History of Kutztown Rotary
Chartered April 14, 1926

world wheel hand

Kutztown Rotary Club History

Kutztown Rotary Club History

When you drive through Kutztown during the holiday season and once again enjoy the decorative trees and lights, think of the Kutztown Rotary Club. Kutztown Rotary started this tradition by defraying the cost of the Christmas trees and lights that adorn the streets of the borough.

The Kutztown Rotary Club was begun on a brisk April 14th in 1926. According to Charles Esser, a charter member, William Derstine of the Quakertown Club was instrumental in organizing the Kutztown Club. The need for a service-oriented club in the Kutztown seemed to be a view shared by a number of business and professional people within the community.

With the help of Arthur Bonner, the club organized in the spring of 1926 to include the following members: John H. Bieber, Arthur Bonner, John W. DeTurk, O. H. Dietrich, Charles Esser, 0. Raymond Grimley, Dr. E. E. Hamilton, Quinton D. Herman (Pres.), William D. Landis, Rev. R. B. Lynch, George H. Rohrer, Dr. Amos C. Rothermel, Dr. Henry W. Saul, Robert Schlenker, William Siegfried and Charles Stein.

The earliest records of the club are newspaper accounts of meetings beginning in January of 1928. The membership had risen to about 30 active participants. The emphasis during those years of business expansion in our country was on the state of our economy-many programs devoted to business particulars and proper business ethics. The club's meetings were sometimes given over to discussions of community welfare and community improvement. On one evening, the members petitioned the State Highway Department to stop their plans for re-routing route 22. The Rotarians felt it would hurt Kutztown and the surrounding communities.

We are indebted to Rotarian Arthur Bonner for his records, as secretary, from 1934 to 1950. This chronicle of events passes through an era of great turmoil and great accomplishment in our country. Coincidentally, this was also a phase that our own club went through. On July 24, 1935, the club, with 7 members present, asked itself … whether we should continue our Rotary Club. Somehow the economy of the country had affected the club so that the mid-30's were a time of introspection. The programs seemed more devoted to schools and vocations with a special emphasis on local happenings and community betterment.

With a special assist from President Paul Wiltraut, the club pulled through those doldrum days and had a membership of 21 by the end of 1937.

Records show that a Farmers' Night was held during Dr. Thomas Bock's presidency on April 26, 1938, at Leibensperger's Hotel. It is not clear if this was the first Farmers' Night and how frequently they were held after that. What we do know is that this has become an annual event that is one of the most noteworthy Rotary events in our entire District. It falls under Rotary International's area of Vocational Service, the opportunity of Rotarians to actively support the dignity and utility of various vocations. It is an evening to say 'thank you' to farmers in the area and to show appreciation for their work.

The years of World War II saw Rotary grow steadily in Kutztown. The expressed feeling of the club seemed to be that we needed to include our total business community in the club because we both needed each other. The subjects of many of those wartime meetings were directly related to the conflict. On January 7, 1942 the Rev. Renoll spoke to us on The underlying causes of our Foreign Wars.

Kutztown Rotary had a national emphasis during those years. There was a great interest in such themes as conservation of resources, national education programs and how to help in the war effort. There was an effort to recruit more members because many clubs had . . . lost so many of (their) young men of late, they know it and can't help it.

By the time Kutztown Rotary celebrated its 20th anniversary in 1946 the club had 30 members. With the end of the war, attention focused once more on our local community with many projects and programs related to our local schools and college. Although Arthur Bonner still maintained the minutes of board meetings, Martin Hitter and Harry Yoder were editing the weekly bulletin. There was a movement once again to increase membership. By 1949 the club had a membership of 40.

PolioRotary International service had its roots prior to W. W. II but began in earnest in 1947. With a donation of $50 to the Rotary Foundation, a living memorial was begun to Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary. The character of our own club became more cosmopolitan with a drive for Rotary Foundation and the beginning of international services such as Rotary Exchange and the hosting of foreign students.

One of the most significant community projects begun during the post-war years was the establishment of Boy Scout Camp Edmar. Funding for this event started by Kutztown Rotary in 1950 and the building of the Oscar L. Stein Memorial Cottage for Boy Scouts was started in 1951. By 1955, funding for the Stein Cottage was completed, largely by annual Hobby Shows the club ran which netted about $1,000 each year. The Total cost of the project was $7,000. Funding was also achieve by ham and bean dinners held at Stein Cottage. The club´s annual ham and bean dinner at Camp Edmar is a constant reminder of this work.

Camp Neidig was created by Joseph S. Neidig, governing officer of Rotary District 2654, in 1950. During his term as governing officer, Neidig founded the "Leaders of Tomorrow," a camp at Camp Delmont in Green Lane, Pennsylvania. The purpose of this camp was to further the leadership abilities of young boys. After District 2654 split in 1961, the newly-formed District 7430 decided to rename the camp "Camp Neidig" in honor of the camp's founder. In 1990, females were invited to camp for the first time, as Camp Neidig became a co-educational experience. Through 1994, the camp was held at Camp Conrad Weiser in Wernersville. Camp Manatawny near Boyertown then hosted the camp from 1995 through 2000. In 2001, Camp Neidig moved to the Pocono Valley Resort. Three years later, Neidig proudly returned to Camp Manatawny in 2004.

During the 60's and early 70's efforts were made to increase our participation in international endeavors by such means as Happy Dollars (generally attributed to Rev. George Shults).

At its 50th anniversary in 1976, a glance at the weekly bulletin described 25 separate functions of the club - from distinctly club activities, such as the 50th year celebration, to community efforts such as Town and Gown, vocational service such as F.F.A. to international service such as Rotary Foundation. There is little doubt that Rotary encompassed the truest meaning of the word Service.

In 1980, the Kutztown Rotary club initiated it annual golf tournament. This became the club´s major fund raiser and has funded many worthwhile community projects and scholarships. Today it is known as the Donald L. Boyer Golf Tournament in memory of Rotarian Donald L. Boyer.

In 1984 the club started a profitable partnership with the Berks County Kennel Club Dog Show at the Kutztown Fairgrounds. This proved to be another major fund raiser for the club´s charitable activities. The club started sponsoring an annual Health Scan project and providing Christmas trees as decoration for Main Street. 1984 also saw the start of the clubs highly successful "Student of the Month program.

A development in 1985 was the addition of four members from the disbanded Topton Club: John W. Tallman, Forrest K. Fetherolf, Isaac R. Evans, and Dean G. Wetzel. These men joined the club as experienced Rotarians and made their presence felt by their willingness to become involved.

1986 saw the introduction of the song, R-O-T-A-R-Y at all meetings. The club has been a singing club every since.

1990 started the annual softball game with the Fleetwood Rotary Club that increased friendship and rivalry between the clubs.

In 1994, at its 70th Anniversary celebration the Kutztown Rotary Club gratefully acknowledged the dedicated service of its senior members, particularly Martin H. Ritter, Wilmer F. Beck, Jacob R. Esser and Samuel P. Smith who had been Kutztown Rotarians for 218 collective years. It also welcomed its new members, including our first female Rotarian, Barbara Stratton, who joined in 1994.

In 1999 the club started an annual practice of serving a dinner at the Reading Homeless Shelter.

The Y2K saw a milestone in the history of the Kutztown Rotary Club. Erin Webb became the clubs first female president. Today our club has 29 past and present female members and 9 have served as Club President.

In 2001 the club celebrated its 75th Anniversary and sadly recognized the dedicated service of several members who had passed away the previous 5 years. These included:

  • Wilmer Beck was also known as Buck Wheat since he owned the local flour mill. His mill is now the home of Radius Toothbrush. Wilmer served as a loyal Rotarian in Kutztown for 65 years from 1936 until his death in 2001.
  • Samuel P. Smith was a 50-year member of Kutztown Rotary. He passed away in 1999 after spending his entire life in Kutztown except for stints at West Virginia University and in the Army. He was involved in many local businesses and was always involved in community organizations.
  • Barbara Stratton was the clubs first female member. She died in 1997 after using her nursing background to introduce the club to the Omega Health Screening program. Not only was she the first lady at Kutztown University, she was also a mover behind many community organizations.

1982 saw the start of an effort by the club to organize a Rotaract Club at Kutztown University. This effort finally was successful in 2003, when Tom Turner formed a partnership between our club and the Lambda Chi Alpha service fraternity at Kutztown University. They assist our club with our service projects and we assist them with theirs. It is a great relationship. Both groups have increased their level of community service since working together.

2003 saw the start of the annual Kutztown Rotary Downtown Mini-Golf Tournament. 2004 saw the start of the Flatworks Rotary Art Show and Sale at the Radius Toothbrush factory. These were both great events for the community and also generated funds for local charities.

2004 is when the Kutztown Rotary Bulletin went digital. Prior to this Peter Keegan had been printing and distributing the Bulletins. They are archived at http://kutztownrotary.org. The 2004 Christmas Party at the Bowers Hotel included sleigh rides.

The Reading and Shillington Rotary Clubs started a Leadership and Ethics conference in 1997. Kutztown and other Berks County Rotary Clubs have joined this effort in which, the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, and the Center for Leadership and Ethics joined forces to sponsor and managed two leadership and ethics conferences: the New Generations Conference for for 8th & 9th grade students, and the Ethics and Leadership Conference for high school juniors.

In 2005 Rotary International celebrated its centennial and the Kutztown Rotary Club took on a centennial project, providing the Kutztown Park with new picnic benches. In 2005, Kutztown Rotary resurrected its Exchange Student program. It had Celso Santin from Brazil from 2005 to 2006, Aditi Gopalani from India from 2006 to 2007, Carlos Ramirez from Chile from 2007 to 2008, Lucas Bodenbender from Germany from 2009-2010, Miki Funaki from Japan from 2010-2011, Vilma Mäki from Finland from 2011-2012, Diego Santiago from Bolivia from 2012-2013, and Jillian Uhlenbrock from 2013-2014.

2005 also saw the first Kutztown Rotary Continental Shoot held at Marz Pheasant Farm. After the 2006 shoot, Tom Turner reported that the pheasant shoot earned $2,300 for the Kutztown Rotary Charitable Foundation. Tom then explained how a Continental Shoot is organized. In 2006 he had 21 participants. After the Continental Shoot was over they had lunch and the group was divided into two groups. One group went into the field with hunting dogs to hunt pheasants and the second group shot sporting clays. In spite of the wind the day was enjoyed by all of the participants. This event was last held in 2007.

The 2006 Flatworks Art Exhibit and Sale was held at the Kutztown Airport inside the main hangar. In 2007, Flatworks moved to the Kutztown Auto showrooms. 2007 also saw the club moving from Moselem Springs in to Season's Grille.

In 2007, Kutztown Rotary joined the Shelterbox program which started in Cornwall, England in 2000 to fill a void in international disaster relief. Formerly only food and medicine was provided. Shelterboxes provided shelter, water purification and cooking for a family group of 10. In 2002, the Shelterbox program spread to the US.

2007 saw the beginning of Kutztown Rotary participation in the Merchant's trick or treat night outside Nancy Hildenbrand's funeral home. We handed out pencils to all of the little ghouls and goblins.

In 2008, Kutztown Rotary's annual Farmer's night was opened up to the Fleetwood Club. Over 100 farmers and Rotarians attended to hear Sheila Miller speak.

In 2009, Kutztown Rotary moved to Kutztown Tavern after the Season's Grille closed. 2009 saw the last year of the partnership between the Berks Kennel Club and the Kutztown Rotary at the annual fall dog show at the Kutztown Fair Grounds. Declining attendance in 2008 and 2009 caused the dog show to relocate. The club sold chicken Spiedies at the Muscle on Main hot rod show and the Energy Fest in Kempton. In 2010, the club switched to hot dogs which were a lot less work.

In 2010, the club started it annual Taste of Kutztown, a wine tasting event on Main Street. It started out as an evening event with various Main Street merchants each hosting a winery, each offering tasting of 3 of their wines. Soon it was expanded to include pairings of food with the wine and attendance doubled each year. On Saturday, June 8, 2013, Taste of Kutztown expanded into a street festival, literally on Main Street and with food and craft vendors complimenting the wineries who were allowed to sell wine for the first time. Kutztown Rotary is indebted to Kutztown Borough and the Kutztown Community Partnership for helping the Taste of Kutztown grow from a local event into a regional destination.

In 2011, a group of Berks County Rotary Clubs held the first Casino Night which proved to be a very popular fund-raiser and become an annual event. 2011 also saw the start of the 4-Way Test Speech Contest in which high school students compete for cash prizes.

In 2015, the Taste of Kutztown moved to Kutztown Park and was the kickoff event for the Kutztown Bicentennial. The Kutztown Rotary also ran the Kutztown Bicentennial Decorating Contest and entered a float in the Bicentennial Parade. The float highlighted 24 primary activities of the Club. In 2016, the club celebrated its 90th anniversary at it Spring Exchange Student Picnic. Our exchange student, Viki, help with the celebration.

So whether it be the Christmas lights in winter or the Taste of Kutztown Festival in summer, the Rotary Club is a conspicuous part of life in Kutztown.

The clubs oldest member and member with the most tenure was Martin Ritter who at age 98 had been a member for 71years. Martin was President of Kutztown Rotary Club during 1942-1943. During his tenure as president, the meeting place of the Club was at the Keystone House for three months and at the Bruce Orth Tea House for the balance of the year. One of the Club projects was the giving of eye glasses to the needy. Martin recalled a very pleasant Christmas Party and a party for the Rotaryanns and children, which, he believes, was the first that the club ever held. Martin resigned in 2007.

Jake Sayshen is the member with the most tenure today. He joined in 1955. Bill Bender is a close second, joining Rotary a month later in 1955. After Jake and Bill, Richard Wagner has the next most tenure having joined Kutztown Rotary in 1978.

Kutztown Rotary is unique in many ways largely due to its rural setting as well as the background of its members and its Pennsylvania German Heritage. Now that it is over 90 years old and growing, it continues its involvements both on the local level and abroad. For over 90 years many of our Rotarians have unselfishly given of their time and talents in making the Kutztown area and the world a better place to live. The Kutztown Rotary takes pride in acknowledging the many club members who have served in the past and present as they lived the Rotary Motto, He Profits Most Who Serves The Best.

Return to top            Go to index

Camp Edmar

Serving Scouts of Kutztown Since 1952


Camp Edmar was created as an 8-acre gift from Edna and Marcus Held, hence EdMar. It is located in Greenwich Township above Schofer’s Dam, not far from Kutztown. The Kutztown Rotary sponsored the clearing of the land and planting of a 1,000 spruce and pine trees.

When Camp Edmar was incorporated on March 15, 1952, the officers were:

George R. Frey, president
Dan S. Kline, vice president
L. Russell Brooks, secretary
Paul J. DeLong, treasure
Harvey F. Adams, director
George F. R. Erb, director
Paul Herring, director
Jacob Esser, director
Henry Zimmerman, director

The lodge was designed by local architect Paul 0. DeRagon and erected in 1952 in memory of Oscar L. Stein, Scout leader and teacher in Kutztown High School. It was built for Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Brownies.

Paul Herring, Jacob Esser and Paul 0. DeRagon were members of the Kutztown Rotary Club.

The lodge was financed through donations from organizations, businesses and individuals. When completed it was dedicated on September 30, 1953. It cost $7,200 and left a debt of $3,400. Doughnut and bake sales were held from 1953 until 1965 to pay off this debt. In February 13, 1956, the Kutztown Rotary paid $1,115 to pay off the debt. After that, the doughnut sales and breakfasts paid for the maintenance expenses.

Since 1958, the Camp Edmar Committee has served ham and string bean dinners to Rotary and Lions clubs who in turn are generous in supporting Camp Edmar.

In July 1957, the Kutztown Rotary paid $1,000 to finance installation of toilets.

In April 1959, the Kutztown Rotary bought 5 acres, increasing the total acreage to 13.5. At this time Camp Edmar had a lodge, water system and toilets.

In 1981, the Kutztown High School flag pole was moved to Camp Edmar. It was dedicated to George F. R. Frey, Edmar president from 1952 to 1978, and L. Russell Brooks, Edmar secretary from 1952 to 1979.

In 1991, the officers of Camp Edmar were:

Lee Erb, president
Henry Zimmerman, vice president
Ira Guldin, secretary

Return to top            Go to index

Kutztown Rotary Club's First Meeting

Charter Night - Kutztown Rotary Club

April 14, 1926

Close to 200 Rotarians were in attendance representing 15 Clubs from the 50th district. The charter was presented to Q. D. Herman by District Governor Dr. Gilbert J. Palen who delivered an inspiring address. The charter was Charter Number 2311.

Rev. Hanry I Stahr, President of the Bethlehem Rotary, delivered a 30-minute address on the 10th anniversary of the Bethlehem Club's Charter Night. The address was entitle "Beware of doing things just because everybody else does." Rotarian Stahr's message was "Do not follow the crowd but lead the way."

Chaplain R. B. Lynch gave the invocation.

William A. Derstine, Quakertown, the District Governor's special representative and local organizer, presided. William A. Derstine was assisted in organizing the Kutztown Club by Samuel I. Henry of the Allentown Club.

Singing was led by Ted Nash, who make a special trip from Vineland, NJ.

Constance Rhode gave three readings.

Music was presented by 31 members of the Hamburg Boys Band sponsored by the Rotary Club of Hamburg.

Charles Meredith, Quakertown Free Press, on behalf of the Quakertown Club, presented Q. D. Herman with a gong and gavel.

Dinner was served by the Kutztown Fire Company Auxiliary with Mrs. George Leiser in charge. Tables were decorated in Rotary colors and with potted plants. Each server wore a paper hat with the Rotary emblem on it. Souvenirs were leather key purses.

Menu: featured Berks County Hinkel mit Filsel und Gravey.

Guests were present from Allentown, Reading, Emmaus, Northampton, Catasauqua, Quakertown, Hamburg, Dryville, Bethlehem, Slatington, East Greenville, Palm, Philadelphia, Pennsburg, Vineland NJ, Hereford, Boyertown, Soudertown, and Kutztown.

Kutztown guests included: H. B. Yoder, William S. Rhode, Max Wirtz, George W. Bieber, Dr. C.C. Boyer, William S. Christ and Clarence Siegfried.

First Officers and Charter Members

President . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . .
. . . Quinton D. Herman
Vice President . . . . .
. . . . . .
. . . . .William D. Landis
Secretary. . . . . . . . .
. . . . . .
. . . . . Charles H. Esser
Treasurer. . . . . . . . .
. . . . . .
. O. Raymond Grimley
Sergeant at Arms. . .
. . . . . .
. . . . . . John H. Bieber
Arthur Bonne
   William D. Landis
John H. Bieber
   Robert B. Lynch
John W. DeTurk
   George H. Rohrer
O. H. Dierich
   A. C. Rothermel
Charles H. Esser
   Henry W. Saul
G. Raymond Grimley
   Robert V. Schlenker
E. E. Hamilton
   William H. Siegfried
Quinton D. Herman
   Charles A. Stein
Return to top            Go to index

Kutztown Rotary Meetings & News eMail Archive


December 02, 09, 16, 23, 30
November 04, 11, 18, 25
October 07, 14, 21, 28
September 02, 09, 16, 23, 30
August 05, 12, 19, 26
July 01, 08, 15, 22, 29
June 03, 10, 17, 24
May 06, 13, 20, 27
April 01, 08, 15, 22, 29
March 04, 11, 18, 25
February 04, 11, 18, 25
January 07, 14, 21, 28



December 03, 10, 17, 24*, 31*
November 05, 12, 19*, 26
October 01, 08, 15, 22, 29
September 03, 10, 17, 24
August 06, 13, 20, 27
July 02, 09, 16, 23, 30
June 04, 11, 18, 25
May 07, 14, 21, 28*
April 02, 09, 16, 23, 30
March 05, 12, 19, 26
February 05, 12, 19, 26
January 01, 08, 15, 22, 29



December 04, 11, 18, 25
November 06, 13, 20, 27
October 02, 09, 16, 23, 30
September 04, 11, 18, 25
August 07, 14, 21, 28
July 03, 10, 17, 24, 31
June 05*, 12, 19, 26
May 01, 08, 15, 22, 29
April 03, 10, 17, 24*
March 20, 27

* indicates no meeting




Background Checks

Kutztown Rotary Club Meetings & News eMail Archive contains all of our weekly email notes. To view an email, click on the date.

If you have something to include in the next email, contact Steve Henning (rotarians@earthlink.net) by Saturday. The weekly emails are typically sent out on Sunday. A preview of the next email is posted at Mail List a day or two after a meeting.

Return to top            Go to index

Kutztown Rotary Bulletins 2004-2010


* There are two versions of each bulletin. The differences are:

1) PDF - PDF is the best format to print. Some internet browsers can open pdf's. In that case you will need a pdf reader such as Adobe Reader. If you don't have Adobe Reader, get a free copy from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

2) html - Just click on this to read the Bulletin in your internet browser.

As of December 1, 2004, our Bulletins were no longer printed on paper and mailed.

Return to top            Go to index

In Memoriam - George S. Barrell

George Barrell

George S. Barrell, 60, of Kutztown, died suddenly Saturday, March 17, 2012 in Lehigh Valley Hospital, surrounded by his loving wife, two sons, family and friends. He was the husband of Deborah A. (Heffner) Barrell. They were married June 11, 1977.

Born in Reading, PA, he was the son of the late George N. Barrell and Betty J. (Bissey) Barrell Hill. He was a member of St. Johns Lutheran Church, Kutztown, where he currently served on the Finance Committee. He was U.S. Marine Corp veteran. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from Albright College in 1978. He joined Long, Barrell & Co., St. Lawrence in 1979.

George S. Barrell joined Kutztown Rotary in 1983. He served as Club President in 1990-1991. During George's term as Club President, current members who were members then include Richard Wagner, Bob Hobaugh, Dean Wetzel, Joe Ludwig, Dennis Lutz and Peter Keegan. During his tenure as president, in order to attract new members, he started softball games with the Fleetwood Rotary Club. He later said, "This didn't necessarily bring in new members, but made the old members stiff and sore." However, all who participated had a good time at the game and at Snuzzles Restaurant after the game. It brought comradeship into the club. Also, during his tenure, the club planted a dozen 12-foot Douglas Fir trees at the old train station. During George's tenure as president the club hosted an exchange student from Australia. George always enjoyed taking exchange students to ball games and other area events. George was a founder of the Kutztown Rotary Charitable Foundation and was its president. George was a Paul Harris Fellow and active in the Don Boyer Golf Classic.

George was a member of Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs, and he held a Series 7 accounting license. He was a past president of Kutztown Rotary Club and received the Paul Harris Fellow Award, and was currently serving as the treasurer of the Kutztown Rotary Charitable Foundation. George was a member of the Kutztown Fire Company, Kutztown Rod & Gun Club. He was a former Little League coach. Georges life revolved around his wife and two sons. He was an avid Phillies and Eagles fan. He was an enthusiast in all sports; skiing, golfing, tennis, hunting, fishing, and clamming with his family in Delaware. George was a helper to all. He will be deeply missed by his family who relied on him for his strength, wisdom and guidance. He was our rock.

He is survived by Wife, Sons, Matthew N. Barrell, Kutztown, Nicholas A., husband of Shannon L. (Rackers) Barrell, Hatboro, PA; Brothers, Steven L. Barrell, Temple, Scott A., husband of Toni Barrell, Fleetwood; Sisters, Elaine S. (Barrell) widow of Randall C. Miller, Kutztown, and Beth Ann (Barrell) wife of Kevin M. Breisch, Fleetwood; Uncle, George L. husband of Gertrude Bissey, Milton, DE and Aunt, Catherine (Bissey) Endy, Temple; 7 Nieces and 8 Nephews. He was pre-deceased by a Brother, David B. Barrell.

Funeral Services were Thursday, March 22, 2012 at St. Johns Lutheran Church. Interment was in Hope Cemetery, Kutztown, with military honors provided by Ray A. Master Post #217, American Legion, Topton.

The family requests contributions be made to the George S. Barrell Memorial Fund, c/o Ludwick Funeral Homes, Inc., P. O. Box 292, Kutztown, PA 19530-0292.

Return to top            Go to index

Kutztown Rotary Honor Roll: In Memoriam

George Barrell
Donald Boyer
Don Buchman
Paul Dunkelberger
Ike Evans
Herman Fister
Marlowe Leibensperger
Martin Ritter
Amos Rothermel
Edwin James Scott
Samuel Smith
Charles Stein
George Wirtz
Murrill Wisser

Harry Yoder


If you have a picture of a deceased Kutztown Rotarian we can place in our Honor Roll, please send to rotarians@earthlink.net

Return to top            Go to index

Kutztown Rotary Club Past & Present Presidents

Quinton D. Herman (1926-1927)
William Landis (1927-1928)
Dr. Henry W. Saul (1928-1929)
Oscar H. Dietrich (1929-1930)
Arthur Bonner (1930-1931)
Dr. Charles H. Esser (1931-1932)
George H. Rohrer (1932-1933)
Allan F. Bubeck (1933-1934)
Dr. Amos C. Rothermel (1934-1935)
Judge Allan K. Grim (1935-1936)
Paul F. Wiltraut (1936-1937)
Dr. Thomas A. Bock (1937-1938)
W. Theodore Miller (1938-1939)
Carl P. Christman (1939-1940)
Samuel D. Butz (1940-1941)
Dr. G. Carl L. Reimer (1941-1942)
Martin H. Ritter (1942-1943)
Irvin Bair (1943-1944)
Ira C.R. Guldin (1944-1945)
Rev. Carlton L. Heckman (1945-1946)
Harry B. Yoder (1946-1947)
Wilmer F. Beck (1947-1948)
Dr. George F. Leibensperger (1948-1949)
Reuben D. Leibensperger (1949-1950)
Dr. Paul E. Schmoyer (1950-195 1)
Paul C. Dunkelberger (1951-1952)
Frank Goodman (1952-1953)
Paul M. Herring (1953-1954)
Samuel P. Smith (1954-1955)
Jacob R. Esser (1955-1956)
Paul 0. De Ragon (1956-1957)
William A. Thomson (1957-1958)
George Y. Brubaker (1958-1959)
Elbur O. Bair (1959-1960)
Marvin I. Beltzner (1960-1961)
Russell W. Edgar (1961-1962)
L. Merlin Stauffer (1962-1963)
Marlowe F. Leibensperger (1963-1964)
Jacob Sayshen (1964-1965)
Wilbert R. Gaul (1965-1966)

Dr. Henry R. Casselberry (1966-1967)
Alvin P. Dundore (1967-1968)
Wayne B. Rentschler (1968-1969)
Randolph J. Leibensperger (1969-1970)
Rev. George A. Shults (1970-1971)
Dr. Horace F. Heilman (1971-1972)
Franklin W. Snyder (1972-1973)
Gordon C. Konemann (1973-1974)
Denton S. Fenstermacher (1974-1975)
E. James Scott, Jr. (1975-1976)
Kenneth D. Held (1976-1977)
Donald A. Buchman (1977-1978)
Thomas P. Sexton (1978-1979)
Donald L. Boyer (1979-1980)
Arnold L. Hillman (1980-1981)
Domenic A. Mente (1981-1982)
Charles A.F. Fenstermacher (1982-1983)
Harry L. Serio (1983-1984)
J. Richard Wagner (1984-1985)
Alan L. Kenney (1985-1986)
Murrill R. Wisser (1986-1987)
Donald B. Sharp (1987-1988)
Kraig A. Wagaman (1988-1989)
John W. Tallman (1989-1990)
George S. Barrell (1990-1991)
Dean G. Wetzel (1991-1992)
James H. Baldwin (1992-1993)
Robert J. Hobaugh, Jr. (1993-1994)
Peter M. Keegan (1994-1995)
Larry C. Biehl (1995-1996)
Dennis Lutz (1996-1997)
Isaac R. Evans (1997-1998)
David Werley (1998-1999)
J. Scott Tihansky (1999-2000)
Erin Webb (2000-2001)
Georgia Chamley (2001-2002)
Joseph A. O´Keefe (2002-2003)
Thomas E. Turner (2003-2004)
Nancy Hildenbrand (2004-2005)
Patt McCloskey (2005-2006)
Jim Springer (2006-2007)
Amy Howard (2007-2008)
Keith Snyder (2008-2009)
Marie De Filipps (2009-2010)
Jim Springer (2010-2011)
Keith Snyder (2011-2012)
Dr. Martin Handler (2012-2013)
David Owen (2013-2014)
Pete Miller (2014-2015)
Kim Miller (2015-2016)
Renee Sufrinko (2016-2017)
Amy Sheller (2017-2018)
Return to top            Go to index

Past & Present Members of Kutztown Rotary as of January 7, 2018

Kutztown Rotary Members Admitted Tenure
Altenburg, Slate 2007 11 years
Altenburg, Jan 2007 0 years
Althouse, Clarence M. 1955 2 years
Bair, Elbur O. 1953 36 years
Bair, Irvin 1942 <1 year
Baldwin, James 1986 19 years
Banta, John P. 1966 5 years
Bardsley, Rick 2005 12 years
Barrell, George 1983 29 years
Barrell, Krissa 2009 2 years
Basu, Rita 2005 0 years
Baver John A. 1966 4 years
Beck, Wilmer 1937 63 years
Beckerman, Louis 1942 <1 year
Beltzner, Marvin 1953 41 years
Bender, William 1955 62 years
Bieber, Carl R.   <1 year
Bieber, John H. 1926 <1 year
Biehl, Larry 1991 27 years
Bittle, Carolee 2014 4 years
Bispels, William C. 1972 <1 year
Blankenhorn, James 1985 6 years
Bock, Dr. Thomas A. 1934 24 years
Bonner, Arthur 1926 39 years
Boyer, Donald 1973 24 years
Boyer, Jean 1999 19 years
Boynton, Albert B. 1938 <1 year
Breidegam, Daniel 1996 15 years
Brubaker, George 1953 41 years
Bubeck, Allan F. 1928 <1 year
Buchman, Donald 1969 37 years
Butler, John R. 1973 7 years
Butz, Samuel D. 1936 33 years
Carannante, Mario 2007 0 years
Carter, Edward 2012 0 years
Casselberry, Dr. Henry R. 1954 22 years
Cevallos, F. Javier 2006 8 years
Chamley, Georgia 1995 8 years
Chmielewski, Stanley M. 1975 10 years
Christman, Carl P.   <1 year
Clark, Wallace 1967 3 years
Collins Jr., Ted   <1 year
Cressman, Tyler 2016 0 years
Cusatis, John 2004 0 years
DeFilipps, Marie 2006 12 years
deFrancesco, Dr. Italo L. 1959 8 years
DeLong, Dr. Frances E.   <1 year
DeRagon, Paul 0. 1950 18 years
DeTurk, John W. 1926 <1 year
Dietrich, Clarence S. 1954 15 years
Dietrich, Oscar H. 1926 <1 year
Dimmick, R. W. 1948 <1 year
Donner, Stephanie 2002 3 years
Dorward, Rev. Craig J. 1954 <1 year
Dugan, James O. 1983 1 years
Dundore, Alvin 1962 37 years
Dunkelberger, Paul C. 1942 26 years
Earl, Wayne M. 1975 1 years
Eck, Walter W. 1970 15 years
Edgar, Russell W. 1948 22 years
Esser, Dr. Charles H. 1926 34 years
Esser, Jacob 1946 56 years
Evans, Isaac 1965 42 years
Fairchild, Dr. J. A. 1938 <1 year
Fenstermacher, Charles 1977 21 years
Fenstermacher, Denton 1969 35 years
Fenstermacher, J. Max 1956 22 years
Ferguson, Roy 1967 7 years
Fetherolf, Forrest 1972 20 years
Fink, Irvin A. 1967 1 years
Fiore, George 2017 1 years
Fister, Herman A. 1962 1 years
Flail, Willard W. 1971 6 years
Fortley, Brett 2003 3 years
Frank, Joseph B.   <1 year
Frey, Norman L. 1943 37 years
Gatens, Elena 2013 2 years
Gaul, Wilbert 1958 53 years
Gautier, Glenn 2015 3 years
Gawthrop, Floyd 2000 1 years
Geisler, William H. 1956 5 years
Geist, Alvin R. 1965 2 years
George, Harvey D. 1965 2 years
Gernerd, Warren R. 1951 19 years
Goodman, Frank 1943 19 years
Grassa, Edward 1982 6 years
Grim, Judge Allan K. 1929 37 years
Grimley, O. Raymond 1926 <1 year
Grossman, Margaret 1996 17 years
Guinther, William M. 1969 4 years
Guldin, Ira C. R. 1938 29 years
Hahn, Arthur 1995 16 years
Hale, James M. 1955 2 years
Hamilton, Dr. E. E. 1926 <1 year
Hancock, Dr. Willard R. 1967 4 years
Handler, Martin 2009 4 years
Hansen, Harold 1982 9 years
Hardwick, David C. 1970 6 years
Haring, Randy 1995 3 years
Harting, Rev. Robert F. 1965 2 years
Hayes-Hawkinson, Ann Marie 2013 2 years
Heckman, Rev. Carlton L. 1937 35 years
Heffner, Lee 1976 5 years
Heilman, Dr. Horace F. 1964 15 years
Held, Kenneth 1965 27 years
Held, Marcus G. 1957 30 years
Helm, Russell S. 1948 <1 year
Henning, Stephen 1991 27 years
Herman, James 2014 4 years
Herman, Quinton D. 1926 <1 year
Herring, Edgar W. 1951 <1 year
Herring, Paul M. 1945 31 years
Hess, Irvin 1981 10 years
Hildenbrand, Nancy 1999 19 years
Hill, Milton O. 1953 <1 year
Hillman, Arnold L. 1974 9 years
Hobaugh, Robert 1986 32 years
Holiday, Donald 1957 1 years
Holliday, Alan S. 1953 <1 year
Howard, Amy 1999 12 years
Howard, Joseph M. 1954 <1 year
Hughes-Werner, Catherine 2013 5 years
Hunsicker, Charles 1928 <1 year
Hunter, Gilbert 1966 35 years
Karr, Richard 1988 7 years
Kasting, Richard 1983 12 years
Kaufman, Charles 1946 <1 year
Keegan, Peter 1989 29 years
Kelchner, Pamela 2012 4 years
Kenney, Alan 1977 11 years
Kern, Rev. Rufus E. 1951 11 years
Kerr, Henry B. 1962 4 years
Kistler, John L. 1946 <1 year
Klucharich, Robert 1989 7 years
Koller, Stanley 1969 <1 year
Konemann, Gordon 1967 36 years
Kurtz, Harold K. 1948 <1 year
Kutz, Pat 2010 2 years
Kutztown Rotary Members Admitted Tenure
Lambert, Dr. Kenneth P. 1968 <1 year
Landis, William D. 1926 <1 year
Leestma, Roger 1989 4 years
Leibensperger, Dr. George F. 1938 27 years
Leibensperger, Marlowe F. 1955 45 years
Leibensperger, Randolph J. 1963 44 years
Leibensperger, Reuben D. 1942 <1 year
Lewis, Dr. George L. 1948 <1 year
Lietzau, Richard 1987 5 years
Liggitt, Dr. William A. 1952 6 years
Light, Shelly 2000 2 years
Lindenmuth, Terry L. 1985 4 years
Ludwig, Joseph 1987 31 years
Lupini, William 1995 2 years
Lutz, Dennis 1987 29 years
Lynch, Rev. Robert B. 1926 <1 year
Marcus, Robert 2004 1 years
Martin, Barry 2000 18 years
McCloskey, Patricia 2002 9 years
McDonald, Dr. Joseph J. 1958 7 years
McFarland, David 1988 14 years
McPike, Joni 2015 3 years
Meitzler, Stanley 1963 11 years
Mellenberg, Tina 2010 1 years
Mente, Domenic 1971 32 years
Meyer, Jeffrey A. 1981 1 years
Miller, John U. 1946 <1 year
Miller, Kimberley 2011 6 years
Miller, Peter 2011 7 years
Miller, Randy 1985 7 years
Miller, W. Theodore   <1 year
Morgan, Kenneth 2002 0 years
Newcomer, Lionel E. 1948 <1 year
Newhart, Daniel F.   <1 year
Norris, Frederick R. 1953 21 years
O'Keefe, Joseph 1997 8 years
Owen, David 2010 8 years
Patel, Ramu 1973 6 years
Paterno, George 1988 10 years
Peachey, Brian 1998 2 years
Peirce, Charles E. 1967 2 years
Pennepacker, Ralph 1970 18 years
Philips, James G. 1967 38 years
Piperato, Heather 2009 4 years
Piscitelli Joseph A. 1983 4 years
Poletti, Gregory 2000 2 years
Putnam, Herbert 1957 3 years
Quellmalz Jr., Fred K.   <1 year
Rahn, Harold 1963 9 years
Raker, William W.   <1 year
Ramos, Susana 2010 1 years
Reed, Douglas M. 1955 5 years
Reed, Lennox 1973 1 years
Reeves, Earl Y. 1970 3 years
Reimer, Dr. G. Carl L.   <1 year
Renoll, Rev. Francis 1938 <1 year
Rentschler, Wayne B. 1960 18 years
Rightmeyer, Russel 1986 <1 year
Ringer, Francis. E 1967 7 years
Risley, Walter P.   <1 year
Ritter, Martin H. 1936 71 years
Robinson, Frank 1928 <1 year
Rohrbach, Kurt 2016 2 years
Rohrer, George H. 1926 <1 year
Rollman, Robert W. 1982 3 years
Rothermel, Dr. Amos C. 1926 <1 year
Sargent, Frank A. 1969 1 years
Saul, Dr. Henry W. 1926 <1 year
Sayshen, Jacob 1955 63 years
Schade, Fred E.   <1 year
Schlegel, Elmer N. 1971 3 years
Schlenker, Robert V. 1926 <1 year
Schmehl, John R. 1953 <1 year
Schmoyer, Dr. Paul E.   <1 year
Scholl, W. Lee 1948 <1 year
Scott, Jr., E James 1971 33 years
Seem, David 1953 36 years
Serio, Harry 1976 18 years
Sexton, Dr. Thomas P. 1968 15 years
Sharadin, Stephen 2009 7 years
Sharp, Donald 1971 29 years
Sheller, Amy 2014 4 years
Sher, James 2014 4 years
Shults, Rev. George A. 1965 18 years
Siegfried, William H. 1926 <1 year
Silvey, Dr. Clel 1948 <1 year
Sipe, Steven M. 1980 1 years
Smith, Albert H. 1938 <1 year
Smith, Martin 1990 12 years
Smith, Samuel P. 1947 52 years
Snyder, Franklin W. 1966 26 years
Snyder, Keith 2006 12 years
Sparacino, Robert R. 1957 2 years
Spohn, Paul H. 1960 2 years
Springer, James 2002 16 years
Starnes, William N. 1983 4 years
Stauffer, L. Merlin 1955 36 years
Stein, Charles A. 1926 <1 year
Steinmetz, Charles A. 1962 5 years
Stratton, Barbara 1994 3 years
Stratton, Lawrence 1970 18 years
Stratton, William 1987 1 years
Strunk, Raymond H. 1966 2 years
Sufrinko, Renee 2011 7 years
Tallman, John 1972 19 years
Thomson, William A. 1951 33 years
Tietbohl, Merrill C. 1970 1 years
Tihansky, J. Scott 1996 8 years
Touhsaent, Thomas 1997 3 years
Turner, Thomas 1995 17 years
Unger, Reno 2014 8 years
Vargas, Carlos 2014 1 years
Wagaman, Kraig 1980 25 years
Wagner, J. Richard 1978 40 years
Wallace, Bob 1928 <1 year
Walter, Karl 1977 30 years
Webb, Erin 1995 8 years
Weber, Hugo A. C. 1948 <1 year
Weber, Karl F. 1958 3 years
Weinman, Joel 1970 30 years
Wells, Robert E. 1967 2 years
Werley, Connie 2016 2 years
Werley, David 1986 25 years
Werner, Thomas 1961 8 years
Wetzel, Dean 1985 29 years
Wetzel, William S.   <1 year
Wickel, Scott 1977 6 years
Williams, S. Christine 2009 9 years
Wiltraut, Paul F. 1951 <1 year
Winkler, Brenda 2003 8 years
Wirtz, George L. 1948 <1 year
Wirtz, John U. 1955 12 years
Wisser, Murrill 1979 26 years
Yoder, Harry B. 1942 24 years
Yoder, Robert M. 1948 4 years
Yurvati William 2007 0 years
Zartman, William 1958 <1 year

Return to top            Go to index


Celebrate with our Inbound Exchange Student, Kjalar, from the Iceland

Exchange Picnic is 6:30 pm, Wed., May 31, in the Brick Pavilion at Kutztown Park.

KjalarKjalar comes to Kutztown from Iceland. He comes from the port city of Hafnarfjörður. It sits just south of the capital and largest city, Reykjavik. Hafnarfjörður is one of the nation's largest fishing centers and the site of Iceland's first fish wholesalers' auction market. It is also home to an Alcan aluminum smelter. Kjalar speaks 4 languages, Icelandic, Danish, German and English. His English is excellent. He attends Brandywine Heights Area High School.


Iceland Flag
Flag of Iceland

Settled by Norwegian and Celtic (Scottish and Irish) immigrants during the late 9th and 10th centuries A.D., Iceland boasts the world's oldest functioning legislative assembly, the Althingi, established in 930. Independent for over 300 years, Iceland was subsequently ruled by Norway and Denmark. Fallout from the Askja volcano of 1875 devastated the Icelandic economy and caused widespread famine. Over the next quarter century, 20% of the island's population emigrated, mostly to Canada and the US. Denmark granted limited home rule in 1874 and complete independence in 1944. The second half of the 20th century saw substantial economic growth driven primarily by the fishing industry. The economy diversified greatly after the country joined the European Economic Area in 1994, but Iceland was especially hard hit by the global financial crisis in the years following 2008. Literacy, longevity, and social cohesion are first rate by world standards.

Iceland Maps of Iceland and the region

Iceland is slightly smaller than Pennsylvania. However, it has about 3,000 miles of coastline. Although it borders the Artic Circle, its climate is tempered by the North Atlantic Current giving it mild, windy winters and damp, cool summers. It has mountains, waterfalls, hot springs, volcanoes, glaciers, fiords, geysers and black-sand beaches. Earthquakes are not unusual. Its highest point is a glacier at 6,500 ft. It is 19% agricultural, but that is mostly pasture. It is blessed with plentiful supplies of hot water from geothermal sources.

Iceland is considered part of Europe. Reykjavik is the northernmost national capital in the world. Iceland has more land covered by glaciers than in all of the rest of Europe does. Iceland remains mainly a homogeneous mixture of descencents of Norse and Celts. The population is 332,000, slightly smaller than Berks County which has 414,000. However, the capital and largest urban area of Iceland, Reykjavik, has a population of 184,000, compared with Reading which has 88,000 people. Most people in Iceland live in cities. 6% of the population was foreign born. The Evangelical Lutheran Church is the largest religion with 73.8%. Catholic is next largest with 3.6%.

Iceland got its name from Floki Vilgerdarson, an early explorer of the island in the 9th century. He applied the name "land of ice" after spotting a fjord full of drift ice to the north and spending a bitter winter on the island. He eventually settled on the island after he saw how Iceland greened up in the summer and that it was in fact habitable. The Icelandic language is based on Old Norse, the language of the Vikings. Iceland is proud of its high literacy (99%) and reveres it literary heritage in the Viking Sagas. Some of their political parties have interesting names: Bright Future, Left-Green Movement, and Pirate Party. Iceland combines a capitalist economy with an extensive welfare system. They have a remarkably even distribution of income.

The fishing industry provides 40% of merchandise export earnings, more than 12% of GDP, and employs nearly 5% of the work force. The economy remains sensitive to declining fish stocks as well as to fluctuations in world prices for its main exports: fish and fish products, aluminum, and ferrosilicon. Since 2010, tourism has become the main pillar of Icelandic economic growth, with the number of tourists expected to reach or exceed 4.5 times the Icelandic population in 2016.

Iceland's economy has been diversifying into manufacturing and service industries in the last decade, particularly within the fields of tourism, software production, and biotechnology. Abundant geothermal and hydropower sources have attracted substantial foreign investment in the aluminum industry and boosted economic growth. Some high-tech firms are looking to establish data centers using cheap green energy.

The global banking crisis in 2008 hit Iceland very hard. It had just privatized it banks and they were heavily involved in international banking. The 3 largest banks in Iceland collapsed. The IMF stepped in and stabilized Icelands currency, the Krona. The economy has rebounded to pre-collapse levels.

Iceland is the only NATO member that has no standing military force. All US military forces in Iceland were withdrawn as of October 2006. Defense of Iceland remains a NATO commitment and NATO maintains an air policing presence in Icelandic airspace. Iceland participates in international peacekeeping missions with the civilian-manned Icelandic Crisis Response Unit. 


Traditional Icelandic foods are lamb, dairy and fish. One popular food is the Icelandic hot dog or "pylsur" which is made with lamb, beef and pork and is served with a sweet brown mustard ("pylsusinnep"), ketchup, raw onions, crunchy deep-fried onions and a mildly tangy remoulade. A staple food is "skyr" which looks like yogurt, but is made from skimmed milk and is technically a soft cheese. Icelanders eat it for breakfast, as a snack, as a dipping sauce, and with sweet toppings for dessert.

Icelanders and other Nordic cultures don't have surnames or family names with some exceptions. Most Icelanders have a last name that is comprised from their father's (or mother's) first name with the addition of -dóttir (-daughter) or -son. For example, if the father's first name is Gunnar, then the daughter's last name is Gunnarsdóttir (Gunnar's daughter) and the son's last name is Gunnarsson. This means that a member of a family will have a different last name to both of their parents and their siblings of a different gender.

A couple Icelandic proverbs translated literally:
  • A bad rower blames his oars.
  • A good child sings good songs.
  • Bake while the fire burns.
  • Blind is a man without a book.
  • Don't ask long for little.

Return to top                


Welcome to our Inbound Exchange Student, Viki, from the Czech Republic

VikiViki Czech Republic Mapcomes to Kutztown from the Czech Republic where she has a younger brother. She attends Brandywine Heights Area High School. Her many interests include aikido, playing piano, art, golf, traveling, cooking, and skiing. She is enjoying learning and playing field hockey at Brandywine Heights. She will be spending the 2015-16 school year with three local host families: the Porrs, the Koehlers, and the Rothermels. She speaks English very well. Her other languages include Czech and German. Viki is from the city of Ostrava.

Ostrava, Czech Republic

Viki's home town of Ostrava is a city of about 300,000 people compared to Kutztown's 5,000 and Topton's 2,000. Ostrava is in the Moravian-Silesian Region in the northeast part of the Czech Republic very near the Polish border. It is the third largest city in the Czech Republic after Prague and Brno. The city's history goes back about 800 years. It was in the heart of a major coal producing area for 200 years ending in 1994 and iron producing area for 100 years ending in 1998. It has shed its image as a heavy industrial city and has numerous nature reserves and a rich cultural life with art, gardens, theater, music and many museums. The area around Ostrava has large mountain areas and fertile lowlands, beautiful countryside, caves and a number of castles, museums and galleries. It is a region of woods, lakes and water basins, good Moravian cuisine with special dishes and excellent beer. The nearby Moravian Gate is a natural mountain pass that has funneled trade routes and military campaigns through this region since ancient times.

Czech Republic

Czech Flag
Czech Republic Flag

Viki & KimThe Czech republic is called the Heart of Europe do to its central location. The Czech state is composed of Moravia and Bohemia. The modern Czech Republic emerged in 1993 when the former Communist state of Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In 1999 the Czech Republic joined NATO and became a member of the European Union in 2003. The unit of currency is the Czech koruna.

The Czech Republic covers an area of 30,450 sq. mi. (about the 2/3 the size of Pennsylvania) and has a population of about 10.5 million people (about 80% that of Pennsylvania). The capital and largest city of the Czech Republic is Prague with 1.3 million people. Education is compulsory for 9 years, but typically students study for 13 years.

The largest industry is auto manufacturing followed by metals, machinery, glass, and armaments. The chief agricultural crops are wheat, potatoes, sugar beets, hops, fruit, pigs, and poultry. Taxes are 36% of GDP compared to 27% in the US.

Tourism is substantial in the Czech economy. Prague is the fifth most visited city in Europe after London, Paris, Istanbul and Rome. The Czech word for tourism also means hiking, and hiking in the Czech mountains is very popular. There are nearly 24,000 miles of well-marked trails. Some are old trade routes that were recently restored. Perhaps the most famous hiking trail is the 250-mile "Greenway" that connects Prague and Vienna.

Czech cuisine is rich in meat dishes featuring pork, beef, and chicken. Fish is rare except at Christmas when carp with potato salad is a traditional meal. Another traditional meal is sirloin with dumplings. Potatoes, mushrooms, and cabbage are the staples of Czech cooking. Czech beer consumption is the highest per capita in the world. The town of České Budějovice, known as Budweis in German, lent its name to its beer, eventually known as Budweiser Budvar. To avoid confusion with the American brand Budweiser, the Czech beer is sold in the US as Czechvar and the American Budweiser beer is sold in Europe as Bud. The Moravian region is known for its fine wines.

One connection between our area and the Czech Republic is the Moravian church. The Moravian church was started by the Catholic priest Jan Hus in what is today the Czech Republic. His followers were called Hussies or Bohemian Brethern. This is considered to be the first Protestant church, since it was founded fifty years before Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation in protest to some practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Today, the Moravian church has 750,000 members worldwide. Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1742, originally as a female seminary by the Countess, Henrietta Benigna Justine Zinzendorf von Watteville. The Moravian star was created in 1830 in a Moravian School in Niesky, Germany near the Polish and Czech borders.

Some famous Czech-Americans include: Miloš Forman, movie director; Kim Novak, actress; Tom Selleck, actor; Ray Kroc, founder of McDonalds; Francis Korbel, founder of Korbel winery; Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice; Eugene Cernan, astronaut; James Lovell, astronaut; George Halas, football (founder, owner, and coach of Chicago Bears); Stan Musial, baseball (St. Louis Cardinals); Martina Navratilova, tennis; Ivan Lendl, tennis; Stan Mikita, ice hockey (Chicago Blackhawks); and Andy Warhol, artist. Czechs who became famous in America include Antonin Dvořak, who composed the New World Symphony after living in the US for 3 years; and Rafael Kubelik, conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera.

A little known fact is that the Polka was a Czech courtship dance. It originated in Prague in 1837. Much better known are Czech composers: Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884), Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904), Leoš Janáček (1854-1928), Gustav Mahler (1860-1911), Jan Kubelík (1880-1940), and numerous others.

A couple Czech proverbs translated literally:
There are no cakes without work.
You will use when old what you have learned young.
Guests and fish stink on third day.

Return to top            Go to index


Welcome to our Inbound Exchange Student, Justine, from Belgium

Justine and Fussners

Justine on right with her first host family, the Fussners

BelgiumJustine arrived from Belgium on August 9th. She attends Kutztown High School. Her interests are swimming, tennis, flute and Scouting. In Belgium she was a leader in Scouts. She has a 15 year old brother. She will be spending the 2014-15 school year with two local families. First, the Fussners will be her host family. Then the Mohlers will be her second host family. She speaks English very well. Her other languages include French and Dutch. Justine is from the city of Chastre, Belgium.

Chastre, Belgium

Justine's home town of Chastre is a municipality of about 7,000 people compared to Kutztown's 5,000. It is in the Walloon or French speaking part of Belgium. The cities history goes back at least 700 years. Chastre is 34 minutes from Brussels by car or 54 minutes by train. The French Museum in Chastre was opened in 1970 to keep alive memories of battles fought by the French army in Wallonia in May 1940. It is located in a former school just as Kutztown's Historical Society's Museum which was opened in 1979.


Justine presenting Pete Miller her club's banner.

Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal monarchy in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters as well as those of NATO. Belgium uses the Euro.

Belgium covers an area of 11,787 sq. mi. (about the size of Maryland) and has a population of about 12 million people (about the same of Pennsylvania). The capital of Belgium is Brussels.

Straddling the cultural boundary between Germanic and Latin Europe, Belgium is home to three groups: the Dutch-speaking, mostly Flemish community, which constitutes about 59% of the population; the French-speaking, mostly Walloon population and Brussels inhabitants, which comprise 41% of all Belgians; and a small group of German-speakers who are officially recognized.

Belgium's two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region, officially bilingual, is mostly French-speaking. The German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia.

Belgium is famous for beer, chocolate, waffles and french fries with mayonnaise. Contrary to their name, french fries are claimed to have originated in Belgium, although their exact place of origin is uncertain. The national dishes are "steak and fries with salad", and "mussels with fries".

Historically, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries or Benelux region. The Belgian Revolution occurred in 1830, when Belgium seceded from the Netherlands.

Belgium's location at the heart of a highly industrialized region helps make it the world's 15th largest trading nation. The economy is characterized by a highly productive work force, high GNP and high exports per capita. Belgium's main exports are machinery and equipment, chemicals, finished diamonds, metals and metal products, and foodstuffs.

Return to top            Go to index


Welcome to our Inbound Exchange Student
Jillian from Bocholt, Germany

Jillian & Maces

Left to Right: Exchange Coordinator Marie DeFilipps, Jillian, and the Mace Family.

Map of BocholtJillian arrived from Bocholt, Germany, on August 18 and moved in with the Mace family in Kutztown. She is a Junior at Kutztown Area High School. At home she was a tri-athlete (running, bicycling, and swimming). This fall she is on Kutztown's Cross Country Team.

Her home town Bocholt, German, is on the border with the Netherlands just north of the Rhein River in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. Bocholt is about the size of Reading but is well over 1,000 years old. It's economy was centered around the textile industry, much as that of Reading, PA, was. Today Bocholt is home to many specialized manufacturers. The old town shopping district is still vital and is complimented with a popular modern shopping mall.

Bocholt is well know as a bicycling city. Nearly every resident has a bicyle and the city has an excellent network of bicycle paths.

In modern Europe, the border between The Netherlands and Germany is comparable to the border between two states in the US. People think nothing of going to the other country. Jillian has Dutch-German parents and the family speaks Dutch and German. Jillian also speaks English and some French.


German Map

As Europe's largest economy and second most populous nation (after Russia), Germany is a key member of the continent's economic, political, and defense organizations. During the Cold War after World War II, two German states were formed in 1949: the western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). The democratic FRG embedded itself in key Western economic and security organizations, the EC, which became the EU, and NATO, while the communist GDR was on the front line of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. The decline of the USSR and the end of the Cold War allowed for German unification in 1990. Since unification in 1990, Germany has expended considerable funds to bring Eastern productivity and wages up to Western standards.

The country consists of 16 states and its capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 137,847 sq. mi. (slightly smaller than Montana) and has a largely temperate seasonal climate.

With 80.3 million inhabitants, it is the most populous member state in the European Union. (The combined population of the 3 largest US states, California, Texas, and New York, is 84 million.)

Germany is the major economic and political power of the European continent and a historic leader in many theoretical and technical fields.

Germany is the world's fourth-largest economy by GDP and the fifth-largest by purchasing power. It is the second-largest exporter and third-largest importer of goods.

European Union & Euro

EU FlagGermany was a founding member of the European Community in 1957, which became the EU in 1993. The European Union's main architects were Helmut Kohl of Germany and François Mitterrand of France.

In January 1999, Germany and 10 other EU countries introduced a common European exchange currency, the euro €.

Today, the European Union comprises 28 sovereign member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and United Kingdom.

Missing from the EU are Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Iceland, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Moldova, Monoco, Montenegro, Norway, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, Ukraine,

Today, the eurozone has encompasses 17 countries. Eleven countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark*, Hungary, Latvia*, Lithuania*, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) are EU members but do not use the euro, though Latvia is due to adopt the Euro in January 2014.

*Before joining the eurozone, a state must spend two years in the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II). As of 2011, the National Central Banks (NCBs) of Latvia, Lithuania, and Denmark participate in ERM II.

Return to top            Go to index


2012 - 2013 Exchange Student
Diego from Santa Cruz, Bolivia


Diego Pinto

Bolivian tennis champ enjoys rural life at Brandywine

by Zach Miller, Senior, Brandywine Heights
Kutztown Rotary’s 4-way Test winner for 2 years.

Zach Miller

Bolivia FlagDiego Pinto traveled more than 4,000 miles to arrive in Berks County. A native of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Diego will spend the rest of this year in the United States studying here as a Rotary Club Youth Exchange student.

In his native country, Diego is an all-star tennis player who has represented Bolivia in international matches, including some here in the U.S. For the next few months, however, he will be experiencing a different lifestyle as a student at Brandywine Heights High School.

Diego said he became an exchange student for a number of reasons.

“My family is very involved in Rotary, and my cousins have been exchange students before,” he said. “They loved it.”

Diego also pointed to his curiosity about the United States.

“I had been to America to play tennis and for vacation. but I wanted to know what regular life was like,” he said. “”I wanted to see how the people are here.”

The move to rural Berks County has been a bit of a change for the Bolivian tennis champ. Diego’s hometown of Santa Cruz is a sprawling metropolis with more than 1.5 million residents, a far cry from the sleepy borough of Topton, his temporary home.

“Here you need to get in a car and drive 20 minutes at least to go anywhere,” he lamented. “Where I live, I can walk a few minutes and be at a market, or walk a little more and be at a grocery store.”

Bolivia Map

Another big change, he made clear, was the prevalence of technology Diego said that ‘things are very technological here. Most things are more modern, and many more people have access to technology.”

The move to rural Berks County has been a bit of a change for the Bolivian tennis champ. Diego’s hometown of Santa Cruz is a sprawling metropolis with more than 1.5 million residents, a far cry from the sleepy borough of Topton, his temporary home.

“Here you need to get in a car and drive 20 minutes at least to go anywhere,” he lamented. “Where I live, I can walk a few minutes and be at a market, or walk a little more and be at a grocery store.”

Another big change, he made clear, was the prevalence of technology Diego said that ‘things are very technological here. Most things are more modern, and many more people have access to technology.”

Asked what he liked most about life in the United States, Diego thought for a moment.

“I like the girls very much, for one thing,” he said with a smile and a hearty laugh.

“I like living with Joey (Coco, a senior at Brandywine and his host brother) and my host family.”

Diego also pointed to the strengths of education here.

“School is important,” he said. “People are very serious about their classes and studies.”

Indeed, this new focus on study has changed Diego’s daily schedule. In Bolivia the school day is shorter, leaving plenty of time for three-hour tennis workouts and open evenings for partying with friends.

“Live is so different now,” he said. But in spite of a shoulder injury and a busy schedule, Diego said he intends to play tennis for Brandywine in the spring.

Diego mentioned a few more differences between Bolivia and the United States. For Halloween, Bolivians mark the holiday with parties, but few people don costumes.

Experiencing Halloween in America will be another exercise in cultural differences. Eventually, however, he will return to Bolivia, where more studies await.

“I will have to finish high school in Bolivia,” he said. After that, Diego wants to return to the U.S.

I hope I can come back and study in the United States,” he said.

Arnolds Diego with his second host family, the Arnolds

Return to top            Go to index

Wednesday, June 13, 2012, we said our Goodbyes to Inbound Exchange Student Vilma Mäki from Hämeenlinna, Finland

Follow Vilma's Finnish Blog "translated" into English by Google

Finnish Flag
Finnish Map
Marie DeFilipps with Vilma.
Vilma's Family
Vilma's father Jarrko, mother Tiina, and brother Juuso.

Vilma's home is Hämeenlinna, Finland. The city of Hämeenlinna is about an hour north of Helsinki, the Finnish capital.

Hämeenlinna has 67,000 inhabitants and in 1865 was the birthplace of famous Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. Sibelius' best known symphony is Finlandia. Sibelius died in 1957.

Hämeenlinna has been the site of a city since Viking times in the 13th century. Finland's first railway opened in 1862 and ran between Helsinki and Hämeenlinna.

Hämeenlinna is a traditional and vibrant educational and cultural town at the junction of nationally important rail, road and waterway network. Living up to its vision, Hämeenlinna is a lively, beautiful and pleasant beach town in Southern Finland.

[After representing Rotary at the World Scout Jamboree in Sweden, Kutztown Rotarians, the Altenburgs and Hennings, visited Vilma's family in Finland. This was the day after Vilma left for the US and the day before they received an exchange student in their home from Rochester, NY. Vilma's family were great hosts and showed them around their beautiful home, their historic city, and treated them to a wonderful lunch.]

Castle Market Square City Center
Castle of Häme dates back to 1320
Hämeenlinna Market Square
Hämeenlinna City Center
Garden Lunch Lake
Admiring the family garden

Lunch with Vilma's family

Hämeenlinna's lake Vanajavesi

Return to top            Go to index

Our Inbound Exchange Student Miki Funaki from Tokyo, Japan - 2010-2011

Miki & Rui
Our 2010-11 Japanese exchange student Miki with Rui, a fellow incoming exchange student and the younger brother of Celso Santin our Brazilian exchange student from 2005-6, while meeting with other Rotary District 7430 exchange students at the YMCA's South Mountain Camp.

Colbe GermanyJapanese FlagMiki's home is Tokyo, Japan. Tokyo is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. It is located on the eastern side of the main island Honshu and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo Metropolis was formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture (Tokyo-fu) and the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family.

The prefecture is part of the world's most populous metropolitan area with 35 to 39 million people and the world's largest metropolitan economy with a GDP of US$1.479 trillion at purchasing power parity in 2008.

In 2009, Tokyo was named the world's most expensive city according to the Mercer and Economist Intelligence Unit cost-of-living surveys and named the third Most Liveable City and the World’s Most Livable Megalopolis by the magazine Monocle.

Tokyo was hit by powerful earthquakes in 1703, 1782, 1812, 1855 and 1923. The 1923 earthquake, with an estimated magnitude of 8.3, killed 142,000 people. Tokyo is located near the boundary of three plates that have been relatively quiet since 1923, it is thought that this shows that the seismic activity is building up and will surely release in a devastating earthquake some time in the future.

Tokyo was originally a small fishing village named Edo. Tokyo lies in the humid subtropical climate zone with hot humid summers and generally mild winters with cool spells. The region, like much of Japan, experiences a one-month seasonal lag, with the warmest month being August, which averages 27.5 °C (81.5 °F), and the coolest month being January, averaging 6.0 °C (42.8 °F). Annual rainfall averages nearly 1,470 millimetres (57.9 in), with a wetter summer and a drier winter. Snowfall is sporadic, but does occur almost annually. Tokyo also often sees typhoons, though few are strong. The last one to hit was Fitow in 2007.

Tokyo & Fuji
Panoramic view of Shinjuku and Mount Fuji taken from Bunkyo Civic Center.

Return to top            Go to index

Exchange Student Lukas Bodenbender from Cölbe, Germany - 2009-2010

Lukas, Patt McCloskey, Aaron Messersmith and Andrew McLellan as Lukas arrived at the Philadelphia Airport.

Colbe GermanyGerman FlagCölbe is a community in Marburg-Biedenkopf district in Hesse, Germany.
Cölbe's municipal area lies on the southern edge of the Burgwald, a low mountain range and part of the Hessisches Bergland (Hessian Highland), and borders directly on the university city of Marburg to the south.

Cölbe  was the center of the European Union after its 2004 expansion.  Romania and Bulgaria joined in 2007.

Locals from the area speak the Rhine Franconian dialect known as Hessisch.

In Germany, Lukas played Guitar in the band Sky Chief and played competitive Table Tennis.

Return to top            Go to index

Exchange Student Carlos Ramirez G. - 2007-2008

The Kutztown Rotary Club welcomed exchange student Carlos Ramirez from Chile. Carlitos attended Kutztown High School. His host family was Vikki and Dave Ferguson. The Ferguson's daughter, Sara was an exchange student in India. His Rotary Mentors were Patt McCloskey and Bob Hobaugh. His main interest was in soccer.

Carlitos was from Peñalolén, Chile. He was sponsored by District 4340 in the center of Chile. Peñalolén is a commune of Chile located in Santiago Province, Santiago Metropolitan Region. It was founded on November 15, 1984.

Chile, bordered on the east by the huge, majestic, practically impassable Andes Mountain Range and on the west by another smaller mountain range which gives way to the Pacific Ocean, is a narrow strip of land, measuring 2,666 miles from north to south and averaging just 125 miles in width. Although Chile declared its independence in 1810, decisive victory over the Spanish was not achieved until 1818.

Chile's major industries include: copper, other minerals, foodstuffs, fish processing, iron and steel, wood and wood products, transport equipment, cement, and textiles. Chile's major agricultural products include: grapes, apples, pears, onions, wheat, corn, oats, peaches, garlic, asparagus, beans, beef, poultry, wool, fish, and timber.

Park for Peace, Peñalolén

Flag of Chile

Map of South America Showing Peñalolén, Chile

Click here for more information on the Rotary Youth Exchange Program for students.

Return to top            Go to index

-2006 to 2007

The Kutztown Rotary Club hosted exchange student from India. Aditi was a Junior at Brandywine Heights High School. Her host family was the Sherry's in Rockland Township. Her Rotary Mentors were Patt McCloskey and Bob Hobaugh.

Aditi, from Nagpur, India, speaks 4 languages, Hindu, English, Sanskrit, and a dialect Hindustani. Her city Nagpur is also known as the "Orange City," as it is a major trading center for oranges. It's said to be the cleanest city in India and one of the greenest.


Nagpur is the most central city in India. It has a population of over 2.5 million people while the total Indian population is over a billion. The size of India is about 1/3 the size of the USA.

Aditi was accustomed to hot weather but not cold weather. The climate of Nagpur follows a typical seasonal monsoon weather pattern. The peak temperatures are usually reached in May/June and can be as high as 48C (118F). The onset of monsoon is usually from July and the season extends up to September, with monsoon peaking during July and August. After monsoons, the average temperature varies between 6C (43F) and 27C (80F) right through December and January.

The Flag of India consists of three equal horizontal bands of saffron (subdued orange) (top), white, and green with a blue chakra (24-spoked wheel) centered in the white band; similar to the flag of Niger, which has a small orange disk centered in the white band. In India, the chakra represents each of the centers of spiritual power in the human body, usually considered to be seven in number.

India is in Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan. Nagpur is at about the same latitude as Guadalajara in central Mexico. Ancient cultures in India go back to at least 5,000 BC.

Return to top            Go to index

Exchange Student

Celso Santin - 2005 to 2006

Brazil FlagBrazil MapCelso

The Kutztown Rotary Club hosted Exchange Student Celso Xavier Santin Jr. from São Paulo, Brazil. Celso attended and graduated from Kutztown High School where he played on the football team. The economy of Dracena is a mixture of manufacturing and agriculture and is a cultural center. Celso has a younger brother. His mother is a business teacher and she also teaches dance and swimming. His father manages the family's furniture manufacturing business. His father was president of the local hospital for three years. His grandparents own and operate a farm west of Dracena. Celso was hosted by the Hobaughs and Kristen Tuerk. Celso was from Dracena, Brazil, a town of approximately 45,000 in the western part of the State of São Paulo, about 500 miles west of Rio De Janeiro. Celso was a great addition to our club in the 2005-6 school year.

In the fall of 2006 Celso returned to Kutztown to attend Kutztown University.

Return to top            Go to index

Our 2011-12 Outbound Exchange Student Amy Summer

Amy SummerAmy is the Kutztown Rotary's outbound exchange student to Ecuador. Even though she has already graduated from Kutztown High School, she will technically be a high school student. "Since I'll have already graduated, I will be able to concentrate on learning the language and getting to know the culture," she said.

Her passion for other cultures and world views helped her earn the top social studies award in Reading Eagle Company's annual Berks' Best scholarship project.

After spending a year in Ecuador, Amy plans to major in international relations at Wellesley College near Boston.

"I think living in such a small town, you get a feel for how important it is to think beyond your town, your area and your country," she said. "You also have to pay attention to the past, especially internationally, to deal with future international relations."

Return to top            Go to index

Past Kutztown Rotary Club Events

Return to top            Go to index

Kutztown Rotary Centennial Project

Picnic Tables For The Park

Rotary celebrates its Centennial in February 2005. The Rotary Centennial in 2005 provides the ideal opportunity for Rotary Clubs to showcase their community service projects in the 30,000 communities worldwide served by Rotary Clubs. Clubs worldwide are joining in this global effort to demonstrate the remarkable scope and power of Rotary service. The Kutztown Rotary Club is working with the Borough of Kutztown to provide 20 durable picnic tables for Kutztown Park.

Bricks for Park Tables & Charity

Help the Kutztown Rotary Club provide durable picnic tables for Kutztown Park. To help finance the project there will be a monument made up of bricks with the names of those who participate. The donation required for a brick to be placed on the monument is $100. For a $100 donation Rotary will place a brick on the monument with the name you specify and will donate $25 to the charitable organization you select.

Sign up today. Be a Kutztown Rotary Centennial Project sponsor. Download the Rotary Centennial Project flier. Fill out the coupon with the name of a person or organization you designate. Make a check payable to "Kutztown Rotary". Send the coupon on the flier and a check for $100 for a brick for picnic tables for the park to: Kutztown Rotary, PO Box 127, Kutztown, PA 19530

Bricks for Past & Present Rotarians

Rotarians, sign up today. Be a Kutztown Rotary Centennial Project sponsor. Download the Bricks for Members flier. The donation required for a brick to be placed on the monument is $100. For a $100 donation, we will place a brick with the name of a present or past Rotary member and the Rotary wheel on the monument. In conjunction with this project, bronze markers will be placed in the park which reinforce the principles of Rotary. Fill out the coupon with the name of a present or past Rotarian. Make a check payable to "Kutztown Rotary". Send the coupon on the flier and a check for $100 for a brick for a past or present Rotarian to: Kutztown Rotary, PO Box 127, Kutztown, PA 19530

Return to top            Go to index


New Generations Youth Leadership Conference

Dr. Len Marrella, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and president of the Center for Leadership and Ethics in Wyomissing, addresses students at the New Generations Youth Leadership Conference at Penn State Berks.

From 1997 to 2011, Kutztown Rotary sponsored outstanding students from Brandywine Heights and Kutztown Area High Schools to the New Generations Youth Leadership Conference each year.

"Ethics" was the theme at New Generations Youth Leadership Conference, which drew more than 300 middle and high school students to Penn State Berks.

In 2011, fifteen Berks County middle schools sent students, while 21 high schools were represented, making this year's conference the best one yet, according to Dr. Len Marrella, founder and president of the Wyomissing-based Center for Leadership and Ethics.

"The mission is to develop character," Marrella, a retired Army colonel, said of last week's conference.

The conference was sponsored by Rotary Clubs from across Berks County.

As part of the 2011 event, eight cadets from the U.S. Military Academy traveled from West Point, N.Y., to speak with students.

"They discuss ethical issues in high school, and the kids really respond to the cadets because they're only a couple years older and they have life experience," said Marrella, a West Point graduate. "It's amazing how the kids relate to them. They're kind of role models, young role models, and they can deal with the issues that they've faced themselves."

The cadets were escorted to Berks County by Master Sgt. Timothy Morgan, a noncommissioned equal opportunity adviser at West Point.

Morgan, who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, spoke to the Rotary Club of West Reading/Wyomissing at a luncheon, recounting his career path and stressing the importance of ethics in education.

"The cadets are young," he told Rotary Club members at the Inn at Reading. "They say, 'I want to be a soldier. I want to learn how to shoot. I want to jump out of an airplane. I want to repel out of a helicopter. I want to drive a tank.' They want to do all these great things. But what I teach is respect and ethics."

Return to top            Go to index

Fifth-Grade '10K a Day' Project

Rotary helps Berks fifth-graders step into shape10K A Day

By Greta Cuyler, Reading Eagle, 9/30/2008

As obesity rates continue to rise nationwide, Rotary Clubs in Berks County are trying to instill healthy habits in children.

Local clubs have distributed more than 1,000 pedometers to fifth-graders in Muhlenberg, Hamburg, Kutztown and Schuylkill Valley school districts and at Holy Guardian Angels Regional School, a parochial school in Muhlenberg Township.

Students are competing to see which classroom logs the most steps over the next six weeks.

The program, which launched Sept. 22, encourages kids to walk "10K a day," which is short for 10 kilometers - roughly six miles.

"We're trying to respond to the fact that many youth are sitting in front of the computer playing PlayStation games or just plain watching television, and that's impairing physical fitness," said Grant A. Wickert, past president of the Muhlenberg Rotary Club.

Wickert is pastor of Cavalry Lutheran Church in Laureldale. He organized the project with Amy Howard of the Kutztown Rotary Club, John Smith of the Hamburg Rotary Club and Tom Albert of the Shoemakersville-Leesport Rotary Club.

The group received a $2,500 Rotary grant and raised $4,000 in donations. That was enough to buy the pedometers and provide prize money.

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that between 1980 and 2006 the number of obese children more than doubled, and in the case of teenagers, more than tripled, to 17.6 percent.

Childhood obesity often translates into overweight adults who are at increased risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer.

Wickert acknowledged that six miles a day is a challenge for children. For adults, it takes about 2,000 steps to walk one mile, so six miles would equal 12,000 steps.

"That's a lot of walking," Wickert said. "It might not be realistic, but we wanted to give them something to shoot for."

Victoria R. Owens, 10, is a fifth-grader at Holy Guardian Angels. She thinks it will be no problem for her to meet the fitness goal.

By running in her backyard, up and down the steps to her basement, and laps at recess, she logged 15,218 steps on the first day of the challenge.

For Hamburg school officials, the decision to participate was easy, Superintendent Steven P. Keifer said. Concern about childhood obesity was just part of the reason.

"I'm a firm believer that exercise helps students learn better because it gets the blood flowing," Keifer said.

The fifth-graders aren't the only ones wearing the pedometers. They also were offered to principals, nurses, fifth-grade teachers, physical education teachers and Rotary Club members - although the adults' steps don't count toward the final tally.

The idea, Wickert said, is to encourage people of all ages to exercise and improve their health. Habits learned as a child often last into adulthood.

At the end of six weeks, totals will be tallied and two classrooms will be selected winners - one for the highest average of steps and one with the most improved performance. Each will receive a $300 gift card that must be used for a class project.

Prizes also will go to the two classrooms at each school that score best in those categories. Each will be awarded a $150 gift card.

Return to top            Go to index

  • Friday, October 24, 2008, Meet The Artist Reception, 5-9 PM
  • Saturday, October 25, 2008, Exhibit and Sale, 11 AM to 8 PM
  • Sunday, October 26, 2008, Exhibit and Sale, 11 AM to 4 PM

Return to top            Go to index

Kutztown Rotary Hosts Group Study Exchange Team from Columbia



On April 10, 2003, the Rotary Club of Kutztown hosted the District Reception for the Group Study Exchange Team from Columbia. Past District Governor, Bob Antoine organized the exchange. Exchange members are, left to right: Juan G. Ospina Rodriguez, Business Management; Paulina Saldarriaga-Ehlers, International Business; Pablo Arlas Amezquita, Civil Engineer; Jiovany Orozco, Electrical Engineer; and Team Leader, Eduardo De La Cruz, Industrial Engineer.

Return to top            Go to index

Group Study Exchange - South Africa & Lesotho

Group Study Exchange for 2006-2007 - Districts 7430 & 9320

South Africa (Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, North West) & Lesotho


Out-Bound to South Africa: Sept. 9 - Oct. 10, 2006

In-Bound to Pennsylvania: April 16 - May 18, 2007

Kutztown Rotary's Representative to the Out-Bound S. Africa 2006 District 7430 Group Study Exchange Team was Kevin Schmeck

Visit Kevin's Blog

Return to top            Go to index

Kutztown Rotary Club's 75th Anniversary

On July 30, 2003, the Rotary Club of Kutztown, and it's President, Tom Turner (front row, second from right), welcomed District Governor, B. J. Metz (red tie), and the District's First Lady, Kristie Metz (red scarf). Also present was Assistant District Governor, Leroy Seip, (front row, right). Other club members pictured are (front row from left) Richard Wagner, Patt McCloskey, Jean Boyer, (back row from left) Isaac Evans, Bob Hobaugh, Bill Bender, Ham Phillips, Dan Breidegam, George Barrell, Jim Springer, Dennis Lutz, Larry Biehl, Jim Scott, Steve Henning, Barry Martin and Denton Fenstermacher. Also present but not pictured was Margaret Grossman.

Return to top            Go to index

From the November 13th Reading Eagle

"There was always a good program and meal, and that was enough to keep me coming back, and back and back again for more," says Isaac R. "Ike" Evans in response to his award for 41 years of Rotary Club service.

Four decades in loyal service to the Rotary

Isaac. R. "Ike" Evans, 80, a Kutztown-area man who is moving to a Chester County retirement home, is honored by fellow Rotarians before he relocates.

©2006 Reading Eagle Company
By Marcia Weidner-Sutphen
Reading Eagle

Isaac R. "Ike" Evans liked to mingle with his peers and, well, eat.

In the 1960s after an accidental meeting that was followed by engaging conversation and a good meal, Evans decided to join the Rotary Club.

Evans, 80, enrolled with the Topton Rotary Club in 1965 while he worked as a design controller for Caloric Stove Co. in Topton.

"I enjoyed meeting professionals, and there was always a good program and meal, and that was enough to keep me coming back and back and back again for more," Evans said.

Rotary International provides humanitarian services through more than 32,000 clubs and 1.2 million members worldwide.

For 41 years, the Maxatawny Township resident has made an effort to attend at least one weekly Rotary Club meeting. When that wasn't possible, he volunteered at a Rotary event, which holds the same merit as going to a meeting.

That amounted to about 2,100 meetings.

In August, members of the Kutztown Rotary Club, where Evans is a member today, honored him for his faithful attendance during an event at East Penn Manufacturing Co. near Lyons

Club members believed their fellow Rotarian was unstoppable, but in September, misfortune ended Evans' attendance streak.

Evans, who is diabetic, said he thinks he was prescribed the wrong dose of insulin.

"I passed out in my home," he said. "When I woke up, I called 9-1-1 and was taken to the hospital by ambulance."

After leaving the hospital, he stayed with his oldest daughter, Rebecca Huzar of Mendenhall, Chester County; and later with another daughter, Diane M. McDermott of Mount Pleasant, S.C.

He did not attend a Rotary meeting during his recovery.

But Evans came home Nov. 3, and five days later he was back at a Rotary meeting.

Evans said goodbye to club members at that meeting because he is moving to a retirement home near Honey Brook in northern Chester County.

"I'm going to look for another club," he said. "I hear there is one in Downingtown."

Jim R. Springer, club president, said Evans is not the Kutztown Rotary's oldest member, but he is the only one with perfect attendance.

"He made every effort in his life to be there," Springer said. "You don't see that very often."

Evans credited his wife of 52 years, Nancy P., for helping him remember meeting times and locations. She died Jan. 31, 2004.

"She would drive me to meetings and wait for me in the car and read," Evans said. "She loved to read."

Evans also attended Rotary Club meetings when he was on the road in the late 1960s doing consulting work for Capitol Records in Scranton.

He was a member of the Topton Rotary until the late 1980s when that club closed due to a lack of members, he said.

"I immediately joined the Kutztown club without skipping a beat," he said.

[Contact reporter Marcia Weidner-Sutphen at 610-371-5081 or .]
Return to top            Go to index

A Lonely Paul Harris Starts Rotary

Paul Harris founded Rotary to fill a void in his life. A glimpse at the founding of Rotary:

Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary, was from Vermont. After completing high school in Wallingford, he attended Black River Academy, Vermont Military Academy, the Universities of Vermont and Princeton. Eventually he graduated from the law school at the University of Iowa in 1891. He traveled a while but eventually "hung his shingle" in Chicago in 1896.

Paul Harris was dreadfully lonesome particularly on holidays and Sundays. He pondered the question of finding a way to increase his acquaintance with young men who had come to Chicago from farms and colleges, who knew the joys of friendliness and neighborliness without form or ceremony, but it took a long while for his thinking to produce results.

In his book "My Road To Rotary" Paul Harris writes:

"To me one essential was lacking, the presence of friends. Emerson said, 'He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare.' In my earliest days in my adopted city, I had neither the thousand nor the one."

"One evening I went with a professional friend to his suburban home. After dinner, as we strolled about the neighborhood, my friend greeted by name various tradesmen at their stores. This reminded me of my New England village. The thought came to me why not in big Chicago have a fellowship composed of just one man from each of many different occupations, without restrictions as to their politics or religion, with broad tolerance of each other's opinions? In such a fellowship could there not be mutual helpfulness?"

"I did not act upon my impulse at once; months and even years passed. In the life of great movements it is necessary that one man who has faith walk alone for a time. I did walk alone but eventually in February 1905 I called three young businessmen to meet with me and I laid before them a very simple plan of mutual co-operation and informal friendship such as all of us had once known in our villages. They agreed to my plan."

"Silvester Schiele, my most intimate Chicago friend, and one of the three who first met with me, was made our first president, and has been a constant member. Gustavus Loehr and Hiram Shorey were the other two but they failed to follow through. On the other hand Harry Ruggles, Charley Newton, and others who were quickly added to the group, with hearty zest joined in developing the project."

"We grew in numbers, in fellowship, in the spirit of helpfulness to each other and to our city. The banker and the baker, the parson and the plumber, the lawyer and the laundryman discovered the similarity of each other's ambitions, problems, successes and failures. We learned how much we had in common. We found joy in being of service to one another. Again I seemed to be back in my New England Valley."

"At a third meeting of the group, I presented several suggestions as a name for the club, among them Rotary, and that name was selected as we were then holding our meetings in rotation at our offices and places of business. Later, still rotating, we held our meetings at various hotels and restaurants. Thus we began as "Rotarians," and such we continue to be."

Return to top            Go to index

History of the Beginning and Growth of Rotary

  In 1905..... 37 year old attorney Paul Harris changed the world. 

1891-92-93     Paul Harris, who was raised by his New England grandparents with values of tolerance toward all, gained his law degree in 1891. In his senior year, a former graduate told his class that they should "Go to a small town for five years make a fool of themselves, then go to the big city!" Paul decided to hit the road for the entire world. He worked as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, 1891; manual laborer on a fruit ranch, then raisin packing plant, teacher at the L.A. Business College in 1892. Denver, Colorado, 1892: Actor in a stock company, reporter for the Rocky Mountain News, cowboy, reporter for The Republican. Jacksonville, Florida: St. James Hotel night clerk, traveling granite/marble salesman 1892/93, reporter on the Washington Star, cattleman on a ship 1893, haymaker and cannery worker 1893, sub-foreman of the gang of cattlemen 1893, (where he wrote that, on his first voyage, he experienced sub-human conditions); orange picker in Florida 1893, back to Jacksonville selling marble granite. His territory included the southern states, Cuba, the Bahamas and Europe. When he announced that he was going to Chicago to practice law his employer said, "Whatever the advantages of settling in Chicago may be, I am satisfied you will make more money if you remain with me." To which Paul replied: "I am sure you are right but I am not going to Chicago for the purpose of making money; I am going to the purpose of living a life."

1896-1900  In 1896, he did go to Chicago to practice law.  One evening, in the early 1900´s, Paul went with a professional friend to his suburban home.  After dinner, as they strolled through the neighborhood, Paul´s friend introduced him to tradesmen in their stores.  This reminded Paul of his grandparent´s home in New England.   "Why not have a fellowship composed of businessmen from different occupations, without restrictions of politics or religion?" he thought.

1905  On February 23, 1905, Paul Harris had dinner with his closest friend, Chicago coal dealer Silvester Schiele. Afterwards they walked over the river to Room 711 of the Unity Building where they met their host, Gustavus Loehr, a mining engineer; and another friend, Hiram Shorey, a merchant tailor.  Harris proposed that they form a club. No name was chosen for the group. The second meeting was March 9th. Three other men, Harry Ruggles, William Jenson, and A. L. White joined them. Ruggles was a printer, and created the "name badge" version of the Rotary "wheel" and also started singing in Rotary. In fact his singing kept the group from disbanding more than once. Paul Harris later wrote: "The significant occurrence of the second meeting was the introduction of Harry Ruggles, the printer. Harry was destined to play an important part in the life of the Chicago club, for through his suggestion of club singing his influence has been made felt by the entire movement." Paul P. Harris, page 95 "The Founder of Rotary 1928. Two weeks later the group gathered at the office of Silvester Schiele, in his coal yard at Twelfth and State Streets.  Six of the previous seven were present along with Charles Newton and Arthur B. Irwin.

1908-1909     Paul was very interested in starting Rotary in other cities. The second Rotary club was founded by Homer Wood in San Francisco in 1908. 7Wood then quickly organized Oakland #3  (When did weekly meetings begin? 6According to the general secretary in 1948, it was Oakland #3 in 1909.)  Seattle #4 and Los Angeles #5. In fact, before the end of 1909, there were seven clubs, including New York City #6 and Boston #7. That's right, in 1908 and 1909, Homer Wood started four clubs. In the rest of the United States there were two, and the San Francisco club is credited, by some, with starting New York.


Paul  Harris had a vision of "Around the World Rotary" which was also opposed by many of his fellow Rotarians. It was not until he won the loyalty of the man who was to be Rotary´s secretary from 1910 - 1942 that Rotary became organized and international. That man was Chesley Perry, whom Paul called the "Builder of Rotary."

1910-1911  By August 1910 there were sixteen clubs and the National Association of Rotary Clubs was organized and held its first convention that year, in Chicago.  At the 1911 Portland Convention, "Service, Not Self" was introduced by Frank Collins of Minneapolis. It later became "Service Above Self.  " The slogan "He profits most who serves best," was also read there.  It had been written by Arthur Sheldon and delivered by him at the first convention the previous year in Chicago. Both were approved by RI in 1950. Learn what Sheldon really meant by his well thought phrase. You can study all of Rotary's conventions from 1910 on and learn about each of our presidents from Paul Harris to the present as well as their clubs from our website dedicated to presidents of Rotary.  Another important event at the 1911 Portland convention was the platform brought forward by Seattle #4. This platform, is still essential to the philosophy of Rotary today.

1912-23  When clubs were formed in Canada and Great Britain in 1912, the name was changed to the International Association of Rotary Clubs, and was later shortened to Rotary International in 1922.  Paul Harris was the first president of the National Association of Rotary Clubs, serving two terms. He was named President Emeritus of the International Association in 1912 and served until his death in 1947. 1Harris suffered a near fatal heart attack in his final year as president of the National Association and required a full year to recover. Yet, over the next 35 years, he and his wife Jean Thomson Harris made numerous exhausting trips to nearly every continent, visiting hundreds of cities, planting friendship trees and attending Rotary conferences.

RWheel.gif (14423 bytes)

The design in the Rotary Wheel changed as Rotary grew.
Click on the photo for a large view of the graphic history of the wheel.

 1947   As Rotary spanned the globe, branch offices were opened in Europe, South America, South Asia, Southwest Pacific. In the UK British Rotary had its own office. 6When Rotary International President Emeritus, world traveler, author and prominent Chicago attorney Paul Harris passed away on January 27, 1947, his dream had grown from one group of four to 6,000 clubs in 75 countries with 300,000 members brought together through the service and fellowship of Rotary.

 1987-89    Two world wars changed the face of Rotary - parts of the Far East and Eastern Europe were closed to Rotary. Eventually, clubs were re-established in Japan, Germany, Poland and Hungary.  In 1990 the first club was opened in the former Soviet Union and China.  In 1987, Rotary membership was opened to women, and in 1989 the RI Council on Legislation standardized all Rotary documents and rules.

 ROTARY TODAY      There are over 31,000 Rotary clubs, in 167 countries, whose members carry on club, vocational, community and international service.  The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International annually spends some $105 million on international education and humanitarian programs, providing grants which save lives and improve conditions throughout the world. Rotary also sponsors international ambassadors of good will through educational awards to university students and teachers, and through international exchange of business and professional people.  Today the Rotary Foundation scholarship program is the world´s largest privately funded international scholarship program.  Approximately 1,100 scholarships are awarded annually.  Rotarians have raised some 438 million dollars for the PolioPlus program alone as well as provided thousands of volunteers to administer the vaccine around the world. 

How did Rotary get its name?  During the course of one of the early meetings, Paul suggested several possible names for the new club. Among others - Rotary. It met with general favor and was adopted forthwith. The significance of the name becomes apparent on examination of the original plan of the club, which provided for rotation in the place of meeting, in the chairmanship, and even in membership which was to be continued for one year only.

Who was the first Rotary president?    Silvester Schiele. The meeting was in Schiele's office, hence, as a courtesy, he became the president. ""Silvester Schiele, my most intimate Chicago friend, and one of the three who first met with me, was made our first president, and has been a constant member. Gustavus Loehr and Hiram Shorey were the other two but they failed to follow through. On the other hand Harry Ruggles, Charley Newton, and others who were quickly added to the group, with hearty zest joined in developing the project." 

This short history was produced by Rotary's Global History Fellowship (An Internet Project): http://www.rghfhome.org/ 

Return to top            Go to index

H J Taylor

History of the Four-Way Test

One of the world's most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics is The Four-Way Test, which was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor (who later served as RI president, 1954-1955) when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy.

This 24-word test for employees to follow in their business and professional lives became the guide for sales, production, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company is credited to this simple philosophy. Adopted by Rotary in 1943, The Four-Way Test has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways. It asks the following four questions:

"Of the things we think, say or do:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?

  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?


  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?"

  Story of the Four-Way Test By Herbert J. Taylor, circa 1943

Back in 1932, the Creditors of the Club Aluminum Company assigned me the task of saving the company from being closed out as a bankrupt organization. The company was a distributor of cookware and other household items. We found that the company owed its creditors over $400,000 more than its total assets. It was bankrupt but still alive.

At that time we borrowed $6,100 from a Chicago bank to give us a little cash on which to operate.

While we had a good product our competitors also had fine cookware with well advertised brand names. Our company also had some fine people working for it, but our competitors also had the same. Our competitors were naturally in much stronger financial condition than we were.

With tremendous obstacles and handicaps facing us we felt that we must develop in our organization something which our competitors would not have in equal amount. We decided that it should be the character, dependability and service mindedness of our personnel.

We determined, first, to be very careful in the selection of our personnel and, second, to help them become better men and women as they progressed with our company.

We believed that "In right there is might" and we determined to do our best to always be right. Our industry, as was true of scores of other industries, had a code of ethics but the code was long, almost impossible to memorize and therefore impractical. We felt that we needed a simple measuring stick of ethics which everyone in the company could quickly memorize. We also believed that the proposed test should not tell our people what they must do, but ask them questions which would make it possible for them to find out whether their proposed plans, policies, statements or actions were right or wrong.

Considerable time was spent in developing four short questions which now make up the Four-Way Test. Here are the four questions:

  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build good will and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

I placed this little test under the glass top of my desk and determined to try it out for a few days before talking to anyone else in the company about it. I had a very discouraging experience. I almost threw it into the wastepaper basket the first day when I checked everything that passed over my desk with the first question, "Is it the truth?" I never realized before how far I often was from the truth and how many untruths appeared in our company's literature, letters and advertising.

After about sixty days of faithful constant effort on my part to live up to the Four-Way Test I was thoroughly sold on its great worth and at the same time greatly humiliated, and at times discouraged, with my own performance as president of the company. I had, however, made sufficient progress in living up to the Four-Way Test to feel qualified to talk to some of my associates about it. I discussed: it with my four department heads. You may be interested in knowing the religious faith of these four men. One was a Roman Catholic, the second a Christian Scientist, the third an Orthodox Jew and the fourth a Presbyterian.

I asked each man whether or not there was anything in the Four Way Test which was contrary to the doctrines and ideals of his particular faith. They all four agreed that truth, justice, friendliness and helpfulness not only coincided with their religious ideals, but that if constantly applied in business they should result in greater success and progress. These four men agreed to use the Four Way Test in checking proposed plans, policies, statements and advertising of the company. Later, all employees were asked to memorize and use the Four-Way Test in their relations with others.

The checking of advertising copy against the Four-Way Test resulted in the elimination of statements the truth of which could not be proved. All superlatives such as the words better, best, greatest and finest disappeared from our advertisements. As a result, the public gradually placed more confidence in what we stated in our advertisements and bought more of our products.

The constant use of the Four-Way Test caused us to change our policies covering relations with competitors. We eliminated all adverse or detrimental comments on our competitors' products from our advertisements and literature.

When we found an opportunity to speak well of our competitors we did so. Thus, we gained the confidence and friendship of our competitors.

The application of the Four-Way Test to our relations with our own personnel and that of our suppliers and customers helped us to win their friendship and good will. We have learned that the friendship and confidence of those with whom we associate is essential to permanent success in business.

Through over twenty years of sincere effort on the part of our personnel, we have been making steady progress toward reaching the ideals expressed in the Four-Way Test. We have been rewarded with a steady increase in sales, profits and earnings of our personnel. From a bankrupt condition in 1932 our company has paid its debts in full, has paid its stockholders over one million dollars in dividends and has a present value of over two million dollars. All of these rewards have come from a cash investment of only $6,100, the Four-Way Test and some good hard working people who have faith in God and high ideals.

Intangible dividends from the use of the Four-Way Test have been even greater than the financial ones. We have enjoyed a constant increase in the goodwill, friendship and confidence of our customers, our competitors and the public and what is even more valuable, a great improvement in the moral character of our own personnel.

We have found that you cannot constantly apply the Four-Way Test to all your relations with others eight hours each day in, business without getting into the habit of doing it in your home, social and community life. You thus become a better father, a better friend and a better citizen."

Return to top            Go to index

Kutztown Rotary Club
2005-7 Pheasant Fest
Continental Shoot

  • Place: Martz's Gap View Hunting Preserve
  • Time: Arrive at 8:30 AM, depart 4:00 PM
  • Cost: $360 per Person ($100 to charity)
  • Limit: First 22 to Sign Up & Pay
  • Directions: http://www.martzs.com/map.htm

Must Wear Safety Glasses and Orange Hat & Vest!

Included the following:

  • Breakfast of Donuts & Coffee
  • 220+ Released Pheasants
  • Warm Up Flurry of 25 Clay Targets
  • Lunch in Lodge
  • Walk Up Hunt for 11 Hunters Only
  • 50 Sporting Clays for 11 Hunters Only
  • Bring at least 5 boxes of shells!!!

Return to top            Go to index

Directory to Contents of Kutztown Rotary Website


Larry Biehl congratulates 2016-2017 President Renee Sufrinko.

Rotary Club of Kutztown

P.O. Box 127,  Kutztown, PA  19530

NEBCC            KCP

Compatibility & Webmaster information: These pages were created in Adobe GoLive, Adobe DreamWeaver, and BBEdit. They have been successfully tested on computers, ipads, ipods, & iphones and with various browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Netscape, OmniWeb, Opera, & Safari. They have also passed the internet standards of the W3C validator tests. They are now translated into over 60 other languages by Google. Please send any questions and report any problems to webmaster@kutztownrotary.org.

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional