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



Apr 15  --  Bill Weber
Apr 22  --  Donna Beach
Apr 29  --  Brad Maier
May  6  --  Dottie Bloom
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.
     Apr 11  --  Ontelaunee Park work project at 8:30 A.M.
       June 19 to 22  --  Camp Neidig (RYLA) at Camp Manatawny
      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
May 27, 2020
The Economic impact of AICUP school and Moravian College
Jun 03, 2020
Guatemala Literacy Project
Jun 10, 2020
Ebbs & Flows: Retrospective on regional water & sewer service challenges
Jun 17, 2020
Servant Leadrship
Jun 24, 2020
Economic impact of pandemic crisis on PA economy and path forward
Jul 01, 2020
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 --


“Love each and love all, for love is the only language known to all humanity.”
               ― Abhijit Naskar
Dennis Houser says “We have an outdoor work party event scheduled at Ontelaunee Park at 8:30 A.M. on SATURDAY, April 11.
People can certainly contact me if they need more information at   or   4848380324.”
Allentown West Rotary  Club
ZOOM Meeting Notes  April 8, 2020
Today was our second ZOOM meeting and  there were 25 of us on line. Ralph Witcher misses humans. Amir Famili said that ZOOM is a big table that we all get around. After 15+ minutes of talking amongst ourselves with our Greeter being  President Amir Famili, he opened the meeting at 7:45 A.M.
Chuck Ehninger gave a very nice invocation.
District Governor Nominee, Bob Hobaugh, Kutztown RC; Eileen Grodziak, Toastmasters International; Mary Meier, Student of the Month; and Jude Sandt, Parkland H.S.
Secretary John Scott 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.
Pres. Amir thanks all “first responders” for what they do and asks all to pray for them. And he reminds us that we are people of action.
Pres. Amir reports that we have volunteer Rotarians willing to help you with grocery shopping or with any other needs you may have. If you need any assistance please feel free to reach out to Amir at 484-431-7741.
Dennis Houser says “We have an outdoor work party event scheduled at Ontelaunee Park at 8:30 A.M. on SATURDAY, April 11.
People can certainly contact him if they need more information at   or   4848380324.”
Dale Heffner passed on a report from Anne Zavaitz who reports:
“1) We will not be meeting this week; I'll be back in touch regarding a meeting in May.
“2) Thanks to Shane, the Borough of Emmaus has given EPNHN two additional months (April and May) where we do not have to pay the fee.
“3) The spaghetti dinner scheduled for May 2 has been postponed.
“4) The new heating system has been installed in the house (thanks Mark Turner!).
“When the COVID-19 infectivity numbers improve, we can talk about meeting and moving forward with our next family.”
Gwenn Carr and Gary Englehardt went to Eight Oaks distillery and picked up the hand sanitizers we have donated to Luther Crest. They also delivered googles and safety glasses that Amir got from Air Products and others.
Jean Masiko thanked us all for the use of our sound system at her drive-in Church services.
The Healing Place at Living Stone Fellowship was the first scene of the drive-in Church Service using our sound equipment. Sunday, April 5 was  a "test" Sunday so we can be sure that this "new idea' works for all concerned and keeps everyone safe during this unusual time.  We will be sure to publicly mention Allentown West Rotary Club and its members as very important community partners at all our services.
Special thanks to Gwenn Carr and Gary Englehardt for helping us get this all set up.  It seems to work well.
         Jean Masiko
Laurie Grube and her Bank are available to help small businesses work through the new government support options.
Gail Micca has 196 snack packs ready to go in her Living Room, and has enough materials for 300 more. These packs will be delivered to Parkland C.A.R.E.S.  Food Pantry for next week’s drive through.  The following week, Gail will deliver snack packs to the Parkland Reach team for their drive through. 
The Lowhill Food Pantry will be handing out Gift Certificates for $25 each to clients in lieu of fresh produce. President Amir has sent an e-mail to all members explaining the need for donations and where to send them.
Pres. Amir has asked Lori Peters to tell the Interact Students that next Wednesday’s meeting will be about the Sierra Leone project with E.W.B.
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.
Starting at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday April 15th we will use ZOOM to meet together with appropriate distancing. Our program will be Diana Dunn providing an update to the recent trip to Sierra Leonne
Pres. Amir conducted this part and kept score on who owes how much money. BTW it is $2 for ZOOM happiness.
Someone reported that we have obtained a garden plot site to grow vegetables.
Ralph Witcher is happy to report that their granddaughter has rolled over for the first time.
Bill Palmer is happy to have the warmer weather so he can work in his yard.
We used our ZOOM meeting to recognize Parkland Senior Mary Meier as Student-of-the-Month of April 2020. Rev. Jeffrey Kistler introduced Mary and her Mother, Maureen, and conducted the ceremony. See separate article. Jude Sandt said nice things about Mary and Mary thanked us all.
Pres. Amir introduced our speaker, Eileen Grodziak, discussing Rotary and Toastmasters International (T.I.). She is a District Director for T.I., works for Penn State University and lives in Upper Macungie Township.
Eileen said this ZOOM meeting was her very first interaction with a whole Rotary club. She is a friend with Linda Friedman and has been exposed to Rotary somewhat. Eileen congratulates AW Rotarians for coming together on so many projects. Rotarians are very resilient in these difficult times.
Eileen was surprised to learn that Allentown West Rotary does a 5K race fundraiser. John Scott explained that we run it for our whole 45 Rotary club district, and last year raised $60,00 for Polio eradication.
Eileen’s script for today that was almost followed is below.
“The ancient Greeks had their public square.  This is where thoughts and ideas were shared.  They believed that life would be improved because of these exchanges.  From what I have heard and read, I think this Rotary meeting functions much like the Greek’s public square.  You bring together diverse individuals to exchange ideas and improve life with lasting change.   
Let me begin by congratulating you for making the extraordinary effort to come together in this new virtual public square.  Did you ever think that you would be sipping your coffee with friends staring back at you from the computer screen?  Thank you for valuing the exchange of diverse thoughts and ideas.  For valuing the connection among yourselves and the connection with those of us from the community.  You are being resilient in this new Reality.
Thank you for all that you do to make life better for the people in our community.
And for the community you do! I am told that Rotarians are People of Action!
Wow!  - The service to the food pantries (which I’m sure is needed now more than ever), the school snack packs, Meals on Wheels… Backpacks for the schools. The 4-way speech contest four our youth.
My favorite - adding vigor, vitality and vivacity, The Fun Purple Pinkie Race at the Zoo!
Am I missing any?
How is this new reality for you?  The dynamic has changed somewhat.  What’s impacted?  Are your exchange students still here?
I’m really curious about how the culture of our interactions will change as a result of this infusion of virtual interactions.  That’s a topic for a whole another day!  
I am privileged and honored to be here this morning.  Thank you, Bill and Amir, for inviting me.  I was asked to speak about Toastmasters.  Toastmasters is a very interesting topic, certainly to me! Here’s the funny thing. Toastmasters teaches us this as speakers, our primary purpose is to be present for the audience.  Today, I am here for you, in the same way that you, Rotarians, are here for the people of our community.
My early connections to Rotary were the gear wheel sign along roadsides or in restaurant windows.  I was aware that Rotary provides scholarships for young people.  That was it….  Until...I met Linda Friedman. Need I say more! She made me want to know, who are these Rotary people? Later, I learned that a colleague in State College is a Rotarian.  She won that 4-way speech contest, which your club brought back to the Lehigh Valley.  Jerry and Sue spearheaded that effort.  Bravo!   And for a time, I listened to a podcast, the C-Method with Christina Canters from Australia – A Toastmaster and a Rotarian.
The Rotary logo is the perfect metaphor. Today, our two organizations are bringing us together. How can we learn from each other? How can we support each other’s mission?   How can we work together?
Rotary is a very structured organization.  That structure and order has given your organization a solid foundation for over one hundred years.  Similarly, Toastmasters is a structured organization that has flourished for almost one hundred years.
Both organizations are World Wide!  You can tell me if this is the same for Rotary; Toastmasters membership growth is overseas.  Our International conference is scheduled to be held in France in August – we’ll see about that!  A few years ago, it was in Kuala Lumpur.
Rotary works hard to meet local community needs.  Toastmasters began to meet a local need. The founder, Roger Smedley said this:  It was the very evident need for practical help in the art of communication which led me to organize the Toastmaster Club in the first place.
At the time of its founding, Toastmasters was the only organization dedicated to the individual. And almost one hundred years later, we continue to work together to bring out the best in each of us and then we apply these skills to help others.
Members join Toastmasters for a variety of reasons, related to improving their communication skills – at least initially.
 They say that the fear of public speaking is the #1 fear! Right now it may be #2 to Covid-19. That wasn’t me. I was never afraid to speak in public.  I just wasn’t good at it!  When it became evident that my presentation skills were holding me back at work, I joined Toastmasters.
What I found was probably something similar to what you found when you joined Rotary – a warm, welcoming group who enjoyed being together.   In fact, one of Somebody’s famous quotes is this “We learn best in moments of enjoyments.”
Today, there are many public speaking programs, like Dale Carnegie and dozens of private speech coaches.  I personally didn’t have access to those programs. But I later encountered many fellow Toastmasters who did attend the Dale Canegie’s and are good speakers (some professionals); yet, they remain in Toastmasters.  Why is that?
What I know for myself is this:  Learning is a process. It takes time and practice.  We learn by doing. Speaking is like any skill, it needs practice and sharpening to keep on point. The Toastmasters club is a workshop environment where members practice their learning in a supportive environment.
I think for me, the value in Toastmaster is in the speech evaluations and the mentoring.  Mentoring is pretty straight forward – we help each other.  The little bit that we gain, we use to help the new person.  The evaluation piece, on the other hand, was the thing that helped me to pivot - receiving encouragement for my efforts, having what I did well highlighted helped me to be less of a critic (aren’t we are our own worst enemies sometimes?), and hearing one or two things that I can do to improve.  And, it isn’t only when I hear feedback on my speaking; I also learn when I listen to feedback provided to another speaker.  I sharpen my critical thinking and empathy skills when I am tasked to provide balanced feedback to another member.  What is he doing well?  How can I encourage his effort?  What are one or two things that he might consider for next time?
Now that my speaking has improved – I won several contests, I present at conferences.  Why do I stay?  I remember hearing an interview. The person was asked – how do you learn leadership?  His response:  Lead something!   So, I stepped up to lead.  (it’s also part of the educational program! and part of the requirements of the DTM).  What I find now in serving leadership roles, I’m not so worried about myself as a speaker.  I’m concerned about my message – what does my audience need?  I am learning that what we say does matter.  When asked the question, why do you stay in Toastmasters, a friend responded: Because we change lives!
For some people, me included, Toastmasters helps us find our voice.
In the Toastmasters meetings, the members are giving the program – the speeches – If this was a Toastmasters meeting, you all would have a speaking role.  Either a meeting functionary, or a prepared speech project, or an impromptu speech (what we call table topics).  As a result, we learn to speak about ourselves, our experiences, our interests, things that we want to learn.  In the process, we learn to listen.  And we find our voice.
“While most of us may have entered-toastmasters to learn to make speeches, that benefit is but the beginning of the good which may come to us.  And the good which we may do for mankind.” (Smedly)
When those of us who came to Toastmasters without a voice, find our voice. All of a sudden, we yearn to give back, to make an impact.
You in Rotary are already doing the good!  You are making that impact!
That’s what Rotary can do for Toastmasters!  You can involve us in making that impact.
What can Toastmasters do for Rotary?
Let’s be honest – many of you are educated, professionals, leaders in your work and your community.  You speak pretty well.   My question to you is: How do you know?
How do you know that your message is the message that your audience receives?
That process I described – working through the speech project, delivering the speech, receiving feedback – that’s how you know.
And what about all of your experiences serving this community? Have you participated in a Rotary exchange or humanitarian trip?   Toastmasters club gives us all a place and time to explore those experiences and share our stories - and not only share, refine our stories. Toastmaster members can learn from you.
You have a mission here in Rotary.  You have work to do! It takes a certain amount of persuasion, being clear with your message, telling your stories in a way that moves hearts into taking action.
Rotary has a very specific structured membership process.  No Rotary club wants all bankers – this diversity is a core value.  Toastmasters, on the other hand, is a little more flexible.  Use it to your advantage.  Did you know - you could have a Toastmasters club just for Rotarians, to improve yourself and support your mission.
Why might we want to make the effort to improve our communication -
 To find out if our message is received by our audience, to tell our stories, to refine our stories?
The reason is back in that public square – in that sharing of ideas and thoughts.  That exchange, which according to Rotary includes action, improves life.
Ralph Smedly envisioned what is required in the public square exchange from which we all can benefit - “Understanding comes through communication and through communication we find the way to peace.”
Eileen then responded to some questions. Thanks, Eileen.
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.


Mike Gschwendtner  Apr 02
Gil Keller,                   Apr 09



Dana and Mike Gschwendtner    Apr 20 1999       21 years



John Scott         4 years      Apr 06 2016
AJ Henry            38 years    Apr 15 1992
Gwen Pongracz 11 years    Apr 15 2009
Dale Heffner      6 years      Apr 23 2014
Andy Drotar,      2 years      Apr 26 2018
Cindy Rosevelt  4 years      Apr 28 2016
Guy Rosevelt     4 years      Apr 28 2016