Year in Review

Dr. John Judson - Harrisburg RotaryReport from the President

This Rotary year, I have had the privilege to serve as president of the most dedicated and interesting group of people that have ever been in my life - the Rotary Club of Harrisburg. I have been continually impressed with the contributions of our members not only to the work of our club but also to their communities.  A very exciting and busy year began with the three pillars of our strategic plan – Service, Membership, and Branding and ended with varied definitions of advance in all three areas.

Local and international service is documented in the following Pancake Breakfast, Youth Community Development Team, Salvation Army bell ringing, and Dominican Republic mission reports.  Additional service opportunities included hosting the Homeless Shelter for ten days in January, participating in the Centennial tree planting, and hosting a Red Cross Blood donation day on April 11.  The Homeless Shelter project involved 21 Rotarians and has led our club to plan expanded homeless support in the coming Rotary year.  Global service was also supported with an unprecedented addition of 46 Paul Harris Fellowships in February.

Although our membership numbers have dropped slightly, similar to most clubs in our district, resignations included many members who were relatively inactive secondary to age or simple lack of interest.  By contrast, the new members this year are an unusually active and involved group.  Thus, although numbers are slightly down, I believe that our membership is stronger than ever.  Our very active membership committee has, in the past year, put together plans which over the next few years will also increase our numbers.  This includes a beautifully redesigned brochure for prospective members.

Branding has advanced with Rotary signage at city entrances and in front of the Hilton Hotel, Centennial plaques in Riverfront and Reservoir parks, and notes of our events in local media and district newsletters. The weekly slide show enhanced branding, and also provided a constant reminder of our Service above Self.

I am especially indebted to our ever present, Executive Director, Linda Freedenberg, our officers and committee chairs, our program Chair, Bob Hostetter, and both the Club Board and the Foundation Board. Without these individuals, none of the activity noted in this report could have occurred.  My President Elect, Bob Saline has been an integral part of my work this year.  I am confident that he, along with your new Board, officers, and committee chairs will continue and expand the progress that we have enjoyed this year.  My thanks to everyone in this club for your work and for the magnificent support which you have given to me this year.

John Judson


Beth Peiffer and Betty Hungerford, Co-chairs 
June 30, 2010     190                          July, 2010       187

Deletions   -21
Don Alsedek
Kirt Barden
Jack Carr
Larry Gardner
Tom Hooker
John Klobusicky
Marie Lick
John Logan
Kevin McNamara
William Miller
Pam Nelson
Lisa Paige
Dan Piscioneri
Don Poole
Val Payne 
Robert Reitzel
Sharon Ryan
Jason Sanseverino
Joe Schatt
Fran Seeger
Doug Wisehaupt 

Additions   +18
Christopher Bickel
Garry Brinton
Jennifer Doyle
Glenn Hafer
Lori Hoffmaster
Sara Kehler
John Kooti, PhD.
Dolly Lalvani
Marty Manion
Pam Nelson
John Packer
Ira Packman, M.D.
Hava Pell
Beth Persun
Corinne Rebinski
Ryan Riley
Jessica Ritchie
Maddie Young


New Rotarians 
Robin Scaer, Chair

New members of the Harrisburg Rotary club are automatically assigned to the 'New Rotarians Committee while they transition from Red to Blue Badge. This committee helps to engage new members in club activities and to help them navigate through their first year or so of Rotary.  Experienced Rotarians, along with assigned mentors, work with new members to get them quickly immersed in Club activities. This experience allows new members to more easily and rapidly appreciate the value of their Rotary Membership.  Our program includes:

    • Quarterly meetings prior to the regular weekly meeting focus on various Rotary activities.   Other times may also be scheduled to accommodate work schedules in an effort to also promote New Rotarian Fellowship.
    • At these meetings, current club leaders speak on their areas of Rotary expertise.
    • Red to Blue Badge Program – new members are set up to track their progress through a series of tasks designed to familiarize them with our club.   Four of six tasks must be completed in order for a New Rotarian to receive a blue badge signifying transition from new member to regular membership status.
    • The New Rotarian Committee plans and executes one of the late January club meetings – the most recent being January 24, 2011.  All regular roles held by current club leaders are put in the hands of New Rotarians.  Many months of planning are involved and an earnest attempt to get all New Rotarians involved.

Kent E. Frese, Webmaster

The interactive website includes: Club Leadership, Committees, Membership Application, Calendar of Events, Membership access to our Roster, Rotary Roundup, Good News Reporting, pictures, links to the District/RI and more.

Strategic Planning Retreat:
Strategic Planning Committee
Una Martone, Chair

23 Leaders of the Rotary club of Harrisburg met to review the past year’s performance and set goals and strategies for the 2011-2012 years. Participants discussed our successes and areas for improvement before determining our key areas of focus.

The following are the GOALS the group agreed to: 

  • Increasing Service Participation and Opportunities
  • Enhancing and Expanding Membership
  • Defining Who We Are and Who We Want to be as a Club

Goal planning teams were created, strategic initiatives were described and key performance measures were identified to track our progress.  The plan was outlined at the June 20th Rotary meeting.     

Special Events/Fellowship:  April 12, 2011

Andy Rebuck, Chair

81 Rotarians/guests attended the IMAX showing of “Born to Be Wild”

Robert D. Hanson Rotary Excellence Award: January 31, 2011

Betty has provided exemplary leadership, service and commitment to The Rotary Club of Harrisburg through her continued efforts with membership. Betty attended the Rotary International Convention in New Orleans.


Community Service Award: May 23, 2011

Karen Snider has served as a dedicated volunteer and he epitomizes the values embodied in the Community Service Award.  She is involved in numerous non-profit organizations and has received 20 other awards for her dedication and generosity to the community.


Habitat for Humanity:  June 25, 2011
Fred R. Hartman, Chair

Habitat for Humanity Work day was on from 8 AM -3 PM.  A group of Rotarians and their families worked on a Habitat House.  

Pancake Breakfast:  October 30, 2010 
Karen M. Paris and Jacqueline Jackson-DeGarcia, Co-Chairs

870 attended the 14th Apple Harvest Pancake Breakfast including 76 Rotary volunteers.  A check for $15,674.42 was presented on January 31st at the Rotary meeting. The Homeless Program in the School District has been earmarked for this money.

Salvation Army Bell Ringing:  December 14 and 15, 2010 
Harold S. Hurwitz, Chair

36 Rotarians were Bell ringers and $992.47 was collected for the Salvation Army.  Many thanks to the Rotarians who donated their time for this worthwhile event.

Homeless Shelter:  January 23-31, 2011

Chuck Wingate, Chair

20 Rotarians volunteered for overnight service at Susquehanna Harbor Safe Haven (1805 North 12th Street)

Red Cross Blood Drive:  April 11, 2011

Ira Packman, M.D., Chair
Led by first year Rotarian, Dr. Ira Packman, the Rotary Club of Harrisburg hosted its first Red Cross blood drive on Monday, April 11, 2011.  For the simple act of donating blood members could take advantage of some food, sodas, and juices.  The voluntary blood drive was in lieu of the regular member meeting. A total of thirty prospective donors presented themselves and the Red Cross reported that the eleven liters of blood obtained would treat up to 66 patients with red cells and other plasma components. Participating RCH members were complimentary of the efficiency of the blood drive.  Thanks fellow Rotarians for your Service Above Self.

30 donors presented to give blood, with 22 productive units of blood collected! Of those donors 23 were Rotarians and 7 guests. The drive helped save up to 66 lives!  23 of these donors were first time donors with the American Red Cross- that is outstanding!  Thanks to all who made this a successful event.


Support for the Troops: June, 2011   

A. John Smither, Project Coordinator

For the eighth 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 seven 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 those members who either contributed $10 as requested, or who generously made larger donations, we collected, $1,862, which brought the Club’s total financial aid to our troops disbursed over a eight year period to $19,409.

Harrisburg School District

$6,903.50 to two pieces of instructional technology equipment to be used in secondary math classrooms at Harrisburg High School and Sci Tech

Andy Rebuck and Betty Hungerford, Co-chairs

In celebrating its Centennial anniversary, the Rotary Club of Harrisburg chose to embark on a project that would give back in a special and lasting way to the city it has served for the past 100 years. Members of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg kicked off its 2011 Centennial Celebration with its Rotary meeting in the Sunken Garden area of Riverfront Park with a tree and plaque dedication ceremony to further beautify both the Riverfront and Reservoir Park areas in Harrisburg.  Remarks were offered by the Honorable Linda Thompson, Harrisburg City Mayor along with local Rotary officials.  The Rotary Club of Harrisburg was organized on May 3, 1911; its charter was granted on July 13 of that same year.  The club was the 23rd to be formed in all the world. The planting of 100 trees in the city of Harrisburg is a Rotary club project that was planned nearly 3 years ago in collaboration with then Harrisburg Mayor Stephen Reed. The project is being funded primarily through donations of Rotary Club of Harrisburg membership, partnering organizations and businesses, and neighboring clubs ($250 per tree).  Individuals have been invited to donate a tree in honor of a loved one or friend.                                                             


Rotary International Foundation
Maria Persico, Chair

      Contributions: $ 18,730
Paul Harris Status
FELLOWS                                          SUSTAINING      
(100 of which 19 are new)                 (61 of which 12 are new)

                              Polio Plus Gates Challenge:  $2,000


World Fellowship:  November 13-20, 2010
Robert J. Hall, Chair

The team has had another extremely successful trip to the LaPasquale Clinic.  This year, a Matching Grant from The Rotary Foundation was helpful to obtain supplies, equipment, and personnel.   Although we did discover the need to purchase a new generator, we were pleased, overall, to find the clinic and supplies in good condition due to the work of our partner Rotary club in the neighboring town of Sanchez.  They also provided terrific help with this year’s program and hosted our entire team for a wonderful evening at their President’s home.  

Dr. Shore and six senior dental students from Temple University along with Dr. Seago, who has a dental practice in Michigan, used the two dental chairs and three regular chairs to maximum capacity for dental examinations, extractions, filings, and cleaning.  Nearly 400 received treatment patients in five days of intense work beginning on Sunday, November 13. Days began at 8:00 AM and ended at 4:00 PM with the Temple Team continuing their work in shifts over the lunch hour.  Bob Hostetter, Ann Marie Judson, Bob Chamberlain and Sally Chamberlain manned the Triage desk all registering, directing, and sorting patients.   Again, we were pleased to note that percentage of extractions continues to decrease secondary to our previous dental care and oral hygiene instruction. 

This year we expanded the project by providing medical screening and expanded dental education prior to actual dental care.  Dr. Joseph Torchia, V. P. of Medical Affairs at Holy Spirit Hospital along with Mrs. Susan Mountz, R.N. and Dr. Judson initiated and staffed the new medical screening program to identify hidden cases of hypertension and cardiac disease.   Peggy Grove and Maria Luisa Solomon were graciously allowed to use staff physicians’ living space to conduct 45 minute dental education programs in Spanish (Maria’s first language).  

On February 14, 2011, the report from our team members was well received by our club.  We will return to the clinic with the dental team the third week of November.

Group Study Exchange:  May 1-5, 2011
David Morrison, Chair

Rotary Club of Harrisburg hosted the inbound Group Study Exchange team from District 3310 Singapore-Malaysia on Monday, May 2.  Jeff Gelburd escorted the 5-member team on a full-day tour of Harrisburg that included the State Capitol, Art Association. At the club's weekly luncheon, GSE Team Leader Vincent [Vincent] Chong and his team gave an excellent presentation on their two countries. The afternoon included a bus tour of the Harrisburg City and region and Fort Hunter.  The inbound team's five-week visit included intricately scheduled activities organized by all of the Central PA Rotary Clubs in District 7390, whose members also provided housing for the visitors on a rotating weekly basis.  Group Study Exchange, which also includes a simultaneous outbound expedition to District 1460, is a major component of the international service mission of Rotary International.


Youth Exchange 
Stephen Feinour and Ron Guss, Co-Chairs

INBOUND: Javier Minaya from Madrid, Spain
Counselor:  Dave Bedard

We thank the Huskin, McLemore and Brenner families for hosting Javier.  Javier spoke to our club on June 6th and highlighted his past school year.

Youth Exchange Weekend: March 19, 2011  

Stephen Feinour and Ron Guss, Coordinators  

The Harrisburg rotary Club hosted the international exchange students on the weekend of March   19th.  Some of the students stated that it was their favorite of all this year’s weekends in the District.  The weekend began with a tour of the State Capitol.  This was followed by a visit to the Pennsylvania State Museum.  The students then had lunch at Strawberry Square where some of them were able to see part of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.   After lunch the students saw the IMAX movie "Under the Sea".  On the way back to the Y the students had a walk along the waterfront and across the Walnut Street Bridge to City Island.  At the YMCA the students had a pizza party dinner and then were able to avail themselves of the Y facilities such as volleyball, basketball, and the exercise equipment or just "hang out".  The weekend ended with breakfast at the Y on Sunday morning before the very tired students left for home.       14 Rotarians assisted with the weekend.

Youth Community Development Team (YCDT)
Jeannette Archer-Simons, Chair

$5,000 from Harrisburg Rotary Foundation to fund the grant to The Joshua Group

MISSION STATEMENT: To teach the value of Rotary ' s Service Above Self principles to high school Juniors and Seniors through interactive monthly sessions that demonstrate the importance of philanthropy and volunteerism.

CORE VALUES:  Leadership, team building, respect for one another despite differences, cooperation, collaboration, compromise.

The YCDT project completed its seventh successful year in 2010-2011.  Accompanied by school advisors, thirty-three Juniors and Seniors from Harrisburg High, SciTech High and Bishop McDevitt High Schools met for fellowship and 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, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey.  

Through the YCDT program, students identify a community need and strategize 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 “educational support.”

The students issued an RFP seeking to partner with a nonprofit organization that could address “educational support.”  The Joshua Group was selected for the 2011 grant award of $5,000.  This represents over $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.

Three YCDT Students were invited to attend the Annual Dinner of the American Literacy Corporation where they met author Sean Covey.

Harrisburg University of Science & Technology offered a scholarship for one YCDT student to attend its Summer Gaming Academy.

One current YCDT student received a Rotary Scholarship.

A volunteer team from Leadership Harrisburg Area developed a handbook of YCDT alumni as a start to finding all of the previous students.

According to the student evaluation form, The Rotary Club of Harrisburg and Leadership Harrisburg Area earned a resounding A+ as an overall grade for the program with the only constructive criticism from the students that they want MORE control of the program and MORE opportunities to volunteer during the program.  Several students indicated the desire for MORE time and MORE meetings!



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

Marissa Liberacki, Bishop McDevitt High School
Lucretia Pope, Harrisburg High School John Harris
Racquelle Perry, Harrisburg Sci-Tech
Shupri Hodge, Harriburg High School CTA

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   
Jessica Murray, Carlisle High School

Her project was entitled “Over Your Head”.                                                    

Rotary Leaders Conference/Messiah College: June 12-16, 2011  
Fred R. Hartman, Chair

Joelle Augustine, Bishop McDevitt
Nicole Massaro, Bishop McDevitt
Christine Molitoriw, Bishop McDevitt

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

Twenty-four students and teachers from Harrisburg High School, Harrisburg Sci-Tech High School and Bishop McDevitt High School were honored at our quarterly ceremony.  Each recipient received a certificate and $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble.