Rotary Club of Athens

May 2016
President Elect
Past President/Membership Chair
Community Service
Vocational Services
Club Service
International Service
New Generations
Rotary Foundation
Club Foundation Chair
Club Foundation Secretary
Club Foundation Treasurer
Club Foundation Investments
Club Photographer


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Welcome to the Athens Rotary club!


Service Above Self

We meet Mondays at 12:00 PM
Ohio University Inn
331 Richland Ave
Athens, OH  45701
United States
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The Athens Rotary Foundation Board decided at the April 29, 2016 meeting to offer a paid scholarship to a Rotarian for the upcoming 2016-17 class of Leadership Athens County (LAC).  This program was launched in 2006 by the Athens Foundation with support from the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, the Voinovich School of Ohio University, the Columbus Foundation and the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation.
Leadership Athens County begins its tenth class this year.  The nine-month program begins with an overnight retreat September 15 & 16 at the Inn at Cedar Falls.  The class of typically 18-20 (Maximum is 25) meets each month to explore various aspects of Athens’ economic, political, social and cultural landscape with the goal of developing informed citizens and future leaders.
The scholarship ($750) will cover meals, snacks, room rentals for the sessions and reading materials.  It does not cover the initial Retreat overnight room accommodations or travel.
Ask anyone who has participated and they will report that it was an extremely meaningful experience.  Several Rotarians including Diane McVey and Tara Gilts are recent graduates and willing to answer questions.
The deadline for the September 2016 Class is NOW so anyone interested should immediately apply.  An application is available by contacting Jesse Stock, Program Director (740-594-6061 / or Susan Urano, Director of the Athens Foundation.

Keith Wasserman told this story as the Invocation at a recent noon meeting.  Karen Vedder ask Keith to send his invocation to Past-President Jackie Collins so that it could be shared more widely on our web pages... 
Rotary Invocation
April 25, 2016
Keith Wasserman
In 1930, Herbert Taylor went searching for a code for ethical business relationships for his company Club Aluminum.
I searched through many books for the answer to our need, but the right phrases eluded me, so I did what I often do when I have a problem I can't answer myself: I turn to the One who has all the answers. I leaned over my desk, rested my head in my hands and prayed. After a few moments, I looked up and reached for a white paper card. Then I wrote down the twenty-four words that had come to me:
He called it the 4-way test of things we think, say or do:
Is it the truth?
Is it fair to all concerned?
Will it bring good will and better friendships?
Is it beneficial to all concerned?
In 1940, when he was the International Director of Rotary, he offered his company’s four-way test to Rotary International. Never changed, the 24 word 4-way test remains a central part of the permanent Rotary structure around the world.
And these are the very values we practice; that make us Rotarians (and the reason I participate in Rotary).
On an average day, I don’t meet very many people who live by these values.
Truth matters.
Fairness matters.
Good will and better friendships matter.
Considering others more important than ourselves matter.
The Rotary test is not some set of questions we lay out prior to each decision we make to build a very unique park, develop a community fountain or give dictionaries out (although it is)….
Indeed, the four-way test is something we carry in the pocket of our soul, isn’t it? It becomes a way of looking at the world for Rotarians. It is what sets us a part.  Many groups do good things. Many groups do service in their community. Many groups build things but Rotarians do it with a particular philosophy in mind:  truth matters, fairness matters, good will and better friendship matter to us and doing things beneficial to all concerned matters.   Remember, according to Herbert Taylor, it is the four-way test of things we think, say or do.

The board has approved details and language for a new membership designed specifically for spouses and partners of current members. It is our goal to encourage family participation and share the Family of Rotary.  We look forward to welcoming the special people in your life to the Rotary Club of Athens so that they may serve your community and world along with you.  Below you will find the official language to the addendum that we will be voting on, but here are some key points:
1. Spouses or partners will become regular Rotarians and will pay full dues, but will only pay for meals when they are in attendance. 
2. Spouses and partners will be welcome to join in all Rotary events and roles for the club, the district and beyond; chair committees; and attend board meetings. 
3. Of a potential dissolution occurs or the active member sponsoring the spouse/partner member leaves the club, the spouse or partner member will be allowed to move to a regular active membership with no new membership fees or application.
If you have questions regarding this new membership before the vote, please contact Jackie Collins at or 740-592-4496.  Votes will be taken by paper ballot.  The membership option will pass if two thirds of the Rotarians present at the business meeting vote yes.  If you would like to vote by absentee ballot, please contact us to request a ballot via email. 
Special Olympics for Athens and the surrounding counties was held at Alexander H.S. field on Friday April 22. For over 10 years our club has been responsible for the Vector 2 Softball throw. This year 7 Rotarians assisted in this event.
Dave Diggle was the leader who instructed all of the participants on throwing the ball, Jody Harris assisted by Scott Malcom ran the bullpen getting the throwers lined up, Sushi Gawande and two volunteers from Alexander HS did the marking of throws, and Alan Boyd with John Costanzo were in charge of the measurements. Don Fucci was our official photographer. Approximately 50 athletes participated in our section of the softball throw.   See more great pictures in the Special Olympics photo album.
   Thanks to Scott Malcom for the story and Don Fucci for the photographs.


Athens Rotary Foundation Scholarship Split the Pot Results ...

Secretary Andrea Reik announced two new members joined our club:
  • Ms Kaitlyn Hixson - branch manager for the WesBanco Bank Inc.
  • Dr. James (Dick) Gaskell - Health Commissioner for the Athens City/County Health Department.
They were inducted officially into the Club at the meeting on Mar. 21, 2016. 

January 29, 2016:  A healthy meal was enjoyed by 135+ area residents at the Good Works Friday Night Life dinner.  Betsy Baringer and Calvin James shopped for groceries.  Food was prepared by Chiefs Bob Troxel, Tom Pyle, and Bob Rymer.  Margy Kramer, Tara Gilts, Kerri Sheridan-Boyd, along with her husband and two daughters, Mike Noel, Kapil Bajaj and his wife, Jody and Seth Harris, and Sarah Baker helped with preparing the food trays and clean up.  The most important part of the evening was eating with and visiting among the attendees.  Thanks to all who gave money/time toward this very worthwhile project.
See more great photos from the dinner as a Photo Album on our web pages.
Thanks to Sarah Baker for the photos and information.

The "Athens Rotary Club Community Service Award" is given to an Athens community member who exemplifies fellowship and the ideals of Rotary as interpreted by the Rotary Motto "service above self".  The 2015 Award was presented to Patty Mitchell by President Mario Grijalva at the Holiday Party on Dec. 7, 2015.
Patty Mitchell is an artist and social entrepreneur specializing in collaborations between artists with and without developmental disabilities. Her dream is to turn institutional and community settings into creative art-making spaces.
Patty Mitchell is the co-author (with Susan Dlouhy) of “Upcycling Sheltered Workshops” subtitled A Revolutionary approach to Transforming Workshops into Creative Spaces, Ohio University Press (Spring 2015) and her work is featured in the WOUB/PBS documentary  “Creative Abundance” (Spring 2015) -- a new film in the Courage of Creativity collection.
As they work through the art process, the participant’s talents and passions become evident and form the core of program design. Creativity and enthusiasm are the tools for developing a new culture and lifting expectations for what is possible. Sewing, woodworking, painting, photography, sculpture, giant puppetry, repurposed materials, and innovative approaches become public artworks/spectacle.
Ms. Mitchell has received a Distinguished Alumna Award from Ohio University’s College of Fine Arts; a “Tremendous Attainment” award from the Senate of the State of Ohio; an Ohioana Citation for Art and Education; an Individual Artist Award from the Ohio Arts Council; a Citizen of the Year Award from Civitan; a Eusebia Hunkins Award for Outstanding Service in the Arts; the Keystone Award from Ohio University for outstanding community service; and the Bryant True Local Hero award.
Patty received her BFA and MFA from Ohio University’s Fine Art Photography program, is the CEO of The Creative Abundance Group and a founding member of Honey for the Heart.
Patty has actively participated in bringing the community together through the arts.  This includes relationships between the schools, Ohio University faculty and students, community members, artist groups and members of those with disabilities to create and celebrate all that is Athens.  The month of October is a celebration of the arts, laughter, joy which culminates in the Honey for the Heart Parade.
Patty continues to examine and consider how to expand these activities in our community and possibly include summer camp programs.
Information Source:  Secretary Andrea Reik
Photo by:  Club Photographer Don Fucci

NOTICE - The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International (TRF)

Emails were sent to all members on Jan 8, providing new givers the opportunity to have a TRF donation of $25 added to each quarterly dues billing from Dave Diggle. Let’s help President Mario increase our club’s giving amount beginning this first quarter of 2016.

Furthermore, what is donated to TRF in 2016 will be matched by Sushi Gawande’s Club Recognition Points to double your money!  Thus, $100 given this year will give you $200 toward the $1000 Paul Harris Fellow recognition! 

Email with your sign up commitment or see Dave Diggle or Sarah Baker at our Monday Meeting.

$100, Every Rotarian, Every Year.

(Tax Deductable)

The "Athens Rotary Club Rotarian of the Year" is reserved for the club member who best exemplifies the fellowship and the ideals of Rotary as interpreted in the Rotary motto, "service above self".  The 2015 Award was presented to Karen Harvey by President Mario Grijalva at the Holiday Party on Dec. 7, 2015. 
Karen was described as a loyal, committed, very well organized, forward thinking and dependable club member.  Her Rotary activities along with her public service and local volunteer activities demonstrate a concern for the members of this community at all levels.
Rotary activities
●Karen Harvey joined Rotary in 1992.
●Harvey was President of the Athens Rotary Club in 1998.
●Harvey was Secretary/Board member of the Athens Rotary Club for 6 years, leaving the position in June 2014.
●Harvey has been a long standing member of the Athens Rotary Foundation Board which was incorporated in 1998.  Karen was President of Rotary at the time.  She has remained on the Foundation Board and became Chair of the Athens Rotary Foundation in July 2014.
●She has been a long-time annual volunteer/organizer for the Rotary Club Golf Fundraiser.
●She participated on the committee for the Athens Rotary Club 75th anniversary.
●Karen has been a mentor to new Board members including incoming President Diane McVey as well as Andrea Reik as incoming Secretary.
●Karen has assumed the role of Club historian – The members of the Rotary Board have utilized Karen’s history in the Club as well as her understanding of the operation of Rotary International.
●Karen is a regular volunteer at Club sponsored events including Habitat for Humanity, Gawande Garden Project, Friends of India dinner, District Governor’s Conference during Ram Gawande’s presidency as well as Camp Rotan.
●Karen also regularly participates in Rotary social events including Holiday Parties, Copperhead games and various Rotary get acquainted events.
In addition to her rotary service, she has been a long-time volunteer in many other local organizations and is well-known for her Public Service as
Athens County Commissioner (1977-1988) and Magistrate – Athens County Court of Common Pleas  (1989-2008).
Information Source:  Secretary Andrea Reik
Photo by:  Club Photographer Don Fucci

Athens Rotary's 3rd Grade Dictionary Project Report:   Ann Paulins, coordinator of the Athens Rotary Literacy Project, announces that 600 dictionaries were distributed to 3rd graders in Athens County.
Special thanks to Jan Garske and the Athens High School Rotaract Club for labeling the dictionaries with Rotary-logo nameplates.  Appreciation is extended to the following Rotarians who delivered the dictionaries: Besty Baringer (Alexander), Diane McVey (Amesville), Jodi Harris (Coolville), Alan Boyd (East), Karen Harvey (Morrison-Gordon), Jan Garske (Nelsonville-York), Susan Barge (The Plains), Ann Paulins (Trimble), and Josh Wise (West).

Past-President Jackie Collins obtained her bachelors degree at Ohio University's Fall Commencement Ceremony held on Dec. 12, 2015 at the Convocation Center. She is pictured with husband Cam and son CJ. Her dad surreptitiously brought Jackie's mom who had open heart surgery three weeks ago. It was a heart warming rendezvous that touched all of us who witnessed Jackie's tears of surprise and joy. 
  Thanks to Karen Vedder for the photo and text for this post.

A little history:  The Rotary Club of Athens has been hosting Food Baskets for the Community for at least 9 years.  Susan Urano started with food baskets sponsored by Rotarians and Kroger at Christmas time served to families in conjunction with The Salvation Army.  Since 2008 it has been Thanksgiving Food Baskets sponsored by Rotarians and Walmart for families in conjunction with The Athens County Children's Services (ACCS).  Twenty-seven  families were served in 2008 and it grew slowly to 32 families in 2012.  In 2013, we applied for, and received, a matching grant of $1000 from our Rotary District which, with the help of donations from Rotarians and Walmart, allowed us to serve 50 local families in conjunction with ACCS.  Last year, 2014, we received a $500 matching grant from our Rotary District, and $500 from our Rotaract Club which, with the help of Rotarians and Walmart, allowed us to serve 50 families with ACCS.
This year there were food baskets for 50 families (through ACCS) funded by a $500 matching grant from our Rotary District, over $1,200 in donations from Rotarians (envelope passed at lunch meetings), and $250 from Walmart. 
The Community Service Committee is responsible for spear-heading this project.  Tom Pyle, the current Chair of the Committee, and Betsy Baringer coordinated the details for this year's project (Betsy has been involved with this project for several years).    Besides fundraising, organization, and scheduling, this project requires allot of carrying and packing.  Many volunteers are needed and many thanks go out to all those who answered the call.
   On Sat. (11/21/15) Betsy Baringer and Tom Lazear picked up boxes from Walmart to store-overnight at the OU INN.  On Sun. (11/22/15) Betsy Baringer, Tom Lazear, Mary Diles, Ron Luce, Amrit Singh, Sheila and Max Mark, Sarah Baker, Tom and Kris Pyle, Dave Diggle and 10 volunteers from our Rotary Interact Club got food from Walmart, stored perishables in OU INN refrigeration, packed non-perishable items in boxes and decorated the boxes. 
On Monday morning (11/22/15) Betsy Baringer, Bruce Ergood, Cathy Hill, Dick Hogan and 6 additional ACCS workers moved perishables from OU INN refrigeration, and finished packing the 50 boxes.  They moved the packed boxes to cars for delivery.  
Thanks to Betsy Baringer and Sarah Baker for the information and photos in this story.  You can see more great photos of Rotarians at work on this project in the Thanksgiving 2015 Food Baskets photo album.

The finale of the Amesville Elementary Library Project was held on October 28, 2015, at the Amesville Elementary Library, 23 Main St., Amesville, OH.  Shown in the photograph from Left to Right: Linda Cochran, Volunteer Librarian/Project Leader; Cathe Blower, Amesville Elementary Principal; George Wood, Federal Hocking Superintendent; Athena Brumfield, Amesville Elementary preschool student; Kerry Sheridan-Boyd, Rotarian/Amesville PTO; Raj Koshal, Rotarian/Friends of India; and Jackie Collins, Athens Rotary Club Past President.  See more pictures taken at the event in the photo album:
The Amesville Elementary Library Project was a joint undertaking by the Athens Rotary Club and The Friends of India Endowment.  The $11,166 check included $5000 from the Athens Rotary Foundation and $6,166 from Friends of India.  It should be noted that the Amesville PTO also contributed through a local community grant and the full Library Enhancement Campaign raised over $20,000 to update and restore the Amesville Elementary School Library. 
Linda Cochran, who is retired from the Athens Public Libraries, leads the project which is now in its second year.  For example, she updated the book collection and enlisted volunteers to move shelves and furniture as well as staff the library.  Now the library is open from 10-1 on M-Th staffed totally by volunteers and herself.  Every class of students has a regular time scheduled each week to come to the library to listen to the reading of a book and to select books to check out for the week.
      Thanks to Diane McVey, Rotary Foundation Sec.; Raj Koshal; and Jackie Collins for the information and photos in this story.

Helen and Bill Coffey will have a new address on Nov. 7, 2015:
Dublin Retirement Village, Apt 104
6470 Post Rd
Dublin, OH 43016
Bill has been a member of Rotary for 53 years.  He was President of the Rotary Club in Cambridge, OH, in 1972. He was also President of the Athens Chamber of Commerce.  Bill has served as Ohio University Credit Union (OUCU) Senior Associate Coordinator and was recently elected to serve on the OUCU Board of Directors.  He is a retired Broadcaster (35 years); Marketing, Advertising and PR Consultant; and Hocking College instructor where he taught Communications, Speech, Interpersonal Communications, and Time Management.
Note added:  When I asked Bill to check this announcement for accuracy, he asked that I add that he “enjoyed Athens Rotary and will miss everyone.”   --Roger Rollins

Below are just a few photos taken by Don Fucci during the Rotary Golf Tournament on Sep. 24, 2015 at the Athens Country Club.  Click here to see all 25 photos in the album.  Contact Don at 541-8789 or if you would like a print of your photo.


                At an Athens Rotary Foundation Board meeting on July 17th the seven members attending the Board meeting (Diane McVey, David Diggle, Sheila Mark, Channing McAllister, Jerry Mollica, John Miller, and Karen Harvey) listened to an excellent presentation by Rotarian Bruce Wentworth and Jane Redfern, Executive Director of The Dairy Barn, concerning the Barn’s efforts to raise $1,500,000.  Their $50,000.00 request was part of the Barn’s Building for a Second Century Capital Campaign.

                The Second Century Project will significantly alter the main entrance area of the Barn; create a new Gallery Shop where visitors will have enhanced access to the works of local and/or exhibiting artists; create a new multipurpose room; add a catering kitchen; provide enhanced space for child and adult art-related activities; and create an endowment fund to help sustain the Barn over the next century.

                In voting to provide $50,000.00 over a five-year period, the Rotary Foundation joined the O’Bleness Foundation ($100,000) and the State of Ohio’s Art Fund ($200,000), and many individuals and businesses/corporations in supporting this project. 


                                      Karen Harvey, President

                                      Athens Rotary Foundation




New officers were installed at the May 18, 2015 meeting.  Click here to see more photos taken by Don Fucci.



Worstell Scholarships:

Quinn Mitchell, Athens High School             $2,500
Austin Downs, Trimble High School             $2,000

Conner Hammonds, N-Y High School           $1,000
Allissa Jayjohn, Trimble High School           $  750
Nathan Rickey, Athens High School             $  500

Gawande Scholarships:

Eileen Wang, Athens High School                 $1,500
Kaitlin Baker, Athens High School                 $  
Stephen Bishop, N-Y High School                  $   500
Kylie Yinger, N-Y High School                        $   500

The Athens Rotary Scholarship Committee consists of Rich Vedder, Alan Boyd, Susan Urano, Karen Vedder, John Miller, and Ed Peterson.

Thanks to John Miller for the information in this story.



Award Recipients

Sonya Ferrier                          Federal Hocking High School

Amihan Tindongan                  Olney Friends School


Richard Hwang                      Athens High School

Sue-Yeon Ryu                       Athens High School

There were four additional applications.  All applicants were sent a letter informing them of the committee’s decision regarding their application.

Thank you to the selection committee for all of their work.

Chair   Donelle Batty          Karen Vedder                Cita Strauss                Margie Kramer

Ann Paulins                         Dick Hogan                    Jan Garske



 A sign up sheet will be circulated at each meeting. If you would like to sign up for a specific date, please e-mail Andrea Reik

For guidelines, click on more...

The Board adopted a policy and procedures that must be followed by all members for any project or fundraiser.
Jun 06, 2016
The Copper Heads
Play Ball
Jun 13, 2016
Jun 20, 2016
Stephanie Morris Founder
Athens County Community Singers
Jun 27, 2016
Ryan White
Ohio Bobcat Club
Jul 11, 2016
Jennine Mick
Athens Child Advocacy Center