Club Information

Welcome to our Club!

Bethlehem Morning Star

Service Above Self

2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Thursdays

7:10 am Meet and Greet

7:30 Meeting Starts
Moravian Village

opposite the Post Office

526 Wood Street
1st Thursdays: 5:30 to 7 pm

Artisan Wine & Cheese Cellar

55 W. Lehigh Street
Bethlehem, PA  18018
United States

District Site
Venue Map


BJ Metz, Past District Governor & Easton Rotarian, visited us last Thursday to talk about Rotary. He presented examples of how individual Rotarians were able to use their Rotary connections to help thousands upon thousands of people.
We marvel today about things like the pyramids that have been fascinating people for centuries, yet we don’t seem to appreciate the amazing things that are happening all around us thanks to Rotary. It would be difficult to find a charitable organization in in the Lehigh Valley that hasn’t benefited in some way through Rotary, yet we remain an afterthought in our own communities.
This is not the case in most of the world. It is only here in North America that Rotary (and virtually every other service organization) is in decline. Why? There is no simple answer.
How do we reverse the trend? It starts with understanding our own organization.
  • We have been and still are a force in our community.
  • We need to understand this and to communicate it to our friends, family, and co-workers.
  • We need to be visible.
  • We need to wear our Rotary symbol with pride. We’ve earned it through over one hundred years of service.
  • We need to recognize our strengths and still be open to inevitable changes.
  • We need to be visible and communicate.
We are a part of an incredible organization that is doing great things every day, all around the world.
So, wear your pins proudly and continue to Make A Difference through Rotary.
This recap tries to capture the essence of BJ’s truly moving presentation. In the words of our Past District Governor, Tore Hartmann-Hansen, “I have been a Rotarian for many years and have heard many speeches. This was truly the best I have ever heard.”
Thank you BJ for your amazing presentation. As discussed, we hope we can capture you in the future on video so that other Rotarians may have the benefit of what it means to be a proud Rotarian who continues to Make A Difference through Rotary.
"MAD Day" Garden Planting!
Please join us for our MAD garden planting event on Wednedsay May 23 at 6 PM at Hogar Crea. 1920 East Market Street, Bethlehem.
We will work together to inter this year's outstanding crops!
EREY – Every Rotarian Every Year
If you have already donated to The Rotary Foundation since July 1, 2017, we thank you. If not, we would appreciate your consideration of donating to The Rotary Foundation within the next three weeks so Morning Star Rotary can achieve 100% participation for the fourth year in a row.
Ways to donate:
Mail a check payable to The Rotary Foundation to Tom Hartzell 1341 Biafore Avenue Bethlehem PA 18017
Contribute at the $2/week at the Sign-In Table
Donate on-line at the Rotary Foundation.
Thank you. Every dollar you contribute will help us to continue to do good in our communities and in the world.
Our speaker this Thursday, May 24, will be fellow Rotarian from Saucon Valley and President Elect, Linda Mayger.
She will speak to us about the Saucon Valley Rotary Club District Grant to Myanmar.
Hope to see you there!
Rotary District 7430 Training Assembly was conducted this past Saturday at DeSales University In addition to a session for AGs/PEs, there were sessions on Strategic Planning, Secretary/Treasurer Review, mix it up with membership, Branding, Marketing and Social Media. New Membership Initiatives were introduced along with the RI Theme – Be The Inspiration, District 7430 Goals for next year and requirements of the Governor Citation. Logan Ruyak, winner of the 4 Way Test Competition, gave an encore performance of her outstanding talk. Following lunch, Jeffry Cadorette, RI International Director Elect, Zones 24 & 32 gave an enthusiastic talk on “why Rotary”. The afternoon had an optional grant training session for clubs looking to expand their engagement with both District and Global grants.
There were nearly 80 Rotarians at the Assembly from all around the District. . Morning Star Rotary was very well represented with 8 of our MSR Rotarians participating in all areas. In attendance were Marianne Aronson, Tom Hartzell, Shawn Deiter, Janet, Tom & Carl Kolepp and Jean & Ron Searfoss.
We always look to encourage our members to get engaged in areas outside the regular club activities to experience how great and involved an organization you are a part of. Please feel free to ask any of the attendees for their perspectives on the District Assembly or the District Conference or Foundation Gala and other events outside ‘your Rotary box’!
Dear Morning Star Rotarians,
Registration is now open for the Rotary District 7430 District Assembly on Saturday, May 12th. The training will be held in the Campus Center Building on the campus of DeSales University, 2755 Station Ave, Center Valley, PA 18034 starting at 8 am.
Who Should Attend:
Presidents, Presidents-Elect, Treasurers, Secretaries, Club Officers, Committee Chairs, New & Experienced Rotarians, Leaders, anyone wanting to do good in their community.
What To Expect:
Learn from other leaders, find inspiration, get new ideas, meet old friends and gain new friends.
Goals & Theme for 2018-19, Membership, Youth in our District, Secretary and Treasurer Training, Strategic Planning, Effective Social Media...............
Price $45......Includes Continental Breakfast and Executive Boxed Lunch.   Morning Star will reimburse you for your attendance and participation!
Plus Optional Grant Certification Training Session from 1:00- 3:00 pm
7:15-8:00 am Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00-8:30 am General Session
  • Call to Order
  • Welcome
  • Pledge/4 Way Test/Invocation
  • Business Meeting
  • Rotary Branding
8:45-9:30 am - Breakout Session 1
  • PE/AG Final Planning Session
  • Strategic Planning 101
  • Secretary/Treasurer Review
  • New Membership Strategies
  • Marketing/Social Media/Branding
9:30-9:45 am - Break and Display Tables
9:45-10:30 am – Breakout Session 2
  • Strategic Planning - You have one - How to Implement
  • How to do International Projects
  • Marketing/Social Media/Branding
  • New Membership Strategies
10:30-10:40 am - TRANSFER TO MAIN ROOM
10:40-11:30 am - General Session 2
  • Youth Activities
  • Parade of Flags
  • 4 Way Test Speech Contest Winner
  • New Membership Initiatives
  • RI Theme
  • District 7430 Goals, Governor's Citation
11:30-12:45 pm Lunch, Guest Speaker
  • Speaker Jeffery Cadorette, Rotary International Director Elect (R.I.D.E.)
  • Closing

Then you may like to stay for the optional Grant Management Seminar from 1:00-3:00 pm.

Hope to see you there!
Yours in Rotary Service,
Cindy Hornaman
District Governor Elect
District 7430

Special thanks to Traditions of Hanover with Executive Director, Cathy Heimsoth and Marketing Director, Jennifer Murphy for hosting Morning Star for this Road Trip. Jennifer provided an excellent perspective on the capabilities and the significant differences of their services at Traditions. They are the only Month-to-Month such facility serving the Lehigh Valley, thus giving potential clients a very realistic alternative to other such providers of senior care.
Janet Kolepp led a review of the results of our Strategic Plan update and the MSR Member Survey, which had a response rate of 42%! Members indicated diversity is a real issue to be addressed. Discussions focused on raising awareness of MSR in the community, and pursuing the quest for good, solid rotary candidates. We highlighted the leadership opportunities to help in all areas both in the club and to help in the community.
Janet and President Cheryl are planning a more comprehensive review later in June.
Recently I received an announcement of an event to be conducted by Bethlehem Financial. You may recall this is Charlotte's firm with her new partner, Peter Succoso. Peter has been a guest on occasion at Morning Star meetings.
They are sponsoring a Hard Drive Shred Event on May 2nd from 4:00 - 7:00 pm at the Bethlehem Golf Club. They are offering the event to fellow Rotary members to take advantage of this recycling event. It covers all types of electronic devices, etc. as can be seen on the attached flyer.
It is becoming harder and harder to get rid of these devices especially in a safe manner to protect your identity. No charge, just an offer of a free service you may wish to take advantage of.
Thank you Charlotte and Peter for the offer.
Last Thursday, April 19, we celebrated Maternal & Child Health Month. Isa Sanchez was named the recipient of the First Audrey Rafferty Memorial Scholarship.
Isa and Audrey had a very special relationship which developed through the Nurse-Family Partnership.
NFP is free for women who are pregnant with their first baby. When you enroll you will be connected to a registered nurse who will provide the support, advice and information needed to have a healthy pregnancy, a healthy baby and be a great mom.
Audrey and Isa connected and really lit a fire in each other. Isa gave birth to a baby boy who is now a 15 year-old young man and wonderful source of pride to his mother and family. Isa has completed her GED, achieved an Associate’s Degree, and is pursuing her degree in Nursing. She currently is an Administrative Coordinator in the NFP as she continues to grow.
Isa has also earned her own home through the Habitat for Humanity. In describing herself as a “go getter!” this appears to be quite the understatement.
Isa is an example of how the NFP has been an effective program for over 15 years. It serves over 250 families per year and has documented proof that it works. Although state supported, the support level has remained flat for 15 years. The success of the program reflects the continual professional, dedicated efforts of its management who constantly pursue grant funding to support the continued success of NFP.
We may want to keep this program in our “TOMA” – Top Of Mind Awareness – as we go forward with our community support efforts. There have been many instances where the seemingly small things have had a tremendous impact, e.g. providing the $50 fee to take a GED test successfully and the very powerful positive impact on the woman's future earnings ability for her and her family.
l to r: Isa Sanchez, Administrative Coordinator, NFP
Dr. Janet Sipple, MSR & St. Luke's
Tina Wida, Program Manager, NFP
Cheryl Baker, President MSR
Tiffany Grabinski, Program Manager, NFP
Ellie Fenner, retired NFP Nurse Home Visitor
Kelly berk, Director of Maternal-Child Health Initiatives SLUHN
Janet Kolepp, MSR PE & DGN
A brief preliminary update on the Audrey Rafferty Memorial Scholarship ARM (Audrey Rafferty Memorial) Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser –
Overall meals were up more than 40+ over last year. This also reflects a growing number of ‘takeout’s’. Proves the aroma of the sauce is spreading throughout the community.
There was significant support exhibited from some of our other community groups including Bethlehem Special Olympics, Victory House, and Nurse Family Partnerships. Our Scholarship Recipient, Isa Sanchez, was very engaged in distributing salads accompanied by her niece.  Thanks also to all the ‘diners’ who enjoyed the food and fellowship.
Special thanks to all the volunteers who helped make the event such a wonderful success. I personally want to thank the committee for the very effective redesign of the workflow assignments which made everything move more efficiently.
A complete report will be forthcoming from Event Chair Extraordinaire, Val Walk.
Thank you to all and especially the great work in the kitchen with Butch and all the folks.

Rob Vaughn, Channel 69 News Anchor, was our speaker at the April 12 meeting. Rob thoroughly entertained the group with many anecdotes from his 30 years at WFMZ or as he referred to it as “since the earth has cooled.”
A key to objectivity is to know very little about a lot.
He openly wonders why people find it so annoying that they broadcast standing up.
Of overall importance in reporting is to make sure you are fair. In this day and age this is not an easy task.
In response to a question on why the media does not pursue term limits, he responded by saying the responsibility of the media is to report the news, not to make it.
If the people want term limits, this should be a grassroots effort.
Thank you Rob for an informative and humorous presentation.
Thursday April 19, our meeting will focus on Maternal & Child Health Month. Isa Sanchez  will provide her insights as the First Audrey Rafferty Memorial Scholarship Recipient.
This kicks off the initial ARM Scholarship program which is in its evolutionary state of development.
Please join us and provide your support to Isa and the Scholarship program.
2018-19 Strategic Plan Update
In February of 2017 a group of Morning Star Rotarians met and created a strategic plan for our club.  This plan is available on our website for you to review.
On April 14th,  we met  again to review and update this plan. This plan is not a president's plan, or a board's plan.  This plan is designed to represent the vision and mission of the entire club. 
Take-aways from the meeting included: 1) establishing two groups - member and community awareness  to establish objectives and plans; 2) share meeting outcome with the club - targeted for the Changeover Meeting on 6/28/18; and 3) organizing a projects group and meeting before the end of June.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the process. The inputs, ideas and perspectives put forth will continue to make us a strong sustainable club.
As the last question of the Member Satisfaction Survey result showed us - we are all proud of our Morning Star Rotary Club.
Yours in Rotary Service,
Janet Kolepp
President Elect
Start of Spring -
Go to Rita’s for Annual Spring freebies?
Clean up from winter…
15" of "Onion Snow!" Date with the snow thrower!
Our exchange student Francesca with host sister Bella Pompa found a great solution!
Our March 15th meeting featured quite a variety of activities. First of all, Race Chair, Wayne Achey, presented the ceremonial oversized check for $5,000 to Louise Tusak and Amanda Reiss of Bethlehem Special Olympics. This represented funds raised through our Celtic Classic Annual 5K/10K Run Walk.  As Louise pointed out, "this is the 27th straight year for Morning Star and BSO; for which they are more than a little grateful.
Amanda Reiss took the podium and gave a heartfelt talk on just what the Bethlehem Special Olympics has meant to her and how it has helped to improve her life.
Amy Miller Cohen became our newest member when inducted on March 1st at our First Thursday event. At the March15th meeting she received her official Morning Star Rotary badge. As you can see Amy reflects her two Rotary badges – from Downtown and Morning Star – with enthusiasm!
Rodney Conn gave a presentation talk flowing from his roots in Cleveland to a career as an industry research chemist lasting 37 years. Obviously his crowning achievement was becoming the spouse of fellow Rotarian, Sarabel, (currently in Scotland on a “knitting odyssey”). Rodney has a diverse background being engaged with the Freemasons and is a Deacon in the Diocese of Bethlehem focused on community challenges. He and Sarabel have been key players in the Bethlehem Emergency Shelter programs. Rodney has some very interesting perspectives on the world. Science and religion are not mutually exclusive. He wants to continue to give back to the community. Rodney admits to being engaged in his Salisbury community as a ‘local level politician’.
Make yourself known to Rodney and enjoy your conversations. Welcome, Rodney, to our Morning Star family.
Carl Kolepp giving a presentation talk was a very special occasion. Carl has been engaged with Morning Star Rotary since his father, Tom, became a member in 1999. Carl has truly grown up in MSR!
Carl had the incredible experience of being a Rotary Exchange Student to South Africa in 2008/09. An avid rugby player, he admitted to being blown away by going to cricket matches at stadiums with over 80,000 people in attendance.
Carl likes to travel and not too long ago did a solo experience going to India for a few months. Ask him about the Beatles!  One of his goals is to visit all the continents and he already has an excellent start.
Carl started at Hotel Bethlehem 7 years ago as a dishwasher. He is now the Manager in Charge at the front desk. 4 times per month he functions as the overall manager for the hotel. He has had some exciting and interesting experiences at the hotel, from calling into action the EMTs with fast response to save a customer’s life to giving a set of collar stays from his own shirt to Jeb Bush. A true Rotarian! Small world.
While doing all this, Carl has also earned two associates degrees from NCAC focusing on hotel management.
We officially welcome Carl as a Rotarian, but he is a long time and cherished member of our Rotary family. Welcome, Carl!
Weather Permitting,
Please plan to join us Thursday, March 22, 2018 for a presentation by Linda Mayger and George Morrison from our Saucon Valley Rotary Club on their experiences with a District Grant to Myanmar.
The Annual Rotary Foundation Gala was held March 17, 2018 at the PineCrest Country Club in Lansdale. About 125 Rotarians, spouses and friends enjoyed an evening of celebration of The Rotary Foundation. In addition we raised over $5,900 from the basket silent auction (thank you Morning Star for your lovely basket donation) and another $730 from the raffle.
The highlight of the evening was the recognition of Our Major Donors. Please give special thanks and appreciation to Morning Star Rotarians Tore and Charlotte Hartmann-Hansen who have attained Major Donor Level III. Tore and Charlotte continue to set the bar for Morning Star Rotarians. Thank you.
Charlotte briefly addressed the attendees and then regaled all present with her wonderful acapella rendition of “Follow Your Rotary Dream” harkening back to the theme song for the year our favorite Viking, Tore, was District Governor.
Special thanks to Tom & Janet Kolepp for providing transportation for Charlotte so we could all enjoy this happy occasion.
Area 2 Rotary Clubs (Bethlehem, Bethlehem Morning Star, Easton, Nazareth and Saucon Valley) came together March 10th at Moravian College's Haupert Union Building along with friends, family members, BAVTS students and Victory House residents. Working with Michele and Bobby Polito from The Outreach Program, the Rotary Community Team of over 200, ages 6 to 93, packaged 40,000 meals for families in need in our Club areas.
Food Insecurity is a serious concern in all communities, no matter the demographics of the areas. With the help of a $5,000 District Grant, the 40,000 meals were double what was accomplished last year. The end products are shared to food pantries throughout the Area 2 Rotary Clubs.  A fantastic effort with lots of fellowship and sharing. True to the Rotary Theme - ROTARY: MAKING A DIFFERENCE!  Be sure to put this on your calendar for next year.
RAGS - Rotarian Action Groups help Rotary clubs and districts plan and carry out community development and humanitarian service projects in their area of expertise. The groups are organized by Rotarians and Rotaractors who are proficient, and have a passion for service, in a particular field.
Click Rotary Action Groups Flyer to access pdf in Downloads and learn more on how RAGS operate, their benefits, examples of RAGS, Start a NEW RAG and related resources.
Student referrals for Camp Neidig WANTED!!!
As many of our members already know, each year our club sponsors four high school juniors to participate in the four day leadership development program which is our district's Camp Neidig event.  Rotary District 7430 welcomes you to Camp Neidig, celebrating its 69th year of inspiring tomorrow's leaders in 2018! Preparations are under way for Camp Neidig 2018. Before starting this year's recruitment process in our Bethlehem area high schools, we would like to extend this sponsorship opportunity to interested sons and daughters of our club members.
Camp Neidig is a well-established youth development program dating back to 1950, and annually serves approximately 150 students from 80 high schools in our southeastern Pennsylvania region of district 7430.  The program begins on Friday, June 15, and concludes on Monday, June 18.  
For more information, please visit or feel free to contact Rick Morrissey at for a direct contact for students or parents with questions in reference to applying for Camp Neidig. Tour our site to see what makes this camp one of the best leadership experiences for high school students in Eastern Pennsylvania!

IF the Bethlehem Area School District (BASDCLOSES schools,

then the Morning Star Rotary meeting is CANCELLED.

If BASD just DELAYS school opening, our meeting will be HELD AS USUAL.

Upcoming Events
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect - DGND
Vice President
Past President
Director 7/1/16-6/30/18
Director 7/1/16-6/30/18
Director 7/1/16-6/30/18
Director 7/1/17-6/30/18
Director 7/1/17-6/30/19
Director 7/1/17-6/30/19
Director 7/1/17-6/30/19
Membership Chair
Rotary Foundation Chair
Youth Exchange Chair
Meeting Responsibilities
Meeting Responsibilities
May 24, 2018
Meetings Set-up & Breakdown
Searfoss, Jean
Kolepp, Tom
Wolkoff, Ginny
Hartzell, Tom
Cohen, Amy
Milet, Lynn
Schafer, Kristian
Francesca Braja
May 31, 2018
My year in Bethlehem!!
Rotary Means Business
Jun 07, 2018
Artisan Wine & Cheese Bar
Getting to know our newest members!
Jun 14, 2018
Amy Miller Cohen
Rotary Road Trip
Jun 21, 2018
Frances L. Barnard Children’s Center @ BAPL
Passing of the Gavel!!
Jun 28, 2018
Club Leadership Changeover
Links for Home Page

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