Club News

The Rotary Club of Shady Brook Providing Gym Supplies to Philadelphia’s William Dick School

The Club extended its grateful thanks to Toll Gate Grammar School in Pennington, NJ

for its generous donation of floor mats, dozens of sports balls, hula hoops, floor hockey sticks and many other articles of gym-related equipment.


After Club members Alan Agree, Irv Perlstein and Dick Newbert, with the able assistance of a friend, Eric Williams, loaded the mats and other items into Alan's car

and the bed of president Jeff Revak’s truck

Jeff Revak

these athletic supplies were driven to Philadelphia where they were donated to the William Dick School

and where physical education teachers and a number of excited eighth graders were on-hand to help with the unloading. 

Alan Agree unloading his car

(l to r) Eric Williams and Jeff Revak

The Club’s ongoing support of the William Dick School, which is located in the heart of one of Philadelphia’s most economically-depressed areas, is now in its ninth year.  During that time, the Club has donated not only money but school supplies, hundreds of reams of paper, several thousand books for its library, coats and hats for both students and their parents and other items to improve the school’s educational mission and goals as well as to in a small way hopefully improve the lives of its student population.

Club members also visit the school several times during each school year to meet with some of the incredibly dedicated faculty and administration as well as having the opportunity to visit classrooms and often sit and read with the younger students.

Of all of the Club’s many service and charitable initiatives, its relationship with and support of the William Dick School is considered the most meaningful!

Principal Amy Williams, who will be speaking to the Club during its October dinner meeting, expressed her deep appreciation for today’s gym equipment donation.

(l to r) Alan Agree, Jeff Revak, Amy Williams and Eric Williams – Not shown Dick Newbert

The Club has made arrangements to accept a number of chairs and other school equipment being discarded by the Toll Gate Grammar School which it will, in turn, donate to the William Dick School.

Semi-Annual Road Clean-up

Seven members of the Club met early this morning for our semi-annual road clean-up along Yardley-Langhorne Road as it part in the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Adopt-A-Highway program.

Today's collection of some 50-plus liquor and beer bottles, dozens of soda cans, hundreds of cigarette butts (most clearly emptied by inconsiderate motorists at stoplight intersections), a beat-up mailbox and full container of Dunkin' Donut donut holes were among the trash that had been carelessly discarded by motorists.

Our intrepid crew included:

(l to r)  Augie Adrid, program chair Syd Baron, club president Jeff Revak, Steve Manas, Dick Newbert, Mark Nath and Jerry Redington

Fundraising for Leukemia at the Golden Nugget Flea Market

Today, Anal Agree again set up shop at the

where he offered dozens of personal and donaged items … including some relatively rare stamps, unusual Canadian and Alaskan Highway license plates, CDs, videos, "unusual" men's ties for sale

Dick and Debbie joined Alan for part of the morning.  

As in the past ALL PROCEEDS from these flea market efforts are dedicated to

The $230.28 raised will be multipled by corporate partners who will match the Club's fundrasing.

District Governor Paul Quintavalla Joins Us

Assistant District Governor Chris Potter

gave a thumb-nail background on District 7450 Governor Paul Quintavalla's amazing life of service both as a Rotarian and in his community. 

Paul and his wife, Jeanne, ar native New Yorkers who hav elived in Broomall foe thirtyyears where thy hav eraised two sons and now are blessed with four grandchildren.  Paul has been a member of teh Broomall Rotary CLub since 2007, has served in every officer and committee role, created community service projects and continues to chair the Rotary Foundation committee.  SInce 2009,Paul has served with and raised funds for Rotoplast International and has participated in five overseas missions.

Paul began by asking a question about why Roarians so willing give generrously of their time and often resources.  Is it because they are Rotarians or are they Rotarians because Rotary provides them increased opportunites to give back to their fellow man and their communities?

The answer is, obviously, the latter … and exemplifies the commitments of our Club's members.

Paul went on to detail many of the initiatives he has made and will continue to implement during his tenure.  Among these plans are:

  • "Asking" Clubs to participate in programs rather than "telling" them what the District wants.
  • Increasing the number of Assistant District Governors so they can get closer to the clubs under their respective purviews.
  • Developing a District strategic plan … which will be reivewed by all levels within the District down to the club level for coment.
  • Reworking the District By-Laws to better reflect the realities of today's environment in which Rotary clubs exist … something our Club did two years ago.
  • Developing a District Grant Webinar … Jeff volunteered himself, Ira and DIck to help spearhead this project.
  • Requested input for the Newsletter he has created.
  • Together with Chris plans to encourage Membership campaigns and seminars.
  • Shared that within the District there are 75-100 new members while losses have been larger.
  • Better understand how to reverse the number of members who do not renew their memberships.
  • Outreaches to the AAPR, LBGTQ and minority communites.

There was a consenus that Pauls' was perhaps the most interesting and positive District Governor presentations in recent years.

 

 

Bucks County “Tour of Honor”

Today’s Guest Speakers:  Bucks County Tour of Honor (http://www.buckscountytourofhonor.org/#!/)

Board members

  • Christine Ferrara, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Michael DeBonis, Board Member
  • Gerald Fretz, Board Member

Mike DeBonis

Mike DeBonis (l) with the help of Fred Edelman

then showed an interesting, informative and moving video on a recent Bucks County Tour of Honor trip to the nation’s capital. 

Christine Ferrara and Gerald Fretz

(l to r) Club President Jeff Revak, Gerald Fretz and Christine Ferrara

discussed other aspects of the Tour of Honor and the emotional impact it has had on so many of the  1,200 verterans who have had the opportunity to participate in one of these trips.

The mission and sole purpose of Bucks County Tour of Honor is to transport United States Military Veterans from the Bucks County area to Washington DC to visit memorials, buildings and other places that promote and represent the ideals of the United States of America.

At present our major focus is WWII veterans and terminally ill veterans, who are given top priority. We are also accepting applications for Korean and Vietnam War era veterans.

The Bucks County Tour of Honor experience leaves from Parx East and includes stops at Arlington National Cemetery at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for the Changing of the Guard and Wreath Laying Ceremony, Air Force Memorial, Korean War Memorial and World War II Memorial. The trip to Washington DC is followed by a “Welcome Home” celebration, dinner and entertainment hosted by Parx Casino.

Each such Tour of Honor trip costs roughly $50,000.

To date, some 1,200 veterans have traveled to Washington DC as part of this program

The Bucks County Tour of Honor is an all-expenses paid trip for the veteran and is destined to be an experience you will forever treasure.

Christine then encouraged eligible veterans to consider applying to participate in one of the future Bucks County Tours of Honor; the next one for World War II and Korean War veterans on October 1, 2018.

A spontaneous round of applause followed.

Appreciation of Mitch Freedman and the Golden Nugget Flea Market

Alan Agree presented Golden Nuggett Flea Market owner

with a Certificate of Appreciation

to recognize his willingness to provide space at no-charge during his weekend flea markets so that the Club can raise money to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's fight to find cures for blood cancers.

Thanks, Mitch!

Congressional Candidate Scott Wallace Speaks to our Club

Scott Wallace, Democratic candidate for the Pennsylvania First District Congressional seat spoke this morning as part of of the Club's effort to meet all of the candidates running for State and Federal office. 

Scott Wallace provided an overview of his background as a Doylestown native, his schooling there, early jobs (including a stint at Burger King) he held before Haverford College and Villanova Law School.  With his law degree in hand, he went to Washington where he worked for the U.S. Senate’s Veteran’s Affairs Committees, helping to shape and draft legislation to provide increased care and benefits for veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.  He then moved to working for the Senate Judiciary Committee under then chair, PA Senator Arlen Spector.His next stop was working for a non-profit helping to provide legal aid and defense for citizens and to advocate for Justice Department reform.

He then gave us a brief history lesson concerning his grandfather, Henry A. Wallace, who served as FDR’s vice president from 1941-1945.

With the passing of his parents, he and his siblings became managers of a family foundation.  He went on to explain that many of the charges leveled at him relative to the foundation were related to actions of another member of the foundation, actions with which Scott did not support and disavowed.  He restated his support for a Two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and his experiences in Israel and South Africa which he an d his wife have visited many times.

During his years in Washington and running a foundation, Scott is proud to have helped secure compensation for Vietnam Veterans exposed to Agent Orange, Enact the Innocence Protection Ace and Missing Children’s Act, Create college debt forgiveness for people in low paying public service jobs such as prosecutors and public defenders and fight to make the criminal justice system more effective, fairer and less wasteful.

He underlying message is “Today is no ordinary time”.  He is concerned by what he believes is a national sense of loss of its historic values, identity and international reputation.  Scott advocates a return to respect for the way people treat one another, the rule of law, an independent judiciary, and a free and independent press.   He laments the Administration’s “Fake News”, “Alternative Facts” and “The Truth is not the truth” rhetoric!

While he maintains he will not run a negative campaign, he did point out that his opponent, Brian Fitzpatrick, has voted 84% of the time in support of the Trump agenda. 

Scott also will not accept any corporate or lobbyist monies and will match individual donations to support his run for Congress.

He is concerned that in a race which is anticipated to be one of the most highly contested, the aggregate costs for the candidates could run between $15 and $20 million dollars, which he believe is obscene. 

Some of the positions he takes and things he will fight for if elected include:

  • Getting corporate money out of politics;
  • Working to ultimately reverse the Citizens United decision;
  • Revisiting the Trump tax bill which gave up to $2 trillion in tax breaks to large and multi-national corporations (half of which has been used by those corporations for stock buybacks, enriching their remaining shareholders, 40% of whom are not American citizens);
  • Fixing ObamaCare to make it more cost-efficient while ensuring that pre-existing conditions remain covered;
  • Providing a Medicare for all option;
  • Raising the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour;
  • Increasing the tax rate on the most wealthy and highest earners;
  • Eliminating the ceiling on wages on which Social Security and Medicare taxes are based to ensure the longer term solvency of both programs;
  • Enacting common sense gun control legislation, including background checks on all gun sales (no Internet, gun show or private sale exemptions) and looking into biometric trigger safeties on all future guns sold;
  • Protecting of unions; and
  • Enforcing strong anti-trust laws.

During a question and answer session, he defended his personal actions (not those of other members with whom is adamantly disagrees) relative to his family foundation’s efforts in Israel, South Africa and other places, which have been criticized by his opponent.  Scott also admitted that his campaign has not been as effective a is needs to be to get his message out to the public. 

Scott Wallace stated that he is solely committed to doing the right thing for the citizens of the District he hopes to represent.

He ended by simply asking for Club members and their guests to consider his candidacy based on his experience, beliefs, positions on issues which matter to residents of the District and his statements and not those of his opponent or his opponent’s supporters. 

Support for the William Dick School

Alan Agree delivered a large quantity of school suppliesdonated by club members to the William Dick School today. 

With the wonderful assistance of the teachers his car was unloaded in record time.

Unfortunately by the time all of the donated supplies were spirited into various storage areas we were unable to get any pictures. 

Alan was taken aback by the number of times our Rotary Club was thanked by many teachers.  Principal Amy WIlliams remarked that our Club's annual donations are a real moral booster for the school … and that we are the only private outside group supporting the school.

Among the supplies provided are 50 cases of high-quality copy paper courtesy of Fred Edelman!  As the teachers typically given just one ream of paper each year, this donation is worth more than gold to both teachers and students!Marty Feinberg gave provided $50 to purcahse school supplies (350 good pencils, 25 notebooks and some crayons); 

Diane Haines from A Woman’s Place Speaks to the Club

At the Club's first luncheon meetign is several years,

 

Diane Haines, from A Woman's Place joined us for lunch and to provide an update on her organizations which our Club has supported in the past.

In 2000, Diane began as a volunteer with A Woman’s Place where she accompanied victims to court to get Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders. In April of 2001.  A Woman’s Place subsequently hired her as a part-time legal advocate.  DIane accompanied victim witnesses to district court for the criminal charges against their abusers that often occur with a domestic abuse incident.  She also helped victim’s at the PFA advocate office with legal options information.

The inception of the Civil Legal Representation program, the family law office of A Woman’s Place, began in the latter part of 2001. Two full-time attorneys and one full-time paralegal, which was me, were hired.  She has been the paralegal in this program for 17 years.  We help our clients in family court with civil legal needs, primarily custody, support, divorce, and PFA cases.

Today's luncheon was an education and provided a forum to address a future rundraising event for A Women's Place, scheduled for this fall after our charity golf outing in October.  To date, the CLub has already raised $500 of its goal of $2,000 for the organizaiton.