Rotary Club of
Pres. Ralph Witcher
Area 1 Asst. Gov. Barb Bottitta
District 7430 Governor
Janet Kolepp
Wednesdays at 7:30 a.m.



Pres. Ralph Witcher is  the Greeter while we are using Zoom
There will be no Thursday evening meetings
until after the pandemic.
Missed a club meeting? Lucky for you, we record our Zoom meetings! Click the link and then choose which meeting you’d like to view. Use the slide at the bottom if you want to skip over the socialization part of the meeting. We open the formalities at 7:30 am, and presenters begin at 8 am. So even if you missed the meeting, it’s just like being there!
The AWRC channel link is:
            April 30, May 1 & 2,   Virtual Tri-District Conference 
              June 9 --  Possible Hybrid meeting at Madeline's 1250 Turnstone Dr in Fogelsville at 7:30 a.m.
              June 29 --  Tuesday  is the D7430 annual Changeover IN PERSON at Brookside CC, Macungie
Send Cards to Support the Allentown West Rotary Club Foundation
Send a Thank You, Condolence, Congratulations, Thinking of You, In Honor of, In Memory of, or Just Because card and make a donation to the Allentown West Rotary Club Foundation at the same time. 
Our new Tribute Cards are here and ready to send out! You fill in the reason for the card on the top lines and your name on the bottom lines, and mail it out. On the front is a beautiful photograph of a familiar farmhouse in the Lehigh Valley. Inside, recipients will see that the purchase of the card goes to fund the Foundation of our Rotary Club, and they are invited to learn more at our website. On the back is some information about Rotary and our areas of focus.
Cards are sold in packs of 5 for $25, plus shipping. To order, go to the Allentown West website at and scroll down to the Tribute Cards. Payment is by PayPal. 
Please “Like” Us!
If you are on Facebook, and you have any sense of Allentown West Rotary Club loyalty, please show it by going to our Facebook page and clicking “Like” in the top bar, right under the cover photo.
You can also click “Follow” for extra "brownie points."
We are in a pseudo-competition with other clubs in our district, and right now we are in the lower half of the pack, with just over 260 likes. The top of the pack is over 500! You can also invite your friends and family to like us, by sharing any of our posts to your own FB page, and asking your own followers to like us! HELP US FLOAT TO THE TOP! We know how good we are; let’s show everyone else that Allentown West Rocks!
Marlene Heller
Opportunities for Service
Your help is needed to:
Painting project at Lehigh Valley Zoo, TBD
Garden care. Contact: Gail Micca
Pack 50 Snack Packs at your house
Pick up/drop off at Gail’s house
Contact: Gail Micca
Purchase, pack and distribute produce on the SECOND SATURDAY of the month
Location: Parkland C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry
Contact: Gail Micca
Distribute produce at Lowhill Food Pantry
Location: 4695 Lowhill Church Rd, New Tripoli, PA 18066
Contact: Amir Famili
Distribute food at Kingdom Life Food Pantry
Location: 4333 Lime Kiln Rd, Orefield, PA 18069
Dates: Third Saturday morning of each month
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Contact: Jean Masiko
Kingdom Life Food Pantry: Jean Masiko –
Parkland Snack Packing: Gail Micca –
Lowhill Food Pantry and Northwestern Snack Packing – Amir Famili
Membership:  Tom Friday –
Public Image: Marlene Heller  –
TT6:  Len Salines –
Dining Out:  Jean Machamer –
Purple Pinkie Services: Barb Kistler
Purple Pinkie 5K at LCCC: John Scott –
Park Cleanup:  Dennis Houser –
Miracle League:  Barb Kistler –
Meals on Wheels:  Dorothy Bloom –
Kids of Character: Gwen Pongracz –
Speaker suggestions:  Amir Famili –
Website Editor: Marlene Heller –
RLI:   website        
Jun 30, 2021 7:30 AM
Classification Talk
Jul 14, 2021 7:30 AM
Fundamentals of Cryptography
Jul 21, 2021 7:30 AM
Club Assembly
Jul 28, 2021 7:30 AM
Downsizing & Decluttering Talk
Aug 04, 2021 7:30 AM
What is A Health Advocate and Why You Need One
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 1.2 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!
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 Archivist at
Board and Committee
 Members for 2020-21
President - Ralph Witcher
President-Elect - Gail Micca
Vice President - John Scott
Immediate Past President - Amir Famili
Secretary - John Scott
Treasurer - Chris Blechschmidt
Sergeant at Arms - Mitch Huston
Service Committee Chair - Gail Micca
RI Foundation & International Grants Chair - PDG Herb Klotz
Fundraising Chair - Len Salines
Public Image Chair - Marlene Heller
Membership Chair - Thomas Friday
Youth Services Co-Chairs - Bill and Sue Weber
      Please suggest or request speakers and topics for future meetings and send your ideas to Ralph Witcher. 
     As you become aware of any member of our Rotary family who would benefit from our support with cards, flowers, or visits, please notify Jean Machamer at
Check out the AWRC
See Home Page link
Bulletin Editor
Bill Palmer
Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile
APRIL 28, 2021
           QUOTE of the WEEK --
       “It's hard to make things right for everyone."

       "But if everybody helped just one person, lots of people would get helped.”
                ― Linwood Barclay
A celebration of Mexican Heritage, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the date of the Mexican army's victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 despite having fewer soldiers and less military resources.
Please plan to participate in the Virtual Tri-District Conference on April 30, May 1 & 2, 2021.  Registration is $25 and will open online (here) March 1, 2021. This three-day event will include:
  • Guest Speakers
  • Interesting & Timely Breakouts
  • Afternoon of Service Projects
  • Four Way Test Speech Contest
  • The Rotary Foundation Fundraiser 
  • Fun, Fun & Fun 
Visit the Facebook page DisCon2021! Exploring New Opportunities, Together! Register and get details at
                          NATALIA CAO
During our “Parkland Day” Zoom meeting on April 28, Allentown West Rotarians recognized Parkland Senior Natalia Cao as Student-of-the-Month for April.
Natalia excels academically and musically.  Besides National Honor Society she is a member of the French, Tri-M Music and English honoraries.    She plays piano, violin, ukulele and guitar.  For all four years of high school she’s been part of the Parkland Orchestra and Strolling Strings.  An aspiring singer and song writer, she recently wrote a song in Korean.
Natalia is what one could call a “global citizen”.  She speaks five languages… Chinese and Serbian from her heritage, English from growing up in the US, French from high school and Korean from participating in a State Department National Security Language Initiative.  She has a passion for justice, gender equity, animal rights and the environment.  She’s been President of the Leo Service Club for her last two years, a member of Amnesty International, Parkland Cares and Future Business Leaders of America.
Assistant Principal Maggie Drake described Natalia as “an absolute superstar senior”
Zoom Meeting  Notes – April 28, 2021
Today was a Zoom meeting with  about 38  people on line. After some conversations President Ralph Witcher opened the meeting at 7:30 A.M. 
Our student of the month of April, Three Parkland H.S. scholarship recipients, multiple leaders from Parkland H.S. and from LCTI, and multiple family members of the students.
Ernie and Sandi Boll are happy to be back in the Lehigh Valley.
Our student of the month, Natalia Cao, was on with her Father who has worked for Air Products. As more people came on line it was a reunion. Finally Ron Coleman said that we are Rotary Retirees from Air Products.
Sue Weber welcomed the students and the guests.
Gail Micca is happy that the students have been helping in the garden.
Sue Weber is happy to have Eric Roberts on with us. They worked together when Sue was at Parkland H.S.
Bill Palmer is pleased that Marlene Heller now provides a Link to each weekly Newsletter as an alternate way for him to distribute the A-W.
Amir Famili is pleased to report that carpet is going down in the first house by Habitat for Humanity and its new owner will take possession in May.
Pres. Ralph displayed the list of April  members and their celebration dates.  We applauded.
Pres. Ralph gave a very nice invocation. Then he  led us in the Pledge of Allegiance  to the U.S.  Ralph really likes saying the pledge.
Membership Chair Tom Friday extended a welcome to our guests on line with us today. He encourages us all to invite guests to join our meetings.
Pres. Ralph again said “The world needs more Rotarians.”
Pres. Ralph reviewed each of the 4 statements for us. He applied them to the parents and the great students we are honoring here today.
Ron Coleman tipped his hat to those students, educators and families.
PDG Herb Klotz reviewed the many reasons we should attend these meetings and learn about Rotary beyond our own club. He noted that one of the many Saturday afternoon projects is AW Rotarians and friends working in our green thumb garden.
Amir Famili said that AW Rotarians over the last year have provided over 1,000 snack packs for their clients.
We had a great turnout for the highway clean up on Saturday April 24th.  Three members of the Passport Club (Carrington, Ed and Ann), joined Amir, Sharon, Michelle, Scott, Len, Ed and Gail. Chelsea Karp helped too!  What a beautiful day to beautify our roads. 
Enjoying Florida and Kunhae.
AWRC  WORK  DAY  -  MAY 1st:
We have a wonderful service and fellowship opportunity in less than one week.  Please let me know if you would like to be a part of this "Work Day" event at the  AWRC Green Thumbs Garden Project. 
Who?  You, AWRC members, Interact members and advisors and Camp Neidig participants
What?  Work Day at the Garden (It's not all work - it's fun too!
When?  Saturday May 1, 1-4, arrive between noon and 12:30 for set up.
Where:  Detailed directions will be emailed
How?  Plans are set for a rotational event so the kids will have the opportunity to participate in many activities from digging weeds, adding soil/nutrients, planting, mulching, watering, painting row signs, setting stakes, etc.  Snacks and t-shirts will be provided.   Photographer is also needed.  WFMZ may be reporting this event.  All are welcome.
Thanks!  Gail Micca
Thanks go to all the volunteers who help distribute food items to hundreds of families last Saturday from the Kingdom Life Food Center. Jean Masiko needs volunteers for the next distribution which is Saturday May 15.
Habitat for Humanity still needs volunteer painters on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Contact Amir.
Parkland C.A.R.E.S. needs volunteers for their food distribution on Saturday May 8.
Service Chair, Gail Micca, asks that you take a look at this section on the left side of this bulletin. New ones:
The AWRC B.O.D. has suspended all AWRC face-to-face  meetings until further notice. Zoom meetings are now scheduled for each Wednesday at 7:30 A.M.
Wednesday May 5, 2021  starting at 7:30 a.m.  We will use Zoom to meet.  Our program will  be  AWRC’s Dr. Barbara Kistler, Dean of Academic Services  (Ret)  Leading the AWRC Scholarship Program Presentations for Northwestern HS, LCTI & LCCC Students.
No Thursday evening meetings are planned until after the pandemic..
Pres. Ralph Witcher  introduced  AWRC’s Dr. Barbara Kistler, Dean of Academic Services  (Ret). Dr.  Kistler represents the Northwestern Lehigh School District and began her service to the board in July 2018. She holds a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from Albright College, a master’s degree from City College of New York and a doctoral degree from Lehigh University. Dr. Kistler is a retired professor emeritus from LCCC where she served as professor of mathematics and dean of academic services.
Barbara began by introducing the Rev. Jeff Kistler.
During our “Parkland Day” Zoom meeting today  Allentown West Rotarians recognized Parkland Senior Natalia Cao as Student-of-the-Month for April. Rev. Jeff Kistler conducted the ceremony. See separate article.
Natalia thanked us for this recognition. She said that she likes our “Happy Dollars” session. She will attend NYU in the Fall. Eric Roberts,  Advisor from Parkland H.S. , said that Natalia is great, and she never gives less than her very best.
The AWRC Scholarship Program is an award of financial support given to the top 12th grade student(s) who has demonstrated outstanding service to the community.  The intent of this scholarship is to financially assist the award winner towards furthering their education at a college or university of their choice. 
AWRC Scholarships are awarded to students attending either:
•        Lehigh Career & Technical Institute (LCTI)
•        Parkland High School
•        Northwestern Lehigh High School
•        Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC)
2021 Parkland Scholarship Winners
There were many qualified applicants who met the twin criteria of service and leadership.  It is a work and a privilege to read through, scale and rank the student applicants.  The selection committee this year consisted of Gary Englehardt, Gwenn Carr, Amir Famili, Laurie Grube with Barbara Kistler as chair.
There was no question that the three young ladies getting scholarships today, April 28,  best exemplified what we were looking for.  And all three of them are officers of the Parkland Interact which as you know, is one of Rotary’s high school service clubs.  
First is Julianne Dee.  We already have met her as December’s Student of the Month chosen by her counselors for that honor.  In the best-selling book “ The Purpose Driven Life”, the author, Rick Warren makes it clear that our shape, life experiences, gifts and personalities mix with our passion to give us purpose and meaning in our lives.  Julianne’s application  clearly  demonstrated how her life experiences shaped her passion and compassion to serve others.
 Her major service projects include “Stuff the Bus” with Interact as well as regular snack packing which has continued through this year of Covid.  She is the treasurer of Interact.  She is President of Parkland Cares Club which aims to raise money and awareness of children in orphanages.  She volunteers at the Kindness Project which is a local closet for families with foster children which she has experienced first -hand.  She volunteers at the Parkland CARES Food Pantry .  She is a volunteer assistant soccer coach for “Athletes of the Cross”. 
Julianne is part of the Emerging Health program at LCTI and spends time there and at LCCC this year preparing for a medical career. She organized an umbrella drive bringing together the Parkland National Honor Society and folks in the Emerging Health program at LCTI and gathered 100 umbrellas for the LVHN Street Medicine program where there was a need. 
Julianne believes leaders should lead by example, doing what is needed.  Leaders should take the time to know and listen to members of the team, whatever group that is.  Besides the leadership positions already mentioned, she is captain of the Parkland Girls Tennis Team. 
Julianne is already planning and thinking about the kinds of service she might do in college and beyond.  She is planning on becoming a Physician’s Assistant and desires to work in an underserved community. She has been accepted into the accelerated Saint Francis University PA program as part of their Honors College.  She lives the Rotary motto “Service Above Self” and desires to serve her community through her medical career. 
Dr. Kistler promised to deliver a certificate, a check, and a “Goodie Bag.”   J.J. said that she is going to St. Francis University in Loretto, PA. to become a Physician’s Assistant. Interact Advisor, Lori Peters said that she is proud of JJ.
Rachel Li says that it makes her “happy” to give time and energy to help and serve people.  She, too, has had life experiences which have presented challenges.  She lost her Dad to cancer five years ago and her Mom couldn’t be with us this morning because she has to work. Rachel’s life experiences have shaped her in having empathy for others and seeing the needs for service and leadership. 
Not only does she do extremely well academically, but tutors math and other subjects through Parkland’s National Honor Society and National Math Society.  She is the Interact Club’s Vice President and has participated in the all Interact projects including “Stuff the Bus” and Snack Packs.  She volunteered at a rescue ranch and has spent summers volunteering at St. Luke’s Hospital doing errands, talking to patients and delivering newspapers. She is also involved with the Parkland Cares Club which provides orphans in China with educational opportunities and serves as Vice President there.  She is the Amnesty International Club’s Vice President and virtually volunteers at an activism organization for young people.  And she now assists younger musicians to adjust in the Honors Orchestra and Strolling Violins.  She has given musical performances in nursing homes.  She is planning to be trained as an EMT this summer to learn skills important in her future career.
She aspires to a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and a master’s degree in Physician Assistant studies.  She has been accepted into Northeastern University’s direct-entry PA program. 
Dr. Kistler promised to deliver a certificate, a check, and a “Goodie Bag.”   Rachel thanked us and said that she will be going to Northwestern University She is working on being an EMT now. Lori Peters said that Rachel always is very busy, but always comes to help.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Parkland Interact President, Haley Bowman. 
Haley sees service avenues.  She’s joined clubs like Interact which do service.  She participates in service through her church and she participates in service through her community including with her Dad’s work in the community.   Her Interact Club projects include Snack Packing, “Stuff the Bus” , Cookies and Cocoa at Sheridan Elementary School and a card drive for residents at Cedarbrook. At her church, First Presbyterian in Allentown she has been volunteering for over seven years painting benches , collecting donations for a food bank, doing the Crop Walk for hunger needs, helping in the garden at Sixth Street Shelter and weekly summer “mission mornings”.  With her Dad she volunteers in the community helping with a breakfast feeding program, donating food to Daybreak and volunteering at Parkland CARES. 
Besides being President of Interact, Haley has exhibited leadership skills in a number of other venues including as supervisor at Dorney Park where she reports learning many managerial skills.  At her church she wrote a play which was produced as a fund raiser for a local food bank. Administrative skills for youth leaders include getting permission for everything and Haley was able to move through those hoops. 
Haley has chosen a career path to help others.  She plans to become an adolescent therapist.  She would like to own and operate her own private practice, once she has gained needed experience in the field.  She has been accepted at SUNY University at Albany. 
A “goodie” bag of items will be delivered to the winners including an Amazon Kindle Fire 8 compliments of in Breinigsville.  State Farm agent and Rotarian, Brad Maier donated Dunkin Donuts cards, magnet and message board.  An Allentown-West Rotary Club pen set and Rotary cookie made by Gail Micca were also included in the bag donated by Laurie Grube’s Riverview Bank.  Thanks to all who donated and made this award special for the winners. 
Dr. Kistler promised to deliver a certificate, a check, and a “Goodie Bag.”   Haley thanked us. She will be going to New York State University in Albany. She plans to be a Therapist. Katrina Sundstrom praised Haley and said that the desire to give back  starts in the home and she does it with a smile.
Congratulations Parkland School District Superintendent Richard T. Sniscak  on your retirement. Well done.
 Pres Ralph led us in the saying “One profits most who serves best.”


 Here is a link to our District Governor's
latest Bulletin

This Rotary year we are trying something new to better facilitate our communication with you. We are transforming our traditional newsletter to a club-centric publication, Vibrant Club News, which will be published every other month. Vibrant Club News includes RC service projects, special events, and fundraisers.
The February edition was just sent out and can be viewed at:
Gail Micca                           May 11
John Scott,                        May 11
Katrina Sundstrom              May 11
Sally Frank                         May 30
Allison Blechschmidt          May 31



Dawn & Bob Costello                   May 12 2010      11 years
Allison & Chris Blechschmidt,       May 20 2000      21 years



Ann Bieber                   1 year      May 19 2020
David Haight                3 years    May 23 2018
Shirley Randall            16 years    May 25 2005
Halyna Stegura           24 years    May 28 1997