State Senator Tommy Tomlinson

We were privileged to host incumbent State Senator Tommy Tomlinson speak to our Club again. 

Senator Tomlinson began by relating how his dad wasa founder of the Andalusia/Bensalem Rotary Club and how is subsequent 25-plus years a a Rotarian and its motto of "Service Above Self" set his moal compass for serving his community

Tomlinson is a 1964 graduate of Bensalem High School and attended the Bordentown Military Institute. He attended West Chester State College, receiving a B.S. degree in 1970. While at West Chester, he served as captain of the football team in 1969 and helped the team capture the state championship in 1967 and 1969. He also played in the Tangerine Bowl in 1967. In 1971, Tomlinson graduated from Miami Dade University with a degree in Mortuary Science.

He was a member of the Bensalem Township School Board for 12 years, serving as vice president for two years and president for one.  He is currently a member of Bensalem Rotary; the Lower Bucks County Chamber of Commerce; the Bensalem Lions Club; the Bensalem Republican Committee; the Bensalem Business Association; the Bensalem Historical Society; Friends of Bolton Mansion; the Pennsbury Manor Society; Washington Crossing Foundation; Friends of the Silver Lake Nature Center; YWCA Advisory Council; West Chester University Football Hall of Fame; Sturzbecker Foundation Hall of Fame at West Chester University; Bensalem High School Hall of Fame; Bensalem High School Alumni Hall of Fame and the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association.

In the past, he served as the Chairman of the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee and as a member of the Pennsylvania Children’s Trust Fund; the Lower Bucks Hospital Board of Directors; the St. Mary’s Medical Center Advisory Board and the Advisory Council for the Delaware Valley Veterans’ Home; The Bensalem Hall of Fame – Memorial Stadium Committee and the Bensalem Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee.

Tomlinson points to his many achievements that have positively impacted the lives of the people in Bucks County and points to some of his major legislative achievements:

Job creation

  • Authoring gaming legislation that directly resulted in 18,000 jobs statewide and 2,300 permanent local jobs at PARX Casino.
  • Led efforts to pass a transportation package (including the recently opened I-95 Interchange) that has put tens of thousands of people to work and is fixing roads and bridges.

Helping communities

  • Authored legislation that has generated more than $100 million in revenue for Bensalem Township, in addition to $30 million for communities such as Bristol Township, Hulmeville Borough, and Middletown Township and an additional $30 million dedicated to Bucks County.

Government reform

  • Passing an open records law to make government more transparent and requiring Senators and their staff to contribute to their own healthcare.

Property tax relief

  • Wrote the Pennsylvania Gaming Law which has provided more than $5.5 billion in property tax relief since 2008 without raising taxes.

He discussed some of his current concerns:

  • Charter schools are nor required to confirm to the same standards of accountability as are public schools.
  • Gambling, and specifically Internet gambling, in Pennsylvania will begin to erode casino revenues.
  • The push to eliminate the property tax as a means of funding local schools could require a 40% increase in the Personal Income Tax and a 20% increase in the state sales tax.
  • Support for a natural gas extraction tax with the proceeds being dedicated to reducing the state's grossly underfunded public pension fund.
  • The lack of education in all schools of citizenship, the history and benefits of our representative democracy, and assumption of responsibilty.
  • The current narcissistic pop culture focused on "what's in it for me".
  • Supports stronger border security measures and regulation of immigration policies.
  • Rejects the concept of so-called sanctuary cities.
  • Does not agree with opening "injection " sites, while recognizing the need to deal with the opiod crisis.

When asked about how he differs from his opponent, Tina Davis, the Senator indicated that they had been good friends for many years, but felt that during the campaign she has misrepresented her alleged support of funding for infrastructure projects which benefit residents of the 6th Senatorial District..


12th Annual Charity Golf Outing

Due to sever weather forecast warnings our October 11th chairty golf outing date was posponed until today.  Unfortunately, a number of players who had registered to play were unable to participate on today's rain date.

However, sixty-three intrepid golfers braved today's chilly and very windy conditions to participate in the Club's 12th annual charity golf outing at Makefield Highlands … with the Drew's Hope Foundation

as our primary beneficiary, established in honor of Drew Ferrandino by his parents, Katie and Tony, to support research into treatments and cures for Batten Disease, a rare degenerative neurological disease for which there is no cure and is always fatal and for which there is virtually no public funding; with most victims succumbing by the age to 12  … Drew’s age when he passed away.


Golf Chair, Irv Perlstein (red shirt) with Tony Ferrandino


Getting an Early Look at the many SIlent Auction Gifts

Getting Ready to Hit the Course

Honoring America with Our National Anthem

Gentlemen … "Start Your Engines"

Putting Green Contest Monitors Getting Ready

(l to r) Alan Agree and Randy Beck (Newtown Exchange Club)

The "Scramble" Begins


As Players Passed from the 18th Green to 1st Tee, Alan Agree, Randy Beck and Marty Fineberg enticed them to try their skill in a Putting Contest

The Golf Scramble was followed by a Cocktail Hour, complete with hot and cold Hors d'Oeuvres and an excellent Dinner. 

Irv Perlstein recognized the event's major sponsors, with special recognition to Club member Dr. Augie Adrid and his wife, Billie, whose generous contribution made this evening's cocktail hour and dinner possible

During that time, players, hosts and guests, alike, were able to bid on the many silent auction gifts as well as purchase raffle (prize, an Apple Watch) and 50/50 tickets.

After Dinner the winners of the Raffle,50/50 and high bidders for the Silent Auction items were announced.

resulting in lots of very happy faces!

Tony and Katie Ferrandino then shared their story, and that of their son, Drew … and how his passing gave them the incentive and commitment to finding a cure for Batten Disease. 

The hope of the many players, volunteers, sponsors and donors in this charity golf outing and the donation that will be made to the Drew's Hope Foundation, which will be made in the coming weeks, will play a part in the realization of Tony's and Katie's quest.

Last, by by no means least, a special "Thanks" to Irv Perlstein, without whose tireless efforts, this incredible event would not have been possible!

Wendy and Irv Perstein with two of their grandchildren (who again this yera helped with the Club's charity golf outing)

September and October Students-of-the-Month

Tonight's dinner meeting at the Blooming Grove Inn

was a pack-full evening.

Headlinging the festivities were presentations of a Certificate of Achievement and a $100 scholarship check to the Club's September and October Maple Point Middle School Students-of-the-Month.  Before the presentations, Augid Adrid, Student program chair,

outlined the nature and qualifications for our Club's monthly Student-of-the-Month and annual Neshaminy High School Student-of-the-Year presentations. President Jeff Revak

also formally announced the addition of a second Student-of-the-Year scholarship award which will be awarded to a graduating senior pursuing a career in nursing or medicine.

September Student-of-the-Month  –  Evie Brady

Evie telling Club members about her school activities and musical talents and interests

(l to r) Jeannie Vitale, Evie's mom Dana Brady, her brother Seamus, Evie and Bill Vitale  –  Unfortunately, Evie's dad was unable to attend as he was helping with the hurricane relief effort in Florida

October Student-of-the-Month  –  Rachel Stilwell

Rachel's background and interests also include her academic and muscical achievement

(l to r) Her stepmom Jen Minuchi, Rachel's dad Doug Stilwell, her sister Kayla Stilwell and Rachel's mom Lisa Anthony

After the presentaitons and hearing from Evie and Rachel, Amy Williams, principal of the William Dick School spoke to thank the Club for its continuing and "indispensible" support of the school.  She began by circulating a wonderful  "Thank You" album made assembled by many of the school's students.

Amy went on to describle the neighborhod evnironment in which her student live and how she, her teachers and staff are faced with teaching any number of social skills and dealing with the basic human needs of their students which are not available to the students at home or in their community.  Among these are access to nourishing meals; free breakfasts and lunches are provided for all students.  Yet, how, once inside the school it looks like almost any other elementary school.

She also expressed her teachers' deepest thanks to the Club of its many donation of clothing, supplies, books and 50 cases of copy paper this year alone. 

Dick Newbert read a moving letter written by Amy's daughter while an education major at NYU.

The doors to the school were a bright red color, cracked in many places, with rickety inexpensive handles.  I pushed through the entrance and immediately felt like royalty.  It was dismissal time.  The children all knew who I was and some shouted greetings as tehy raced past me to their freedom.  As the princiapl's daughter, the students knew to treat me with knidness and respect, just as they treat my mother.  

As I walk through the halls and countless children run past me, I wonder where they are going.  At a schoo located directly in teh housing projects of North Philadlephia, odds are they are not going home fulll of furniture, a home with a full fridge, or, in many canses, even a home withboth parents. 

Within a minute, one of my favorite steudnts has stopped in front of me, hugged me, and announced that he'll be staying after school.  In the musty hallway the walls were covered in art created by the students of the school.  It was sweet, but as always, I wondered who aas behind the art.  Brought back to the child before me, I noticed he emanated a foul odor from what I assumed to be the inability to shower in his home. 

I ignored this.  I know both of his parents had died and he lived crowded into a home with 12 other people.  I ignored this, too.  I was reminded as he jabbered on of his inability to read as an 8th grade boy.  I again, ignored this.  I longed to take him home with me as he spoke so fondly of my mother and so politely to me.

Imagine the life he could have if he had grown up in a household with money, someone to teach him to read, or even just a place where he could feel safe.  Although I yearned to give him the life he deserved, I stood powerless.

The building was full of children just like him.  All with their own story, but so many stories filled with the reoccurring themes that accompany life in the projects.  Outside on the streets I heard the constant sirens blaring past.  The students did not seem to notice these.  As they ran to their classes for the after school program or ran to take to the streets with their friends and classmates, I understood that for many the walls in which I stood within were something of a sanctuary to them.

They were not pressured to join in gang activity within this school, they did not fear for their lives, they did not hold more responsibility that to simply learn.  They were all alone in their unique stories, but they were together with them as well.

In the office to my left, I noticed a handful of young students sitting on the bench designated the “No one is here to pick me up” waiting area.  They sat quietly as not to disturb my mother as she worked several yards away.  Their feet swung back-and-forth, never touching the floor, and each of them had an air of mild concern etched in his or her faces.

Their maturity emanated and I thought of how the poverty-stricken areas of the city make children grow up far too fast.  Many of them were to be picked up by someone who was not one of their parents, and the few lucky ones with one parent, or even two, sat in client concern just the same.

As I watched them from the corner of my eye, I wondered if they feared this old dirty bench.  Each day was uncertain for their families and loved ones. 

What if the person to pick them up never came?

What if they were shot or stabbed?

Or strung out?

What if they overdosed or were beaten too badly to move?

Were these thoughts going through the minds of the 4 5, and 6 year-olds?

I shudder at my thoughts.

Abruptly my mother stood from her desk and announced to me that we were leaving.  As we said our hasty goodbyes and began to walk toward the bright red doors, once again I bit my lip and squeezed my eyes shut tightly in an attempt to stop the tears from falling.

As I helplessly watch these children in their most carefree setting, I think of why I yearn to be a teacher in an area that has nothing.  Having the power to form relationships with children such as these, to help them read and escape their daily lives seems to be the only self-fulfilling way in which I will be able to spend my life. 

This place reminds me of why I attended a school such as NYU, where I can learn how to someday be an influential force in the lives of America’s youth.  Where I can do my part to give them a better future.

Today, she teaches in an inner-city school in Philadlephia!


Irv Perlstein ran the evening's 50/50 (which raised another $75.00 for a Women's Place in Doylestown)

and made a ptich for some of the tickets and gift certificates which have been donated in conjunction with our annual charity golf outing … which had to be postponed last week due to threatening weather but will be played next Wednesday, October 24th.

Mark Nath updated us on sign-up for our participation in assisting teh Salvation Army's annual Kettle Drive,

in which we finished 1st last year among those area organizaitons helping in this effort.

Alan Agree

advised that the Club exceeded its goal of raising $7,500 for the Leukemia and Lymphooma Society, thanks, in part, to Ira Sherman

who was able to coordinate a corporate matching donor.



Donations for the William Dick School

The Pennington's Toll Gate Grammar School again graciously donated items it was repalcing to the Club which we, in turn, donated to the Willaim Dick School.

Alan Agree and Dick Newbert met Irv Perlstein and Syd Baron at the Toll Gate school where they loaded 20 padded student chairs, 4 adult chairs, several boxes or books and some assorted gym equipment in a rented U-Haul

for the trip to 25th and Diamond in Philadlephia.

Driver, Dick Newbert and navigator Alan Agree

together with a team of 8th grade boys

quickly unloaded the supplies which can be put to immediate use by the William Dick students and faculty.

As we've mentioned in the past, support of this inncer-city school is one of our Club's most rewarding and important initiatives.




Supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma at the annual Light the Night Walk

This evening Club members again participated the the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk

in its quest to help find cures for blood cancers.

(l to r)  Irv Perlstein and Alan Agree

(l to r)  Alan Agree, Wendy Perlstein, Irv Perlstein, Marcy Zod, Neil Zod, Ira Sherman, Robin Sherman, Debbie Issadore, & Art Issadore

Alan on stage lighting his lantern in memory of his son

Light the Night Arch through wight the walk began and ended

Our Rotary Club was honored for 3rd place for raising 6,318,


Frank Farry – Incumbent Republican Candidate for the District 146 State House Seat

State Representative Frank Farry, a candidate for re-election to the 146th District House Seat spoke to our Club this morning.

Frank, who has spoken to our Club on several occasions in the past, outlined the many bills he has sponsored or co-sponsored, many on a bipartisan basis.  He supports reform of the Commonwealth's gerrymandering (although some 400 amendments, many totally unrelated, have bogged down any meaningful legislation from passing), open primaries (while he would like to see Independents and third party registered voters be offered the chance to vote in the primaries, he questions whether Democrats should be able to vote for Republicans and visa-versa in primary elections), reform of the state's educational funding formulas, campaign finance reform (the cost to run for the state house can exceed $200,000, explaining that while candidates can not presently accept corporate money they can benefit from unlimited PAC contributions whose donors can remain anonymous), absentee balloting (but opposes it when misused) … and explained that while as many as 2,600 bills are introduced in the House and 1,200 to 1,400 in the Senate annually, only 100 or so actually become law.

Some of Frank Farry's underlying beliefs include:

Putting is Community First – Frank believes too many politicians are elected and forget about the neighborhood from which they came. He rejects that philosophy because he is not a politician. He is a volunteer firefighter and a lifelong resident of our community. He is a Wharton Business School and Rutgers Law School graduate who did not move away – he stayed to serve his community. For Frank, putting our community first is more than a campaign slogan – it is his way of life.

Enacting Fiscal Discipline – When Frank Farry ran for State Representative, he said his first job was to get Pennsylvania’s fiscal house in order. Frank worked to reduce a $4.2 billion deficit through reductions in wasteful spending and earmarks without raising taxes on hardworking families. Frank has stood up to members of both parties to help end the tax and spend mentality of Harrisburg.

Ensuring a World Class Education – While Frank worked to balance our budget, he also kept his long-standing commitment to public education. When cuts were proposed, Frank fought his own party to restore funding to our local schools. He also worked to hold the education system accountable by fighting for a strong teacher evaluation system and a property tax cap. Frank is now working to reform the pension system to protect taxpayers.

He concluded his remarks by asking our members to consider his candidacy, asking for our votes.


50/50 Winner Makes a Wonderful Donation

The Club holds a 50/50 drawing each week, with a minimum pot of $100.  The individual with the winning ticket number then gets to draw a single card from a deck of cards. 

If he/she draws the JOKER, they are a winner of the accumulated monies in the pot!If they draw any other card, the can enjoy the satisfaction of having bought the winning ticket … and the pot grows by half of that day's ticket purchase money.  Meanwhile, the card they drew is torn up, reducing th enumber of remaining cards for the followign week.

This morning, president Jeff Revak let our speaker, State Representative Frank Farry draw the winning ticket.  Lo and behold, guess who was holding he correct number … Jeff Revak!  After many weeks with no ultimate winner, Jeff drew …

to claim a jackpot worth $277!

which he then donated to a second Club Student-of-the-Year who chooses Nursing or Pre-Med as their college course of study.