Home Page Stories

Jenna's Blessing Bags

This week our own club member, Jacqui Burleigh, founder of Jenna's Blessing Bags, spoke to us about her late daughter Jenna, who very sadly and tragically was murdered in August 2017 in the Temple campus area of Philly.  Jenna was truly a free-spirit who believed in good vibes, human kindness, and equality for all.  She also had a great deal of love for animals and empathy for the homeless. She was always helping people in some way.
Pack the Purse Success Story
Bridget D. and Eva F. from the Satellite Club organized this project to help women and their children at The Women's Center of Montgomery County.  These women/children are often victims of abusive homes and have to flee their homes in a hurry, often leaving with just the clothes on their backs.  Children may have to leave their most prized possessions like a comfy blanket or toy behind.    The project goal was to pack many a large purses/bags with the "essentials" such as toiletries, clothing, and the "warm fuzzies" for the kids.  This effort was a huge success for the satellite club.  

Mona Gold's Classification Talk

Mona Gold, who was just inducted into our club last week - gave her classification talk this week. She was the first classification talk of the new Rotary year so what a great way to start off.
Mona is a retired horticulture therapist and has held a variety of positions throughout her career. She was even a judge for the Philadelphia Flower Show for over 25 years. 
We welcome Mona and her expertise to Harleysville Rotary. We know she will be of great value especially with the Garden of Health.
Club Changeover
The changeover ceremony this year was held in the THP Pavilion at Reed Park in Harleysville. This was the second consecutive live-in-person meeting that the Club has held since March. It was also a simulcast meeting in Zoom for those who were unable to attend.
New President, Daniel Watson-Bey, wearing the official badge of office is shown here presenting a miniature gavel to outgoing President, Gary Volpe. 
Various awards were made to members that Gary recognized for their contributions this past Rotary year. Dan also made a special presentation to Gary for his outstanding accomplishments in membership.
Click on Photo Albums for more photos of this event (Web only - not available on App)

Rotary Trivia

The RRRRRReturn of RRRRRRRotary Trivia!

Those purveyors of puns, clowns of comedy, jesters of jokes, Larry and Phil some how escaped their quarantines of confinements to bring us another exciting and spellbinding round of Rotary Trivia!   This week's brain teaser was in honor of Rotary Founder Paul Harris.   Our unlucky contestant was our out-going president, GGGGGGary Volllllppppeeeee!  (and the crowd roars....)  This week's question was:


What was Paul Harris's middle name?

A. Pennington

B. Percy

C. Parker

D. Phil


President Gary looked to the peanut gallery and asked Marsha for some help, but she couldn't get into the internet fast enough to answer, so he looked to the audience.  We unanimously said it WAS NOT PHIL!!!!   Most of the audience thought it was Percy.... so that's what President Gary chose.    Was he correct?  Yes he was!!!!  And what a lovely prize he won too, a Rotary plastic cow with a fence around it.  MOOOOVE over Turkey Hill Cow! Another "priceless" prize if ever there was one... or not.   Congratulations to President Gary for a job well done... or at least that cow beef might be well done...who's to say????


We learned that Paul Harris was born in Racine, WI in 1868 (he's just a little bit older than Larry Moss) but moved to Wallingford, VT as a small child to be raised by his grandparents.  Later he earned a law degree and moved to Chicago to practice law. Read more about him by clicking on the link below.





North Penn Valley Boys & Girls Clubs

Bob Kreamer, Executive Director of the North Penn Valley Boys & Girls Clubs, joined us for our weekly virtual meeting on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. Bob is the head of these 3 clubs and has been with the clubs for 33 years in various capacities.  In our area, we have 3 local Boys and Girls Clubs:  North Penn, Indian Valley (in Souderton), and Wissahickon Valley (in Whitpain Township and is a more recent addition).  The first local club was founded 54 years ago by 6 dads who had a total of 22 kids and felt that there was a need to serve young boys/girls who were less advantaged financially, academically and socially.


They now operate on a $1.9M annual budget (in 2020) and provide after school programs to help with homework as well as "grab and go" food/meals currently for all school aged kids (not in school due to Covid)... no questions asked or proof of club membership required on the latter.  They are also sending out grocery store gift cards to families in need.


The clubs of course have now grown to 3,600+ boys/girls (between ages 6-18 years).  Membership is $20/annually but the majority of their funding comes from community support and individual donations.  Summer camp has always been available except sadly for this summer due to Covid-19.    


Mark Singh-Heuter Classification Talk


Newer member, Mark Singh-Hueter, was raised (along with 2 younger brothers) by his American missionary parents in Papua, New Guinea and Australia and was home schooled until the 4th grade when he was sent to boarding schools for most of the rest of his formal education.  While growing up, Mark and his family had their own barbershop quartet while mom played the organ!


His college career began at Capital University in Columbus, OH where he joined the Air Force ROTC which led him to spend 4 years in the military following college!  Later he enrolled in seminary and did and internship in Manhattan, NY, which afforded him many cultural and artistic entertainment opportunities.


Along his journey he met and married his wife, on Long Island, and together they have a daughter, whom he visited in Argentina (she was temporarily there) and got to experience a local Rotary club!  


Mark loves gardening/growing vegetables and is an avid volleyball player, when we're not all quarantined and social distancing! 


Both Dean Shollenberger and Steve Godsall-Myers led Mark to join Rotary, through their mutual connection of Advent Lutheran Church in Harleysville, where Mark is the pastor, Steve is the former pastor, and Dean is a member.

Planting Day

Saturday, May 16th was officially planting day for The Garden of Health. This organization was founded by Rotarian Carol Bauer as a non profit dedicated to supplying thousands of pounds of fresh produce each year to local food banks and soup kitchens. Harleysville Rotarians and others volunteer their time to plant, fertilize, weed and distribute the fresh vegetables. See next page to view some of the happy participants at work. Some have masks and all are social distancing.


Fourteen members of the Harleysville Rotary, under the direction of Charter Member Len Ruth, cleaned four area roads in and around Harleysville on Saturday morning, May 9, 2020. This service is provided by Harleysville Rotary 3 or 4 times each year. Eighteen bags of trash were picked up along the shoulders of the roads on this day. We wish it were less. Keep America Beautiful - Please Do Not Litter

Harleysville Rotary Welcomes Paul Nye

The Rotary Club of Harleysville happily welcomes Paul Nye as its newest member. Paul is a graduate of the Lutheran Seminary and has a Doctorate of Divinity and is a Doctor of Ministry. While Paul has served as a church Pastor, he has dedicated most of his life to being a leader in volunteerism and as a professional fundraiser. He was also was active in the past in the Rotary Club of Norristown. Harleysville Rotarians are looking forward to drawing on Paul's life experiences. Congratulations to Paul Nye!

ClubRunner Explained

President-Elect Dan Watson-Bey, led a discussion on Zoom regarding the capabilities and operation of ClubRunner, which is the host for our club website and the smart phone app that accompanies it. During this period of quarantine, we have become more dependent on electronic communication to keep members in touch and to disseminate information on our many on going projects. The public is encouraged to visit HarleysvilleRotary.org to discover who we are and what we are all about. COVID-19 has not stopped us from providing Service Above Self.

Mental Health in a Pandemic

A virtual appearance at our virtual meeting on Wednesday April 22, 2020 was made by James Mast, LPC. Mr. Mast is a Licensed Professional Counselor and certified family therapist in Harleysville. He noted that during a period of high stress like we are all experiencing in this Covid19 pandemic, belonging to a group like Rotary answers the need for "belongingness".  Frequent contact with fellow members of any "tribe" of which you are a part can do much to lessen the tensions. The more you are involved the less your tension becomes. People with a common purpose, be it religious or secular, can use these connections to maintain their sense of purpose and benefit by the compassion of others. We thank Mr. Mast for his counsel and expertise and thank Rotary for providing an outlet for its many members.

State Representative Steve Malagari Visits Harleysville Rotary

State Representative, Steve Malagari, visited our virtual meeting on April 8th to bring Harleysville Rotarians up to date on several important current topics including the Federal Stimulus Package, the new Vote by Mail initiative, How State Government is currently conducting business under the current quarantine, and the importance to Montgomery County of the Federal Census now in progress. Mr. Malagari also announced that he is opening a second office in Souderton to better serve his constituents. Members were very appreciative of the information and his insights. 

Valerie Assmus Joins Rotary

President Gary formally inducts new member Valerie Assmus into the Rotary Club of Harleysville.
Sponsor, Dinah Hayes, pins Valerie with her new Rotary International lapel pin - a proud symbol that is recognized worldwide.
Gary officially welcomes Valerie as a new member in good standing.
Harleysville Rotary currently has over 50 members between the Harleysville Club and the Skippack Satellite Club.

Lois Ruth Classification Talk

New member Lois Ruth gave her Classification Talk with a focus on all those who mentored her in her career at Merck. Lois began her career doing lab work in the cardio vascular research division.  Now she is the company liaison to the FDA and all the global equivalent organizations. It is her responsibility to see that the correct materials get to the right people at the right time around the world. She thanks her peers and colleagues for helping her achieve her success as she climbed the ladder. Harleysville Rotary is proud to have her as a member and looks forward to working with her in our various projects.

Garden of Health

Rotarian Carol Baurer, who is the founder of the Garden of Health, reported that the organization distributed 6,000 lbs. of fresh produce last year to various food pantries. This year she expects that the yield will double based on the new garden expansion project. She also announced a new pilot program in Norristown in which the organization will deliver meals five days a week to seniors or disabled folks that do not qualify for Meals on Wheels. Fifteen families are currently enrolled in the program.
Carol's vision has resulted in an amazing volunteer effort that is growing in leaps and bounds. We thank her for not only her vision but her commitment to making all this a reality for local citizens suffering from food insecurity. Volunteers are always welcome to help maintain the gardens and/or deliver the fresh food.

Strategic Planning

Every organization needs a plan and Randy Floyd, who has been charged with Strategic Planning, led the discussion on Harleysville Rotary's plan for the next Rotary year which begins on July 1st. Members are encouraged to summit project ideas that fit within our capabilities and best meet the community's needs. Sometimes funding must be included in the proposals if it exceeds our current budget. Suitable projects are approved by the membership and the board and then a committee is formed for each new project. The Club appreciates Randy's leadership and insight in this critical function.

Thank You from EM Crouthamel School

A team of Harleysville Rotarians attended the EMC School Assembly in November, to be honored by the students for the Club's contribution of 35 new books to be placed in the school's new library.
These were presented in celebration of Harleysville Rotary's 25th Anniversary. The goal was originally 25 books but was increased to 35. Pictured above (from left to right) are Past President Steve Godsall-Myers, Chuck Heckenberger, Larry Moss and Past District Governor Frank Romano. They are standing in front of a display created by the students at the entrance to the library.

End Polio Now

During his recent visit to the Harleysville Rotary Club, District Governor Herb Klotz presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Past President Steve Godsall-Myers in thanks to the Club for raising $1,500 for the Polio Foundation in the  2018-2019 Rotary year.  

Camp Niedig Participants

Twin brothers, Calvin and Ethan Ribelan, who were sponsored by Harleysville Rotary to the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards summer camp (RYLA - also known as Camp Niedig),  described their adventures at this year's camping experience. They are joined by Kyle Zehr, member of the Camp Niedig Committee. One of the brothers was named Camper of the Year. Both relayed some wonderful stories of their experiences and what the camp did to increase their leadership skills.

Hedwig House

Our guest speaker on October 2nd was Susan Hays of Hedwig House who described to us what makes their organization unique. Hedwig House, Inc., cares deeply about those they serve. Many people ask  “what makes the organization unique?”
First, Hedwig House is a non-clinical organization, meaning we do not have doctors, psychologists, or therapists on our staff. The staff practitioners who work diligently on helping our Members achieve their goals, rather than manage their medication. 
The second aspect which sets us apart is our heavy emphasis on social skills. Hedwig House is designed for our Members to have the ability to gain and practice social skills on a daily basis. We also offer community-based social outings which allow Members to put their skills to use in various settings. 
Lastly, Hedwig House is easily accessible, and we mean this in two ways. We make it very easy to get signed up with our services through our downloadable referral quick outreach. We understand the importance and urgency that goes along with contacting a mental health service, and we are sure to get in touch in a timely manner. Hedwig House is easily accessible in another way- transportation! A hard obstacle to overcome, when it comes to receiving mental health services, is transportation. Our staff are able to travel throughout Montgomery County in order to reach our Members wherever they may be.
Volunteers are always welcome for all sorts of needs. Come teach a class like American history, music, sports or budgeting. Also need participating guests at the fund raisers  like the Annual Spotlight on Mental Health.

Rotary Speed Networking

Last week President Gary organized a game to help newer members, who have been in Rotary three years or less, network with older more experienced members. It was set up similar to Speed Dating in which new members have 60 seconds to talk about themselves before the older members get to relate their story. Every couple of minutes the new members would move to the chair on their left. It was a fast moving game and everyone learned quite a bit. Lots of fun.

Montgomery County Commissioner

Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale spoke to us recently about the workings of our county government. The annual budget currently is $420MM. It is larger than the budget of Alaska or Vermont. One half of those funds are applied to health and human services. The Commissioner went on to explain the scope and demographics of the County and how business is conducted in his view. We thanked him for his insights and for his public service.

Harambee Foundation

Joshua Johnston was accepted to the graduate school of Bryn Mawr College to study for his MSW in 2005. Before enrolling, he took his last trip to Tanzania and never really came back. He works there today providing social services for children in a town of 100,000 in a region of 1.3 million residents. The kids age from 7 to 17 and are orphaned, poor and live on the streets doing odd jobs. Some of the girls do domestic work. Most have little or no formal education. Josh is affiliated with the Harambee Foundation (Harambee means "all pull together" in Swahili) that provides remedial schooling and readies kids in just 2 years to be able to go back to school. There are 61 children in the center and 30 beds for the homeless. A cook comes in the evening and 3 kids are assigned to assist. Every Saturday everyone gets a meal of rice & beans. Kids even get a soap allowance. The goal is to provide for their needs so that they can get an education and be productive members of society. Harleysville Rotary is proud to be a contributor to this amazing project.

Bethlehem Rotary Action Group Against Slavery

Pat Morgan of the Bethlehem Rotary Club spoke to us on August 14th on the subject of Human Slavery. This phenomenon is often considered to be a victimless crime that happens in someone else's community. Because it is largely done underground and often in the cover of darkness, good hard data is lacking. But this they do know: it is the 2nd largest criminal industry in the world and the fastest growing. About 85-95% are under pimp control. Average entry age is 12-13. Live span is only 7 years. In the US alone, 300,000 victims are forced, frauded, and coerced into the sex trafficking industry often by friends or family. To stop these crimes we first must have recognition. The problem needs to be brought into the light. If you see something suspicious, report it to the police. Until there is a public outcry, the problem will persist.

...between now and then

Author, Joanne Hoff introduced her new book, "Between Now and Then". In the book she asks the question, "Do you want to leave a legacy of love or a mess?" Lawyers love a mess and you can not depend on lawyers to straighten out the mess. Joanne talked about being an executor and tips on settling an estate. She also advises folks to get a will and if you have one - keep it updated. Good practical advise that we all need to follow.

Paul Harris Fellowship x 5

Charter Member, Chip Schofield, receives a new lapel pin from President Gary Volpe to signify his achievement of qualifying for a fifth membership in the Paul Harris Fellowship. Congratulations to Chip for his 25 years of Service Before Self and his contributions to the Paul Harris Fellowship.

We the Weeders

On the 5th of July these Patriotic Weeders entered the Garden of Health and proceeded to rid the garden of the unauthorized growth found therein. Thanks to efforts of earlier groups,  the job was completed in less than two hours. Sunday's visit was therefor cancelled. See individual photos of the team in "Read More".

Mark Singh-Hueter joins Rotary

President Steve inducts his last new member to the Harleysville Rotary Club before he retires from the Presidency.  The newest member is Mark Singh-Hueter who is Pastor of Advent Luthern Church in Harleysville. Mark is already enthusiastic about Rotary and we look forward to working with him on many Rotary projects. Congratulations, Mark!

RI Convention Report

Dressed in their souvenir shirts, Larry Moss and President Steve reported on their impressions of the Rotary International Convention that was held on June 1-6 in Hamburg, Germany. Approximately 25,000 Rotarians from all over the globe joined in this annual celebration of the accomplishments of Rotary. Between the plenary sessions, the breakout sessions, the House of Friendship, and the Inspiration Lounge, there was plenty of Rotary knowledge to be absorbed. Lots of fun and excitement and many interesting conversations along the way.

Hugs from EMC

Yes thank you so much for coming.  I have attached the group picture.  I am so happy that you would like to be our guest reader next year!  Thank you!!
Thank you for partnering with our school.  It means to much to the teachers and students!
Sarah Hange
Second Grade Teacher, EMC Elementary School

Clemens Food Group

Craig Edisell (on left) and Keith Stahler (on right) of the Clemens Food Group spoke to the Club on April 24 at our regular meeting. This local business was founded in 1895 by John Clemens and is in it's 6th generation. Their business model has changed recently as they became a "Business Family" as opposed to the older "Family Business" model. The priority is now the business. Craig gave us the history of the organization.
Keith who handles the communications for the company, spoke about the corporate ethics and the core values which are integrity and stewardship. He described the company's commitment to ecology and the stewardship they offer by the way of corporate tithing. The operation has grown over the years and now boasts 4,000 employees speaking 12 languages and operating 3 plants, 15 farms and a transportation company in a vertically integrated business model.

Four-Way Test Speech Contest

Harleysville Rotary hosted their annual Four-Way Test Speech Contest on the evening of March 26th at the Peter Becker Community Arbor Square Conference Center. Four excellent speakers from the Dock Mennonite Academy presented their 5 minute talks centered on how the Rotary Four-Way Test was applied to a moral or ethical problem in which they were personally involved or knew of. Pictured above from the left are Four-Way Test Committee Member Kyle Zehr, First Place Contestant Ashley Mellinger, Second Place Contestant Madelyn Bergen, Mirabel Fizzano, Third Place Contestant Aya Berry, and Contest Chair Phil Janke. Miss Mellinger will be entered in the Regional Contest to be held at Ursinus College on April 13th.

Two New Harleysville Rotarians

New Rotarian Brenda Frederick receives her official Rotary pin from Sponsor Dinah Hayes. We look forward to working with Brenda in current and future Rotary projects.
John Benavage who was a prior member of the Rotary Club of Wilkes-Barre has now joined ranks in the Rotary Club of Harleysville. His sponsor Marsha Poust is shown here adding a new rotary pin to his lapel.   
The induction ceremony was conducted by Area 6 Assistant District Governor, Phil Janke. Phil described the Object of Rotary and the responsibilities of Rotarians to our motto "Service Above Self".

Home Page News

We are neighbors, community leaders, and global citizens uniting for the common good. With you, we can accomplish even more.  We are ordinary people working together to accomplish extra ordinary things.
The Rotary Club of Harleysville is a volunteer service organization whose members donate their time and resources to help others in the community and throughout the world since 1994. Working together makes a positive difference and fosters friendships. We welcome you to join us and discover the spirit of Rotary.
The men and women of the club represent a cross section of the area’s business, professional and community leadership  and, like the other 1.2 million fellow Rotarians worldwide, are committed to the concept of “Service above self”.  As volunteers we actively support a broad base of local community groups and initiate projects to help make our community a better place in which to live and work.  As members of the world’s largest  service organization our club participates in many projects designed to stimulate world understanding and peace.


TO OUR ON-LINE GUESTS, we encourage you to explore the stories and pages of our website and we welcome any further interest you may have in our club        



The largest project undertaken by the Harleysville Rotary Club has been the development of the Charles Reed Memorial Park in Lower Salford Township.  Conceived by Rotarians and carried out in partnership with the Harleysville Lions Club, the project spanned several years and required raising about $300,000 to bring it to fruition It Includes a picnic pavilion as well as ball fields and playground for community use.  Rotarians continue to maintain the landscaping.



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