Club News

Kevin Katarynick, District 7450 – District Governor (2020-21)

We were privleged to have our District Governor, Kevin Katarynick,

join our weekly Zoom meeting today.

Kevin M. Katarynick joined the Rotary Club of King of Prussia in 2012 and from the start became active in several duties that included the club’s membership and fundraising as well as efforts to increase its social media and web presence. He was elected to the club’s Board of Directors in 2014 and served as president in 2015-16. He served as Area 5 AG in 2016-17. He was elected to the District 7450 Board of Directors as the Member-at-Large for Areas 4, 5, and 6 for 2017-18 while also participating in the District’s Strategic Planning and Bylaws Review Committees. Kevin recently became a Paul Harris Society member.

Kevin graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Administration of Justice. He has spent more than 23 years in the field of public safety, and for the last 21 years has been employed by Upper Merion Township. He is a 23-year member of the King of Prussia Volunteer Fire Company.

Kevin is a lifetime resident of King of Prussia where he lives with his wife, Linda. They met when he coached her women’s softball team -she played second base. Linda is a native of Norristown and retired from her career with the Pennsylvania National Guard; her active service included participation in Iraqi Freedom in 2003 through 2004. She and Kevin are sports enthusiasts, and both regularly run 5Ks and half marathons.

Kevin was impressed at our Club's level of attendance, well above that of other far larger District clubs.

He emphasized what he saw as the three keys to leadership he hoped to employ ddurin ghis tenure.

  1. Communication – ensuring that is is both clear and concise.  He also wants communicaitons to be a two-way exercise with Rotaraians across teh District.
  2. Providing Value – working to ensure that when people attend Rotary events that the can com away with a feeling their time was well spent.  He admitted that during his time in Rotary, he had attended meetings which he felt a complete waste of time.  He is also cognizant that rethnking is needed dur to teh present and possible future requirements of working in a virtual environment.  He wants to also ensure ROtarians are aware that many training and other sesisons are available on YouTube for viewing at comveneitn times.
  3. Respect for the Office – a belief that the office of the District Governor needs respect incidental to its present holder but that can only occur through the openness, communicaiton, preceived added value and character of the Distrcit Governor.

Among his goals for 2020-21

  1. Having each club submit a list of at least ten goals it hopes to attain over the next 12 months.
  2. Increase the funding donations for the Rotary Foundation and Gundaker Charitable Foundation.  Information and training for these initiatives will be held on-line.
  3. Increasing the number of clubs in teh District by five.  These migh tfocus on types of businesses, ideological or other mdemographics.
  4. Seeing a net 75 new members joining Rotary.  The key is showing potential memebrs the value which comes form belonging to Rotary.  Kevin is aware of the challneges facing some clubs, such as ours, where new, younger members are sought while ours is an aging, but extremely dedicated Rotarians.  Affordability is also a consideration … which brought up th esubject of dues which technicaly need onlycover the RI, DIstrict and Training mandates.

The bi-monthly District Newletter will be emailed to each Rotarian in the District.

Inter-club cooperation, sorely absent in the past was also discussed.  Kevin that with the asisstance of his ten Assistant District Governors can change for the better.

It should be noted that both Kevin (despite his bad knee) and his wife refistered to participate in our VIrtual Chairty Walk and made a donation to A Woman's Place.

 

“Walk of Fame” – Honoring Those Who Have Completed Their 14-mile Charity Walk

We are pleased to recognize and congratulate the following people who have taken the time to help our Rotary Club celebrate its 14th year of "Service Above Self" by participating in its Virtual Charity Walk and completed walking just 14 miles.

Donna Fine – July 29, 2020

Mona Klugman – July 25, 2020

Edith and Bill Schultz – July 24, 2020

Claire, Sarrie, Jon and Taylor Fenton – July 24, 2020

John Schur – July 24, 2020

Stacey and Jon Miller – July 20, 2020

accompanied on their walk by Kirby Miller

and Brnatley Miller … who is now clearly exhausted

Irv and Wendy Perlstein – July 24, 2020

Barbara Beckelman (camera shy) – July 19, 2020

Barbara and David Weiss – July 19, 2020

Bob Morris – July 16, 2020

Donna Kutzer (William Dick School – Counsellor) – July 15, 2020

Dick and Debbie Newbert  –  July 10, 2020

Club Member Jerry Redington, Commander USN Retired

During this week's virtual (ZOOM )meeting

We were joined by Assistant District Governonr Chris Potter (far left – center row)

Jerry Redington became the first of our Club's members to share his backgournd … in his case of his years as a U.S. Naval Aviator.

Lt. Jerry (right) with fellow aviator Lt,. Ron Hyde in 1964 aboard the USS Independence (CVA-62)

Over more than two decades of service, Jerry was assigned to 16 different duty stations across the United States and world. Fortunately, he sent us all a primer/photos of some of his favorite aircraft this week. They include:

  • He started flying transport planses, including the T6, as well as the TV2 duel cockpit, and F9F, Panther single seater.

Navy SMJ – Jerry flew fo r 8 months is the training command and for his first solo and in which he logged six carrier landings

His next aircraft wat the TV-2 Shooting Star

during his tour at the Advance Traiing Commadn in Kingsville Texas

Jerry next transitiond to the F9F-5 Panther

during which tiem he received is Naval Aviator Wings as the age of 21!

He was then assigned ot his first squadron VU-2 wher ehe fles the F9F-8 Cougar

 …

hen as a flight instructor, he flew a Cougar ad also a B26, as well as passenger utility/recreational planes. 

-He had a hair-raising experience while flying the Demon, due to a landing gear malfunction and extremely low fuel, he had to eject from the plane! He parachuted and was fortunately, plucked from the sea. 

-His favorite aircraft was an S2F, multi-engine. 

-Little known fact: As Dick rotated on to the Independence, Jerry was rotating off. Dick shared a photo of them in 1965. W

This was the Navy's first air craft capable of breaking the sound barriet … which Jerry said was an amazing and thriling experience

Jerry next transitioned fo ra multiengine aircraft, the "JD", a Navy version of the Air Forces's B26 Bomber

Among other services this aircraft provided to the fleet was towing targets for surfac ships to use for target practice.  Flying the JD, Herry was also practing simulate attaccks on submarines.

Before leaving VU-2, Jerry also flew SNBs

He was then assigned go VF-41, a squadron assigned to the USS Independence (CVA-62) wher he fleew his on of his favorite naval aircraft, the F3-B Demon.

This became the scond aircraft he flew off the deck of a carrier where he logged 100 day and nighttime landings

Then faced with a dilema … take a desk job for a year if he wanted to continue flying jets or accept an assignment as a multi-engine instructor.  Wanting ot fly, he asscepted the latter wher ehe flew C1-A, carrier-on-board logistics planes and anm anti-submarine verison S-2.

He remained flying this aircraft for the remained of his nanval sauqdron career

Jerry was then assigned to Air Operations aboar dhte USS Independence wher ehe was still able to continue to fly the shops C1-A …  and accumulating a total of more thean 200 carrier landings.

In an interesting twist of fate, just prior ot Jerry leaving his tour aboard the Independence, Dick Newbert, a newly commissioned Navy Ensign and now a fellow Club member, was reporting aboard and by coincidence assigned to Air Operaitons where they briefly served together.  Since learning of their having met decades earlier, Jerry and Dick have shared many stories, particularly of other Nanval officers and friends with whom they both served.

Thank you so much, Jerry, for sharing just a few highlights from your fantastic career in the service. We salute you, Commander!

 

Nick Parsons – Bucks County Housing Group and Penndel Food Pantry

During our weekly Xoom meeting

we were pleased to remotely welcome Nick Parsons of the Penndel Food Pantry,

to which the Club has donated $1,500, and a divison of the Bucks County Housing Group ("BCHG").

Nick provided a detaield overview of the critically importatn work of both teh BCHG and Food Pantries its supports.

With specific references to the BCHG's food pantries, which our CLub hsa supported; the Bucks County Housing Group runs two food pantries in the county (one in Penndel and the other in Doylestown … a potential third might eventually become a reality in Morrisville).  Although the BCJG's  main focus is on housing, it also dedicates resources to these pantries in order to assist those struggling with food insecurity. 

To become a pantry patron, please fill out a registration form during operating hours.

To qualify for Federal and State Food Aid you must not exceed income levels set by the USDA. You’ll need to provide a photo ID and proof of residency in Bucks County. Pantry patrons may visit once each week.

Pantries are closed on major holidays and on the Sunday preceding. Our pantries close in severe weather if road conditions are hazardous.

 

Allison Gill from the American Cancer Society and Hope Lodge

In an effort to continutally strive to protect the heaalth and safety of our members and others during the COVID-19 pandemic, once again our weekly meeting was held via Zoom.

This was also ewly installed president Bob Morris' first week at the helm.  After our opening ceremonies, Bob introduced Allison Gill from the American Cancer Society and Hope Lodge

who has spoke to our Club in the past.

Alison began by thanking the Club for its many years of being a dinner sponsor for Hope Lodge and the good times provided the resident with its after-dinner Trivia contests in which the Lodge's guest with the first correct answer is awarded with a gold dollar.

She went on to explain that the American Cncer Society *"ACS"), in response to the COVID-19 pandemic suspended its network of some 30 Hope Lodges across the country

Atlanta GA  —  Baltimore MD  —    Birmingham  –  Boston MA  –  Burlington VT  –  Charleston SC  –  Cleveland OH  –  Dallas TX  —  Gainsville FL  –  Grand Rapids MI  –  Greenville NC  –  Honolulu HI  –  Houston TX  –  Iowa City IA  –  Jackson MS  –  Jacksonville FL  –  Kansas City MO  –  Lexington KY  —  Lubbock TX  –  Marshfield WI  –  Memphis TN  –  Minneapolis MN  –  Nashville TN  –  New Orleasn LA  –  New York CIty NY  –  Oklahoma City OK  —  Omaha NB  –  Philadelphia PA  –  Phoenix AZ  –  ROchester MN  –  ROchester NY  –  Salt Lake City UT  –  San Juan PR  –  St Louis MO  –  Tampa FL

on March 27, 2020, because it could no longer ensure the health and safety of our immune-compromised cancer patient residents, volunteers, and staff. Until the ACS are able to safely host patients again, it is offering our Hope Lodge facilities as free temporary housing for health care workers who are unable to return home for fear of exposing their families to the coronavirus.  They have also launched the Hope Lodge COVID-19 Response Fund to raise funds to operate our repurposed Hope Lodge facilities during the COVID-19 crisis.

Philadelphia's Hope Lodge, the one our Claub actively supports, is undergoing many guest bathrooms and plannign on rennovating the kitchen facilities.  Its staff is also reviewing new protocols for its front desk area and dining facilities, areas where social distancing could otherwise become a challenge.  They hope ot be able ot open up 5 rooms for some of the most-needy patients as early as August or September.

The Lodge aaalso hass undertaken several fundraisign efforts, including an "Adopt-A-Room" ($10,000) and an "Adopt–Day" ($1,500) to help make up some of the paandenic-related shortfall in their annual $700,000 operating budget.  Also on its wishlist are posisble donations of Personal Protective Equipment, icnludgin masks, gowns and snaitizers.

They are also hopeful that a "virtual dinner" migh tbe possible in teh fall in which we might be able to deliver meals to the front door.  Still, there is a great deal o funcertainty aorund the virus.

Allion mentioned that the ACS has cancelled off its fundraisssing events. initiated program cuts and has to make some difficult staff layoffs.

The members thanked Allison for her time and updates.

A business meeting followed covering the upcoming VIRTUAL WALK, July 8th VIRTUAL SOCIAL HOUR and looking toward ensuring that our members HAVE FUN while they fundraise and support so many needy causes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcoming Bob Morris as our 2020-21 Club President

This years "changing of the guard" was very different form those held in past years as the ceremony was done remotely due to the current COVID-19 pandmeic and our concerns about trying to ensure the safety and health of our members and thier families.

After our opening prayer, pledge and Four Way Test ceremony, outgoing president Jeff Revak covered several items of old business. 

He them swore in Bob Morris, a life-long Rotarian, one of the Club's founders and its first president, serving from 2006 – 2008.

Bob they gave oath to the the incoming memebrs of the Club's Board.  The names of our Board, together with our Committee Chairs and Membership, can be viewed on the "Officers, Board, ActivityChairs and Membership" page of our web site.

Bob and many Club members present during today's Zoom meeting gave Jeff kudos and thanks for his work over the past two years of his presidnecy … and then wished Bob good luck for the year ahead!

 

 

 

 

Ava Richards – Our March Student-of-the-Month

Due to the school closures and state-mandated even local travel restrictions until now we had been unable to present our March and AprilMaple Point Middle School Student-of-the-Month awards. 

The good news is that yesterday afternoon, the CLlub was able to present our March recipient, Ava Richards, with her Certificate of Recognition.  Previoulsy, her $100 scholarship check had been previously mailed to her.

Augie Adrid, Student Chair, presenting a Certificate of Recognition to Ava

In talking with Ava, in addition to earning superior grades throughout her middle school years, she has been active in dance, plays the viola in the school orchestra, is a member of the choir.  Ava also has volunteered at he concession stand and in other capacities at Neshaminy High School football games and has worked with the high school’s Interact (a Rotary affiliate) club.

When she begins her high school career, Ava plans to focus on math and science courses and has long-range visions of one day posibly becoming a nuclear engineer or a forensic security expert.

 

Stephanie Teoli Kuhls (Middletown Township Manager) – Spoke to the Club

Stephanie Teoli Kuhls, our community's township Manager joined our weekly virtual meeting this morning, together with 14 members of our Club. 

Stephanie is celebrating her 8th anniversary in that position after previous municipal stints in Lancaster Countyr, and both Hatfield and Upper Makefield in Bucks, spanning some 25 years.

She talked about the Township with roughly 46,000 residents and a police force of 69 officers.  Middletown also has other emergency services including its Fire Department, Rescue Squad and Emergency Services personnel.

Much of the time Stephanie updated the Club on how it has handled the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Township management first heard about COVID-19 in January and immediately took steps to prepare for a potential pandemic.  During February it ordered supplies of Personal Protection Equipment.  Plans were made to prepare for the continuation of essential Township services as well as the continuation of other services affecting the community residents.

On March 13th, pursuant to the Governor's orders, Middletown went into a shutdown, shelter-in-place mode.  By week two, a member of the police department tested positive for the virus.  Stephanie than praised Police Joseph Bartorilla for the efficient and professional way it and other challenges the police department has faced during the past three have been handled.

Despite receiving "mixed messages" from federal state and county governments, Middletown set its own course and began testing by the 8th and 9th days.  Non-essential administrative Township personnel were placed on leave.  Further, due to the immediate steps taken after learning of teh virus in January, some laptops had been acquired which enabled the Township to begin remote working well in advance of many other communities. 

Soon thereafter, virtual public meetings became possible as well as some virtual exercise classes such as yoga, stretching and platies.

In a proactive effort to maintain as many community services as possible and keep the residents informed, the Township enhanced its on-line website presence.

 

adding a new "MTGO" button

through which residents could communicate with the appropriate Township department and personnel,

describing down to a specific property, if necessary,

and include photos where appropriate.

The site was also customizable for the benefit and accessibility of residents.

As the Commonwealth began its reopening, the Township Supervisors provided other links designed to provide Residents

information about what was changing

and Businesses

with proper guidelines.

In addition, and to proactively assist particularly smaller companies, it has provided banners, signs and other materials which those companies many not have otherwise been able to afford.

Looking ahead, on June 26th Bucks County is scheduled to go into the GREEN zone, opening nearly everything (although organized basketball is still not open in Middletown).  The Township's summer camp program which usually enrolls 500 children will only be able to take some 100 this summer, with 50 having signed up thus far.

To date, Middletown has experienced 530 cases of COVID-19, due, in part, to the number of nursing homes in the Township.

Throughout the pandemic, Middletown has collaborated with the County and neighboring communities to share resources , actions and ideas.

As the Neshaminy School District and Carin University are separate entitles, Stephanie did not have any specific details as to their plans for opening and how to comply with the challenges of masking and social distancing. 

Stephanie also mentioned that the toll of the pandemic will impact the Township, although its AAA bond rating indicates that it was in good shape financially going into the shutdown.

She next touched on the actions the community took in the face of the Black Lives Matter and related demonstrations and isolate looting.  The Middletown police took preventative actions to station officers around the mall and barricade the entrances.  As a result, the Oxford Valley Mall was the only one in the area to avoid any damage or looting.  Target and the many local car dealerships, as potential targets, were also monitored.

Stephanie also shared that Middletown police department ranks in heh top 10% of the some 1,100 Pennsylvania communities.  There is a triannual peer review for th edepartment.  However, every Middletown police officer is required to take 8 hours of training in the use of force, race relations, LBGTQ relations, implicit bias, de-escalation training and crisis management.

It was an information-packed presentation and for those members who live in Middletown, a positive reassurance that the Supervisors and Township Departments are preforming in the best interests of the community and its residents.