WRVC Conference RoomFeb 07, 2017
10:30 AM – 11:20 AM
WRVC Conference RoomMar 07, 2017
10:30 AM – 11:20 AM
St Patrick's Day Dinner
Westbrook Regional Vocational Center - Culinary Arts Dining RoomMar 14, 2017
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Patriots' Day Road Race
Riverbank ParkApr 17, 2017
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
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Donna Dwyer, President & CEO of My Place Teen Center, was our guest and speaker on Tuesday January 10. Donna thanked our club for our ongoing support of MPTC, especially Deb Shangraw and Mike Sanphy who are on their Advisory Council. She also remembered Paul Emery for his commitment to and advocacy of the center.
My Place Teen Center has been in existence for 18 years serving kids from 10-18 years of age. They are open Monday-Friday 2-7PM. Many of the kids who come to MPTC are choosing a different path from some of their peers, and possibly from their parents or siblings as well. They come to study, to eat, and to socialize with people who care about them.
MPTC serves many children who are food insecure, meaning there is little or no food in their home on a regular basis. This is due to many reasons that may include finances or parental health/mental health issues. 90% of the children they serve are from Westbrook. The remaining come from communities in the greater Portland area, some of whom arrive via Metro Bus. They serve over 500 kids a year with a budget of about $600K. Annual fundraising is always a concern.
Programming provided to the children is evolving based on the needs of the kids and evaluation of results. Some of the children have Big Brothers/Big Sisters, although MPTC is a mentoring organization as well. There are many volunteers who help make MPTC the wonderful and vibrant place that it is. For example, Baker, Newman, Noyes has volunteers who make 100 cupcakes each week at the center.
The good work of MPTC is now spreading. Biddeford has been persistently working towards establishing a center of their own. They now have a building (a former church just like MPTC!), but about $5M of renovations is required. Following the example of MPTC, we expect that they will succeed with this important project.
Our fearless leader-in-waiting led the meeting on January 10 as our current fearless leader was vacationing in a warmer place. I don’t know where Bill found that box to stand on, but he sure looks the part! Here he is reading a quote from Doing Good is Simple: Making A Difference Right Where You Are by Chris Marlow.
Later, Bill’s raffle ticket was pulled from the basket by our speaker Donna Dwyer. Bill donated his winnings of $47 to MPTC. Thanks Bill!!
Angel, Jean Carlos, and their moms Maricruz and Itzy, have settled in at Ronald McDonald house. Local Rotarians are acting as volunteer drivers to take them to appointments. We are also providing support with warm clothes, baby formula, lotions (cold air is very drying!), and other special needs.
Unfortunately, surgeries have been delayed due to diagnostic findings. We are all keeping our fingers crossed that the issues found will be cleared up quickly so the heart surgeries can proceed soon.
Angel and Itzy, showing off the beautiful quilt
from Wrap A Smile
Ann Cormier and translator Sandra Ricker from MMC,
giving a tour of the surgical area
On Saturday January 7, Jean Carlos and his mom Maricruz Vasquez, along with Angel Quiroz and his mom Itzy Arrocha, flew from Panama City, Panama to Boston. Steve Rand and Elivra Perez, a good friend of Paul and Pat Emery, picked up the two families at the airport and transported them back to Portland in the middle of a snow storm.
Jean Carlos is 12 years old and Angel is 9 months old. They are here for heart operations at Maine Medical Center. Thanks are due to the many organizations that are making this possible, including Gift of Life (International, Albany and New England), along with MMC and Dr Reed Quinn. These children are here because of the hard work of our late friend and dedicated Rotarian Paul Emery in partnership with Ted Shaughnessy of GOLNE.
Thanks are also due to many local folks for helping pull together the details to make our guests more comfortable. Ronald McDonald House where they are staying; Wrap A Smile and Terry Hodskins for the beautiful warm quilts; Saco Bay Rotarian Elaine Fournier and Open Hands Open Heart in Saco who provided the baby car seat, a huge supply of diapers, and many warm baby clothes. OHOH also purchased coats, hat and gloved for Jean Carlos. Others who donated items include Westbrook resident Jim Born, newly elected City Councilor Lynda Adams and her mom, and Terry DiPietro from Rowe Ford Westbrook.
They children are currently undergoing tests and final check-ups. Surgeries are scheduled over the next couple of weeks.
About 34 members, family and friends gathered at the home of Steve and Patty Rand on Tuesday December 13. Attendees enjoyed some wonderful pot luck offerings and a round of Yankee Swap. Kim Littlefield (Ted Rogers) had number 1 and ended up with the Panera gift card. Other popular gifts were the book lights, a bracelet, Amatos gift card, and several boxes of chocolate.
The club extends a huge thanks to Steve and Patty for their gracious hospitality. See our web page for more pictures.
Amanda Carr RN BSN and founder of Changing the Face of Dying, worked for 10 years in hospitals and emergency rooms across the country. She is now pursuing her passion which is educating people and their families about available choices regarding end of life, how to make those choices, and how to communicate them.
She works with people to openly talk about death and plan ahead for the inevitable. For your death to be “as you want it to be”, you need to plan and communicate that plan to your family. She promotes the use of advance directives and councils people through the paperwork and making the choice of who will make the decisions when they cannot. She also now works with people near the end of life and in hospice care to help make their remaining time the best it can be.
Amanda mentioned that she runs Death Café at the VNA offices in South Portland, every second Tuesday of the month from 6:30-8PM. The Death Cafe concept, originated in London by a sociologist, gives folks a chance to talk about death and dying in an open forum where it is safe to talk about this subject. For more information and a complete list in your area: http://deathcafe.com .
She is also interested in changing the face of eldercare. “Virtual nursing home” through VNA brings technologies into the home to supplement caregivers and allow people to stay in their home longer.
To read more about Amanda and her work, visit: http://changingthefaceofdying.com
The Archangel Sister City Program has been ongoing since 1988. There have been many reciprocal visits and exchanges over those 28 years designed to promote friendship and understanding. These exchanges have included teachers, students, government officials, photographers, and many other professionals. Fire and Public Safety exchanges were added after the 25th anniversary of The Treaty of Friendly Ties. On December 6, Chief Andrew Turcotte spoke to us about the recent fire and public safety visits.
In January 2016, the greater Portland area hosted five professionals: fire/rescue, fire code specialist and communications specialist. In November 2016, we sent seven fire/rescue personnel to Archangel, including Andy. The groups have found that they have much common ground – similar challenges and a similar desire to learn and train.
During their time in Russia, the local team had an opportunity absorb some local culture as well as learn and exchange ideas on fire and safety techniques. They toured (Fire) Station 17, which became their base while they were in Archangel. They learned that fire prevention education continues all year round, rather than during a single “fire prevention month” that we have in the US. They found that construction codes are centralized, which provides consistency across the country, but the codes need improvement. In the US, we are subject to varying codes at the municipal, state and Federal levels. The team participated in brainstorming sessions with their counterparts, saw an airport fire/rescue operation, and visited a pulp and paper plant where many employees are volunteer/on call firemen. Finally, they saw Northern Arctic Federal University which brings high school students to college where they can train in public safety careers.
On the cultural side, the team visited the Malye Korely Open Air Museum. This is a museum of traditional wooden architecture of the area, including churches, public buildings and homes. Andrew also told us that dinners were very long – up to 3 hours! There were multiple appetizers, drinks, soup, salad, main course, dessert - and more drinks. They participated in the 75th anniversary celebration of Operation Dervish, commemorating the first of the WWII arctic convoys by the Western Allies that brought supplies to the port of Archangel to help Russia in the fight against Nazi Germany. The team also enjoyed banya, described as a sauna on steroids
In attendance for Andy's presentation, were four students and their English teacher from School #21 in Archangel. During their exchange trip, they attended classes at Westbrook High School, visited the Westbrook Public Safety building, and attended the monthly meeting of the Westbrook Historical Society, among many other fun and educational activities.
L-R: Andy Turcotte, Kseniia Shaitanova, Tatiana Kravechenko,
Phil Spiller, Svetlana Mozgovaia (teacher),
Alexey Bedrin, Kirill Belov-Belikov
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Write to us at:
PO Box 91
Westbrook, Maine 04098-0091
Club Executives & Directors
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The Rotary Foundation ranked in list of top charities
CNBC has ranked The Rotary Foundation No. 3 in its annual list of Top 10 Charities Changing the World in 2016. The list includes some of the largest and highest-rated charities that help women, children, the poor, and the environment throughout the world, according to Charity Navigator, and that maintain high standards of financial health, accountability, and transparency of reporting. The Foundation was noted for connecting 1.2 million members from more than 200 geographic areas to tackle the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges, including projects that focus on disease prevention,...