July 13, 2023

Jennifer Jones
RI President 2022-23
David Houtz
District 7450 Governor

Swarthmore Rotary Leaders

Lori Markusfeld
Brian Casey
Club Executive Secretary
Joseph Patrick Lesniak
George C. Whitfield Jr.
Jane C Billings
Youth Services Chair
Elizabeth Churche
Rotary Foundation Chair
Perri Ann Evanson
Public Relations Chair
Carr Everbach
Membership Chair
David Firn
Service Projects Chair
William Clinton Hale
Jeannine Osayande
Youth Services Chair
Hillard Pouncy
Club Programs Chair
Heather Saunders
iPast President
Joshua Twersky
Club Director
Kenneth J. Wright
Club Director
Maria Michael Zissimos
Club Director
Cathleen Darrell
Attendance Secretary
Richard Shimko
Bulletin Editor
Hillard Pouncy
Assistant Governor

Happy Dollars

pledge $3,647
2021-2022 $4,476

Rotary Celebrations!


Heather Saunders
July 13th

Wedding Anniversaries

No Wedding Anniversaries Found

Years of Service

Maria Michael Zissimos
12 Years

Guests Last Meeting


Meetings and Events

July 13th, 12:15-1:30 PM
Swarthmore Weekly Club Meeting
Speaker: Marty Spiegel, Mayor, Swarthmore PA
Subject: Mayor's Address
July 20th, 12:15-1:30 PM
Swarthmore Weekly Club Meeting
Speaker: Rev. Catherine Brownlee, Pastor, Wesley AME Church
Subject: Wesley AME Church, Swarthmore: Over 100 Years of Resilience.
July 27th, 12:15-1:30 PM
Swarthmore Weekly Club Meeting
Speaker: Ellen & Christopher Chapman
Subject: Swarthmoreans in Oz: Impressions from a do-it-yourself gap year

4 Way Test

Of the things we think, say or do
  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Last Meeting Summary

By Sarah Pita

Pat Francher, Manager of the Swarthmore Farmers Market and 2023 Swarthmore Rotary Volunteer of the Year, spoke to the Swarthmore Rotary Club on June 29. Originally from upstate New York, Pat and his wife Donna have lived in Swarthmore since 1990. Since retiring in 2015, he has served on the Swarthmore Town Center Board and led Swarthmore 21, which successfully changed the borough’s alcohol policies in 2017. In 2016 he joined the Farmers Market as operations manager, and in 2020 took on the role of Farmers Market manager.
The Swarthmore Farmers Market started in 2006, and is administered by Farm To City, a nonprofit that runs fifteen farmers’ markets in the Philadelphia area. The Swarthmore Farmers’ Market runs on Saturdays from 9:00-12:00, May 13-November 19 and is the only fully volunteer-staffed market in the area. The Market works with 32 different vendors, featuring a weekly children’s program and high quality arts and live music. It has been repeatedly recognized as an exceptional farmers’ market: from 2016-19 one of the best farmers markets in the US; from 2020-21 best in PA; and in 2022 best in Delaware County.

Pat structured his talk around the questions he is most often asked as volunteer manager of the market, which included the following:
Why is the farmers market not run year-round? The farmers’ market is run entirely by volunteers. Cold weather is substantially less pleasant for the volunteers who run the market, and the variety of fresh food being grown decreases substantially, leaving a mix of frozen and artisan goods. Meanwhile, the nearby Media market operates year-round. Further, 12 of our vendors also sell at the Swarthmore Coop, so their wares can still be found there during the off-season. The market runs until the Saturday before Thanksgiving, after which we use the time for planning, vendor and volunteer recruitment, supply ordering, and arranging the rotating community tent, which experiences high demand for its limited slots.
So what’s your job? Doesn’t this all just run itself? [Laughs] My job involves planning for the season, working with the Swarthmore town center on budgeting and collaboration, and coordinating with Farm to City on recruiting, vetting, selecting, and scheduling vendors. I oversee SNAP and Swarthmore College OneCard, recruit volunteers, artists, and community members, and respond to communications about the farmers market in the press and social media. The main goal is to keep the farmers market hassle-free and fun, and provide access to good, fresh food.
Who are the vendors? Our vendors all come from a radius of 150 miles. Beechwood, the apple vendor, is 135 miles away and is our largest vendor. All of them are independent operations - we don’t have corporate farms. The food artisans are mom-and-pop operations that adhere to quality standards as vetted by Farm to City. We are actively working on recruiting more women and minority-owned vendors. We also feature an artist of the week and musical performers, and have a kids' activity, which is wildly popular.
How are you doing with eliminating plastic bags? Last year, we collected about 650 donated cloth bags from the community for people who need them, and have mostly used those donated bags. We are currently collecting more, and are also investigating the possibility of businesses who might be interested in donating branded bags. The plastic bag rule will become law in January 2024, so we need to be prepared.
Does the Farmer’s Market compete with the Coop? No. We’ve studied this, and have found that, if anything, the Farmer’s Market boosts Coop business by attracting people into the neighborhood who then finish their shopping there.
Does the Farmers Market need volunteers? Yes, the Farmers Market needs volunteers to help with set-up from 7:30-9 AM or tear down from 11:45 AM to 12:45 PM. Rotarians are needed to come help out. Dave Firn has a sign-up genius out for volunteers.

Rotary at the July 4 celebration

Here are photos of Swarthmore Rotary at the July 4 celebration. Photos thanks to Marv Gelb and Carr Everbach.

www.SwarthmoreRotary.org ----------------- www.Facebook.com/SwarthmoreRotary ------------------ www.SwarthmoreFair.org