Our program featured the official visit from District Governor Diane Donaher. She joined Rotary in 1990 as a Charter member of the Bethlehem Morning Star Club. This was shortly after women were allowed to become members. Despite the new rules, she found that many Clubs were still all male. Progress has been slow but Rotary International saw Jennifer Jones as the first woman President last year, and will see Pennsylvania Rotarian Stephanie Urchick as the second in 2024-25.
Diane served as Club President before family and business concerns led her to transfer to the downtown Bethlehem Rotary where she is also a Past President. Rotary has been a family affair for Diane and her husband Dean. Their two children were included in all Rotary projects. The annual bell ringing for the Salvation Army provided an opportunity to teach their children about the need for philanthropy.
RI President Gordon McInally’s theme for the year is to Create Hope In The World. Rotary projects bring hope to people living in even the most desperate times. The lighthouses in Diane’s New England upbringing led her to the idea of creating beacons of hope; to create light that can travel across communities and the world. Easton Rotary beacons of hope include support for the Miracle League, food collections, clothing donations, teddy bears, and packing the purses.
RI President Gordon has chosen to put the spotlight on mental health issues, and he has asked Rotarians to help erase the stigma associated with getting treatment for these conditions. Diane congratulated our Club for our increased membership and for our high visibility at so many community functions. She urged us to continue our strong support for the Foundation of Rotary International. Mark your calendar for April 26-28, 2024 when the District Conference comes to Bethlehem and it is time to celebrate another fantastic Rotary year.