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Hannah Smith, a senior at WHS and the president of the Interact club, traveled to New York with Hannah Farr and about 50 other high school kids representing District 7780 for Rotary UN Day in October. Hannah F. was unable to join us due to bronchitis, but she sent along her regrets and her thanks for an incredible experience. They met people from all over the country and a few from around the world.
Hannah S. learned about Rotary UN Day from a friend in Connecticut who attended in 2013. With support from Mr Dyer, she and Hannah F. were able to take advantage of this opportunity to participate with others from the District.
Jason Beever, our Foundation Chair, spoke to us about the Rotary Foundation, Every Rotarian Every year, and Rotary Direct, an easy means of contributing to the Foundation on a recurring basis.
The Foundation manages several funds: the Annual Share Fund, which is used to fund District and Global projects sponsored by Rotary clubs around the world; the Endowment Fund, from which a portion of earnings are used to support grants and programs; the PolioPlus Fund, which supports Rotary’s work to achieve a polio-free world; and funds to support specific causes like promoting world peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, supporting education, growing local economies and saving mothers and children.
Jason, with assistance from Mike Foley, showed us how easy it is to give on line and to set up recurring donations through Rotary Direct. Steve Rand then shared some exciting news. Between now and June 30, the Club will match up to $100 for anyone who donates to the Rotary Foundation. In addition, to encourage participation in Rotary Direct, the easiest way to give on a recurring basis, the Club will contribute an additional $25 for those who sign up for Rotary Direct. These matches will be made in the member’s name and count in progress toward the Paul Harris Society.
Thanks to all who helped with set up, sales, and clean up. The weather was certainly a big challenge this year, along with our electrical "mishap".
A special thanks to those who worked a few extra shifts at the end of the sale to add to the final numbers. While we did have a few left, we sold about 302 trees, more than in recent years. Details on proceeds and expenses will be provided at our next meeting.
Gorham Town Manager David Cole and Gorham Parks and Recreation Director Cindy Hazelton were our special guests on December 16. Several years ago, our club helped build the Canoe Shed in Shaw Park. Cindy provided an update on how this facility is well used. She also told us about other recreation department projects currently under way, and projects on her wish list that she hopes Rotary might be able to help with..
On Wednesday evening December 10, many members of Westbrook-Gorham Rotary, along with spouses and friends, attended our annual Christmas party at the home of Judith and Ed Reidman. The pot luck offerings were varied and delicious. Thanks to all who made sure we were well fed. As usual, the Yankee swap provided entertainment and some laughs. District Governor Nominee Marge Barker joined us early in the evening. A big thanks to Judith and Ed who opened their home to us again this year.
To see photos from the event, find the 2014 Christmas Party link under Photo Albums on our webpage.
Thanks to all who have opened, closed, opened trees, helped customers find their perfect tree, made a “fresh cut”, lugged and tied trees to roofs of cars. All of your efforts are much appreciated. Through Sunday, we are on track with sales, despite the weather. The over 8’ trees are nearly all gone and few of the $30 trees remain.
Note that we still need coverage for Thursday December 11 and Friday December 12. Fridays have proven to be busy nights so we really need someone to step up. Please contact Christine if you can help. If you have signed up for only 2 or 3 shifts, please consider adding another short one to make sure we can be open. Remember, this is our biggest fundraiser of the year and we need everyone “all in” to make it a success.
Pictured: Dave Rolfe, Ted Rogers, and one of our youngest customers with his dad
The Rotary Foundation provides the “fuel” that runs the Rotary “machine” locally and internationally, and contributions from individual Rotarians and Rotary Clubs enable the Foundation to make funds available for worthy Club projects. The easiest and quickest way to make a contribution is online at Rotary.org. However, you can still write a check made out to The Rotary Foundation and our Club Foundation Chair Jason Beever will send it in with the appropriate paperwork to insure proper credit for your contribution.
It is important for all Rotarians to support The Rotary Foundation. At our meeting of January 6, 2015, there will be a brief presentation on the details of giving to TRF and how to register on www.Rotary.org/myrotary for Rotary Direct. Rotary Direct makes giving to TRF easy and painless by allowing you to choose how much to give every month, automatically. The Foundation keeps track and provides a summary of your giving. In the meantime feel free to contact Jason if he can be of assistance. Please remember the Rotary year runs from July 1st through June 30th.
Three members were formally inducted into Rotary on Tuesday November 25. President Steve Rand introduced Bill Chadwick, Julie Hamm and Dennis Plante. Each of them spoke briefly to introduce themselves.
Members and Friends: Please join us at Judith and Ed Reidman's for our annual Christmas party 5:30PM at 7 Enchanted Ln Westbrook ME. Sign up sheet for pot luck will be available at our next meeting or call Judith. If you want to join in the fun of the Yankee Swap, please purchase and wrap an item of $10-$15 value. See you there!
Westbrook Interim Police Chief Janine Roberts and Interim Fire Chief Andrew Turcotte were our speakers on November 18. Both were recently appointed upon the departure in mid-September of Westbrook’s former Public Safety Director Mike Pardue.
Haiti Cardiac Alliance, with offices in Burlington VT and Haiti, is a little less than 2 years old. Owen Robinson, their Executive Director, was our guest for lunch on November 4 and shared a little about the work his organization has been doing. While this organization is separate from Gift of Life with which we are all familiar, Rotary and HCA work closely together in over 200 countries to arrange surgeries and provide support to patients.
Bill Chadwick introduced our speaker, David Alvarez - Director International Projects for Centro Cristino Cultural De Guatemala. David has worked with Rotary for nearly 18 years. He is currently working on several projects in 15 villages and 1 city across Guatemala – some in very remote villages. These projects provide a vision for the future to make them self-sustaining.
The UN Day Interact Trip was a great success and the students were in favor of making it an annual event. There was a full bus representing 20 Interact Cubs¸ including two Interacters from Westbrook-Gorham RC. Attached is the video blog link that DG Lawrence Furbish put together: http://vimeo.com/110854950
Bruce Dyer, WHS Interact Club advisor, and two students who attended RYLA joined us for our lunch meeting on October 28.
Bruce briefly mentioned some of the many Interact activities going on this year. These included Halloween on Main Street, Child Care (Place at the Table), Salvation Army bell ringing, Festival of Trees, baking apple pies for Thanksgiving, etc. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the charter of the Westbrook club. Bruce has done a great job with this club as demonstrated by these activities.
Camp Susan Curtis, located on pristine Trout Lake in Stoneham ME, just celebrated its 40th year. Terri Mulks, Camp Director, just finished her fifth summer and came to share information about the camp with us.
The Susan L Curtis Foundation was established in 1971 with the mission to build individual character, self confidence and self-esteem of economically disadvantaged Maine children through provision of tuition-free, high quality educational, social, and camping experiences. The camp opened in 1974 with programming that helps develop skills necessary to be successful in school, in higher education and in the workforce.
With the approval of the Board, the Rotary Club of Westbrook-Gorham has made donations in the 2014-2015 fiscal year to the following organizations:
Walker Memorial Library – in memory of Kenneth Saunders
Shelter Box USA
Ronald MacDonald House
Meals on Wheels
Gorham Food Pantry
Westbrook Food Pantry
Good Samaritan Fuel Fund
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to those who sponsored holes and/or sponsored teams. Net proceeds this year were about $3700. The exact amount will be available soon. The list of those we need to acknowledge is lengthy thanks to the efforts of many in our club who secured support, including Wayne Lopez, Jack Kivus, Steve Rand, Cliff Plummer, and Pat Plummer among many others. Without your hard work and perseverance, this event would not have been possible.
A big Rotary thanks goes out to the following:
Blake Hurley McCallum & Conley
Carr & Langille Plumbing and Heating
Casco Federal Credit Union
Cavallaro Auto Repair
Chalmers Insurance Group
Desmond & Rand P.A.
FCR Properties LLC – Richard Durgin Jr
Glidden Excavating & Paving
Gorham Flag Center
Jack Kivus DMD
Jill V & Matthew A McFarland
MacDonald Brothers Electrical
Michael W. Webb
Obrion Carpet Care
Pacquin & Carroll Insurance
Patrick W. Sweeney
Plummer Properties - Clifford Plummer
R.M. Davis Inc
Saco & Biddeford Savings
Saco River Dentistry
Shaw Brothers Construction
Stone Coast Mortgage
T. Nelson Harmon
District Governor Lawrence Furbish and his wife Barbara, both members of the Sanford-Springvale Club, were guests at our meeting on October 7. District Governor Nominee Marge Barker also joined us. Larry started with a quote from Confucius that is the inspiration for the 2014-2015 RI theme: Light Up Rotary. “It is better to light one small candle than curse the darkness.” Together, we can light up the world.
Larry shared the Rotary Strategic Plan which had three key objectives: Strengthen Clubs, Increase Humanitarian Service and Enhance Public Awareness of Rotary.
The day was ideal for the 20th annual Rotary Scholarship Scramble hosted at Gorham Country Club. Ten (10) teams shotgun started at 12:00 and finished around 4:30. Pre-round sandwiches were provided by hole sponsor T.J.'s Sandwich Shop and the tournament was underway. Everyone participated in the putting contest following their completion of the 9th hole.
Tournament prizes and raffle prizes were distributed during the buffet following the tournament. Many thanks to all the hole sponsors, prize donators, and Rotarian workers for their support. Treasurer Bill Gowen is tabulating the proceeds and a complete financial report will be available to members once his is done.
Dr. Wayne Lopez and his friends from Sunset Ridge Golf Course helped to make this tournament a great success. The tournament grows from year to year and with all the compliments the committee received, I'm predicting the 21st tournament will be another fun day.
Andrew Rueger, Casco Bay District Executive Pine Tree Council BSA, was our guest speaker for our return to the WRVC on Tuesday September 30. The mission of Boys Scouts is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of Scout Oath and Law. The Pine Tree Council serves about 3800 Cub Scouts, 2100 Boy Scouts, 250 Venturers, and 250 Explorers with the support of over 3000 trained adult volunteers.
Speaker, Joe Pappalardo 29 year Board Member spoke to the group regarding Camp Sunshine which began 30 years ago in June. The owners of Point Sebago allowed the use of their property two weeks before Point Sebago opened and two weeks after closure. The camp was designed to support families and their children who had life threatening illnesses.
Ted grew up in South Carolina on his family farm. He holds a BS in Biology with minors in Physics and Math, and also holds a Doctorate of Chiropracty. He moved to Maine in 1981 where he opened his practice in Windham. In 1995, he opened a second office in Greenville.
David Murray, a retired nurse anesthetist and long-time OLLI student and board member, shared his enthusiasm for Osher Life Long Learning Institute with us. The program now known as OLLI, began in 1997 as Senior College. Rabbi Harry Sky encouraged then USM President Richard Patenaude to start a program for folks 55+. Volunteers offered just four courses to start, but interest was proven to be very high when hundreds showed up to enroll and three more courses were added.
Michael D. Harmon, known to Press Herald readers as M.D. Harmon, retired assistant managing editor, editorial writer and columnist, provided his perspective on climate change. As he explained, he speaks to scientific topics in laymen’s terms.
The term global warming is still used, but the use of “climate change” has become more prevalent in recent years. In addition, a new term has entered the discussion: climate weirding. No one denies that there is climate change, but there has always been climate change. The debate is around what is causing that change now.
Donna Dwyer, Executive Director, spoke to our club about the teen center located at 755 Main St in Westbrook.
My Place Teen Center provides a safe haven for youth, ages 10 – 18, sustaining them with comfort, meals, resources and hope. Their vision: All youth will have the academic, job readiness, and life skills necessary to lead independent adult lives filled with stewardship, courage, passion and joy. The center is open afternoon hours Monday-Friday with programs that include help with homework, health & fitness, STEM programming, life skills development and creative expression.
MPTC is in the process of upgrading their kitchen and has recently received a grant from Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation and the Maine Sunday Telegram. However, there is still more to do to complete improvements to this "teaching kitchen". Donna is already working on a written proposal to be submitted to our Charitable Projects and Contribution Committee. The committee will review and make a recommendation to the Club as a whole, so we can determine how we might be able to help. If approved by club, Paul Emery will write a Rotary Foundation Community Grant request to add to what we can raise.
For more information about the center, visit: http://myplaceteencenter.org/
Mike Koza – Regulatory Protection Advisor, Chad Thompson – Source Protection Coordinator and Sarah Plummer – Education Coordinator
Mike, Chad and Sarah each spoke to current happenings at the Portland Water District.
Dana Humphrey, Dean of the University of Maine College of Engineering, described the current state of the engineering work force in Maine. He discussed the role of engineers in our economy, our aging workforce, demand in the STEM fields, the current production rate of engineers, and the role of research and development.
Peter Crichton, County Manager of Cumberland County, grew up in Mars Hill and is a former Rotarian. He has worked in municipal and county government for about 30 years and has been County Manager in Cumberland County since 1999. He shared with us some of his successes and his vision for the future.
The rain clouds cleared and the sun came out on Wednesday July 16, just in time for the Annual Lobster Bake, held again this year at the Saunders home on beautiful Sebago Lake. This popular event was attended by over 50 Rotarians, family, and friends. The crowd enjoyed a wonderful meal of lobster or steak that included delicious side dishes and desserts provided by several of the attendees.
At the end of the meal, most of the group moved indoors for the sing-a-long. Pianist Eric Peppi led us through many old favorites from the Rotary Songbook. Everyone had a great time singing and enjoying the view across the lake to Mount Washington.
Thanks to all the volunteers who contributed to the success this year. Special thanks to Nelson Harm, Dan Willett, and Walt Stinson. Finally, our sincerest thanks to Henry and Marjorie Saunders who opened their lovely home to us again this year.
Roland Rancourt (Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Outdoor Recreation Instructor) gave an excellent informative talk on "Managing the bear population in Maine". Discussion ensued on the November referendum which we will all be voting on. Facts and statistics were discussed based on 40 years of scientific study by IF&W. Questions followed the talk and members added to the lively presentation.
Read more at: http://savemainesbearhunt.com/
Steve Rand, of Desmond Rand PA, Westbrook, was inducted as President of the Rotary Club of Westbrook-Gorham on July 1.
We also thanked outgoing President Patty Kenney, Branch Manager of Casco Federal Credit Union, for her service during 2013-2014.