Meeting Notes
Rotary Club of State College/Downtown
September 12, 2019
Ramada Inn and Conference Center

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by President Stephanie Fost at 12:05 pm, with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Four Way Test.

Resources and Reminders:
Our own club’s Farmers to Foodbank service project is every Friday through November, from 5:15 pm to about 6 pm. Volunteers are needed. For more information and to sign up, visit

The United Nations Day Celebration Dinner is Sunday, Oct. 20 from 5 pm to 8:30 pm at the Ramada Inn and Conference Center. Come celebrate 74 years of UN hard work and accomplishment on world peace; see what the UN is accomplishing on climate change; welcome internationals from over 30 nations. The keynote speaker is Dr. Tom Richard, director of Penn State Institutes for Energy and the Environment. The cost of dinner is $35. For more information, see the attached flyer or visit

Guests and Visitors:
Don O’Connell, guest of Ken Martin and prospective member.

Valerie Reed, guest of George Trudeau. She is a member of the Lewistown Rotary Club and is communications specialist with Geisinger.

50/50 Raffle:
Brodie Dalton pulled the six of hearts.

Happy Bucks:
Danielle Stemple is leaving for Italy on Monday with her mom and sister.

Don O’Connell became a grandfather on Friday for the first time.

George Trudeau will be a grandfather in February and he already mailed a Penn State onesie to the expectant parents.

Jason Browne is looking for volunteers to help solicit restaurants to provide coupons in the dining and entertainment books. We also need groups to partner and sell books. That will help us get thousands more dollars we can give to local charities. See Jason and bolster our largest fundraiser:

Oct. 26 is the 1 Rotary Summit. This is a great training for everyone in the club. It is the same day as the Rotary Foundation dinner, which is $50 per ticket. The incoming Rotary International Rotary Director Peter Kyle will be the speaker for the evening. See attachment for more information.

All five area Rotary clubs are holding a tailgate this Saturday, Sept. 14 at 10 am. A signup is going around so there is a count for food. Our exchange students will be there, so please come by and say hello to them. The free tailgate will be held on the paved lot at spots 816 & 817 which is a short distance from the Jordan Center. If you take the shuttle bus, walk to the intersection of Curtin and Porter Roads and make a right turn onto Porter Rd. Walk down eight rows until you are across from Medlar Field. These spots are near the entrance to the lot.

We recently gave $10,000 to Mid-State Literacy Council to provide computer and technology training to grandparents who are raising their grandchildren and don’t have the tools to help them succeed in school.

The membership committee wants to have wellness conversations, meaning that if you know of a club member who is sick, going through a difficult time, or has something to celebrate, let the membership committee know so they can make the club aware.

Paul Harris Fellow Presentation:
Jason Browne was recognized for his years of philanthropy to the Rotary Foundation. He is a Paul Harris Fellow plus four (meaning he has donated more than $5,000 to the Rotary Foundation)

Program: Ronald McDonald House in Danville – Renee Gerringer, development officer

The Ronald McDonald House provides a place for families to stay when their child is sick in the hospital. This way, families don’t have to travel back and forth when they want to be near their child.

The Ronald McDonald House in Danville is a five-minute walk across the parking lot of the Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital. The house operates 24/7 and has 19 guest rooms. In 2018, the Ronald McDonald House served 12,976 guests and prepared 374 meals. The house is usually at 86 percent capacity.

The Ronald McDonald House has seven part-time employees who work the night shift and six day staff, plus an executive director and two development officers.

The Ronald McDonald House has a family room that is in the hospital rather than the house. This is for families who want to be steps away if their child is very sick and they want to be close, especially during the night. The family room includes two sleep rooms and a shared full bathroom with shower.

The Ronald McDonald House rents out Camp Victory in Millville and holds Camp Dost, a free camp for sick children. Activities range from swimming to biking and arts and crafts.

The Ronald McDonald House in Danville is supported by grants, events, sponsorships, and individual donors. The Danville house is one of five in Pennsylvania. There is one in Pittsburgh, Hershey, Philadelphia, and Scranton.

McDonalds Corporation has sponsored Ronald McDonald House Charities, but the two organizations are not affiliated with each other.

 The meeting adjourned at 1 pm.

Rotarians of the Week:
Sept. 19 – Kristen Dzvonyicsak
Sept. 26 – TBD
Oct. 3 – Jim Eberly
Oct. 10 – Brittany Robertson
Oct. 17 – Roger Fetter
Oct. 24 – Stephanie Fost
Oct. 31 – Joe Gaetano

Sept. 1 – Rainer Domalski
Sept. 2 – Carl Hill
Sept. 8 – Brodie Dalton
Sept. 10 – David Gaines
Sept. 10 – Frank Gatto
Sept. 10 – Heidi Wrights
Sept. 26 – Stephanie Fost
Sept. 27 – Dick Held

Club Membership Anniversaries:
Chuck Gambone – 31 years
Jason Browne – 6 years
Neal Castles – 6 years
Paul Podwika – 4 years
David Gaines – 3 years


2019-2020 Theme: Rotary Connects the World

Sept. 19 – New Leaf Initiative – Abby Gaffron
Sept. 26 – Club Assembly
Oct. 3 - Day of Caring – No club meeting
Oct. 10 – Rotary Foundation presentation – Jim Eberly
Oct. 17 – District Governor Swan Stall visit
Oct. 24 – Penn State Sports Properties – Brad Keen
Oct. 31 – Wildlife for Everyone – Susan Hawthorne