Welcome to Allentown West Rotary! 
Western Lehigh County    Club No. 5415    
Zone 32    District No. 7430
Jan. 24, 2024


  • 1958 After warming to 100,000,000 degrees, 2 light atoms are bashed together to create a heavier atom, resulting in the first man-made nuclear fusion.
  “If Rotary is to realize its proper destiny, it must be evolutionary at all times, revolutionary on occasions.”
~ Paul P. Harris
Allentown West Rotary Club
Meeting Notes January 17, 2024
President Gwenn Car called today's meeting to order at 7:30 a.m.
Gwenn Carr gave the week's reflection.
Caroline Chedrawi, Cindy Hornaman, Gayle Rogers, Bob Hobaugh, Mark Sober all joined as guests this week. Nick Millward joined as well, but no longer as a guest, since he is now a full member of AWRC.
Marty Peak Helman, Rotary International Trustee
Due to an uneasy weather report, this meeting was held via Zoom. We had 26 Rotarians present, from AWRC and other clubs within our District. 
Marty spoke without slides, and left enough time for questions following her talk. She told us about the beginning of the Peace Centers, her involvement, and the Otto and Fran Walter Foundation.
According to the anecdotal birth story: in 1996 while in Evanston, Illinois, Past RI President Rajendra K. Saboo of Chandigarh, India was pondering an appropriate way to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Paul Harris’s death. He noticed Northwestern University and thought, “They have the Kellogg School of Management; why not a Rotary school of international peace studies?”
Marty served as president of the Otto and Fran Walter Foundation, a nonprofit that has helped build schools in developing nations, provided scholarships for at-risk youth, and supplied humanitarian aid to Holocaust survivors, among other initiatives. The Walter Foundation partnered with The Rotary Foundation to fund the new Rotary Peace Center that will be located at Bahçeşehir University in Istanbul.
Otto Walter was a Bavarian Jew who left the country with his family to escape the Holocaust in 1936; the beginning of the atrocities. Although he spoke four languages, none of them was English, and his law degree was not accepted in the U.S. He had to start from scratch to build himself up, and eventually became a lawyer in N.Y. In the 1980s, he joined Rotary in NYC. Eventually, he hired Marty's husband, which is how the Walters and Helmans became close friends. When Otto and Fran Walter were deceased, they left their $18,000,000 estate to the Helmans with no instructions as to what to do with it.
When Marty's husband passed away, she had to learn how to be a nonprofit executive. She very quickly had to learn about the Rotary Peace Centers, which spoke to everything the Walters stood for.
The newest Peace Center will be opening in Istanbul next year, and the application process will begin on Feb. 1.
AWRC received the following letter:
Greetings Gwenn and Allentown West Rotary Club!
Congratulations on achieving ShelterBox HERO club recognition for Rotary Year 2023-2024.
At the end of the 23-24 Rotary year, all HERO clubs will be listed
In 2023, we supported more than 325,000 people (approximately 65,000 households). It is our second biggest year, behindthe 420,000 supported in 2022, in terms of people reached since ShelterBox began in 2000.
We supported thousands of people in Turkey and Syria after earthquakes devastated the region. In Morocco, where a powerful earthquake had caused widespread damage in the Atlas Mountains, our teams worked with our partner Association Le Grand Atlas, and Rotary District 9010 to distribute emergency shelter aid to around 20 affected communities.
East Africa has been victim to the worst drought in 40 years, causing millions of people to be displaced. We’ve supported thousands of people in Ethiopia this year providing essential household items, tarpaulins, and ropes for people who have been displaced. We also launched our first project in Somalia since 2011 and have so far been able to provide support for hundreds of people, with additional projects in the pipeline for 2024.
As the conflict in Ukraine approaches its third year, we are delivering our sixth project in the country supporting thousands more people with winter clothing, blankets, and stoves. We are continuing to support people affected by conflict in Syria with winterisation projects too, making sure people have thermal clothing, blankets, and tarpaulins to help make temporary shelters waterproof.
In Cameroon, we’ve supported over 100,000 people who have had to flee their homes due to conflict, the climate crisis, and poverty. Our latest project in the country has supported over 63,000 people with shelter.
ShelterBox has provided aid to nearly 3 million people since 2000. We could not have reached them without clubs like yours.
Thank you for being a ShelterBoxHERO!
Shine Bright!
Meghan Reed
Emmaus Rotary Club
ShelterBox Co-Ambassador District 7430
At long last, Nick Millward became an official member of our club. Unfortunately, he was ill while he was here for a very short visit over the December holidays, so his induction was quick and private. He sent the club the following letter:

Dear Allentown West Rotarians,

It is with great joy and humility that I have now officially joined the Rotary ranks. While I am far from the AWRC, I feel that I’ve finally become an official member of the family. From my introduction to Rotary, through Interact at Northwestern Lehigh High School, to connecting with Amir while I lived in Japan, to the Fellowship, and still now, the AWRC has been unbelievably supportive of my projects and professional development.

Many of you have spent countless hours mentoring and developing me into the young Rotarian I am now. It is with deep respect and admiration that I find myself lucky enough to share in your spirit. It is clear that Rotary and Rotarians (especially the AWRC) have had a tremendous and profound impact on my life and its trajectory. I cannot begin to thank you enough for all that you have done for me and hopefully the people I will serve.

It is unfortunate that I do not live closer to you all as I would like to participate and return the support that I have received, but for now, my calling is elsewhere. I am currently in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, finishing a degree in Central Asian Studies at the American University of Central Asia. After this, nothing is definitive, but I’d like to stabilize myself in Mongolia for a few years and participate in peacebuilding initiatives in Northeast Asia. Never in a million years would I, a farmer in New Tripoli, even dream of traveling to these regions. I know this is my calling, for now. But I am eager to keep the AWRC close to the chest.

The AWRC sets the gold bar standard for community service and support. Now, more than ever, our communities (including globally), need AWRC members to share their beacon of hope and support everywhere. This world is a dark place, but our club continues to root out problems, provide comfort and hope, and demonstrate The Four Way Test every day. Thank you for your steadfast example.

In other news, I did want to apologize for the private manner in which my induction was conducted. I was home for a very short time and unable to attend any of the Rotary meetings. Additionally, I was quite sick for about 2 weeks and had to fly out the night of my induction to Istanbul and then on to Bishkek. Please know that I would have loved to celebrate with each and every one of you, but it seemed unwise with my health. I hope you understand, and I look forward to connecting with the club at a later date!

Semper Fi,


Happy dollars were not collected today.
The new AWRC Impact Club had its Charter Event on Tuesday, Jan. 16 at Bru Daddy's in Allentown. Although the weather did keep some people away, we were able to celebrate this new addition to our club and membership. We welcome all the new members and congratulate them on the service projects they have already done and those they plan to do! If you know someone who might be interested in learning more about the Impact Club, contact Diana Dunn at
March 17: Irish Bingo Fundraiser
May 19: Chili Cook Off Fundraiser
April 20: Rotary Day of Service
Feb. 14: Gary Heller, Historic Rescue Photography Gary will present his photographs from the Lehigh Valley and elsewhere while explaining his mission of preserving history through photography from the "other side of the velvet rope." 
Jeanne Shipe         January 12
Bianca Rivera        January 17
Ernie Boll               January 20
Geoff Legg             January 22
Mercedes Scott      January 25
Sally & Jerry Frank   Jan 5  35 yrs
Marlene Heller  Jan 2        5 yrs
Michelle Steiner Jan 2       3 yrs
Bill Keba            Jan 11          1 yr
 Sue Weber     Jan 15          27 yrs
Chuck Ehninger   Jan 15   48 yrs
Sharon Goldner   Jan 19   3 yrs
Gail Micca           Jan 31      6 yrs
Rotary Club of
Presidential Com. Gwenn Carr
Area 1 Asst. Gov. Rick Zayaitz
District 7430 Governor
Diane Donaher
Second and Fourth Wednesdays
are in-person
at Cedar Crest College
eeting begins promptly at 7:30 a.m.
First Wednesdays are for Special Events, such as Dining Out, Business Tours, etc.
The third week is for Committee meetings.
Follow us on Facebook and watch your email for updates.
Zoom is available during most in-person meetings. Watch your email for the link.
Board and Committee Members 2023-24
Current Executive Board:
Presidential Committee
Gwenn Carr, Gary Englehardt & Herb Klotz
Chris Blechschmidt
Immediate Past President
Gail Micca
Gary Englehardt
Michelle Steiner
Sergeant at Arms
Mitch Huston
Membership Chair
Herb Klotz 
Community Service Chair
Bill Keba
Public Relations Chair
Marlene Heller
Fundraising Chair
Dhruv Seshedri
Youth Services Chair
Gail Micca
AWRC Foundation Chair
Amir Famili
RI Foundation Chair
Herb Klotz
Program Chair 
Gwenn Carr
Opportunities for Service
Here is an update for service opportunities in the coming weeks:
Community Service:
Habitat for Humanity – Any Tuesday or Thursday morning.
Contact Amir:
The upcoming dates for Kingdom Life Food Pantry Giveaway are:
      Feb.  10           March 9
It is always the second Saturday of each month. Each time we start at 7:30 AM  and usually are finished by 9:30 AM.
MEALS ON WHEELS  takes place on the second and third Tuesday of each month. We can still use a few more substitute volunteers, low level of commitment, fun to do with family or friends. Contact Helen Papathanasiou.
The NWL snack packing takes place each month on the 3rd Wednesday from 2-2:35.
If you would like to help, email Diana Dunn at
The Pantry holds its food distributions on the first Saturday of each month.  Three volunteers are needed each time. Food collections for Parkland C.A.R.E.S. are held the third Wednesday of each month at the Pantry on Kernsville Road. 
Club Service:
Help plan a Dining Out or Event for a First Wednesday.
Blood Drive:
Sign up to give blood in February. Contact Gwenn Carr. You can save three lives by giving blood one time.
Irish bingo and Chili Cookoff
Prize baskets are needed, as are raffle gifts and event workers. 
Kingdom Life Food Pantry: 
Jean Masiko
Parkland Snack Packing:
Diana Dunn
Lowhill Food Pantry and Northwestern Snack Packing Amir Famili
Herb Klotz
Public Image: 
Marlene Heller
Dhruv  Seshadri
Dining Out:
Park Cleanup: 
Dennis Houser
Highway Cleanup:
Sharon Goldner 
Miracle League: 
Barb Kistler
Meals on Wheels:
Helen Papathanasiou
Camp Neidig:  
Nicole McGalla
Student of the Month: 
Nicole McGalla
Scholarship Committee: 
Laurie Grube
Speaker suggestions: 
Gwenn Carr 
Website Editor:
Peter Wohlsen
Jan 24, 2024 7:30 AM
The RI Foundation
Feb 14, 2024 7:30 AM
Historical Lehigh Valley in Photos
Feb 28, 2024 8:00 AM
Classification Talk
Mar 13, 2024 7:30 AM
Four Way Test Speech Contest
Mar 27, 2024 7:30 AM
Increasing our impact - Rotary Action Planning
Apr 10, 2024 7:30 AM
View entire list
Make it your business to share your Rotary story! When you meet someone who isn't aware of all Rotary has to offer personally, professionally, and to the world, it's an opportunity. Let them know you are one of the 1.4 million people in the world who make the world better by serving the community.
Offer them the chance to join us for an activity or a meeting to learn more. If you don't ask, they won't know! Be a Rotary Ambassador!
     As you become aware of any member of our Rotary family who would benefit from our support with cards, flowers, or visits, please notify Marlene Heller at
Check out the AWRC
See Home Page link
Bulletin Editor
Marlene Heller
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