Year in Review

jeffboswellThe Rotary International theme for 2013-14 was Engage Rotary, Change Lives. This theme demands involvement.  As President, I have witnessed an attitudinal change in our club as we increasingly recognize more service opportunities, locally and internationally.  Our service gives individuals and corporations a reason to be members of The Rotary Club of Harrisburg.  This “Year in Review” details our accomplishments.  What the report does not show is the work of over 30 active committees that support our meetings, projects, and service opportunities.

Our pancake breakfast continues to be our largest project in terms of participation and funds raised for our service opportunities.  On Harrisburg High School’s Homecoming Day we served pancakes to approximately 1,000 people.  We seized the opportunity to make more people aware of Rotary, including news coverage on ABC 28, as its news anchor participated in our event.  We raised funds for the Harrisburg School District’s homeless student program, and we built camaraderie among our members.  Interestingly, Rotary International President, Ron D. Burton, flips pancakes at his club’s main fund raising event in Oklahoma. 

Working together builds enthusiasm, as demonstrated by James Good and our Water Initiatives Committee that made us aware of international water problems and then took action by installing water filtration systems in Haiti through a District grant.  The World Fellowship Committee continued its work for the dental clinic in the Dominican Republic.  Both committees intend to pursue Global grants to fulfill greater needs in both countries.  Our Rotary International Foundation Committees prompted our club to have 100% as contributors.

 The Rotary Club of Harrisburg was organized on May 3, 1911, as Club No. 23.  Rotary International now has 34,282 clubs and over 1.22 million members world-wide.  As a large club, our success is fostered by our committee system, our “Red Badge to Blue Badge” program for new members, and our strategic planning process where we annually engage our members to evaluate our goals and actions.  I was privileged to address over 1,000 President Elects as to our processes at the Rotary International Convention in Lisbon, Portugal.  This year, in recognition of our work, our club received the Zone 24-32 Vibrant Club Award, the Zone 32 Public Image Recognition Award for contributions to the enhancement of Rotary International’s public image and awareness, and the District 7390 Rotary Club Central Award for setting strategic goals to Engage Rotary, Change Lives, this year and in years to come. 

As your President, I came to recognize that our weekly meetings are critical to our success.  I found a good meeting requires preparation and participation by many members, so I thank the Devotions, the Greeters, the Music, the Public Relations, and the Rotary Roundup Committees.  We honored teachers and students from the Harrisburg School District and the Steelton-Highspire School District.  We watched Misako Matsuhara, our inbound exchange student from Japan, grow in stature.  We supported our Youth Community Development Team, learning the impact of this program for these students.  We discovered talents of our members, as we recall Ted Reese’s “4 Way Wind and String” ensemble, and John Hickey’s rendition of “Old McDonald.”  I thank our cellist Ali Bach for raising the standard by presenting her Mini Classification Talk in rhyme.   And, I thank Bob Hostetter for guiding your President and for arranging speakers who educated us about various issues critical to our Capital Region.  Finally, I thank Una Martone and past Presidents and our Executive Director, Linda Freedenberg, for their support and dedication to our club and its mission.

As we Engage Rotary, we Change Lives, yours, mine, and the people we serve.

Yours in Rotary,
Jeff Boswell


E. Garrett Brinton, Chair

6/30/13      174 members           6/30/14   166
New Members  +15                                     Resignations  - 23

Ali Bach
Gil Brown
Lee Carlson
J.C. Collins
Karen Good
Vince Loose
Julia Mallory
Mary Oliveira
Brian Ostella
Tobin Rote
Susan Russell
Karen Scolforo
Ted Sickler
Angela Tatum
Steve Young


Pat Amice

Suzanne Becker

Barbara Bowker
Duryea Cameron

David Cook

Gary Dent

Chuck Friedman

Jeff Habib

Lori Hoffmaster

Lee Fortenberry

Marquita Jones

Nate Jones

John Kirkpatrick

Gary Mastrangelo

Bonnie McCann

Rich Moultrie 

John Packer

Jonathan Pavlick

Hava Pell

Maria Persico

Beth Persun

Marc Scaringi

Joseph Schmidt



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.  The Clubs Facebook and LinkedIn are increasing communication.

Robert D. Hanson Rotary Excellence Award:  January 13, 2014

Ira J. Packman, M.D.

We recognized Ira’s work with our Homelesss Initiatives, Blood Drive and YCDT committee work and thanked him for his diligent service.  As the Hanson Awardee, Ira is eligible to attend the Rotary International Convention on behalf of our Club.


Rotarians 1st Year 

Maddie  Young and Dan Zalewski, Co-Chairs

New members are assigned to the Rotarians 1st Year Committee until they transition from Red to Blue Badge by completing initiation tasks.  The core goal of this committee is to help engage new members in club activities and to help them navigate through their first year+ of learning about Rotary. Experienced Rotarians, along with assigned mentors, work with new members to get them quickly immersed in Club activities and, thus, to become contributing members. This experience allows new members to more easily and rapidly appreciate the value of their Rotary Club of Harrisburg Membership.  Our program includes:

• Quarterly thirty-minute meetings prior to the regular weekly meeting to focus on various club activities, the Rotary International Foundation, or a specific project.   Club leaders come to speak on their area 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.   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 Rotarians 1st Year Committee plans and executes one of the late January Club meetings – the most recent being January 27, 2013.  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 is made to get all new Rotarians involved.

Strategic Planning Retreat April 7, 2013
Bob Saline, Facilitator

Strategic Planning Committee 

Betty Hungerford, Chair

Members completed a survey and those results were presented at the Strategic Planning Session on April 7th, where 30 members participated in detailed discussions in 4 target areas, resulting in revisions to our 2013-14 Strategic Plan. Our 2014-15 Strategic Plan was approved by the Board and shared with our members and District 7390.Goal Planning Teams were created, strategic initiatives were described and key performance measures were identified to track our progress. Specific goals were included for Branding, Membership, Service, Resource Development. 

Youth Community Development Team (YCDT) 

Jennifer Doyle and Jessica Ritchie, Co-Chairs

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

YWCA Youth Build

Our YCDT program was established in 2004 through the generosity of the business leaders from the Harrisburg Community and the Harrisburg Rotary Club members. The funds are held with the Foundation for Enhancing Communities. The purpose of this youth leadership development program is to teach the value of Rotary's motto of 'Service Above Self' and to instill the importance of philanthropy and volunteerism, leadership, team building, respect, cooperation, collaboration and compromise. These values are shared through interactive monthly meetings at the Harrisburg Regional Chamber of Commerce. The YCDT class of juniors and seniors were selected from three area high schools: Bishop McDevitt plus both campuses of the Harrisburg Area School District, John Harris and SciTech. Each YCDT session was facilitated by Leadership Harrisburg, based on an ongoing partnership with the Rotary Club of Harrisburg. The process used is a student driven community needs assessment, gap analysis, consensus building and brainstorming model. The 2014 critical focus area was identified as "basic human needs". An RFP was issued seeking a non-profit organization as a partner to  provide services in basic human needs. Seven grant applications were reviewed, The YWCA of Greater Harrisburg Youth Build Program was selected by the YCDT class of 2014. The students raised $4,585 of the total $5,000 grant by making a heartfelt presentation to local business leaders and Harrisburg Rotarians.

Rotary Leaders Conference (RYLA) Messiah College
Kathleen Howley, Chair

Each year District 7390 holds a Rotary Youth Leaders Conference at Messiah College. This week long residential camp is a leadership training for outstanding young men and women from public and non-profit secondary schools in District 7390. The students come from the counties of Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York. Students are also selected from the Inbound Youth Exchange Class. Our Harrisburg Rotary Club chooses their RYLA  applicant from among the YCDT students. This year Shane Russell from SciTech High School will represent The Rotary Club of Harrisburg. The costs are donated from the Harrisburg Rotary Foundation.

Students and Teachers of the Quarter

Ali Bach, Chair

Outstanding students and teachers from Harrisburg, Harrisburg Sci-Tech and Steelton-Highspire High Schools were honored at our quarterly ceremonies.  Each recipient received a certificate and $25 gift card to Target in recognition of their outstanding service to their schools.        


Community Service Award

Richard Utley

Richard Utley was presented with the Community Service Award on May 19th. Richard has served as a dedicated volunteer and he epitomizes the values embodied in the Community Service Award.  For his leadership on local boards of directors and as a community philanthropist, Richard is most deserving of this award. Criteria used by the committee includes volunteer community service - not job or Rotary related.


Una Martone, President

$25,200 in Harrisburg Rotary Foundation Grants

Salvation Army  $4,500                                        Audubon Pennsylvania    $1,000
Community Check-up Center  $5,000                  Capital Area Girls on the Run  $1,000
The Health Ministries of Christ Church  $1,200  Harrisburg Smiles  $1,500
Tri-County OIC  (BookyMobile) $4,500              Pressley Ridge  $1,000
YWCA (GirlTalk) $2,500                                     Silence of Mary Home  $1,000

      Central PA YOuth Ballet $1,000                     YMCA  $1,000

InterClub Thanksgiving Luncheon

Twelve service clubs attended the luncheon hosted by the Cosmopolitan Club on November 25, 2013. $502 was collected for Cosmopolitan Diabetes Foundation, Inc.

Pancake Breakfast

Karen M. Paris and Marion C. Alexander, Co-Chairs

An estimated 900 people attended the 17th Annual Apple Harvest Pancake Breakfast on October 5, 2013, including 65 Rotary volunteers.  Proceeds were funneled through the Harrisburg Rotary Foundation and a check for $15,000 (earmarked for the Homeless Program in the Harrisburg School District) was made at the May 19th “Rotary Gives Back” lunch meeting.

Red Cross Blood Drive 

Ira Packman, M.D., Chair

Led by Dr. Ira Packman, The Rotary Club of Harrisburg hosted the 4th Red Cross blood drive on May 5th. Eighteen donors signed up and 16 actual donations were collected. Since one of the collections was a double red cell donation, we collected red blood cells for 17 patients, plasma for 15 patients and platelets for 15 patients. The Red Cross did a great job with patient flow and their on-line sign-up sheet worked well. Thanks to all the Rotarians who gave of themselves to help those in need of blood and blood products. Donating your blood is the ultimate fulfillment of the Four-Way Test.


Homeless Initiatives Committee  

Ira Packman, M.D. and Corinne Rebinski, Co-Chairs

Project Homeless Connect in Harrisburg 

Harrisburg participated in the 4th annual Harrisburg-area Project Homeless Connect (PHC) event at the Pennsylvania Farm Show building on Wednesday, September 25, 2013. This special day, which brought necessary services directly to homeless people in the city, was planned and coordinated by the Capital Area Coalition on Homelessness (CACH) and supported by many Harrisburg-based organizations including the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg, Bethesda Mission, the Foundation for Enhancing Communities and the Rotary Club of Harrisburg. Based on a national model, PHC events have taken place in cities across the country, providing a single location where non-profit, medical, and social service providers can, together, help homeless individuals and families, with a wide variety of comprehensive services. During the event, homeless guests are able to accomplish in just one day, what could otherwise take many months. These services include dental care, eyeglasses, HIV testing, food and medical care, legal advice, ID cards including social security cards and voter ID cards, employment counseling, pet care,  and much more. This year’s event in Harrisburg which helped 352  homeless adult guests as well as 20 children, drew more than 200 community volunteers. 275 individuals received some type of housing information or assistance. Of those, 10 wentto emergency shelters, 4 were immediately eligible for transitional housing, 14 completed transitional housing applications, and 11 completed rental assistance applications.   33 Dental exams were completed, 33 vision screenings done with 12 pairs of glasses distributed, 27 were referred to physicians for follow up evaluations, 93 flu shots were given, 20 HIV tests were done and over 22 people were seen and evaluated by Physicians. 55 people got health ID cards, 101 received clothing vouchers, 50 people received social security cards, 64 received birth certificates, 30 received cell phones. Rotary club members participated as greeters and ambassadors,  helped with registration, the information desk and assisted with medical assessments.

Susquehanna Harbor Safe Haven Emergency Winter Shelter

This emergency Shelter is sponsored by Christian Churches United and supported by many groups in the Harrisburg community. This shelter operates from 7:30 PM to 7:00 AM from December1 until March 31. The facility is open for any male in need of shelter for the night. Without the volunteers to staff the shelter, it cannot operate, and the 15-26 men that show up every night would be turned away to sleep on the street.This year, our Rotarians staffed the Shelter from Jan 18- Jan 31, 2014. Twenty-one Rotarians participated in this worthwhile project and afforded these men a warm, safe place to sleep and a friendly voice to say good night and good morning. The Rotarians’ duties included setting up mattresses, blankets, chairs, coffee, hot chocolate and snacks, prior to the arrival of the overnight guests. They also cleaned the facility in the morning and stored the blankets and mattresses.

YWCA Women’s Safe Haven Winder Shelter

From December 1 - 8, 2014,  Women from the Rotary Club of Harrisburg, volunteered for the YWCA’s winter overnight shelter located at the new Safe Haven on North Sixth Street in Harrisburg.  The emergency shelter is open from December through March and offers homeless women a warm and safe place to sleep during the cold winter months.  Volunteers started at the YWCA headquarters, where they gathered information from the guests to allow the YWCA to take care of any of the guests urgent immediate needs and try to help them find more permanent shelter.  Volunteers then accompanied the guests to the Safe Haven and served as overnight chaperones.

Salvation Army Bell Ringing  

Jeffrey R. Boswell and Wilson C. Everhart, Co-Chairs

Sixteen Rotarians were bell ringers on December 11 and 12, 2013 and $1,209.78.was collected for the Salvation Army.  Many thanks to the Rotarians who donated their time for this worthwhile event.

Service Above Self

Tina Nixon, Chair  

Jane Leader Janexzek    The Kidney Foundation of Central PA                 $1,000
Clarence Watson            Harrisburg NFL Youth Flag Football League     
$   500

Special Events/Fellowship

Andy Rebuck, Chair  

Everyone Loves Fellowship....Our Club has the chance to mix and mingle every
Monday of course and also this past year our club members and guests enjoyed a
wonderful night out at the Whitaker Center IMAX Theater. Grabbing popcorn and
donning those silly 3-D glasses, more than 150 Rotarians and guests stared in wonder at the wonderful movie “Flight of the Monarch Butterfly”. Not to be outdone and testing not only our ability to mix and mingle, The Football Challenge asked our club members to select the winning teams on a Sunday in the NFL and to attend a real Football Tailgate at ABC Brewing Company.  Twenty Club members took their best guesses and Rotarian's Scolforo and Lane won the prizes with 9 of 13 correct. All attendees actually "won" with plenty of great food, cold drinks and fellowship.



Rotary International Foundation

Jack Huskin, Chair

Contributions: $23,335

World Fellowship   

Robert J. Hall, Chair   

The November, 2013 D. R. Temple dental Rotary project proved to be very productive. The Temple Student Dentists were excellent, and treated every patient who arrived at the Clinic. The Dentists were extremely motivated, and demonstrated their confidence and professional training, and their ability to work under difficult conditions with large numbers of patients.  Dr. Steve Grady advised on many occasions his satisfaction with the Dentists, and advised he felt privileged to be working with such fine young professionals.  He advised me the Dentists exceeded his most ambitious expectations, both with their integrity and level of professional service capability. The LaPascuala Clinic required some refreshing as Rich Moultrie and myself arrived the previous week to set up services at the Sanchez Hospital, and make certain the Clinic was functional.  When we arrived at the Clinic it was sadly in need of an external refurbishing.  Eloi responded that if we bought the paint he would paint the clinic. We purchased the paint and he completed painting most of the exterior prior to the Team's arrival. The Sanchez Rotary Club became more active this year and maintained a very active presence throughout the project.  The Dentists seemed to enjoy the Rotary reception held in their honor, and Bob Hostetter did his usual rendition of welcome to Rotary in opening comments, and as always in his closing remarks entertained the kids with his personal observations of each of their behavioral traits. The students worked with us to improve our inventory controls through a superb exercise of counting instruments and medicines. Thanks to your 8 years of professional guidance we pulled it together to provide excellent services to the patients, and a good experience for the Dental and Rotary Teams. Bob Chamberlain made arrangements for the kids to dine at the Gourmet restaurants.  The Veterinary Team presented us with a gift of animal teeth to return to you and add to the archives at Temple Dental.

Group Study Exchange 

Jeffrey S. Gelburd, Chair  

Rotary Club of Harrisburg hosted five Rotary Club members from Scotland on Friday, May 17th . Club member Jeff Gelburd served as tour.

Rotary Foundation Dinner – November 14, 2013

We received the Rotary Foundation Award for having the 3rd Highest Total Annual Fund Giving in 2012-13.  We also named three heros from our Club – Peggy Grove, Bob Hall, Karen Paris.



Ecology Committee 

John R. Detweiler and Peter J. Ressler, Co-Chairs

Ecology Award

Annaka Wolf, a Senior at  West Perry High School

The Ecology Award is awarded annually to a student from the Greater Harrisburg Area who has submitted a project to the Capital Area Science Fair in the Environmental Science category. The committee reviews the projects and selects a winner.  Annaka Wolfe, a ninth grade student from the West Perry High School won with her project entitled "Copper Removal From an Aqueous Solution Using Elodea."  Annaka Wolfe received a $750 check from the Harrisburg Rotary Foundation at our June 9th meeting where she presented her experiment. Annaka also won the Capital Area Award.

Four-Way Test Essay Contest 
Samuel Levine, Chair

The Four-Way Test Essay Contest was initiated in District 7390 in 2006 with thegoal to increase the awareness, understanding and practice of the Four-Way Test among young people in the local school districts. Ninth grade students from the Harrisburg Area School District campuses of John Harris and Sci-Tech were invited to answer the question, "How Does the Rotary Four-Way Test Affect What They Think, Say or Do?"  We received 60 essays this year and three finalists were chosen and awarded checks on March 31st from the Harrisburg Rotary Foundation:

$                            $500  Junaid Rehman    $300 Keionie Brookin   $100 Afrah Mohamednur

Scholarship Committee
Peggy A. Grove, Chair

$8,000 in Scholarships are awarded annually with funds raised at our Pancake Breakfast and the Harrisburg Rotary Foundation.  Four scholarships of $2,000 each are awarded to high school seniors selected from four area high schools. This year we included Steelton Highspire High School for the first time, and welcomed back both campuses of Harrisburg Area School District, John Harris and Sci-Tech plus Bishop McDevitt High School. We received 30 completed applications and selected one senior from each school based on their academic achievements, community service, leadership abilities, and financial need.  This years' Harrisburg Rotary Scholarship winners are:

Rebecca Cole, Bishop McDevitt                         Abi Archarya, Harrisburg High

Lexus Allen, Harrisburg Sci-Tech                  Antiyana Hall, Steelton-Highspire

Youth Exchange  

Peggy Grove, Counselor

INBOUND: Misako Matsuhara

Harrisburg Rotary has supported a Youth Exchange Program for many years through the generosity of the Harrisburg Rotary Foundation as well as the donation of time, talents and resources of many of our members.

Our 2014 Youth student came from Japan. Misako Matsuhara arrived in late August from the Hachinohe Kita Rotary Club of Japan where she lives with her parents and an older brother in a small town called Sannohe in the state of Acmori. Misako, 'Misa', was a wonderful exchange student. She attended Camp Hill High School and played soccer and softball. When she registered for lots of different classes: speech, geology, advanced algebra, English, German, eastern cultures, and we talked her into taking chorus.  As it turned out, she found out she loved to sing and was cast for the Camp Hill High School musical, Sweeney Todd, which won many Apollo Awards. Misako was a model student, participated in class and worked hard to improve her English. All three of her host families have enjoyed having her as a guest in their homes and surely will keep in contact with her into the future. After school dismissed, Misako performed community service with several of our members' non-profit organizations. She and her counselor Peggy Grove cooked an authentic Japanese dinner for her host families and the Rotary Youth Exchange Committee, giving them a rare opportunity to meet her family while they were on a visit to Harrisburg.  Misako has been an excellent ambassador for her home country of Japan and will surely return to Japan with fond memories and a good impression of the United States and help promote world peace and understanding.

Youth Exchange Weekend

J. Stephen Feinour and David Bedard, Co-Chairs

Our Club hosted all 25 of the Inbound and Outbound  Youth Exchange Students from District 7390 and Maryland. This Youth Exchange Weekend has traditionally been held the same weekend as the Saint Patrick's Day Parade. This year some of our students joined the parade for this fun holiday. They visited the Pennsylvania Capitol, The Pennsylvania State Museum, the Planetarium, the Imax Theater and were hosted for the overnight at the local YMCA with lots of Pizza and healthy snacks.  Thanks to the help and support of volunteer Rotarians from both our Club #23 and other local clubs, we provided a well-rounded educational and entertaining weekend.  We offered the Inbound and Outbound Youth Exchange Students time to get to know one another and to share stories about their home countries and their US experiences, plus gave the Outbound Students one of their first opportunities to learn firsthand about the Youth Exchange program.