The Kutztown Rotary Charitable Foundation and Rotary Club of Kutztown held their Foundation Dinner at the Kutztown Tavern in November, celebrating $27,840 donated by the Club and Foundation to area non-profit organizations.
Representatives from the non-profit groups were invited to attend the Foundation festivities which included dinner and a program explaining Rotary Club services and fundraising activities of the Club and Foundation. Participants then received introductions by board members announcing the charitable gifts.
The Kutztown Rotary Club participates in both international and local charitable and volunteer contributions. At the local level, members of the Kutztown Rotary Club participate in “Ready-Set-Read” at the Brandywine Heights Elementary School, Merchants’ Night Trick-or-Treat, local food bank events including Friend and Opportunity House, The Potato Project, and in sponsoring students for academic scholarships and leadership training as well as Farmers’ Night to show appreciation to local farmers.
At the Foundation Dinner, Rotarians celebrated their chosen local charities. Seventeen representatives from local non-profits were in attendance and are pictured here. The major fundraisers of the Kutztown Rotary Club supporting these donations include the Taste of Kutztown along with its Run for the Wine event held in June 2018 and the Foundation-sponsored Don Boyer Golf Classic held in August 2018.
Invited guests summarized the work of their respective non-profit and highlighted the future needs of the organization. Accepting for Camp Edmar, a local camp supporting scouting since 1952, was Eric Erb along with his father Lee Erb. Walt Zawaski accepted for The Potato Project which announced that they were able to donate 269,000 pounds of food they had raised on donated land to local food banks. In accepting the donation to the Topton Fire Company, Chief Mike Salvage mentioned that half of their calls are opioid-related and Kelly Neyhart accepting for Kutztown Strong and Brandywine Heights Community Task Force discussed the work of these organizations at stemming the opioid epidemic. Janet Yost from the Kutztown Community Library announced the new Youth Librarian recently hired and Dan Dillard from the Burn Prevention Foundation talked about fire and burn safety coverage in 900 schools in its service area which includes Berks County. The largest single donation was accepted by Sandy Wise and Keith Rohrbach on behalf of Friend, Inc which made possible the purchase of a large glass front refrigerator for the food pantry in Kutztown.
Other recipients included Kutztown Area Historical Society accepted by Nancy Hildenbrand, Brandywine Community Library accepted by Heather Wicke, Allentown Rescue Mission accepted by Jessica Khour, Kutztown Community Choir accepted by Mike Barron, and Shelter Box accepted by Bill Tuszynski and Hank Tur.
Lyons Fire Company was unable to send a representative; Eric Diehl, Chief of the Kutztown Fire Company was tied up handling an accident and could not make the event; and the representative from Tri-County Red Cross was unable to attend as he was working with refugees from the wildfires in California.
In addition to these donations, the Kutztown Rotary also awarded 2 scholarships of $2,500 each to a Kutztown High School student and a Brandywine Heights High School student, for a total of $32,840 in local donations this past year.