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Home Page Stories

We Have a Winner!

Rich Aichele won the 50/50 this morning by drawing the Green Tee from the jar. The exact amount of the prize is unknown at this time but Rich is the Treasurer so he can surely figure it out. Congratulations, Rich!

Reflections on Rotary International Convention

Frank Romano and Jerry Behl put on a Power Point presentation this morning featuring some highlights of the 2017 Rotary International Convention held in Atlanta, Georgia this summer. Plenty of activities and demonstrations of projects plus a host of big name speakers including Civil rights icon, Andrew Young; James Quincey, CEO of Coca-Cola; pro golfer and polio survivor, Jack Nickalus; philanthropist Bill Gates of Microsoft; actor and social activist, Ashton Kutchner; and WWE superstar, Jon Cena to name a few. This was also the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Foundation which provides the funding of many of our projects.

Donna Parcell - Church of the Brethren

Donna Parcell of the Church of the Brethren was our guest speaker on September 6. Donna was here representing a project that her denomination supports in Nigeria. The denomination maintains hundreds of parishes and pastors in Brethren Congregations. In 2009 the Boko Haram began attacking churches and villages in the Northeastern sector in an attempt to destroy all Western influences. Many villages and churches were burned and 100,000 members and hundreds of pastors and parishes were forced to flee for their lives.  The Boko Harem promotes a version of Islam which makes it "haram" or forbidden to take part in any political or social activity associated with Western society. More recently the Nigerian government military has stepped in and challenged the Boko Haram and is trying to drive them from the country. We applaud the courage of the people and the Brethern Church in their continuing work amongst the dangers of armed attacks and ignorance.

Harleysville Rotary Welcomes 4-H Club

Amy Shollenberger, Executive Director of the 4-H Club in Creamery, PA, joined us for breakfast along with some 4-H club members to talk about current events at the club. The Annual 4-H Fair is coming up soon and will run from August 10-12. Lots to see and do.


Four-Way Test Essay Contest Winner

Liz Wanamaker spoke to the Club on August 8, 2017 as the winner of the Harleysville Rotary Four-Way Test Essay Contest. She read her excellent award winning essay and then told us a little about herself and her future plans. We congratulated Liz on her accomplishments and wished her well in her future endeavors.

Jim Heller Says Farewell

Past President Jim Heller gave his reclassification speech and bid farewell to Harleysville Rotary as he takes a bride and relocates to Delaware County. Jim reviewed his education and work history and talked a little about the Four-Way Test Breakfast which is now an growing annual event that he instituted during his presidency three years ago. He has been an active member of the Club for 13 years and we will miss his sense of humor and talent as a pianist not to mention the effort that he put in to supporting Club functions. His presence will be missed but he will soon join another Rotary Club and will be contributing once again to our motto of Service Above Self. Thanks Jim for all you did and all you do.

Harleysville Rotary Changeover

Harleysville Rotary celebrated the new Rotary Year with a changeover ceremony that inducted new President Dean Shollenberger. Dean was presented with his badge of office by Shushma and Shushma received a custom made plaque celebrating the completion of her very successful year in office. Congratulations to two great Rotarians.

New Member Inducted Into Harleysville Rotary

Charter Member, Phil Janke, congratulates new Harleysville Rotarian, Kyle Zehr, upon his induction into the Club. Kyle is a Partner with Franconia Insurance & Financial Services and currently resides in Hilltown Township with his wife and two sons. We look forward to working with Kyle and sharing the excitement of Rotary. Welcome aboard!

Drones Are The Future

Drones are the future and the future is now according to Kim Players who spoke to us about her new company Digital Drone Dynamics. Among other achievements, Kim is a federally certified drone pilot who provides training services to drone operators and does consulting on drone events in cases where there is no other certified pilot present. Her team presented a variety of machines and showed their potential uses. This is proving to be a fast growing industry even though it may be years before FedEx actually delivers by drone to your door.

Florence Rhue Gives Classification Talk

New member Florence Rhue gave her Classification Talk recently so that the Club could get to know her background a little better. Flo is currently the local Director of Children's Services for the Salvation Army and her office is right here in Harleysville. She has developed the foster care and adoption program from the beginning and it has become near and dear to her heart. She holds Bachelor's Degree in Sociology and a Master's Degree in Human Services and has worked in the field of Child Welfare for over 30 years. Flo became involved in Rotary to find out more about the local community and to volunteer her time and talents. We are pleased to have her as an active member.

Len Ruth Addresses Harleysville Rotary

Len Ruth, a Charter Member of the Harleysville Rotary Club, gave a new classification speech today to fellow members of the Club. Len told of how he got interested in heavy equipment while in high school as he watched the Northeast Extension being built. At night he would ride his bike on the pike before it was open to the public. That interest led him into several construction jobs until he finally took the plunge and started his own very successful construction company that specialized in foundations. Len is now retired but still own his building which he leases out to other companies. Len has been an outstanding and dedicated Rotarian and seldom misses a meeting.

The Colebrookdale Railroad

Harleysville Rotarians were pleased to learn of the recent major improvements to the Colebrookdale Railroad in Boyertown. Our guests were Gregory Herb (on the left) who acts as an onboard narrator on excursion trips and Denny Emrick (on the right) who is a Trainmaster. Together they explained the history of the railroad which was originally established in1869 and was a conduit for the earliest iron making industries in the American colonies. Today it is primarily a tourist excursion railroad that provides a variety of themed tours including dinner trains. It is fast becoming an energizing force in helping to revitalize  the economy in the Boyertown - Pottstown areas. 

Sandra Phifer Gives Classification Talk

Sandra Phifer gave her Classification Talk today and explained how she ended up being a professional photographer after starting our her career as a computer programmer. Having taken some detours along the way she finally discovered her passion and has made photography her vocation. Part of that trip included a great love of Corvettes and she proudly owns a very low mileage classic which you will only see on a perfect weather day. We are proud to have Sandy as an active member of the Harleysville Rotary.
Former Rotary Youth Exchange Member Tells Her Story
Alicia Rosas, a former member of the Rotary Youth Exchange, related the story of how she went to Japan 30 years ago and how the experience not only changed her life but was influential in changing the life of others. The exposure to a completely different culture gave her the courage and inspiration to take on challenges today that would not have been probable without the character building and education that she received from this interaction. Her success today was the result of the things that she did and learned while still a youth in a foreign land. A great talk that made us all proud to be Rotarians.

Harleysville Rotary Adopts a Group Home

Dwayne Gilliard of the Indian Creek Foundation joined our meeting on April 28 to help finalize Harleysville Rotary's agreement to partner in ICF's Adopt-A-Home Program. The Club pledged to adopt a group home in Harleysville in which we will take responsibility for properly maintaining the building that is home to a number of Indian Creek's clients. Our responsibility will be both inside and out and will include landscaping chores, painting, and minor repairs to the interior as needed. Rotary Members will volunteer their time as necessary on a ongoing basis. 

Four-Way Test Breakfast was Outstanding

Over 100 Rotarians and guests arrived at the Peter Becker Community Arbor Conference Center to celebrate the Four-Way Test Award presented to Mr. Sanford A. Alderfer. Sanford, who is a longtime Harleysville resident and founder of Alderfer Auction, was nominated because of his life long practice of following the tenants of Rotary's Four-Way Test. He is shown here accepting the award from Shushma Patel, Club President of the Harleysville Rotary Club.

Rotary Relief Trip

Our guests on this morning were part of a team of college students who gave up half of their winter break to serve others. In January of this year, sixteen college students from East Stroudsburg and West Chester Universities left for the small town of Windsor, NC to help rebuild homes that were destroyed in a hurricane last October 16. They tackled a mobile home and a ranch style home, both of which were completely flooded. Shown here (from left to right) are Pat White, Introducer; Ed Los and Elena Navarro, both students at West Chester; Shushma Patel, Harleysville Club President; and Rick Stevenson, Member of the West Chester Rotary Club and a supervisor on the trip. Wonderful work by wonderful people.

Four-Way Test Winners

Five students from the Dock Mennonite Academy participated in this year's Four-Way Speech Contest. Each contestant was challenged to write and deliver a speech showing how Rotary's Four Way Test applied to a moral issue that they either experienced or were familiar with. The winners pictured above (left to right) are Elizabeth Wanamaker - Second Runner Up, Aya Berry - First Runner Up and Danica Moyer - Winner. All the girls received a check and Danica will move on to the Regional Contest. Congratulations to all the participants for a job well done.

North Penn Water Authority Update

It has been several years since we have had the privilege of having Anthony Bellitto, Executive Director of North Penn Water (NPWA), come to speak to Harleysville Rotary. Since then NPWA has celebrated their 50th Anniversary and Tony was proud to illustrate all the accomplishments and milestones with an excellent Power Point presentation. The growth in service and the greatly expanded coverage have been spectacular. All this was done with fewer people, now that the meters can be read real time electronically at the home office. It has become a very efficient state-of-the-art organization. We thank Tony for keeping us current on a public utility that we all can be proud of.

Kyle Koffel Gives Updated Classification Talk

Charter Member and Past President, Kyle Koffel, delivered his updated Classification Talk today. A lot has happened since his first speech over twenty years ago and Kyle got us current on all the important events  in his life and career. Kyle is an owner with Williams, Bergey, Koffel Funeral Home in Telford. He told the Club how he became involved in the industry and how his father was a great influence in his career. He also described a typical day in a 24/7 occupation when you are always on call. Kyle has a great sense of humor and tells a compelling story. Harleysville Rotary is proud to have him as a member.

Jennifer King of Penn Foundation Visits the Harleysville Rotary Club

Jennifer King from the Penn Foundation (seen on left with Shushma Patel, Rotary President) joined us for breakfast to talk about Camp Mariposa. This camp is jointly sponsored by the Penn Foundation and the Moyer Foundation and serves to provide a respite for children who live in households where there is substance abuse. Jen talked about the program where kids are educated on problem solving and self-care strategies to better cope with their personal situations. This is a non-profit organization for children ages 9 - 12. Jennifer was presented with a check for $100 to assist in the program.

St. Alphonsus "Helping the Needy" Ministry                                                              

Helping the Needy Ministry (HTN) began as a result of three friends sharing a pint at a local tavern. Tom Moore, the founder of HTN, related to Harleysville Rotarians that the mission of the St. Alphonous HTN ministry is to share the love of Christ and spread his message by helping to improve the living conditions of the neediest in our communities with basic human needs. This is done by providing new beds and bed linens and other serviceable furniture to families in and around North Philadelphia and Montgomery County. Tom described how this newly reorganized ministry had it's roots in a long tradition of sharing with a Philadelphia parish beginning in 1991. He calls it a feel good ministry because team members personally deliver the much appreciated furniture and see the positive reactions of the recipients.

We Have a Winner!

The lucky winner of the Rotary Club weekly 50/50 drawing was Len Walters. Today's prize was over $100. Congratulations, Lennie!

Local Historian Tells Story of Harleysville

Local Historian, John Ruth (back left) presented Harleysville Rotarians with a quick history of Lower Salford Township and the surrounds at our January 25 breakfast meeting. Local history has been a long time passion of John's and his well documented computer presentation showed many of the local buildings and their original appearance before paved roads. John also detailed the names of the leading citizens and their contributions to the community.

A Visit by the Supervisor of Graterford Prison

Cynthia Link, the first female Supervisor of Graterford Prison, was our guest speaker for breakfast on January 18. She got us up to date on current programs at the correctional facility and the time table for the opening of the new prison facility early this year. There have been many changes and improvements to operations but challenges still remain. When the new prison opens, there will be an area for the women from other correctional facilities who were originally from the Philadelphia area and who are now transitioning to release and parole. Cynthia delivered a very informative talk and generated an interesting discussion.

Reverse Mortgages Explained

Our guest speaker on January 4, 2017 was Mary Spencer of the Univest Corporation. Mary explained the workings of the now popular reverse mortgages. This relatively new resource has been of great value to many home owners with equity in their personal real estate as a source of retirement income. She also went on the describe the potential pitfalls in this type of loan. The information was well received by Rotary members.

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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September 2017