This photo of the Rotary Kutztown Bicentennial Parade float is clickable.
Rotary International - John Germ (USA), President, 2016-17
Kutztown Rotary Club: Over 90 years of community involvement
The Kutztown Rotary Club was begun on a brisk April 14th in 1926. 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.
On one evening, Kutztown petitioned the State Highway Department to stop their plans for re-routing route 22. They felt it would hurt Kutztown and the surrounding communities.
By 1938, the club was holding the club’s popular annual Farmers Night. At this banquet, the Kutztown Rotary Club invites local area farmers and FFA students to attend. Outstanding FFA students are honored. The speaker is sometimes entertaining, sometimes educational, but always someone selected to be interesting to the farm community.
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.
One of the most significant community projects begun during the post-war years was the establishment of Camp Edmar. The 8 acres was a gift from Edna and Marcus Held. It was incorporated in 1952 as a camp for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Brownies. The lodge was completed in 1953. Kutztown Rotary paid off the debt on the lodge in 1956 and installed toilets in 1957. Starting in 1958, the Camp Edmar Committee has served ham and string bean dinners to Rotary and Lions in appreciation of their support. In 1959, Rotary purchased 5 more acres for Camp Edmar.
At it’s 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's 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 picture on right).
The club started sponsoring an annual Health Scan project in 1984. 1984 also saw the start of the clubs highly successful “Student of the Month” program.
In 1985 four members from the disbanded Topton Club came to the Kutztown Club: John W. Tallman, Forrest K. Fetherolf, Isaac R. Evans, and Dean G. Wetzel.
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.
The millennium saw a milestone in the history of the Kutztown Rotary Club. Erin Webb became the clubs first female president. Today our club has 10 female members our of 30 total and 7 women have served as Club President.
The Kutztown Rotary had tried several times 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. 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 first of many Kutztown Rotary Main Street Mini-Golf Tournaments. 2004 saw the first Flatworks Rotary Art Show and Sale.
In 2005, the Kutztown Rotary Club resumed sponsoring a number of outbound and hosting inbound Exchange Students. Since then inbound students came from Brazil, India, Chile, Germany, Japan, Finland, Bolivia, Belgium, the Czech Republic and, in 2016-17, Iceland. In addition the Kutztown Rotary Club grants two college schlarships each year, sponsors attendies to the Camp Neidig, the Rotary Youth Leadership Camp.
Traditional annual events included a Valentine’s Dinner, Reading Phillies nite, ushering the Flag Day Concert and Kutztown Day Concert in the park, a picnic, and a Christmas party. Another one started in 2007, participating in the Main Street Trick or Treat night at Hildenbrand’s Funeral Home.
In 2008, the club’s oldest member and member with the most tenure, Martin Ritter, died at age 99. He had been a member 72 years. Martin was President of Kutztown Rotary Club during 1942-1943.
In 2009, the club started a short tradition of selling spiedies at the Energy Fest and car shows. After one year the club changed to hot dogs.
The Potato Project was started in 2009 to provide fresh produce to area food banks. As this program became more successful and grew, they approached the Kutztown Rotary to ask for help in making the project self-sustaining. The Kutztown Rotary is working closely with the Potato Project to help it become self-sustaining. A Rotary matching grant obtained a storage silo and a grain elevator. Club donations secured a tractor and tilt-back trailer. Club members and members of the Kutztown University Rotaract Club (Lambda Chi Alpha) have helped picking potatos.
In 2010, Kutztown Rotary started its very successful Taste of Kutztown, a wine tasting event featuring fine Pennsylvania wines as well as many local crafts, restaurants, and other vendors..
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 activites 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.
Since 1926, many 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 salutes the many club members who have served in the past and present. Whether it be the Donald L. Boyer Golf Tournament or Taste of Kutztown, the Kutztown Rotary Club is a conspicuous part of life in Kutztown and Topton.
Rotarians' annual dues, plus individual Rotarian's contributions to the Rotary Foundation, help fund many International projects worldwide. These International projects represent tens of millions of dollars spent annually for eradicating polio, providing clean water, small business loans, housing development, and school and medical center construction just to name a few. Kutztown Rotary was the sponsor of a water harvesting project in India.
In June, Kutztown Rotary installs its new officers at the annual installation held at Camp Edmar, a Boy Scout Camp the Kutztown Rotary Club was instrumental in founding.
Individuals who wish to "get involved" in their community may contact any Rotarian or come to Rotary's weekly meeting as a guest. Kutztown Rotary meets every Wednesday at 6:30 P.M. in the Club Room at the Kutztown Tavern, 272 West Main Street, Kutztown, PA.
For more information contact Jim Springer at 610-683-7011W or 610-682-7764 H.
Kutztown Rotary Club 2017-2018 Program Schedule
To download the 2017-18 Program Schedule in pdf format, click here
If you are unable to fulfill your program assignment on a particular date, it is your responsibility to change with another Rotarian. Please advise the following people of any changes:
Meetings: In the Club room at the Kutztown Tavern, 272 West Main Street, Kutztown; Wed. @ 6:30 PM
Kutztown-Fleetwood Annual Rural-Urban Night
Since 1938 and possibly before, the Kutztown Rotary Club has been showing the local farmers their appreciation with the annual Urban-Rural Night. It is an evening to say 'thank you' to farmers in the area and to show appreciation for their work. Urban-Rural Night 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.
The Kutztown Rotary Club honored farmers, recognizing the importance of agriculture during its annual Farmers Night at the Kutztown Grange Hall on Feb. 17.
Farming is the king, or queen, of jobs; it is our history and it is the basis of our big economic activity, said event organizer and Rotary Club member Robert Hobaugh. Agriculture is our biggest industry in the state, it has a $67 billion total impact.
It is safe to say farming is big in our backyard.
Rotary member Larry Biehl led the hall in a prayer. Shortly after, food was brought out and served by members of the Kutztown Grange.
During dinner, Representative Gary Day (R) of the 187th Legislative District, which covers both Berks and Lehigh counties, expressed his own respect for farming.
I married into in a farming family, a family that owned a potato farm in Lehigh County.
He earned his appreciation of farming first hand by witnessing his father-in-law work hard and dedicate his life to farming.
Watching him made me proud to be able to experience something like that, Day said.
Day also addressed the budget issues in Harrisburg.
One of the lines of the budget being addressed is the agriculture budget, said Day. The only thing the Governor has been able to do is to veto and take away money. But were going to get through that.
We all understand the importance of food security and just how important agriculture is.
Senator Judy Schwank was scheduled to speak that night as well but was unable to attend. In her place, Rotary member Amy Sheller explained what Rotary means to her.
Rotary is the largest international service organization; we have over 1.2 million members in over 200 countries. All of our efforts are guided by four principles: Is it truthful? Is it fair to all concerns? Will it build good will to better friendships and will it be beneficial to all concerns?
One of the Rotarys service projects is the Potato Project which is an effort to grow and donate fresh produce to local food banks. They have donated more than 153,000 pounds of potatoes in the past year.
Rotary also recognized local students for their dedication and love for agriculture as Rotary students of the month, FFA member Kyle Lubak of Kutztown School District, Daniel Butz of Brandywine Heights School District and FFA member Laney Benfield of Oley Valley School District, all of whom are continuing on to agricultural programs next year in college.
The event concluded with a performance by the critically acclaimed local Pennsylvania Dutch a cappella group the Miller Brothers. The Millers sang several songs in tribute to attending farmers, such as Why Did I Ever Leave The Farm and told humorous stories of their own experiences on the farm. Closing out their performance, they sang their own rendition of Hank Williams I Saw The Light. The event at the Kutztown Grange Hall was all made possible by the Kutztown Rotary Club, its sponsors and the Farmers Night Committee members.
Pervious speakers at Urban-Rural Night include Barbara J. Christ, interim dean of the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences; Russell C. Redding, former Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture; Sheila Miller, Berks Agricultural Coordinator; Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture, Dennis Wolff; and Jeff Dorsheim, representing a new ethanol plant in the area.
Students of Month honored at Farmers' Night
The photo shows Kutztown Rotarians in the kitchen of Opportunity House, a homeless shelter in Reading. We prepared a meal of zitti with meat balls, salad, rolls, lemonade, brownies and cookies. It was very rewarding being able to serve and dine with these very gratefull people who have fallen on hard times. Their good spirit was very rewarding.
Opportunity House is a multi-service organization improving the quality of life for children, families and adults who face various obstacles to independent living. With a primary goal to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency their services include the first 24-7 Learning Center in the State, emergency, transitional and permanent housing, and the Children's Alliance Center (CAC) providing services to children who have been sexually abused.
Literacy Project - Supporting Local Libraries
Part of the Kutztown Rotary Club's program to support local libraries is to buy and dedicate the book of each guest speaker's choice to the library of their choice. In addition, the club gives monetary support to the Kutztown Community Library and the Brandywine Community Library.
Donald L. Boyer Kutztown Rotary Scholarship
The Donald L. Boyer Kutztown Rotary Scholarship was established in memory of Donald Boyer, a devoted community member whose life was shortened by a battle with cancer. During Mr. Boyer´s life, he gave selflessly to the Kutztown community through participation and leadership in various civic, church, and political organizations, including Kutztown Borough Council, Kutztown Jaycees, Kutztown Rotary Club, Friend, Inc., and St. John's Lutheran Church. Within these organizations he held various leadership positions, including regional and state positions. This scholarship was created by family, friends, and the Kutztown Rotary to keep the spirit of Donald's volunteerism and leadership alive in our community's youth. The greatest portion of this endowment is contributed by the Kutztown Rotary Foundation with funds raised from the Foundation's Annual Donald Boyer Golf Classic.
The purpose of this scholarship is to encourage and recognize youth volunteerism in our community. Applicants for this scholarship MUST
In addition, all scholarship moneys will be released directly to the academic institution. Scholarship rewards are not payable to the individual recipient.
All applications must be postmarked by June 1.
Kutztown's Rotary Foundation Dinner
Supporting local fire companies, libraries and other local charities.
Each November, the Kutztown Rotary Foundation presents checks to representatives from local charaties. Our November 11, 2009, meeting was a special Rotary Foundation Dinner. We took this opportunity to honor 3 Kutztown Rotarians, Patt McCluskey received her first Paul Harris Fellowship, Bill Bender received his second Paul Harris Fellowship and Larry and Shirley Biehl, who received their 10th Paul Harris Fellowship award. This award is for significant service to the Rotary Foundation, thereby furthering better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.
Rotary Foundation Chairman Larry Biehl stated:
"Since I became a Rotarian over 18 years ago, our Club has gone thru dramatic changes, but just as then our commitment today remains the same; service to our fellow-man.
Each of us contributes to Rotary in his or her own way and together we will make a difference. Lets continue showing the way."
The Rotary Foundation is a 501(c)(3) corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world. Rotary Foundation accomplishes this vision to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.
Kutztown Rotary Foundation
The Kutztown Rotary Club held a special Rotary Foundation Dinner on November 12, 2014.
Foundation Chairman, Larry Biehl was master of ceremonies. He described the history of the Kutztown Rotary Foundation and its history of supporting local charities and providing scholarships to students from Kutztown Area and Brandywine Heights Area schools.
Those attending and their charities were Randy Sicher, Topton Fire Chief; Dan Dillard, Burn Prevention Foundation; Nancy Hildenbrand, Kutztown Historical Society; Janet Yost, Kutztown Community Library; Lynne Priester, Brandywine Community Library; and Troy Arndt, Kutztown Fire Chief.
The Rotarians applauded the charities that received support from the Foundation for their service to the community. The representatives from the charities gave brief reports on their activities in the community.
Funding for the Kutztown Rotary Foundation comes from many projects of the Kutztown Rotary Club including the annual Donald L. Boyer - Kutztown Rotary Golf Classic and the Taste of Kutztown. Kutztown Rotary Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity operated by the Kutztown Rotary Club.
New Generations Youth Leadership Conference
Kutztown Rotary sponsors outstanding students from Brandywine Heights and Kutztown Area High Schools to the New Generations Youth Leadership Conference each year.
"Ethics" was the theme at this year's New Generations Youth Leadership Conference, which drew more than 300 middle and high school students to Penn State Berks.
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.
Now in its 15th year, the conference is sponsored by Rotary Clubs from across Berks County.
As part of this year's 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."
Camp Neidig - Youth Leadership Camp
Kutztown Rotary sponsors outstanding students from Brandywine Heights and Kutztown Area High Schools to the Camp Neidig Rotary Leadership Camp each year.
About 130 students from 62 high schools in southeastern Pennsylvania attended a leadership camp in Earl Township this year. The students were sponsored by 52 clubs in the Rotary International District 7430, which stretches from western Berks County to Easton, Northampton County, and to Willow Grove, Montgomery County.
"We try to get the best of the best, the leaders of these schools," said Shawn Hinkle, camp director.
This is the 61st year for the annual four-day camp, which has been held at the Camp Manatawny grounds in Earl Township since 1995, except for three years when it was in the Poconos.
Camp Neidig was created in 1950 by Joseph S. Neidig, governing officer of Rotary District 2654. Neidig founded the "Leaders of Tomorrow" camp at Camp Delmont in Green Lane, Montgomery County. After District 2654 split in 1961, the newly formed District 7430 decided to rename the site Camp Neidig in honor of the camp's founder.
Camp Neidig is for high school juniors living within Rotary District 7430, which covers much of southeastern Pennsylvania. It is a leadership camp that brings together talented high school students for a four-day weekend of fun, friendship, and team-building activities. Campers will interact with guest speakers from various professional backgrounds who will discuss what it means to be a good leader. They will also participate in various problem solving activities that can be both physically and mentally challenging. Every activity we do throughout the weekend is designed to help campers develop their leadership and teamwork abilities. It is true what someone once said: "We come as strangers but leave as friends."
It is held at Camp Manatawny, a beautiful campgrounds and recreational facility in southeastern Berks County. It is designed to bring together students from various schools who have exhibited above average leadership abilities in various scholastic and/or community activities. Each of the campers is sponsored by their local Rotary Club, which coordinates camper selection with high schools in their districts.
Camp Neidig is proudly celebrated its 63rd year of inspiring tomorrow's leaders in 2012!
Recognizing Students of the Month
Each month the Kutztown Rotary Club recognizes one outstanding student each from Kutztown Area High School and Brandywine Heights Area High School. These students are selected by their school administrators and are often picked for significant improvement or overcoming challenges. The award is presented to a senior from each of the schools once a month during the school year based on recommendations from their guidance counselors on the basis of accomplishments in academics, school participation and community contributions. These students never fail to impress Rotarians with their positive impact on our community. Their parents and representatives from the school are always welcome.
As an example, in January, 2016, the Kutztown Rotary Club honored Phillip Donner, of Kutztown Area High School, and Erica Winegardner, of Brandywine Heights High School, as students of the month in ceremonies held at the Kutztown Tavern on Jan. 6.
March 14, 2018: 4-Way Test Contest
Starting in 2011, Kutztown Rotary runs an annual speech contest based upon the Rotary 4-Way Test. The contest is open to students of Kuztown Area High School and Brandywine Heights High School.
The 4-Way Test was adopted by Rotary International in 1943 a test for ethical decisions made in their lives and businesses. The 4-Way Test Speech Contest is a competition for 9th -12th graders. It requires each participating student to create and present a 5-7 minute speech on a subject of their choice, applying the Four-Way Test to guide their thinking and their actions. Each school is allowed to enter their best 3 contestants in the Kutztown Club Contest.
The contest is a three level contest. At the first level, Brandywine Heights and Kutztown Area high schools are invited to bring the 3 contestants they select to our March 8, 2017 meeting at the Kutztown Tavern at 6:30 pm. The Kutztown Rotary Club Contest First Place finisher and an alternate advance to the Regional Contest on April 22, 2017, at 10:00 am at a site TBA. The winners of the regional contests advance to the Southeast Pennsylvania finals at the Rotary International District 7430 Conference at the Best Western Eden Resort & Suites, Lancaster, PA, on Saturday, May 6, 2017. There are cash prizes at each level with the highest prize being $1,000.
The following resources are available:
Ayla Blatt, who is active in FFA at Kutztown Area High School, won the 2016 Kutztown Rotary 4-Way Test Speech Contest. Ayla's speech was on the importance of agriclture to society. Ayla was the winner in 2015 also. The second place winner was Krista Kunkle from Kutztown. Her speech was on the benefits of travel, drawing upon her experience on a mission trip to Costa Rica. The third place winner was Preston MacLean of Brandywine Heights School District. His speech was on the importance of sanitation in 3rd world countries.
Starting in 2011, Kutztown Rotary ran an annual speech contest based upon the Rotary 4-Way Test. The contest is open to students of Kuztown Area High School and Brandywine Heights High School.
The 4-Way Test was adopted by Rotary International in 1943 a test for ethical decisions make in their lives and businesses. The 4-Way Test Speech Contest is a competition for 9-12 graders. It requires each participating student to create and present a 5-7 minute speech on a subject of their choice, applying the Four-Way Test to guide their thinking and their actions. The contest is a three level contest, with Kutztown Rotary Club Contest First Place finishers advancing to the Berks County Regional Contest at Albright College, and the winner of that contest advancing to the Southeast Pennsylvania finals at the Rotary International District 7430 Conference at Pocono Manor, PA.
Rotary Youth Exchange Program
For Outbound & Inbound Students
The Kutztown Rotary Club sponsors long term outbound and inbound student exchanges. All participating students must be under 18 years of age and must attend high school while they are in their host country.
The club is responsible for finding suitable homes for the guest exchange student, and for providing a support system for both the student and the host families. Exchange students are expected to participate in Rotary District events once each month (the club provides the transportation). They are expected to be a participating member of the host family's household. And they must follow the rules of behavior delineated by Rotary International and Essex, our exchange program operator. All incoming students must carry their own health insurance effective in the host country and are encouraged to obtain liability coverage.
The timetable for the exchange is generally as follows:
For more information contact Marie DeFilipps. Marie, Dr. Handler, Patt McCloskey and Bob Hobaugh have all worked with this program and deserve much credit for its success.
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.
Kjalar 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.
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 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.
RotaPlast - Rotary's Cleft Palate & Lip Surgery
Kutztown Rotary supports Rotary's RotaPlast program to repair cleft plate and lip defects in children that would otherwise end up with an early death.
Rotaplast International is humanitarian organization providing free reconstructive operations and treatment for children in need worldwide.
Next year, Rotaplast will send approximately 500 medical and non-medical volunteers from the United States, Canada and other countries to 15 sites to cure 1,000 children of their debilitating cleft anomalies. Hundreds of families will be counseled on ways to reduce the incidence of cleft lips and palates, and scores of host country medical professionals will be exposed to volunteerism and have the opportunity to share their expertise with Rotaplast’s visiting surgeons. Without the support of Rotary Clubs, Rotaplast would not be able to give children in need a new chance in life.
The goal of Rotaplast International is to eliminate the incidence of untreated cleft lips and palates in children worldwide by the year 2025.
ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity that delivers emergency shelter, warmth and dignity to people affected by disasterworldwide
ShelterBox started as the project of the Helston-Lizard Rotary Club in Cornwall, England, in 2000. By January, 2001, they were able to send 143 boxes to earthquake victims in the Indian state of Gujarat. Each box provided shelter, blankets or sleeping bags, cooking and dining equipment, tools, materials for children, and water purification capabilities for an extended family group of 10 people for at least 6 months. The boxes are different for areas with different stoves for cooking depending upon the cooking fuel available, and different tents and blankets or sleeping bags depending upon the climate.
Since 2001, ShelterBox has responded to more than 150 disasters such as earthquakes, refugee camps, war zones, tsunamis, floods, hurricanes, drought, tornados, cyclones, tropical storms, landslides, fires, and volcanos. Often, ShelterBox is one of the first charities on the scene. It has responded to disasters in India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Angola, Iraq, Algeria, Iran, Liberia, Uganda, Dominican Republic, Burundi, Palestine, Grenada, Haiti, Phillippines, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Indonesia, Sumatra, Serbia, Romania, Sudan, Kashmir, USA, Guatemala, Somalia, East Timor, Lebanon, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Solomon Islands, Bolivia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Zambia, Somaliland, Mozambique, Swaziland, Ecuador, Ghana, Myanmar, China, Nicaragua, Ukraine, Jamaica, Peru, Turks and Caicos, North Korea, Mexico, Cuba, Congo, Australia, Gaza, Belize, Brazil, Kyrgyzstan, Namibia, Italy, Columbia, Taiwan, Burkina Faso, Niger, Samoa, El Salvador, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Egypt, Chile, Fiji, Benin, St. Lucia, New Zealand, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, Thailand, and other countries.
The goal of ShelterBox is to help 50,000 disaster stricken families every year. A donation of $1,000 sponsors one Shelter Box including delivery direct to those who need it. Kutztown Rotary tries to sponsor at least one Shelter Box each year. ShelterBox permits all sponsors to track where their Shelter Box is sent. Because of its increasing popularity as a charity, ShelterBox was able rapidly scale up and respond to major disasters such as the conflict in Syria, the typhoon in Philippines, flooding in Paraguay, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, conflict in Iraq Kurdistan and Lebanon. Previously ShelterBox responded to wildfire in Chile, volcano in Indonesia, earthquake in The Philippines, tornado in the US, cyclone in Madagascar, bushfires in Australia, and Hurricane Sandy in the US.
PolioPlus - Rotary's Polio Eradication Project
Kutztown Rotarians and the Rotary Club itself both contribute each year to PolioPlus to eradicate polio. In addition, Kutztown Rotarians Pete, Kim Miller and Amy Sheller have traveled to India to participate in PolioPlus projects to immunize children.
In 1985, Rotary launched its PolioPlus program, the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication through the mass vaccination of children. Rotary has contributed more than $1.6 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. In addition, Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by donor governments to contribute more than $7.2 billion to the effort.
Today, there are only three countries that have never stopped transmission of the wild poliovirus: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Less than 75 polio cases were confirmed worldwide in 2015, which is a reduction of more than 99.9 percent since the 1980s, when the world saw about 1,000 cases per day.
Reaching the ultimate goal of a polio-free world presents ongoing challenges, not the least of which is a US$535 million funding gap through 2012. Of course, Rotary alone can't fill this gap, but continued Rotarian advocacy for government support can help enormously.
The polio cases of recent times are the most difficult to prevent, due to factors including geographical isolation, poor public infrastructure, armed conflict and cultural barriers. As long as polio threatens even one child anywhere in the world, children everywhere remain at risk. The stakes are that high.
Every dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication will be matched two-to-one by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation up to $35 million a year through 2018. These funds help to provide much-needed operational support, medical personnel, laboratory equipment, and educational materials for health workers and parents. Governments, corporations and private individuals all play a crucial role in funding.
More than one million Rotary members have donated their time and personal resources to end polio. Every year, hundreds of Rotary members work side-by-side with health workers to vaccinate children in polio-affected countries. Rotary Members work with UNICEF and other partners to prepare and distribute mass communication tools to reach people in areas isolated by conflict, geography, or poverty. Rotary members also recruit fellow volunteers, assist with transporting the vaccine, and provide other logistical support.
Rainwater Harvesting in India
Kutztown Rotarians Pete and Kim Miller and Amy Sheller were members of the Rotary Dream Team - India. Their goal was to build dams to collect rainwater during the monsoons to replentish the ground water for use in the dry season.
Rainwater harvesting can be used for groundwater recharge, where the runoff on the ground is collected and allowed to be absorbed, adding to the groundwater. This increase in height of the water table and causes dry wells to come back to life. In some areas, the nearest water available is many miles away. Unfortunately, in these cases, it is the girls who are usually asked to fetch the water each day. This can prevent them from going to school and getting an education. The building of a dam increases health, sanitation and education.
In India rain water harvesting was first introduced by Andhra Pradesh Ex Chief Minister Shri N. Chandrababu Naidu. His efforts bore fruit and increased the ground water level.
Rainwater harvesting systems serve 120,000 people and their livestock in Rajasthan, a state in northern India. Through another project, in the Indian state of Maharashtra, crop yields have tripled as a result of rainwater harvesting.
Donald L. Boyer - Kutztown Rotary Golf Classic
Monday, August 21, 2017,
At the 2012 Boyer Golf Classic, Debbie Barrell was presented Rotary's Paul Harris Fellowship Award. With Debbie are Pat Miller and her sons Matt and Nick.
Since 2010, the Annual Taste of Kutztown continues a strong tradition
The Taste of Kutztown started in 2010, more or less, as an experiment. This experiment raised $3,000 for charity. In the early years, the Kutztown Rotary Club parterned with local merchants local vineyards to create a unique event. The participating Main Street merchants hosted a vineyard. Attendees would stroll from store to store to visit the vineyard and sample their wares.
Each year since then the event has doubled in size. In 2013, Main Street was closed for the event. Vineyards as well as local crafts people and participating vendors lined Main Street with their stands. People strolled up and down Main Street sampling the wines and visiting the vendors stands. There was another big difference in 2013, people could buy wine from the wineries. This proved to be very popular with the vineyards and the attendees.
In 2015 the Kutztown Rotary Club hosted its 6th annual Taste of Kutztown fundraiser on Saturday, June 6, at a new location, Kutztown Community Park. The Taste of Kutztown kicked off Kutztown's Bicentennial Celebration.
The event relocated to the Kutztown Community Park offering additional beer tasting from the areas growing craft brew scene along with amenities of the parks setting.
Tasting included wine, beer, mead and cider. Regional area bands performed varied genres throughout the day's event. The event also included hand-made products created by crafts people, samples of food and products from vineyards and artisan vendors.
Attendance was free and open to the public. Tickets were required for the wine/beer tasting. A limited seat VIP ticket featured the pairing seminar of wine and artisan cheese from two of the newest producers in the local region. Attendees could meet and learn from the wine maker of Weathered Vineyards and cheese maker of Valley Milkhouse.
The Taste of Kutztown is the Kutztown Rotary’s primary fundraiser. 2014 proceeds were donated to www.ihartharvest.org, which provided more than 200,000 pounds of potatoes through the Greater Berks Food Bank to more than 8,000 local households. Kutztown Rotary was also named as the largest donor to the international “Dream Team” dam building project in India, which supports agricultural and water supply efforts for that immediate region.
Organizers hope everyone enjoyed this year’s Taste of Kutztown while supporting the Kutztown Rotary’s charitable efforts.
The Miracle League of Lehigh Valley
Pete Miller, Rick Bardsley, Cat Hughes, Renee Sufrinko, Kim Miller and Jim Springer at the Halloween Bash.
Kutztown Rotary volunteered at a Miracle League baseball game and handed out treats at their Halloween Bash.
The Miracle League of the Lehigh Valley was founded in 2006, dedicated to providing children with special needs and other developmental disabilities an opportunity to play baseball.
The $1.5 million facility was completed for $750,000 and well ahead of schedule. While contributions are still necessary and welcomed, this demonstrates the great outpouring of generosity from those involved in the construction of Fowler Field. It occupies approximately 5 acres of land in scenic Heidelberg Township, Pennsylvania.
Opening ceremonies were held on July 27, 2006. Despite rain and thunderstorms, the great players and adoring fans were not deterred! Special guests included State Senators Pat Browne & James Rhoades, and the Philly Phanatic.
The state-of-the-art field is located on 5858 Sell Road, Schnecksville, Pennsylvania. It is in Heidelberg Township, along Rte. 309 N, approximately 9 miles from Route 22.
To protect our very special players, the field itself is composed of Mondo Super X Performance turf. This is the same rubber surface material used for track events at the Olympic Games.
The Potato Project
The potato project started in 2009 after reading a story where a Colorado potato farmer opened up his crop to anyone that would come and dig their own potatos. The response was massive. A local group saw this story and decided to take a different approach and use donated land, and volunteer labor to raise potatoes for the Greater Berks Food Bank and the many food pantries and soup kitchens they support.
In its inaugural year, 2009, the Potato Project planted 1.3 acres in a backyard, and harvested 7,733 pounds of potatoes with the help of local churches and Kutztown's Scout units. The potatoes were given to local food pantries and the Greater Berks Food Bank. This effort helped around 1,406 families in need of fresh food on the table.
In 2010, with the help of Rev. Paul Hansen of Zion Moselem Lutheran Church, the project expanded to 6.3 acres. This yielded 28,512 pounds of potatoes and helped about 2,500 families.
In 2011, the project continued to grow. They expanded test plant some summer squash. They provided 77,000 pounds of potatoes and 3,285 pounds of squash, helping 5,000 families in need of fresh food.
In 2012, the project expanded 8 acres of potatoes and raised some corn as a cash crop to provide sustainable funding for the potato operation. This year also saw many different weather challenges, yielding 49,000 pounds of potatoes for 4,400 families.
In 2013, the project had expanded to 12 acres. This resulted in a harvest of 202,291 pounds of potatoes, serving 8,100 families. Over 1,367 volunteers participated in the project, most picking potatoes. The Greater Berks Food Bank got so many potatoes, they were trading them with other food banks for other produce such as cherries.
In 2014, the project included 8 acres of potatoes. This resulted in harvest of 153,000 pounds of potatoes, serving 30,000 households and 84,000 people in need. This was accomplished with 900 vounteers. In addition they harvested 4,855 pounds of carrots.
In 2015, Kutztown Rotary brought together Rotarians from 5 clubs, and members of the Kutztown Rotaract Club (Lambda Chi Alpha) to pick 23,800 pounds of potatoes in one day from a one acre field in Richmond Township. They were joined with volunteers from area churches and Girl Scout troops. This one day, 142 volunteers were involved. Involvement of the Kutztown Rotary club has varied from helping pick, to obtaining a grant to buy equipment to help make the project sustainable. The project has become successful enough that it is approaching the production of as many potatoes as the food banks can absorb. Leaders of the organization have been asked to diversify their plantings to include such things as green beans, squash and carrots. This will require additional specialized equipment.
An International Harvester tractor and tilt-back trailer were purchased for the project with donations from private individuals in the area, many of whom were Rotarians. Matching grants from Rotary District 7430 resulted in the purchase of a storage silo and grain elevator. Kutztown Rotarian Bob Hobaugh points out that the best way to make the Potato Project self-sustaining is to put enough acres into corn as a cash crop to pay for operating expenses. IHartHarvest is looking for the use of a large field near Richmond Township on which corn can be raised that will put the organization over the top.
“We are working at developing a sustainable model for the project,” said Kutztown Rotarian, Dave Owen. “Once we get it right, it can be adopted by Rotary clubs around the world.”
Club Forms & Rotary Links
Club Attendance Recording Forms (pdf):
Kutztown Rotary Club Constitution and Bylaws
P.O. Box 127, Kutztown, Pennsylvania 19530, USA
Kutztown Rotary Mission Statement
The mission of Kutztown Rotary is to be relevant in our community and the world; and help build a better world, emphasizing service activities that enhance the quality of life and human dignity, encourage high ethical standards, and promote greater understanding among all people to advance the search for peace in the world.
Kutztown Rotary Club Officers
P.O. Box 127, Kutztown, Pennsylvania 19530, USA
(Membership Chair )
|Directors at Large:*
|Directors at Large:*
(Youth Exch. Chair)
|Marie J. De Filipps||610-682-0936|
|Sergeant at Arms*
|Program Coordinator||Renee Sufrinko||610-682-4288||610-882-7575|
|Foundation Chair||Larry Biehl||610-562-3374|
|Attendance Sec.||Jim Sher||610-987-6965||610-683-0771|
|Webmaster/Email Editor||Steve Henning||610-987-6184|
* Indicates member of Board of Directors
Meetings: Kutztown Tavern, 272 West Main Street, Kutztown, Wed. @ 6:30 PM
Nearby Clubs for Makeups
|Boyertown||5:30pm||Gilbertsville Firehouse, 1454 E Philadelphia Ave, Boyertown||Kathy Berry|
|Conrad Weiser||varies||1st/3rd Tues. at Red Plate, Robesonia, 7:30am
2nd/4th Tues. at Ozgood's, Robesonia, 12:15pm
|Muhlenberg||6:00pm||Blind Hartman's Tavern, 2910 Pricetown Rd, Temple||Allen Moyer|
|Mt. Penn||7:30am||Greenery @ Boscov's East, 4500 Perkiomen Ave, Reading||Denton Quick|
|Allentown West - Western Lehigh County||7:30am||Luther Crest Home, 800 Hausman Road, Allentown||Dan Crane|
Moselem Springs Country Club, 684 Eagle Road, Fleetwood
Municipal Building, 61 N. Third St., Dining Room, Hamburg
Brookside Country Club, 901 Willow Lane, Macungie
|W. Reading - Wyomissing||12:00pm||
Wyomissing Rest. & Bakery, 1245 Penn Ave.,Wyomissing
|Reading||7:30am except last Thursday at 5:30pm||Albright College Student Center South Lounge, 1621 North 13th Street, Reading||O Christopher Miller|
|Birdsboro||6:30pm||Stoppers, 6421 Perkiomen Ave., Reading||David E. Glass|
|Spring Twp - Centennial||
|Crown Plaza Hotel, 1741 Papermill Rd, Wyomissing||Jaime Ragonese|
|Allentown||12:00pm||Hook Seafood Grille, 22 N. 6th St, 3rd Floor, Allentown||James Kratz|
Kutztown Rotary Meetings: In the Club Room at the Kutztown Tavern, 272 West Main Street, Wed. @ 6:30 PM
Welcome to Kutztown & Topton, Visit some local links
Brandywine Community Library - Located in Topton
Covered Bridge Tour (pdf) - driving tour of the 5 covered bridges of Berks County
Hex Barn Tour (pdf) - driving tour of 20 hex barns in Kutztown Area in 30 miles.
Kutztown.com - Community guide
Kutztown Area Chamber of Commerce - Community business guide.
Kutztown Hex Barn Tour (pdf) - driving tour of 20 hex barns in Kutztown Area in 30 miles.
Kutztown Pennsylvania German Festival - Kutztown Pennsylvania German Folklife Festival.
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania - Official site for Kutztown University
Louisa Gonser Community Library - Located in Kutztown
Renninger's Antique and Collectibles Market - Weekly farmers market, auctions and antiques. Information on events.
The Weather Channel - Kutztown - Current weather conditions and forecast with radar and satellite maps.
Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide, who provide humanitarian service; encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.
There are approximately 1.2 million Rotarians, members of more than 31,000 Rotary clubs in 167 countries.
Rotary's first emblem was a simple wagon wheel (in motion with dust) representing civilization and movement. It was designed in 1905 by Montague Bear, a member of the Chicago club, who was an engraver, and many Rotary clubs of the time adopted the wheel in one form or another.
In 1922, authority was given to create and preserve an official emblem, and the following year the present gear wheel with 24 cogs and six spokes was adopted. A keyway was added to signify that the wheel was a "worker and not an idler." At the RI Convention in 1929, royal blue and gold were chosen as the official colors.
Rotary International is one of the world's largest service organizations, with some 31,000 clubs in more than 160 countries. Members of a Rotary club are part of a diverse group of professional leaders working to address various community and international service needs and to promote peace and understanding throughout the world. Annually, Rotary clubs worldwide invite a limited number of men and women to become members.
These prospective members represent various businesses and professional activities in their communities. As a progressive-minded business or professional person, you will see that belonging to a Rotary club, where outstanding representatives of the different vocations in your community come together, has its benefits.
To be invited, you must be:
- A leading representative of your business or professional activity
- Willing to help and participate in projects that enhance your community
- Willing to work on projects that help people in developing countries and promote international understanding and goodwill:
Rotary clubs provide:
- Friendships with other managerial and professional leaders in your community
- Prestige of membership in a worldwide organization
- Ongoing practical education
- A networking of people who can help you become more successful
- Promotion of higher ethical standards in your business or profession
- Projects to enhance your community
- Help for communities in countries around the world
The mission of Rotary International is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.
Motto: Service Above Self
The Object of Rotary
The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:
- First: The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
- Second: High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying by each Rotarian of his occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
- Third: The application of the ideal of service by every Rotarian to his personal, business, and community life;
- Fourth: The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional men and women united in the ideal of service.
Of the things we think, say or do:
This ethics test was adopted by Rotary International in 1943. It was originally written by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor in 1932. He later became Rotary International President. For the complete story of the 4-Way Test, go the History of the 4-Way Test.
Links to Rotary International Web Pages
Directory to Contents of Kutztown Rotary Website
P.O. Box 127, Kutztown, PA 19530
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