Author: Lawrence Schofer

July 11, 2018 – business meeting

Business meeting, July 11, 2018


1. Officers for the coming year were elected

President – Les Rosenwinkel

President-elect – Larry Schofer

Vice president – Larry Daniels

Treasurer – Ed Naumes

Secretary – Marie Lachat


2. Chestnut Hill Rotary club foundation

board members ex-officio: President Les Rosenwinkel, President-elect Larry Schofer, past president Chris Spolsky

Two representatives to the Chestnut Hill Rotary foundation were elected for a two-year term

Frank Hollick

Megan McCrea


Continuing on for the second year of a two-year term

Tim Ziegler

Allison Corboy


3. Chris Spolsky and Elliot Schwartz reported their impressions of the Rotary International convention in Toronto.


4. Rebecca Anwar reported on the progress of the lobster pot. She encouraged all members to sell tickets and to sign up for some tasks on the day of the event, July 28.


5. Chris Spolsky reviewed the activities of the past year

a) a new website was created for the club – now active at Chestnut Hill

The site includes a calendar of future meetings and minutes from previous meetings.

b) we sponsored our first jazz fest. This required a significant effort by the organizing committee. We made a small amount for the foundation, and we acquired a lot of experience should we wish to repeat the program. We also saw that it is possible to raise a significant amount of money in sponsorships.

Sponsored our annual lobster pot.

c) we worked with the Parkway High School for Peace and Social Justice on several projects:

joined the school advisory council

set up the first part of a peace garden

provided judges for their annual senior project presentations

sponsored 4 students at RYLA (Rotary Young Leadership Assembly)

helped prepare the organization of an Interact club, which is supposed to start in the coming school year

d) Distributed dictionaries to all third-graders in three local elementary schools

e) provided volunteer readers at Jenks school on a weekly basis

f) established a relationship with PAR recycling (training for released convicts) – electronics recycling drive each month

g) Pergola in Chestnut Hill/Mount Airy – performed several maintenance sessions on the pergola garden

h) participated in the Rotary international campaign to plant one tree for every member – we exceeded our quota by planting more than 50 trees

i) Pathways program for homeless families – paid the fees for high school equivalent examinations; provided Christmas presents for several families

j) significantly improved our public relations effort for the club – we now see most of our meetings described in advance in the Chestnut Hill Local

k) changed the setup in the provision of breakfasts – we still provide breakfast, but by using volunteers we were able to reduce club dues by 20% for the coming year

l) provided continuing support on an individual basis for the family of Phil Tankel


International programs

a) Hope children’s home in Guyana – continued our support

b) continued support for Shelter Box

c) continued support for Light Up Gambia

d) continued support for the habitat program of the Yerba Linda Rotary club

e) sponsored a special fund drive among our members for the benefit of Rotaplast

f) gave support to the Paoli-Berwyn Rotary club for the establishment of a commercial goat dairy in Gambia


5. The club presented a small gift to Chris Spolsky in appreciation for her work this year as president (and for her activity in many committees).

June 20, 2018 – Pachamama Alliance

Yasmin Goodman, report on the Pachamama Alliance.

The hope of the Pachamama Alliance is to work with the local tribes to preserve their culture and the environment against the inroads of outside sources, in particular oil exploration companies. The mission of the alliance is “to empower indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest to preserve their lands and culture and, using insights gained from that work, to educate and inspire individuals everywhere to bring forth a thriving, just and sustainable world.”


The alliance strives to educate the indigenous people so that they may control the tools that they need to protect themselves and their lands and culture.


Yasmin also reported on a project entitled the “Jungle mama’s program”, an attempt to help the local women learn about safe birthing practices.


Yasmin testified that her trip to the Ecuadorian Andean highlands was indeed a life-changing experience for her.

June 13, 2018 – Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network

Rachel Falcove, executive director of Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network

This organization, serving homeless and formally homeless families in Northwest and Northeast Philadelphia, is part of a network entitled “Family Promise”. Rachel Falcove became executive director of the local group 17 years ago.

PHIN is often considered as an organization whose major activity is to provide shelter for homeless families, but it has embarked on new directions because of the lack of affordable rental housing in the Philadelphia area. It can take up to a year to find housing for families in shelters, which is a very expensive and inefficient system.

Rachel pointed out that the problem of affordable housing is not confined to the unemployed or the currently homeless. This is also a major problem for working families, who often have problems paying the rent and maintaining a job.

Many families have problems because of a past eviction notice, whether actually carried out or not, and because of gender specific and density specific housing rules imposed by the federal government.

PHIN has developed a program of the “shallow rent” subsidy, meaning a few hundred dollars a month to help working families find a decent place to live and to stay in the neighborhood where they have contacts. The organization also in some cases leases and apartment, and then subleases to tenants at a reasonable figure. In some cases the agency holds the earned income credit that some families receive, because it annual credit of this size showing up in a bank account would affect support on a long-term basis.

PHIN is also working with other groups to establish a “tiny house community”, an intentional community for single-parent households. The small prefabricated houses are intended to create permanent housing at affordable prices for needy families.

The Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network depends on community support for all its activities. It has more than 1500 volunteers from 56 congregations, 9 universities, and 2 seminaries.


May 16, 2017 – Play therapy

Play therapist Tammi van Hollander (daughter of member Elliot Schwartz) presented ideas about “the nurtured heart approach” to dealing with children (created by Howard Glasser).

This approach is about energizing children in a positive way. Adults often give kids energy through negativity. The idea of this approach is to give positive recognition to specific activities. The approach is multi-sensory, utilizing a connection to children through play.

Tammi has developed “kinesthetic storytelling”, as seen in her recently published book Casey’s Greatness Wings. The book includes exercises on getting children to recognize greatness in themselves.

April 25, 2018 – Chestnut Hill Community Association

The meeting was addressed by Anne McNiff, recently appointed executive director of the Chestnut Hill Community Association. Anne is a long time Mount Airy resident with a number of years of experience working with the non-profit world.

 Aunt pointed out that the community is changing, now incorporating many “renters by choice”, in contrast to the long-time homeowners’ outlook prevalent in the community. She sees a need to integrate these renters into the community.

 2018 is also the time for collaborative work for a green initiative. Chestnut Hill is the “garden district” of Philadelphia, but it is necessary to work with other neighborhoods as well in such things as an aging tree canopy, water sources, carbon exhaust, etc.

 She sees possible partnerships with local schools and with other groups in ongoing service projects.

 On May 20 the Association will partner with the Chestnut Hill Conservancy for a great houses tour.