By John Luttenberger
In this second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Philadelphia Regional Chapter continues to meet virtually on the second Saturday morning of each month, using the FreeConferenceCall.com telephone service. Members appreciate the opportunity to interact with each other as they conduct the chapter’s ongoing business. Back in November 2020, the chapter voted to suspend its elections, and to extend all officers’ terms by one year.
At the end of 2020, the chapter sent holiday greetings and a $10 Wawa gift card to each local member; our one out-of-state member’s holiday greeting contained a 7-Eleven gift card.
In January 2021, Treasurer John Anderson informed us that we had raised $330 for our end-of-year holiday charity, Shriners Hospital of Philadelphia, in memory of former PRC President Patricia A. Russell, who passed away in 2018. The funds were sent to Shriners Hospital in February.
Prompted by questions from president Brotman, members mentioned favorite holiday gifts they’d received, and their plans for 2021.
In February, the meeting’s opening prayer was given by our newly-appointed Chaplain, Dianne Davis.
We voted to present Lavera Diggins with a PRC Life Membership. Lavera, who recently celebrated her 90th birthday, has been a member of this chapter since 1985, and had served as our Treasurer for 31 years.
Pam Shaw commenced our celebration of Black History Month by reading a portion of a proclamation issued by former President Barack Obama in February 2015. We then heard brief presentations from four members, speaking about a black person of note each had chosen. Vivian Williams closed our celebration by singing one of Marian Anderson’s most popular spirituals, “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child.”
In March, Pam Shaw, Joe Sickora and Bette Passanante-Rodriguez reported on the virtual ACB Legislative Seminar and its legislative imperatives for this year, which took place February 22-24.
Our guest speaker was PCB President Christine Hunsinger, who spoke to us about the February 22 ACB Affiliate Presidents meeting.
In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish, We began by recognizing a chapter member whose birthday falls on “the day” (March 17). Bette Passanante-Rodriguez sang an Irish Satire song by Robbie O’Connell. President Brotman read an Irish poem, “An Irish Blessing.” John Luttenberger shared some facts about St. Patrick’s life, followed by some Irish humor. Bette Passanante-Rodriguez sang another song by Robbie O’Connell about an Irish American fantasizing about his return to Ireland in triumph.
In April, we congratulated PRC members Alton and Diane Davis as they celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary this month.
In celebration of National Poetry Month, poems and songs were presented by Dan Simpson, Ethel Siegel, Pam Shaw, Diane Davis, John Luttenberger, Eleanor Kraczyk, Lavera Diggins, Ed Facemyer, Daisy Morgan, Bette Homer, and Robert Sulkin. This part of the meeting was made available on the PCB Info Line for the month of May, thanks to chapter member Ed Facemyer.
In May, PCB Parliamentary Team member John Luttenberger reviewed deadlines for submission of proposed PCB Bylaw amendments and resolutions changes for the 2021 PCB Conference.
Our guest speaker was Maggie Feldon, a nurse from Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Inc., who spoke on non-24.
Looking to the future — with vaccinations well under way, and ever fewer restrictions on gatherings of all kinds — we eagerly await the day when PRC can again gather in person for its meetings.