders really use third grade reading scores to predict the number of prison beds they’ll need?"  Various studies and work by reporters and fact checkers have concluded this not to be the case. Well, technically untrue at least. There is an undeniable connection between literacy skills and incarceration rates.
You see, a student not reading at his or her grade level by the end of the third grade is four times less likely to graduate high school on time–six times less likely for students from low-income families. Take that and add to it a 2009 study by researchers at Northeastern University that found that high school dropouts were 63 times (!) more likely to be incarcerated than college grads and you can start to see how many arrive at this conclusion.
But once incarcerated, not all hope is lost. In fact, literacy instruction can help on both ends of the correctional system; studies have shown that inmates enrolled in literacy and other education programs can substantially reduce recidivism rates. One study of 3,000 inmates in Virginia found that 20% of those receiving support in an education program were reincarcerated, while 49% not receiving additional support returned to prison after being released. 
So, while prison planners do not use third grade reading scores to determine the number of prison beds they’ll need in the decade to come, there is a connection between literacy rates, high school dropout rates, and crime. While we should file this claim as an urban legend, let’s recognize why it resonates with us: it speaks to the important ways that poor reading skills are connected with unfavorable life outcomes. Reading Partners 2013 Study
Teaching children to read is an incredible gift lasting a lifetime. 
For more information please visit the following links:   LV READS PROMO VIDEO   Why We Need Diverse Books from Lehigh Valley Reads
The Tri-District Conference was an excellent means for Exploring New Opportunities, Together. There were over 400 registered Rotarians engaged in the events of the three days. We had excellent speakers, numerous offerings for topical breakout sessions, and a tremendous variety of areas in the House of Friendship. There was Camp Neidig in virtual and the Four-Way Speech Contest finals. The future is looking bright!
Our greatest appreciation and thanks to our District Governor Janet Kolepp for all the fine efforts and leadership that resulted in the success of this conference. Amazing how effectively the leadership team produced such a great result. Congratulations to all.
7430 Service Project
Some of The Morning Star clean up crew working on the 
Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor
May be an image of 1 person, standing, tree and outdoors 
Helpers included 9 Camp Neidig students, Bob & Shawn Bariana, Sue Burnett, Rodney & Sarabel Conn, Charlotte Hartmann-Hansen, Bill Hunter, Betty Isaacs, Janet Kolepp, Mike Long, Rick Morrissey, 
Jean & Ron Searfoss, Rod & Sheila Seifert, and friends of MSR Elena Helmuth and Carol Montgomery. (Sorry if missing anyone.)
Getting to Know the Bethlehem Food Co-op
Special thanks to Carol Ritter, Bethlehem Food Co-Opfor  "Getting to Know the Bethlehem Food Co-op." 
The Bethlehem Food Co-Op is a group of neighbors working to open a community-owned, full-service grocery store in the north downtown area of Bethlehem. We learned why the Co-op will be so valuable to our community. If you go to the Download Section of our website you can access the full pdf presentation and learn why this is such an exciting happening in our community. It will open the opportunities for people to easily access healthy, locally grown products. Bon Appetit!

The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world.

Since it was founded more than 100 years ago, the Foundation has spent more than $4 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects.
With your help, we can make lives better in your community and around the world.

Our mission

The mission of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.

What impact can one donation have?

  • For as little as 60 cents, a child can be protected from polio.
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DONATE NOW  Click here to go directly to the RI website or send your donation to Tom Hartzell 1341 Biafore Avenue Bethlehem PA 18017. Thank You!
JUST a reminder - see the following link CLUBRUNNER MOBILE APP for a short video on the free phone app and all the information readily available to you right on your phone! Makes that little cell phone a very valuable tool for a gazillion of your Rotary needs! Enjoy! Give a yell if any questions.
Upcoming Events
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Past President
Director 7/1/19-6/30/21
Director 7/1/19-6/30/21
Director 7/1/19-6/30/21
Director 7/1/20-6/30/22
Director 7/1/20-6/30/22
Director 7/1/20-6/30/22
Membership Chair
Rotary Foundation Chair
Youth Exchange Chair
Hareem Khattak, Fulbright Scholar
May 20, 2021 7:30 AM
Pakistan From a Local's Lens
First Thursday
Jun 03, 2021 5:30 PM
Happy Hour Networking
Dr. David Ehrenkrantz
Jun 10, 2021 7:30 AM
"Heal Pignon" - Rotary Foundation Haiti Project
District Governor Bob Hobaugh
Oct 21, 2021 7:30 AM
District 7430 Update
Links for Home Page

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Happy Dollars, Club Matching, Charitable Account, etc...
You can add a note within paypal to designate what you would like it to be used for.