Cullen

AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for August 1, 2017

Today’s Speakers:   Beth Futrich – “Pa Agricultural Ombudsman Program”

Future Speakers:

August 8thKay Tyberg – HLAA Hearing Loss Association of America

August 15thRoseann Conrad – Blair County Dog Park in Martinsburg

August 22ndTim Obrien – Young Life

August 29thBryson Peterman – Owner of Bootleggers Brew Shop

Whacha’ May Have Missed Last Week:

Blair County Commissioner Terry Tomassetti spoke about the ongoing Blair County Court House renovations last week. Numerous projects await the maintenance and repair that Terry stated had been left unattended for quite some time. Both Courtrooms 1 & 2 are in need of repairs due to water infiltration. His Powerpoint presentation showed pieces of the plaster that are falling, windows that need repaired, and the extensive work that still remains on the exterior of the original building (circa 1875-76) and the addition (1906). The windows that need attentioncourthouse number near eighty and the clock tower will need repair once the trees are removed and the root damage can be assessed. Terry also noted that the HVAC system will need replaced due to age and noise levels. The noise issue prohibits the system from running in the courtrooms when court is in session. The County recently announced receipt of an $80,000 preservation grant for work in the law library which is expected to cost $236,000. Terry stated that the overall costs for the needed renovations would likely be 2 to 5 million dollars. One interesting find recently were the original blueprints from 1906 which should provide some insight to the building’s original design. Terry also noted that a courthouse preservation team comprised of Terry, Judge Kopriva, conservator John Rita, and other county personnel has been established and will meet bi-weekly to keep the project moving. Terry thanked conservator John Rita for his tireless efforts to recreate much of the plasterwork and other design work at the courthouse. Lastly, Terry said that the county is in the process of creating a Courthouse Preservation Fund where charitable donations to support the renovations can be made. The fund should be established by September.

Guests of the Day:

…..There were no guests last week.

News of the Week:

…..Note: Tomorrow’s meeting will be held in the Hearth Room instead of the large dining room at Park Hills. That’s the room adjacent to our normal meeting room. If you choose the wrong room…..you’ll be sitting with the fine folks of Home Nursing!

…..AMBUCS Softball Marathon team captain, Tony Miller, passed around a sign-watermelonup sheet for a picnic social at Ed Farabaugh’s home. Two dates are being considered…Friday August 11th or Saturday August 12th. If you haven’t already responded to Kathy Storm from the recent email, please do so soon, so that a date can be finalized. What better way to spend a late summer evening?

…..The AMBUC’s board met last Thursday and two notable items were the result….Lisa Drzal will be chairing the upcoming Mt. Lion Backpack Bowling event and the club has agreed to sponsor two teams. Additionally, some minor changes were proposed to the club’s donation policy. Once the board votes and approves these changes, a copy of the policy will be made available to the membership.

…..He’s at it again! Our grant writer-extraordinaire, Dave Aikens, has secured a grant of $1,600 from the Sheetz Corporation for our Amtyke fund. Thank you Sheetz…..and way to go again Dave!

August Birthday Babies include:

birthday cake13thJack happy birthdayMcDougal

15thVic Gioiosa

21stTony Miller

22ndBill Hoyne

 

Joker…..Our guest speaker, Terry Tomassetti, pulled the winning Jack of diamondsraffle ticket of Bill Hoyne. Bill’s selection of the Jack of Diamonds did not pay off. That leaves 36 remaining cards and two Jokers. The rules state that once we are down to 26 cards, one Joker is removed. So with Bill’s card removed from the deck, you could be one step closer to being a big winner! Next week’s drawing could net someone nearly $350!

 

 

 

In Closing: frosty nose

 

Cullen

AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for July 25th, 2017

Today’s Speakers:   Terry Tomassetti – Blair County Court House Renovations

Future Speakers:

August 1stBeth Futrich – “Pa Agricultural Ombudsman Program”

August 8thKay Tyberg – HLAA Hearing Loss Association of America

August 15thRoseann Conrad – Blair County Dog Park in Martinsburg

August 22ndTim Obrien – Young Life

August 29thBryson Peterman – Owner of Bootleggers Brew Shop

Whacha’ May Have Missed Last Week:

Maria Brandt – Blair County Chamber Committee on Not-for-Profit Businesses – spoke about a training course designed for not-for-profits that is scheduled for November 9th at The Casino. There are 350 nfp’s in Blair County and all are invited to attend this informative session. Additionally, Maria spoke about the new Blair County Smart911 program. Blair County hassmart 911 purchased this system which is open to all County residents and businesses. The system provides for you to input vital data about you and your family members, phone numbers, medications and medical concerns, homes, vehicles, and even pets….all of which is kept strictly confidential and used only by the 911 Control Center employees to alert first responders. What you want to include is up to you, but the more information you provide to this free service will help first responders to better handle a 911 call for assistance. For instance, you can show where your shutoffs for your home’s gas, water and electric are in case of a fire. Or you can list your family members and even your pets in case of an emergency. Maria stated that even including something such as a family member who is deaf can be important for a firefighter to know so that he can remove his mask to allow a victim to read his lips. For more information on this program, two meetings are scheduled for Thursday August 17th at 9:00 AM and another on Saturday September 23rd at 10:00AM at The Arc, 431 Jackson Ave., Altoona or by calling 814-940-5901. Maria also acknowledged our recent club donation to The Arc and explained that the money was going to be used for a new program for their clients where the organization will teach basic living skills such as laundry, cooking, banking, safety, and social skills.     

Guests of the Day:

…..Larry Harker of the Vincent de Paul Society, guest of Ed Garlena.

 

News of the Week:

…..Bev Green, representing the first energy donationFirstEnergy Foundation, presented a $2,000 check to our club for our Amtryke project. Aside Bev in the picture are Ambucs Sandy Gregory and John Lloyd, who Bev thanked for working with the AMBUCS Amtryke program as a FirstEnergy employee (Sandy) and retiree (John).

…..AMBUCS Softball Marathon team captain, Tony Miller, passed around a sign-up sheet for awatermelon picnic social at Ed Farabaugh’s home. Two dates are being considered…Friday August 11th or Saturday August 12th. If you haven’t already responded to Kathy Storm from last Tuesday’s email, please do so soon, so that a date can be finalized. What better way to spend a summer evening?

…..Meet our two newest Ambucs…..                                                                                                                     

…..Dean McKnight was sponsored by Paul Dick. Dean, who is retired, was formerly a Senior Vice President of M & T Bank and active in a number of other organizations such as the ABCD corp. He also serves as the M.C. for the Altoona Horseshoe Chorus and the State College Nittany Knights. Dean is married to Elsie, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Dean’s hobby is flying kites and a number of years ago he was a speaker at AMBUCS, discussing his very interesting hobby. When asked what was unique about himself, he replied that he wanted to join AMBUCS in spite of counting both Paul and Trav Young as friends.

…..Michele Lloyd was sponsored by her husband and bulletin editor extraordinaire, John Lloyd. Michele is a retired nurse from Dr. J. Grant Hormell’s office. She (and John) have two sons, Chris and Jason and two grandsons, Nolan and Andrew. Her retirement life is filled with volunteering for Home Nursing’s Hospice program, delivering Meals-on-Wheels, and multiple tasks at Zion Lutheran Church. In her “spare” time she enjoys reading and time with the grandkids. When asked what was unique about herself, she replied that she thinks she holds the record for attending the greatest number of Curve baseball games as a person who “hates” baseball.

Joker…..Our guest speaker, Maria Brandt, pulled the winning raffle ticket of Trav Young. Trav chose the King of Clubs instead of picking one of the two Jokers. One more card gone and one step closer to a big winner! Next week’s drawing could net someone nearly $335!

 

In Closing: potatoes

 

Cullen

AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for July 18, 2017

Today’s Speakers:   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

Future Speakers:

July 25thTerry Tomassetti – Blair County Court House Renovations

August 1stBeth Futrich – “Pa Agricultural Ombudsman Program”

August 8thKay Tyberg – HLAA Hearing Loss Association of America

August 15thRoseann Conrad – Blair County Dog Park in Martinsburg

August 22ndTim Obrien – Young Life

August 29thBryson Peterman – Owner of Bootleggers Brew Shop

Whacha’ May Have Missed Last Week: Mike Strait introduced our guest speaker, Pam Mitchell ofKeyconn Keystone Connect. Keystone Connect provides a number of website services and Pam focused her talk on search engine optimization. Pam stated that a website is only as good as its accesibility on search engines. Since search engines, such as Google, use rankings to determine which sites rise to the top, it’s imperative that your design meets certain key criteria. Pam used examples such as the overall design of the site, the use of keywords, good content, and credability as keys to getting a good rating. Even using simple techniques such as recommended word counts per page, having good page titles and making sure that basic information such as name, address and phone numbers are all important pieces of the puzzle. Pam also discussed ways to determine if your site is “mobile friendly”. Pam told the group that statistics show that 90% of smart phone searchers have not determined what brand of product that they want, prior to starting their search. Lastly, Pam said that good search engine optimization requires patience, time and consistency. Keystone Connect not only provides website design, but can help your business turn searchers into customers.

Guests of the Day:

…..There were no guests last week.

News of the Week:

…..Tuesday was Happy 92nd Birthday Altoona AMBUCS day! Since the Altoona AMBUCS club was chartered into the AMBUCS family on July 16th, 1925; we celebrated by Bruce Brower leading us in singing Happy Birthday to ourselves. We even had birthday cake! (If you weren’t there…see what you missed!)

…..AMBUCS Softball Marathon team captain, Tony Miller, stated that due to the uncertainty of the charitable status of the “WeCare” foundation, the club has decided to forego participation in this year’s Softball Marathon. However the good news is that the traditional after-game social at Ed Farabaugh’s home is still a go! Set aside the date of August 12th. Tony promised additional details soon….with a sign-up sheet to follow.

…..President Rachael read a very nice thank-you letter from Maria Brandt, Executive Director of The Arc. The club recently made a $1,000 donation to The Arc and Maria thanked the club for “getting” what her organization brings to the community. It’s quite fitting that Maria, a former Altoona Ambuc, will be our guest speaker this week.

…..President Rachael also acknowledged our two newest members….Dean McKnight and Michele Lloyd who were in attendance. Membership chairman Alex Seltzer read the names of the Ambucs who brought guests the last three months during our membership drive. He then drew the names of the two of these Ambucs, each to receive a $50 prize. Those two winners were Treasurer Paul Dick, who graciously donated his winning back to the club and Carl Gingrich, who was not in attendance.

…..Grant writer Dave Aikens asked the membership to look over a list that he had placed at each table of local organizations that have a Pa. Small Games License. To have one of these licenses, an organization must donate a portion of their sales to non-profit organizations such as ourselves. Dave was looking for Ambucs who may belong to one of these organizations or who might have a contact there. Dave will then work with that person to contact the organization for possible donations. After the meeting, Dave stated that a number of Ambucs responded that they can help. This endeavor will hopefully provide some good results. Great idea Dave!

…..Last week it was noted in the bulletin that our AMBUCS grant writer, Dave Aikens, had received word that we had been chosen to receive a grant from the Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation. Last Wednesday, President Rachael attended a special ceremony in the Heritage Plaza, where she accepted, on our behalf, a check for $1,000 from the Foundation. This money will be used for our Amtryke fund.

…..Our guest speaker, Pam Mitchel pulled the winning raffle ticket of our Secretary, Bob Reffner. Bob confidently made his selection and incorrectly chose the Four of Diamonds instead of one of the Jokers. One more card gone and one step closer to a big winner! Next week’s drawing could net someone over $300!

In Closing: Potato head

Cullen

AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for July 11, 2017

Today’s Speakers:   Pam Mitchell – Keystone Connection

Future Speakers:

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

August 1stBeth Futrich – “Pa Agricultural Ombudsman Program”

August 8thKay Tyberg – HLAA Hearing Loss Association of America

August 15thRoseann Conrad – Blair County Dog Park in Martinsburg

August 22ndTim Obrien – Young Life

August 29thBryson Peterman – Owner of Bootleggers Brew Shop

Guests of the Day:

…..No meeting – No guests…..but why not invite someone this week…..they’ll thank you.

News of the Week:

…..Happy Birthday Altoona AMBUCS! AMBUCSThe Altoona AMBUCS club was chartered into the AMBUCS family on July 16th, 1925. The Altoona chapter was one of the first AMBUCS clubs in the nation, since the first club, located in Birmingham Alabama, was chartered just three years earlier. Back then the organization was called the American Business Club, which was officially changed to AMBUCS in 1961. So happy 92nd birthday Altoona AMBUCS.

…..Due to the uncertainty of the charitable status of the “WeCare” foundation, the club has decided to forego participation in this year’s Softball Marathon. However the good news is that the traditional after-game social at Ed Farabaugh’s hacienda is still a go! The tentative date is August 12th….additional details and a sign-up sheet to follow.

…..The AMBUCS board met on June 29th for the first board meeting of the new club year. Highlights from that board meeting included:

  • Two new members, Dean McKnight and Michele Lloyd were accepted into membership.
  • Alex Seltzer noted that during “Spring Roundup”, ten guests were brought to meetings and two new members added.
  • Ken Decker stated that he is making arrangements with the home owner of a property in Claysburg where we previously installed a ramp; to have it removed so that we can donate it to a family in Cassville.
  • Tim Parnell reported that National AMBUCS will provide scholarships to five local therapy students in the area that our club sponsored and that our club will provide $500 scholarships to two local therapy students for the next school year. One was Dave Aikens’ niece, Tracy and the other, Tim’s son, Caleb.
  • Ed Farabaugh announced that he has six Amtryke presentations nearing completion. Details on those presentations will be shared soon.
  • A discussion was held to find ways to increase our membership. A plan was formulated to have a team of Ambucs work on some local promotional materials to be used to solicit local businesses for them to sponsor an employee into our club.
  • A contract was reviewed and approved for the Altoona AMBUCS to provide therapy services for local individuals that cannot afford to pay for the services. The contract is for one year with a cap of $5,000. Tim Parnell and his Crossroads Physical Therapy Group will provide the services at his costs. Tim will be working with Dr. Zane Gates to identify the individuals who could benefit from these sessions. A portion of the funding for this program will be covered by the donations previously given to Easter Seals and WeCare.
  • The 2017/18 club year budget was reviewed and approved. Highlights include anticipated Project fund raising (candy sale, blood screening & grants) of about $24,000; $13,000 earmarked for Amtrykes, $5,000 set aside for the new therapy services contract with Crossroads Physical Therapy, and other projected community support of about $6,000. The budget also reflects anticipated proceeds from 3 or 4 hoagie sales and another yard sale next summer.

…..Our AMBUCS grant writer, Dave Aikens, has received word that we have been chosen to receive a grant from the Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation. The award will be presented in a special ceremony to be held on Wednesday July 12th in the Heritage Plaza, Altoona. The amount of the grant will be revealed at that presentation. Way to go Dave!

amtryke…..Remember….if you haven’t already done so, please consider becoming a member of the AMBUCS Wish Club. For just a dollar a day, you can help in getting children off of the Amtryke wish list. What better way to spend a dollar? For more information, go to the AMBUCS website at www.Ambucs.org and under the “donate” drop down menu, choose “Wish List Club”.

…..With no meeting last week the pot remains near $300. You gotta play to win!

In Closing:

eyesight

Cullen

AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for July 4, 2017

Today’s Speakers:  – – Independence Day – No Meeting – You’ll have to party on your own!fireworks

Future Speakers:

July 11thPam Mitchell – Keystone Connect

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, Jack Murray – “How Joining a Service Club Changed My Life”. Jack has been a Rotarian for 27 years and has served as their District Governor. From his years in Rotary, he understands “best practices for engaging members” and he passes along those experiences by teaching attraction and retention of members to other Rotary clubs. While Jack was impressed by the AMBUCS’ mission and the good that we do, he stated that we need to do a better job of talking to people about our club. He said that we need to get out into the community and in particular we need to attract younger members, preferably through the use of technology. The Rotary (and unfortunately also the AMBUCS) fall short on member retention. He stated a number of reasons for this….such as fewer companies sponsoring their employees for service clubs and the fact that younger people connect and socialize differently these days. Jack also noted that although the Rotary has a very good orientation program, it like many service clubs loses about 10% of their membership each year. Jack’s insightful comments spurred a good discussion among the Ambucs as a number of ideas surfaced as a means to grow the club. Ideas such as the increased use of social media and possibly a concerted effort to target young members similar to the “Breaking Barriers” effort we made in the 1990’s to attract more women into the club. Hopefully Jack’s talk will help jump start an effort to increase our membership. AMBUCS is truly a rewarding service club….we just need to spread that word!

Guests of the Day:

…..There were no guests last week.

News of the Week:

…..I’d like to thank Ashley Gay-Vocco for providing the information on last week’s speaker and the news of the week. In my absence, Ashley proved to be quite the “cub-reporter”!

…..Due to the uncertainty of the status of the “WeCare” foundation, the club has decided to forego participation in this year’s Softball Marathon. However the good news is that the traditional after-game social at Ed Farabaugh’s hacienda is still a go! The tentative date is August 12th….additional details and a sign-up sheet to follow.

…..The AMBUCS board held the first board meeting of the new club year on Thursday evening. Two new members…..Dean McKnight and Michele Lloyd…..were voted into membership and the 2017/18 club year budget was approved. Additionally an agreement on a contract with Tim Parnell and his Crossroads Physical Therapy to provide therapy services for those individuals who cannot afford the sessions has been approved. Details on these items and more will be included in next week’s bulletin.

…..July birthdays being celebrated this month include the following:

July 24th:   Natalie Depto Vesey

            July 25th:   Paul Dick and Derek Martin

            July 28th:   Dave Mason

…..Our AMBUCS grant writer, Dave Aikens, has received word that we have been chosen to receive a grant from the Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation. The award will be presented in a special ceremony to be held on Wednesday July 12th in the Heritage Plaza, Altoona. Way to go Dave!

…..Our guest speaker, Jack Murray, pulled the winning raffle ticket of Diane Carnell last week. Diane’s trip to the front table was fruitless though as she chose the Two of Spades. As you know….the Two of Spades is not a winner. You’re looking for one of those two elusive Jokers. You better plan on playing next week…the Pot’s nearing $300.

 

In Closing:  In honor of this past weekend’s release of “Despicable Me 3”, here are some of those loveable, irresistible Minion moments…..

minion-1minion-2minion-3

minion-4minion-5minion-6