Rotary at the Start of the United Nations

Rotary and the United Nations have a shared history of working toward peace and addressing humanitarian issues around the world.

During World War II, Rotary informed and educated members about the formation of the United Nations and the importance of planning for peace. Materials such as the booklet “From Here On!” and articles in The Rotarian helped members understand the UN before it was formally established and follow its work after its charter. 

Many countries were fighting the war when the term “United Nations” was first used officially in the 1942 “Declaration by United Nations.” The 26 nations that signed it pledged to uphold the ideals expressed by the United States and the United Kingdom the previous year of the common principles “on which they based their hopes for a better future for the world.” 


Rotary at the Start of the United Nations 2024-01-31 05:00:00Z 0

Rotary’s Response to the 1918 Flu Pandemic

An estimated 500 million people worldwide became infected. Many cities closed theaters and cinemas, and placed restrictions on public gatherings. Rotary clubs adjusted their activities while also helping the sick.

This is how Rotary responded to the influenza pandemic that began in 1918 and came in three waves, lasting more than a year.

The Rotary Club of Berkeley, California, USA, meets in John Hinkel Park during the 1918 flu pandemic.

Photo by Edwin J. McCullagh, 1931-32 club president. Courtesy of the Rotary Club of Berkeley.

Rotary’s Response to the 1918 Flu Pandemic 2024-01-31 05:00:00Z 0

Young Inventor Eco-Friendly Bricks Come Full Circle

Every hero has an origin story. “I was 10 years old when the entire journey started,” explains Binish Desai. It began with a cartoon called Captain Planet, an animated TV series from the 1990s about an environmentalist with superpowers. Desai can still recite the show’s refrain: Captain Planet, he’s our hero / Gonna take pollution down to zero! “That tagline stuck in my mind,” he says. “I wanted to do something to help Captain Planet.”

Young Inventor Eco-Friendly Bricks Come Full Circle 2024-01-31 05:00:00Z 0

Saving lives in Ghana

What is it like taking a large team to Africa?  It has probably been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. In mid February, I began leading Rotary members from all over the East Coast of the United States through Ghana. I’ve tried to give the team a warm Ghanaian welcome like I’ve received on my earlier trips. A large trip is a real blessing because each person sees Ghana and our work in a different way.
Saving lives in Ghana 2015-05-01 00:00:00Z 0

Finding Safe Haven

For years, Angalia Bianca had slept in abandoned buildings throughout Chicago. She stole. She did drugs. She spent time in and out of jail for forgery, theft, trespassing, and possession of narcotics. But after she landed in prison for the seventh time, something changed -- Bianca knew she wanted a better life. She just didn’t know how to make it happen.
Finding Safe Haven 2015-05-01 00:00:00Z 0

Helping people with disabilities make their own music

Music has been an important part of leading an ordinary life for students at the Music School for Children With Disabilities in Honor of Paul Harris in Lublin, Poland. Founded by Rotary members, the school serves 20 students with various disabilities, including Down syndrome, autism, and visual impairments. The Rotary Club of Lublin-Centrum-Maria Curie-Sklodowska has provided funding with help from Rotary Foundation Matching Grants and the Henryk Wieniawski Musical Society, which houses the school.
Helping people with disabilities make their own music 2015-05-01 00:00:00Z 0

India celebrates three years without polio

Throughout India and around the world, Rotary clubs are celebrating a major milestone: India has gone three years without a new case of polio. The last reported case was a two-year-old girl in West Bengal on 13 January 2011. To mark this historic triumph, Rotary clubs illuminated landmarks and iconic structures throughout the country with four simple but powerful words, "India is polio free."
India celebrates three years without polio 2014-02-26 00:00:00Z 0

Youngstown City Prosecutor visits Rotary

Posted by Susan Leetch on Feb 05, 2012
Speaker for the day was Jay Macejko, Youngstown City Prosecutor, whose main focus was economic crimes such as bad checks, identity theft, and petty theft.  He encouraged merchants and citizens to prosecute these crimes, especially bad checks, after proper notice is given and no action occurs.  He also explained auto sweeps and checkpoints and their value in fighting crime.  Deanna Spirko, Rotary Club of Austintown President, presented a library book in Jay's honor to be placed in the library  at Woodside Elementary School.  She also mentioned that the local club had received an award for raising over $1200. a year in 2010 and 2011 to erradicate world polio.
Youngstown City Prosecutor visits Rotary Susan Leetch 2012-02-06 00:00:00Z 0

Fitch High School Athletes

Posted by Susan Leetch on Feb 05, 2012
Athletes from Fitch High School and Jay Macejko were vistiors at the February 6 meeting of the Rotary Club of Austintown, both bringing good news.  Fitch sophomore  Gabby Figueroa, who currently holds the #1 sophomore hammer throw title in the state of Ohio, and #13 nationally, was introduced by Fitch track coach T.J. Konowski.
He also presented Jay Jakovina, senior at Fitch, who holds the #1 high jump title in Ohio.  Both will compete  at the national level in New York City on March 1-3 if private funds can be raised, as school funds are not allowed to be used.  Rotarians passed the hat to help with their expenses, which was also done last year to help Alli Tolich.
Fitch High School Athletes Susan Leetch 2012-02-06 00:00:00Z 0

Youngstown Phantoms Comes to Austintown Rotary

Posted by Susan Leetch on Nov 06, 2011

The Youngstown Phantoms are a Tier I Junior A ice hockey team that plays in the East Division of the United States Hockey League. The team plays home games at the 5,200-seat Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio. The team is owned by Bruce J. Zoldan, founder and CEO of leading fireworks brand Phantom Fireworks, hence the team's name.Anthony Noreen and Luci Franklin spoke at the recent Rotary Club of Austintown . Anthony is the General Manager and also Head Coach of the team and spoke of the four “goals” he has for the team: 1.) to make better players with exercise, hard work, video programs, more hard work and develop an enthu-siasm for the game. 2.) Better people: Anthony feels that every player should grow with the game to become a better person and thus a better team. They have players from all over the United States and compete in games and tournaments throughout the country. 3.) Give back to our community. They work with United Way, Boys and Girls Clubs, Child Reading Programs and mentoring young kids in Hockey. and 4.) Perform on the ice....its expected. They must make a good impression for the commu-nity. Luci Franklin is in the advertising/marketing program for the Phantoms and states that Hockey is a great way for families to have a fun night with less cost than going to the movie. They have many events for kids and are doing Birthday Parties, a Kids Club, Christmas Parties and offer Double Dollar Deal Days. During all weekday home games you can enjoy a 16 oz. beer or soft drink, hot dog and popcorn for only $2.00 each. The Community is an important factor in the support and success of the team. They have 60 regular season games and their record now stands at 7 and 3 and are undefeated at home. For tickets or more information call or visit the Covelli Centre Box Office Monday thru Friday from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. or call 330-746-5600.

Youngstown Phantoms Comes to Austintown Rotary Susan Leetch 2011-11-07 00:00:00Z 0

Tony Stasny, Area Director for BNI

Posted by Susan Leetch on Oct 23, 2011

Guest Speaker at Austintown Rotary, Tony Stastny, was anything but a speaker in an earlier life. He was previously a truck driver who sold Air purifiers on the side for his brother. He is now not only a speaker, but a trainer as well and is very willing to give some networking tips to help you “grow your business”. He joined BNI a referral networking organization in 2002 and quickly recognized his passion for helping business owners and sales people connect. He became Area Director in 2004 for the Northeast Ohio area. He also has “The Next Level Workshop”. He has conducted over 50 successful training seminars that have enabled the Northeast Ohio region to become one of the most profitable referral networks in the world! He focuses his time helping people improve their relationship building skills, develop effective recruitment techniques and improve their sales abilities. You can contact Tony at his e-mail: or call him at 440-346-4056.

Tony Stasny, Area Director for BNI Susan Leetch 2011-10-24 00:00:00Z 0

Kay Lavelle from Austintown Senior Center

Posted by Susan Leetch on Oct 23, 2011

Mark Cole introduced Kay Lavelle, who spoke about Austintown Senior Center.  Retirement was just not in the books for Kay Lavelle. After retiring from the Mahoning County  Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff Randall A. Wellington asked her to put together some services for Seniors. A much needed program to enable seniors who live without a support system or relatives was desperately needed in the Valley. After much research, Kay did just that. She found out that was the easy part. Getting the word out was a lot harder. Many in the area didn’t realize that just by calling that one number they would have a link to a whole network of help. (330-480-5078). When Austintown wanted to start a Senior Center, Kay was there and wanted to help. Austintown Senior Center opened its doors on October 26, 2010 at 100 Westchester Drive. They now boast more than 500 registered members. Since January, more than 5,000 visitors have walked through the door and on an average day your will find more than 40 members enjoying the activities at the center such as: computer classes, bus trips, line dancing, painting classes, bingo, screenings, movies, seminars, Yoga and many other activities including Wii tournaments. The center has given seniors the access they need. Many seniors become lonely and depressed and the center has given many a source for companionship as they continue to learn new things and meet new people. A levy is now needed to keep the support of the center ongoing. On the November ballot is a 0.5 mill levy for the purpose of providing services to Senior citizens. If passed, the levy will generate approximately $309,000 in revenue. A home valued at $100,000 will pay about $17 per year and if eligible for Homestead Exemption, would drop that to $12.80 per year.

Kay Lavelle from Austintown Senior Center Susan Leetch 2011-10-24 00:00:00Z 0

New Member Inducted

Posted by Susan Leetch on Oct 09, 2011

Chuck Baker inducted our newest member, Mal Culp Jr. He is an Austintown native and former Delphi engineer, now in charge of facilities for Austintown Schools, sponsored by Vince Colaluca.  Welcome Mal.  Pictured Chuck Baker, Mal Culp, and Vince Colaluca

New Member Inducted Susan Leetch 2011-10-10 00:00:00Z 0

Joe Chevraux, Director of Multiple Sclerosis Society

Posted by Susan Leetch on Oct 09, 2011
Mark Cole introduced Joe Chevraux, director of Multiple Sclerosis Society on Mahoning Valley, headquarters in Canfield.  They are not associated with the national organization in Cleveland, so all money raised stays here.  He mentioned stress as the greatest cause of MS, and there is no cure yet because it causes lesions on the brain and spinal cord.  Locally, his group does not charge for their services, providing water aerobics at YMCA, free loan of mobility equipment, prescription assistance programs.  Their main fund raisers are their golf outing, fall walk in Mill Creek Park, concerts, and on Nov. 5, a 20th Anniversary Gala at Lake Club, with some wonderful prizes.  Cost is $75. per person includes a great meal, great cause. 
Joe Chevraux, Director of Multiple Sclerosis Society Susan Leetch 2011-10-10 00:00:00Z 0

Bury Financial talks about Developing Strategies

Posted by Susan Leetch on Oct 02, 2011

Brian Laraway, a member of the Rotary Club of Austintown, is also a Partner at Bury Financial Group and has been for the last ten years.  He spoke at the recent Rotary Club meeting about how Bury Financial can help their clients define their financial goals and provide strategies to help meet those goals.  The present market situation will probably be around for the next 5 to 6 years so thinking about goals is necessary.

Without being in the financial field on a full-time basis, most people do not have the time to develop the confidence, level of specialization, or the necessary tools to make wise, informed financial decisions on their own. Bury Financial is there to assist in this process.  They help their clients define their financial goals and provide strategies to help meet those goals, which may result in a more calm, confident lifestyle.

Questions to ask yourself : have your financial time lines changed? have your money goals changed? or has your risk-tolerance changed?  If you answer yes to any of these questions, it is time to sit down with a professional advisor.

Brian can be reached at Bury Financial Group, 330-757-1992.  They are located at 20 East McKinley Way, Suite 1, Poland, Ohio 44514

Shown in picture:
Rotary President, Deanna Spirko presenting book to be placed at Woodside Elementary Library
in his name for the "Woodside Reads" Project

Bury Financial talks about Developing Strategies Susan Leetch 2011-10-03 00:00:00Z 0

Mal Culp Director of Operations for Austintown School speaks to Rotary

Posted by Susan Leetch on Sep 25, 2011
Mark Cole introduced Mal Culp, director of operations and facilities for Austintown Schools.  Mal, a Fitch graduate and Austintown resident,  was an engineer with Packard Delphi for 38+ years, and took this job a few years ago, loves it.  Site preparation is proceeding well, bringing in clay to replace topsoil on both building sites, which will eventually be mixed with portland cement to provide a final base for buildings.  Trailers were needed at both existing buildings to replace some back areas removed to make space for construction, faculty parking lots relocated, and Falcon Drive closed to through traffic.  Shuttle buses are available for football games from the K-Mart lot.  They hope to be ready for walls by November 1.
Mal Culp Director of Operations for Austintown School speaks to Rotary Susan Leetch 2011-09-26 00:00:00Z 0

Past President Speaks to Rotary

Posted by Susan Leetch on Sep 11, 2011

Guest speaker at the Sept. 12 meeting of the Rotary Club of Austintown was Dr. Michael Cafaro, past Rotary President and head of Cafaro Chiropractic Clinic. He chose the date since next Sunday is Chiropractic Founders Day. On Sept. 18, 1895. Dr. D.D. Palmer in Iowa claimed success as a magnetic healer, using the "practice of the hands" to cure body problems. He felt the body functions on its own if all the bones of the spine (24) are aligned and not stressing the spinal cord. His first success was restoring the hearing of a man caused by pinched nerves in the neck, but other manipulations were used to treat what is today the three main ailments -- back pain, headaches, and neck pain. The science has come a long way since 1895, and a combination of treatments and other medical professionals work with the Big Ts --- trauma, thought (stress), and toxins (dietary and other induced problems). Dr. Cafaro concluded by demonstrating some of the methods on his wife, who is very positive about the effects of treatments for sinus problems and arthritis.

Shown in the picture are Rotary President Deanna Spirko, Ericka and Dr. Michael Cafaro.

Past President Speaks to Rotary Susan Leetch 2011-09-12 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Susan Leetch on Aug 28, 2011

DG George W.S. Hays emphasized the core values present in the Austintown Club and all Rotary Clubs of: 

diversity, fellowship, integrity, leadership and service.  Be loyal to the 4-way test. The slogan adopted 

by International is “Reach within to embrace Humanity”, and each time we do something for others, 

we all reach within to embrace humanity.

            After an accident in 2001, Mr. Hays experienced first hand with all the Rotarians who helped 

him during his time of need. He joined Rotary 21 years ago and he began giving back to Rotary by allowing 

him to serve.  His emphasis for 2011-12 the need for members and of course money to make things 

happen in Rotary. Polio Plus is an example of what an impact Rotary has made and this was 

acknowledged by Bill Gates. The cost to eradicate polio has been estimated at $1 billion. 

The Polio Plus drive has transformed Rotary from valuable to a key player in world health. 

In India there was only one case last year, 309 in the entire world. We are getting close to the eradication of Polio.

            Growth of membership is the key to this organization. Rotary is ranked third in what we do 

with the money we raise. Rotary International is only as successful as it’s clubs.

Shown in picture: District Governor Hays is presented with certification by Austintown President,

Deanna Spirko  for a book to be donated to Woodside Elementary Library  for the Woodside reads project. 


Changing outcomes taught by Stevens Coaching

Posted by Susan Leetch on Aug 14, 2011
Maria Stevens of Stevens Coaching was special guest at the Rotary Club of Austintown at their recent meeting. 

She stated "Whether it is sales results or anything else in our lives, the notion that we are all capable of changing our outcomes by changing how we think is the very reason I have dedicated my career to personal and professional development and the field of coaching. There is always a better way, a better approach, strategy or perspective out there."


This is the guiding principle by which founder and owner, Maria Stevens lives her life. For years, Maria excelled in various jobs in the corporate world but always felt like there was something missing. She dreamed about owning her own business and making a living by teaching others from her  experience and life lessons. Today, she is living her dream and is honored to partner with each one of her clients on their personal and professional journeys.

Maria specializes in coaching business owners, leaders and high potential professionals to lead more effectively and drive results within their companies. Her coaching approach is grounded in a passion for leadership development along with a strong business background in Business to Business selling, training and consulting. For more information visit her website at

Shown in picture: Deanna Spirko with Maria Stevens
Changing outcomes taught by Stevens Coaching Susan Leetch 2011-08-15 00:00:00Z 0

Scholarship Winners Visit Rotary

Posted by Susan Leetch on Aug 07, 2011
Austintown Fitch Seniors Alex Sofranko (left) and Jason Miller (right) received Scholarships from The Rotary Club of Austintown at the August 8 meeting. Both students were involved in the Interact Club of Rotary.  Alex will be studying Chemestry at OSU and Jason is planning to be an RN and will attend YSU in the fall.  Also pictured, President Deanna Spirko.
Scholarship Winners Visit Rotary Susan Leetch 2011-08-08 00:00:00Z 0

Construction moving fast on new schools

Posted by Susan Leetch on Aug 07, 2011
Speaking at the Rotary Club of Austintown, Superintendent Vince Colaluca described some of the revamping necessary for the excavation to begin for the new schools estimated to open September of 2013. The entire campus, bordered by Raccoon Road and Idaho Road is approximately 97 acres. The State of Ohio is paying for 47% of the cost for construction.
On another note, Austintown Schools has been looking at expenditures, and are finding that there is not too much left to cut.   They have been tightening thru the years and cutting back as much as possible.  Open Enrollment has proven to be a good revenue source although controversial.  It is saving the taxpayer 4.5 mills.  When a parent chooses to transport their child to Austintown Schools, they care about the education of their children.  Out of 575 kids, there has been only one expulsion where there is normally 45 per year.

The School system is now awaiting word to find out if they are EXCELLENT or EFFECTIVE.
A committee will be formed to make sure Austintown is on line for the future.  They will look at all avenues in October.

Shown in picture: Austintown Rotary President, Deanna Spirko presenting certificate for a book to
be donated to Woodside Elementary for the Woodside Reads Project to Superintendent  Vince Colaluca

Construction moving fast on new schools Susan Leetch 2011-08-08 00:00:00Z 0

Falcon Pride Online discussed at Austintown Rotary

Posted by Susan Leetch on Jul 31, 2011
Janet Polish described  “Falcon Pride Online” as the new learning program that Austintown Schools began offering for the 2010-11 school year.

This is a public, tuition-free program serving all students in grades K thru 12. It plays it’s part in providing a high quality education to every student every day.  It has been offered as one of the district goals to give Austintown students an additional opportunity to get the individual attention and tutoring on a daily or weekly basis.

Students still participate in Austintown Local Schools’ extracurricular activities such as athletics, clubs, band, choir, prom, etc. They receive a diploma upon graduation.  The program received an EXCELLENT rating on the 2010 State Report Card.

They provide rigorous curriculum consisting of regular and advanced courses in English, Math, Science, and Social Studies as well as elective courses.

They ask for strong parental and family support which is important for the success of the students and the program.
For more information you may contact Janet at 330-797-3900 Ext. 1512, or check them on
the internet at  

Shown in picture Janet Polish, Director of 21st Century Learning
with Austintown Rotary President Deanna Spirko presenting certificate for a book to be donated
to Woodside Elementary School for the "Woodside Reads" Rotary Project.
Falcon Pride Online discussed at Austintown Rotary Susan Leetch 2011-08-01 00:00:00Z 0

Michael Sciortino, Mahoning County Auditor

Posted by Susan Leetch on Jul 24, 2011
Our own Michael Sciortino, Mahoning County Auditor was guest speaker today.
Mike is in charge of 36 departments and is the payroll director for 2,000 Mahoning County Employees. Mahoning County has had to scale back from 72 to 53 million and everyone had to tighten their belts.
He must file a comprehensive financial report with the State of Ohio, and every year has received an “excellent” rating.  The Report is also online for anyone to visit. There are 8 to 9 people in his office. 
Michael is also Chief Appraiser of property in Mahoning County with 180,000 parcels to re-appraise every six years. Forclosures cannot be used by county or government to determine property value. The Auditor’s Office studies the market and collects information about properties to estimate value.  They have no control over tax rates.
Tax relief is available in the form of Rollbacks, and Homestead Exemptions for homeowners 65 or older.  House bill 920 provides a credit against all voted tax millage. As property values increase due to reappraisals, additional “credits” are applied to voted tax levies so that property owners are not paying more than the amount of taxes the levy was originally voted to collect. The end of August thru October allows for dialog between the taxpayer and county where you can complain informally. Appeals can be filed if you believe the estimated value of your property is incorrect.
For more information please contact Mahoning County Auditor’s Office, at 330-740-2010.
Michael Sciortino, Mahoning County Auditor Susan Leetch 2011-07-25 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Officers Sworn In

Posted by Susan Leetch on Jul 10, 2011

Newly elected Officers and Board of Directors of the Rotary Club of Austintown were sworn in by Rotarian Chuck Baker at the July 11th meeting. Front row: President, Deanna Spirko; Secretary Hillary Prestridge; Vocational Service Vince Colaluca; International Jennifer Connolly; Club Service Mark Cole;  Back row:  VP Ron Carroll; Treasurer Brian Frederick; Community Service Dave Buttar;


Rotary Officers Sworn In Susan Leetch 2011-07-11 00:00:00Z 0

Perfect Attendance

Posted by Susan Leetch on Jun 26, 2011

Rotary Club of Austintown Perfect Attendance awards were given out for the second quarter at the June 27 meeting.

Those receiving awards from left to right: Dr. Mitch Dalvin, Mark Cole, Jerry Haber, Deanna Spirko, Susan Leetch, Brian Laraway and Chuck Baker (in back).

Perfect Attendance Susan Leetch 2011-06-27 00:00:00Z 0

Personal Trainer gives advise to Austintown Rotary Club

Posted by Susan Leetch on Jun 12, 2011
Erin Mellinger from Fitness Together gave some good advise on staying healthy and living well in today’s  fast paced world.
Erin began her business in 2008 and offers one-on-one private personal training to those looking to lose weight, tone and tighten muscles or simply work toward better health.  Fitness Together pairs you with a  certified personal trainer in a private setting equipped with a workout plan tailored just for you.

Erin explained that Health and Wellness are huge factors in our lives.  With all the modern, fast-paced living our society is less into physical activity than ever before.  This impacts our economy with health care costs. 
The lifestyle choices make America the most unhealthy country in the world and yet we live the longest. It’s time for us to make health a priority. We must set a time and work around our busy schedules.

Nutrition, of course is an essential part of Health and Wellness. Eat healthy with high fiber and high protein. Eat light and often.  “Graze all day” is a motto to live by which would mean 5 light meals a day.  Stay away from fad diets or fad excercises and by all means allow “cheat days” so you won’t feel guilty when you have that piece of pizza.
Exercise is not a punishment - 30 minutes a day, five days a week are suggested and don’t get stuck in a routine. You must switch exercises to keep the body guessing - try new things.

You can call Erin at 330-702-1311 or visit Fitness Together at 6579 Ironwood Boulevard in Canfield. Visit their website at

Pictured: Erin Mellinger with Rotary President Susan Leetch. President Leetch is presenting a certificate for a book to be donated to the Woodside Reads Project
for the school Library.

Personal Trainer gives advise to Austintown Rotary Club Susan Leetch 2011-06-13 00:00:00Z 0

Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry

Posted by Susan Leetch on Jun 05, 2011
The Rotary Club of Austintown is learning first hand about the social needs of individuals and families infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. Linda Titus from the Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry explained some of the services they do to help those who have no other resource.

Since the panic of the ‘80’s when we first heard about AIDS, there is not much being said about it today, but we are still stuck with the fear and ignorance surrounding this disease. 

The Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry began in 1993 when four Ursuline Sisters sponsored a spiritaul support group for those living with HIV/AIDS, their families, friends and those grieving their loved ones. The Ursuline Sisters have been serving the Mahoning Valley for 130 years.

The Ministry offers: 
Angela’s Place a pantry of personal toiletries and household supplies.
The Guardian Angel Cafe a monthly dinner and social support group.
Just for Kids, a program of children’s support services, such as tutoring, child advocacy,
crisis intervention, life skills and recreational activities.
Casa Madre, the site for children’s programs and respite care, located on Youngstown’s South side.
Pastoral visits to homes and hospitals.
Patient advocacy and general support services.
The omprehensive Care Center, a pediatric and adult HIV clinic offering HIV testing HIV health care, 
counseling, case management, patient education, and wrap-around services.

You can find more information at Their website is

Shown in picture: Linda Titus with Austintown Rotary Incoming President, Deanna Spirko. Deanna is presenting a certificate for a children's book
to be donated in their name to Woodside Elementary Library.

Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry Susan Leetch 2011-06-06 00:00:00Z 0

Elaine Bozick, GSE Team Leader to Philippines

Posted by Susan Leetch on May 22, 2011

The Group Study Exchange (GSE) is sponsored by Rotary International District 6650 which is comprised of 51 Rotary Clubs in the area. It is under the direction of the Rotary Foundation whose mission is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill , and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education and the alleviation of poverty. 

T he Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) program is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for businesspeople and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 who are in the early stages of their careers. The program provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries. For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country's culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.

This year the vocational exchange partner in the Philippines is Rotary International District 3820 in the region southeast of Luzon.  

 Speaking at the Rotary Club of Austintown, the Ohio team leader was Elaine M.S. Bozick, a past president of the Rotary Club of Youngstown. In a typical four-week tour, applicants participate in five full days of vocational visits, 15 to 20 club presentations, 10 to 15 formal visits and social events, two to three days at the district conference, three to four hours per day of cultural and site tours, and three to four hours per day of free time with host families. Tired but full of enthusiasm for the wonderful welcome they received, Elaine was totally impressed with the way the Philippine Rotarians made the team feel.   Elaine encouraged everyone to become familiar with what Rotary is doing with this program become a Team Leader if possible. 

Shown in picture: Elaine Bozick, Past President of the Rotary Club of Youngstown with Susan Leetch, President of the Rotary Club of Austintown.

Elaine Bozick, GSE Team Leader to Philippines Susan Leetch 2011-05-23 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Inducts a New Member

Posted by Susan Leetch on May 15, 2011
Chuck Baker was called upon to induct our new member, Toni Fuzo, sponsored by Dr. Mitch Dalvin.  Chuck went over the qualifications and importance of attendance, avenues of service commitment, and for sure to have a good time. Dr. Dalvin did the honor of placing the pin.  Toni is the Adminstrator at Meridian Arms Nursing Home
Rotary Inducts a New Member Susan Leetch 2011-05-16 00:00:00Z 0

Jennifer Connelly, Administrator of Briarfield at Ashley Circle

Posted by Susan Leetch on May 08, 2011
Jennifer stated that Briarfield Manor provides the following services: Assisted Living, Micro-Community, Alzheimer's Care, Nursing Home, and Hospice. Nursing homes are required by federal law to have a licensed nurse on duty 24 hours a day. Residents typically share a room and are served meals in a central dining area. They have the opportunity to be involved in activities that provide mental, physical, and social stimulation.

The cost of care for nursing home care ranges between $3,500 and $8,500 per month. The cost is based on the level of care needed and the location of the facility. Due to the high cost of care, many residents use supplemental funding from the government in the form of Medicare and/or Medicaid.

Briarfield Health Care Centers offer various services including care levels from hands-on assistance with activities of daily living to more complex nursing care involving IV therapy, comprehensive wound care and pain management. Medical services are provided under the direction of a licensed physician and carried out by registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. State tested nursing assistants provide hands-on care under the direction and supervision of the nursing staff.

An in-house staff of professional therapists provides rehabilitation services. Physical, Occupational and Speech therapies treat both individually and as a team. A team of restorative nursing assistants under the direction of a licensed nurse provides exercises and training to help resident maintain skills necessary for maximum independence.

With all of that, a number of additional services are available for residents including psychological counseling, dental care and podiatry care. Audiology services, x-ray and orthotics are also available on-site.

Facilities include: Briarfield Manor, Briarfield at The Ridge, Ashley Circle, Vista Center,
Victoria House and the Inn at Christine Valley.

Shown in Picture:  Jennifer Connelly receiving certificate from President Susan Leetch, for book to be donated
to Woodside Elementary School Library for Woodside Reads Program.

Jennifer Connelly, Administrator of Briarfield at Ashley Circle Susan Leetch 2011-05-09 00:00:00Z 0

Financial Plannin for Long Term Care

Posted by Susan Leetch on Apr 24, 2011

Bill Pitzer, Independent Insurance Agent, advises that most people want to stay in their homes rather than a nursing home, but there are many reasons people find themselves looking to long-term care.  One out of two will go the hospital before death or long term care. Cancer will occur in 3 out of 4 families.  39% will require long term care.  

Financial Planning in the form of insurance for long term care is the answer for many.  It is a way to take control of your independence while giving you peace of mind to know that you have the access and ability to afford quality care. By using an Independent agent, a computer analysis can be done with over 20 different companies to give you the best price available.  You can contact Bill at 1-800-630-3442. 

Shown in picture, Bill Pitzer, Susan Leetch and assistant to Mr. Pitzer, Electra Lakomy. 

Financial Plannin for Long Term Care Susan Leetch 2011-04-25 00:00:00Z 0

Beaver Creek Candle Company

Posted by Susan Leetch on Apr 17, 2011
Ron Carroll introduced Josh Martin from Developmental Disabilities of Columbiana County. He talked about the company that was formed to put people with disabilities to work, the Beaver Creek Candle Company.  Every candle is carefully prepared, packaged, and shipped by people in the workshops under the watchful eye of the Columbiana County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

                It is difficult enough finding a job in today’s market and it’s even harder for a person that is disabled.  The workshops - 3 in all - were established a year and a half ago and have improved the life of these hard workers, who are proud of the products they make and the independence earned from a paycheck. 100% of the proceeds go directly to the workers and the operation of the facilities.  

                They are encouraging area clubs to use the candles as a fundraising tool.  They offer 8 different scents, free delivery, free order forms, customized scent logo for your organization and individual packaging.

Visit their website at, or call 330-424-0596.

Beaver Creek Candle Company Susan Leetch 2011-04-18 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary extends helping hand to El Salvador

Posted by Susan Leetch on Apr 17, 2011

Mark Cole introduced Justin Klubnik who is working in a community orphanage in El Salvador. Justin came home for a few days but will be returning next month to continue his work. Recently local Rotary Clubs asked for volunteers  to help the orphanage by painting, and fixing the building for the kids. Mark Cole from the Austintown Club answered the call and spent a week of hard work at the orphanage.

Justin expressed his gratitude for the donations and support that Mark and the crew extended to their community. Seven people representing Rotary worked and painted and played with the kids  They now have clean bright new colors on the walls.  

While there they met Pastor Louise, a hard working pastor of the region who manages to cook meals for 200 people each and every Sunday while also running the local church and helping the orphanage by delivering all of their fruits, vegetables and groceries for over 35 people each week.  The pastor mentioned to Justin that he wished he could paint the inside of his house someday for his kids too.  Mark again answered the call by presenting his own personal check to Justin for $250.00 - more than enough to paint the Pastor’s house.

 A very grateful Justin accepted the check.  A very grateful Club is thankful to have Mark Cole as a Member.    


Pictured on left: Justin Klubnik with Rotarian Mark Cole.

Rotary extends helping hand to El Salvador Susan Leetch 2011-04-18 00:00:00Z 0

Youngstown City School's Superintendent

Posted by Susan Leetch
His plan is aggressive. With 10,500 students in the district and only 6,200 enrolled in the Youngstown system, the revitalization plan to restructure the district and create a system of schools is imperative. These students deserve to learn, live and work successfully. Change is difficult but "we cannot afford to continue doing what we have always done. The plan was designed around the needs of our students. It starts on the first day of school and continues until graduation day." Middle School Students: will encompass two 6-7th grade academies located at Volney and Wilson. Parents will be notified by letter regarding student assignments. P. Ross Berry will become an 8-9th grade academy. This secure academy will focus on academic rigor, social-emotional support and behavior expectations. Teachers will interview and be selected for this school. Interviews and/or audition for acceptance in grades 6-12 on the Chaney campus will be required for the Visual Performing Arts Program. Interview for acceptance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programs will also be required. A student interest application form will be mailed and students will have the opportunity to select a program or school. If the program requires an audition or interview, families will be notified of acceptance by the end of May 2011. Safety and security of the students will be one of the highest priorities. Dr. Hathorn asks for patience as the details are all worked out. "This is a major change and we have a lot of work yet to do."
Youngstown City School's Superintendent Susan Leetch 0

Sam Morris from Next Level Unique Marketing

Posted by Brian Laraway
Sam introduced himself with Next Level Unique Marketing. The business began in of July 2010. He said that businesses weren't getting the level of service they should be getting. His company provides apparel and promotional products. He enjoys getting to know people and who they are working for. He told us when we get back into the office. Do we have any promotional items? Look again. Look at our pens, sticky notes, coffee cup, note pads, calendars. Why do companies spend money on them? It's because we will use them.
Sam Morris from Next Level Unique Marketing Brian Laraway 0

Superintendent Austintown Local Schools

Posted by Susan Leetch
Ron Carroll, program chairman, introduced Vince Colaluca, Supt. of Austintown schools and Rotary member.

Vince spoke about the current situation of schools, both positive and negatives. Among the positives was announcement of two teachers who won state honors, Shelley Best at AMS, and January Nelson at Fitch; both will be honored at the Board of Education meeting tonight. He spoke about open enrollment as a good thing for Austintown, with an increase from 200 last year to 375 this year, each of which brings $5700. of state funds with them. Mr. Colaluca cited the funding problems with both state and federal revenues, and was proud that Austintown schools are solvent and hoping to hold out until 2014 for things to improve. Voters were asked for new operating funds way back in 1996. The two new buildings are in the final phase of planning, and dirt should start moving this summer, as well as seeing parts of the Watson and Frank Ohl building removed to make room for the new elementary and intermediate buildings so they can open in the fall of 2013. The superintendent mentioned that state funds pay only for the buildings, not the technology aspects, so local experts are often consulted on building component systems and technology so the new buildings will serve future generations.
Superintendent Austintown Local Schools Susan Leetch 0

Susan Schwebel Epstein

Posted by Susan Leetch
Jerry Haber introduced Susan Schwebel Epstein as our guest speaker, whom he described as the ultimate volunteer. Susan's dad was President of Boardman Rotary in the past, so she knows the importance of our groups, but she described her path to volunteerism as being rooted in her religion and her family tradition. The Jewish faith stresses repair of the world and acts of charity for the less fortunate. She went on to describe how her grandparents opened a bakery in Campbell and East Side to produce a special rye bread which her grandmother sold door to door. They were immigrants from what was then Austria Hungary but today Poland. Her grandfather died and 1928 leaving her grandmother to run the business and raise six children. Her grandmother died in 1964, but passed to her family the legacy of volunteerism and charity. Her words of wisdom still inspire Susan:"If you will it, it is no dream". Susan and her husband Bruce, an attorney, are very involved in the community.
Susan Schwebel Epstein Susan Leetch 0

Dr Gene O'Brien

Posted by Susan Leetch
Jerry Haber introduced our speaker, Dr. Gene O'brien, a psychologist for the past thirty years, part of it as director of employee assistance at St. Elizabeth hospital. His topic was "Everybody's Looking For Something", stressing the variety of addictions that people have and how to get help. He mentioned drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, but also added shopping, televison and the Internet as other areas of weakness. Dr. O'Brien stated that people look to these outlets for relief and comfort from the woes of life, even when it hurts them and those around them. He offered advice of joining support groups, stating that recovery is hard to do alone and gave the number 330 270-3000 as a directory of help groups. He also encouraged responsible adults to rid their homes of old medicines before children, grandchildren and their friends could find them. Thanks for an interesting program, Gene and Jerry.
Dr Gene O'Brien Susan Leetch 0

Austintown Rotary Inducts New Member

Posted by Susan Leetch
Chuck Baker inducted Jennifer Connolly into the Austintown Rotary during the weekly meeting held on February 7, 2011. Jennifer is the Adminstrator at Briarfield at Ashley Circle. Jennifer's sponsor Mitch Dalvin.
Austintown Rotary Inducts New Member Susan Leetch 0

Fr. Greg Maturi

Posted by Susan Leetch
Jerry Haber introduced Fr. Greg Maturi from St. Dominic church. They have been in the news lately because of the Operation Redemption on the south side around the church, in which 20 vacant homes were demolished and 45 that remain are hopefully going to be rehabbed for use. He thanked Mayor Jay Williams for living up to his promise to remove the blighted ones, and hopes that reopening St. Dominic School as a charter school last fall with 200 students will be a positive step in recovery. They are also working to build a parish center to be used by the community, and work with YSU Business School to encourage business to locate there. Fr. Maturi commented that St. Dominics is a Dominican order church, so not slated to be combined or closed by the Diocese. However, they are paired with St. Patrick's as a cooperative partnership for some events. This is his first church parish assignment, as he is a native of Virginia. Good luck in your endeavors.
Fr. Greg Maturi Susan Leetch 0


Posted by Susan Leetch
Two Austintown Fitch juniors have been selected to participate in the Rotary Youth Leadership Award conference on February 25-27. The annual event will be at the Avalon Inn, with nearly 100 area youth attending. It begins Friday morning and ends Sunday afternoon, with sessions on self discovery, opportunities for leadership development, and service to the community options. The Rotary Club of Austintown is sponsoring two juniors, Kayleigh Choma and Christine Holmes. Kayleigh is the daughter of Greg and Renay Choma, and is active in soccer and Jr. ACRY at St. Nicholas Church in Warren. Christine is the daughter of Scot and Donna Holmes and is active in softball and the Food Bank at Mahoning United Methodist Church. The girls were chosen by Interact Club advisors Tina Kubacki and Gary Reel based upon their involvement in school and community organizations and their display of leadership during their freshman and sophomore years. Shown in picture, left to right, are Kayleigh Choma and Christine Holmes


Posted by Susan Leetch
An evening of fine food and drinks, elegant dessert, and chances to win money and prizes is offered to the public on March 5 at the Maronite Center. For the past twenty years, the Rotary Club of Austintown has used this wonderful social event as its primary fund raiser to local, national and international service projects. Tickets for the event are $150. per couple, which includes the dinner for two, quality refreshments, and many opportunities to win part of the $2000. in cash prizes. Another mini board raffle will also give more chances to win at only $25. a ticket. Tickets are still available for the event which begins at 6:30 p.m. Local projects that might be noticed are giving dictionaries to all third graders in public and parochialschools in Austintown and Jackson Milton, the Celebration Grove at Austintown Park, scholarships to Fitch students, support of the Interact Club at Fitch, and help for the Rescue Mission and Salvation Army. International projects include the Polio Plus program to eliminate the disease in the world, water projects in India and El Salvador, and a local group traveling to Guatemala in January that spent over $7000. repairing and equipping an orphanage in dire need. Susan Leetch is the current President. Pictured are some of the Austintown Rotarians preparing for the ticket sale: left to right Dr. Mitch Dalvin, Dr. Michael Cafaro, Brian Laraway, and Melissa Crowley

Austintown Rotary at Youngstown State University

Posted by Susan Leetch
Ram Kasuganti conducted the tour at the new Williamson School of Business on the campus of Youngstown State University. The tour consisted of Williamson Hall's 3 floors, including his office overlooking the atrium, the faculty area, and classrooms. The building is a wonderful addition to YSU. The math department has taken over the former business building and renamed it Lincoln Hall. Pictured, Ram Kasuganti, Hillary Prestridge, Erika Cafaro and Dr Mike Cafaro.
Austintown Rotary at Youngstown State University Susan Leetch 0

Triumph Consulting Servicers

Posted by Susan Leetch
Intoduced to the Austintown Rotary was Tom Ricciuti from Triumph Consulting Services. He conducts sales seminars to improve your sales staff. He mentioned companies that are doing better in the recession, claiming that faceto face is still the best way to make sales, electronics make us lazy. He gave some ideas for selling our raffle tickets, urging us to let the buyer give the reasons why they would like to come. Pictured are Susan Leetch and Tom Ricciutti
Triumph Consulting Servicers Susan Leetch 0

Francesca Kostek from American Cancer Society

Posted by Susan Leetch
Speaker was Francesca Kostek from the American Cancer Society. Their big event is the Relay for Life, which has been going on for 27 years nationwide and last 12 in Austintown and this area. Last year 200 survivors marched to open Austintown event, which was 50 more than the past. We served a dinner for them with the help of Walgreen and the Interact Club. Event raised over $100,000. so it was a grand success, this year date is June 10-11 at Fitch. She also talked about the many services for cancer patients that this event pays for, such as Hope Lodge in Cleveland and Cincinnati, Patient Navigators who provide social services for patients, and Reach for Recovery, which provides transportation for those in need.
Francesca Kostek from American Cancer Society Susan Leetch 0

Austintown Rotary Drafted

Posted by Susan Leetch
Speaker at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Austintown was Chief Steve Prestridge, CW3. Steve has been with the U.S. Army for 27 years. His mission today was to encourage employers to hire National Guard and Reserve members. The program known as ESGR (Employer Support of The Guard and Reserve) is a win-win situation for both the Guard/Reserve Member and the employer. Employers know that Army Reserve Soldiers are well-qualified and make good employees. There are lots of well-trained kids looking for a job. The Soldier must still meet employer skill requirements for available job openings. For more information go to their website at in picture:President Susan Leetch with Chief Steve Prestridge, CW3, presenting Certificate for a book to be donated to Woodside School in his honor.
Austintown Rotary Drafted Susan Leetch 0

Attorney Jonea Shade Speaks to Rotary

Posted by Susan Leetch
Speaker was Attorney Jonea Shade, who works on behalf of the elderly and veterans nearing retirement or disability. She does Estate Planning to preserve the assets of those who have worked hard to save money. Lots of questions followed her talk. Pictured are Attorney Jonea Shade and Deanna Spirko
Attorney Jonea Shade Speaks to Rotary Susan Leetch 0


Posted by Susan Leetch
Jenny Pike, President ofthe Humane Society of Columbiana County was a guest at the Austintown Rotary Club Monday meeting. She stated that the shelter in Salem operates totally on donations, a small trust and grants. They get 40 calls per month and can't take in all the animals that they are asked to. They have a "no kill-no suffering" policy at the shelter and do not put an animal down. She asked why the community should care? 70% of abusers of animals will have a record or indicator of child abuse and previous animal abuse. Repeat offenses are likely. When an animal is neglected or abused, 8 out of 10 times a human being is at risk...the abuser will go on to deliver that behavior to a spouse, child or other human.Some individuals will not obey the law. Manual Spay Legislation is needed. The most desirable communities have strict animal laws. Statistics show that there are more pets than children in American homes.Reckless breeding in animal farms create a social cost and such inhumane treatment is found at these farms. The Amish have many of these farms. Communities must be pro-active to be heard.Donations may be sent to:The Humane Society of Columbiana County, 1825 S. Lincoln Avenue, P.O. Box 101, Salem, Ohio 44460.Shown in picture: Jenny Pike, President of the Humane Society of Columbiana Countywith Austintown Rotary President, Susan Leetch.

Teen Challenge

Posted by Susan Leetch
Ron Carroll introduced our speaker, Rich Blevins from Teen Challenge. Teen Challenge is a residential faith-based recovery support program for men.There is no government money involved just donations from the community. Teen Challenge is a 12 month program with no shortcuts. The program requireds dicipline, responsible decision-making and accountability. For more information about admission into Ohio Valley Teen Challenge, call 330-743-9030. Picture are Susan Leetch and Rich Blevins
Teen Challenge Susan Leetch 0

Biketown Harley

Posted by Susan Leetch
TOM WRONKOVICH from BIKETOWN HARLEY visits RotaryTom Wronkovich was guest speaker at Austintown Rotary at the November 29 meeting. Tom is from BiketownHarley located at the Interstate 80 site. They moved from their location in Canfield due to limited expansion. They wanted a training course and to have larger events and needed about 1-1/2 acres. They have a full course that takes you from start to finish. Their trainers have 25 years experience. This intersection is the 3rd busiest on interstate 80 in the US with hotels having 85% occupancy year round. The location is excellent for Harley and they have expanded their sales into surrounding states. They are the largest Harley distributor in NE Ohio and western PA. Harley boasts 52% market share in motorcycles with prices ranging from $10,000 to $45,000. Their team is constantly striving to have the best customer service possible.Shown in picture with President Susan Leetch, Tom Wronkovich
Biketown Harley Susan Leetch 0

New Member Inducted to Austintown Rotary

Posted by Susan Leetch
Past District Governor Inducted into Austintown Club Austintown Rotary was proud to induct Jerry Haber intothe Club.Sponsored by Dr. Mitch Dalvin, Jerry is a long-time Rotarian and a Past District Governor. Chuck Baker did the induction with Mitch standing as sponsor.Shown in picture l-rChuck Baker, Jerry Haber and Dr. Mitch Dalvin
New Member Inducted to Austintown Rotary Susan Leetch 0

Dictionary Project and Austintown Schools

Posted by Susan Leetch
Vince Colaluca, Superintendent of Austintown Schools and an Austintown Rotarian presented President Susan Leetch with a plaque to thank our club for delivery of the dictionaries to 3rd graders in Austintown schools. Over 700 dictionaries were delivered by Austintown Rotarians this year.
Dictionary Project and Austintown Schools Susan Leetch 0

Youngstown Warren Regional Airport

Posted by Susan Leetch
Dan Dickten,AAE from the Youngstown Warren Regional Airportrelates services offered at Austintown RotaryWith all major airports feeling the strain of increased travel, this airport is part of the solution as a great alternative to either the Pittsburgh or Cleveland Airports. The airport has been open for over 50 years and serves the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys and the Penn-Ohio Area. It is run by the Western Reserve Port Authority which is made up of members appointed by the Mahoning and Trumbull County Commissioners. At one time the major airlines all had service to the airport but left in 2003. In 2006 Allegiant Air began scheduled service to Orlando. Travel to St. Petersburg will begin November 17, with potentials for Fort Lauderdale and Las Vegas. A much needed commuter service with low fare service to capture a small segment of business travelers would be a success for this airport with destinations such as Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Dallas, and the Washington District. There is a need and a market for attracting major airlines and this is a distinct possibility. A commitment must be made from businesses and the regional chamber. Some upgrades are needed, such as the upgrade of the restrooms, rental car services, terminal advertising, TSA Screening, baggage return and parking lot security to name a few. Youngstown can become a part of the nation's regular airport capacity solution.With President Susan Leetch presenting certificate for book donation to Woodside Readsis Dan Dickten, AAE from the Youngstown Warren Regional Airport.
Youngstown Warren Regional Airport Susan Leetch 0

R.E.S.T.O.R.E Relays to Rotary the Miracle of Plastic Surgery

Posted by Susan Leetch
R.E.S.T.O.R.E. was founded by Dr. Michael K. Obeng, Chief of Plastic Surgery at St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center.Many developing countries shun those afflicted with congenital or accidental deformities and look upon them as outcasts or "freaks". Often, their own families hide them from the general public to spare them from either being ridiculed or physically harmed because of their disfigured appearance. Coming from his own humble beginnings in Ghana, he witnessed the devastating effects of disease, illness and the negative social consequences of deformities attributed to supernatural forces. Responding to the plight of these individuals is the focus of RESTORE. It is a non-profit private medical services organization that provides free reconstructive surgery and related medical services to abused children and battered individuals with these deformities.All volunteers who participate in RESTORE's mission do so at their own will without compensation. But there are still costs to provide medical and surgical supplies, to transport the team and provide lodging.Anyone wishing to help may contact them at 1-888-399-0794 or e-mail them at You can visit their website Shown: Deanna Spirko with Dr. Michae Obeng founder of R.E.S.T.O.R.E.
R.E.S.T.O.R.E Relays to Rotary the Miracle of Plastic Surgery Susan Leetch 0

Dr Robert Marcus

Posted by Susan Leetch
Ron Carroll introduced Dr. Robert Marcus, who is with the Veterans Administration in Youngstown. He spoke about the suicide prevention program started in 2005, and reported that they had rescued over 10,000 vets with the Suicide Hotline (280,000 calls) and followed up on them. There are about 42 million veterans in the population, but current ones seem to have more problems with Post Traumatic Stress.
Dr Robert Marcus Susan Leetch 0

Youngstown Hearing and Speech Center

Posted by Susan Leetch
Guest speakers introduced by Ron Carroll were Chrissy Jenkins and Al Pasini from the Youngstown Hearing and Speech Center. They reported that the Youngstown branch is one of 10 in Ohio, and ours is celebratingits 85th year of service. Speech pathology and audiology are their specialties, and they are the only organization that has funds for hearing aids to those in need, ranging from $600. to $1500. each. They serve1800 families in an 11 county area, and a new development is a Children's Club for those deaf and hard of hearing. This group offers social events and teaches leadership, while doing some fund raising fortheir group and other worthy charities. Great program, many good questions. Shown in picture Al Pasini, Chrissy Jenkins, and Susan Leetch
Youngstown Hearing and Speech Center Susan Leetch 0

Janet Polish - Austintown Online School

Posted by Susan Leetch
Ron Carroll introduced Janet Polish, who is coordinator of the new Austintown Online and Alternative School. It has 65 students since being launched in August, and is among the first in Mahoning County. Some students are there because of emotional, health, religious, and safety reasons, and it serves all grades K-12, though most are high school. Classes can be done online or at school, time available during day and evenings. Students can participate in sports, activities, and school events, and are also eligible to graduate from Austintown Fitch. Teachers have stepped forward to help with this new program, and it is showing signs of success already. Questions from Rotarians followed her talk. Shown in picture, Susan Leetch and Janet Polish
Janet Polish - Austintown Online School Susan Leetch 0

Beatitude House

Posted by Susan Leetch
Beatitude House - Committed to DisadvantagedWomen and ChildrenAt the October 4th meeting of the Rotary Club of Austintown, Teresa Boyce, Development Director of Beatitude House gave a history of this special organization in the Mahoning Valley.In 1988 Sr. Margaret Scheetz, inspired by the film God Bless the Child, offered a service for women and their children in the Mahoning Valley a chance to break free from the cycle of poverty and homelessness. With a firm belief that education is the best way out of poverty, Sr. Margaret established Beatitude House, a nonprofit nondemoninational corporation of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown. In 1991 the first four families moved into the first apartment complex where the mothers began to earn their degrees. Since its inception, Beatitude House has expanded to offer education and career preparation services at the Potter's Wheel. They offer job placement services, computer classes, math tutoring, child advocacy, GED preparation and counseling services. In 2009 Beatitude House launched Green Clean, an eco-friendly cleaning service on a mission for a better world. For more information call: 330-744-3147.Shown in picture: Austintown Rotary President, Susan Leetch with Teresa Boyce
Beatitude House Susan Leetch 0

Rotary and Interact Cleanup Kirk Rd.

Posted by Susan Leetch
On a brisk Saturday morning, members of the Rotary Club of Austintown joined members of the Fitch Interact Club for their semi-annual cleanup of Kirk Road from Rt. 46 toWhispering Pines Dr.. With the cooperation of the Green Team, members added a new dimension to the ten year long project by separating recyclables from the trash, gathering three bags of recyclables and ten of trash. Shown in the pictures are Interact members (youth) Rebecca Leonard, Sammi Devenport, Christine Holmes, Courtney Francis, Summer Tarr, Brianna Traylor, David Dalvin
Rotary and Interact Cleanup Kirk Rd. Susan Leetch 0

Junior Achievement Strives to Inspire

Posted by Susan Leetch
Michele Merkel and Kate Davis from Junior Achievement visited the Austintown Rotary. They stressed the importance of inspiring and preparing young people by showing them how to generate wealth and effectivley manager it. They showed us the kits that are used in the schools by Junior Achievement Volunteers. Shown in the picture is Susan Leetch and Michele Merkel.
Junior Achievement Strives to Inspire Susan Leetch 0

District Governor Visits Austintown Rotary

Posted by Brian Laraway
The new District Governor, Jim Russell, visited the Austintown Club. In his presentation he asked us to work on meaningful projects, build membership, and support the Rotary Foundation. Shown in picture is Susan Leetch and Jim Russell
District Governor Visits Austintown Rotary Brian Laraway 0

Dan Moore on the Ohio Budget Reform

Posted by Susan Leetch
Mission Possible: Ohio Budget Reform and What's at StakeOhio Society of CPA's budget reform explained to Austintown Rotary Club.

Dan Moore, representing the OSCPA addressed some of the issues facingOhio's strained budget.

Ohio's state budget faces a projected shortfall of up to $8 billion in the coming biennium (2012-2013), not counting budget deficits faced by countless local government entities.

Four key areas were the resulting answers for reform to create a financial road map for Ohio's future:ÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'‚¢ Creating more efficient and streamlined government operations. Consolidate the 5,500 separate state and local entities. These represent a significant cost drain on taxpayers.

* Containing or eliminating costs. Identify nonessential expenditures and conduct performance audits on key programs.* Enact public pension reform. Ohio's public retirement systems provide benefits for 1.5 million individuals. Ohio should explore all options to limit taxpayer exposure while treating employees fairly, yet realistically. Ideals for reform include: banning the practice of Ohio paying 10% employee share of retirement contribution; ban "double dipping" where an employee retires and is rehired in the same job; raise the minimum retirement age - currently as low as 48; investigate a defined contribution plan approach as commonly used in the private sector.

* Implementing long-range strategic financial planning which would be available for public review and be issued annually.

*Exploring possible revenue sources. Investigate: the sale of state assets and privatization of state services. Study existing Ohio tax credits. Conduct performance audits to ensure recipients of economic development tax credits follow through with mandated requirements.

MAKE your vote COUNT! Hold Ohio's elected leaders and candidates accountable.

Download the report at

Shown in picture: Deanna Spriko, with Dan Moore

Dan Moore on the Ohio Budget Reform Susan Leetch 0

Dr. Howard Mettee

Posted by Susan Leetch
Dr. Howard Mettee, Professor of Chemistry at YSU presents plaque toAustintown Rotary Club.This past July 3-18, 2010, a delegation of 11 Russian doctors from five regions in Russia toured Northeast Ohio. The purpose of their visit was to learn how medical clinics were organized and particularly in the systems of quality control in medicine. The hosts were Rotary Clubs of Austintown, Boardman and Canfield. The plaque of appreciation was presented to Austintown Rotary President Susan Leetch on behalf of the Russian team by Dr. Howard Mettee.
Dr. Howard Mettee Susan Leetch 0

Austintown Rotary names Paul Harris Fellows

Posted by Susan Leetch
Our own Brian Laraway spoke on the Rotary Foundation and how to become a Paul Harris Fellow. The Austintown club is striving for 100% of their members achieving this distinction. Six members achieved this status in 2010, and received their awards and pins from Foundation chairman and past President Brian Laraway. They are shown in picture: Brian Frederick, Susan Leetch, Ron Carroll, Brian Laraway, Tony Cebriak, and Dr. Mike Cafaro.
Austintown Rotary names Paul Harris Fellows Susan Leetch 0

President Brian Laraway Last Meeting

Posted by Susan Leetch
Brian thanked the club for their efforts this past year, ran down the Club Activity Report and mentioned several of our good works: Woodside reads, Dictionary project, Donation to library for summer reading program, 3 scholarships this year, donations to Polio Plus and Foundation, etc, etc.Pictured is Brian Laraway and Robin Stock who was alsonamed Paul Harris Benefactor
President Brian Laraway Last Meeting Susan Leetch 0

Austintown Senior Center

Posted by Susan Leetch
Bill Adams spoke to Rotary about the Austintown Senior Center. A meals program will start in September for 52 seniors three days a week, food plus socializing. There will be some federal funding, but donations are encouraged. One of the sites will be located on Westerchester Dr in Austintown.
Austintown Senior Center Susan Leetch 0

Cecilia Ragozzino, Rotary Member

Posted by Susan Leetch
Austintown's newest Rotary Member, Cecilia Ragozzino, gave us an impromptu presentation on career in banking including her present position with Huntington National Bank as a Business Banker.
Cecilia Ragozzino, Rotary Member Susan Leetch 0

Eastern Gateway Community College

Posted by Susan Leetch
Terry Shifflet from Eastern Gateway Community College was a recent guest at the meeting of Austintown Rotary.Eastern Gateway is a fully accredited two-year associate degree college that enables students to obtain a degree in over 60 majors that will transfer or qualify for the job market as well as certificate programs. The courses they offer are an affordable option for students seeking to transfer and apply their credits to four-year degree programs at other colleges and universities at a much lower cost to the student.As a community college the tuition and fees are comparably lower than the cost of four-year universities and colleges, private institutions, and for-profit colleges. Financial aid may be available with over 70% of Eastern Gateway students receiving some financial aid - whether it is grants through the U.S. Department of Education, scholarships, or student loans, the students have options to assist them in paying for their tuition, fees and possibly books.They have over 6 locations within driving distance. The admissions Department can schedule appointments and tour of the site that is closest to the student.Their number is 1-800-68-COLLEGE ext. 212. L-R: Susan Leetch, President Austintown Rotary with Terry Shifflet from Eastern Gateway Community College.
Eastern Gateway Community College Susan Leetch 0

Brian Laraway President's Roast

Posted by Susan Leetch
On June 26, 2010 Brian Laraway was roasted at the Austintown Rotary Annual President's Party. We heard a lot of stories about Brian that we hadn't know previously! It was a lot of fun and a great time was had by all! We want to Thank Brian for a wonderful year as our President and know that he will continue to do great things with our Rotary Club!
Brian Laraway President's Roast Susan Leetch 0

Delegation of Russian Doctors

Posted by Susan Leetch
Howard Mettee, PhD - Professor of Chemistry at YSU arranged for a delegation of 11 Russian doctors from five regions in Russia: Moscow, Tyumen, Krasnodar, Perm and Ekaterinburg to tour northeast Ohio. The group is spending two weeks in the United States to learn more about the practice of medicine in the United States. They hope to discover ways to improve patient care and practice management back home in their own country. They are interested in the systems of quality control in medicine, the effective organization of doctors and medical personnel. This was a true "citizen-to-citizen" contact with no government interferences. Since 1995 a concerned citizens group supported Russians to come here during the transition from Communism to Capitalism. These delegates paid 100% of the trip themselves. They were specific in announcing that they were from Russia and not the Soviet Union.Hosts are Rotary Clubs of Austintown, Boardman and Canfield. They are staying in the homes of Rotarian families. They presented the club with both flags and a granite nameplate and ended with saying,"God Bless America". Group includes: Susan Leetch Austintown Rotary President, Irina Kuznetsova, Tatyana Goryacheva, Stanislav Tulupov, Deanna Spirko, Marina Balkhovskikh, Ayrat Khanov, Mikhail Stepanov, Lyubov Ivanova, Natalyn Kharlamova, Tatyana Zaytseva, Howard Mettee, Bryan Laraway, Ilya Lozovik
Delegation of Russian Doctors Susan Leetch 0

Wally Sinn from Lane Funeral Home

Posted by Susan Leetch
Lane Funeral Home Vice President, Wally SinnIs special guest at Austintown Rotary Wally Sinn has been with Lane Funeral Homes since 1965. His original wish was to become a doctor, but instead eventually became the Vice President of one of the largest Funeral Homes in the Valley. Wally described the beginnings of the Lane Funeral Home in Mineral Ridge in 1855 as a funeral home andfurniture store. A stepson, Joseph Burford Lane, succeeded his stepfather in the business in 1912. J.B. Lane in his years as owner of the firm, built what would be the second building on the Mineral Ridge location, and converted from the combined furniture and undertaking business to providing funeral service only in 1934. Prior to this, funerals were held usually at the home and sometimes at a church. Ownership of the business in Mineral Ridge was assumed by Joseph O. Lane upon the death of his father, Joseph B Lane in 1950. In 1957, property was purchased that became the Austintown Chapel to which over the years additions were made. In 2002 after the death of Joseph O. Lane, a fifth generation of leadership was assumed by Joseph D. Lane.In 2005, while celebrating its 150th year, three more funeral homes were acquired in Trumbull County bringing the total number to seven. With over 200 employees, Lane Funeral Homes has emerged from one funeral home to one of the leading firms in the State of Ohio. Shown President Brian Laraway presenting Wally Sinn, from Lane a book to be donated to Woodside Elementary Library in their name.
Wally Sinn from Lane Funeral Home Susan Leetch 0

Cleveland Indians' Greg McBride

Posted by Susan Leetch
Cleveland Indians' Greg McBride describesupcoming season to Austintown RotaryGreg McBride, Account Executive with the Cleveland Indians described this young team as showing greatpromise.This is Greg's 6th season as spokesman for the Indians. He is a Conneaut, Ohio native and when a position for spokesperson opened on the Indians Team, he accepted. The Indians have a presence in the valley in the form ofthe Scrappers. The Scrappers do not begin play until June 18 in Jamestown against the Jammers, but many of last season's Scrappers are set to begin play with other Indians affiliates. There are 65 new rookies each year and only 10% may reach Cleveland. Some last less than a year.The Indians' Steven Strausberg, age 23 has a 100 MPI ball and won four of the last five games. With 25 wins and 32 losses, the Indians are in a rebuilding mode, due to trades and drafts. "It is a young team that shows great promise."Shown in picture:Greg McBride with incoming President, Susan Leetch as she presents him with a book donated to Woodside Reads Project.Library
Cleveland Indians' Greg McBride Susan Leetch 0

Austintown Rotary Inducts New Member

Posted by Susan Leetch
At the May 24 meeting, Cecilia Ragozzino was the newest member chosen to belong and was inducted by Chuck Baker and sponsored by Gary Reel. The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster: the development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service; high ethical standards in business and professions; the application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business and community life; and the advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service. Cecilia grew up in Girard, graduated from Girard High School and attended Youngstown State University. She is employed by Huntington Bank at the Wedgewood office on Raccoon Road and specializes in business lending and business services. She has been in the banking industry for 12 years. Shown in picture: left to right Gary Reel, Cecilia Ragozzino with Churck Baker.
Austintown Rotary Inducts New Member Susan Leetch 0

William Courtney Memorial Scholarship Presentation

Posted by Susan Leetch
GARY REEL presented our Interact Students with the William Courtney Memorial Scholarship. All three were present to receive the awards. Eric Crawford plans to attend OSU and as an Interact Club member helped collect 1800 items for the food drive. April Krempasky will be studying the field of Event and Hospitality Management and hopes someday to work at Disney World. Devlin Geroski will go to Hiram and wants to be a writer. He had a great time in Interact. Pictured from left to right, Brian Laraway,Mrs. Geroski, Devlin Geroski, April Krempasky, Gary Reel, and Eric Crawford.
William Courtney Memorial Scholarship Presentation Susan Leetch 0

Rotary Inducts New Member

Posted by Susan Leetch
Chuck Baker inducted Heather Posey from Huntington Bank, sponsored by the newest member, Cecilia Ragozzino also from Huntington. Heather lives in Austintown with her daughter Taylor, 8-1/2. She has been with Huntington for 4 years and manages the Work Program for the Mahoning Valley Region supporting 57 offices in that region. they reach out to employers within the community who offer direct deposit and offer their employees their premier checking program.She is a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, United Way, Junior Achievement and was on the committee for the Relay for Life in Warren.From left to right: Austintown Rotary President Brian Laraway, Cecilia Ragozzino, Heather Posey and Chuck Baker.
Rotary Inducts New Member Susan Leetch 0

Mahoning County Senior Citizen's Unit

Posted by Susan Leetch
Kay Lavelle from the Mahoning County Sheriff's Department spoke to Rotary today about the Senior Citizens's Unit. The Unit was established in 2007 to help provide assistance to seniors and their families with a variety of services .
Mahoning County Senior Citizen's Unit Susan Leetch 0

Home Instead Community Service

Posted by Susan Leetch
Home Instead Community Service Representative, Anna Keck, paid a visit to our club. Home Instead is a senior, non mecidal provider for people wishing to stay in their home during their advancing years.They offer: Companionship Services such as writing letters, helping with mail, arrange appointments, offer companionship and conversation. They also offer Home Helper Services such as light housekeeping, laundry and ironing, planning and prep of meals, assist with pet care and assist with many personal services.Anyone wishing more information should call their toll free number at 1-800-4-seniors. Or visit their website at valley.
Home Instead Community Service Susan Leetch 0

Rotary Inducts New Member

Posted by Susan Leetch
On Monday, April 19, at their regular meeting at the Saxon Club on Meridian Rd., Mark Cole was inducted as the newest member of this fine service organization. Shown in the second picture is Rotary President Brian Laraway, Mark Cole, Austintown School Supt. Vince Colaluca, who sponsored Cole, and Chuck Baker, who performed the ceremony. Mark is in the insurance field, but is very active in a variety of organizations, according to Laraway, and Rotary is lucky to get him.
Rotary Inducts New Member Susan Leetch 0

Awesome-Town Celebrations

Posted by Susan Leetch
Speaker for the meeting was Brad Bloomster, who is spearheading the AWESOME-TOWN fall celebration on October 9 starting at 11 a.m. and running all afternoon. The festival will highlight the good things about our town, and also give a chance for connections among people and groups promoting good will. He challenged Rotary to find a place to be part of the day.
Awesome-Town Celebrations Susan Leetch 0

Chief Bob Gavalier from Austintown Police Department

Posted by Susan Leetch
Chief Bob Gavalier from the Austintown Police Department thanked the Austintown Rotary Club for the many things it does for our Community. He attended the Reverse Raffle and was happy to see the support from the community for our raffle. He wanted to tell us about some of the things happening at the police department since passage of the levy. They have updated computers and equipment and are presently awaiting a new dog for the canine unit. They also started a Senior Program with the Shariff's Department to make contact with seniors to see if they're okay. They work one on one to involve as many citizens as possible to check with their elderly neighbors.Car Safety Instruction was conducted at schools. DEA task force brought in $10,000 in confiscated money from drug dealers. Also working with schools on a lock-down plan if there is a problem with teachers and police on the same page. A new radio system is a possibility and it will be shared with Boardman. They are down in officers from 45 to 37 so most are multi-tasking.
Chief Bob Gavalier from Austintown Police Department Susan Leetch 0

Rotary Club Fundraisers

Posted by Susan Leetch
Former President Mike Cafaro step in for Brian Laraway in his absence. We discussed the Reverse Raffle and ideas for improvement. We also discussed the Bike Night and Car Nights at Quaker Steak and Lube. We will be forming some new committees to help increase membership, projects, grants, and fund raising.
Rotary Club Fundraisers Susan Leetch 0

Mentoring Day

Posted by Susan Leetch
Today was Mentoring (Job Shadow) Day, and Gary introduced the following:Alina Kieblasa - lawyer with Atty. Robert SteiskalChrissy Hall - lawyer with Atty. Tom MikulaMegan Tirabassi - teacher with Mrs. Wallace at Lynn KirkJason Miller - doctor with Dr. ShinaChristine Holmes - TV reporter with John Amon, WKBNAlex Sofranko - optometrist with Dr. Tom GrischowMandy Schneider = veterinarian with Dr. Matt SchroderSammi Devenport = veterinarian with Dr. Dan BesticNoor Ramahi - doctor with Dr. Catherine KarlockNikki Baird - lawyer with Atty. Lou SchiavoneOlivia Miller - lawyer with Atty. Shawn Sharf Each present shared their experiences and impressions, great to see a full room.Pictured: Nikki Baird with Attorney Lou Schiavone
Mentoring Day Susan Leetch 0

United Way Speaks to Rotary

Posted by Susan Leetch
Debbie Oliver from The United Way spoke about the Familywize Program. Together we can reduce the cost of medicine by an average of 30% or more. The card is accepted at most pharmacies. The United Way is look for assistance from all organizations in spreading the word and getting these cards out. For additional information go to
United Way Speaks to Rotary Susan Leetch 0

Austintown Rotary Perfect Attendance Awards

Posted by Susan Leetch
At the March 1 meeting of the Rotary Club of Austintown, fifteen members were honored for perfect attendance during the second quarter of the Rotary year, October to December. Pictured are: Row 1-- Ron Carroll, David Buttar, Karl Rein, Deanna Spirko, Mitch Dalvin, and President Brian Laraway Row 2 -- Ram Kasaganti, Chuck Baker, Tony Cebriak, Robin Stock, Hillary Prestridge Row 3 -- Bruce Laraway, Mike Cafaro, Gary Reel.Missing: Susan Leetch
Austintown Rotary Perfect Attendance Awards Susan Leetch 0

Rotary Speech Contest Winner

Posted by Susan Leetch
The Rotary Club of Austintown has selected Fitch senior Aseel Ramahi as the local winner of the annual 4 Way Speech Contest. The speakers are instructed to take the principles of Rotary's 4 Way test and apply them to current life and often their own experiences. Aseel won with the concept of a person living within two cultures and the ability for two cultures to live at peace despite their differences. She will continue the competition at the district level in North Canton on Mar. 20. Shown in the picture are Rachel Solida, vocational chairman of Austintown Rotary, Aseel Ramahi, and club President Brian Laraway.
Rotary Speech Contest Winner Susan Leetch 0

Rotarians have a Busy Month

Posted by Susan Leetch
Members of the Rotary Club of Austintown are making final plans for their annual Reverse Raffle to be held at the Maronite Cneter on March 6, 2010. President Brian Laraway announced that only 20 tickets are left for a wonderful evening of food, fun, and cash prizes. A Chinese Auction will complete the festive evening, which benefits many local and international projects funded by the Rotary Club of Austintown.
Rotarians have a Busy Month Susan Leetch 0

Jack Ciarnello from Take Note Productions

Posted by Susan Leetch
Speaker at the recent meeting was Jack Ciarnello of Take Note Productions, a local company located on Kirk Road. Starting with piano lessons and providing accompaniment for local musicians, Ciarnello has expanded to creating audition tapes for Youngstown State students and helping local musicians get their "break" in the recording businesss. He mentioned that the growth of digital technology has enabled professional quality with less equipment and investment. He is now expanding into video production, proof reading, and advertising. He is a 1977 Fitch graduate who is growing his business locally. Pictured is Rotary President Brian Laraway (left) presenting a library book for Woodside Library to Jack Ciarnello in appreciation of his speaking to Austintown Rotary
Jack Ciarnello from Take Note Productions Susan Leetch 0

Austintown Rotary Reverse Raffle

Posted by Susan Leetch
Reverse Raffle was topic of day. Brian has prepared 3 letters that can be sent out to potential donors. One is for businesses, one for faithful supporters, and one says what we do as a club, all nice to have. You can put your own name as the sender. Dave Buttar and Deanna Spirko are in charge of tickets, Rachel Solida is collecting items for Reverse Raffle to help Melissa and Harvey while on baby patrol, and Mike Cafaro and Erica are in charge of arrangements.
Austintown Rotary Reverse Raffle Susan Leetch 0

Rotary and Interact Help Rescue Mission

Posted by Susan Leetch
Continuing a tradition covering the past ten years, members of the Rotary Club of Austintown combined efforts with the Fitch Interact Club to serve dinner at the Rescue Mission on the fourth Monday each month. Rotary provides ice cream each month as a contribution, and members enjoy the service aspect of the evening.
Rotary and Interact Help Rescue Mission Susan Leetch 0

Easter Seals is Rotary Topic

Posted by Susan Leetch
At the Jan. 18 meeting of the Rotary Club of Austintown, Jodi Harmon, development director at the Easter Seals Center, was the main speaker. She reminded Rotary members that the Youngstown Easter Seal Center was founded by Youngstown Rotary in 1951, and has expanded its services greatly over the 50+ years. They serve the Trumbull, Mahoning, and Columbiana county area, and provide service to 3000 children a year, but also to adults through day care and rehab services, weekend and daily respite services too. Easter Seals is having a fund raising walk on April 24, "Walk With Me", with 99 cents of every dollar staying in the local area. Pictured: Jodi Harmon being presented a library book for speaking by President Brian Laraway. The book will be donated to Woodside School library as part of Austintown's literacy project.
Easter Seals is Rotary Topic Susan Leetch 0

D & E Counseling Center

Posted by Susan Leetch
Speaker at the Jan 11 meeting of the Rotary Club of Austintown was Greg Cvetkovic from the D and E Counseling Center, aided by Cathy Reppy. The center works with children up to age 18 and their families. Greg began with a picture quiz proving many medical problems are observable and given support, but mental illness is not, so support is limited. One reason is the stigma of this, it bothers the parents to admit it. Second, politicians are hesitant to support it, as it brings few votes. Third, it doesn't show in the face or body. State of Ohio has cut spending 35% in last budget, so even less support is being given to these "invisible children". Teen suicides happen once every two hours, mostly because of depression. Treatment brings good results, so support this cause when you make donations. David Buttar, an Austintown Rotarian, is a board member for D and E. Shown in the photo are David Buttar, Cathy Reppy, Greg Cvetkovic, and Brian Laraway
D & E Counseling Center Susan Leetch 0

Rotary Youth Leadership Conference

Posted by Susan Leetch
Representing the Fitch Interact Club, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Austintown, at the annual Rotary Youth Leadership Conference will be Sammi Devenport and Mandy Schneider. Both young ladies are juniors at Fitch, and were chosen for this award by Interact advisors Tina Kubacki and Gary Reel. The event will draw over 80 young leaders to the Avalon Inn in Warren on Feb. 26-28, where a variety of leadership activities and speakers will inspire the youth to greater levels. Salem Rotary Club is the facilitator of the three day conference, with help from other Rotary clubs and area resources. Shown in the photo are Sammi Devenport, advisor Tina Kubacki, and Mandy Schneider
Rotary Youth Leadership Conference Susan Leetch 0

Something Unique for You Florist

Posted by Susan Leetch
Speaker for the meeting was local florist Deanna Hosey, owner of Something Unique For You shop on Mahoning Avenue, in front of WalMart. Deanna is part of a 4 generation Fitch family, and belives in making flowers inexpensive enough for all to afford. She mentioned her recovery from a fire last year as a triiumph, and does most of her shopping in Austintown to keep the money local. Deanna was an exchange student to Japan through Austintown Rotary during her high school days, sponsored by Dr. Murphy Morgan
Something Unique for You Florist Susan Leetch 0

Austintown Superintendent Joins Rotary

Posted by Susan Leetch
At the January 4 meeting of the Rotary Club of Austintown, Vince Colaluca, Superintendent of the Austintown Schools, was inducted as a new member. His sponsor, President Brian Laraway placed the Rotary pin on Vince, while Chuck Baker gave the obligation. Mr. Colaluca mentioned the many contributions of Rotary to Austintown as his chief reason for choosing the become part of the group.
Austintown Superintendent Joins Rotary Susan Leetch 0

Austintown Rotary Holiday Wishes

Posted by Susan Leetch
In observation of the holidays, the Austintown Rotary will not be meeting on December 28,2009. We would like to wish everyone A Safe and Happy Holiday Season!
Austintown Rotary Holiday Wishes Susan Leetch 0

Fitch Interact Club brings Christmas to No Limits Alternative Center

Posted by Susan Leetch
Members of the Fitch Interact Club helped bring Christmas to clients of the No Limits Alternative Center on Friday, Dec. 18. A group of community citizens, businesses, and volunteers organized by Eric Bohr, Walgreen's manager of the neighboring store, gathered food, funds, gifts, and helpers to benefit the center, which serves adults with special needs in the Mahoning County area. The big day started with Mr. Bohr presenting of a big screen television and DVR to the center, replacing a very small unit. Interact students then led playing "Plinko" and "The Price Is Right", using the new television for the game. Group singing was handled by business school students from YSU, known as SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise). Santa and Mrs. Claus visited next, giving specially selected gifts to each adult client. Interact students and volunteers helped serve lunch and dessert to the group, and lots of smiles were shared by those who attended. Pictured are 001 Fitch Interact Club students Gina Cheff, Eruj Arif, Elan Caruso, Eric Crawford, Jason Miller, Summer Tarr, Christine Holmes, Devlin Geroski
Fitch Interact Club brings Christmas to No Limits Alternative Center Susan Leetch 0

Rotary Club Helps Salvation Army

Posted by Susan Leetch
ROTARY CLUB HELPS SALVATION ARMY On Saturday, December 12, Austintown Rotary members braved the cold weather to help collect funds for the local Salvation Army Christmas appeal. This is a project that has been happening for the past 20 years, and members look forward to helping this worthy cause. Among those helping were Gary Reel, Hillary Prestridge, Ron Carroll, Rachel Solida, Robin Stock, Deanna Spirko, Mike Cafaro, Dave Buttar, Bruce Laraway, Brian Laraway, and Brian Frederick. Shown in photo:, Hillary Prestridge
Rotary Club Helps Salvation Army Susan Leetch 0

Santa Bill Meets with Austintown Rotary

Posted by Susan Leetch
Travel into a not-too-well-known country. Experience the life of the people of the much-oppressed Ukraine, especially the children. You will see it through the eyes of a Spirit-led, real life Santa. William Rhodes Dick (Bill) has written a true from the heart, love story between a real St. Nicholas and these children, but he does much more than delivering presents at Christmas. His description of the effects the Ukraine children have had on his life, and he on theirs, you can see how much he has accomplished, and how his mission means so much to him and the children. Bill is a compassionate Santa that can see the needs of these kids. Through his music ministry and his book, he will be able to help support the mission field to the children of the Ukraine. It is a look at a country that very few know anything about. The name of his book is Santa Meets Gods Ukrainian Children.It is available at www.buybooksonthe
Santa Bill Meets with Austintown Rotary Susan Leetch 0

Fitch Interact Club helps the Salvation Army

Posted by Susan Leetch
On Saturday, December 5, Fitch Interact Club members braved the cold weather to help collect funds for the local Salvation Army Christmas appeal. This is a project that has been happening for the past 15 years, and members look forward to helping this worthy cause. Among those helping were Devlin Geroski, Summer Tarr, John Phan, Sylvia Smulski, Sara Pretoka, Nicole Venorsky, Elan Caruso, Angela Murphy, Michelle O'Connor, Katie Fabrizio, Olivia Lanterman, Gina Cheff, Kara Mort, Leslie Weaver, Alex Sofranko, Megan Tirabassi, April Krempasky, Ashley Krempasky, Zarek Bell, Sara Guittar, Brandon Rivello, and advisors Tina Kubacki and Gary Reel. Shown in photos: 001 left to right Michelle O'Connor, Katie Fabrizio, Olivia Lanterman
Fitch Interact Club helps the Salvation Army Susan Leetch 0

Ringo Deals welcomed by Austintown Rotary

Posted by Susan Leetch
Stephanie Jeffers from Ringo Deals met with the Rotary Club of Austintown. This is a company started by Amy Murray two years ago to help market and promote businesses in the community and raise money for various charities throughout the County. The idea started when Amy would always forget her coupons, or be in a place and remember that she had coupons at home for this product. She then created a program that would help our local schools, churches and non-profit organizations raise much needed funding that wouldnt consist of purchasing poor quality, out of state or even out of this country produced products. She went to local businesses and got the best deals directly from them. Their first publication in the spring of 2009 brought in over $3,000 in deals. The coupons are mounted on a ring and normally sell for $25.00 per set with savings over $3,000. The end of year sale price is now $15.00. They make great gifts for this time of year. This offer ends January 2, 2010. They have now moved into Trumbull County with 70 businesses giving their best deals in order to attract business. They are presently working with United Way to promote the idea.They have a website at
Ringo Deals welcomed by Austintown Rotary Susan Leetch 0

Austintown Club Assembly

Posted by Susan Leetch
In today's meeting we had our club assembly to go over our current and future projects. This meeting included discussions from the club, community, vocation and international committees. Good times were had by all.
Austintown Club Assembly Susan Leetch 0

Dr. Mitch Dalvin

Posted by Susan Leetch
In absence of scheduled speaker, MITCH DALVIN stepped forward to talk about his profession. He mentioned the biggest problem that podiatrists see is HEEL PAIN, caused by ligaments rubbing the arch, slowly gets worse and can be usually treated without surgery. Arch supports, injections help. He also talked about the challenges of treating diabetic patients, as they have no pain sensation in feet, gave some memorable events in that area where healing is very slow. Thanks Mitch for an interesting vocational speech, including visual drawn at the table.
Dr. Mitch Dalvin Susan Leetch 0

Rich Autism Center at YSU

Posted by Susan Leetch
PROGRAM:Deanna introduced Tricia Perry from the Rich Autism center at YSU. In 1994, a young couple from Rich/Rubino family were killed in plane crash, and families wanted to do something to memorialize them. YSU donated the space and utilities, but only room for 55 students at present, volunteers have to raise $20,000. per student to match state donation. There are 30 staff members. Autism affects 1 birth out of 150, but can strike in children ages 2-4 at rate of 1:91. Thanks Tricia for a very informative program.
Rich Autism Center at YSU Susan Leetch 0

Brian Laraway presents Laraways Basic Plan for Economic Survival to his Austintown Rotary Club

Posted by Susan Leetch
Brian Laraway, President of the Rotary Club of Austintown and partner with Bury Financial Group located at 20 E. McKinley Way in Poland described some basic steps to stay out of financial trouble in these unstable times.He feels that weve gotten away from what works and its time to get back to basics. His first rule is to setup a Budget and Emergency fund. Having a meeting with your family and go over expenses. A three to six month cash reserve is the best way to make sure fundsare available should there be a downturn in family income. Try to take care of the bills with the highest interest rate first and reduce them as much as possible. Then go after the smaller bills to help build momentum and a feeling that you are at last getting somewhere. These and many other tips are available from Brian. For more information you can call him at 330-757-1992.Shown in picture: Kelly Kiraly, Brian Laraway and Todd Bury
Brian Laraway presents Laraways Basic Plan for Economic Survival to his Austintown Rotary Club Susan Leetch 0
The Future of Rotary is in Your Hands Susan Leetch 0

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Eastern Ohio

Posted by Susan Leetch
WELLNESS CONTINUES IN IMPORTANCE TO ROTARY CLUB OF AUSTINTOWN For a second week, wellness was the topic of speakers at the Rotary Club of Austintown. Last week's speaker was "Mr. Wellness" Butch Temnick, and this week Kincaid Early from the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Eastern Ohio continued this topic. Though her agency services 11,000 clients in 38 counties, her emphasis was on a healthy lifestyle at any age and the power of positive attitude. "You can be well with a chronic disease", Early emphasized. She stressed: 1. right choices and right skills - we can only have control over ourselves, not others. 2. importance of setting goals and making them public so others remind you. 3. positive thinking = better health 4. exercise is beneficial and healthy, at any age. A strong body builds a strong mind.

. President Brian Laraway closed with the quote:"The only was to multiply happiness is to divide it" --Paul Scherer

. Pictured is President Brian Laraway presenting a library book for Woodside School to Kincaid Early.
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Eastern Ohio Susan Leetch 0

Fitch Interact Club Sends Happy Halloween

Posted by Susan Leetch
Fitch Interact Club Sends Happy Halloween to Hope House Thirty members of the Fitch Interact Club, with help from its sponsor, the Rotary Club of Austintown, created 100 treat bags for the Hope House of Youngstown. Members have been doing this for the past five years, and find it rewarding to hear the thanks of the children who use Hope House for family visitation, drop off, and study space. For some children, this will take the place of neighborhood Trick or Treat fun. Advisors for the group are Tina Kubacki and Gary Reel. Special guest at the meeting was Eric Bohr, manager of Walgreen's on Meridian at Mahoning Ave. Eric challenged members to get involved in a Christmas party for residents of the No Limits and Ginnette Alternative Centers, located on Lexington Av. near his store in the former Knights of Columbus building. The party will be December 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with help from area groups and merchants. Shown in picture" Leslie Weaver, Megan Tirabassi, Alex Sofranko, Janell Verdream
Fitch Interact Club Sends Happy Halloween Susan Leetch 0

Mr Wellness - Butch Temnick

Posted by Susan Leetch
Special guest at the Rotary Club of Austintown on October 19 was Butch Temnick, former "Mr. Youngstown" who is now "Mr. Wellness", emphasizing proper eating as a way to achieve better health and lower health costs for businesses and individuals.

. "Mr. Wellness" who spoke on Why Diets Don't Work. His main points emphasized elimination of sugar, white flour, and white potatoes from the diet to increase good things like green vegetables, peas, lentils, beans, fish, and chicken/turkey. Mr. Temnick recommends 9-12 servings of vegetables a day, including canola oil and Smart Balance and vitamin D3 supplements. He encourages people to get their weight and blood pressure under control as health care will be strained in the future with new generations getting sick sooner. Butch is a native of Youngstown, spent many years in the Carolinas, but came back to help his family with their health issues.

. Pictured- Mr. Wellness 004 - Butch Temnick and President Brian Laraway
Mr Wellness - Butch Temnick Susan Leetch 0

Make a Difference Day

Posted by Susan Leetch
Saturday, October 10, was designated as Make A Difference Day by Rotary International, and the Austintown club pitched in to make this a rousing success. Several projects were completed this day, followed by a picnic for members and guests from the Fitch Interact Club.The largest project of the week was the distribution of dictionaries to all third grade classes in local elementary schools. Teams from the Rotary Club of Austintown visited Lloyd, Lynn Kirk, Watson, Woodside, St.Joseph/Immaculate Heart, St. Christine, and Jackson Milton elementary buildings to present the books to each third grader as a literacy project that has been ongoing the past eight years. Over 500 students received this book that they will keep.The second project completed on Make A Difference Day was the Kirk Road cleanup, in coordination with the Green Team of Mahoning County. An army of 23, made up of Rotary and Fitch Interact members, converged on two miles of Kirk Road from Rt. 46 to Whispering Pines Dr., gleaning bags of litter in a semi-annual cleanup that spans nine years.The workers ended the morning with a picnic at the Pogany Pavilion of Austintown Township Park, which overlooks another Rotary project, the Celebration Grove, planted in 2005. It consists of 100 trees, with Red Maple, Flowering Pear, and River Birch offering a variety of colors and shapes in a planned pattern with benches. Rotary also donated a brick paved terrace in the grove in 2007.
Make a Difference Day Susan Leetch 0

Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar 2008-2009

Posted by Gary Reel
Speaker was Shelly Alpeter, Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar for 2008-9. She is from Paris, Ohio and spent a year in Granada, Spain studying in an accellerated Masters program, packing two years of classes into one. Her major is translation of Spanish for consumer issues and businesses. She spent two years in the application process for this program, had lots of issues with proposals and visas to conquer, was given $23,000. from Rotary to cover living, tuition, travel and was able to return $8,000. for future ambassadors. During her year, she also attended many Rotary functions and worked as a volunteer in a shelter for immigrant families in Spain. Shelly was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Oxford, Ohio, where she attended Miami University.Toby closed with the quote by Albert Einstein: "Try not to become a man of success, but a man of value" Remember to bring candy next Monday to help the Interact Club.
Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar 2008-2009 Gary Reel 0

Jim Tallman Chairman of Districk Foundation Grant Program

Posted by Gary Reel
Speakers were Jim and Dawn Tallman. Jim is a past District Governor, and now chairman of District Foundation grant program. He mentioned that our district has sent between $300-400,000. to India over the past 6 years when he has been chairman, and they travelled to India with Meena Patel and a group to see the results.India has 1.2 billion people in a space 1/3 of US, ranks second in world in population, surpassed only by China. While there, they visited a Microfinance Conference, which offers grants to women to start businesses and then sponsor others with profits, had 7000 women in one place to celebrate successes. Also got to be part of a Polio Day in which 160 million children were immunized on Feb. 1 nationwide. They toured many Rotary water and solar cooking projects, also a Deaf School and Pardata Pardadi school for girls who can learn a trade to support themselves, sponsored by Sam Singh, now moving to create a boys school with same idea. Plaques in many of his pictures mentioned Salem, Dover, and Jackson Rotary clubs in our district as sponsors of the project. Jim and Dawn gave a lot of information in a short time.
Jim Tallman Chairman of Districk Foundation Grant Program Gary Reel 0

Youngstown Hearing and Speech Center

Posted by Carol Fye
Youngstown Hearing & SpeechGuests of Austintown Rotary Alfred Pasini, Executive Director and Chrissy Jenkins were guests of Austintown Rotary at their meeting on Monday, September 28. Youngstown Hearing has been offering their services for over 85 years, with offices located on Southern Boulevard and at Forum Health in Austintown. They provide the gift of hearing to both adults and children and their services include the aids, evaluations and screening for newborns. A hearing aid can run from $600.00 to $2,000 depending on need. They write off $700,000 to help people who cannot pay, and the support from the community makes this possible. Three years ago, they set up a program for deaf children and mainstreamed it into the schools. These are social programs to interact with other deaf children who learn to be involved and learn leadership. Promotion of interactionis the goal of the program. The kids will be giftwrapping at the Southern Park Mall near the food court from December 6 to the 13 to raise some money for activities. Hopefully this will be a big success with the public. Shown in photo l-r: Austintown Rotary President, Brian Laraway, Chrissy Jenkins, and Alfred Pasini
Youngstown Hearing and Speech Center Carol Fye 0

District Governor

Posted by Carol Fye
Rotary Club of AustintownWelcomes District Governor Paying a visit to the Austintown Rotary Club, Rotary District Governor, Doug Simpson emphasized his goal for his year as Governor.Among the list was to: induct new members, keep existing members, make meetings interesting, use of the Internet, give Rotary back to the Clubs and its members, meet Polio Plus Goals, but most of all to have fun. The goal of Rotary, and the job of every Rotarian is ...the great satisfaction in serving others. The Polio Plus Campaign started by Rotary International has all but wiped out Polio with only 4 countries reporting Polio cases. Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistam and ndonesia still have polio occurances. These countries make it almost impossible for teams to give the necessary medications to stop this disease completely.When Bill Gates saw the job Rotary was doing, he donated $100 million to the campaign and challenged Rotary to match it. This year he gave Rotary $255 Million for this cause with the same challenge. Shown in picture left to right:Vicki Hoffman, District Govrnor Doug Simpson and Austintown Rotary President, Brian Laraway
District Governor Carol Fye 0

Changing Lives in the Mahoning Valley

Posted by Carol Fye
Beatitude House speaks at Austintown Rotary.The Rotary Club of Austintown welcomed Teresa Boyce to speak on homeless families in the Mahoning Valley.Their Mission Statement: Beatitude House, sponsored by the Ursuline Sisters, is committed to disadvantaged women and children in the Mahoning Valley. By creating homes, providing educational opportunities and fostering healthy families, we provide them with the opportunity to transform their lives.In 1988 Ursuline Sister Margaret Sheetz believing that education and counseling are the best ways out of poverty established Beatitude House, a housing program. They give mothers the support they need on the hard journey toward independence. It has grown from 4 to 31 apartments and 2 education and career preparation sites in both Warren and Youngstown. 80% of their funding goes directly to services, and 100% of funding remains in the Mahoning Valley.
Changing Lives in the Mahoning Valley Carol Fye 0

Water Project Update from the AWE Foundation

Posted by Gary Reel
The program was Dan Pappalardo, speaking for the AWE Foundation, which we have been supporting for several years. They bring water and education to remote villages in El Salvador. Dan is now a Spanish teacher, married to Ruby from El Salvador, and parents of two beautiful daughters. He reminded us that economic woes hurt the poor far more than the affluent, and that the needs of clean water and a chance to get a college education in mountains towns only become less attainable. He thanked the club for their support and asked for it to continue. Their most recent well digging project had some setbacks, but was successful at 260 feet, with the help of a matching grant from Rotary Foundation. They have been able to give 7 students scholarships of $1000 a year to enable them to attend college. In exchange, the student must do community service to help their own town (not always easy to do while attending classes). He will be doing more club visits in the area and appealing to those who have helped in the past. Dan is doing a terrific job, and will be teaching Spanish at South Range this year, so we will have more access to him. Contributions by individuals may be sent to the AWE Foundation at 4286 Burkey Rd., Austintown Oh 44515. Remember your gift is tax deductible.
Water Project Update from the AWE Foundation Gary Reel 0

Rotary Welcomes NAMI

Posted by Carol Fye
The Rotary Club of Austintown welcomed David Crawford at the August 17th meeting. David shared with the club his knowledge of what NAMI offers families and friends of people with severe mental illness.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness Mission Statement is to improve the quality of life, ensure dignity and respect for the citizens of Mahoning Valley who have a mental illness and offer support to their families.

The stigma that is attached to people with any type of mental illness is very real and has terrible consequences. Families are essential to the recovery process. Education and support make qualitative differences in outcomes, but treatment is important. With appropriate treatment and services, people can and do recover.

A walk to raise awarness is held each year with thousands of participants. It will be held in May 2010.NAMI welcomes those who are experiencing the grief, pain and anger which engulfs their lives when mental illness strikes a loved one. For more information please call 330-584-9213 or 330-545-9148.

Pictured left to right: David Crawford, NAMI volunteer with Austintown Rotary President, Brian Laraway.
Rotary Welcomes NAMI Carol Fye 0

Alzheimer's Association Hosts Memory Walk

Posted by Carol Fye
Tina Goines is the program services coordinator from the Alzheimer's Association. They are a national chapter that is not for profit. She has family support groups and has about 10 families in the tri county area. They have a hotline that is available 24/7 for the public with an actual live person on the other end. She mentioned that their yearly spring gala is their annual fundraiser. Last year it was held at Squaw Creek Country Club. Coming up is their Memory Walk on September 12th at the Boardman Park community center. Her telephone number is 330-533-3300 if anyone is interested in forming a team.
Alzheimer's Association Hosts Memory Walk Carol Fye 0

Local Bank Has Much to Offer

Posted by Carol Fye
Our speaker was Racheal Solida, pinch hitting for Robin Stock who had to work. Racheal told of her responsibilities as a Business Banker for First Place Bank. This is one of the last local banking companies, formed by the merger of First Federal of Warren and First Federal of Youngstown in 2001. She handles business services and loans up to $250.000. She works with about 300 customers locally, handling about 10-15 cases per week. She gave some incidents where her services would be used.
Local Bank Has Much to Offer Carol Fye 0

Son Inducts Father to Rotary Club of Austintown

Posted by Carol Fye
It isn't very often that father and son are both members of a Rotary Club, but at the July 27 meeting of the Rotary Club of Austintown, Brian Laraway, President, placed the Rotary pin on his father's lapel, making Bruce Laraway a member of one of the largest Service Organizations in the world.

Dr. Mitch Dalvin did the presentation. Brian stated how incredibly rewarding it was to be able to induct him into the Rotary Club of Austintown. Bruce Laraway is employed at Advanced Feedscrews in New Castle, PA in Sales. Bruce states that he will be able to work side-by-side with his son to help both the Rotary Club of Austintown's local community service goals along with Rotary International's global endeavors as well.Shown in picture (l-r) Brian Laraway, Bruce Laraway and Dr. Mitch Dalvin.
Son Inducts Father to Rotary Club of Austintown Carol Fye 0

YSU Hopes to Build New Facility

Posted by Carol Fye
Joseph Cassese, YSU Athletic Fundraising Director, is very familiar with everything involving Youngstown State University. He has worked in Fundraising for YSU for the last 6 years.

Presently, YSU is working on an indoor facility for football and track. This is another step up for YSU and will give a competitive edge to YSU for the attraction of athletic students to the school. National indoor meets can be held at such a facility.

YSU Hopes to Build New Facility Carol Fye 0

Austintown Police Visit Rotary

Posted by Carol Fye
President Brian presented Detective Sergeant Jeffrey Toth from the Austintown Police Department D.A.R.E. Program.
Sgt. Toth introduced Rotary to the new program by the Austintown Police Department to collect outdated over the counter and prescription drugs for proper disposal.
Austintown Police Visit Rotary Carol Fye 0

Junior League Presents Passport to Prizes

Posted by Carol Fye

PROGRAM: President Brian presented the program by introducing Kelly Kiraly and Shanna Glenellen from the Junior League of Youngstown. They introduced Rotarians to their "Passport to Prizes" Fundraiser to support the Mahoning Valley and all the projects they have undertaken.

          The Junior League of Youngstown is a volunteer organization for women interested in making a positive impact in their communities by building coalitions, identifying community needs and development of effective and responsive programs to serve those needs. 

          Each year, the Junior League of Youngstown raises money for key community projects through fundraising events.

Junior League Presents Passport to Prizes Carol Fye 0

Why Are You In Rotary?

Posted by Carol Fye

PROGRAM: President Mike asked an important question to all of us: Why are you in Rotary? The general consensus around the room: community service, business and working together, and the feeling of "family" in Rotary.


Everyone felt it was a privilege and an honor to be involved, and you just "get hooked" into doing for others and making the Rotary Club something you practice all day - every day. Great program, Mike!

Why Are You In Rotary? Carol Fye 0

Brian Laraway Discusses 2009-2010 Goals

Posted by Carol Fye

PROGRAM: The program was incoming President, Brian Laraway, to discuss some of the goals for the 2009-2010 Rotary year. Brian is a 1996 graduate of Fitch High School and received his MBA from YSU in 2002. He is Vice President and Financial Advisor at Bury Financial Group in Poland, OH.       


Brian Laraway Discusses 2009-2010 Goals Carol Fye 0

Matt Moore Explains Reverse Mortgages

Posted by Carol Fye

PROGRAM:  WHAT IS A REVERSE MORTGAGE? Matt Moore, guest speaker at the June 15 meeting of the Austintown Rotary Club answered questions regarding the Reverse Mortgage. This is something we've all been hearing about, but had questions regarding the advantages/disadvantages of entering such a contract.

Matt Moore Explains Reverse Mortgages Carol Fye 0

Carlton Sears Shows Off the Library

Posted by Carol Fye

PROGRAM: Dave Buttar introduced Carlton Sears, who is executive director of the Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.  Carlton is also past President of Youngstown Rotary.  He noted that over 1 million persons walked through the library system doors last year. Though the population is declining, the usage of the Main Library and its 15 branches is increasing each year.  A major growth in use has happened since December 2008 to the present with more folks using job search and self improvement sources.  He also noted that the Library was only books and magazines in the past, but now has over 1 million newspaper, magazine, book, DVD, computer files available.  Funding has been cut the past year due to less state income tax being collected, so the library system must adjust its hours and collections to end the year debt free.  We can be proud of the excellent system we have with links to over 10 million books and files through Search Ohio.

Carlton Sears Shows Off the Library Carol Fye 0

Austintown Relay for Life

Posted by Carol Fye

PROGRAM: From Austintown Relay for Life, Francesca Kostek, Income Development Coordinator was our speaker. This year will mark the 10th anniversary for the Relay at Fitch. It will last from Friday at 6 p.m. to Saturday at 6 p.m.  The Survivor Lap is the first on the agenda followed by the survivor dinner.  Luminaries will line the track and names are read to remember those who have been lost to cancer and encourage those fighting the disease. 


Austintown Relay for Life Carol Fye 0

Principal Carol Sutton discusses Woodside Reads

Posted by Gary Reel

PROGRAM: Our Speaker was Carol Sutton, Principal at Woodside Elementary. She thanked the club generously for our support of Woodside Reads, a replacement for the state's Ohio Reads.  44 children were helped by 15 mentors as they read 250 books.  The mentors were screened by the BCI at their own expense, which is admirable as many are senior citizens.  Woodside is especially needy in this area as 80% of the students are from single parent homes or live with extended family. 


Carol also commented on the need to replace Austintown's elementary schools due to their age and being out of date.  There are currently meetings and input is being garnered from the public.  It appears the consensus so far is to build two new buildings to replace the 4 elementary schools and Frank Ohl. Each of the new buildings would house about 1000 students.  The state will fund 46% of the cost of the new buildings and removal of t

Principal Carol Sutton discusses Woodside Reads Gary Reel 0

Ron Massullo represents the Secretary of State

Posted by Carol Fye
PROGRAM: Ron Massullo, Regional Liaison for Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, proves for an interesting program. He was very articulate, very "down to earth" and very informative. Ron gave an inside view of what it's like to represent the Secretary of State on the eastern side of Ohio with a region stretching from Lake Erie to the Ohio River. He resides in Poland.
Ron Massullo represents the Secretary of State Carol Fye 0

Patricia Hrina discusses Forum Health

Posted by Gary Reel

PROGRAM:Program was speaker from Forum Health, Patricia Hrina, who is public relations officer.  Forum has 4000 employees at their 5 locations, including North Side, Trumbull Memorial, Hillside Rehab, Austintown and Elm Rd. Immediate Care.   They are the second largest employer in the valley.  83 medical residents are on the staff with 33 more coming in July to cover those graduating.  Austintown Immediate Care had 10,000 cases in 2008.  Wages are over $170 million and benefits cost $50 million.  North Side has won many 5 Star Awards and is reducing its debt from $174 million to $85 million over 3 years.  North Side delivered 1300 babies in 2008. Thank you, Patricia, for a great program.

Patricia Hrina discusses Forum Health Gary Reel 0

Austintown Schools Survey Austintown Rotary

Posted by Brian Laraway

PROGRAM: Vince Colaluca and Kevin Snyder from Austintown Local Schools visited our club. They showed us how new technologies are being used by the district. Specially, they presented the Turning Technologies response units. As of right now, the school system has 31 units, but more will be ordered soon via grant money.

They stated that some of these new items were brought about by the No Child Left Behind bill. Using this technology, teachers are able to ask the class questions to see if the material is understood. For those students that are missing questions, the teacher is able to meet with them during their Intervention Period to tutor them on the lesson.

Our own club was able to test the devices and ourselves with a Rotary Quiz. We learned a little more about our club's history and our members feelings on different topics. It inspired some funny banter. Brian still wants to know who missed Austintown Rotary being around for 40 years. (I guess a few people didn't attend the 40 Year Anniversary Party recently.)

Vince and Kevin were great! Thank you. Also, thank you to Dave Buttar for putting the program together.

Austintown Schools Survey Austintown Rotary Brian Laraway 0

Mahoning Valley Thunder in Austintown

Posted by Gary Reel

PROGRAM: Program today was a presentation by Anthony Farris of the Mahoning Valley Thunder, our local semi-pro team.  Players there are not local, but recent college graduates who want to make it to the AFL.  There are 25 teams in this league with the closest being in Wilkes Barre, Pa. However, Toledo will add one next season.  With only 8 home games, they try to do a lot of promotions to get fans to their games and want to be part of the community.  All games are played at the Chevy Center, and tickets start at $12. Family events are common.  The players live at the Brandywine Apartments in Cornersburg, and most food expenses are covered.  Their website is if you want more information.  Anthony talked with our own Dr. Ram Kasaganti, candidate for new President of YSU, about having some games there once Ram is elevated.
Mahoning Valley Thunder in Austintown Gary Reel 0

Perfect Attendance!

Posted by Carol Fye

Austintown Rotary Club President, Dr. Michael Cafaro proudly presented 13 Austintown Rotary Members with a Perfect Attendance Certificate for the year at the regular meeting.


Shown in photo:front row (l-r) Dr. Mitchell Dalvin, Deanna Spirko, Beverly Flowers, and David Buttar. Second row (l-r) Ron Carroll, Leanna Mathes, Robin Stock, Dr. Michael Cafaro. Third Row (l-r) Brian Laraway, Tony Cebriak, and Gary Reel. Missing: Brian Frederick.

Perfect Attendance! Carol Fye 0

March for Babies

Posted by Carol Fye

The Rotary Club of Austintown recently had as a guest speaker Angela Foor from the March of Dimes, March for Babies Event scheduled here at the Austintown Park on Kirk Road.


Shown in picture: Angela Foor with Austintown Rotary President, Dr. Michael Cafaro


March for Babies Carol Fye 0

Michael Sciortino Joins Austintown Rotary

Posted by Gary Reel
WELCOME NEW MEMBER, MIKE SCIORTINO: Chuck Baker inducted Michael Sciortino, the Mahoning County Auditor, as a new member sponsored by Ron Carroll.  Mike is a Fitch alumni, father of 3, Austintown resident, and commented that he had been approached by several other organizations and Rotary clubs to join, but chose us because he is from Austintown and plans to stay here. We're happy to have you, Mike!

Shown in picture from left to right:
Ron Carroll, Mike Sciortino and Chuck Baker

Michael Sciortino Joins Austintown Rotary Gary Reel 0

Fitch Students Enjoy Job Shadowing

Posted by Gary Reel

Today's program was Mentoring Day with Gary in charge.  We had placements for 18 students, and many of the hosts came to lunch with the students, also Interact Club advisor Della McPherson.  A wide range of occupations was explored, and each in attendance gave some observations of their day.  Rotarian hosts were Frank Santisi, Mitch Dalvin, and Dr. Bob Kerpsack.

Fitch Students Enjoy Job Shadowing Gary Reel 0

Brian Returns from PETS

Posted by Gary Reel
Our speaker today was our own Presient Elect, Brian Laraway, fresh back from the PETS (President Elect Training Session) in Columbus, with all other new Presidents attending.  Brian will stress Paul Harris memberships for all of us this coming year and also do a secret poll about our likes and dislikes, so he can do a great job for us.  Brian thanked the members for being such a great group, unlike many he heard about at the meeting. He also was thankful for all the donationa and contributions for the families at Wright Patterson Air Force base.  He was gratified to be able to add our large contribution to the massive donation from Ohio Rotary.  Good job, Brian.
Brian Returns from PETS Gary Reel 0
Conducting Business Gary Reel 0

"Undress" Rehearsal

Posted by Gary Reel

In lieu of a speaker, Mike held an "Undress" Rehearsal for the Reverse Raffle.  Undressed because if it was the raffle, then we would all be dressed nicely for the occasion. He mentioned setup at noon, members should arrive at 5:30 to help, cocktails at 6:30, which will be the time to sell 50/50 tickets and Chinese auctions, eat at 7:30, start raffle at 8:30, and Mike encouraged everyone to come forward to help during the raffle as a show of support. 

The meal will be served buffet style due to increased costs and to improve the amount of the food available.  If you have special requests for seating, Gary and Lisa need to know. 

There are still 16 tickets that have not been taken, all others are considered sold if you have them.

"Undress" Rehearsal Gary Reel 0

The Reverse Raffle is Coming!

Posted by Gary Reel
Our Program was an update on the Raffle and its purposes.  Mike is working on some final decisions about the menu that have to be done this week.  17 tickets are still left to be sold.  There will be no 50/50 raffle this year, just the Big Board and Mini Board with the Chinese auction.
The Reverse Raffle is Coming! Gary Reel 0

YWCA Visits

Posted by Gary Reel
Leah Brooks and Susan Burney from the YWCA of Youngstown spoke to Austintown Rotary on Monday.  The building was built in 1911 and has served many different functions over the years. From inexpensive and safe housing for single women, immigrant shelter, vocational skills center, recreation, and fitness to current role with single parent housing, school latchkey programs at Watson and Woodside in Austintown, social work and counseling today.  They have been able to land several HUD grants to finance renovation of the building, changing dorm space to single bedroom and efficiency apartments.  They are planning to demolish the pool space and put in a cybercafe, day care area, and empowerment rooms for job counseling.
YWCA Visits Gary Reel 0

Austintown Rotary Celebrates 40 Years!

Posted by Gary Reel

Celebrating the 40th year of the Rotary Club of Austintown, a large group of past Presidents, current members, and past members and spouses gathered on Jan. 31 at the Fifth Season Banquet Hall. 

Following a buffet dinner, past Presidents were introduced by Club Service chairman David Buttar, and each told memories of their years as President.  Prior to 1986, the club was all men, so things have changed since 1968 when Youngstown Rotarian Herb Zimmer contacted Austintown leaders to create a separate club with its first President, Dan Mirto.  His wife, Nancy, spoke of those early days and challenges, as did past Presidents Joe Kramarich and Dr. Murphy Morgan, who are no longer members.  Josephine Baker and Delphine Vandervoort, representing their departed husbands, mentioned many foreign exchange students who were sponsored by the club, and both families had visited their past guests in their native countries. 

More recent Presidents spoke of the major achievements of the club, such as the Austintown Band Shell at Township Park, message sign at Raccoon Rd, Wickliffe flood relief project, and numerous school support projects and scholarships in the Austintown schools, as well as international projects such as Polio Plus and humanitarian projects in many countries. 

Current President Dr. Michael Cafaro opened and closed the event, encouraging members to spread the word of the fine works of Rotary International and its Austintown chapter.  Melissa Crowley and her committee were also thanked for the preparations.
Shown in the picture: seated  Lisa Oles, Nancy Mirto, Delphine Vandervoort, Donna Buzulencia, Josephine Baker, and Melissa Crowley.   Standing: Karl Rein, Toby Mirto, Ram Kasaganti, Gary Reel, Chuck Baker, Ray McCune, Dr. Mitch Dalvin, Dr. Murphy Morgan, and Joe Kramarich.

Austintown Rotary Celebrates 40 Years! Gary Reel 0

SCORE Helps Small Business in the Valley

Posted by Gary Reel

David Buttar introduced Bob McClain from SCORE -- Service Corps of Retired Executives, but some members are not retired yet.  SCORE was founded in 1964 and came to Youngstown in 1965. SCORE is currently housed in YSU School of Business.  These folks share their expertise in business with companies, mostly start-ups, to improve their odds of survival and getting a loan.

SCORE has 378 chapters nationwide, with 8 million clients. Volunteers have given 1.3 million hours of service in 2008.  Since 97% of US businesses are small and 94% of those have 9 or less employees, they are the backbone of the economy.  The Youngstown branch serves Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, and Mercer counties.  Interesting program, thanks Bob and Dave.

SCORE Helps Small Business in the Valley Gary Reel 0

Habitat for Humanity's RESTORE

Posted by Gary Reel
Dave Buttar introduced Meredith Young from Habitat for Humanity's RESTORE, a fund-raising arm that sells donated items to benefit Habitat programs.  They are housed on Midlothian Avenue in Struthers (in the former McIntee Motors building), so they have a big space for building materials, furniture, hardware, fixtures, plumbing, tools, electrical items, books, office furniture, exercise items ---- about anything except clothing.  They are all volunteers, so all money raised benefits Habitat.  Hours are 9-4 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday.  She mentioned that many people buy items there who need them to repair or improve their homes that could not afford them at normal retail prices.  Sounds like a good place to check out.

Pictured are Meredith Young and Dr. Mike Cafaro, who presented Meredith with a book that will be donated to Woodside School library.
Habitat for Humanity's RESTORE Gary Reel 0

Patty DiGiaccobe from Family Promise Visits

Posted by Gary Reel
Our speaker was Patty DiGiaccobe from Family Promise, a religious based organization whose goal is to find housing for homeless families in local churches on a rotating basis.  Churches signing on would do this once in three months for one week, providing a place to sleep in the church on beds provided by the organization, and eating supper and breakfast with food provided by the church.  The maximum number would be four families or 14 persons, however it adds up, as they have a 15 passenger van that would bring them to a day care location and back each night.  Family Promise has 124 chapters in 39 states.  Six churches in Trumbull County have signed on so far, but they need 12 or 13 so nobody is used too often.  Their goal is to help these families have a roof while looking for a job and real housing.
Shown in the pictures is Patty DiGiaccobe with President Michael Cafaro.

Patty DiGiaccobe from Family Promise Visits Gary Reel 0

Brian Pretoka Joins Austintown Rotary

Posted by Gary Reel
Chuck Baker inducted Brian Pretoka as our latest new member, sponsored by Lisa Oles, who placed his pin.  Brian is a realtor with Howard Hanna, and brings a lot of energy to our club. 
Shown in the pictures are Lisa Oles, Brian Pretoka, and Chuck Baker.
Brian Pretoka Joins Austintown Rotary Gary Reel 0

HandsOn Volunteer Network Visits Ausintown

Posted by Gary Reel
Maureen Drummond from Hands On Volunteer Network of the Valley, which is the new name for Volunteer Services Agency spoke to Austintown Rotary.  They partnered with Channel 21, so you will see lots of their ads.  Our own Melissa Crowley is their President of Board this year. Maureen is leading a food drive for January 19 asking for one item per person (or more) to help feed the hungry.  Gary suggested each Rotarian bring an item on the 19th to our meeting and allow Chuck or Melissa to take it to their Mahoning County site at First Presbyterian Church downtown.
HandsOn Volunteer Network Visits Ausintown Gary Reel 0
Rotary Donates to Akron Children's Burn Center Brian Laraway 0

Beverly Flowers discusses Property Management

Posted by Gary Reel

Our speaker was our own Beverly Flowers, who is manager with Christoff Management of Austintown.  Three years ago she came aboard when a retirement occurred, and they moved their offices to Austintown in the building across from Giant Eagle previously used by St. Elizabeth as a clinic.  Her service manages houses, apartments, condos, and commercial property for those who don't want to be involved in collecting rents, doing repairs, evictions, and accounting.  She mentioned a major fire last July in one of their Canfield apartment buildings involving 56 units, of which 48 were occupied at the time.  About $100,000. in damage resulted, but they had excellent cooperation from the insurance company, Canfield Fire Dept., and Red Cross, so over half of the tenants will be moving back.  They also do management for out of state owners who cannot be here.  Most of their landscaping, painting, plumbing, and carpet care is subcontracted.  Nice job Beverly and also informative.

Beverly Flowers discusses Property Management Gary Reel 0
Club Assembly Carol Fye 0

Beverly Flowers Joins Rotary

Posted by Carol Fye

At the recent meeting of the Austintown Rotary Club, Beverly A. Flowers was inducted into the Rotary Club of Austintown. Beverly  Flowers is a resident of Austintown and has worked with Christoff Management, Inc. for over 30 years. Christoff Management provides all the resources, expertise and services needed to ensure and enhance the operation and productivity of apartment complexes, condo developments and commercial properties.


In addition to her years of hands-on experience, she has undergone extensive training through property management and apartment seminars. Beverly's husband is semi-retired and they have two children and three grandchildren.


Chuck Baker performed the induction into one of the oldest service organizations in America, and to always remember to serve the community and enjoy the experience of her new Rotary family.

Beverly Flowers Joins Rotary Carol Fye 0
Salvation Army Updates from Captain Ivan Carol Fye 0

Phantoms Skate to Rotary

Posted by Gary Reel

Three members of the Youngstown Phantom Hockey team visited the Monday meeting of the Rotary Club of Austintown.  They explained that most members are between the ages of 16 and 20, and are working for college scholarships as a goal. Violence and fighting are less for this team, because colleges do not tolerate fights on the ice. 

Members are mostly from out of the area, so live with host families for eight months a year, with only a food subsidy provided.  Community involvement is encouraged, with members helping the United Way and reading in elementary schools. 

Games are played at the Chevy Center and the Ice Zone, with 56 games this year.  The Rotary involvement for Austintown is having our President as the team chiropractor.
Shown in the picture are Rotary President Dr. Michael Cafaro, players Cullen Lundholm, Christian Long, and Jordan Tibbett.

Phantoms Skate to Rotary Gary Reel 0

Julie Michael Smith of the YBI visits

Posted by Carol Fye

Julie Michael Smith, Chief Development Officer for Youngstown Business Incubator gave and interesting presentation of the growth that the Youngstown Business Incubator is enjoying. 

Julie Michael Smith of the YBI visits Carol Fye 0
The Bonds of Rotary Gary Reel 0
A Way With Words Foundation Carol Fye 0

Perfect Attendance

Posted by Carol Fye


At the November 3 meeting of the Rotary Club of Austintown, 14 members were awarded the Perfect Attendance Certificates for the 3rd quarter in 2008.


Shown in picture from left to right front row: Chuck Baker, Brian Laraway, Eric Newton, Deanna Spirko, Rev. Karl Rein, President Michael Cafaro.

Back row: David Buttar, Ron Carroll, Dr. Mitch Dalvin and Gary Reel.


Perfect Attendance Carol Fye 0

Fitch Interact Club Busy With Projects

Posted by Gary Reel
Members of the Austintown Fitch Interact Club, sponsored and aided by the Rotary Club of Austintown, have been very busy with fall projects to benefit the community.  Membership is open to all Fitch students, and new members are still being accepted by advisor Della McPherson.
On Sept. 27, members donated their Saturday morning for the annual Roadside Cleanup of a section of Kirk Road between Rt. 46 and Whispering Pines Drive.  Teamed up with Rotary members, fifteen large bags of trash were collected, with another cleanup scheduled for April.  This is in cooperation with the Green Team.  The Interact Club also sponsors paper recycling at Fitch, with weekly pickups in each classroom by members.
Students also packed Halloween bags for Hope House in Youngstown, a visitation spot for families with special needs.  Seventy five bags were requested and well filled by members.
Members also serve dinner at the Rescue Mission on a monthly basis, joining the Rotary Club on the fourth Monday of each month.  Their next project will be ringing the bells for Salvation Army during the holiday season.
Fitch Interact Club Busy With Projects Gary Reel 0

WYSU Visits Rotary

Posted by Carol Fye

The Rotary Club of Austintown was privileged to have as their program Ed Goist and Melinda Bowen-Houck from WYSU-FM.WYSU is an affiliate of public radio with news, information and classical music on their menu.  They are at 88.5 on the dial.They do not air commercials and can only acknowledge businesses or organizations that support them as member contributions.Their commitment is to provide locally relevant public affairs programming.  Their most popular program is on Saturday morningsand is well known in the area as "Car Talk".Their Fall campaign was a success and they now have formed a fundraising partnership with Mill Creek Park. They will plant a tree with yourdonation of $120.00.  The campaign enables them to put in 100% of donations into programming.

WYSU Visits Rotary Carol Fye 0

June Logan Hopes for Renovations

Posted by Carol Fye

Dave Buttar, our program chair, presented June Logan, who is working with a committee to renovate the girl's locker room at Fitch High School. She enlisted the aid of the Rotary Club of Austintown to help with the project.


These lockers are 40 years old and are used by all the girls in the Physical Education Classes. Her committee would also like to add partitions between the toilet area and the showers. An amount of $25,000 must be raised to take care of this situation.


Many students visiting Fitch from other schools also use the facilities so this is a project that needs addressing.


June Logan Hopes for Renovations Carol Fye 0

Austintown School Levy Campaign Brings Message

Posted by Carol Fye

Doug Heuer, Superintendent of Austintown Local Schools, visited Austintown Rotary. Heuer discussed the importance of passing the levy that will be placed on the ballot this November. Despite the fact that they have cut at least 8 million dollars from their budget, Austintown Schools are still struggling financially because of House Bill 920, which has dramatically reduced the amount of tax monies that the district receives. Austintown has cut several positions including administrative, teaching, clerical and custodial and yet they still find themselves struggling. Heuer reminded the Rotarians that housing values, community safety and quality of life are directly affected by the quality of the schools. The community is being as asked to pass a 4.9 mill levy. The cost to a homeowner of a $100,000 home would be an additional $12.51 a month. Heuer believes that Austintown has a lot to lose if the levy does not pass.

Austintown School Levy Campaign Brings Message Carol Fye 0

Dave Buttar recognized in The Rotarian Magazine

Posted by Carol Fye

In the October issue of The Rotarian, a National Rotary magazine, David Buttar, a Rotarian in the Austintown Club, was singled out for his endeavor to boost the morale at Yurchyk & Davis, a 16-person accounting firm in Canfield, Ohio.


Every March David organized a drive where clients and employees can bring in food or donate funds for America's Second Harvest. He stated, "It probably helps your image a little bit, in that people know you're out there trying to help the community anywhere you can."

Dave Buttar recognized in The Rotarian Magazine Carol Fye 0

Rotary Discusses Club Service

Posted by Carol Fye

President Michael Cafaro brought all the Club Chairs to the front of the room and explained their positions and asked for our help in reaching the objectives of each Chair.


All of our chairs will need some help at one time or another. We ask that all members get involved. What part do you want to play in our family of Rotary?


Rotary Discusses Club Service Carol Fye 0

Midlothian Free Health Clinic Visits

Posted by Brian Laraway

The Midlothian Free Health Clinic offers free, primary health care to uninsured residents of Greater Youngstown.  They began their services in March of 2008 and since have served over 120 clients.  While the target service area is the city of Youngstown and its adjacent suburbs, they are the only free health clinic in the Mahoning Region. Their clients have come not only from        MahoningCounty, but also from Trumbull and ColumbianaCounties.  Their Mission Statement is: "To offer free quality primary health care to the uninsured living in Greater Youngstown."  

Midlothian Free Health Clinic Visits Brian Laraway 0

District Governor, Bob Patison, Visits Rotary

Posted by Carol Fye

District Governor, Bob Patison, visited Austintown Rotary and shared some basic facts. Bob picked out six points of importance for Rotarians to dwell on and emphasize in the coming year: Time, Sports, Energy, Health, Character and Membership.


He informed us that every day 30,000 children under the age of 5 die - most for reasons such as diseases and malnutrition. In parts of India 75% of children die before the age of 5 and 40% of their women die during birth.  Immunization against measles would help in most of these cases. 


District Governor, Bob Patison, Visits Rotary Carol Fye 0
Dorothy Tesner Describes Dyslexia Brian Laraway 0
NEOUCOM Students Visit Rotary Carol Fye 0

Judge Scott Hunter Explains Misdemeanor Drug Court

Posted by Carol Fye

Judge Scott Hunter was invited to be the speaker at the July 28 meeting of the Austintown Rotary Club.Judge Hunter is a lifelong resident of Mahoning County and previously served as the Mayor of the City of Canfield. He began his service as a Mahoning County Court Judge with his appointment to the position in 1999 and was subsequently elected to a full 6 year term in the fall of 2000, and re-elected in 2006 serving in Austintown, Boardman, Sebring and Canfield.

Judge Scott Hunter Explains Misdemeanor Drug Court Carol Fye 0

Japanese Youth Visit Local Families

Posted by Brian Laraway

Japanese youth have been staying with local families as part of the LABO/4-H program that brings the youth to the United States each summer.  The program has been running for the past fifty years, and Ohio is one of the key states in this program.  A group of 80 students and 20 chaperones arrived in Columbus on July 22 and, after an orientation program, were bused to anxious families around the state for a chance to live with a 'real American family' and improve their English.  They will be here until August 18, returning to Columbus for a wrapup and then back to their families just in time for the start of school.
Local coordinators for the program are Laura DePizzo of Cortland who handles Trumbull County and Gary Reel of Austintown who deals with Mahoning County.  Students are matched by age and gender, and families are encouraged to lead a very normal lifestyle.  Families often attend sporting events, do camping, visit zoos and parks, and help with shopping during this time.  The only cost to the family is food and lodging.
The local families held a midpoint picnic on Wednesday, Aug. 6 at the Trumbull County Extension Office in Cortland.  The Japanese youth enjoyed seeing each other again after several weeks apart, and good food and games were shared by all.
Japanese Youth Visit Local Families Brian Laraway 0

Rotary Learns about Hope House

Posted by Gary Reel

Our speaker was Carol Bopp from Hope House in Youngstown.  The Hope House was built in 2000 by the Junior League and was the first in the nation that is freestanding and modern, dedicated to the children and families of divorce and domestic violence or substance abuse.  They serve 75 adults and 85 children a week, and use ranges from 3 months to forever, but the average is 9 months.  Parenting and child counseling classes are provided, but the main use is for supervised visitation and drop off/pickup spots for divorced families.  Our own Melissa Crowley is a long term board member there, and our club and Interact provide 100 treat bags yearly for Halloween, over the past four years.

Rotary Learns about Hope House Gary Reel 0

Major Foley Visits Rotary

Posted by Brian Laraway
Brian Laraway introduced Major Jim Foley from the Mahoning County Salvation Army.  Major explained why it was necessary to close the Austintown Corps.  Facing a huge deficit of $350,000 it was time to cut costs dramatically in order to continue to provide the services needed in the community.  They have served 57,000 hot meals so far this year and have helped 131,000 cases with utilities, housing, clothing and the necessities of living.  They are hoping that more volunteers than paid ringers will bring in the necessary funds to continue with the programs they provide. Our thanks to Major Foley and Brian Laraway for another fine program.
Major Foley Visits Rotary Brian Laraway 0

Rotary Learns About MVP 20/30 Club

Posted by Carol Fye

Brian Laraway, President of the Mahoning Valley Professional 20/30 Club, spoke to the club about how this organization was started.  In July 2003, a group of 15 charter members started this organization for the younger professionals in the Valley.  Their Mission Statement reads: "the Mahoning Valley Professional 20/30 Club is a resource that united our young citizens throughout the Mahoning Valley by providing a network of social, educational and charitable opportunities that encourage growth and lifelong commitment to our community." From this group, the 40 under 40 awards were started and has been extremely successful in honoring the accomplishments of local young professionals and encouraging collaboration throughout the Mahoning Valley.

Rotary Learns About MVP 20/30 Club Carol Fye 0

Rotary Rewards Their Own

Posted by Carol Fye

At the June 23 Rotary Meeting, Dr. Mitch Dalvin presented one of the greatest honors to two of their Rotary members. Ram Kasuganti and Dave Buttar both received a Paul Harris Fellowship. This great tradition began in honor of Paul Harris, founder of Rotary International. Monies are donated by other Rotary members in the Austintown club and each year the club presents two awards to two of its members. 100% of the money goes directly to the Rotary Foundation to help others.

Rotary Rewards Their Own Carol Fye 0

Peg Flynn Encourages Rotary to Go Green!

Posted by Carol Fye
Peg Flynn from the Green Team was the guest at Monday's Austintown Rotary meeting. She had a "show and tell" illustrating the many products, such as carpeting, that had been recycled from plastics collected. Peg encouraged all businesses to help reduce trash handling costs by recycling paper, cans and bottles. They will come to your business on a regular basis and collect the recyclable materials for free. In addition, recycling site locations in Austintown Township are at the Township Building at 82 Ohltown Road, Trustee Park, and at 1075 S. Raccoon Road. These are available 7 days per week during daylight hours.
Peg Flynn Encourages Rotary to Go Green! Carol Fye 0

Joseph Lane Visits Austintown Rotary

Posted by Michael Cafaro
Joseph D. Lane is an attorney, Funeral Director, Owner of Lane Ambulance Transport, Civil War re-enactor, and lately auto racer. He spoke about his ambulance company, Lane Life Transport in Austintown, which is one of the oldest businesses in the United States. Lane has 70 employees at the ambulance company. Joe shared how he was the teacher for the first EMT class which started in Canfield. He also explained that paramedics did not start working in the Mahoning Valley until 1978. Currently, Medical Intensive Units at St. E's are controlled by Lane.
Joseph Lane Visits Austintown Rotary Michael Cafaro 0

Rotary Remembers Lloyd Vandervoort

Posted by Carol Fye
For the many years that I can remember, phrases like Praise The Lloyd, and Thanks be to The Lloyd, were heard each and every time Lloyd Vandervoort graced us with his presence and extremely witty comments at club meetings. Our Lloyd passed away last Thursday, May 8, and his funeral was Monday. Lloyd was a member of our club for many years, and was a Paul Harris Fellow. He chaired our Youth Exchange and was a host parent for our exchange students. He and his wife, Delphine were always devoted to Rotary and attended most of Rotary-sponsored events. He became an Honorary Member in May, 1988. He will be missed.
Rotary Remembers Lloyd Vandervoort Carol Fye 0

New Officers Plan for Rotary Club of Austintown

Posted by Gary Reel
Dr. Michael Cafaro hosted the planning meeting of the new officers for the Rotary Club of Austintown at his office on Sunday, May 25. Plans for the new year, starting July 1, were presented in a power point format by the incoming President, who stated his main goals for 2008-2009. Among these are the adoption of Woodside Elementary School as a focus project on literacy and expanded educational opportunities. The club will work closely with the principal, Mr. Michael Woods, and the staff of the school to determine wishes and needs. The club will continue its third grade Dictionary Project, serving at the Rescue Mission, and Kirk Road cleanup, plus its sponsorship of the Fitch Interact Club and scholarships.
New Officers Plan for Rotary Club of Austintown Gary Reel 0

Brooke Slanina Visits Austintown Rotary

Posted by Brian Laraway
Brooke Slanina the Arts Innovator for The Oakland Center for the Arts visited Austintown Rotary. The Oakland Center is located at 220 W. Boardman Street. Brooke said that the Oakland Center was started in 1986 and is 22 years old this year. This is a nonprofit community theater and is presently not funded. They have a children's touring group called Magic Carpet Theater that performs in Ohio, Pennsylvania and even Michigan. Brooke reminded us that it costs thousands of dollars to produce a play with royalties, electric, PR, etc., and can run as high as $3,000 to underwrite. She encouraged all of us to frequent the Center for a very enjoyable experience. Thanks Brooke and Brian for a great presentation.
Brooke Slanina Visits Austintown Rotary Brian Laraway 0
Karen Stacy Visits Austintown Rotary Carol Fye 0

Daniele Wayland Thanks Austintown Rotary

Posted by Brian Laraway
Gary Reel introduced Daniele Wayland, Jr. Ambassador for People to People who told us how excited she is about her upcoming trip to England, Ireland and Wales. Daniele is a Freshman and honor student from Fitch. She stated that this trip costs $6,000 and thanked Rotary for their help. People to People was founded by General Eisenhower in 1953 so that people could get to know how others lived and promote peace.
Daniele Wayland Thanks Austintown Rotary Brian Laraway 0

CASA Visits Rotary

Posted by Carol Fye
Program Chairman, Brian Larawayintroduced our guest, Renee Battafarano, Executive Director of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for children. Their Mission Statement: "To provide trained community volunteers to represent the best interest of abused and neglected children in the Juvenile Court." And that is exactly what they do....and they do it well.Started in 1977 by Judge David Soukup of Seattle, Washington by asking community volunteers to assist the court by researching and representing the best interest of abused and neglected children. It has become a National Program serving 100,000 children annually.Volunteers investigate cases by reviewing records and talking with anyone who has information about the child: parents, teachers, neighbors, doctors, school officials, and the child. The CASA volunteer attends all court hearings and reviews regarding the case. He/she then submits findings and a written recommendation to the court. CASA is a private, non-profit agency located at the Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center and has been in existence since 1988. Anyone interested in learning more or becoming a volunteer please call the CASA office at 330-740-2239. If you are interested in a donation to help these children, please make checks payable to Mahoning County CASA Program and send to:CASA, Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center, 300 E. Scott St., Youngstown, OH 44505.
CASA Visits Rotary Carol Fye 0

Jeremy Miller Joins Austintown Rotary

Posted by Brian Laraway
Chuck Baker inducted Austintown Rotary's newest member, Jeremy Miller, who was sponsored by Gary Reel. Jeremy is a sales representative for the commercial end of Michelin Tire Company. We are very excited that he has joined our club. Welcome Jeremy!
Jeremy Miller Joins Austintown Rotary Brian Laraway 0

Phil Kidd Visits to Defend Youngstown

Posted by Carol Fye
Program Chairman, Brian Larawayintroduced our guest, Phil Kidd, who invented the movement "Defend Youngstown". Phil had attended YSU in the '90's and came back after he saw the 2010 plan. He was impressed and felt a commitment to Youngstown. He felt that Youngstown was lacking pride, and by starting the Defend Youngstown organization, he could help.There are many good things happening inYoungstown and the future looks good.The Smokey Hollow Project, Wick Park, CityScape, Business College are just a few of the changes being made. Smokey Hollow will be a $100 million project encompassing 62 acres. The population of Youngstown is now only 82,130 people living there and 89% are minorities. 800-950 houses are being demolishedper year and all that comes out of the budget. Things are looking better in Youngstown.
Phil Kidd Visits to Defend Youngstown Carol Fye 0

Austintown Rotarian Honored by Grange

Posted by Brian Laraway
In recognition of National Grange Week, Dublin Grange in Canfield will honor Bev Fisher, general manager of the Canfield Fair, at their monthly meeting on April 22. Fisher is a resident of Greenford, and has received many awards for her ideas and innovations at the local fair. She will be honored as Community Citizen of the year, given to a non-Grange member in recognition of outstanding service to the community.Also being honored at this special meeting are long term Grange members. Among those are Michelle Combis (20 yrs.) Paul Corll (25) Wayne Reel (40) Gary Reel (45) Vada Reel (57) Vera Brown (58) Marian Manchester (59) Esther Snyder (62) Paul Manchester (67) Jack Mauch (67) and Glenn Hedge (71). Past Masters of the Grange will receive special recognition.The Grange Hall is located on Fairgrounds Blvd. at Rt. 224, and the 7 p.m. meeting is open to the public because of this special event. Dublin Grange has been in the Canfield area since 1894, while the National Grange dates back to 1867. The purpose of the Grange is to provide social, educational, and legislative service to families naionwide. Zella Baker, present Master, will preside over the meeting, and may be reached at (330) 549-5112.
Austintown Rotarian Honored by Grange Brian Laraway 0

Atty. Michele McBride Speaks About Youngstown Film, Inc.

Posted by Michael Cafaro
Atty. Michele McBride talked about "Youngstown Film, Inc." which is trying to save Independent Film in Youngstown. Austintown Cinema in the plaza was an example. The Wednesday Cinema is sponsored by Butler and Winslows, eat and watch Independent films of high quality. The location is at the church by the Butler. No advance ticket sales just walk in!
Atty. Michele McBride Speaks About Youngstown Film, Inc. Michael Cafaro 0

Working Assembly for Avenues of Service

Posted by Brian Laraway
Greeting: Karl Rein

Invocation: Toby Mirto

Introduction of Guests and Visiting Rotarians: Tom Kellar, Jeremy Miller, Ken Schenar, Jodi Harman

Song Leader/Song: Tony Cebriak, "Vive Le Rotary"

Rotary News:

Reverse Raffle will be back at the Maronite Center next year on March 7, 2009

Thank You letters will go out to all donors. See Melissa.

GSE Dinner on April 17, 2008 @ The Georgetown for $50 per couple. Tickets need sold! Last day is today!

On April 11 & 12 District 6650 will conduct a conference at McKinley Grand Hotel

Monday, April 28th is the Rescue Mission @ 5:15pm

April 28th is Mentoring Day.

Ram discussed donate life drive for organ donation.

4 Way Speech Contest in Canton this weekend.

Fellowship: Michael Cafaro fined Ram for being late and anyone who showed up last week. He also fined himself for leaving canceled meeting out of minutes. Mitch was fined because it was his birthday, and Hillary was fined because it was her anniversary.

50/50 Raffle Tickets Winner: Melissa Crowley won the pot, but not the BIGGIE!

Speaker: Working Assembly for Avenues of Service.

Working Assembly for Avenues of Service Brian Laraway 0

Dr. Cafaro Shares His Knowledge

Posted by Brian Laraway
Dr. Michael Cafaro talked today about what chiropractic is and how it maintains the function of your body to heel naturally. Chiropractic is a safe, natural and "alternative way" for your body to function and heal properly without the use of any prescriptive drugs. Most people perceive chiropractors as dealing with only back and neck pain, but that is not true. At the Cafaro Chiropractic Clinic we help those that also suffer from sinus and headaches problems, as well as earaches, fertility and pregnancy issues. Dr. Cafaro sees patients that range from ages 2 to 92yrs with a broad range of health issues. Dr. Cafaro is welcoming new patients to his office which is located at 3971 Main St. in Mineral Ridge. If you have any questions about chiropractic please give us a call at 330-652-6453.
Dr. Cafaro Shares His Knowledge Brian Laraway 0

Amanda Franklin Wins Local Speech Contest

Posted by Brian Laraway
Fitch senior Amanda Franklin was judged the winner of the Four Way Speech Contest at the Monday meeting of the Rotary Club of Austintown. This contest is held annually, encouraging entrants to use the Rotary's famous 4 Way Test as a way to solve problems and issues in daily life. Amanda's speech was titled 'Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say' and dealt with the issue of political correctness getting in the way of truth and fairness. Runners up in the competition were Jacqueline Cohol and Nicole Cirbus, who also demonstrated impressive talent at application of the principles of Rotary. Amanda will compete in the District Competition at North Canton on April 5.Others involved in the competition were judges consisting of Dr. Mitch Dalvin, Tony Cebriak, Robin Stock, and Deanna Spirko. Special thanks were extended to Mr. John Mazzucco, veteran speech coach at Fitch, who chose and encouraged the contestants.
Amanda Franklin Wins Local Speech Contest Brian Laraway 0

Rotarians Challenged to Detox

Posted by Gary Reel
"People need to consider detoxification of their body as a way to reduce weight, improve health, and reduce allergies," said Tammy Dellaquardi, director of the Health, Wellness and Nutrition Center in Youngstown. She challenged members to reduce exposure to toxins in our water, processed foods, bad fats, alcohol, carbonated beverages, medications, shampoos and inhaled smoke. As volunteer Erica Cunningham listened to the program, she was given an Ion Detox Foot Bath, which is a way to determine the amount and kinds of toxins in her body to allow remediation. Tammy gave a very informative talk to Rotarians at their weekly meeting at the Saxon Club.
Rotarians Challenged to Detox Gary Reel 0

Rotary Club Hears Make A Wish Speaker

Posted by Gary Reel
At the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Austintown, Julie Scarsella from the Make A Wish Foundation of the Mahoning Valley spoke about the valuable work of her organization. Make A Wish was founded in 1980 nationally, and in Cleveland in 1986, the Tri County area chapter was founded in 2006. Money raised locally is used locally, and last year they were able to grant 30 wishes locally. Those receiving this service must have a life threatening illness, and the average wish costs about $6000 to grant. She mentioned a special case in which an Australian youth came to Cleveland to meet Lebron James. Additional information can be obtained by calling Julie at 330 965-9085.
Rotary Club Hears Make A Wish Speaker Gary Reel 0

The HBA's Josh Aikens Updates Us on Local Building

Posted by Michael Cafaro
Speaker: Josh Aikens, Director of Marketing for HBA. Home Builders Association. Josh is a Boardman Rotary member. The HBA has been around the Mahoning Valley for 61 years. They have 2 aspects, representing consumers and working with government officials.

In 2007 there were 690 housing starts which was down by 12% compared to 2006. The national decrease is actually 25%. 97% of prime and sub-prime mortgages are being paid. 16% of sub-prime loans are struggling with making payments. The Youngstown area is the 12th most affordable place to live.

The HBA's Josh Aikens Updates Us on Local Building Michael Cafaro 0

Economic Update

Posted by Michael Cafaro
Speaker: Since the featured speaker had the flu, Brian Laraway and Chuck Baker pinch hit and gave an Economic Update. They advised that is a great time to buy stocks since prices are low. The market has been bad only for the last few months. The market will come around, so do not shy away.
Economic Update Michael Cafaro 0

Fitch Students Will Attend Leadership Conference

Posted by Gary Reel
Two Fitch students will represent the Interact Club of Fitch and the Rotary Club of Austintown at the Rotary Youth Leadership Conference in Salem from February 22-24. They will join 80 other area high school students for a three day retreat focusing on leadership skills and interpersonal relations. This is an ongoing program of District 6650 Rotary Clubs, with over 1000 students receiving this program of training over the past years. Salem Rotary is the host club for the event.

Representing Fitch High School are (left) Andrea Dockry and (right) Ashley Bowers. Andrea is a sophomore at Fitch, who is involved in cheerleading, Spirit Club, track, choir, Spanish Club, Key Club and Interact. She is the daughter of Mike and Marie Dockry. Ashley is the daughter of John and Pam Percy, and is involved in choir, Spanish Club, Interact, and competes with Krystie's Dance Studio. The girls were chosen by Interact Advisor Della McPherson, based on their interest and character.

The Interact Club is open to Fitch students of all grade levels, and stresses community involvement and school service. One of their major projects is the paper recycling program at Fitch, which saves thousands of pounds of paper from burning and allows it to be recycled. Current officers are President Charlie Stephens and Vice President Chris Harris. The group meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month in room 262. Advisors are Della McPherson and Rotarian Gary Reel.
Fitch Students Will Attend Leadership Conference Gary Reel 0

A Quiet Meeting

Posted by Michael Cafaro
Austintown Rotary Meeting Minutes

Date: 1/21/08

Greeting: Karl Rein

Invocation: Gary Reel

Introduction of Guests and Visiting Rotarians: None present today.

Song Leader/Song: Lisa Oles "When the Saints Go Marching In"

Rotary News:

$1.5 million grant given for prosthetic limb project in Iraq by Rotary and US State Dept.

Reverse Raffle-21 tickets unsold. Mr. Anthony's is on track for catering and all is a go with the Chocolate Fountain. WE STILL NEED DONATIONS FOR THE CHINESE AUCTION!!

Interact is sending 2 kids to RYLA in Salem.

On Jan. 28, volunteers are needed at the Rescue Mission from 5:15pm to 7:30pm.

Poland Rotary will hold the Chili Open Golf Classic on February 23, 2008 at Bedford Trails. Cost is $25 per person.

Cortland Rotary Night will be held on March 13, 2008 at Trumbull Theatre, cost is $11 per person.

North Canton will also hold a Chili Open Golf Classic on Feb. 13, 2008. Details to follow!

Bob Debiasio will be speaking on behalf of the Cleveland Indians on Feb. 22, 2008 at Canfield's meeting. He is the public relations representative for the tribe.

Fellowship: Anyone who has not sold their Reverse Raffle tickets was fined.

50/50 Raffle Tickets Winner: Congratulations to Kelly Banfield won the little but not the big pot.

Speaker: No Program Today as Martin Luther King Jr. Day was observed.
A Quiet Meeting Michael Cafaro 0

Racheal Solida Joins Austintown Rotary

Posted by Gary Reel
At the January 14 meeting, new member Racheal Solida was officially inducted as the newest Rotarian. Racheal is employed by First Place Bank and is sponsored by Susan Leetch, branch manager of the new Austintown location, who is also a Rotarian.

Shown in the picture is President Karl Rein, Racheal Solida, and Chuck Baker, who performed the ceremony.

Speaker at the meeting was Mr. Michael Woods, principal of Woodside Elementary School in Austintown, who was joined by librarian Diane Senedak. Woods thanked the Rotary Club for choosing his building to receive library books, donated in the names of other Rotary weekly speakers in their honor. He noted that every library needs new and interesting books to supplement those that become worn or out of date. He also thanked Rotarians Eric Newton and Gary Reel for their volunteer efforts as part of the Ohio Reads program at Woodside.

The Rotary Club of Austintown is preparing for its once annual fund raising Reverse Raffle on March 1 at the Maronite Center. Tickets are still available from chairs Lisa Oles and Dr. Michael Cafaro, and the Chinese Auction is being headed by Melissa and Harvey Crowley.

Racheal Solida Joins Austintown Rotary Gary Reel 0

Exchange Students Visit Austintown Rotary

Posted by Gary Reel
At the January 7 meeting of the Rotary Club of Austintown, Larry and Sieglinde Warren explained the Rotary Exchange Student program, with the help of two visiting students from Spain and Chile.

The Rotary program is one of the finest ways for students to explore the world, with both inbound and outbound students using the worldwide aspect of Rotary.

This year 28 students from northeast Ohio are in various parts of the world, and that same number are being hosted here.

Larry Warren explained how the program has made changes to satisfy the US State Department and to protect the incoming students. Host families are changed at least two times, and Rotary provides an independent counselor to oversee the hosting. Area exchange students also meet for social weekend programs monthly to allow communication and control homesickness.

One student speaker was Javier Clavero Miro from Spain, who is being hosted by Boardman Rotary and attending South Range High School. He was joined by Catalina Gonzales Perez from Chile, who is hosted by Struthers Rotary and attends Struthers High. Both gave interesting comments on their year so far.

Austintown students interested in the Rotary Exchange program may contact President Karl Rein at 330 792-1345 for more details.

Shown in the picture are: kneeling Catalina Gonzales Perez, standing L to R Sieglinde and Larry Warren, Javier Clavero Miro, Todd Baker from Girard Rotary Club.
Exchange Students Visit Austintown Rotary Gary Reel 0

John Blue Leads a Successful Clothing Drive

Posted by Carol Fye
John Blue wants to thank everyone who helped with the clothing drive. Please see the attached picture. This load was taken to the Salvation Army in Ivan's district. He had offers to help from every Rotary member who had a truck to deliver the items. In the end, Eric Newton helped. He said he will require more vehicles to deliver the clothes with the next drive and wished everyone a blessed Christmas and a new year more prosperous than the last.
John Blue Leads a Successful Clothing Drive Carol Fye 0

Mahoning County Board of Elections Visits Austintown Rotary

Posted by Gary Reel
Officials of the Mahoning County Board of Elections visited the Rotary Club of Austintown hoping to recruit civic minded individuals to serve as poll workers in the March primary elections.

A large voter turnout is expected in both the March and November Presidential elections, but the number of workers is shrinking. About 1300 workers are needed in Mahoning County for those two days, and the Board of Elections is now appealing to civic groups and even high school seniors to help swell the ranks. Workers must be registered voters, and will be placed as close to their homes as possible.

Elections Director Raymond Butler and Chief Training Officer Rich Nagle encouraged more people to get involved, as the average age of workers in Mahoning County, as well as nationwide, is 72.

Many of the veterans find themselves unable to return each year, so new recruits are needed for election days. The job entails some payment for the 14 hour day, and workers get one hour for lunch. Contact the Board of Elections if you are interested.

Shown in the picture are members of the Board of Elections staff with Rotary President Karl Rein.
Mahoning County Board of Elections Visits Austintown Rotary Gary Reel 0

Austintown Rotary and 6-year-old donate toys to Akron Children's Hospital

Posted by Brian Laraway
Note: Story contributed by Linda Rein.

In September, our 6-year-old daughter, Katie Rein, suffered a serious injury to her fingertip. After seeing several doctors, we have had the most comprehensive care for her as an outpatient through Akron Children's Hospital Burn Center.

Her fingertip has healed miraculously, she is able to play the piano and use that finger, and she is not experiencing any pain.

Most every time we had appointments at the hospital (and it's been LOTS of times!) the nurse would give Katie a small toy or gift for being so brave. This really made an impression on her and helped her look forward to future appointments.

As her way of saying "thank you" to the doctors and nurses who helped her, Katie wanted to give lots of toys to the hospital so other kids could be cheered up, too. So, her dad, Karl, (Austintown Rotary President), asked the Austintown Rotary members to bring unwrapped toys to our annual holiday party. They responded with overwhelming generosity. It was our privilege to deliver a full van of toys to the burn center today.

(For photo caption: Karl Rein and Katie Rein deliver Austintown Rotary toy donations to the burn center at Akron Children's Hospital. Gratefully receiving the gifts is Katie's nurse, Julie Dittmer.)
Austintown Rotary and 6-year-old donate toys to Akron Children's Hospital Brian Laraway 0

Honoring JT Whitehouse and Joyce Pogany/John Kroner

Posted by Brian Laraway

Gary Reel introduced JT Whitehouse from Town Crier and Joyce Pogany subbing for John Kroner from The Review. Joyce thanked us for the tribute on behalf of Mr. Kroner and stated that they wanted to emphasize the good things that happen in Austintown. JT expressed the same thing that the good things very rarely appear in today's newspapers. These are the positives of which each community can be proud.

Joyce has been affiliated with The Review since 1995 and JT was with the Austintown Leader up to 1993 and when the Leader fell, he went with a new paper called The Town Crier.

Our thanks to both papers for keeping "Rotary" in the news!!
Honoring JT Whitehouse and Joyce Pogany/John Kroner Brian Laraway 0

Phyllis Ricchiuti Discusses The Rich Center for Autism

Posted by Brian Laraway

Brian Laraway introduced Phyllis Ricchiutti from the Rich Center for Autism.

Established in 1995 through the efforts of the Kosar, Rich (Ricchiuti), and Rubino families who have a shared interest in autism. The center is housed at Youngstown State University who has provided them with all the facilities they needed and gives great credibility to the cause.

By combining current research about autism with the newest and most innovative theories in education, The Rich Center for Autism offers hope that children affected with autism can reach their full potential. The primary emphasis is on teaching and research as well as focusing on the intensive training to children with autism.

The Rich Center serves as a conduit between the segments of the community concerned with autism...the university, educators and health and human service professionals.

Research is the answer. Helping kids reach their individual potentials is the target - each child is different.
Phyllis Ricchiuti Discusses The Rich Center for Autism Brian Laraway 0

Steve Reynolds of the SteelHounds Visits

Posted by Brian Laraway
PROGRAM: Steve Reynolds from the Steelhounds.

Right now they are first place in the league. He wanted us to know that group rates are available.

There are 19 players ranging in age from 20 to 32 years. Presently the Steelhounds are at the AA Level. A couple of the players have moved up to the AAA level and one may continue on up to the NHL.
Steve Reynolds of the SteelHounds Visits Brian Laraway 0

Dr. Mitch Dalvin Explains Rotary Foundation at Quaker Steak

Posted by Brian Laraway

Mitch wanted all Rotarians to know that the dollars you donate to the foundation go entirely to doing good work. That's 100% of all donations. 50% goes to help world problems and 50% to the local district.

What does Rotary do with the money? Well, for instance, the Polio Plus Campaign. Thanks to the World Health Organization and Rotary International Polio is almost extinct. There was only one reported case in India in 2006.

Also you have probably heard or read about "shelter boxes". Rotarians are trained to set this up for use where primary shelter has been demolished for instance, Louisiana. Rotary clubs in the area send out the work and the boxes and Rotarians are sent into the depressed areas.

Rotary would like every Rotarian to donate $100 per year or whatever you can afford to the foundation. Mitch provided a fax sheet for us to send in our information.

In our club, every year 10 members give $100 to award one of our fellow Rotarians with a Paul Harris.

Thanks Mitch for making us all aware of the importance of the Foundation.
Dr. Mitch Dalvin Explains Rotary Foundation at Quaker Steak Brian Laraway 0
Four Austintown Rotarians Named to Young Professionals Honor Carol Fye 0

Salvation Army's Captain Ivan Musgrove

Posted by Brian Laraway

The Austintown Advisory Council can include 24 members. This helps the Army to be grounded in the community and advises the Army on issues needing attention in the community.

Presently there is talk of closing down the Austintown Corps. The Mahoning County Advisory Board is looking to close one of the 3 in Mahoning County due to losses in donations. The Majors in Austintown are actively involved in the community. Carol Fye and Sam Boak are current members of the Austintown Advisory Board.

In Ivan's opinion, the Austintown and East Side Corps should be closed and consolidated into the Southside Corps to reduce the deficit until they are fiscally sound. Most of the money goes to social services on the South side. Austintown still maintains the church and food pantry for those who need it.

The mission of the Army is to help everyone that needs it. Donations can be given to Ivan or mailed to the Salvation Army P.O. Box 4327, Austintown, Ohio 44515.
Salvation Army's Captain Ivan Musgrove Brian Laraway 0
Working Assembly for Austintown Rotary Brian Laraway 0

Fitch Interact Club Treats Hope House

Posted by Gary Reel
Members of the Fitch Interact Club, with the help of their sponsors, the Rotary Club of Austintown, contributed candy to fill 100 treat bags for Hope House in Youngstown. This is the fourth year for this activity, offering Halloween treats to children who might not be able to go out on Halloween because of family situations. Hope House offers a neutral site for visitation and drop off in divorce situations, benefiting families during difficult times.
Fitch Interact Club Treats Hope House Gary Reel 0

Officer Jeff Toth Addresses Rotary

Posted by Gary Reel
Officer Jeff Toth, detective with the Austintown Police Department and a twenty year veteran of the force, spoke at the Oct. 22 meeting of the Rotary Club of Austintown.

Officer Toth is the lead education officer for the department, working with students in grades kindergarten, third, fifth, seventh, and tenth. That effort takes him to all elementary schools, public and parochial, Frank Ohl, Austintown Middle, and Fitch.

He sees students at many stages of their development, and knows just about every Austintown student. He teaches the D.A.R.E. program and is expanding this and other programs on making good choices with the help of officer Shawn Hevener.

Shown in picture....left to right, Rotarian Tony Cebriak who arranged the program, and Officer Toth.
Officer Jeff Toth Addresses Rotary Gary Reel 0

PDG Larry & Sig Warren Report on the Katrina Disaster

Posted by Brian Laraway

They spoke to us about their trip to St. Bernard Parish, LA to help with the flood project. Originally, St. Bernard's had 69,000 population but they lost over 70% of them.

Everyone thinks recovery was so much better than it actually is. Reality is that whole neighborhoods no longer exist. Maybe 20% have been re-established.

There are lots of FEMA trailers, but with $40.6 billion in private losses and only $25.3 million paid from Insurance. Many people still have to pay their mortgages even though the houses are gone, just to keep the land. Sad.
PDG Larry & Sig Warren Report on the Katrina Disaster Brian Laraway 0

State Senator John Boccieri Visits

Posted by Carol Fye
State Senator John Boccieri. Senator Boccieri told us not to think that our votes don't count. When he first ran in 2000 he won by 72 votes. His plans are to run for Congress next year.

He asked if we thought America was still #1? In billionaires, internet users, yes...maybe.Where do we lag? In the number of doctors, higher infant deaths, male life expectancy, and more people are incarcerated here than in Russia. We presently are not producers but movers of wealth.

John feels that with election changes we might encourage more diplomacy, and that we should do better in foreign policy.

Many countries don't believe that we hold to our commitments due to changes in leadership.

State Senator John Boccieri Visits Carol Fye 0

Harvey's Pumpkin

Posted by Brian Laraway
Harvey and Melissa will once again be entering the largest pumpkin contest at the Canfield Fair. They will also have entrants in the Watermelon and Muskmelon Categories.

The big weigh off is this Saturday from 10-3 at Mill Creek Parks' Garden Center. Come out if you can make it. There may be a pumpkin over 1,600 pounds. The new world record was broken this past weekend at a weigh off in Pennsylvania with a pumpkin weighing 1,668 pounds.

Melissa is estimating their pumpkin to be around 900 pounds and their watermelons to be about 200 pounds and 180 pounds (the state record to date is 201.5 pounds).

If you are available on Friday night we may need some help getting the pumpkin on the trailer. Luckily, Dr. Cafaro is in our group to help us with our backs.

Harvey's Pumpkin Brian Laraway 0

Rescue Mission and Roadside Clean-up in Austintown

Posted by Gary Reel
Members of the Rotary Club of Austintown and the Fitch Interact Club joined forces twice last week to perform service tasks.

On Monday, Sept. 24, ten volunteers served dinner at the Rescue Mission, a monthly job that offers help to less fortunate residents.

On Saturday, Sept. 29, 17 volunteers cleaned one and a half miles of Kirk Road between Rt. 46 and Whispering Pines Dr., gleaning 15 large bags of trash. This job is done twice a year or as necessary.

Rescue Mission and Roadside Clean-up in Austintown Gary Reel 0

NAMI Walk October 20th

Posted by Brian Laraway
NAMI: the Mahoning Valley sector forNational Alliance on Mental Illness. Pictured (l-r):Dave Crawford, Brian Laraway, Dr. Mike Cafaro,Jim and Mary Jo Henkel.

This is the largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons living with serious mental illness and their families. Since 1979, NAMI has become the Nations voice on mental illness.One in five is affected with some type of mental illness.

The stigma attached is tremendous as this disease is not understood and people don't like to talk about it. NAMI is there for them and their families.

The Mahoning Valley group is sponsoring a walk on October 20 to raise awareness. The more talk about this disease, the more the stigma will disappear. It is a brain disorder.

The only way to recovery is through medication and support. NAMI is there for the Support, Education and Advocacy for those affected and their families, but their services are limited.

October 20th is the walk. You can get more information on the internet at You may also contact David Crawford at 330-718-8097 or e-mail him at
NAMI Walk October 20th Brian Laraway 0

Christine Davidson from the Department of Youngstown Urban Studies

Posted by Brian Laraway
Brian Laraway introduced Christine Davidson from the Mahoning River Consortium - a nonprofit group advocating the restoration of the river. Members include local, state and federal representatives as well as community members.

September 17 is the 30 year anniversary for Black Monday. Christine explained that for a century the area used this river as a sewer in addition to the runoff from the Steel Mills. The mills from Youngstown provided steel to every city with skyscrapers. The refuse ran into the river. Garbage is still along the banks as sediment. This river should be a central focus for our city. The economic benefits would be more jobs and recreation.

People are willing to pay more for homes along an unpolluted river. Eight communities are involved and all would benefit. The cost to clean it up is approximately $150 million. The government would pay 65% of this. It would take 15 to 20 years. The US corps of engineers is involved and they are now on phase 2.

It could be an incredible source for hunting and fishing and a tourist destination and a legacy for future generations. They are still looking for funding. She asked us to contact Congressman Ryan to add our voice to the rivers restoration. His phone number is 330-740-0193.

For more information go to

Christine Davidson from the Department of Youngstown Urban Studies Brian Laraway 0

John Blue Joins Austintown Rotary

Posted by Brian Laraway
INDUCTION OF NEW MEMBER JOHN BLUE. John is owner of Blue Insurance located on Mahoning Avenue in Austintown. Chuck Baker did the induction and welcomed him into the club. Hopefully, John will give us some history on his company in the future. Thanks to Chuck for a great job and congratulations to John!
John Blue Joins Austintown Rotary Brian Laraway 0

Vietnam And Other Heartaches

Posted by Carol Fye
Peter C. Fraser, author of "Vietnam And Other Heartaches" speaks to the Rotary Club of Austintown.In the eve of September 11th, a very timely program was presented by Pete Fraser who recently authored a book on Vietnam which consists of poems dedicated to the 168 men of the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry, Third Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division who died in combat 1967-1968, the year he served in Vietnam."Just believe in yourself,and those guys around you.This is my reality.In these guys I place all my trust.These guys are my brothers.I trust them with my lifeas they trust me with theirs.This is all we have,each other."Just some of the words that bring a foreign world to life as you try to visualize all these "kids" went thru at another wartime in history.Major Fraser received 4 awards of the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service including decoration for his service in Desert Storm.Shown from left to right in picture, Rotary President Karl Rein with Major-US Army Retired Peter C. Fraser
Vietnam And Other Heartaches Carol Fye 0

Gary Reel's China Stories

Posted by Brian Laraway
Our own, Gary Reel, world traveler, guide, former teacher, Interact Advisor, cat hater, joke teller, Past President, Habitat helping hammer wielding member, speaking to us on his recent China experience.

Thirty six students, 3 women and 17 days in China taught him not to drink the water. 95 every day and high humidity made the trip noteworthy.

Gary Reel's China Stories Brian Laraway 0

Fitch Interact Club Prepares for New School Year

Posted by Gary Reel
Members of the Fitch Interact Club met to get ready for one of their major service projects for their school. Recycling of scrap paper has been an ongoing project for the past five years, with tons of used paper saved from the incinerator or landfill by hard working students. In cooperation with the Green Team, weekly runs are made to classrooms and offices to dump the paper into large bins and then to special recycling containers.

The Interact Club is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Austintown and works with its members to perform major projects such as Roadside Cleanup, Rescue Mission, and Second Harvest Food Bank service.

Membership is open to all Fitch students, with meetings twice a month after school. Advisors are Della McPherson and Gary Reel.

Shown in the picture: left to right: President Charlie Stephens, Andrea Pavlichich, advisor Della McPherson, Secretary Misty Alcorn, and Vice President Chris Harris

Fitch Interact Club Prepares for New School Year Gary Reel 0

Lauren Hess of Social Action Republica Visits

Posted by Gary Reel
Wells For Liberia Proposed to Rotary

Lauren Hess, representing Social Action Republica, a local organization promoting clean water in the world and elimination of exploitation of women and children worldwide, spoke to Austintown Rotary Club about her group's work.

Currently consisting of 20 members in the age 20-30 range, the group recently sponsored a 10 Mile Run To Cure Thirst in downtown Youngstown, raising $2500 from 111 participants. The money is being used to build a well in Liberia in cooperation with the Living Waters Organization and to sponsor a malaria clinic. Seven of the members are now in Liberia doing those two projects.

Lauren reported that many women walk 10 miles a day to get water, most of which is already polluted and disease filled. The result is transmission of diarrhea, cholera, malaria, and typhoid, causing death for 1.8 million people a year, 90% of whom are children under 5. The goal of this local group is to make the water safe and close to those in need.

Pictured are Lauren Hess, speaker and Brian Laraway, Rotary Program Chairman
Lauren Hess of Social Action Republica Visits Gary Reel 0

Celesta Moran tells us

Posted by Brian Laraway
Carol introduced long-time local artist, Celesta Moran who is presently on a book tour promoting her book "It Has To Look Bad Before It Looks Good".

Celesta has been involved with art and studio's since 1950 when she started her first job at Dixon Art Studio. She is a teacher, artist, mother and wife and very talented. The works individually with her students as they progress telling them that "all paintings can be fixed". She has invented lots of sayings to indicate and explain how to loosely paint to come up with the desired effect.

She showed the club the start and finish of a painting from basic paint strokes to a finished beautiful piece of art.

Presently Celesta has two books out with instructions on "how to do it".

She and her students are presenting an Arts and Crafts Show on Sunday, September 30 at Austintown Township Park, Stacy Pavilion from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M. Original arts and crafts will be displayed and sold. It's a great time to buy something original instead of the copies found in major stores. An original painting will go up in value through the years. Our thanks to Celesta for showing us how to paint the world.

Celesta Moran tells us Brian Laraway 0
Celebration Grove Phase II Unveiled! Brian Laraway 0

Christine Jenkins Visits Austintown Rotary

Posted by Brian Laraway
Brian Laraway introduced Christine Jenkins, Director of Development at Youngstown Hearing & Speech Center. They are located in Austintown on Ohltown Road and are 82 years young. It is funded through United Way. They have a 24 hour interpreting service and can be on site withing 1 hour, often at no cost. They offer sign classes, job coaching, social services, speech pathology and also work with daycare. Every newborn in Youngstown is now screened for hearing loss. This is important as they can start working with families right away. Watching the progress a child makes through the years is wonderful. These services can be free. Youngstown Hearing wrote off $700,000 last year. Funding is available for those who cannot pay.

Christine Jenkins Visits Austintown Rotary Brian Laraway 0
Hillary Prestridge, Austintown's Newest Member, Meets District Governor Dennis Hoffman Brian Laraway 0

Denise Brindle visits Austintown Rotary

Posted by Brian Laraway
Denise Brindle from the American Red Cross spoke to Rotary about the services available. She mentioned that her territory consists of three counties being Mahoning, Trumbull, and Columbiana. The Red Cross main office is located in Cleveland. One service available is the "Chapter" which is disaster relief, and the other service is Blood. In this area the Red Cross services 58 hospitals each needing 900 pints of blood daily. She tries to put together 30 blood drives per month, and also per county. There are some limitations, in which Denise would be the one to contact. In the works are 2 blood drives, and further information is to follow.

Denise Brindle visits Austintown Rotary Brian Laraway 0

Joyce Pogany visits Austintown Rotary

Posted by Brian Laraway
Joyce Pogany speaking on her Book of Austintown. She is the President of the Austintown Historical Society and wrote book for 20 hours per week from July 5, 2006 to January 1, 2007 for Arcadia. Calvin Austin's picture is in her book. Joyce called various contacts to gather information on different events that occurred in Austintown. Events such as the Minstrel Show and Fireman's Festival are in the book.

Joyce Pogany visits Austintown Rotary Brian Laraway 0
Austintown Rotary Inducts Eric Newton Brian Laraway 0

John Hancock visits Austintown Rotary

Posted by Brian Laraway
Speaker: "John Hancock" speaking for Bill Johnson on Bill's recent book Snug Harbor Tavern, Shaggin for a Shillin.

The book is about a Bordello in early America and John Hancock's affair. A history lesson is within the book as well. Bill discusses the tyranny of the times and taxation without representation. The book talks about the creation of the Republic.

The book can be purchased at Barnes and Noble and
John Hancock visits Austintown Rotary Brian Laraway 0

Dan Rein Reports on People To People

Posted by Brian Laraway
Daniel Rein, son of Karl and Linda, spoke to us on the benefits he shared on the People To People trip to Washington, D.C.

It's wonderful to hear that these kids had experiences that made history come alive for them. Reading all the history books in the world could not have come close to seeing and walking through so much of it. Our thanks to Daniel for sharing his wonderful trip with us.

Dan Rein Reports on People To People Brian Laraway 0

Austintown Rotary Inducts Millie Baldwin

Posted by Brian Laraway
Rich Mauer and Wayne Elliott from the Saxon Club were our guest presenters. They are having a Membership Drive right now and gave us some of the highlights of what to experience as a member.

They have new menus monthly with many activities such as bocce, parties, golf leagues, dinners, picnics in the pavilion.

Applications are now available. As a social member, discounts are available on rental of the pavilion and ballroom for your family events.

The social membership fee is only $25.00 with a $10.00 initiation fee. Thereafter dues is $50.00 per year.

Austintown Rotary Inducts Millie Baldwin Brian Laraway 0
District Governor Goll Presents Austintown Rotary with Significant Achievement Award Brian Laraway 0

Thunder Rolls In!

Posted by Brian Laraway
Mike Cafaro introduced Adam Takash from Mahoning Valley Thunder, the arena football team appearing in the innaugural season at the Chevrolet Centre this season.

"Mahoning Valley Thunder is the only professional sports team in the valley that combines major-league strength, speed and athleticism with a high-scoring, fam-friendly immense entertaining experience." Most of the players are looking for an opportunity to get into the NFL or AFL someday.

Three local guys own the team. Most players range in age from 24 up to the old guys at 29 or 30. Forty percent move up to AFL and 10% up to the NFL. Earnings are only about $200.00 per week with a $50.00 bonus if they win. Everything is paid for: food, housing, so expenses are not high.

There are eight home and 8 road games. The season is from March 31 thru July 31. It's a great environment for the family. For tickets call 330-758-4232 or visit them on the internat at MahoningValley

Thunder Rolls In! Brian Laraway 0
Millie Baldwin Visits Austintown Rotary Brian Laraway 0
Austintown Rotary Cleans-Up Kirk Road Brian Laraway 0
Austintown Rotary Wins Roland Luhman Community Service Award Gary Reel 0
Italian Group Study Welcomed by Austintown Rotary Brian Laraway 0
Janet Nau from Mahoning Valley Epilepsy Fund speaks at Austintown Rotary Club Brian Laraway 0
New Member Jack Kumik Brian Laraway 0
Meet the GSE Team Brian Laraway 0
New Member Jennifer Kachmar Brian Laraway 0
International Students Visit Austitown Rotary Gary Reel 0
Perfect Attendance Gary Reel 0
Dan Pappalardo Vists from El Salvador Carol Fye 0
Mission of Love's Kathy Price Visits Carol Fye 0
Kelly Banfield Inducted! Brian Laraway 0
Online Salvation Army Kettle Brian Laraway 0
November 27, 2006 Meeting Carol Fye 0
November 20, 2006 Meeting Brian Laraway 0
Helping the Salvation Army Brian Laraway 0
Joyce Gottron, Director of Austintown Parks, Visits Brian Laraway 0
New Austintown Rotarians! Brian Laraway 0
GSE Interviews on Nov 19th Brian Laraway 0
Mill Creek Park's Carol Potter Visits Brian Laraway 0
Welcoming the New Board Brian Laraway 0

District Govenor's Visit

Posted by Jean Yeager
As a new term approaches, the Austintown Rotary will be meeting our new District Govenor, Geoffrey Goll, at our July 31st meeting.
District Govenor's Visit Jean Yeager 0
Helping the Flood Victims in Austintown Jean Yeager 0