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Meet Hershey Rotary Exchange Student: Julia Neves
By: Natalie Colarossi
Julia Neves is an exchange student with the Hershey Rotary attending Hershey High School for the 2022-2023 school year. She is a senior in high school from São Luís, Brazil, a country and hometown very different from Hershey, Pennsylvania. São Luís is an island in the Atlantic Ocean and the capital of the Brazilian state, of Maranhão. “The weather is one of the biggest differences between Hershey and my city,” said Julia. This is a very understandable difference because the average temperature of São Luís is 90 degrees. 
Her time in the United States has had a memorable start; however, leaving her home country came with some hardships like missing her family, friends, and hometown. She described her hometown as being split between the historic section and the more modern section of São Luís. “I think the old part of my city is my favorite part, it's like going back to the past,” said Julia. 
Julia has never traveled outside of Brazil before, let alone lived in a country 4,000 miles away from her home. Although it is a big change, she has enjoyed everything she has experienced thus far. She didn’t know exactly what to expect, but “it's even better than I imagined,” said Julia. 
The calm and beautiful nature of Hershey is her favorite part of the city. She is also looking forward to experiencing the high school traditions that only happen in the U.S, like prom. “I’m very excited about the prom because we don’t have them in Brazil,” said Julia. She doesn’t have a favorite place yet, being that she has only been in Hershey for a couple of months. Julia has a few spots in Hershey on her bucket list “I want to go since everyone tells me about this place, “said Julia. 
She plans to attend college, most likely in Brazil, but colleges in the United States aren’t completely off her radar. “It would just require more planning,” said Julia.
2022 Community Service Award

The Hershey Rotary Club is pleased to honor Cheryl Eshenour as the 2022 Community Service Award recipient. After Cheryl and her late husband lost their 12-year-old son Jonathan in a bicycle accident 25 years ago, they turned an unimaginable tragedy into a gift to the community. They donated their son’s organs, and in doing so, gave life to four people.

They also ran the “Hike It Bike It for Jon” event for ten years and raised approximately $300,000 to establish the Jonathan Eshenour Memorial Trail. The trail extends for 13 miles in Derry Township and provides a beautiful and safe place to walk, run, and ride. Eshenour has chosen to send half of the $1000 award grant to Derry Township Parks & Recreation for trail maintenance and the other half to The Gift of Life family room, to help families through organ donation. 

“To realize the impact that Jonathan and our family have had on our community continues to amaze me.  I am so honored by this recognition and by the support of the Hershey Rotary Club,” said Eshenour.

To learn more about the Jonathan Eshenour Memorial Trail, visit the Derry Township website: www.derrytownship.org

2022 Packy Award

Rotarian Paul Thompson has been named the 2022 Packy Award winner, given in memory of Hershey Rotarian Purnell “Packy” Payne. This award is presented to a Rotarian who displays “Service Above Self” in his/her contributions and dedication to the Hershey Rotary Club and Rotary International through volunteer public service, community outreach and/or philanthropic activities.

Thompson has been a member of the Hershey Rotary Club for 15 years. He and his wife, fellow Rotarian Maria Thompson, have visited more than two dozen Rotary Clubs around the world and attended four Rotary International conferences. He served as Club President in 2019-2020 and will be Rotary District 7390 Governor in 2024-2025. He and his family have hosted numerous Rotary Exchange students to build goodwill with people worldwide.

“It is a great honor to receive this award since Purnell “Packy” Payne is regarded as one of the all-time major contributors to the Hershey Rotary Club’s high standard of service above self,” said Thompson. 

Thompson will allocate the $1000 award grant to four organizations including The Hershey Symphony Orchestra, Hershey Area Playhouse, Hershey Community Chorus, and Hershey History Center.

Rotary Grants Awarded 2021

Hershey Rotary’s fundraising activities allow us to provide assistance to local organizations each year to support their missions. This year we presented 20 organizations with a grant for their service: 
Boy Scouts of America-New Birth of Freedom, Derry Township Community Cats, Harrisburg River Rescue and Emergency Services, Hershey Area Playhouse, Hershey Community Archives, Hershey Community Chorus, Hershey Food Bank, Hershey Gardens, Hershey History Center, Hershey Story Essay Contest, Hershey Symphony Orchestra, Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards, Hershey Volunteer Fire Company, Hope Springs Farm, Joy of Sports Foundation, Living Well Care, Love Inc., Middletown Public Library, Mohler Senior Center, and Ronald McDonald House.

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities
Interested in volunteering at Cocoa Packs, Ronald McDonald House or other opportunities? Email Rotarian Reath Edwards to learn more.