Rotary Club of
Allentown West
Pres. Amir Famili
Area 1 Asst. Gov. Barb Bottitta
District 7430 Governor
Herb Klotz
Wednesdays at 7:30 a.m.
at Luther Crest
Here are the AWRC
Board and Committee
 Members for 2019-20
President - Amir Famili
President- Elect - Ralph Witcher
Vice President  -  Gail Micca
Immediate Past President - Jeanne Shipe
Secretary -John Scott
Treasurer - Chris Blechschmidt
Sergeant at Arms Committee -
     Mitch Huston, Ron Coleman & Len Salines
Service Committee and Domestic Grants Chair - Gail Micca
RI Foundation and International Grants Chair - DG Herb Klotz
Fundraising Chair - Len Salines
Evening Meeting Chair  - Barbara Kistler
Public Image Chair - Marlene Heller
Membership Chair - Mustafa Jaffer
Youth Services Co-Chairs - Bill Weber and Sue Weber



Pres. Amir Famili is the Greeter while we are using ZOOM.
May 13  --  Ernie Boll
May 20   --  Chris Blechschmidt
May 27  --  Ralph Witcher

-NOTE that the Greeter Schedule also appears as a "site page" accessible on the left of our website Home Page without logging-in.

The next Thursday e evening meetings will be at the Starlite Diner on A DATE TO BE DETERMINED.
     June 19 to 22  --  Camp Neidig (RYLA) at Camp Manatawny has been cancelled.
      June 29  --  District Changeover at the Steel Club in Hellertown
      Sep 13  --   Tempting Tastes 6 at the Holiday Inn
      Oct 24  --  Yvette Palmer 5K race to end Polio at LCCC in Schnecksville
AW Rotarians do a lot of good things and take a lot of pictures. In order to maintain the best quality photos on file, it is requested that the original be sent first to Gary Heller, our RC Photographer.
Each of us should seek out good candidates for our Rotary Club. Ask them to breakfast or to our Thursday evening meeting.
Excuse me, do you have her email?
Yes! And so do you!      If you are a member of Allentown West Rotary, you have a ClubRunner (CR) account, and your phone number and e-mail address are in CR.
Need to contact a member for any reason? Download the ClubRunner app – it’s free, of course – and sign in! If you don’t know your password and login information, call Bill Palmer, and he will walk you through the process.  Why Bill? Because everyone knows how to get in touch with him! (Hint: just reply to this newsletter!)
Why would I want to use ClubRunner?
ClubRunner helps to organize us as a club. It is the platform for all our communications, and offers members an opportunity to stay in touch on various levels.
Here are just some reasons people use CR:
  • To call a member on club business, such as to get a ride to a meeting, find out the logistics of an event, or ask for help in getting club business done.
  • To make plans for a social gathering.
  • To check on their birthday so you could send a card. Or their address, same reason.
  • To check on their address before you head over to their house for an event, meeting, or to drop something off.
  • To find their email or phone number. Or work address.
  • Because you’ve forgotten the name of their spouse and you were up all night trying to remember it.
  • Find out the proper spelling of a member’s name.
What’s your best use of Club Runner?
                            By Marlene Heller
Jun 24, 2020
Economic impact of pandemic crisis on PA economy and path forward
Jul 01, 2020
Jul 08, 2020
Jounery from Northwester Lehigh Interact Club to United States Marine Corps.
Jul 15, 2020
"Researching telepsychotherapy during the pandemic and what can we learn about keeping our relations
Jul 22, 2020
Impact of COVID 19 on Pennsylvania economy
View entire list
      Please suggest or request speakers and topics for future meetings and send  your ideas to our President, Amir Famili.
Please remember that the Collection jar is at the registration desk for cash and check contributions.
     As you become aware of any member of our Rotary family that would benefit from our support with cards, flowers or visits, please notify Jean Machamer at
Kingdom Life Food Pantry:-  Jean Masiko –
Parkland Snack Packing:--  Gail Micca
Lowhill Food Pantry and Northwestern Snack Packing: Amir Famili 
Membership:     Mustafa Jaffer
Public Image  --  Marlene Heller  --
TT6:  Len Salines –
 Dining Out:  Jean Machamer –
Evening Meeting :  Barbara Kistler
Purple Pinkie Services: Barb
Purple Pinkie 5K at LCCC --  John Scott --
Park Cleanup:  Dennis Houser –
Miracle League:  Dale Heffner –
                             Barb Kistler –
  Meals on Wheels:  Dorothy Bloom –
Kids of Character:  Gwen Pongracz –
Speaker suggestions:   Amir Famili
Website Editor: Marlene Heller
RLI:   website        
Threads of Change - Foster care support --  Dale Heffner
Check out the AWRC
Facebook Page
See Home Page link
Bulletin Editor
Bill Palmer
Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile
         QUOTE of the WEEK --
“The secret of living well is: drop the past, drop the fake image, help others, smile a lot, eat half and walk double.”
               ― Amit Ray,
Beautify your Breath - Beautify your Life

Restaurants and providers who have supported our Tempting Tastes events are now hungry for our support. Please consider ordering from them when you are looking for a break from your own cooking! You can also support them with the purchase of gift cards, for yourself or others. This week’s Featured Food Provider is:

The Buttered Crumb.
 AWRC club member Stephanie Fenstermacher, co-owner of The Buttered Crumb, has great Mother’s Day specials.  Order one of their samplers and they will donate $2 to the Lowhill Food Pantry.
Celebrate Mom or the special ladies in your life with a scratch-made goodie from The Buttered Crumb! Order by this Wed, May 6th. Parking lot pickup at New Life Evangelical Lutheran Church on Friday, May 8th from 5-6pm or Saturday, May 9th from 9-10am. Call 610-298-1105 or email to place an order. Also check out their Facebook page.
The Buttered Crumb has been a multiple year supporter of the AWRC Tempting Tastes events.
When you order tell them you are a member of the Allentown West Rotary club.
Gail Micca reports: 
“Here’s a picture of the recent 120 snackpacks for the Parkland School District. I had to make some minor modifications to have our supplies last longer to accommodate packing 150 more for LCCC students this week.”
“If any Rotarians can shop for canned tuna or chicken, please let me know. Non-perishable protein sources are more difficult to stock up on, so any help is appreciated.”
Jean Masiko sent this photo of their most recent "Drive-in" Church Services.
Anna Akelaitis, is the Michael Henry Scholarship Award winner from LCTI.
While Anna  represents Lehigh Career and Technical Institute, her sending school is Northwestern Lehigh High School.
Up in the Northwestern Lehigh area aka “Tiger Country”, Anna Akelaitis is a celebrity already.  You can check out last week’s Northwestern Press article on her softball career that was cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic.
 Anna is the daughter of Brian and Cathy Akelaitis of New Tripoli and sister to Emily and Isabelle.  She is part of the Emerging Health programs at LCTI with her sending school being Northwestern Lehigh High School.  She is an active volunteer at both places.  Her service record includes helping out at the Northern Lehigh Food Pantry, Special Olympics, and at LCTI volunteering at Country Meadows Retirement Community where the entire Emerging Health group planned and executed a Mardi Gras themed event.  She was also part of creating and sending Christmas cards to Kidspeace children and donated food and other items to families in need over the holidays.  She has also served her church, St. Joseph the Worker, by being a teaching assistant to religious education classes for over three years.  Her application was very appealing because she described how serving others helped her to learn more about herself and her culture.  She’s come to appreciate and be grateful for her specific given situation. 
Her leadership qualities are used in all aspects of her life including athletics (especially the softball team), school activities, relationships and the community service projects mentioned above. 
The late Michael Henry was a wonderful husband, father, and Rotarian.  Those of us who knew him smile when we think of his “corny” jokes and his willingness to serve such as organizing the Pig Roast at Ontalaunee Park.  His family wanted to honor him by awarding a scholarship to a student who exemplifies outstanding qualities of service and leadership. 
Barbara Kistler awarded Anna the Michael Henry Scholarship Award for 2020.  Along with a $500 check to help you with college expenses, we also will be passing on a new Kindle Fire compliments of Amazon of Breingigsville, PA and their general manager, Ed Bruddenhagen and a set of Allentown-West Rotary pens. 
Anna will be joining her older sister, Emily, at Thomas Jefferson University majoring in Biology with the ultimate career goal of becoming a dermatologist.  She also hopes to play on their softball team with Emily. 
Allentown West Rotary  Club
ZOOM Meeting Notes  May 6, 2020
Today was a ZOOM meeting and  again there were about 40 of us on line. After 15 minutes of talking amongst ourselves with our Greeter being  President Amir Famili, he opened the meeting at 7:45 A.M.   P-E Ralph Witcher gave a very nice invocation.
Allison Blechschmidt, wife of Chris and our Speaker; Dr. Jude Sandt; Parkland H.S. Assistant Principal; Dr. Mark Covelle, LCTI Academic Center Principal; Veronica DeBlois, Emerging Health majors instructor at LCTI; Tina Lues, Counselor at LCTI for Emerging Health students; Anna Akelaitis, scholarship winner, and and her father, Brian; and Dr. Carl Zvant
AND Wendy Weaver from The Villages in Florida joined us this morning. She said that restaurants now are open there.
Veronica DeBlois was heard saying “These days are like Ground Hog Day, over and over.”
P-E Ralph Witcher began the meeting by having the members recite The Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. Flag. Then he led us in reciting the Four Way Test.
Ralph then read aloud the names of members with birthdays in May  --  from Amir\s list entitled “November.” We sand a feeble rendition of “Happy Birthday.” Pres. Amir read aloud names of those members who joined Rotary in May.
Dr. Sandt said that they served food to 75 families last week. They will do it again in 2 weeks and then on June 2. He thanks Gail Micca for her snacks.
Pres. Amir thanks all “first responders” and other Essential Workers for what they do and asks all to pray for them. And he reminds us that we are people of action.
Jean Masiko reported:  “Kingdom Life Family Center Food Bank served 523 families on Saturday May 2. Drive In Service continues every week and we are displaying the “Rotary at work” sign here. We’re having great attendance.”
Jean needs more AW volunteers for future Saturdays.
The AW Sound System continues to be used to allow the Living Stone Church members to meet.
See separate article by Gail Micca. She did connect with LCCC people to create more distribution outlets.
Our leaders have agreed to Gwenn Carr’s suggestion to publically ask members and friends to support the Restaurants and food suppliers that have supported us in the past. Using Facebook, our weekly A-W Bulletin, and by buying gift cards and food from them.
Restaurants and providers are now hungry for our support. Please consider ordering from them when you are looking for a break from your own cooking! You can also support them with the purchase of gift cards, for yourself or others. This week’s Featured Food Provider is The Buttered Crumb. See separate article.
Laurie Grube and her Bank are available to help small businesses work through the new government support options. They are very busy now.
Pres. Amir showed a picture of a Rotary pen set with AWRC on it for sale at $100.  Each purchase will put $90 into an account to provide food for the hungry Thanks go to Gail Micca for making this happen.
President Amir Famili has suspended all AWRC face-to-face  meetings until further notice. ZOOM meetings are now scheduled for each Wednesday at 7:30 A.M.
No meetings for Thursday evening are scheduled yet.
Wednesday May 13th starting at 7:30 a.m.  We will use ZOOM to meet together with appropriate distancing. Our program will be Parkland High School Interact Students Presentation Year end accomplishment and scholarship award presentation to PHS students
Barbara Kistler conducted the ceremony that gave the $500 Mike Henry scholarship to Anna Akelaitis See separate article.
Anna expressed her thanks to us for the award. Other guests said nice things about Anna.
Pres. Amir conducted this part and kept score on who owes how much money. BTW it is $2 for ZOOM happiness.
Mitch Huston previously asked Amir to collect $1 PER YEAR0 from each member who joined in May.  Not likely.
Herb Klotz announced that we are invited to join with D7430 Rotarians on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 7 PM as we kick-off Training Tuesdays.  DG Herb will welcome RI Director Stephanie Urchick as our guest speaker. Director Stephanie chaired the RI's Strategic Planning Committee and was to be the Keynote Speaker at the 2020 District 7430 Conference. Her topic for the evening: "The Future of Rotary: Demystifying RI's Strategic Plan"
Ernie Boll is very happy.
Pres. Amir thanks Gwenn Carr and Gary Englehardt for putting a “Donation button” on our website.
Bill Palmer is happy to finally see his lovely cherry trees in full bloom.
Gail Micca needs help installing fencing at the gardens. Details will follow.
Amir Famili reminds us that next Wednesday’s program will feature Lori Peters and the Parkland H.S. Interact students  --  and a scholarship award too.
Pres. Amir  introduced Dr. Allison Blechschmidt. She is the Director of Student Counseling at Moravian College.
Allison  joined Moravian College the summer of 2019.  She is a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist in the state of Pennsylvania. She previously worked in a private practice setting where she specialized in assessment of students struggling to meet educational, social, or behavioral expectations, as well as adults facing occupational and emotional difficulties. She also provided psychotherapy for children, adolescents and adults.
Allison earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from Widener University with concentrations in school psychology and neuropsychological assessment. She completed an APA accredited internship at Widener’s Neuropsychology Assessment Center. She also earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Chestnut Hill College, a master’s in business administration from Lehigh University, and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Lafayette College.
Using slides Allison discussed mental wellness during a pandemic. As the stay at home order went on, some adults became tired, overwhelmed and anxious and full of fear and dread. Allison described three areas to discuss the current circumstances. These are Grief, Uncertainty and Anxiety.
Grief is created by losses such as deaths, financial issues and cancelled events, e.g. graduations, proms. People have to go through the various stages of 1- Denial, 2-Anger, 3- Sadness, 4-Bargaining and 5-Acceptance. And there can be setbacks.
Uncertainty is at a high level now. We can’t plan and there are more negative emotions. Our perspective on risks is disturbed. We tend to distrust others.
Anxiety is the biggest emotion, It means that something is not normal. As anxiety increases, our performance goes down first. We feel tired and exhausted.
In order to treat these issues, we need to change how we are thinking or feeling. The idea is to recognize what you are thinking and then eliminate “worst case’  and “what if?” distractions. We should challenge our thinking asking :Is it true?” We need to distract ourselves.
We need to break the cycle by doing something physical like deep breathing. Calm down our bodies and our minds will follow. We need to live in the current minutes. Anxiety is in the future. Also exercise is useful  --  say 20 minutes 3 times a week. Going outside helps too.
We should focus on facts, not speculation. Identify what you can control. Have a regular schedule. Do something good for others. And look for the “silver lining.” Some good things can happen.
Thank you, Allison.
Pres. Amir led us in the saying “One profits most who serves best.”


 Here is a link to our District Governor Herb's latest Newsletter:




    Give it a try. It is informative and entertaining.


John Scott                  May 11
Katrina Sundstrom    May 11
Gail Micca                    May 12
Brian Peterka             May 30
Sally Frank                 May 30
Allison Blechschmidt May 31



Dawn and Bob Costello      May 12 2010      10 years
Allison and Chris Blechschmidt, May 20 2000     20 Years



David Haight      2 Years      May 23 2018
Shirley Randall 15 Years    May 25 2005
Halyna Stegura 23 Years    May 28 1997