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Sep 02, 2020
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Sunday, July 12, 2020
It was a busy week with Bethlehem Rotary! We held the first meeting of our newly-reorganized Board of Directors and we are looking at new ideas and programs, as well as re-invigorating current committees to keep Rotary moving ahead on our mission.
At our noon Club meeting, I had the pleasure of inducting our first new member of the Rotary Year-Nikki Gingrich, who is now officially aboard. She is the Development and Marketing Director for the Bridges Foundation at BAVTS and half of the BAVTS Corporate membership team. She is taking over as Chair of our Vocational Committee to help us continue our student artisan program and hopefully have BAVTS students help with community projects. Welcome Aboard!
Marty Fins announced the approval of a Global Grant we are participating in with his former Rotary Club in CT. The money will be used for Water Sanitation Facilities for Guatemalan Village - Agua Caliente. Thank you Marty for helping us on the project.
Last week's program presenter was Alicia Karner-Miller, who is the Director of Community & Economic Development for the City of Bethlehem.  She gave us an update on our city's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Health Bureau is educating residents who came in contact with a COVID-19 positive person. Please click HERE to visit the Bethlehem/Lehigh Valley COVID-19 Dashboard for current information.
Alicia also told us that the Business Relief Fund so far has administered 89 business grants totaling $178,000 and helped retain 403 jobs. And with more Federal Funds just received, relief can be provided up to 2027 where needed.
A highly visible effort is the outdoor dining expansion the City accomplished by creating "parklets" in the parking spaces to give local restaurants maximum outdoor dining capacity with social distancing. The
City quickly built in-house 100 of the planter boxes and placed them to give a boost to dining capacities in town. Other relief programs have been a Business Outreach Task Force, Operation BBQ Relief for the homeless, and a program to prevent evictions. 
Needless to say, Alicia and the City have been very busy helping us get through the pandemic. Bethlehem Rotary applauds all of the efforts to keep us as "normal" as possible.
Our Club has launched Taste & Tunes Dessert edition, please click HERE to download the Dessert Commitment Form. Do you have a favorite Bakery or restaurant treat? Please take the form to them (maintaining COVID safe practices) and sign them up for our on-line auction. For more information, reach out to our Chair Jill Long.
This week's meeting will feature ArtsQuest's Anne Sturm and Shayna Super previewing the virtual Musikfest 2020 and telling us about other events being planned in lieu of our traditional music festival.
See you Wednesday!
Yours in Rotary service,
President Pete Mickolay