Dear Fellow Hershey Rotarians:

I’ve just completed my first month as your president. We are off to a good start: great programs and an opportunity to come together, even though it is virtually through our Zoom meetings. This past month we also had the opportunity to gather in person while maintaining social distancing and wearing masks. We held a morning meet up at ChocolateTown Square and hosted a Rotary community table at the Market on Chocolate. Both events brought club members together and provided a welcome opportunity to visit face to face.

The Board met via Zoom on August 20. On the agenda was our Student of the Month program, how to thank our speakers while we hold online meetings, contacting members who have not yet paid dues, and outreach to members who have not participated in any recent Zoom meetings.

Traditionally, Students of the Month (two each from Hershey High, Milton Hershey, and Middletown) and two guests are invited to a luncheon meeting, introduced to the club, and presented with a certificate. Rather than try and coordinate the students joining our Zoom meeting, the Board decided to ask the students to create a 3-5 minute video that will be shared with the members at a regular club meeting. Instead of hosting the students and two guests to lunch, the Students of the Month will each receive a $50 gift certificate so that they can celebrate their achievement with their family.

Likewise, when we were able to meet in person, our speakers were treated to lunch and received a Rotary mug and box of Golden Almond as a thank you for their presentation. Since that is not possible now, the Board has decided to thank the speaker by making a $25 contribution in their name to one of five charitable organizations supported by the club. The possible recipients are:

  • Hershey Pubic Library
  • Cocoa Packs
  • Love, INC
  • Humane Society of Harrisburg
  • Polio Plus fund of Rotary International

The speaker will be asked to select which charity they would like to recognize.

While we all miss being able to come together every Monday for our meetings, the health and safety of our members is my priority. I anticipate that the club will continue to meet virtually until an effective vaccine is in place. Even though our noon meetings will continue to be virtual, the club will continue to provide opportunities for community service (read about the next opportunity below) and to hold social “meet-ups” where we can socialize while maintaining safe distancing protocols.j

I wish you all a happy and safe Labor Day weekend. Thank you for your commitment to Rotary and to our club. Even during this pandemic “Rotary Opens Opportunities,” even ones that we couldn’t imagine at the beginning of this year.

In Rotary,

Pam Whitenack

President, 2020-2021