Year in Review

218 4d87b2f1c09b2Dear Fellow Rotarians,

The results of the past year assuredly reflect not only The Rotary Club of Harrisburg's commitment to serving our Harrisburg community but also to serving internationally, as well. Your efforts put forth changed lives for the better, recognized accomplishments, and provided encouragement to those in need. This reality is the ultimate goal to be achieved at the end of any endeavor. This reality is the essence of Rotary, our foundation being Service Above Self and the Four Way Test. Collectively, we continued and achieved our commitment to having meaningful, organized, and purposeful meetings while strengthening our existing relationships. We have had the fortunate pleasure of beginning new friendships with those who recently chose to become Rotarians.   I commend you for being, by our collective actions and outcomes, in a category larger than being just a member of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg; I commend you for being a Rotarian.
    The Rotary Club of Harrisburg's accomplishments would not be possible without one specific element. This element, combined with Rotarian commitment, enables our club to not just exist, but to excel. This element is Linda Freedenberg, our Executive Director. I offer my utmost and heartfelt appreciation to her for her dedication, commitment, and assistance.
    I began this Rotary year by presenting a very simple premise, to which I personally committed. I requested you consider this premise as our year moves forth. This premise is --- one cannot just exist, one must make a difference.  The premise is profoundly simple but challenging to consistently attain. I thank you for this consideration, as you have made a difference!!!
    It has been an extreme honor and privilege to serve as President of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg. I commit to further serving in order that I, and we, never just exist, but continue to make a difference.

Barry Ramper, II



 Membership: Micheal Carbon  and Julie Girsch  
    6/30/08     197 members         6/30/09      200 members

New Corporate Members: +2
Capital Blue Cross
Mark Brown
Jewell Laughman

New Members:    (+)22
Nichole Baer
Chad Barger
Michael Benkovic
Jim Brock
Christine Cavanaugh
John Cavanaugh
Scott Goodlin
Kathleen Howley
John Huskin, Jr.
Mark Koellner
Joyce Libby
Terry Masch
Bridget Montgomery
Roger Morgenthal
Valerie Payne
Dan Piscioneri
Howard Ross
Sharon Ryan
Steve Samara
Frances Seeger
Erik Vatter
Anthony Worrall

Attrition:    (-)21
Heath Allen
Terry Barnaby
Bridget Casher
David Epple
Helen Friedman
Mark Koellner
Steve Krempasky
Dolores Liptak
John Logan  
Shelly Myers
John Martin
Peter Ostrowski
Tom Parker
Laurie Saltzgiver
Amy Sauertieg
Steve Schultz
Barbara Skelly
Evelyn Soehner
Linda Till
Tom Weber
Allen Westbrook

                                              CLUB SERVICE

1st Year Rotarians
Patricia A. Hindermyer, Chair

All new members of the Harrisburg Rotary serve on the ‘Rotarians First Year Committee'.  Membership on the Committee is monitored for the initial twelve months by the Club's Executive Director and the Committee Chair.  The Committee's goal is to immediately engage new members to the mission of Rotary. 

We strive for our First Year Rotarians to ‘hit the ground running' and be a visible, contributing member which further supports our retention efforts.   Our Committee program is structured as follows: 

        * Meetings are scheduled quarterly and, in an effort to support attendance,               coincide with our regular weekly meeting for time and location. Meeting                   duration is generally 45 minutes.

       * Invited guests to each quarterly meeting include Club Officers, Committee              Chairs and interested Rotarians. 

  • *An Agenda is prepared for each meeting and provided to all attendees.
  • * In addition to the quarterly meetings, the First Year Rotarians take on the     task of planning and conducting a regularly scheduled meeting from opening to closing bell. All positions required for the meeting are filled by a First Year Rotarian including that of President.

      * At the completion of the initial 12 months, each exiting Rotarian is sent a             'Congratulations' letter with a survey to solicit their thoughts and suggestions.


Kent E. Frese, Webmaster

The new interactive website, which was launched as part of our Public Relations campaign, includes; Club Leadership, Committees, Membership Application, Calendar of Events, Membership access to our Roster, Rotary Roundup, Good News Reporting, links to the District/RI and more.

Strategic Planning Retreat:  May 20, 2009
Kent E. Frese, Facilitator

Strategic Planning Committee
Carolyn Dumaresq, Chair

Leaders of the Rotary club of Harrisburg met to review the past year's performance and set goals and strategies for the 2009-2011 years. Participants discussed our successes and areas for improvement before determining our key areas of focus.

The following are the initiatives the group agreed to:
Rotaract - Grants -Local community projects - District Corporate Membership - Individual Membership

Robert D. Hanson Rotary Excellence Award:  January 12, 2009

Una has provided exemplary leadership, service and commitment to The Rotary Club of Harrisburg through her continued efforts with YCDT.  The awardee attends the Rotary International Convention.  Una traveled to Birmingham, England and  provided us with our first ever blog of the Rotary International Convention.

                           COMMUNITY SERVICE HIGHLIGHTS 

 Community Service Award 2009  Thomas M. Johnston, Jr.

Tom Johnston has served as a dedicated volunteer and he epitomizes the values embodied in the Community Service Award.   He has played a meaningful role in countless organizations that have had a positive impact.  His "angel" flights have helped numerous patients.

Harrisburg School District
The Rotary Grant of $13,000 from 2007-08 was spent as follows:
Pre K - $4,290
Over the past five years, HPP has used the HRF donation to purchase developmentally appropriate books, big books, books on tape, alphabet strips, CDs for music and movement and resource materials for teachers. These materials continue to greatly enhanced our classrooms and have provided rich professional development resources. Your continued support of our program has allowed us to surpass our goal of having 500 books in all of our classrooms. Now these resources help us to replace those books that have been lovingly used by the students.

Sci-Tech - $4,290
Thanks to support of the Harrisburg Rotary, SciTech High School has been able to
develop and sustain a competitive Robotics Program that competes in the B.E.S.T and F.I.R.S.T. Robotic competitions. During our first year, our robotics team placed in the top three in a tri-state competition at Villanova University, earning an invitation to compete nationally at Auburn University. While the accolades and trophies are nice, they do not compare to knowledge that our kids are obtaining through this adventure.The support of the Harrisburg Rotary has taken the SciTech Youth and Government Program to a new and exciting level. SciTech now has more students elected into leadership positions than any other school in our state, and our students had the privilege of participating in the State and Regional conferences. The Youth and Government Club is a phenomenal leadership development program, and without the Rotary support we would have had to cancel our program during the 2007-08 school year.Harrisburg Rotary sponsored our 10th grade watershed experiential learning project in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The project gave our 10th grade students the opportunity to spend a day in the field (water) with environmental biologists, studying water samples from the Susquehanna River and nearby streams.

Alternative Ed - $ 4,420
At William Penn, the district has used the HRF donation to provide needed equipment for the Graphic Arts program, and the work experience program. Two camcorders have been used by students, throughout the program, to tape practice interviews in order to improve the students interviewing, teamwork and interpersonal skills. The other photo equipment has enabled students in the Graphic Arts program to set up a professional photography studio so they can practice the skills needed to pass their professional exams. Your continued support will allow us to provide the quality tools for our students to learn with that are accepted as commonplace in other district's with greater local resources.


The Rotary Club of Harrisburg recognized a continued need for students in the Harrisburg School District to have the opportunity for a vision examination and, if necessary, prescription eyeglasses. This premise was based on a similar project, which occurred in 2006-07. In recognizing not all students had been served, project planning began in August 2008.

Planning to serve the largest number of students began with core participants being identified. The participants included the Harrisburg School District, Volunteer Optometrists, Penn State/Hershey Medical Center and participation from the following Rotary Clubs: Keystone, Susquehanna, Harrisburg-East, Colonial Park, Elizabethtown, Dillsburg, and York-East.  

The plan and logistics for completion was finalized.  A total of approximately 300 children would be screened from all schools in the Harrisburg School District. The children would be transported to Foose Elementary School on April 14, 15, and 16, 2009 between the hours of 9:00AM and 2:00PM. Children would be assisted thru the process, at stations in the Foose Elementary School gymnasium. Corrective eyeglasses would be dispensed at the end of the process, on the day of examination, for those requiring such. Follow-up examinations would occur for children deemed in need. Volunteers for the three-day project would be assigned at the time of arrival with information distributed, in advance, to all volunteers. Payment for the project would include submission of a District Simplified Grant, for which approval occurred, with the following Rotary Clubs participating: Harrisburg, Harrisburg-Keystone, Harrisburg-East, Susquehanna, and Colonial Park.

The project occurred on April 14, 15, and 16, 2009 with outstanding success. With tremendous involvement from the Harrisburg School District, Hershey Medical Center, and Central Pennsylvania Rotary Clubs, 330 children were screened with 245 receiving corrective eyeglasses. Further examination, with a specialist, was recommended for three children. The foundation of this occurring was predicated on 71 volunteers providing outstanding assistance. The three-day project was media covered by three television stations and the Patriot News. Highlighting the project was a grandmother, whom became aware of the project on 4/14, via television coverage, contacting the Executive Director of the Harrisburg Rotary Club asking if this type of project could occur where she lives, as her granddaughter was in need of assessment and corrective vision.  Not residing in the Harrisburg School District, screening and eyeglasses were provided on 4/15.

The project exemplified Rotarian commitment, service, and heartfelt determination to correct what many take for granted, the ability to see.  

Youth Community Development Team (YCDT)
Karen Snider and Jeannette Archer-Simons, Co-Chairs

MISSION STATEMENT:  To learn the value of Rotary's Service Above Self principles through teaching high school Juniors and Seniors the importance of philanthropy and giving back to the community.

CORE VALUES:  Participating youth will develop leadership and team building skills that will focus on a philanthropic ethic.

The YCDT project completed its fifth successful year in 2008-2009.  Accompanied by school advisors, thirty-three Juniors and Seniors from Harrisburg High, Sci Tech High and Bishop McDevitt High Schools met for activities at the Harrisburg Regional Chamber of Commerce.   

The program begins with a day-long retreat in September and meets once a month for two hours over the remaining eight months of the school year.  Each session is facilitated by community representatives who were coordinated through a strategic partnership with Leadership Harrisburg Area. The learning activities structure includes team building activities; philanthropic and leadership education; self assessment and skill building for personal growth.  The students also read and discussed the book, "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens," by Sean Covey.    

Through the YCDT learning experience, students identify a community need and strategize on ways in which their talents, energy and resources can help fill the needs.  The process includes a student driven community needs assessment, gap analysis, brainstorming and consensus building.  This year the YCDT students identified the critical focus area of "access to higher education."

The students prepare a request for proposal (RFP) for a grant to a nonprofit organization who can address the need.  The Joshua Group was selected for the 2009 grant award of $6,000.  This represents more than $3,000 raised by the students from local business people and a contribution from the Rotary club.  The funds raised to support the YCDT student initiatives and grant projects are managed as a YCDT Endowment Fund at the Foundation for Enhancing Communities.

Rotarians are encouraged to join this committee, visit the program as a guest or facilitator or provide financial support for the student project.

Habitat for Humanity May, 2009
Fred R. Hartman, Chair

Habitat for Humanity Work day was on May 16 from 8 Am-3 PM.  A group of Rotarians and their familis worked on a Hsbitat House.

Pancake Breakfast:  October 11, 2008
Karen M. Paris and Jacqueline Jackson-DeGarcia, Co-Chairs

President Barry Ramper showed his true Rotary colors on Saturday, October 11, 2008 when he quickly turned down winning a flat screen television worth $1,000 at the Rotary Club of Harrisburg's 12th Annual Apple Harvest Pancake Breakfast, held at the John Harris Campus of Harrisburg High School.  He instead asked that a new name be pulled.   The new winner was a member of the Rotary Club's YCTD (Youth Community Development Team) at the High School, which also receives support from the Rotary Club.   76 Rotarians assisted for the success of this event.   The Breakfast chairs presented a check for $18,200.56 to help support computer technology for the School District.  What a sweet ending to a perfect day for all.

Salvation Army Bell Ringing:  December 16 and 17, 2008
Harold S. Hurwitz, Chair

36 Rotarians were Bell ringers and $988.03 was collected for the Salvation Army.  Many thanks to the Rotarians who donated their time for this worthwhile event.

InterClub Thanksgiving Luncheon November 24, 2008
Twelve service clubs attended the luncheon hosted by the Cosmopolitan Club.

Service Above Self Awards:  November 8, 2008
The "Service Above Self" award is presented annually by the Rotary Club of Harrisburg to recognize outstanding volunteer service in the non-profit community.  The committee considered an array of worthy candidates and was unanimous in its selection of the following individuals for recognition.

Top Awardee            $1,500  Sharon Eagan       The Silence of Mary Home
Honorable Mention    $750    Marty Lamonoff     Jewish Family Service

                                         INTERNATIONAL SERVICE

Rotary International Foundation
John P. Judson, M.D., Chair

Contributions: $ 12,000
Paul Harris Status
        FELLOWS:84        Sustaining: 82         
         (6 of which are new)        (14 of which are new)

World Fellowship  
Robert J. Hall, Chair

The Rotary Club of Harrisburg partnered with the Rotary Club of Sanchez for a District Grant to provide and expand services of existing dental clinic equipment, which included the development of a dental hygiene program as part of a week long dental mission from November 12-23, 2008.  215 individuals received no cost dental service by trained health professionals.  Dental health kits were distributed to the community.  The Rotary Club of Harrisburg contributed $2,000 for this effort.
Group Study Exchange:  May 12, 2008
David Morrison, Chair

As part of Rotary International's annual Group Study Exchange program, Harrisburg Rotary Club hosted a delegation of five Germans visiting from District 1950, which includes the Weimar area of Germany.  They spent four weeks visiting the clubs in Rotary District 7390.

The group was led by Rotarian Roland Mueller, an attorney and a member of the parliaments in the City of Munchenbernsdorf and the administrative district of Greiz (Thuringia). Roland's team consisted of four non-Rotarians in the early stages of their careers:  a physician/gynecologist, an adult education administrator, a human resources manager at a hospital, and a university marketing and recruitment specialist.

Host clubs also coordinate an extensive tour itinerary, ensuring that the group sees as much of the region and its unique features as possible.  The Harrisburg committee, co-chaired by David Morrison and Bob Reitzel, organized a tour of the City, City Island, the Riverfront, Downtown, Restaurant Row, the Capitol, Whitaker Center and HACC.  Rotarians Michael Hanes and Steve Krempasky hosted the Whitaker Center tour.  Honorary Rotarian Senator Jeffrey Piccola sponsored the Capitol visit, a private tour and a group photograph.  HACC President Edna Baehre, now a member of Rotary Club of Colonial Park, hosted a lunch meeting at HACC with staff members in positions relevant to the Germans' professions as well as with Rotarians from Carlisle and Mechanicsburg.         Because the GSE "Harrisburg Day" was scheduled on a Friday this year (part of an intense 4-week schedule involving 50 Rotary Clubs in South Central Pennsylvania) the German delegation was unable to attend Harrisburg Rotary's Monday lunch meeting as has been the case in other years.  Nonetheless, judging by the thanks and compliments received, the Germans had a very positive and informative experience in Harrisburg, as well as in the rest of District 7390.

Youth Exchange
Caryn Carr and Ron Guss, Co-Chairs

INBOUND: Paul Huang from Taiwan
Counselor:  Dave Bedard
We thank the McLaughlin and Mellinger families for hosting Paul.

Paul spoke to our club on June 15th and highlighted his past school year here in Harrisburg.  We got a good glimpse into his school year, his extra curricular activities, his newly formed friendships and his desire to pursue a college graduation in the USA.  He likes the snow, but not the cold.  Paul looks forward to his Youth Exchange America tour in July.  He thanked the club for its efforts toward his wonderful year.  A farewell BBQ was held at the home of Gail and Andy Rebuck.

Youth Exchange Weekend: March 13-14, 2009
Caryn Carr and Ron Guss, Coordinators

The Harrisburg Rotary Club hosted the international exchange students on the weekend of March 13.  Some of the students stated that it was their favorite of all this year's weekends in the District.  Some changes in this year's program were made to streamline the logistics for the organizers and the hosts.  The weekend began at the Pennsylvania State Museum and Planetarium.  The students had a tour of the Capital a walk along the waterfront and a tour of St. Patrick's Cathedral.  The day was capped off with a movie at the IMAX Theater titled "Under the Sea" and dinner at the Firehouse Restaurant.  The group then went to the Harrisburg YMCA overnight where they could swim in the pool, play volleyball, basketball, use the exercise equipment and "hang out".  There were lots of snacks and music provided by the students.  The weekend ended with breakfast at the Y on Sunday morning, before the very tired students left for home.            
Support for the Troops: June, 2009
A. John Smither, Project Coordinator

For the sixth consecutive year, our Club has continued its support of our overseas troops.  Initially. We provided financial aid to cover the costs of shipping personal items donated by local citizens and collected by various community groups.  Over the past four years, our support has gone to the "wounded Warrior Project," an organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, to help fund its mission of ministering to the personal and family needs of those servicemen and women grievously wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan, who face long-term medical and rehabilitative care at Walter Reed and other military hospitals.  Our Club's goal has been to raise $2,000 each year ($10 from each member) as our contribution to these necessary and most worthy wartime endeavors.

Thanks to to those members who either contributed $10 as requested, or who generously made larger donations, we collected, $2,065, which brought the Club's total financial aid to our troops disbursed over a six year period to $15,595. 

                                          VOCATIONAL SERVICE

Harrisburg Rotary Foundation $2,000 Scholarship
Peggy A. Grove, Chair

Thais Ridgeway, Bishop McDevitt High School
Raven Black, Harrisburg High School John Harris
Nicole Harris, Harrisburg Sci-Tech
Iesha Goodwin, Harriburg High School William Penn

Ecology Committee
John R. Detweiler, Chair

Two classes from Harrisburg School District attended the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Ecology Day on the water.

Ecology Award $500
Harrisburg Rotary Foundation 
Anna C. Marion, Trinity  High School  -  for her project entitled,

"The Relationship between Proximity to Land Development and the Downstream increase in Pollutant Levels in the Letort Spring Run Watershed."

Rotary Leaders Conference/Messiah College: June 14-18, 2009
Fred R. Hartman, Chair

Lauren Sigler

Students and Teachers of the Quarter
John H. Sutliff, Coordinator

Thirty-two students and teachers from Harrisburg High School, Harrisburg Sci-Tech, Career Technology Academy, A.C.T.S. Program and Bishop McDevitt High School were honored at our quarterly ceremony.  Each recipient received a certificate and $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble.

Rotary Belle
Deb Abel, Cowmootee Chair

Rotary Belle grazed quietly in storage for too long.  Now she has moooved to a more active place at SciTec High School where she can be part of the action!