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Gala Evening of Reminiscing of Clubs's 96 Years of Service Above Self! Club's Final Meeting June 13, 2024 


A Trip Down Memory Lane – It was a great 96 years for the Morrisville-Yardley Area Rotary Club!

June 13, 2024, Michael’s Restaurant, Morrisville, PA


From the Newtown Rotary Club facebook page: “This was a bittersweet moment, but when one door closes another opens. 

Our president, Mick Petrucci, President-elect Debra Porter, and Assistant District Governor Kyle Davis attended the final meeting of the Morrisville-Yardley Rotary Club. After 96 incredible years of community service, they are closing their chapter. The Newtown Rotarians in attendance expressed what an honor it was to meet all of their members and to learn about the history and outstanding success of the club. Thank you to Morrisville-Yardley Rotary Club for your kind hospitality, we look forward to reciprocating. We're thrilled to welcome many of their dedicated members to the Newtown Rotary Club. Together, we'll continue making a difference both locally and internationally. Welcome aboard!”



Attending members of the Morrisville-Yardley Rotary Club with District Governor Diane Donaher. Left to right Hal Long, Tom Miller, Tom Mack, Joe Urbano, Andy Thompson, Dave Sample, Governor Diane Donaher and Luke McKee. Not shown is Rotarian Larissa McKee who was busy with the McKee’s two young, very well behaved, lovely daughters. President Dennis Lanctot was unable to attend due to a bout with a virus. Rotary Foundation Cair Juan Proano was unable to attend due to his wife, Luisa, having a medical procedure in Philadelphia. SA Vaneswaran had to leave early due to family commitments. There was a moment of silence at the beginning of the evening for the recent passing of Rotarians Linda Yonkin and Claude Magnani.

Other former Morrisville-Yardley Area Rotarians, spouses and friends in attendance included Barbara Nuzzolo, Melanie and Jonathan Snipes, Dave Harris, Nancy Sample, Joyce Thompson and her and Andy’s two daughters, Sue Urbano and Evelyn Fletcher and her son. There was a plan to have Jimmy McNally call in but the telephone connection failed. Cheers to Axel Augspach who was in Argentina but sent his compliments by subsidizing the wine at each table! The club was honored by the attendance of former Assistant Governors Gail Linenberg and John Ortolf. Former members Mike Yager and Noel Sperry have moved from the area.

The club was particularly honored by the presence of friends from the Newtown Rotary Club (which the Morrisville Rotary Club and the Washington Crossing Rotary Club co-sponsored when the Newtown Club was chartered.). From Newtown: President Mick Petrucci, Incoming President Debra Porter and Assistant Governor Kyle Davis. Kyle, along with Governor Donaher,  was very helpful behind the scenes when the Morrisville-Yardley Area Rotary Club was contemplating its future.


Andy and Joyce and their daughters and Evelyn Fletcher (right)


Tom Mack, Dave Harris and Tom Miller


AND NOW, THE 50-50!


Dave and Hal drawing the winning 50-50 number. (Club proceeds went toward the purchase of a computer tablet for Jimmy McNally, who has a limited range of motion due to being confined in a wheelchair as a result of MS, which he has battled for many years.)





Journalist and photographer Jeff Werner being presented, by Hal Long, with a Paul Harris Fellow citation for his news articles over the years covering Rotary Clubs and other service and community organizations. He currently is an Honorary Member of the Newtown Rotary Club. 


Paul Harris Fellow citations were presented by Hal Long (left) and Luke McKee (right) to Michael’s Restaurant owners Michael Galasso, Jr., Marie Galasso, and Michael Galasso, Sr., for their contributions to the business community and to the Morrisville-Yardley Area Rotary Club as the meeting place for many years. Hal cited their professionalism and friendliness and the help they gave to the club over the many years that the club met at their restaurant.

The buffet that they catered for the last time for the Rotary Club was no exception to their excellent service and food.





Tom Miller remembering his time as President and pushing for 100% participation by club members in getting Paul Harris Fellow citations.


Barbara Nuzzolo reminiscing about her time in Rotary and serving as the club’s President.



Tom Mack talking about the club’s volunteering at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen.


Andy Thompson discussing the highlights of the club’s activities in the early and mid-2000’s that led to it receiving the District 7430 Distinguished Club Citation of 2005-2006. Andy was co-chairman of the Morrisville 200 bicentennial celebration in 2004. The club led the fundraising for the Robert Morris statue, created by renowned local sculptor Jim Gafgen, that now stands in the Robert Morris Plaza in Morrisville.




Newtown soon-to-be President Debra Porter with SA Vaneswaran, soon-to-be a member of Newtown Rotary.



Tom Miller and Newtown President Mick Petrucci, with Dave Sample observing in the background.





Vice President Luke McKee returning the Morrisville Rotary Club’s original charter of 1928 to Governor Diane Donaher


A poignant moment as Governor Donaher addresses the club for the last time in its existence.


That’s all folks!


Ringing the bell for the last time. It was a great ride!



Some memorabilia : (in back) Original charter and the Distinguished Club Citation plaque. On the front are a “Club Meets Here” plaque, gavel and Bell (donated to the Newtown Rotary Club) and a Morrisville 200 bicentennial banner. The Newtown Rotary graciously (and enthusiastically!) took the 4-Way Test banner and those banners with trading flags from many years past, along with the banner stands, saying they had storage space and would use the material from time to time. Hal Long said that an effort is being made to set up a display and archival file in Summerseat about the club’s legacy in Morrisville. He said that there are a number of documents, including copies of The Rotaryite that go back to 1941.


Photos courtesy of Debra Porter and the Newtown Rotary Club.








The club's General Meetings are on the 2nd & 4th Thursdays of the month and are hybrid: In-person at Michael's Restaurant in Morrisville and via Google Meet (Call or text Luke Mckee at 609-638-4908 for remote access).


For more information about the club and Rotary, check out the menu on the left. Note especially the Current Project Updates where you can find the club's support of several life-saving and life-enhancing projects. 


Scroll down to see what's been going on.


Be sure to click here on the Facebook link to go to the Club's facebook page.




Denny Lanctot, President 2023-2024 


We're back! Great happy hour with Newtown Rotary on Jan.4! Raised almost $1000 for the latest India international project. Thanks to all who were there and supported the effort. 


August 10, 2023 The club was honored by the "official visit" of this Rotary year's District Governor Diane Donaher. She discussed the Rotary International theme for this Rotary year which is "Create Hope in the World,". To compliment that RI theme, Diane chose "Be the Light" to encourage members to be the light that offers hope in the world through service locally and globally. She recognized the club's particpation in several Rotary Foundation global grant projects that Rotarian SA Vaneswaran has been spearheading. The particular projects are providing hope for many people in communities in India who, because of their economic situation, cannot afford access to vital services.

The first project the club supported was to provide a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in a community hospital where, otherwise, the nearest services are approximately 100 miles away and literally out of reach of many in the community because of financial and transportation issues. The next project involves providing 7 kidney dialysis machines for another local hospital. A third project addresses setting up 6 free Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Centers in local hospitals for early detection of potential blindness, which if caught in early stages of diabetes can be prevented. These projects typically serve as demonstrations to encourge expansions into other hospitals that serve economically challenged families. 

Governor Diane presented a "Be the Light" lighthouse replica to Hal Long in recognition of his many years of service in Rotary. Guests included Dave Harris of the Bristol Rotary Club, the 1 and 3 year old daughters of Rotarians Luke and Larrisa McKee, Noreen Lanctot and her and Denny's grandaughter and potential member, Jessica Hunter. 



July 27, 2023 At the General meeting, all about  "Rise Against Hunger" was enthusiastically explained by representative Jessica Hunter. Rise Against Hunger is an international relief organization dedicted to ending hunger by targeting specific geographic regions where access to diverse and nutritious food is limited. Immediate food needs are addressed through distribution of nutritious food packages assembled by volunteers, followed by working with communities to improve agricultural methods, business skills and market access. Jessica is welcomed by President Denny Lanctot, her grandfather. For more information go to riseagainsthunger.org.


Club supports Morrisville's National Night Out   

On July 25 the club supported Morrisville's National Night Out by cooking and handing out hundreds of free hotdogs. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign to promote police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. The club used the event as an opportunity to promote awareness of the club, which has been working in the Morrisville community since its formation in 1928! Special thanks to Zachary Mahon, organizer of the Morrisville Community Coalition and Exec. Dir. of the Solid Rock Youth Center, for his large effort to arranged for all of the food, supplies and equipment needed for the event.  Pictured are Denny Lanctot, President, and Jessica Hunter, his grandaughter.


New Officers Inducted 

On June 22, 2023  the Gavel was passed from Mike Yager who was President for the Rotary year 2022-2023 to Denny Lanctot, the new President for 2023-2024. Luke McKee (orange shirt) is the new Vice President and President -Elect. Juan Proano (not present) is 2nd VP, Secretary-Treasurer is Dave Sample and Sergeant at Arms is Joe Urbano. Directors are Hal Long, Tom Mack (not present) and SA Vaneswaran (not present). Mike Yager remains on the board as Past President. The new board was welcomed by Gail Linenberg, Assistant Governor of District 7430. The club was happy also to welcome spouses Nancy Sample and Sue Urbano and Hal was happy to see that his neighbor Axel Augspath is back from his other home in Argentina.




Community Easter Egg Hunt April 8, 2023

Continuing the tradition, hundreds of kids and their parents and relatives showed up in Williamson Park in Morrisville as President Mike Yager and his team managed to get a few thousand eggs into the hands of all of the children. Many thanks to the Boy Scouts and others who helped throughout the event.


April 2, 2023 Canal Tenders at work!

Thank you Project Chair Luke McKee (blue hat) and everyone who came out to help with Canal Clean Up Day! It was a beautiful day, excellent company, and for a great cause. The Morrisville-Yardley Area Rotary Club volunteers as a Canal Tender to organize a group each year to pick up trash along the Delaware Canal Tow Path between Black Rock Road in Lower Makefield and Morrisville. 






Breakfast Meeting  September 29, 2022

There was a good turnout for the club's trial breakfast meeting. There were two new prospective members attending. A big thank you goes out to The Bird’s Nest at Philadelphia & Pennsylvania Aves.in Morrisville for hosting the club.  



Dialysis Machines in India  

The Advance of Bucks County newspaper printed the club's article, Including 2 pictures. Go to Current Projects Updates page for the article.

September 2022 update

Club welcomes new member Luke McKee at the September 22 meeting. Plans in process for Spring fundraiser: Corn Hole afternoon at the Snipes Farm -watch for details! Club will explore having a monthly breakfast meeting at the Bird's Nest in Morrisville. SA Vaneswaran reported on the status of the International Projects in India. 


September 8, 2022  Mariann Matarese, a realtor with Fox & Roach and the founder of the Stray Cat Project, first discussed the current real estate market and then how she got involved with getting stray and feral cats caught, spayed/neutered and then returned to their territory in order to protect and improve their lives and help to end the perils of overpopulation. She noted that not returning cats to their territory simply invites more cats to the area and continuing overpopulation.  For either real estate interests or to learn more about the Stray Cat Project (a 501(c)3 organization) contact Mariann at 215-801-5350 or go to the website www.straycatproject.org.


August 11, 2022 Kathleen Haggert of Merakey Foster Care discussed how foster care works and the great need for families who are willing to take in foster care children.The families do not need to be in the area where the children are from. For more information, contact Kathleen at 833-629-2220 or email her at fosterparents@merakey.com.


July 28, 2022 District Governor Visit DG Len Geisler talked about goals and events planned for the District and discussed strategies for recruiting new members. 


July 2022 -update

TASK (Trenton Area Soup Kitchen) Volunteers: Project resumed. Third Wednesday of the month. See Calendar for schedule and details.

The club will be supporting the Morrisville National Night Out on August 2 in Morrisville's Williamson Park 6-8pm. 

Rotarian SA Vaneswaran is continuing his efforts to link up the club and district with a number of humanitarian projects in India. See Current Project Updates.


May 2022 - update

The club hasn't been dormant - just the webmaster!

In March the club began in earnest it's planning for an up coming fundraiser. It will be centered around the popular Cornhole games and competition. Stay tuned!

April was a time for environmental cleanup: A group of volunteers cleaned up and groomed the Rotary Recognition Garden in Williamson Park in Morrisville in preparation for the annual Community Easter Egg Hunt.  

On April 9 the Canal cleanup team was at work cleaning up the towpath between Black Rock Road and Trenton Avenue. Perry Warren and some of his team assisted.

The Community Easter Egg Hunt in Morrisville's Williamson Park in April was another great success. Led by Rotary President Mike Yagar and his faithful team of supporters, several thousand eggs filled with sugary treats were quickly collected by several hundred children and their families. Click here for the video


December 2021

Dec. 4: The club participated in Morrisville's Winterfest parade by having cars in the parade and handing out candy.

Dec. 9: General Meeting included election of the new Board of Directors for 2022-23 (see main menu for list). President Mike Yager summarized the  2021_22 Rotary year thus far, offered a list of upcoming Goals and announced his picks for Committee Chairs for 2022-23. District Governor Bob Hobaugh was present and gave President Mike awards for last year's successes. Asst. Governor Gail Linenberg thanked the club for its continuing work. Via Zoom, the Bangalore Southwest Rotary Club in India presented its Global Grant project that will provide kidney dialysis equipment to the local area hospital so that lower cost services can be provided to needing people in the area who otherwise cannot afford treatment. The Morrisville-Yardley Area Rotary Club is slated to financially support the project. 


September 23, 2021 Education Needs and Opportunities - Here and There!

There were two guest presentations at the meeting. One was via Zoom by Vinita Saraf in India and the other by Dan O’Brien (in-person at Michael’s Restaurant) and Tomia Sippo-Smith (via Zoom).


SA Vaneswaran introduced Vinita Saraf of the Rotary Club of Calcutta who presented a proposal for a pilot project to help girls in poverty areas in Calcutta get an education and skill training. In India girls from poverty areas are bypassed when it comes to schooling. Vinita has organized the program under the name “Ektara” and is seeking to expand. The global grant would provide needed facilities and teachers. The Board of Directors of Morrisville-Yardley Area Rotary will be taking the proposal to participate under consideration.


President Mike Yager then introduced Dan O’Brien, Bucks County Coordinator, Public Citizens for Children and Youth, a Pennsylvania advocacy organization. Dan introduced staff member Tomea Sippo-Smith to present their report “No More Dreams Deferred: Building an Education System that Works for Black and Hispanic Students”.

Tomia presented several charts of the results of studies that compared outcomes of Black and Hispanic Students with White students in suburban Bucks County. For example, participation of Black and Hispanic students in advanced placement classes was significantly less than white students even though their academic achievement was at a par with the white students. In another measure, the number of dollars available to schools with higher percentages of Black and Hispanic students was less than those with a higher white student percentage.

The conclusion, as indicated by the title of the presentation, we need to work to build an education system that works as well for Black and Hispanic students as it does for white students.


September 9, 2021 Two New Members Approved 

Amy Rinkivech and Christine ("Tina") Shannon were approved for membership. Welcome aboard, Amy and Tina!


August 12, 2021, Rotary Learns of Proposal to Screen for Diabetic Retinopathy in India

The scheduled speaker, a Rotarian located in India, was unable join the ZOOM General Meeting. SA Vaneswaran was knowledgeable of the presentation and had a copy of the supporting graphics.


Basically, there is a proposed Global Grant intended to support screening diabetic people within District 3190 in India for Diabetic Retinopathy (DR). One third of those with diabetes globally have DR, which a vision condition that can cause blindness. It can be detected by a retinal exam and treated before symptoms are noticed. Hence the proposal to provide free screening to those who otherwise would not know about the condition and who likely would not be able to afford an exam.


The global grant proposal shows the Morrisville-Yardley Area Rotary Club contributing $2000 along with a donation from District 7430 of $2000. While this appears to be a worthwhile project for the club in India, it would have to be compared with other Morrisville-Yardley Area Club projects before the club could consider supporting it. Inasmuch as this was the first time the club had heard of the proposal and the condition of the club’s treasury does not support such a donation at this time, SA was requested to communicate this situation to the club in India.

Update: August 26, 2021

SA introduced Ravi Kumar of Rotary District 3190 in India who was present via Zoom. He addressed the concerns of the club expressed at the previous meeting and there was agreement for the Morrisville-Yardley Area Club to go forward as a participant on the effort to obtain a global grant for the project.


July 22, 2021, "Passing the Gavel"

The Morrisville-Yardley Area Rotary Club met in-person at the Garden of Eatin restaurant. Past President, Danielle Larison, “Passed the Gavel” to new President, Mike Yager, who announced the new Board of Directors.  Rotarian Juan Proano inducted Noel Sperry as a new member. Then he presented Paul Harris Fellow pins and certificates to Mike Rosso, Tom Mack and Denny Lanctot, in recognition of contributions made to The Rotary Foundation. He announced that Steve Ullrich, who wasn't in attendance, also was a Paul Harris Fellow recipient.  

The club was honored to have the District Governor, Robert Hobaugh, Gail Linenberg, the Assistant Governor for our area, and John Ortoff, our former Assistant Governor, in attendance.






July 8, 2021 Rotary Discovers How to Educate a Child in India for $200 Annually

At the July 8, 2021, virtual General Meeting of the Morrisville-Yardley Area Rotary Club, Rotarian SA Veneswaran introduced the main speaker, Sam Vonumu, with whom he is networking to provide educational opportunities for children in India who are living in the slums. Sam, now an Information Technology Project Manager in the US Department of Treasury, started life himself in the slums of India. He was fortunate to be sponsored by a philanthropic agency to receive an education and progressed to  where he is now; a U.S citizen, college graduate, U.S. Navy Veteran and married, living in Maryland.


In India and other places, education is available only through private institutions. If one doesn't have access to money then there is no access to education. By providing a child in the slums with guaranteed school attire and payment for books, the private schools generally will accept the students. Hence, for about $200 annually, a child can gain access to schooling.

In 1996 Sam and his wife decided that they should begin paying back for all of the opportunities afforded to them and began putting away a few dollars regularly to sponsor the education of children from the slums in India. In 4 years they had sponsored 45 children. Co-workers began to get interested in what they were doing and began donating. By word-of-mouth the group has expanded to provide education for some 44,000 children! They also are helping children in the slums in other countries gain access to education.

They now operate though Uplift A Child, a 501( c)3 corporation, that he founded.  Sam has expanded understanding of the project through many Rotary Club presentations and general networking. More information may be found at www.upliftachild.org.



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