Robin Rome’s First Experiences with Rotary
Our guest contributor this week is Robin Rome, who wrote the following piece about her memorable first experiences with her Rotarian Dad and Rotary.  Although she has only been a member of our Tunkhannock Rotary since Oct 2019, it is very clear that she is brilliantly following in her Father’s footsteps and can be counted on to volunteer to help with any club project!  THANK YOU, Robin!
I’d like to tell you about my Dad, Donald G. Bird.  I joined Rotary because of him. Growing up in southwestern PA near the city of Johnstown, my earliest memories are of my Dad’s involvement with the Conemaugh Township Rotary Club.  Many of my childhood friends were the children of his fellow Rotarians. I fondly remember the Rotary family picnics at a farm in the summertime.  There was horseback riding, corn on the cob, and a big pile of sawdust that the children could search through to find little trinkets and prizes. On another occasion, I remember the picnic at a fellow Rotarian’s house that had a large pond. I took my first ride on a jet ski and also remember catching a slew of fish. The Rotary picnics were the highlight of my summer. When I was In high school, we hosted a Rotary exchange student from Mexico. I also loved going to the Rotary lunch meetings with my Dad on occasion and remember giving a speech at one prior to going to college.
I did not know it until recently that my Dad was a charter member of the Conemaugh Township Rotary Club. On a trip back home last summer I was invited by two of Dad’s Rotary friends to attend a meeting with them. It was great fun. Although there are many new members who I didn't know, there were quite a few who I remembered from years past. I plan to attend more when I am visiting this summer.
My Dad was an entrepreneur. He worked at an electrical supply company and got up enough nerve to start his own just down the street in a small town outside of Johnstown. He was an incredible businessman - building his business from the ground up. He employed close to 10 people and they were fiercely loyal to him. I think that’s a sign that he was a good boss. Later on, he sold that business to 2 of his employees and bought a machine shop. He dabbled in cars and always wanted to own a DeLorean. He was thrilled when he was able to purchase one in 2004.
The Rotary Club was a big part of Dad’s life. He met so many people through Rotary and made lifelong friends. He never missed a weekly meeting in 31 years. I remember whenever he traveled to Florida or Las Vegas or even on a cruise, he would seek out and attend a Rotary meeting so that he’d have perfect attendance. He was incredibly passionate about eradicating polio. He’d bend anyone’s ear who would listen about the wonderful work Rotary was doing to help rid the world of polio. He was a wonderful, caring person who always made everyone he met feel special. He truly lived up to the motto “Service above self.”  I know he’d be proud I am following in his footsteps and joined Rotary.
In Loving Memory of Donald G. Bird 6/12/35 - 12/28/07
March is Water & Sanitation Month
Rotary’s focus for March is the worldwide importance of water and sanitation. Taken from
Clean water, sanitation, and hygiene education are basic necessities for a healthy environment and a productive life.
When people have access to clean water and sanitation, waterborne diseases decrease, children stay healthier and attend school more regularly, and mothers can spend less time carrying water and more time helping their families.
Through water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs, Rotary’s people of action mobilize resources, form partnerships, and invest in infrastructure and training that yield long-term change.
The Rotary Foundation is changing the world by providing grants for projects and activities around the globe and in your own backyard. $24 is all it takes to provide one person with safe water.
2030 is the year Rotary hopes to finish providing everyone with safe water, sanitation, and hygiene.
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a leadership program coordinated by Rotary Clubs around the globe.
The RYLA program began in Australia in 1959, when young people throughout the state of Queensland were selected to meet with Princess Alexandra, the young cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. The Rotarians of Brisbane, who hosted the participants, were impressed with the quality of the young leaders. It was decided to bring youth leaders together each year for a week of social, cultural and educational activities. The RYLA program gradually grew throughout all the Rotary districts of Australia and New Zealand. In 1971, the RI Board of Directors adopted RYLA as an official program of Rotary International. 
RYLA has been active in District 7410 since 1988 and was initially geared to young adults (20 to 30 years of age) in the workplace to sharpen their leadership skills and enhance their personal talents. The Tunkhannock Rotary sponsored one RYLA participant for this week-end seminar almost every year.
The seminars covered leadership skills, panel discussions, enhancement of personal traits, development of skills needed to work as a team and identification of areas in their communities where their talents could be utilized. After the weekend, each participant was invited to share with the Club what they had learned at the seminar.
At some point, RYLA ceased to be a program for 20-30 yr-olds and became a program for high school students completing their sophomore year, who have shown leadership potential in their home, school, and community.
The conference is now designed to introduce participants to thoughts and ideas which, if utilized, will strengthen and develop their leadership skills. It also provides an environment where participants may discuss and exchange their ideas with other students.
In 2011, RYLA was established at Keystone College in La Plume, PA within District 7410. The 5-day workshop has been held annually with a maximum of 80 students. The number of students each year has increased until it reached the maximum number in 2014.
Our Club has sponsored students each year to attend RYLA at Keystone College. We sponsored as many as 14 students in 2014 and 9 in 2015, although we have had to decrease the number of students over the last several years, as other clubs of the 41 in our District began to send students and the total is still limited to 80 students. The students who complete RYLA are invited by the Club to present on their experiences. These students have proved to be the best ambassadors to promote this event to the next class of RYLA applicants. Reports from those students that attended RYLA have described the week as “life-altering”. We have heard the same high praise for this program from some of the parents of these students, who have been speakers at our club.
In addition, this program has resulted in several of the students returning to RYLA as junior and senior counselors in subsequent years. 
Unfortunately, due to the continuing issues with the COVID-19 pandemic, RYLA was not held in 2020 and the ‘heart-wrenching’ decision has been made to not hold it in 2021 either.  Hopefully RYLA will return in 2022.
District 7410 Auction
Assistant Governor Dave Palmer has arranged for the District Auction to be featured on WNEP TV Channel 16 on Friday the 5th at 9:15 AM.  You are invited to attend and to hoot holler and yell for the auction and Rotary in general.  Bring your cheerleader voice.  (When you pull into the station parking lot, go all the way to the left side of the building, the parking lot continues around back and that is where you will be met.)

Please remember to get your bids in on the District 7410 Auction, which runs until Mar. 14.  Lots of great local and NEPA items available.

Highlights of Feb 25 Zoom Meeting
Pledge and Invocation:
President Terri Detrick brought the meeting to order at 12:15 PM online via Zoom. George Gay lead the Pledge of Allegiance, Dave Wilson gave the invocation and Mike Markovitz led the first recitation of the 4-Way Test.
Louis Marcho – speaker
Benjamin Robinson - guest of Mary Tempest, Jim Welch grandson.
Club News:
Introduction of Guest Ben Robinson
Ben is interested in Rotary and he works in town at Stone House Financial. He is testing the waters to see if he wants to join Rotary and give his all to it like his grandfather.
Flash Meeting
There will be a Flash Meeting next Thursday at 5:30 PM via Zoom.
Committee Reports
Membership - Mary Tempest & Ron Furman
There was a District Membership Committee meeting last night.  The team will reach out to 5 clubs and talk to them about membership, since our District needs 1,100 total members to remain an independent District.  It is a good time to recruit new members, since they will not have to pay any dues until July 1, 2022.  Since our club will continue with hybrid Zoom/in person attendance meeting, this would allow someone to attend online who has limited time at lunchtime.
If we are merged into another district, there will be a lot of changes and it could impact a lot of issues, including increased dues.
Public Relations – Carol Ziomek
The Club Webpage has been updated.
This week was a great week for getting the word out locally about the activities of our Tunkhannock Rotary. 
The Feb 24 Examiner contained the front-page article (above) about the EMA planned vaccine clinics being organized by Gene Dziak for Wyo Cty.  Rotary was prominently mentioned in the article including quotes from Pres. Terri Detrick.
The same issue of the Examiner, contained on page 2, an article about the Rotary District 7410 Auction that mentioned projects funded by Tunkhannock Rotary with money from District Grants.  There was also a summary of the kinds of items available at the auction and the link to the auction site.
Last week’s Penny Saver also had 2 word ads for the Rotary District 7410 Auction with a link to the auction site.
The Feb 24 Examiner (page 2) contained an article about our $2,000 donation to the Seven Loaves Soup Kitchen, which brought our total donation to the Kitchen for 2020 and 2021 to $8,000.
Also, we will have a substantial contribution to the District 7410 newsletter again this month due to all the activities that the Club has done in Feb.
For the Mar 3 Examiner, we will hopefully have an article about the Rotary Peace Fellowship and following week one about the dictionary distribution to TASD 3rd graders.
Harvest & Wine Festival – Ron Furman/Mike Markovitz
There will be a Zoom Meeting for Harvest & Wine Festival planning on Monday, Mar 1 at 6 PM.  A Zoom link will be sent out prior to the meeting.
Rotary Foundation – Samantha Maruzzelli
2 Paul Harris were received by Pres. Terri and announced by Foundation Committee Chair Samantha.
The first one was for Sam’s uncle, who gets a Paul Harris for his $1,000 donation to the Rotary Foundation.
The second was Jeanne Brady’s Paul Harris +7.
Vaccine Clinic Volunteers – Ann Way
Gina Suydam has shared with Emergency Management live access to the vaccine clinic volunteer database.  Please mention the need for people to do injections to your doctors and their staff.
RI and District News: 
District 7410 Auction – Pres. Terri Detrick
The Rotary Auction began Feb 1 and will run until March 14th. You can view and bid on the items at  Many local items are available.
District 7410 RYLA 2021 Update – Pres. Terri Detrick
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a leadership program coordinated by Rotary Clubs.  President Terri read an e-mail sent to District Rotarians regarding the RYLA 2021 that usually meets for 5-days at Keystone College. It is a program for high school students completing their sophomore year, who have shown leadership potential in their home, school, and community.
Dear Club Presidents and District Leaders,
We are writing to you to give an update on RYLA 2021.
As you know, COVID continues to impact our lives, and planning for future events remains a challenge. We met with the RYLA staff via Zoom to discuss this year's event and make a final decision on RYLA 2021.
After much deliberation, the staff made the heart-wrenching decision not to hold RYLA this year because of the ongoing pandemic. The staff pondered both an in-person and virtual event, but ultimately, they were uncomfortable with either scenario.
It was disappointing, but we respect their decision and understand their reasons for forgoing another year.
Thank you for your past support, and we will do everything in our power to make RYLA 2022 the best RYLA ever!
Amy Leiser and Karen DeMatteo
RI President Elect’s Peace Vision
Join us! RI president-elect Shekhar Mehta will share his vision of Peace in the next free Director Dialogue with Director Valarie Wafer, set for Wednesday March 10 at 7:00 pm ET/4:00 PT.
We’ll also hear from Rotary Peace Fellow Marie-Paule Attema on how the Rotary Peace Center experience uniquely informs her work with refugees.
Register Now
We’ll learn what you and I can do to take action: Through Rotary’s Peacebuilder training, the RAG for Peace, and the Global Peacebuilder District Program, which will be brought to life by Rotarians and Rotaractors in District 5370 as we discover what they are accomplishing as a trendsetting Peacebuilder District.

Our next Meeting will be Thursday, Mar 3.  Our guest speaker will be Bob Carpenter of the Wyo-Sus Co Child Death Review Team, who will provide “Info About the Function of the Child Death Review Team and Who Serves”.
Pres. Terri Detrick asked everyone to silently say to themselves the 4-Way Test before they go about the rest of their day.
President Terri Detrick adjourned the meeting at 1:10 PM.