Author: Lawrence Schofer

May 22, 2019 – Anuj Gupta, director, Reading Terminal Market

Anuj Gupta, Director, Reading Terminal Market


The Reading Terminal Market has been in existence for 126 years, but about 30 years ago it had fallen on hard times. However, there were still some strengths, including loyal vendors, loyal customers, and support of the Philadelphia Inquirer for a place like this in our city. The city of Philadelphia created a nonprofit entity to take over the market, and it has experienced a true renaissance.


There are currently 80 family-owned businesses in the market; no chains are allowed. Anuj Gupta outlined the steps that he has taken as general manager since 2015: improved security, improved maintenance, improved cleanliness, maintenance as a functioning market and not a simple food court, culinary innovation, diversity in offerings (e.g., first Latino vendors), accessibility, opportunities for first-time entrepreneurs, partnerships with some schools. Most recent project is the redoing of Filbert Street to allow outdoor and indoor celebrations.

May 15, 2019 – ShelterBox

ShelterBox is an independent charitable organization with close affiliations to Rotary International. The organization responds to disasters by supplying whole family kits or by supplying specific items needed for rebuilding after catastrophe, such as earthquakes, typhoons, and civil wars.


Club member Tom Lloyd acts as a volunteer spokesman for ShelterBox, which our club has supported for the past 10 years. He pointed out that the organization has helped very large numbers of families, such as 11,000 families in West Africa, 35,000 families in East Africa, and over 50,000 in disaster areas in such countries as Syria, Iraq, and Indonesia.


From 2011 to 2018, there were 158 deployments in over 100 countries.


Tom noted that volunteers for ShelterBox field response teams undergo intensive training in order to prepare them to distribute supplies on the ground and not to use possibly corrupt local political organizations.


The organization is establishing a new category of ShelterBox hero, meaning groups that pledge to support ShelterBox at a meaningful level for at least three years. There is no question that our club would qualify, given its activity in the past, and we have every intention of continuing.

LOBSTER POT – SATURDAY, JUNE 22, 5:30 PM – click here for tickets and information

A fabulous, fun-filled feast of lobster or steak on the lovely grounds of 374 E. Gowen Ave., Philadelphia

Tickets: $65 (steak $55).  Table of 10 $600.

Advance sales available two ways:

Through Paypal: select type and number of tickets, then click on ‘Buy Now’ button below


By mail: send check to

Chestnut Hill Rotary Foundation
374 E. Gowen Ave., Philadelphia PA 19119

In case of rain, cooked lobsters and steaks will be packaged for take-home.

Proceeds to benefit charitable projects of the Rotary Club of Chestnut Hill

Ticket type

May 1, 2019 – Rotaplast

Carol Lerner, Rotary District 7450 volunteer coordinator for Rotaplast, discussed the 2019 district mission to Monrovia, Liberia.

Rotaplast is a separate organization, a spinoff of activity of Rotary members, but one that is actively supported by Rotary clubs. Missions take place only to areas where local Rotary clubs can provide support.

A team of 21 people in this mission consisted of nine Rotarians and 12 health professionals (doctors and nurses). The official task is to provide surgery for cleft palate and cleft lip, conditions that  are routinely corrected in the United States but that can be physically and socially crippling in other countries. Ordinarily about 100 surgeries are performed in a 10 day mission, but because of logistical and financial reasons affecting the local population, only about 60 such surgeries were performed in this mission. The surgeons were able to expand their reach to include a number of surgeries for keloid scars.

Keloids are common among certain African populations. If untreated, these scars can become raised and become so large as to be disfiguring.

Each of the accompanying Rotarians was assigned a support job on this mission, such as being in charge of sterile materials, preoperational contact with the children, transportation within the hospital, and other assorted tasks. Carol spoke of the tremendous esprit de corps that developed among all the members of the mission as they were engaged in a significant humanitarian activity.

Missions are generally planned 6 to 8 months in advance. The mission for 2020 sponsored by our Rotary district has not yet been scheduled.

April 17, 2019 – Prevention Point

Clayton Ruley of Prevention Point explained the organization’s approach to dealing with the problems of drug abuse. Harm Reduction is a set of public health strategies designed to reduce the negative consequences of drug use and to promote healthy individuals and communities without necessarily reducing drug use.


The strategy of this program is improved health through access to sterile syringes, safer injection supplies, medical supports, legal supports, and social service supports. The idea is to use a non-judgmental approach in working with drug addicts and sex workers. There are currently 11 weekly exchanges and access sites, both site-based and mobile. Services are not “forced” onto clients. The cost of supplying the supplies is infinitely less than the cost of treating HIV-positive individuals and those with hepatitis C.


Statistics indicate a significant decrease in cases of HIV among drug users in Philadelphia, suggesting positive results for the program.