AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for June 27, 2017

Today’s Speakers:   Jack Murray – “How Joining a Service Club Changed My Life”

Future Speakers:

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 and a check presentation for our Amtryke Program from Bev Green of the FirstEnergy Foundation

July 25thTerry Tomassetti – Blair County Court House Renovations

Whacha’ May Have Missed Last Week:

…..Ashley Gay-Vocco introduced last week’s speaker, Penny Brunner – “Smiles for Miles”. PennySmiles for Miles is the grandmother of Miles, a four year old who was born with a rare disease of which there are only 500 living cases in the world…..cortical visual impairment (CVI). “Smiles for Miles” was established by Penny and Miles’s family to raise awareness of rare pediatric genetic diseases. Their many activities include working with the Pa. legislature to establish H.B. 239 that would establish a rare disease advisory council, working with pediatric neurologists at a number of hospitals such as Hershey’s Children’s Hospital, Boston’s Children’s Hospital, and the Harvard Medical Center. The group also works closely with agencies such as the Centre County Council for Human Services and The Arc of Blair County and through their “Swing Project” they raise funds to provide special needs playground equipment to playgrounds in the area. The non-profit, 501-C-3, charitable foundation has numerous fundraisers each year including a “Ladies Night Out Christmas Party”, music concerts at Delgrosso’s park, and a golf tournament at Toftrees Golf Club. The golf outing is scheduled for Saturday August 12th. Additionally, Penny has written several children’s books and a cookbook, the proceeds of which go towards the charity. For more information on this organization, go to

Guests of the Day:

…..Alex Seltzer introduced his guest, his father, Irving Seltzer.

…..Mark Ford introduced his guest, his father, Chuck Ford.

…..John Lloyd again introduced his guest, his wife Michele Lloyd; who has filled out an application for AMBUCS membership.

…..Ashley Gay-Vocco introduced her guest Amber Smith, the new director of the Mt. Lion Back Pack Program.

…..Tuesday is the last day for you and your guest(s) 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:

…..Ed Farabaugh announced that the May 5th Blood Screening netted the club $12,231.67. Ed also thanked all of the members who took part in this fund-raising endeavor. Way to go Ed!

…..Ed also announced that National AMBUCS scholarships were awarded to 276 students to the tune of $196,400! Ed is on the National AMBUCS Scholarship committee, who recently met.

…..Since the 2016/2017 club year has come to a close, I thought it would be a good time to review the donations that we made during the year. Our club mission of “Creating Mobility & Independence for People with Disabilities” drives most of our donations. For instance we gave 25 Amtrykes away at a cost of $17,706, $2,675 was donated to National Ambucs programs, $2,575 to the WeCARE Foundation, $1,100 to the Miracle League, $1,000 to Dreams Go On, $1,000 to ARC of Blair County, and $500 to the MS Society. Additionally we spent $565 and quite a few manhours on a wheelchair ramp project during the year. Other “non-mission” related donations included $500 to the Mt. Lion Backpack program, $500 to the Special Accomodations Prom, $498 to Winterfest, $250 to Funds For Freedom, $250 for Relay for Life, and $125 for Toys for Tots. With some small miscellaneous donations thrown in, our club year donations totalled $29,580.42….quite an accomplishment!

…..So where did the money for these above mentioned donations come from? We started the club year with a nice Project Fund balance, which was bolstered by the following: our 2016 Christmas Candy sale netted us $3,694, Amtryke Grants & Contributions totalled $8,540, and the 2016 Blood Screening netted us over $13,000!

…..Our guest speaker, Penny Brunner, pulled the winning raffle ticket of Mark Ford last week. Unfortunately, somehow the week before the deck of cards had gone missing! Therefore two weeks ago raffle ticket winner, Bruce Brower, got to pick first from a new deck of cards that Past-president Ed purchased. Since there were 12 cards already pulled from the previous deck, that same number were removed from the new deck before Bruce pulled a card. But new deck or not, Bruce pulled a loser card, the 8 of diamonds. Then, when Mark pulled his card, he too chose unwisely by selecting the 6 of diamonds. Better luck this week when someone gets another chance to pull a Joker. You better play…the Pot’s around $275.

In Closing: