The new West End Rotary Club's president promised that the club's new year was going to be fun. To that end, Jill Rehrig planned a "fun" installation dinner and awards banquet at Luna Rossa Italian Restaurant in Kresgeville, "A Taste of Tuscany."
Members and guests arrived in black and white attire and the tables were decorated in black and white feathery centerpieces and guests were serenaded by the musical talents of Josiah Bortlik from the Jesse Wade Gang.
Budd O'Malia, the immediate Past District Governor asked the Rotarians to "reach inside yourself to help humanity."
Past District Governor Bob Wehe and his wife Doris said it was a pleasure to be guests of WERC and he gave the evening's invocation.
District Governor Art Peoples installed the new officers and directors. He said the WERC is filled with Rotary enthusiasts. They are: Jill Rehrig, President; Debbie Borger, President-Elect; Theresa Yocum, Vice President; Diana Cardwell, Secretary; Frank Mullane, Treasurer; Dave Pierce, Sgt. at Arms; Jeff Widmer, Public Relations; Joanie Loveless, Membership; Kevin Noll, Service Projects; Joey Krawitz, Club Administrator; Karen Ecke, Rotary Foundation.
This year there were eight Rotary members who recognized for their perfect attendance records. They are: Diana Cardwell, 18 years; Jeff Widmer, 17 years; Honi Gruenberg, 11 years; Karin-Susan Breitlauch, five years; Joanie Loveless, four years; Jill Rehrig, three years; Karen Ecke, two years; Elaine Ackroyd-Kelly and Ed Gallagher, one year.
Honi Gruenberg, WERC's Foundation Chair and club director, announced Paul Harris awards.
They were given to: Elaine Ackroyd-Kelly; Debbie Borger; Karin-Susan Breitlauch; Karen Ecke; Edward Gallagher; Kevin Noll.
Kevin Noll was named Rotarian of the Year Award. Ed Gallagher received the Above & Beyond Award. Elaine Ackroyd-Kelly was awarded the Service Above Self Award.
Rehrig said as incoming Rotary presidents, they are encouraged to bring in new members.
She then introduced new members she was responsible for joining as of this night. They are: Dorothy Thoronton, Chris Raab, Linda Salas, Silvia Vitiello.
The West End Rotary Club holds a few fundraisers a year like the Longaberger/Vera Bradley Basket Bingo, 5k Bear Run, Octoberfest and distributes the proceeds throughout the community in the form of scholarships, dictionaries to every third grader in Pleasant Valley School District, distribution of warm coats to children in need, donations to Relay For Life and area fire companies and much more. It is Rotary's mission to eradicate polio from the face of the earth and is working tirelessly to that end.
Karin-Susan Breitlauch, past president, thanked everyone for "the best two years" of her presidency. She said that as Rotarians, they donate their service and time, "But it's the people we touch. We're not only in the business of service, but in the service of people."
President Rehrig said she was "On fire for Rotary this year" and promised to make being a member of the West End Rotary Club (WERC) a fun experience during her tenure as president.
"I want us to reach in our pockets and pull out Rotary," she said.
If interested in learning more about Rotary, you are invited to attend one of their weekly meetings at the Western Pocono Community Library every Thursday morning at 7:30 a.m. or call Jill at 570-778-3846.