Rotary Club of Westbrook-Gorham


May 26, 2015
Jaime Parker - Trail Manager Portland Trails
Trail expansion/enhancement opportunities in Westbrook
Jun 02, 2015
Jun 16, 2015
Lawrence Furbish DG 2014-15 & Tony Wagner ADG
Rotary District 7780 Governor Remarks
Aug 04, 2015

Upcoming Events



Presumpscot Scribbler 5-17
May 17, 2015
Presumpscot Scribbler 5-10
May 10, 2015
Presumpscot Scribbler 5-4
May 04, 2015

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Club Information

Welcome to our Club!

Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 11:30 AM
Westbrook Regional Vocational Center
125 Stroudwater St
Culinary Arts Dining Room
Westbrook, ME  04092
United States
District Site
Venue Map

Home Page Stories

Come participate in this celebration of student achievement and see the awarding of our Rotary 2015 scholarships and toolships - Thursday May 21st 7PM in the Westbrook High School auditorium.

What: Rotarian elbow grease – painting, moving some light furniture, and cleaning
When: May 28th and 29th - 10 am to 4 pm both days (any amount of time you can offer is greatly appreciated)
Where: My Place Teen Center, 755 Main St, Westbrook, ME
Contact: Donna Dwyer 854-2800
Also, don’t miss the Red Door Yard Sale on May 30th at MPTC 10AM.   If you would like to donate items, contact Tina Burns at 854-2800.

This week we are featuring the Gorham RYLA 2015 participants, sophomores Noah Bird and Kara Ellsmore.
Noah is an all-star goalie for the GHS ice hockey team, and a longtime volunteer with Maine Special Olympics. Kara is a high honors student who plays volleyball and Tennis. She founded and is president of the GHS chapter of Girl Up, a worldwide organization that is part of the United Nations Foundation that invests in girls to change the world.
Congratulations to these two deserving students from Gorham!

Each “trade” group who does some aspect of the work on our house projects was represented at our luncheon today: Building Trades, Drafting, Heavy Equipment Operation, Electricity, and Commercial Drivers (CDL).  The instructors introduced their discipline, then each student stood up and introduced themselves.  The seniors told us a bit about their future plans. Some will be going directly into the workforce and several will be going to college in the fall.  Students in attendance hailed from all of the schools served by WRVC: Westbrook, Gorham, Windham, Bonny Eagle, and Scarborough.
We learned that the dry wall is up in House and the home was being vinyl sided that week (see new pictures in ).  We also learned that the Electrical students are working on an overhaul of the Dunn Street Legion Hall with materials donated by Home Depot and Lowes.

To all members, your help is needed to make our participation in Westbrook Together Days a success!!   As you patronize our local restaurants, sandwich shops, cafes and coffee shops, please consider asking them to donate gift cards to promote literacy. Any denomination is welcome - $5, $10, $20, $25.   
During Westbrook Together Days, anyone donating a new or gently used baby, children or young adult book will secure one entry per book donated in our drawing. Please share this information with family and friends.
Please bring any donations to our weekly meetings or contact Julie Hamm or Christine Johnson for pick up.

Gorham High School students Kristen and James Bensen, along with Darren Bantz from Stroudwater Christian Church, fresh off a mission trip to Guatemala, were are guests and speakers on May 5.  Fourteen teens, along with six chaperones representing five local high schools visited eight different villages to deliver baby chicks and feed directly to villagers. The students who went on the trip helped raise the funds used to purchase the chicks and feed in-country.

Each family received 3 chicks and a bag of feed to raise them until they are large enough to eat. With the shortage of food in general and abundance of predators, raising chicks for egg laying is not feasible without a larger investment. The cost was about $12 per family, and about 100 families were given chicks during this most recent trip.

The current house is coming along nicely with a projected completion date of late fall.  Check out recent photos in the Photo Albums section of our website: and click on "start slide show".

Westbrook-Gorham Rotary will be participating in Westbrook Together Days this year. We’ll be setting up a “booth” with tables, banner, and signs.  The intent of our booth is to encourage folks to contribute new or gently used children’s books for distribution in the community as part of our upcoming district-wide literacy project.  To encourage those donations, we’ll be giving away various restaurant gift certificates in a drawing. 
We are asking members to help obtain gift certificates of any denomination.  If you know a local restauranteur or frequent a local restaurant, please ask if they’ll help.  All levels from fine dining to coffee shops are welcome.  
We’ll also plan to have material available that speaks to Rotary and our club available for all who stop by.  

Pam Turner, Library Director at Baxter Memorial Library, joined us on April 28.  She told us about the upcoming summer literacy initiative, Gorham Reads.
Baxter Memorial Library, North Gorham Public Library and the School Dept have joined forces to get kids in Gorham reading this summer.   All grades from K-12 are targeted, with a particular focus on K-5.  K-5 kids will receive a back pack that will include a book, library card application and reading list.  It will also include a game card, a kind of literacy bingo with activities to check off.  Each completed card returned will be entered for prizes.
The Baxter Library underwent a major expansion in 2003.  They are open 43 hours a week, including hours on Saturday with 6 full time and 5 part time employees.  They currently have about 7500 registered borrowers and an annual budget of $486K, of which $21K is for books.  In addition to books, they also lend DVDs, Blue Ray and Magazines, and have several well-used public computers. If you are not a Gorham resident, you can join for $30 a year per household.  


Each spring, on the day observed in New England as Patriots Day, the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club sponsors a road race exclusively for high school runners. Franklin Emery initiated the race (We believe in 1948) to provide high school students their own event to coincide with the Portland Boys Club 5-miler and the Boston Marathon, each celebrating the legendary ride of Paul Revere. 2015 was the 66th running of this event.


2015 Results

Boys Team: Scarborough

Girls Team: Westbrook


Local Boys Winner: Luther Williams, Westbrook

Local Girls Winner: Halee Phelps, Westbrook


Top Boy: Jacob Terry, Scarborough

Top Girl: Halee Phelps, Westbrook


Jeff Rousselle, Sales and Marketing Manager of 24 Trauma Restore, was our guest and speaker on April 14.  24Restore is a Massachusetts-based, full service disaster restoration company specializing in restoring homes and commercial properties to their pre-loss condition.  They have experience working with angry, grieving and stressed people. They try to minimize demolition, fully document the process, and make sure restoration is done the right way.
They currently have operations in all New England states and are expanding into in NY. They remain an owner operated company, not a franchise, as a means to maintain quality control. They clean up after disasters like fire, water damage, mold, unattended death, meth labs, and biohazards. They also do reconstruction in which they use their own forces and are always interested in partnering with local contractors.  They aim to be a one stop shop for any type of loss.
This past winter, ice dams have created a lot of work. Many people don’t understand that while insurance will pay for damage done, they won’t pay for upgrades to a roof to permanently resolve the problem.   Other contamination items they have experience with include roach mitigation and skunk removal and clean up.  They have a special room in one of their Massachusetts facilities where they can clean and remove smells from clothing and fabrics.
Deb Shangraw praised Jeff and his company for their great work in properties she manages and for their strong local support of Toys for Tots and Teens.
For more information:

We are pleased to report that Mike Foley and Jessica Champagne are expecting a baby boy on September 29.  Congratulations to Mike and Jessica!

Stu Simon, Development Director, and Tony Doman, President of the Board of Directors of Port Resources, were our guests and speakers on March 31.   Port Resources provides services and programs to people with developmental disabilities and behavioral health challenges. They are dedicated to empowering people to live meaningful and fulfilled lives in their communities. They have 22 group homes around Cumberland County, including 5 in Gorham, serving about 90 people. Much of their funding has come from the state through Maine Care.  However, the state is now moving towards funding group homes only for the profoundly disabled.
Port Resources offers community outreach services, like outpatient counseling and life skills training, to about 300-400 people. They also work with people who have autism and Down’s syndrome.  In addition, they offer professional training and software development.  Their training arm offers training for CNAs and for Direct Support Providers who work in homecare.  They train both their own personnel and those of other social services organizations.  All of these offerings are a means of diversifying their services and revenue streams to support their group homes as state funding priorities change.
Port Resources is located on Gannett Dr in South Portland.   They accept donations of cash, goods and volunteer labor, including their Adopt-A-Home program.  For those wishing to donate goods, they have Our Wish List to identify needed items.    Upcoming Fundraising event: April 14, 4-9PM, Flatbread’s Pizza, Commercial St Portland.  A donation will be made for each pizza sold.
Read more about Port Resources on their website at:

Six Rotarians from Westbrook-Gorham joined approximately 170 other Rotarians at the District Assembly at York County Community College in Wells on Saturday March 28.   For large clubs, Oxford Hills had the highest percentage of attendees per capita with 13.  For small clubs, Yarmouth had the highest percentage of about one third with 5 attendees.
DGE Sheila Rollins welcomed attendees and thanked them for giving up a Saturday.  Claudia Frost of the Brunswick club offered a Rotary moment related to their Global Grant which will train teaches in Zambia to recognize common childhood illnesses so they can be treated early. John Dennen Brunswick Coastal spoke about community service and Sheila’s request that Clubs join forces with at least one other club in their ADG area to complete a service project. Finally, PDG Ann Lee Hussey provided an update on the fight against polio.  While there have been some recent setbacks, the fight goes on with particular emphasis on Pakistan where 90% of recently reported cases have occurred. With the double match by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, up to $35M annually, our dollars donated can go farther than ever before.   She challenged each club to make a commitment to Polio Plus in 2015-2016.
Attendees then participated in three 40 minute break out sessions. Sessions included Global Grants, Rotary Leadership Institute, volunteer mentoring in restorative justice, youth programs, action groups, training for protection officers, the role of the club Foundation chair, and District Grants, among other topics.
After lunch, attendees were treated to a presentation on building a team by Ed Joyce, an educator who has spent the past 40 plus years helping people of all ages to allow their confidence and competence as successful learners and leaders to emerge in whatever fields they seek to pursue. Using humor and keen observations developed during his career in Boston Public Schools and subsequent consulting career, he kept the audience engaged and laughing. 
The assembly closed with DG Lawrence Furbish presenting two videos encouraging attendance at this year’s District Conference at Wentworth by the Sea. Deadline for hotel registration at the conference rate is March 31.  See the District website for more information.

On Friday March, Bob Nunley was presented with the insignia designating him Paul Harris Fellow Plus One.   Present at Gorham House for the award presentation were President Steve Rand, President-Elect Christine Johnson, and Bob’s wife Sheila. 
Bob joined the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club in September 1967, making him one of our three longest serving members.  Over the years, he has contributed many hours to fundraisers, events, and projects, all in the spirit of “service above self”.  He has also been a longtime supporter of the Rotary Foundation and was approaching the PHF+1 recognition level when he became ill.  Through a donation of Foundation points to thank him for his service, we were able to move him to that next level.
We are happy to report that both Bob and Sheila were in good spirits.  Both Bob and Sheila were quick with a joke or quip as they spoke a little about their courtship, their home in Windham, Bob’s work at Bluerock, and Rotary past.

Tom Elliman, was the guest of Bill Gowen and our speaker on March 24.  He started in Maine and returned back to his roots in 2007 after he lived and worked in Motorsports in the following cities: Oxford and Portland, ME, Loudon, NH, and Dearborn, MI.
He graduated from Lincoln Academy in Newcastle and went on to Wesleyan University.  After college and the army, Tom started at Channel 8 working as a weather reporter. He and a friend had the idea of doing a short Motorsports segment weekly. This grew into a career which ranged from working at local tracks such as Oxford Speedway, to becoming the manager and promoter of N.H. International Speedway in Loudon, all the way to the big league with Ford Motor Company in their racing division.
Tom entertained the Westbrook Gorham Rotary Club with the history of Motor Sports back to the original motor car built in Germany, through amateur racing which consisted of drivers with full time jobs who raced on their own time, through semi-professionals who worked part time at one job and part time in an expanded racing season, all the way to big time professional racers who did nothing but race.
Tom has worked at:
Greater Portland Landmarks
Republican City Committee
Marketing Consulting Services
Ford Racing
New Hampshire Motor Speedway


Club Executives & Directors

President Elect
Immediate Past President
Vocational Service
Community Service
Rotary Foundation
Club Protection Officer
Interact Advisor
Web Administrator
Road Race Chairman
Board Executive


Watch this year’s most popular Rotary membership videos
Your votes are in. With 585 votes, the video from the Rotary Club of Atlanta, Georgia, USA, is this year’s most popular Share Your Story membership video. The three-minute clip shows how club members from Atlanta worked with clubs in Honduras to improve the lives of children in a small Honduran village. These clubs made the top four Rotary Choice videos: Rotary Club of Petion-Ville, Haiti Rotary Club of Panaji Mid-Town, Goa, India Rotary Club of Anchorage, Alaska, USA Rotary Club of Alpharetta, Georgia, USA Thanks to all who participated and voted. Rotary News
Nigerian donor promotes Rotary’s role as a player for peace
For Nigerian philanthropist Michael Olawale-Cole, understanding Rotary's positive influence in the world requires imagining the world without Rotary. "How many millions of people's lives would not have been affected by Rotary's good work?" says Olawale-Cole, who joined Rotary as a member of the Rotary Club of Isolo, Lagos State, in 1980. "If Rotary did not take on the challenge of eradicating polio, how many more millions of children around the world would have died or been crippled by this disease? Who could have done that if not Rotary?" Imagining what the world would be like without Rotary...
Rotary, USAID collaboration improves sanitation facilities in Ghana
According to a 2012 report by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, Ghana has made great strides in providing its people with clean drinking water. But access to better sanitation has lagged. Only about 14 percent of Ghanaians have access to improved facilities, compared with the 54 percent target set for 2015 by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Addressing the issue isn't simple, as pit latrines need emptying, toilets need maintenance, and promoting hygiene requires education. The H2O Collaboration, a partnership between Rotary and the U.S. Agency for International...
Sydney convention wins major marketing awards
Headed to the Rotary Convention in São Paulo this June? Get excited. Your upcoming experience is being organized by an award-winning meetings and events team from Rotary International. Last year's convention in Sydney was recognized recently with several industry awards at the Meeting and Events Australia's prestigious annual NSW Awards Night. Rotary and Business Events Sydney won the headlining award -- Association or Government Meeting of the Year -- as well as two Specialist Awards for Best Corporate Social Responsibility and Best Educational Component. As winner of the major NSW award,...
Global grant partnership turns good idea into bigger, sustainable project
In the Esmeraldas Province of Ecuador, Rotary members have teamed up with a microfinance organization to provide small loans to poor women, teaching them to sew and bake so they can start or expand businesses. The Rotary Club of Marin Evening, in California, USA, reached out to 64 Rotary clubs in seven districts including Ecuador's, to raise money, find support from partners, and mobilize local community members for a global grant project. Keith Axtell, a member of the Marin Evening club, says the effort began in 2005-06, when his wife, Holly, was district governor and was looking for an...
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