The Rotary Club of
Chartered 1926
Kutztown Rotary Club
September/October 2023 Bulletin
Kutztown Rotary Club Ghost Tour 2023
The Kutztown Rotary Club wants to thank everyone who came out to enjoy the 2023 Ghost Tour. The highlight this year was the addition of the Stand Theater. A big thank you to Sandy Green and all of Kutztown Community Partnership for allowing us to add a walk through the historic Strand Theater as a stop on our tour. And thank you to Rotary members Peter and Ellen Overcast and all of the K.A.S.P.E.R. group for providing information from their investigation of the Strand to enhance the visit there. And, of course, a big thank you to Rotary member Erin Bailey for her outstanding hosting performance.
Another stop on the Ghost Tour this year included the Historical Society where Craig Koeller and Brenden Strasser gave some history and ghost stories of the Old Public School building. Make sure you stop by the Historical Society on November 11 for their annual Craft Fair to see the "screaming walls" that Craig told us about. In addition, we stopped at Kutztown University to hear the KU Paranormal Society tell us a story about the ghost of Mary that still haunts the Old Main building. Our last main stop was at the FOE building where we listened to a very scary and entertaining story by Rotary and FOE member Kurt Rohrbach.
We would very much like to thank the volunteers that made the Ghost Tour possible. This event would not be possible without the club members, community members, and friends that volunteer their time for the 2 nights of the event.
Inside the registration room, Bonnie DeLong volunteered to do Tarot readings and Ginny Ivanhoff did palm readings. Our friends from K.A.S.P.E.R. were there again to provide demonstrations of how they do paranormal investigations. 
Other stops on the tour were manned by Rotary members Meghan Reeder and Willem Hordijk and Chopper Foundation members. Tour guides included both Rotary club and community members. And, of course, a shout out to the core Ghost Tour committee members, Tom Kulp, Melissa Kirk, Ellen Overcast, Peter Overcast, Willem Hordijk, Holly Diefenderfer, and Erin Bailey.
Proceeds for the tour will go to help fund organizations in our community, including the Historical Society. We look forward to another amazing, but different, Halloween event next year. Come out and join us at a meeting to see how you can join in the fun. We meet at the Kutztown Tavern most Wednesday evenings at 6:00 for dinner and 7:00 for the meeting. Visit our website to learn more about us.
Some September Meetings
On September 6th, Jackie Seidman of the Lehigh Valley Women of Adventure came to visit us to talk about their 501(c)(3) nonprofit group that supports women in their personal growth by providing a platform for them to connect and share in outdoor experiences. Jackie started a local hiking group in August of 2022 that had grown to over 3000 women by January of 2023. The group aims to empower women in the Lehigh Valley area and beyond. Their goal is to help women prioritize themselves and their physical and mental health by encouraging them to participate in outdoor adventures with other women with similar interests. Jackie's visit to our club brought in many guests and we all were inspired by the mission of the group. Visit their website here to learn more. Lehigh Valley Women of Adventure (
On September 13th, the club welcomed Past District Governor & Women In Action team member Janet Kolepp to present a program called "Women In Action Global Grant in Kenya". Janet described the November 2022 trip by the Women in Action group in the Bethlehem Morning Star Rotary Club to Kenya to meet with partners for a global grant. Through this grant they were able to create hope by improving maternal and child health through training health care workers and modernizing the Ngaremara Health Dispensary in Isiolo County, Kenya. They also came home with more projects in hand and are planning a new trip for this January. This presentation highlighted the Rotary story of how we can connect, identify community needs and utilize grants to provide services and resources that change lives and communities in Kenya now and in the future. Visit our website and contact us to learn how you can help as well. 
Welcome Emma!
On September 20th, we welcomed our new exchange student from Denmark with a picnic at Bob and Florita's house. We had a yummy dinner and desserts followed by a presentation by Emma showing us what her life is like back home. We are so happy to have Emma with us this year and we hope she has a fabulous year in the United States.
Students of the Month for January 2024

Members of the Kutztown Rotary Club celebrated a Student of the Month ceremony on January 3rd, 2024. One student from the Kutztown Area High School and one student from the Brandywine Heights Area High School are selected by school administrators each month throughout the school year for this award based collectively on academic achievement, school participation, and community contributions.

Honored for January were Colin Hamm from Kutztown and Samantha Defrain from Brandywine Heights. The students addressed the club members at the Student of the Month Ceremony where they demonstrated qualities of exemplary students. The ceremony occurs during the Kutztown Rotary meeting on the first Wednesday of the month at the Kutztown Tavern, where the weekly meetings for the club generally take place.

Samantha Defrain is the daughter of Jennifer and Jason Defrain of Macungie, PA. Throughout high School Samantha has stayed involved in Jazz Band and the Marching Band. Over the years she has been an active participant in Girl Scouts and the past year became a volunteer leader. One of Samantha's special interest is juggling and has been an officer for the high school Juggling Club since 2021. She stays busy working at the Bear Creek Mountain Resort, performing a variety of different responsibilities from
working in the Mountain Eatery to serving guests at the Snowsports Desk. Upon graduation Samantha plans on attending Kutztown University for a 4+1 masters program for computer science.





Colin Hamm is the son of Dale and Dawn Hamm of Kutztown, PA. Over the years in high school Colin has stayed active as a leader and mentor; he has been a BCTC Student Ambassador 2022-2024, KAHS Senior Class Mentor 2023-2024, National Technical Honor Society 2022-2024 and this year the Senior Class President. Since 2021 he has been busy with high school golf and baseball. Colin has been busy working at the Moselem Springs Golf Coarse and working doing home improvements with a small company in Kutztown. He also is a Junior volunteer firefighter at the Topton Fire Company. When he has free time he enjoys golfing and working on wood projects. After graduation Colin plans to go to the Pennsylvania College of Technology. Then one day become a project manager.


Holiday Service Event
On November 29th, 2023, the club held our holiday service event where we filled 12 holiday boxes for Friend, Inc to distribute to families in need this holiday season. Each member brought in a component for the boxes, which were decorated and filled at the meeting. We had a lot of fun sorting the food and adding it to the boxes. Please visit our website to learn how you can join in the fun!.
When Not at Work - Members at Play
Along with serving the community, members of the Kutztown Rotary Club like to be social. We do social hour meetings throughout the year, we have movie club meetings at area venues (which are turning into Friday night social meetings, LOL), and enjoy activities with other clubs. 
This month, we visited the Kutztown Beneficial Association for the music benefit and took home 3 of the raffle basket prizes (see picture below) and played pool at New Jerusalem  (see picture below) and at Kurt's house. 
Visit our calendar on our website to learn where you can find us and come out to see how we do good and have fun!
Member spotlight - Ralph Capristo
Member spotlight this month is Ralph Capristo. Below is a bio provided by Ralph. 
I was born and raised in Bear Creek, Pennsylvania which is in Luzerne County. I went to school at Bear Creek Elementary, Plains Junior High School and Coughlin High School. As a boy, I was fortunate to grow up in a very close family and a family business surrounded by not only my parents and brother but also my grandparents and an uncle.
After graduating high school, I attended Penn State University and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. After graduating in 2006 I began my career in banking, managing retail bank branches at M&T Bank. In 2010, I graduated from Misericordia University with an MBA. Within a few months of earning my MBA, I moved to Las Vegas and pursued a career in Commercial Banking at US Bank and Corporate Banking at Umpqua Bank. The experience of moving across the country and working in wholesale banking was incredible. In addition to being a banker, I became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ in 2016.
In 2019, my wife and I decided to move back to Pennsylvania as I had an opportunity to become self-employed and partner full time with my brother, Anthony and childhood best friend, David in our financial planning firm. Our firm was founded in 2005 by David but was rebranded in 2017 as Forthright Wealth Planning. I joined full time in April of 2019. Our firm specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning services to families and businesses. We manage a national client base of more than 1,000 families. 
In my free time I enjoy being with my family, working out, playing golf, watching the New York Yankees and traveling. In addition to being a member of the Kutztown Rotary, I was also a member of the Henderson Rotary when I lived in Nevada. I’ve also spent some time volunteering with Junior Achievement, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Penn State Vegas Alumni Association. Currently, I also sit on the Misericordia University Business Department Advisory Council and was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce.
Throughout my life I’ve been fortunate to make many friends and meet my wife, Allison. Allison and I have two young children Ralphie (3) and Caroline (1). They are without a doubt the best thing that has ever happened to me. We moved to Kutztown in 2022.
Club Information
Welcome to Kutztown Rotary
Service Above Self
Wednesdays at 6:00 PM
Kutztown Tavern-Club Room
272 West Main Street
Kutztown, PA 19530
United States of America
6 PM to Order Dinner 7 PM Meeting Start Time
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Upcoming Events
Officer installation
Camp Edmar
Jun 19, 2024
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Member inductions and classifications
Kutztown Tavern club room
Jun 26, 2024
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
No meeting for the 4th of July holiday
Jul 03, 2024
Club Assembly
Kutztown Tavern club room
Jul 10, 2024
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
100 Anniversary committee meeting
Bob And Florita's house
Jul 16, 2024
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Club meeting, topic TBC
Kutztown Tavern club room
Jul 17, 2024
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Social event (TBD)
Jul 24, 2024
Meet the new District Govenor
Kutztown Tavern club room
Jul 31, 2024
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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