Russell Hampton
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Oct 21, 2020
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Oct 28, 2020
Dec 02, 2020
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Sunday October 18, 2020
The Clock Strikes 12!
That's right, at midnight our first ever Taste & Tunes Dessert Edition virtual fundraising auction will come to an end. I am hoping for a last minute surge of bidding to occur much like what happens on on-line sites. Despite the challenges COVID-19 has presented, our T&T committee was undaunted and moved forward to make the event a success for the Northeast Community Center and our Bethlehem Rotary Foundation grants. Chair Jill Long kept us focused on the tasks that needed to be executed. President-Elect Deb Walter formulated the concept and along with Gerry Long sought out sponsorships (big thank you to Rob Littner). Deb & Jim Geiger were tasked with gathering information and sorting through multitudes of auction items.  This sounds simple, but it was not. Dave Erickson and Paul Leese are our tech gurus who learned how to navigate and set up the auction site. The rest of the committee did whatever was needed to bring success. To all Bethlehem Rotarians: Job Well Done! I am very proud to lead such a great group of Rotarians making a difference every day.
The 10th annual Purple Pinkie Race to Zero event will be a virtual celebration this Saturday October 24. Please see ClubRunner to join Team Bethlehem and the District 7430 virtual event will feature Rotary International PolioPlus Committee Chair Michael McGovern  and other people involved with polio eradication around the world. It will be a great way to connect virtually with Rotarians near and far.
Team Bethlehem will also host an in-person walk Saturday October 24 at 10AM in support of the Race to Zero. Starting from our Centennial Park across from the Ice House on Sand Island, this will be a great way to meet fellow members and Interact students and enjoy the Fall colors while walking along the D&L trail and helping to eradicate polio. Please email Maria Nathans or Maria Dietrich if you have questions, and remember to bring a mask.
District 7430 Training Tuesday is October 20th at 7PM title "Growing Rotary". Please join PDG Herb Klotz and Marty Helman D7780 Boothbay Harbor, ME as they share proven approaches to grow our Rotary Club-including attracting members in the COVID-19 environment and how to avoid potential obstacles. They will also present ideas on new, innovative clubs that are appearing in the NE United States. A break out session will follow to share ideas. Please go to the District 7430 website to register.
Last week our own Chad Paul gave an excellent presentation on the accomplishments made during his 18-year tenure as President and CEO of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern PA(BFTP/NEP). The incubator facility at the top of South Mountain has created 10,590 technology based jobs in client companies and retained 23,167 jobs since 2002. He said these jobs pay an average of $79,364 annually, which is 52% more than the average non-farm wage in PA.
As one of 4 state funded centers in PA, BFTP/NEP covers a 21 county area and helps technology companies develop a strategy, provides a solutions network, and delivers on its mission to diversify the region by investing in regional tech companies with the highest potential to create and/or retain high paid technology jobs.
Chad gave us the overview of what the BFTP/NEP mission is, then moved us inside discussing how several client companies are innovating against COVID-19. From blood tests, sterile injectable pharmaceuticals, or clean air filtration systems originally developed for in-vitro fertilization labs, many of the incubator companies are developing solutions to combat the pandemic. Even the well known OraSure Technologies is working on two COVID-19 tests including OraQuick rapid-antigen self test which is saliva based. 
Needless to say, BFTP/NEP is the jewel in the region for innovation and helping our area recover and become stronger after many of the traditional manufacturing jobs left. Chad has been a visionary in leading this transformation and helping to improve the lives of many people around the globe. A true Rotarian! And we wish him the best as he moves in to retirement. Thank You Chad!
Please join us this week for another dual classification talk meeting featuring Nikki Gingrich-our new corporate member from Bethlehem Area Vocational Technical School and Rocco Damato, Chairman and CEO of Bazzini Nuts. All I can say is you would have to be nuts to miss this meeting. And bring your questions.
See you Wednesday!
Yours in Rotary service,
President Pete Mickolay