Service Above Self for Over a Century
by Cate Murway
Just a little over 110 years ago, the Rotary began as the brainchild of attorney Paul P. Harris. His goal was to create a professional group exuding the same friendly spirit he felt in the small towns of his youth. On February 23, 1905, Harris along with Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram Shorey convened in Loehr’s downtown Chicago office for the first Rotary club meeting. They agreed to call the new club “Rotary” based on the practice of rotating meeting locations.
In 1912, the name changed to International Association of Rotary Clubs, reflecting the addition of clubs in other countries. The name Rotary International was adopted in 1922.
By July 1925, this “grass-roots organization consisting of business professionals and community leaders that volunteer time, talent and resources in order to remedy vital community needs” had grown to more than 2,000 clubs, an estimated 108,000 members on six continents.
Bristol Rotarians continue to pool their resources and use their talents to serve their communities. The organization is comprised of a diverse group of individuals, business owners and management-level employees, who live and/or work in the Bristol area. They are dedicated to this ideal, best expressed in its motto: Service Above Self.
In 1932, Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor created ‘The Four-Way Test’. Activities as Rotarians are guided by the principles which have been translated into more than 100 languages.
Of the things we think, say or do
Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?
Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Last Tuesday evening in the Rumors Wine Bar at the King George Inn, President of Raising the Bar, the Borough’s Economic Development Committee/author of historical fictions, Anna’s Boys, Stealing Tomatoes and Homegrown, William M. “Bill” Pezza was honored as the first recipient of the annual Anthony Messina Citizen of the Year Award.
His leadership and service has been a driving and a most influential force in laying the groundwork behind the revitalization of historic Bristol on the Delaware.
He has served in elected positions on Borough Council, the Bristol Borough School Board and has served on the Borough Zoning Board, as an aide to State Representative Tom Corrigan, and on the Columbus 500 Committee.
“One of Bill's most endearing talents is his ability to present a positive and professional image as Bristol Borough's spokesman.”
Thank you Bill Pezza, for your “Service Above Self”.
Bill was also previously named the Bristol Lions’ “2003 Citizen of the Year”.
In addition to receiving the Anthony Messina Citizen of the Year Award, The Rotary donated $250.00 in Bill’s name to the charity of his choice. ‘Keeping It Local’, Bill’s recipient preference was the Food Pantry in Bristol Borough.
Leighann Pezza praised her dad, “Congratulations Dad! I enjoyed both your humble acceptance speech praising the entire Raising the Bar committee and your beautiful tribute to Mr. Messina. You made us proud!”
The treasured Anthony Messina Citizen of the Year Award is in honor of U.S. Army Air Corps veteran Anthony Messina. Tony was a member and past President of the Rotary, where he held every office at one time or another, and is credited with almost 60 years of perfect attendance. He was a well-respected businessman who built an impeccable reputation through hard-work, honesty, and dedication to his work. In recent years Tony benevolently acted as the club Elder, knowledgeable in how things were handled historically and how they should continually be handled so as to adhere to the Rotary International bylaws.
Jim Sell, Rotary Board member and former president [twice]/ executive director of BCCC Lower Bucks Campus announced, “He was a gentleman and kind to all who knew him.”
The criteria for the Anthony Messina Citizen of the Year award is that the recipient must be from the Bristol Borough Community, must demonstrate Community Involvement, and must exhibit dedicated leadership in the Bristol Borough Community. This Anthony Messina Citizen of the Year Award will only be awarded to members of the Bristol community who are not in the Rotary Club of Bristol.
Congratulations were expressed also to Lorraine Susan Prostoff, formally installed as the first female president in The Rotary Club of Bristol’s 91 year history. Lorraine, the CFO/Controller at Action Manufacturing Company, was introduced to the Rotary just one year ago by Vice President, JoAnna Schneyder.
Lorraine and outgoing President, Patrick Clark,
after being genuinely thanked for his service, awarded the  2015 Rotary Club of Bristol Scholarships to the following students from Bristol:
Faith Carroll, Josh Maldanado and Christopher Shapcott, Bristol Borough High School; Paula Klonica, a GED recipient; and Janvi Thakore, Bucks County Technical High School.
The Lisa McCusker Scholarship was awarded to Olivia Wright, Truman High School and Daulton Brady, Bucks County Community College was named for The Anthony Messina Scholarship.
The Rotary Club of Bristol sincerely thanks and recognizes the Messina Family and Fidelity Savings. When long-time member Anthony Messina passed away last fall, the Messina family charitably named the Rotary Club of Bristol’s scholarship as the beneficiary of donations in Tony’s name. Fidelity Savings, where Mr. Messina was a board member, generously matches the donations, assuring that the Rotary could grant the Anthony Messina Scholarship on an annual basis.
New members bring new energy, resources, and generally facilitate the Rotary’s ability to achieve even so much more. Janine A. Allan and Dr. Jennifer M. Allan of Messina Realty were inducted, carrying on the family tradition of being a part of the Rotary Club of Bristol.
The role of the Rotary is to implement and encourage the development of projects.
Jim Sell confirmed, “Everyone works hard and plays hard.”
Their opportunities for service to the community have included the Food Pantry Drive, Operation Warm Coat [for Bristol Borough children in need of winter coats], sponsoring a College Financial Planning Night at BBHS, Salvation Army Bell Ringing [outside of Wal-Mart in December], Spaghetti Dinner Scholarship Fundraisers, Career Panel/Networking Luncheon at BCCC Lower Bucks Campus, Fundraiser Gala events with Lions, BBBA, and the Bristol Economic Development Committee to benefit RTB Activities, International Projects to help those in need in other countries, and raising funds at the Annual Historic Bristol Day in October for the PolioPlus Fund.
The Rotary Club of Bristol will be holding its 22nd Annual Golf Classic on Monday, October 5, 2015 at the Yardley Country Club. This proud and engaged community has worked tirelessly and continues to show their amazing generosity to our local students as the proceeds support scholarships for deserving high school graduates residing in the Borough.
Company and personal sponsorships are available, so there is still time to help their mission.
This year's event is an especially important one. The Bristol Rotary celebrates its 91st year of providing service to the Bristol community and two outstanding individuals, Thomas Profy III and Joseph F. Hetherington who have gone above and beyond in service to our community, will be honored.
The Rotary meetings are held every Wednesday at 12:15pm at Georgine's Restaurant, 1320 Newport Road, Bristol, PA 19007.
Make it personal. To join in these efforts to help the Bristol youth by becoming a member of the organization, to participate in the golf outing, or to make a donation, contact: Jim Sell 267.685.4801 or Joshua Klein 215.788.3363.
Bristol Rotary Club
P.O. Box 313
Bristol, PA 19007