‘Service above self’ Area Rotaries merge for community betterment

By on January 18, 2012

By: MICHELLE REIFF Review Staff mreiff.eph@lnpnews.com, Staff Writer



Rotary District 7390 Governor Helen Redding recognized the newly-merged Denver-Ephrata Area Rotary Club at a meeting Jan. 12. Shown are (left to right) Redding, new member Anthony Martin, President Josh Gluck, new member Michael Hession and Assistant Governor Bill Spence. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)Rotary District 7390 Governor Helen Redding recognized the newly-merged Denver-Ephrata Area Rotary Club at a meeting Jan. 12. Shown are (left to right) Redding, new member Anthony Martin, President Josh Gluck, new member Michael Hession and Assistant Governor Bill Spence. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

They say there’s strength in numbers.

Two long standing local clubs and their beneficiaries are about to find out how much.

The Denver-Adamstown and Ephrata Rotary clubs have both been serving the area for decades, providing scholarships for students and supporting non-profit groups such as libraries, fire companies and social services. The groups, comprised of business and professional leaders, give approximately $20,000 total back to the community each year.

In an age where it is becoming more difficult to get volunteers and the need for the help is rising, both groups decided it was time to step it up a notch.

The two clubs have decided to merge, forming the Denver-Ephrata Area Rotary Club. The long-term goal is to cover the same geographical area but do more.

"Both organizations have done similar things," said Josh Gluck, the executive vice president of sales and marketing of Douple Insurance Agency and president of the newly- merged group. "We’ve kind of recommitted as two organizations to form one. We thought together we could establish more."

The leader says the choice is already paying off.

"Since making that decision we’ve actually had five new members join with the energy we’re building," he said, bringing the total to 36.

Rotary International has using its motto, "Service above Self," been working since 1985 toward its main goal: the total eradication of polio. The organization is now present in over 200 countries with 1.2 million members and 34,000 clubs.

Helen Redding, Rotary District 7390 governor, was present at the local club’s recent meeting to officially endorse its merger. She spoke of how important it is for her district’s 47 clubs to work toward the organization’s main goal as well as supporting education and job training, providing clean water, combating hunger and improving health and sanitation.

""Because of open boundaries, polio is still coming in from Afghanistan and Pakistan," she said.

Redding praised those present for a job well done this past year and emphasized how as a whole the organization can continue to make things better in the world with three goals for the upcoming year: family and home, continuity and change.

In 2009 more than 49 million people live in homes experiencing hunger or risk of hunger. Redding shared that Rotary clubs in her district have participated in a dental mission to the Dominican Republic, bought a cow to process soy milk in Ecuador and planted trees in local areas.

"For there to be a strong family there must be a strong and safe home," she said. "And as members we must always be open to need."

Two new members of the Denver-Ephrata Rotary Club were recognized at this meeting Michael Hession and Anthony Martin were presented with new member pins.

Member David Davies was also recognized with a special award, the Paul Harris pin, for his contribution of $1,000, which will go toward healthcare and items like sewing machines and milk for villages.

Gluck is filled with hope for the united club’s future. An resident of Adamstown, he was president of the Denver-Adamstown Rotary prior to the merger and enjoys giving back to the community and learning through other’s experiences.

"I enjoy all of the different speakers from all walks of life — many interesting organizations," he shared.

The club plans on continuing to support humanitarian organizations such as shelters and organizing several fund-raisers throughout the year. These include: an art auction in March and the annual craft fair at Stoudtburg Village in October.

There are no operating expenses. Everything the volunteers raise goes back to the community.

In addition to Gluck, the officers of the Denver-Ephrata Area Rotary Club for the current 2011-2012 club year are: David Peck, vice president; Gil Ochs and Don Jones, co-secretaries; Mike Leid and Dean Hoover, co-treasurers; and Rudy Popolis, membership chair.

The officers for the 2012-2013 have already been named. They will be: Michele McHenry, president; David Peck, vice president; Mike Leid, treasurer; and Bill Minser, secretary.

The club is always looking for community-minded individuals to become new members. Anyone who thinks they may be interested may send an e-mail to Gluck at joshg@doupleinsurance.com. More ROTARIES, page A6

About Ephrata Review