Club History July 2006-June 2009

2006-2007 - President Benni McMullen

Officers for the program year:
President: Benni McMullen
President Elect: Nancy Corliss
Sargent-at-Arms: Scott Hammond
Secretary: Nancy Corliss
Treasurer: Ron Wrobel
Directors: Annette Higgins, Becky Buyers-Basso, Mike Siklosi, Bill Weir, Sharon Broom
Members at the start: 68
Members at the end:  67 (26)

The following is excerpted from the club's submission of an application for the Presidential Citation.
The club completed work on a strategic plan in time to establish the RI recommended Club Leadership Plan as it's organizational structure for '06-'07. Goals were set for each committee from priorities in the plan. The club embraced and grew from working with this plan. Board members took leadership roles as committee heads and set up working groups to accomplish year one goals of a three-year plan.

Although the goal of net one new member was met, the membership committee did much more. Membership accomplished a review of the club members' ages, diversity and classification, identified new potential members, and established a goal of four new members helping to reach almost equal diversity between men and women. They held a new membership celebration, introducing them and their sponsors. The sponsors were also recognized at June Annual Meeting. The club fairly represents the community and has a varied array of talented leaders. All new members have joined a committee.
One activity that was enjoyed for the fellowship as well as getting community recognition was the "Dine Around Fall." From August until November, we met at a different local eatery each week.
Membership has put together a flier of information for prospective members.
There were three fellowship activates where spouses, families and friends were invited to join the fun. A lobster cook out was held in the town where the member who travels the furthest to attend our club meetings lives. A Holiday celebration and dinner in December and a special luncheon dedicated to Paul Harris Awards were all attended by friends and family.
Club Service.
The goals put forth from the strategic plan added strength to this already active committee. The committee established the practice of donating a book to a local library in honor of the club meeting's guest. This thanks our guest and brings RI name into circulation with books from our libraries. Approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of all guest speakers are from local non-profits and government entities.
New Rotary banners were purchased and hung outside each place a Rotary activity or fundraiser was happening. Also, supplies of T-shirts for members' "Rotarians at Work" were made available for members to purchase.
Two new projects were added this year to the list of more than a dozen already ongoing projects. The Back Pack Project was a collection backpacks for the local county chapter of DHS (Department of Human Services). Members filled each pack with age appropriate necessities, educational materials and fun items, which were given to foster children in our county to have something of their own, packed and ready to go to a new home on short notice. 46 kids in Hancock county move regularly and quickly during any year.
The second service project was developed around the Bar Harbor Food Pantry. This program has its home in the basement of a local nonprofit building. It was in need of repair. Members painted and papered walls and ceilings purchased new flooring and worked on getting water into the area. In addition, our club members, who have been irregular volunteers for the pantry have now committed to serving the months of June and December, taking full responsibility for those two months.
A Community event that met several goals both service wise, financially and educationally was a joint effort with the MDI Interact Club (now 30 members strong).
The Basketball troupe, the Harlem Ambassadors, a traveling team of semi professional players, came to our high school to play a game against our local team, the "Rotary Crushers." They brought a message of stay in school, stay off drugs and respect diversity to the schoolchildren. That evening they entertained the whole community as the kids brought parents and friends to watch "the game." The Rotary Club and the Interact Club split the financial profits and OUR
MDI Rotary supports financially and with volunteer hours about three dozen local non-profits each year. The largest of these is the oncology department and the breast center at the local hospital. Others are quilts for Wrap a Smile quilt project, Thanksgiving Baskets, Safe Passage, YMCA, YWCA, Island Connections (a program for the elderly) and the Challenger Learning center.
Three club members and one community leader (our RYLA attendee) have started meetings and invited local young adults to the local college for interest in a Rotaract club.
Public Relations
The club leadership plan offered an opportunity to create a P/R committee with goals for 1- 3 years As of March 1, 2007 they have completed their first year goals:
A column monthly in both local papers
Promotion of all Rotary fundraisers and service projects
Contacts with local area radio and TV
Creating a portable display board with changeable and appropriate news and Rotary info
Awareness of our and RI's web site.
International Service
Under the club leadership plan, this is a combination of the RI Foundation and International projects committees. We are moving towards the $100 Every Rotarian
Every Year goal. This year we are at the $68 per member average. We have change cups out each meeting for donations as well as offering incentives for the volunteer work done by members. For each 100 hours of service, a donation is made to the Foundation in the name of that member.
Under the strong leadership of PP Annette Higgins this committee offered an educational and informative program in support of RI. They have sponsored an incoming youth exchange student, Alex from Romania, who has been a wonderful addition to our community. Two additional opportunities were offered members. A quilting Bee finished 20 quilts for the new Safe Passage Day Care Center in Guatemala. Club member Barbara Fox delivered these along with soccer equipment to the center opening week. She traveled with other Maine club members who also volunteered a week at the center. After returning Mrs. Fox has set in motion plans for a fundraiser for Safe Passage. She will have a showing of the Academy Award nominated film, the safe passage story.
The club is seeking a matching grant for its water project. Support of $2000 was given to a local group who for many years have been going to Jambanjelly, in the Gambia in Africa. While some of us had worked closely with this group on former trips to build a library, this trip gave all members a chance to make a difference. We helped in purchasing solar panels and a pump for the town's well. During the display of the panels we learned that solar is a perfect application for the African environment. The panel were delivered and installed in Jan and operating quite well. A local college student went along on the trip to video tape the whole story and the documentary will be available soon.
Club Administration
While accepting the leadership plan made our club better organized and more focused, it also created the Club Administration committee. This group has overseen our fund raising events, both those we have traditionally done as well as new avenues for financial success.
We have submitted a layout, story and photos of our very successful Annual Seafood Festival on the 4th of July to the Rotarian Magazine. This year we are building on the theme of a "green" event. The composting of all food will be expanded and we are seeking recycled only paper products for dinner supplies. Bottles and cans have always been recycled.
The first draft of the updated By-laws is on the table and under discussion.
We have had lots of fun and fellowship under the new leadership plan but the necessary work has been done also. I believe our members had a very happy and successful Rotary year. They have been supportive of the endeavor to install the new leadership plan and it has proved successful.
Leading the way was our motto and our success.
2007-2008 - President Nancy Corliss
(Celebrating 40 Years of Service Above Self)

Officers for the program year:
President: Nancy Corliss
President Elect: Dean Read
Sargent-at-Arms: Bill Weir
Secretary: Nancy Tibbets
Treasurer: Ron Wrobel
Directors: Becky Buyers-Basso, Sharon Broom, Martha Abbott, Sharon Malm, Scott Hammond, Mike Siklosi
Members at the start: 67
Members at the end:  64 (23)

The club celebrated our 40th Anniversary, highlighted at our annual dinner by a beautiful slide show put together by Annette Higgins.  For a comprehensive look back at 40 years of service above self, click on the download document at the top of this page.

We hosted the District Conference which was held in Bar Harbor this year.  We hosted a GSE team of young professionals from Venezuela.

Our new district governor, Doug Ibarguen, gave an inspiring talk about his goals for the coming year, and announced that "Safe Passage" will be part of  his international project. We proudly were the first club in the district to present him with a $1000 check for this effort. We also will be looking for other hands-on ways to participate in helping.
We established a club standing committee for the sole purpose of planning our yearly Fourth of July event.  It was reported that outside vendors at the 4th of July event raised an additional $37,000, which makes over $60,000 raised overall in money we share with our local and international community. 

We continued the Backpack Project, with an allocation of $750.  When children are removed from their homes by the Department of Human Services (DHS), they go into foster care.  Many of the kids, aged from 1 to 17, leave with not much more than the clothes on their backs. Through the Backpack Project, the Ellsworth Office of DHS is able to provide the children with their own brand-new backpack filled with age-appropriate items like crayons, coloring books, lunch boxes, playing cards, stuffed animals, flashlights, pens and pencils, calculators, and appropriate toiletries.  The project started this past February.  To date, 38 backpacks have been put together, and 28 of those have been distributed to kids in need.  The prediction is that about 50 backpacks will be needed in Hancock County annually.  The MDI Rotary Club has formally adopted the Backpack Project and plans to fund it to the extent that it can.  The folks at the Ellsworth Office customize each backpack depending on the child in need.

Amy DeMerchant attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Adventure (RYLA) at the Forks.  We had 20 brave Rotarians show up for the CBS Early Show on August 28, 2007, promoting our Seafood Festival and standing tall with our Rotary banner.
Our administration committee produced an event, at which the documentary, "Recycle Life" and a trailer which explains the Safe Passage project was shown.  At a club assembly, revised by-laws of the club were reviewed and the membership voted to accept them with a couple of revisions. The oncology unit at MDI Hospital was repainted Saturday, October 27.  We again, worked at the Food Pantry for the month of December. Our Rotary club has committed to do this twice a year and we need everyone’s help to make the job easy for all.

We held our Holiday Party December 12th at the Atlantic Oakes Conference Center. The highlight of the meeting was Past President Nancy's Paul Harris Awards. She presented of our annual Non-Rotarian Paul Harris Award to Les Brewer for all that he has done for the community over his many years of service, and she presented a Paul Harris Award to Beni McMullen, not only for her service as president before Nancy, but also for all she has done and continues to do for Rotary and our community. Scott recognized our 24 Rotarians who contributed at least $100 to the Foundation over the last fiscal year. We presented Art Blank with a check for somewhere around $823(?) for a blanket warmer for the MDI Hospital's Oncology Center.
Some of our Speakers included:
The speaker was Bob Pyle from the Northeast Harbor Library. His talk highlighted the beautiful new library they have built, and the special services they will be offering to the island community.
Cherie Galyean from the Maine Community Foundation, presented by Todd H.
Barbara and Dick Fox presented a program titled "The Many Faces of Papua New Guinea," reflecting on their recent travels in New Guinea. It was intriguing to learn about this country and to realize that there still exist countries with totally primitive cultures.
The speaker, hosted by Scott H, was Rebecca Campbell, our exchange student from two years ago. She spent a year in Turkey. She is now well on her way to working in a field of International Relations. We feel very proud to have helped her in this direction. She is planning to start a Rotaract club in the college she is attending next year.
We have had some great programs this fall.
Dr. Jane Disney introduced by Bill W.talked about the MDI Water Coalition, and her work to keep our waters clean and fresh, so we can all enjoy our outdoor activities. Last week we were enlightened by Stephanie Clement of Friends of Acadia, brought to us by Miike S.We learned a great deal of important information about the transportation plans and the Gateway to Acadia project. Both of these projects highlight the important steps being taken to protect our environment.
Father Bob led the program and talked about the importance of humor and laughter for our overall well being. I have been reminded often of his statement regarding wearing a smile and finding it impossible to feel despondent, sad and depressed at the same time.
Diane Woodworth provided an interesting and totally educational (for me anyway) program about her journey through the world of Karate and its meaning both as a self defense tool, but more importantly, as a lesson of life.
Debbie Dyer of the Bar Harbor Historical Society, presented by Rob F talked about the 60th anniversary of the "Great" Bar Harbor Fire. It was both entertaining and educational as we heard some humorous stories that took place during that time and learned how the fire evolved.
We inducted our third new member of this Rotary year. Welcome, Photographer Judy Holmes.
It was a pleasure to have Lori Fineman and five of the Interact group join us for lunch. They each took a turn and talked about their projects for the coming year. They will be hosting a community dinner November 15th.
Amy DeMerchant presented a slide show and talk on her weekend experience at RYLA in September. It sounds like a fun weekend and that Amy learned new leadership skills. Good job, Amy!
2008-2009 - President Dean Read

Officers for the program year:
President: Dean Read
President Elect: Nancy Tibbets then Becky Buyers-Basso
Sargent-at-Arms: Mike Bonsey
Secretary: Amy DeMerchant
Treasurer: Ron Wrobel
Directors: Committee Chairs
Members at the start: 64
Members at the end: 59 (22)

Earned the District Governor's award.

A foursome of Rotarians pulled out their power saws and drills to construct shelving and a set of steps Sunday, April 5, in the future site of Serendipity, a new resale clothing store to open this spring in Hulls Cove.
Captained by Eden Builders owner Todd Hardy, Bar Harbor (MDI) Rotary Club members Robert Rechholtz, Steve Powell and Terry O’Connell volunteered their time and building skills to help ready the space, a former garage adjacent to the Mystery Cove Book Store. Lumber and supplies were donated by EBS of Town Hill.

The MDI Rotary Club is near the end of another very successful year, with the addition of nine new members. The most recent new members are Kristin Ottman, Jane Adams and Chaolin Korona, who were inducted on April 29. The club will end the fiscal year with the 7th Annual Adventure Golf Tournament at Pirate’s Cove on Saturday, May 30.