The Rotary Group Vocational Service Exchange Team (GVSE) from Australia Rotary District 9640 visited with our District 7390 Groups A & B the last week of April after their arrival in Harrisburg on April 23rd. The thumbnail image (click to enlarge) is the club banner exchange at the three club meeting on April 28. Left to right: Mechanicsburg North Club President Amy Spotts, West Shore Club President Joe McNally, GVSE Team Leader Rotarian Bron Lacy, Nadia Venzke, Renee Garske, Jo Bell, Caitlin Reid, and GVSE Group A Coordinator Tom Burson (Mechanicsburg Club).
The Rotary Group Vocational Service Exchange Team (GVSE) from Australia Rotary District 9640 visited with our District 7390 Groups A & B the last week of April after their arrival in Harrisburg on April 23rd. They had spent the first three days of their trip in New York and arrived in Harrisburg via Amtrak where they were met by their host families and others.
After spending time with their host families on Saturday and Sunday, they were given a Welcome Party and the home of Rotarian Tom Burson.
On Monday they spent the day in Hershey where they visited the M. S. Hershey medical Center, Ronald McDonald House, the Milton S. Hershey School, and Chocolate World. They presented their program to the Hershey Club at noon.
Tuesday was Vocational Day where each team member spent time with people and organizations most closely related to their profession thereby providing and opportunity for some one-on-one exchange of ideas. They concluded the day by gathering with the Harrisburg Keystone Club for their "happy hour" club meeting.
Wednesday was spent visiting places in the Mechanicsburg area. They visited the Cumberland Perry Area Vocational Technical School (CPAVTS) and had the opportunity to learn about many of the 22 trades taught there. (Team pictured at left with tour guide Rotarian Justin Brhun and principal Lesli Shuman). They went on to Mission Central and learned how that non-profit organization ministers to many in need both locally and internationally by providing warehousing and logistics for many cooperating organizations.
At noon the team had lunch with and courtesy of Mechanicsburg Mayor Jack Ritter and some of this "magical" friends. (Pictured at right; back row: Rotarian Tom Burson, Mike Gonyea, Nadia Venzke, Renee Garske, Frank Bianco, Mayor Jack Ritter, Rotarian Dave Burns; seated: Jo Bell, GVSE Team Leader Rotarian Bron Lacy, Sharon Harold, and Caitlin Reid). After that they visited the Simpson Public library and got to see the beautifully restored building with its extensive library tailored to the needs of the community and the ever changing ways of reading and communicating.
Next was The Oaks Museum at Messiah College which is a natural history museum with Smithsonian quality animals of Africa and North America along with mineral collection and an extensive bird egg collection. They wrapped up the day relaxing at the Market Cafe at Wegmans.
On Thursday, they were the program at a joint Rotary Club meeting of Mechanicsburg, Mechanicsburg North, and West Shore Clubs. The team then went on to Carlisle and visited the Cumberland County Historical Society and the town before presenting their program to the Carlisle Club. Afterwards they visited the Carlisle Barracks and the Army War College and the Army Heritage and Education Center.  They concluded the day with a reception at Market Cross Pub hosted by the Carlisle Sunrise Club.
Friday took the team to Harrisburg for a tour of the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building, the State Museum, and Fort Hunter. Lunch was at Duke's Bar & Grill hosted by the Harrisburg Club. The afternoon included a tour of the John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion and some conversation time at Little Amps Coffee Roasters.
On Saturday, the team participated in the YWCA Greater Harrisburg, Race Against Racism which was the team's fund raiser and they helped with guiding the racers along their course. In the afternoon the team transferred to their next set of host families from District Groups F & G in the Lancaster area for week two.
The team will spend their third week with District Group H in the York area, and then their fourth week with District Group D in the Hanover/Gettysburg area. There will be a farewell party for the team on May 20th, and they depart our district on May 21st.