During its first ten years, the West End Rotary Club has made a difference in hundreds of ways. Find out how in a brief excerpt from the club's history book.


In 1987, Wes Brush moved from New Jersey to Effort, Pennsylvania, and began looking for a Rotary club. After visiting a few clubs in the area, he became convinced that the West End of Monroe County deserved a club of its own.


Wes recruited an advertising representative from the local newspaper, Ron Dietrich, and another transplant from New Jersey, Bob Wilson. With the help of PDG Bill Huffman of the Stroudsburgs club, the three began to recruit. By the end of September 1987, the group began holding provisional meetings at the Chestnuthill Diner near Brodheadsville.


Interest in the organization continued to grow. With the support of then District Governor William Biniek and the sponsorship of the Stroudsburgs club, the West End Rotary Club was chartered on January 29, 1988.


The charter members and officers are:


President                                  Wes Brush

President-elect                          Ron Dietrich
First vice president                    Tom Kresge

Secretary                                  Terri Zinn

Treasurer                                  Leona Wood

Sgt. at Arms                             Parker Lindsay

Directors                                  Michael Scovil

                                                Stan Roberts

                                                Ross Blakeslee

                                                Jeff Cohen


The new club covered the townships of Chestnuthill, Eldred, Polk and Ross in the Pleasant Valley School District plus Hamilton and Jackson. That territory has now expanded to include areas in the Palmerton School District in neighboring Carbon County.


Have we made a difference in more than a decade? Our club historian, Larry Walsh, thinks so. He summarized the club's achievements in The First Ten Years, a book that documents the contributions of West End Rotarians:

The Monroe County unit of the Easter Seals Society has received more than $18,000 to invest in programs and materials to help the handicapped.
More than 1,500 people have participated in our health fairs.
Hundreds of youngsters have laughed and smiled at our annual circus and holiday shows.
Seventeen high school seniors shared $13,000 in college scholarship funds.
The sons of Parker Lindsay, orphaned by a tragic fire, have a $30,000 scholarship fund to help assure their future.


And there were the big projects, too. In 1998, responding to a devastating hurricane in Honduras, the West End Club led the drive to collect and distribute food, clothing and shelter to residents there. The following year, when a hurricane flooded the coast of North Carolina, the club mounted a second community-wide campaign to collect supplies. Sue LaFever and Tom Jenkins led those respective drives.


We have also provided the intangiblesÃÆ'Ã┼'Ã+'ÃÆ''Ã'Ã'¢?"the fellowship, the leadershipÃÆ'Ã┼'Ã+'ÃÆ''Ã'Ã'¢?"that make this a better place to live.


We have made a difference.