Donna Marie Barna was installed as the 100th President of the Rotary Club of Hazleton, Wednesday, June 24th, Emily’s Bed & Breakfast, Lattimer.  A more formal dinner installation is scheduled for July 22nd at Valley Country Club.
“It was a very unusual experience to hold a Rotary Induction as a Zoom meeting, wearing masks, but it’s important to us that the club continue to move forward as much as it can in these difficult times” says the new President.
Donna has been a member of the Rotary Club of Hazleton for 15 years and was sponsored for membership by her father, Gene Dougherty.
Donna took an active role in all club activities, often serving as chairwoman.  Those committees included Kidz Coatz, Spaghetti Dinner, Night at the Races, Rotary Wine & Beer Festival, and the Centennial Committee. She was also a member of the Rotary Foundation Board of Directors
She just completed her term as President of the Hazleton Library Board and was also President of the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce.
Donna says, “My goals for the upcoming year are to celebrate Rotary’s 100 years by having a Centennial Gala, to raise additional monies that will go back into our community.  As a club we are planning to kick off our Centennial March 20, 2021 and the ten months preceding that we will be doing monthly projects in our community.”
“Building the Rotary Membership is also one of my goals.  It is a wonderful club and we do so much, not only for the community, but in forming the close friendships we make with other Rotary Members.  We all have something to share with one another.” she adds.
Mrs. Barna is the President of Billig-Helmes Insurance Agency Associates.  She is the fifth-generation owner of the business currently located at 200 West 21st Street in Hazleton.
She graduated from Bishop Hafey High School and Johnson & Wales Culinary School. She resides in Hazleton with her husband David J. Barna and they have a son, David, who flew in from Florida to be a part of his mother’s special day.
She is honored to be continuing a family legacy by accepting the position of President of the Hazleton Rotary Club. Her father, Eugene Dougherty, served as Club President in 2001.  Her grandfather, Joseph M. Dougherty, was President of The Top of the Pocono’s Rotary Club in Blakeslee in 1965, and her brother, David Dougherty, was President of the Williamsport Rotary Club in 2004.
Donna officially took over the reins of the club on June 24, 2020.  Other officers are:   President Elect, Jason Brenner; Vice President, Jim Kelshaw; Secretary, Lani Drobnock; Treasurer, Pat Owens; Sergeant-at-Arms-Pat Ward and 1st Past President, Alan Whitaker.  Members of the Board are Toni Christman, Tim Genetti, Lisa Marie Halecky, Cal Herring, Pat Korb, Michele Kushmeder, Joe Lettiere, Kim McNulty, and Stephen Seach.   Lisa Marie Halecky will continue as Webmaster and Pat Korb as Publicity Coordinator.
For more information on Rotary Club activities, go to the club’s website and the Rotary Facebook page, Rotary Club of Hazleton.