Monday, April 3, 2023

Rotary International asks us to Serve to Change Lives through its Focus Areas

January is Vocational Service Month

This month Rotary International asks us to Serve to Change Lives by helping to improve the lives of mothers and their childrenExplore the possibilities with us at our meeting Wednesday at noon at Wick Park or virtually via Zoom.

The  Zoom ID is: 3567145262

This Week's Meeting

LOCATION CHANGE! Rotarians will again gather at the Main Branch of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, 305 Wick Ave., Youngstown, while the Wick Park Pavilion is under repair due to storm-related damage. Parking at the Main Branch is accessible from Rayen Avenue and Walnut Street. This week, we anticipate a guest speaker on the topic of Alzheimer’s disease.

Last Week's Meeting

RCY has invested in 45 Little Free Libraries throughout greater Youngstown since 2014, but none of them succeed without dedicated community members to watch over them. 
Rotarians honored stewards of our club-sponsored LFLs and others on March 29 with a special program, a tasty lunch by Jeff Chrystal Catering, and bags of books to restock their boxes.
The club’s usual meeting site, the Wick Park Pavilion, was damaged during the prior weekend windstorm and necessitated relocating that program. It was serendipitous when Aimee Fifarek confirmed that space was available at the main branch of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.
LFL Committee Chair Elayne Bozick observed that March was National Reading Month, and how LFL founder Todd Bol started building his own boxes in 2009 with a goal of establishing 2,510 sites. Today, more than 150,000 exist worldwide.
When the floor was opened to our special guests, they shared inspiring stories of the cascading benefits of Little Free Libraries. 
LFLs “make more of an impact than just giving out books,” said new Rotarian Ashley Morrow. She has a book exchange next to her house on Hubbard Road, along with an orange butterfly-shaped sign that is associated with pollinator preservation activities. Ashley spoke of a young vision-impaired neighbor who can see the orange butterfly and enjoys regular stops there to take a book home for her sibling. Neighbors have drawn closer to the young lady and one another now that they know her story, she added. 
Rotarian Steve Poullas and his wife, Courtney, charted a Youngstown Reading Route, a 3-mile walking course between their LFL on Wilma Avenue and others on Maple Avenue and Newport Drive. As their project demonstrates, reading can benefit the mind and body!
A daughter of the late Kathryn Hawks Haney, who founded the nonprofit organization Give the Children A Chance, continues her mother’s advocacy for Youngstown’s youngest residents. Lisa Robbins said she will use a pavilion next to 133 S. Truesdale Ave. – which Kathryn constructed with local philanthropic support – to hold a summer reading camp. She is encouraged when families visit the Little Free Library near the street edge and then sit down to read at the pavilion. “Without reading, there is no bright future,” Lisa observed. She asked for donations of children’s books for the camp.
Know Your Neighbor Block Watch maintains a LFL on Cordova Avenue, across from the Harding Elementary School main entrance. Leader Joyce Davidson says the block watch is organizing a summer reading program, in which teens pair up with younger children to build reading skills.
Lois Martin-Uscianowski, founder of Southside Community Garden, received a LFL from Phil Brady, spouse of Rotarian Elsa Higby. An annual summer Butterfly Festival brings visitors to the garden and book exchange. Lois also worked with a nearby children’s daycare center to establish a reading program and ask for PLYMC’s Pop Up Library to visit them, because the kids had never visited any library, she said.
Judy Masaki of NEO Children’s Rehab Center in Howland also is a member of the Rotary Club of Warren. The LFL at the rehab center is one of many strategies to advance literacy and language in the onsite daycare center, she said.
At Fairmont Youth Garden on Fairmont Avenue, Hattie Wilkins says her LFL often needs to be restocked with books and seed packets, and that makes her happy. Neighborhood children have taken pride in the fruit trees that they helped to plant on site, and they have gained knowledge about their food sources, she added. Accompanying Hattie was Susie Beiersdorfer, an environmental educator and Operation Pollinator supporter. 
Pat Kerrigan of Oak Hill Collaborative on Oak Hill Avenue seldom spots visitors at the LFL, but “every time we look, the books are gone,” he said. The book exchange is “a great opportunity for the neighborhood.”
RCY’s Little Free Library Committee is led by Bozick, with Fifarek, Herb Soss, Frank Kishel, Justin Froelich, Debora Flora and Sharon Stringer providing support. 

Spring Arts Festival

The second annual Spring Arts Festival at Youngstown City School District brings the Rotary Club of Youngstown, Students Motivated By the Arts and the city schools under the Operation Pollination umbrella, all endeavoring to expand public support to create and support pollinator habitats. 
SMARTS provided lesson plans by grade level for English Language Arts teachers, who are encouraging their students to create original art that educates the public on the risks associated with a decline in pollinators and how to reverse the trend. Students’ art projects emerge from all five arts disciplines: visual art, music, dance, theater, and creative writing. 
Students will take field trips to SMARTS from April 18 to 20. The festival will be open to the public on Saturday, April 22, at SMARTS, where students’ art works will be on display. 
Rotarians may support the festival in many ways, as follows: 
  • Volunteers are needed to pick up students’ art works at schools between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. April 3 and April 6; 
  • Volunteers can set up displays at SMARTS, time and date to be determined; 
  • Volunteers may assist on field trip days between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. April 18-20;
  • Volunteers will help during the community open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 22;
  • Sponsorships of $250, $500 and $1,000 bring the project to life and nurture its continued growth in Youngstown city schools; 
  • Volunteers will transport art works from SMARTS back to schools April 25-27.
Sponsors may call Becky Keck at 330-574-2787 or email her at Contact Sarah Gabrick, SMARTS assistant director, at or call 330-574-2787 for volunteer information.

Manu on the Move

Manu, RCY’s Exchange Student, finished her basketball season at Cardinal Mooney High School and has pivoted to a spring sport: Lacrosse!
You may not understand the game, but we know what it means to Manu to have supporters in the stands. The season has just begun. See the team schedule and attend a match when possible.

Boys and Girls Club Cleanup

The home base of the Boys and Girls Club of Youngstown – founded by RCY decades ago – is being renovated on Oak Hill Avenue. The work will stretch into summer and necessitate the relocation of BGCY’s summer activities to the McGuffey Center, 1649 Jacobs Road.
The McGuffey Center needs some “muscle and love,” according to RCY President Sharon Letson. So, put on your work clothes and join us on Saturday, April 15, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the East Side.


If you are looking for a way to be informed and deepen your connection with the Rotary Club of Youngstown, then join the weekly newsletter team!  

The Clatter needs writers who can prepare copy about meetings and events; a copy editor to review content before and during production; editors to compile the weekly publication list and upload content for layout; and a photographer.

Contact publisher Steve Poullas or editors Linda Kostka and Deb Flora for more information. 

Seven Buzzing Facts About Bees

For thousands of years, humans have appreciated the sometimes-small, sometimes-bumbling bees that pollinate our crops and craft our honey. We’ve raised them in hives, featured them in art, and launched all-out campaigns to protect against colony collapse disorder, in which adult honeybees abandon the hive. Whether you’re a fan of the fuzzy, buzzing pollinators or happen to suffer from apiphobia (the fear of bees), these facts will give you a glimpse into their tiny yet fascinating world.
No. 1 Bees Have Assigned Jobs
Queens can lay thousands of eggs per day, while the worker bees cycle through various roles depending on their age. Some act as architects — using their wax glands to build honeycombs and more — and some will become foragers, who leave the hive to scout for nectar. Some bees even have the job of insect undertaker, removing dead residents to keep the hive clean and healthy.
No. 2 Most Bees are Female
Bees can be incredibly cooperative. Those that live in hives work together to build their homes, produce honey, and perform other necessary tasks. But most of these jobs are assigned to worker bees, who are all female and greatly outnumber drones, who are male and don’t actually do any work. Yet the drones (that can’t sting) play their part by leaving the community to mate with other queens, an important task for species biodiversity.
No. 3 Bees Love CaffeineTop of Form
Research into how bees handle caffeine suggests that the stimulating chemical may help them pollinate more quickly and efficiently which could be why some plants produce small amounts of caffeine to attract pollinators. But apiologists — bee scientists — have determined that caffeine also caused confusion among bees.
No. 4 Most Bees are Solitary
Solitary bees make up around 75% of all species. These lonesome workers are incredibly important for ecosystems worldwide. Native bees are mostly solitary, and pollinate about 80% of the world’s plants — more than any other insect. (There are about 4,000 native bee species in the U.S.; notably, honey bees aren’t one of them, since Apis mellifera were introduced from Europe.)
No. 5 Bees Can Vote
Although hives are led by a queen, some decisions are made by the entire swarm, including relocating the hive to a new home. Older bees first scout for new real estate, sharing their top picks with other bees by dancing their “waggle dancing” giving other bees directions to the site. More scouts assess the spot, then return to the hive to vote either for or against it with their own dance. Each research team votes by performing enthusiastic dances that give feedback until the entire hive agrees — displayed in a large-scale dance that signals consensus.
No. 6 Carpenter Bees Don’t Eat Wood
Female carpenter bees drill through wood, excavating nurseries for bee eggs; they stock each tunnel with “bee bread,” a doughy food for new hatchlings, before sealing off the tunnel. Young bees emerge from their home, spend the summer feeding on nectar, and return to the tunnels they were born in to survive the winter. These tunnels that can be reused year after year for hibernation and other purposes.
No. 7 Humans and Bees Have a Relationship
Thanks to honey, humans have had an interest in studying bees for some time, though some of our earlier observations were rather outlandish. Today, we know how incredibly important bees are to our habitats and food systems — which is part of why scientists work to keep uncovering new details about our pollinating partners.


April 4, 1925: the Rotary District 21 Conference was hosted by District Governor Leonard T. Skeggs in Youngstown.
Trish Gelsomino - April 3
Becky Mottram - April 5
Diana Homick - One Year
Kevin Chiu - 20 Years
Save the Date:
  • Save the date! On Thursday, April 20, at the Downtown YMCA, Bob DiBiasio, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the Cleveland Guardians, will make his annual visit to update us on the upcoming baseball season. This is a joint event of Rotary Club of Youngstown, Youngstown Lions Club, and Youngstown Kiwanis. 
    Cost is $10 per person. See President Sharon to reserve your seat. 
Bulletin Editor
Steve Poullas
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Club Information

Welcome to Youngstown Rotary

Service Above Self

Wednesdays at 12:00 PM
Wick Park Pavilion
260 Park Avenue
Youngstown, OH 44504
United States of America
(330) 743-8630
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