Stories

Pledge and Invocation:
 
President Samantha Maruzzelli brought the meeting to order at 12:15 PM at Purkey’s Pink Apple with Glenn Holcombe reciting the 4-Way Test and leading the Pledge of Allegiance and Dave Wilson giving the Invocation.
 
Guests:
 
Haley Toczko – 2016-2017 Rotary Exchange student to Slovakia
Ellie Toczko – mother of Haley
Kim Kenley - guest of Barbara Tourscher
Angelo Maruzzelli – guest of Samantha Maruzzelli
Kathi Keefe -  guest of Marta Kovacs Ruiz
Tim Zieger - guest of Marta Kovacs Ruiz
Clemence Molinatti – guest of Anne Sehne  - non-Rotary exchange student 2012 from France
Adam Sehne – guest Anne Sehne, 2012-2013 Rotary Exchange student to Ecuador
Alli Schroeder – guest of Anne Sehne - Adam’s girlfriend
Nico and Vito – 2017-2018 inbound Exchange students
 
Club News:
 
Exchange Student Update – Anne Sehne
 
Anne Sehne reported that country assignments were made during the exchange student meeting in Quakertown last weekend.  For 2018-2019, we have 2 full time outbound exchange students, a male student who will be going to Brazil and a female student whose country is still to be determined.
 
May Trip to CIA – Tom Kukuchka
 
34 people have already signed up for the May 15 trip to the Culinary Institute of America. We will depart Tunkhannock at 7 AM, stop at Route 84 Diner in Fishkill for breakfast on your own, then onto Rhinebeck NY for shopping & lunch on your own. Then onto the Culinary Institute of America for a 5 PM tour and 6 PM dinner at the American Bounty Restaurant.
 
Cost is $165 per person (based on 30 people, price will go down as more people sign up) which includes the bus, driver tip, CIA tour and dinner including tax and gratuity.  If you are interested, please give Tom your reservation.  Non-Rotarians are welcome to help fill the bus. The Club will begin collecting money for the trip in early April.
 
Sisile Maruzzelli, a Tunkhannock Rotary vocational scholarship winner who graduated from the CIA as a pastry chef, will hopefully meet us there and may help with the tour.
 
Interact Club – Dave Wilson
 
The TAHS Interact Club met Jan 10 and they are reorganizing and planning their events for the rest of this year.  They are coming to our Feb 1 Rotary Luncheon to provide an update on their activities and to present a check for Polio Plus.
 
Secretary’s Report – Carol Ziomek
 
Carol reported that the Newsletter went out. but the website and Facebook have not yet been updated. 
 
Exchange Students - Nico and Vito
 
Vito went to Quakertown to meet the other exchange students from the southern district and they learned where the outbound students will go.  Today he has a basketball game.
 
Nico, who is 17 & from France, also went to Quakertown, where they had to sleep on the floor, so it was not too comfortable.
 
Post-Holiday Social – Ann Way
 
The post-holiday social is Saturday, Jan 13 at Shadowbrook Inn & Resort and starts at 6 PM.
 
Membership Talk – Harry Sharpe
 
We had 3 prospective members in attendance today as it was a "Bring a prospective member" luncheon where the guest and their host both got a free lunch.
 
Membership Chair, Harry talked about the history of Rotary, which was founded in 1905 by Paul Harris in Chicago. Tunkhannock Rotary was founded in 1925 by the Pittston Rotary. Rotary is the largest service organization in the world.
 

Membership Chair Harry Sharpe
 
He talked about the motto (Service above self) and the ideals of Rotary and about the various areas of focus, including polio eradication.
 
Harry described various activities of the Tunkhannock Rotary, which is active in the schools (supporting DARE, scholarships, Interact Club and dictionaries for 3rd graders etc.), exchange students, roadside clean up, candy cane day, donations to local organizations, and putting on the July 3rd fireworks.
 
The annual Harvest & Wine Festival allows us to give out over $50,000 in donations the last several years.  Harry read out the list of organizations to which we contribute. 
 
Our Rotary dues are $135 per year and weekly lunch is $13, which includes the tip. Harry has membership applications and he described the process for membership consideration by the Board and Club.
 
Exchange Student Photo Opportunity
 
One of the prospective members hosted by Marta Kovac Ruiz was Kathi Harter Keefe, who was a Tunkhannock Rotary Exchange student to Sweden in 1968-1969, the 6th student sent outbound by Tunkhannock. Additionally, Adam Sehne, 2012-2013 Rotary Exchange student to Ecuador was in attendance at the meeting.  It was a perfect opportunity to take a photo of former and current Tunkhannock Rotary Exchange Students. 
 

L to R: Adam Sehne, Vittorio Sica, Haley Toczko, Kathi Harter Keefe, and Nico Chaulet
 

Our next Meeting will be Thursday, Jan 18. It will be a Club Assembly with Rotary Moments.
 
President Samantha Maruzzelli adjourned the meeting at 1:30 PM.

Guest Speaker: 
 
Haley lived in the city of Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovakia, with 32,000 people, very touristy since located near ski slopes.  It is 4 hr from Vienna. The Liptovsky Mikulas Rotary was her host club. One perk for students in Slovakia is that travel is free. Rotary took her on a trip to Poland.
 
Her first host father was in the security technology business and her host sister was in Colorado, so they only met for 1 day at the end of Haley’s stay. They took her everywhere and introduced her to a lot of friends.  She joined in for kickboxing, skiing and other sports.
 
She was able to have Thanksgiving with other American students in Slovakia.
 
Most Slovak schools were 8 years elementary and 5 years high school.  But her school was different and was 5 years elementary and 8 years high school.  She went skiing with the school.  They have initiation for all new students, which was to do a traditional Slovak dance, which she showed a video of as part of her presentation.
 
There were 95 exchange students in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. She had to take a Slovak test periodically to make sure she was learning the language.
 
She got to go to Bratislava and to the Xmas market there and also to Vienna during her stay.
 
Jan 10 she moved to her 2nd family. One of her host sisters had done an exchange to Chile.  While with her second host family she learned to play hockey.
 
In the winter, 60 exchange students came to her city for the skiing.
 
She also went to their Rotary District Conference and the Exchange students had to sing at the conference and there was a talent show. She sang in the chorus and was not a solo performer.
 
In April, she moved to her 3rd host family, where her new host mother was the sister of her first host mother. So, she was back in with the families.
 
Easter is significant for traditions in Slovakia.  On Easter, all the males go house to house and hit the women with willow branch whips and pour buckets of water on them to bring good health and beauty to the women. Haley got really doused with water and it was cold with snow on the ground.  The men were then invited in and provided with food and drink.
 
After her time in Slovakia, Haley did the Exchange Student Eurotour and visited 3 countries. They spent 3 days in Paris, 2 days in Barcelona (she loved the open markets and beach), then took a 24 hr ferry to Italy.  They started in Rome, hiked up Mt Vesuvius, visited Pompeii, Florence, Verona and Venice.
 
On her farewell weekend, the organizers scheduled a 5 hr hike, 8 hr bike ride and 8 hr rafting trip on the river to tire them out at the end.
 
Since her return, she has seen 2 American Exchange friends and went to London to see one of her host families. She will get a chance to see them again when they come to the states soon. She has made life-long friends around the world during her exchange and hopes to keep in touch with many of them and visit with them in the future.
 

Haley Toczko
 

Jan 13, 2018 Post Holiday Social
 
After an excellent dinner with delicious desserts made by Sisile Maruzzelli, District Governor Karin-Susan Breitlauch presented a club designated Paul Harris Fellow to Wyoming County District Attorney Jeff Mitchell in recognition of his work helping people in need as DA, providing leadership in the attempt to reduce the opioid crisis in our area and promoting the natural beauty found here in Wyoming County
 

DG Karin Breitlauch presenting Paul Harris Fellow to DA Jeff Mitchell
 
DG Karin then presented multiple Paul Harris pins to Tom Kukuchka and John Proctor. 
 

Tom Kukuchka receiving his multiple Paul Harris pin from DG Karin Breitlauch
 

John Proctor after receiving his multiple Paul Harris pin from DG Karin Breitlauch
 
Due to the bad weather, the members of the Keystone Music group that were to provide after dinner entertainment were unable to come, so John Hovan told a story and poem, Randy Ehrenzeller also spoke and DG Karin read an entertaining piece written by a new Rotary Director. 
 
 
 
Jan 11 Rotary Luncheon and Jan 13 Post Holiday Social Carol Ziomek 2018-01-17 05:00:00Z 0
At the Sept 21 Rotary Luncheon, Sandy Lane shared her Rotary Moment at the Club Assembly. Sandy talked about her time hosting inbound exchange student Diana Siraki. Dia came from Hungary although she lived in Serbia. Dia stayed with Sandy while on exchange and decided she wanted to attend Drexel University after her time in Tunkhannock. However, she needed funding for college. Rotarian Don Sick got 7 people in Rotary/Tunkhannock to sign for a loan of $14K for her to go to Drexel.
 

She graduated from Drexel and she had several jobs, so she was able to pay back the loan early.  She got married in Las Vegas with Sandy and her husband Donny in attendance. Dia and her husband then bought a home in Philly and she became a US citizen.

Her son Robert Walter Rudderrow III was born in April 2017. Sandy was named as his "grandmother". She has been to Philly several times to help Dia with the baby. 

Therefore, Sandy related that her Rotary moment has lasted 22 years, since Dia first came into her life through the Rotary Exchange Program


Sandy Lane

Sandy Lane Shared Her Rotary Moment Carol Ziomek 2017-09-28 04:00:00Z 0
At the Sept 21 Rotary Luncheon, Ruth Gorski shared her Rotary Moment at our monthly Club Assembly. Ruthie’s Rotary Moment began when the Tunkhannock Rotary (spearheaded by Tom Kukuchka) sent her to Houston for special medical treatment for her neurofibromatosis.
 

She became very good friends with Rotarian Otto Keil and Otto would bring her to various Rotary events. He then suggested that she should become a Rotarian and the Board approved her nomination. Otto made her a Paul Harris Fellow a few years later, which was very special to her.

As a Rotarian, she is very proud to be able to give back to others by helping out in Rotary in any way that she can. She is also very grateful for all the support that the club has provided to her.


Ruth Gorski
 
 
Ruth Gorski Shared Her Rotary Moment Carol Ziomek 2017-09-28 04:00:00Z 0
On Sept. 6, club members served ice cream at a social at the High School to introduce our 2 inbound exchange students to the school faculty.
 

Rotarians serving up ice cream to the High School teachers
 
At our Sept 14 Club meeting at Purkey's Pink Apple, the exchange students were introduced to our membership.
 
Nico Chaulet is 17 yr old from Limoges France. He does not do sports in France. 
 
 
Vittorio Sica is from Naples, Italy, where pizza was invented.  He is enjoying the USA. He is also Stefano’s brother (Stefano was one of our 2016-2017 inbound exchange students).
 
 
Tunkhannock Welcomes 2 Exchange Students Carol Ziomek 2017-09-21 04:00:00Z 0
At the Aug 17 Club Assembly, Dave Wilson shared with the club members his Rotary Moment.
 
Dave Wilson – 1965-1966 Rotary exchange student to Sweden sponsored by the Wyoming Rotary Club.
 
In WWII, his mother was a RN, his father was a soldier (later a building superintendent) and they were married in Holland.
 
In 1965, he was treasurer of the Wyoming HS Interact Club in old District 741. (Secretary’s note: In 1991, a zero was added to the end of each District number to allow increases in the number of Districts without having to renumber existing Districts and we became District 7410 – taken from the history of the Tunkhannock Rotary Club 1925-2015.) The Interactors would go to some of the Rotary meetings. His mother talked about Europe a lot and that got him interested in sometime traveling to Europe to see where his parents got married.  Then, someone gave a talk about the student exchange program and that piqued his interest in being an exchange student. He was only 15 years old and at that time Rotary was looking for seniors or gap year students.  But he wanted to do his junior year abroad and became one of the youngest outbound exchange students.
 
Rotary was trying to promote world peace since this was 20 year after the war.  He got selected to go to Sweden. He had his 16th birthday in Sweden and stayed with one family for the whole year.  He took Swedish lessons and had to transfer his credits from Sweden to Wyoming to graduate with his class. He had to use British English in writing etc. & there was a lot of UK influence in Sweden.
 
Rotary opened his career, since he became a social worker (also a degree in German), and eventually a director of social services at Clark Summit.  Patty Ehrenzeller was his sponsor for Tunkhannock Rotary in March 2005.  He keeps in contact with his Swedish mom (in her 90’s) and he has contact with several of our former inbound exchange students since his time in the Tunkhannock club.
Dave Wilson Shares His Rotary Moment Carol Ziomek 2017-08-22 04:00:00Z 0
At the Aug 17 Tunkhannock Rotary Assembly at Purkey's Pink Apple, Rotarian George Gay shared a Rotary Moment with the Club.
 
George Gay – His father, George Gay Sr, was a major influence on his attitude to “Service Above Self”. His father was very active in community giving and George went along with some of these activities, including things that were not known by the public.
 
George Sr. joined Rotary in the late 1940’s and George went along with him as a guest to many meetings. In later years, when he came home on vacations, his father brought him to Rotary lunches and George was often a guest speaker. 
 
George joined Rotary in 1968 when he was in the Reserves, but then was called to active duty and had to resign after only 1 yr.  In 2008, he came home to Tunkhannock and decided to join Rotary again. He was impressed that this was an organization that got things done and made a difference in the community.  He mentioned that now we need younger folks in our Club and that the fellowship is good here.
 
On his wedding anniversary cruise to the Far East several years ago, they had a session for service clubs to meet, but the only people who showed up were the Rotarians from various parts of the world who were on the cruise.
 
A Rotary Moment From George Gay Carol Ziomek 2017-08-22 04:00:00Z 0
At the Aug 10 Rotary Meeting, Tunkhannock Rotarian Jodi Crimmel reported on her spring trip to Haiti on missions with the Methodist Church’s Haiti Partnership, of which she is the co-chair. While in Haiti, Jodi also explored a possible water project that will be the subject of a Global Grant from the Tunkhannock Rotary. 
 

Jean FilsAime is an engineer on our planned Rotary water project and will work along with the Jacmel Rotary President Jean Joseph Foregas. The Jacmel Rotary Club would be our cooperating Rotary Club in Haiti. The site is the village of Hermitage on the southern coast of Haiti and it takes 6 hr to get there from Port au Prince.

In 2007, Rotary paid for a large and small water cistern to be built with connections in between both. Our Tunkhannock Club contributed to this water project. Recently, Tunkhannock Rotary sent $1,800 to Haiti to build a fence to protect the overflow water coming from the smaller cistern.

 
Large (left) and small water cisterns

Our new Global project would be to add on to these cisterns, provide water to the school dorms and another community, and create a community garden.


Jodi Crimmel

Jodi Crimmel Reports on Her Trip to Haiti Carol Ziomek 2017-08-15 04:00:00Z 0

On Aug 3, the Tunkhannock Rotary Club had the pleasure of welcoming 2015-2016 inbound exchange student from Belgium Louis Metens and his parents during their visit to Tunkhannock. Louis talked about how the exchange program influenced his decisions after his year in Tunkhannock.  

 

Louis admitted that he had no idea what he wanted to study when he graduated from high school in Belgium and that he was a little lost. At that time, he considered studying communications. When he got to Tunkhannock, he got to learn about a lot of people from around the world and got to learn more English.  He also discovered new ways of learning and how American teachers interact with their students, which is different than his experience in Belgium.  While at Tunkhannock Area High School, he took speech, public speaking and debates, journalism and other classes that he did not have access to in Belgium.

 

Law had already been of interest to him and his ability to argue was noted in his classes here and by his parents in their communications with him. So, after his exchange year, he decided to go to college in the Netherlands to study law. His is studying European Law at Maastricht University and is having a great time. He is studying in English, but he is also learning Dutch. Louis hopes to be jurist counselor for business law.

 

Louis remarked that it is hard for the inbound exchange students at the beginning of the year, so please help them by interacting with them whenever possible, making them feel welcome and talk with them so they can practice their English.

 

Louis’ parents said the biggest changes that they noted after his time in Tunkhannock was that he was more confident and independent.

 


Pres. Samantha Maruzzelli
(left), Pascale, Gerald and Louis Metens

 

Past Inbound Exchange Student Louis Metens Visits Tunkhannock Carol 2017-08-08 04:00:00Z 0
At the July 27 Rotary Luncheon at Purkey's Pink Apple, President Samantha Maruzzelli announced that the Tunkhannock Rotary had been voted as the "Best Non-Profit Organization" by readers of the Wyoming County Examiner/Advance.
 
Reporter C.J. Marshall attended the meeting in preparation for composing an article on the Club and its activities. The resulting article appeared in the Aug 2 edition of the Wyoming County Examiner (http://wcexaminer.com/news/rotarians-big-on-service-to-community-1.2225204). 
 
Tunkhannock Rotary thanks everyone who voted for us in this newspaper poll.
 
Tunkhannock Rotary Voted "Best Non-Profit Organization" Carol Ziomek 2017-08-02 04:00:00Z 0
At the July 27 Rotary Assembly, Patty Ehrenzeller shared her Rotary Moment with the Club.
 
Jeannie Brady is her best buddy and invited Patty to lunch at Rotary. She came 3 times to Rotary meetings and was then asked to become a member.
 
Rotary sent Patty to Africa when Jeannie was Club President.  A Group Study Exchange (5 weeks) was led by Patty to Cameroon and Gabon in Africa. Patty wrote articles for the Wyoming County Examiner on her time in Africa. Patty commented that the people were very poor, but so generous. If you complimented them on something, they would give/get it for you.
Patty Ehrenzeller Shares Her Rotary Moment Carol Ziomek 2017-08-01 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Allen Mickle
Have you ever wondered why you should join a service organization like Rotary? Ever wonder what Rotary does? Watch this video and find out!
 
Why Join Rotary? Allen Mickle 0