Matt Morris and his Mom and Grandfather Join Our Breakfast Meeting

Matt Morris, our upcoming charity golf outing's Honorary Captain for the Els for Autism 2017 Golf Championship, his mother, Lynn, and grandfather, Bob Alvino, joined us at our weekly breakfast meeting this morning.

His visit provided our members an opportunity to meet Matt and to present him with an Honorary Membership in the Rotary Club of Shady Brook and an official Rotary pin.

While Matt is shy in new situations and finds talking a challenge due to his autism, the smile on his face said a thousand words about his appreciation. 

Lynn and Bob hope to bring Matt to the golf tournament's dinner on June 19th.

 

 

Former USAF Pilot and Vietnam POW Ralph Galati Speaks to Our Club

We were honored to host Ralph Galati, a Philadelphia native, graduate of both St. James High School (Chester, PA) and St. Joseph's University, US Air Force Pilot and Vietnam Prisoner of War speak to our members this morning. 

Upon granduating from Air Force ROTC, Ralph attended Flight Training in 1970 and received his wings in 1971.  He was a Weapnos Systems Officer in the F-4 Phantom aicraft and assigned in Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base in the fall of that year.  He qualified as a Laser Guided Bomb lead and was soon elevated to the role of Forward Air Controller. 

On February 16, 1972, during his first mission over North Vietnam, he and his pilot were shot-down, immediately captuerd and taken to Hanoi.  He spent the next 14 months as a Prisoner of War, inlcuding a stint at the infamous Hanoi Hilton. 

Then Lieutenant Galati was repatriated on March 28, 1973.  He subsequently served as a Flight Instructor, Curriculum Developer and at the Pentagon with the Secretary of the Air Force Office of Legislative Liason.  His military awards include the Silver Star, Bronze Star with Valor with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal and Purple Heart.

After a subsequent 28 year career with IBM, he began a new relationship with his alma matter and is presently serving as the Director of Veterans Services at St. Joseph's.

His story was inspiring and shed insights into the physical and mental challenges POWs faced during the Vietnam War. Ralph's  continuing commitment to veterans and veterans causes are very much in sync with many of the causes the Club has and continues to support.

 

 

Visit to the William Dick Elementary School

Several members and their wives visited the Wiliam Dick School, an inner-city elementary school in Philadelphia … and a school which our Club has "adopted" and provided with monies, badly needed supplies, clothing for its students and periodic in-classroom help.

from left ot right, Irv Perlstein, Robin and Ira Sherman, Syd Baron, Wendy Perlstein, Alan and Nancy Agree and school principal Amy Williams.  Photographer Dick Newbert not shown.

Each of us spent the morning asisting both Kindergardeners and First Graders with their reading.  Working with these students was again increddibly rewading and appeared very apprecaited by those students.

Before leaving, principal Amy Williams shared information about the school, the demographics of the neighborhoods from which the K-8 student population come (92% extreme poverty), the process graduating eight graders go though to gain admission in the Philadlephia high school of their choice.  We were also told abbout the subsequent successes of sevearl of teh school's garduates who are now going on to colleges, including West Point!

 

 

 

 

Domestic Abuse Awareness and A Women’s Place

This evening, the Rotary Club of Shady Brook and Villas of Shady Brook Community jointly hosted what all hope will have been just a first in an ongoing awareness campaign surrounding Domestic Abuse and an amazing resource for victims of domestic abuse, A Woman's Place in Doylestown.

Domestic violence is prevalent in every community and affects all people regardless of age, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality.  Physical violence is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior as part of a much larger, systematic pattern of dominance and control.  Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and even death.  The devastating consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime.

Just a few frightening statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence indicate;

  • On average, a woman in the U.S. is assaulted or beaten every nine seconds.
  • An average of 20 people are physically abused by intimate partners every minute.
  • One-third of all women have been physically abused and 20% of them by an intimate partner.
  • One in seven women have been stalked; causing them to fear they or someone close to them will be harmed or killed.
  • Domestic abuse accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
  • Domestic violence is most common among women between the ages of 18-24.
  • Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries.

When a woman decides to leave an abusive relationship, she often has nowhere to go.  This is particularly true of women with limited resources.  Lack of affordable housing and long waiting lists for assisted housing means that many women and their children are forced to choose between abuse at home and life on the streets.  Tragically, there are more animal shelters in the U.S. than shelters for battered women and their children!

Thanks to the tremendous efforts of Dolly Sokol (both a Rotarian and member of the Shady Brook Community) whose idea sparked this effort, Fred Edelman (a former Community resident, Rotarian and the evening's emcee),

Fran Issadore (Community Board Member),

Steve Daner (Community Activities Chari)

and many other committee members, we were able to bring sixty residents together at the Villas' Clubhouse for an extremely informative presentation by Staff Member Jamie Geddes

and one of the shelter's volunteers, Laura Prifold, about domestic violence as well as a history of  and information about A Women's Place, the only domestic violence organization in Bucks County, PA. 

In 1976 A Woman's Place was a storefront, drop-in domestic violence counseling center in Sellersville, PA. The following year it was incorporated as a private, community benefit organization. Above that storefront center was A Women's Place's first shelter for women seeking safety from abuse. The first woman seeking safety arrived with her two children at the tiny, one-room shelter apartment on Christmas Eve 1976.

Today, it  provides comprehensive free, private, and confidential service, support, education, outreach, and advocacy to victims of domestic violence and their children and the community. We are committed to the empowerment of women and to ending intimate and domestic violence for all.

They maintain a 24-hotline with professionally-trained counsellors for both adults and children and can provide emergency shelter, a safe living environment, legal advocacy and civil right representation for its clients.  WIth eight beds, victims of doemstic abuse can stay for up to 60-90 days.  A Woman's Place has provided services to some 3,800 people.

It's "How Safe Are You?" check list was also very interesting:

  • Have you recently discussed ending your relationship of leaving?
  • Have you separated or divorced in the last year?
  • Does your partner/spouse have drug or alcohol abuse issues, including prescriptio or illegal drugs?
  • Has your partner/spouse ever threatened or attempted suicide and/or have they suffered from depression?
  • Does your partner'spouse own or have access to any guns?
  • Does your partener/spouse stalk you?
  • Does your partner/spouse control your activities (finances, where you go, who you are with, monitor your telephone calls or emails)?
  • Is your partner/spouse currently unemployed or on disability?
  • Has your partner/spouse ever threatened you or anyone else with a weapon?
  • Has your partner/spouse ever been arrested?
  • Has your partner/spouse ever been physical with you?
  • Have you or anyone else ever filed an Order of Protection or Protection from Abuse Petition against your partner/spouse?

In parallel, Rotarians and members of th Shady Brook commuity provided donations for A Woman's Place of many much-needed, every-day items.

The joint Committee hopes that tonight's program has not only shed light on an often not-talked-about aspect of our society and the devastating effects domestic abuse can have on the victims and children of those victims but may have also stimulated friends and neighbors to consider supporting  A Woman's Place's ability to help break the cycle of violence!

It is also already in the planning stages for a fundraiser for A Woman's Place scheduled for this coming Fall.

For more information go to: www.awomansplace.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neshaminy High School Student-of-the-Year

At tonights dinner meeting at Christine's Restaurant the Club presented Anyanne Murray with its annual Student-of-the-Year award and a $1,000 scholarship.

Augie Audrid presents Amyanne with a certificate and scholarship check as her paretnst Mike and Anne look on.

Club President Dick Newbert presents Amyanne and her parents with Honorary Memberships in the Rotary Club of Shady Brook

Adopt-A-Highway Participation

Yesterday morning, Augie Audrid, John Sauer, Syd Baron, Jerry Redington, Alan Agree and photogrpaher Mark Nath helped with the our bi-annual clean-up campaign along Yardley-Langhorne Road … as the Cllub's participation in the States Adopt-A-Program.

A special "Thanks" goes out to Lou Hatfield who once again provided the crew with hot coffee and baked squares!

This year's team finished the job in a record one hour and twenty minutes.