AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for June 20, 2017

Today’s Speakers:   Penny Brunner – “Smiles for Miles”

Future Speakers:

June 27th Jack Murray – “How Joining a Service Club Changed My Life”

July 4th Independence Day – No Meeting – You’ll have to party on your own!

July 11thTBA

July 18th Maria Brandt – Blair County Chamber Committee on Not-for-Profit Businesses

July 25thTerry Tomassetti – Blair County Court House Renovations

Whacha’ May Have Missed Last Week:

…..Diane Carnell introduced last week’s speaker, Joe Harteis, Business Development for the Blair County Convention Center. Joe was accompanied by Barry Kumpf, CEO; Steve Despot, of the Convention Center’s Operations Technology group; and Rick Caposi, President of Caposi Group; a consulting firm. Joe presented a Powerpoint presentation on the center where they performed an in-depth analysis of the local convention center and 15 similar centers across the nation. The analysis pointed out a deficiency at the local center when looking at the availability of attached hotel rooms; however the same analysis found that they were one of very few convention centers who were running in the black. Joe went on to say that the center opened in 2001 and the current full time staff of ten has continued to improve on the number of events held each year with 2016 topping out at 272 events. During the Q & A session, Barry Kumpf noted that his mission is to import new dollars into Blair County, not to be in competition with other local event sites such as the Jaffa Mosque. Joe stated that the center has a new website at

Guests of the Day:

Paul Dick again introduced his guest, retired banker Dean McKnight; who has filled out an application for AMBUCS membership.

Time is running out for you and your guest to reap the benefits of “Round-up”, our spring membership drive. During this membership drive, the $15 membership fee for any new member will be waived and the new member will receive a $50 credit on their first quarterly dues. Additionally, there are gift certificate and cash drawings for Ambucs who bring guests during the round-up. Why not bring a guest this week?

News of the Week:

…..Dave Aikens, who is now writing our Ambucs grant requests, announced two such grants. Dave recently received a $500 check from the Hollidaysburg Women’s Club for our Amtryke program. Additionally, Dave has received notice that the FirstEnergy Foundation will be presenting a check for $2,000 for the Amtrykes at a future meeting. Great job Dave!


…..Did you see that Ambuc Derek Martin was named as one of the Altoona Mirror’s “20 Under 40”? Not only was he named one of the area’s young rising stars but he was even shown on the cover of the publication. As the Mirror stated, Derek and his fellow honorees are “paving the way for a brighter future”  in the Blair County area. Congratulations Derek!


…..Two weeks ago, president Rachael presented Ashley Gay-Votto with a check for $500 for the Mt. Lion Backpack Program. I thought it would be good to clarify how that program fits into our mission of “Creating Mobility & Independence for People with Disabilities”. When our board considers where to make donations…..organizations such as The Miracle League, Dreams Go On, etc. certainly fall into the mission of the club. However, many of our members either work for or are a part of other worthy charitable organizations such as Ashley’s involvement with the Mt. Lion Backpack program. Another contribution that we made recently that fit that category was a donation to Funds for Freedom, an organization that Dave Aikens is involved with. As Ambucs we can be proud of all of the good that we provide to our community with donations to worthy organizations as well as the physical work that we’ve done such as our ramp building projects. Coupled with the Amtrykes that we provide and the scholarship monies we donate to therapy students, we truly are making a difference!

…..Our guest speaker, Joe Harteis, pulled the winning raffle ticket of Bruce Brower last week. Unfortunately, somehow the deck of cards has gone missing! Past-president Ed stated that he will get a new deck and then he will remove 12 cards, which is the number that were removed from the deck before it went missing. So this Tuesday, Bruce will get to select a card from the deck first and then this week’s raffle winner will pick next. Two drawings in one week! You better play…the Pot’s around $265.


In Closing:  Just in case you had plans to go camping this weekend…..