Russell Hampton
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Al Philpotts
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Philpotts, III, Al
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Sep 16, 2020
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Sunday, August 16, 2020
Our Centennial Park cleanup took place yesterday and you could also say it was a mini-Membership Development Month event.  Three of our newer members pitched in to help five Park veterans.  The result is a neat and tidy park at the entrance of Sand Island reflecting the pride Bethlehem Rotary takes in "our park." Paul Leese, one of our virtual members who I finally met in person, tackled the east end clearing out of the overgrown natural foliage and tree pruning.   Lisa Finkelstein (inducted at our last physical meeting) and Rocco Damato, pulled weeds, trimmed and raked.   Cindy Glick planted hearty succulents "stone crop" and provided lemonade.   Maria Nathans, Diane Donaher, and her son Drew, Jack Worsley and yours truly rounded out the crew.  And a young woman named Stacy, from the Sierra Club, stopped by and pitched in as she could not find her club's work party   And she plans to re-stain the park benches and gazebo Tuesday for us.  Thank you Stacey!  
The cleanup crew poses in Centennial Park
While Rocco and I were cleaning up, people out for stroll took a break on the benches and admired the beautiful surrounds, and enjoyed the cool breeze from the Lehigh River.   Many people gave our crew a big "thumbs-up" for maintaining the park. 
How the park looked BEFORE cleanup began!
Now that our park is in pristine condition, there was talk about holding a future meeting there before the weather turns cold.   I hope we can do a dual/ simultaneous virtual and Live-in-the-Park meeting this Fall.  Finally for those who were not able to attend yesterday's work session, there will be one more late fall cleanup.  This will give us a chance to be together while socially distancing.  
How the park looked AFTER cleanup was complete! Thanks Bethlehem Rotary.
Taste and Tunes Dessert Edition Committee is counting on everyone to find or become a sponsor of the event.  Please recruit your favorite bakery or restaurant to become a sponsor of dessert item for the online auction October 4-18, 2020.  We also need non-dessert auction items such as gift certificates to Iron Pigs season passes, vacation vouchers, etc.  See our website (click the Tastes & Tunes Logo) to found and download the form for sponsorship options.  
Last week we heard from Mark Rittle, Executive Director of New Bethany Ministries in town.  He walked us through how his organization has been adapting and assisting the homeless, poor, and mentally ill in the area to obtain help during the COVID-19 pandemic.   He explained the increase in homeless encampments since March, yet only 5 homeless persons have contracted COVID-19.  Like other groups with a large volunteer participation, New Bethany's volunteer staff has dwindled from 1,000 people to 20, with some of them being hired as part-time staff from grants.   Thanks to a City grant a program has used the Comfort Suites, on 3rd St. as a transitional housing center as clients are assisted by Case Managers to find housing.  Twenty-seven households over four months have been helped by this program.   He does fear a big up tick in evictions once the moratorium on evictions is lifted later on this month.  The program was a great follow-up from the City presentation last month on how the City is dealing with the pandemic.  
Membership Development Month continues this week with another dual classification talk meeting featuring Lisa Finkelstein & Paul Leese.  I can't wait to hear two of our newest members share their story and why they joined Rotary.  I am appreciative of how they both have jumped-in and become very active members despite the pandemic.   
See you Wednesday!  
Yours in Rotary service,
President Pete Mickolay