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:
            Apr 06, 2021  Welcome to Rotary Zoom web meeting at 12 Noon
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:
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        
May 05, 2021 7:30 AM
Scholarship Presentations for NW HS, LCTI & LCCC Students + Classification Presentation
May 12, 2021 7:30 AM
How to Affect a Difference with Impact as a Prosecutor
May 19, 2021 7:30 AM
Growing Uncommon Fruit Trees in the Lehigh Valley
May 26, 2021 7:30 AM
History of Woman & Journalism
Jun 02, 2021 7:30 AM
New Member Classification Talk
Jun 16, 2021 7:30 AM
Classification Talk
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
PMARCH 17, 2021
           QUOTE of the WEEK --
       “You don't have to be a billionaire to believe you can make a difference. Give your resources to a charity and volunteer in your community.”
                ― Germany Kent
 Until 1989, the Constitution and Bylaws of Rotary International stated that Rotary club membership was for males only. In 1978 the Rotary Club of Duarte, California, invited three women to become members. The RI board withdrew the charter of that club for violation of the RI Constitution.
The club brought suit against RI claiming a violation of a state civil rights law which prevents discrimination of any form in business establishments or public accommodations. The appeals court and the California Supreme Court supported the Duarte position that Rotary could not remove the club's charter merely for inducting women into the club.
The United States Supreme Court upheld the California court indicating that Rotary clubs do have a "business purpose" and are in some ways public-type organizations. This action in 1987 allowed women to become Rotarians in any jurisdiction having similar "public accommodation" statutes.
 The RI constitutional change was made at the 1989 Council on Legislation, with a vote to eliminate the "male only" provision for all of Rotary.
           SARAH AL-BAJALI
Our AWRC  Student of the Month is Sarah Al-Bajali, a senior at Lehigh Career and Technical Institute.
Quoting an LCTI faculty member: “Sarah’s specialty is carpentry and cabinet making. She is very passionate about her craft and is thrilled about a new co-op position with a company in Emmaus.  She is a stand out academic student, inquisitive, and consistently makes active contributions to discussions. In these very challenging times, Sarah can always be counted on to show up with a smile on her face. She takes a consistently positive attitude and provides a ray of light for classmates and teachers, helping to lift the collective spirit. Sarah demonstrates resilience by easily pivoting between classroom and hybrid learning.”
Sarah is deeply committed to her church and to serving God however she can. 
Her future plans are to continue working in the cabinet-making trade so she can give more time to church activities. She envisions working both locally, at the church world headquarters, and in construction, building or renovating churches and remodeling homes.
Rotary Clubs in District 7430 are being asked to join a new venture that has the possibility of shaping the future for generations to come. For the relatively small investment of $1500, each club will be helping to kick off STEM YEA, a camping opportunity for middle grade students, concentrating on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The benefits will affect all of Rotary’s areas of focus, by aiming students' talents, interests, and opportunities towards the areas in which these skills are desperately needed for future growth. Boys and girls who take advantage of this three-day residential camp will be a step up in securing meaningful employment in the years ahead. STEM YEA is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics Youth Explorer Academy.
The project is a collaboration between the SETI Institute and Rotary. The mission of the SETI Institute is to lead humanity’s quest to understand the origins and prevalence of life and intelligence in the Universe. Promoting and supporting science literacy is one of the top strategic priorities of the SETI Institute. Working with Rotary, the proposed science camp supports an underserved demographic, makes science learning fun, is aligned with Institute priorities, capabilities and skill sets and is inherently scalable.

Thanks to the very successful Camp Neidig model, many systems are already in place to ensure any easy rollout for the STEM YEA camp, which is scheduled to begin in 2022. 

A key goal of STEM YEA is to fill the expected shortfall of STEM degrees available for the workplace in the not-too-distant-future by getting today’s youth excited and interested about science subjects. Every one of Rotary’s areas of focus is, in some way, touched by STEM, making this project a perfect fit.
              Marlene Heller
Zoom Meeting  Notes – March 17, 2021
Today was a Zoom meeting with 35   people on line. After some conversations President Ralph Witcher opened the meeting at 7:30 A.M. 
DGE Bob Hobaugh, Kutztown RC; Peter Wolfson, guest of Gary Englehardt; Capt. Nick Millward, Rotary Peace Fellowship winner calling in from Japan;  Lisa Walton and Andy Phillips, almost new members; Our student of the month’s parents, Emad Al-Bajali and Susan Said, and Dr. Mark Covelle, Academic Principal at LCTI.
Rev. Jeffrey Kistler conducted the award ceremony naming Sarah A-Bajali as the AWRC Student of the Month of March 2021.  See separate article. Sarah’s parents were on with us.
Sarah thanked us for this award and the gift card. Counselor Mark Covelle and President Ralph Witcher each praised Sarah for what she has become and is doing.
Gwenn Carr and Gary Englehardt are back in their Kutztown home. Gary’s Mother received her 2 covid19 shots without any ill effects.
Ernie Boll still is in Arizona where he gets up at 3:30 A.M> just to be on with our Zoom meetings. Also Ernie received his second covid shot 2 weeks ago.
Ralph Witcher left his site to put on something green. When he came back he noted that today is Pat’s birthday  --  and her maiden name is Green.
Chuck Ehninger was on from his Macungie home having just returned from a month in Florida.
Ron Coleman now is going by the name of “Hat Cat.”
Guest Peter Wolfson said he was happy to be with us today His Father was a Rotary District Governor.
Nick Millward is happy to report that he went to the Japanese Orphanage that AW Rotarians supported last year, and attended this year’s graduation. There are 65 children there.
Kathy Ott’s granddaughter is a senior at Emmaus H.S. and has earned many awards for her art projects. She may also get a scholarship.
Tom Friday is happy that their 6 year old will be back to school one day a week to start.
Gwenn Carr’s granddaughter has won a “Pi” contest by being able to recite  120 digits of the value of Pi correctly.
Gail Micca’s Mother now is getting around with a cane.
Pres. Ralph gave a very nice invocation. Then he  led us in the Pledge of Allegiance  to the U.S.
Marlene Heller read the four items, and then asked for volunteers to tell us a recent  example of its application. With no volunteers, she told a story about their 5 year old grandson.
It seems that he secretly recorded one of his teachers telling a story, and was planning to post it to YouTube. He told his Sister who knew he should get the Teacher’s approval. The Sister told Mom so ethical behavior prevailed.
Pres. Ralph noted that during our Sept. 23rd meeting, Jean Machamer’s explanation really hit home:
         R is for Relationships that are formed.
         O is Opportunities to serve that are provided.
         T is for Transformation and Team Building.
         A is for Action, i.e. Service Above Self.
         R is for Responsibilities, i.e. being the Interact Club advisor.
         Y is for Yearnings being fulfilled.
She said “Do what you can, because it matters.”
Pres. Ralph displayed the list of March  members and their celebration dates.  We applauded.
Pres. Ralph again said “The world needs more Rotarians.”
Foundation chair, Herb Klotz, announced the following AWRC members as receiving PHFs:
         Tom Friday         First PHF
         John Scott PHF +1
         Gail Micca           PHF +3
         Len Salines        PHF +5
         Gwenn Carr        PHF +5
         Amir Famili PHF +5
         Jeff Kistler  PHF +7
Congratulations and thank you all.
This is a new youth program in our District. The STEM Youth Explorer Academy is a program to provide a four day-three night residential camp for middle school students throughout District 7430.  It does not replace Camp Neidig; it is in addition. The first camp is planned for July 2022.  The Exploratory Committee has done a great job lining up sponsors such as the Scientific Research Institute at Albright and the SETI Institute in California ( The intent is for this camp to occur every summer. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. See separate article for more information.
Chair, Tom Friday,  welcomed our guests who were on with us today.
Camp Neidig will be held in May. Our AWRC Mike Gschwendtner has been transferred and now we need a leader from our club to step up and work on this district-wide annual event for High School Juniors.
PDG Herb Klotz’s AWRC plan to sponsor Herb’s final 110 mile trek as a fundraiser for TRF Annual Fund has been expanded to be a district-wide event. See separate article.
Pres. Ralph thanks all the AW volunteers who distributed food last Saturday.
There were 250 snackpacks assembled and distributed at Parkland HS last week.
Volunteer house painters still are needed. Contact Amir Famili.
Service Chair, Gail Micca, asks that you take a look at this section on the left side of this bulletin.
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 March 24. 2021  starting at 7:30 a.m.  We will use Zoom to meet.  Our program will be Alicia Ruiz-Orbin, PPL Marketing Manager (Retired) discussing Woman & Rotary: We have Come a long Way Down the Path of Inclusion
No Thursday evening meetings are planned until after the pandemic..
Pres. Ralph Witcher introduced Willard Dellicker, Secretary-NW Lehigh Veterans to discuss an update re Northwestern Lehigh Veteran Memorial (Ontelaunee Park). Ralph said that Bill is gentle, humble and bright.
Bill Dellicker’s career spanned 45 years in various engineering and management positions in manufacturing plants at DuPont, General Motors, Atlas Powder, Air Products and Acme Cryogenics, retiring as the Facility Engineer at Lehigh Career & Technical Institute. 
Bill served in the Navy for five years as a carrier-based fighter pilot with three tours to Vietnam flying 200 combat missions in the A-4F Skyhawk.   After his active-duty service Bill completed his BS in Mechanical Engineering at Penn State and joined the PA Air National Guard.  He completed his thirty-year Air National Guard career as the Chief Civil Engineer for Pennsylvania, retiring in 2000 as a Brigadier General.
He is a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), National Rifle Association (NRA), and the Allentown Chapter of the Honorary First Defenders.
Bill and Trudie have been married for 51 years.  All three of their children live in the Lehigh Valley area, with two of their five grandchildren still attending Northwestern Lehigh.  Three have graduated and are attending college at Pitt and Grove City.
The four townships of the Northwestern Lehigh School District have come together in a unified effort to honor our local Veterans with a permanent memorial to be located in Ontelaunee Park. 
The vision of the committee is to list all the names of our residents who served in the military services since the Revolutionary War to the present time, with provisions for adding Veterans’ names into the future.  If you would like to see a picture of what the memorial park will look like once completed simply, visit the Northwestern Lehigh Veteran Memorial Website.
The four townships are Lynn, Weisenberg, Lowhill and Heidelberg. The 12 person committee started in 2018 and came up with a design for the memorial in the Fall. They estimate that $300,000 is needed to make this happen. So far they have $160,000 on hand plus $15,000 in pledges. New Tripoli Bank donated $60,000. And many construction vendors are donated time and materials.
Bill reviewed the design with a great graphic that showed 11 free standing pillars, each 6 ft x 42” x 10” arranged in a circle. These will be granite and the first 9 of them will bear the names of 2,600 veterans. No other info will be shown except for a star to indicate a death in active service.
The area has 5 light standards, one for each service branch. There will be a 25 ft across white colored star in the center, and the whole place will be fenced in.
Besides the physical memorial, there will be a digital file listing each veteran and their relevant information. This will be accessible by visitors just inside the entrance.
They are looking for financial support to get this done, hopefully with a Nov. 11, 2021 dedication event. Donors of $2,500 or more will have their name engraved in a granite pillar just outside of the entrance. There also will be a souvenir program with sold ads to raise funds.
 Pres Ralph led us in the saying “One profits most who serves best.”
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


 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:
Gwen Pongracz          Mar 17





Dave Dries                  28 years    Mar 01 1993
Katrina Sundstrom    2 years      Mar 13 2019
Dan Crane                  29 years    Mar 15 1992
Al Lewis                    46 years    Mar 15 1975
Jean Masiko               28 years    Mar 15 1993
Dottie Bloom              6 years      Mar 18 2015
Jeanne Shipe             7 years      Mar 20 2014