Ex­er­cises in fel­low­ship

CPW Ro­tary Club mem­bers par­tic­i­pate in Min­gleFests by serv­ing the com­mu­nity

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By M. English For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

Mem­bers of the Con­shohocken Ply­mouth Whitemarsh Ro­tary Club are known for help­ing non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions that run the gamut from Con­shohocken-based Colo­nial Neigh­bor­hood Coun­cil to Philadel­phia’s Gift of Life Fam­ily House for trans­plant pa­tients.

On Nov. 3, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from CPW and Glen­side Ro­tary Club joined other civic groups in lay­ing Amer­i­can flags on vet­er­ans’ graves at Ge­orge Washington Me­mo­rial Park in Ply­mouth Meet­ing. And come Nov. 11, CPW mem­bers ex­pect to spend at least part of the day pick­ing up trash dur­ing a com­mu­nity road clean-up.

The range of causes sup­ported by CPW and fel­low vol­un­teers in Ro­tary Dis­trict 7450 is lengthy and var­ied, lo­cal and global. Ergo, the pe­ri­odic get-to­geth­ers — dubbed Min­gleFests — co­hosted by the dis­trict’s 54 clubs to ex­change in­for­ma­tion and re­cruit new mem­bers. The next one is sched­uled for Nov. 12 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Con­shohocken’s Great Amer­i­can Pub, 123 Fayette St., and the pub­lic is in­vited to stop by for ap­pe­tiz­ers and in­for­mal con­ver­sa­tion. The event is free, but or­ga­niz­ers re­quest at­ten­dees bring do­na­tions of canned meat or fruit for Colo­nial Neigh­bor­hood Coun­cil’s com­mu­nity food pantry.

“There are pri­mar­ily two pur­poses for Min­gleFest,” ex­plains Dis­trict 7450 As­sis­tant Gover­nor and CPW mem­ber Re­nee DeCoskey. “Num­ber one, it gives Ro­tar­i­ans from all over Dis­trict 7450 a chance to meet one an­other… and, ba­si­cally, learn what other clubs in the area are do­ing and,

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Peo­ple swarmed the polls in record num­bers to make their voices heard in the one place it mat­ters most. John D. War­rick of Perkasie, Ber­nadette M. Ginkiewicz of Fred­er­ick, Wil­liam Thomas “Bill” Walsh Jr.

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“Num­ber two, and ar­guably even more im­por­tant, (Min­gleFest) is a way to get the pub­lic in­ter­ested in Ro­tary. You can never have too many mem­bers… and the thing is, ev­ery club has its own cul­ture, so this is an op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to learn about the dif­fer­ent clubs and, hope­fully, find one they feel com­fort­able with.”

CPW Ro­tary, for ex­am­ple, is known for its eclec­tic mem­ber­ship — aged 20s to 90s and nearly 50 per­cent women. The club in­cludes an ac­tive satellite group that meets Mon­day evenings at 7 at Guppy’s Good Times, 2 Maple St., Con­shohocken. CPW’s weekly morn­ing meet­ings take place at 7:30 at Wil­liam Jeanes Li­brary, 4051 Joshua Road, Lafayette Hill, but all out­reach projects, fundrais­ers and spe­cial events are joint ef­forts.

“I think there’s still that stereo­type of Ro­tary be­ing an old boys club, but CPW broke that mold,” says DeCoskey, who served as CPW Ro­tary’s first fe­male pres­i­dent from 2016 to 2018. “We un­der­stand that some women might be in­tim­i­dated about join­ing be­cause they be­lieve these or­ga­ni­za­tions are pri­mar­ily male, but that’s no longer the case. CPW is pretty much half and half, and our board is pri­mar­ily fe­male.”

DeCoskey notes out­siders might also be un­aware of Ro­tary’s mul­ti­ple youth seg­ments. The 14- to 18-yearold mem­bers of Ply­mouth Whitemarsh High School’s (CPW-af­fil­i­ated) In­ter­act Club have com­pleted sev­eral com­mu­nity ser­vice projects over the years. Next up, Nov. 11’s “Trash Mob” lit­ter clean-up with their CPW coun­ter­parts.

Ro­tary In­ter­na­tional also spon­sors Ear­lyAct and Ro­taract clubs for 5- to 13-yearolds and 18- to 30-year-olds, re­spec­tively. Ro­tary’s longestab­lished Youth Ex­change places stu­dents with host

fam­i­lies and high schools in a for­eign coun­try for up to a full aca­demic year.

“Our (Dis­trict 7450) clubs also send stu­dents to a lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment pro­gram called RYLA (Ro­tary Youth Lead­er­ship Awards Con­fer­ence),” DeCoskey notes.

The 2019 RYLA con­fer­ence is sched­uled for Feb. 8-10 at the Free­doms Foun­da­tion in Val­ley Forge.

Ro­tary was founded in Chicago in 1905 and now has 35,000-plus clubs and some 1.2 mil­lion mem­bers through­out the world. The or­ga­ni­za­tion’s flag­ship pro­gram is Po­lioPlus. More de­tails are avail­able at www. ro­tary.org.

CPW Ro­tary’s cur­rent of­fi­cers are An­drew Tarry, pres­i­dent; Emily Zabrod­ski, pres­i­dent-elect/vice pres­i­dent; Stephanie O’Han­lon, sec­re­tary; Irwin Forbes, trea­surer; Matt Doyle, di­rec­tor of mem­ber­ship; Macken­zie Brein­linger, satellite club chair; Meghan Mur­phy, fi­nan­cial di­rec­tor; and Marissa Buck, di­rec­tor of ser­vice. Ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion about on­go­ing club ac­tiv­i­ties or Nov. 12’s Min­gleFest is avail­able via www.cp­wro­tary.com.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF CPW RO­TARY CLUB

Con­shohocken Ply­mouth Whitemarsh Ro­tar­i­ans Franky Lan and Rika Su­siani were part of a vol­un­teer group that hon­ored vet­er­ans by plac­ing Amer­i­can flags on graves at Ge­orge Washington Me­mo­rial Park in Ply­mouth Meet­ing.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF CPW RO­TARY CLUB

Con­shohocken Ply­mouth Whitemarsh Ro­tar­i­ans Franky Lan and Rika Su­siani were part of a vol­un­teer group that hon­ored vet­er­ans by plac­ing Amer­i­can flags on graves at Ge­orge Washington Me­mo­rial Park in Ply­mouth Meet­ing.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF CPW RO­TARY CLUB

Ro­tary Dis­trict 7450 As­sis­tant Gover­nor Re­nee DeCoskey (fourth from right) and fel­low CPW Ro­tar­i­ans.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF CPW RO­TARY CLUB

Con­shohocken Ply­mouth Whitemarsh Ro­tar­i­ans were part of a vol­un­teer group that hon­ored vet­er­ans by plac­ing Amer­i­can flags on graves at Ge­orge Washington Me­mo­rial Park in Ply­mouth Meet­ing.

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