Rotary Club of Westbrook-Gorham


Jul 07, 2015
Deb Shangraw
Classification Talk
Jul 14, 2015
No Meeting this week
See you at the Lobster Bake on the 16th
Aug 04, 2015
Sep 22, 2015
No Meeting - Golf Tournament
See you at the Golf Tournament!
Oct 06, 2015

Upcoming Events




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Club Information

Welcome to our Club!


Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 11:30 AM
Summer Venue - Late May to Late Sept
American Legion Hall
300 Conant St
Westbrook, ME  04092
United States
District Site
Venue Map

Home Page Stories

On June 23, the program speakers were Westbrook High School rising seniors from our Interact Club, Letta Oeur (incoming President) and Natalia Merrill.  Both are scheduled to participate in the District trip to the United Nations this fall, along with one other member. Letta is interested in the field of early childhood education and Natalie is interested in some field in the area of medicine.
Their reason for joining Interact was the satisfaction of doing things which make others feel good. Plus “…Who can say no to Bruce Dyer?…”
They are a fairly small group of about 15 members, with various and conflicting time schedules. Therefore they tend to do several small projects and activities, rather than larger scaled ones.
A sampling of these projects:
Big Brother/ Big Sister
Baby sitting teachers’ kids for Parent-Teacher conferences
Panel for 8th graders about decision making
Leaf raking services
Fun nights at the Community Center
They are currently organizing and looking forward to next year’s activities. They represented the Interact club very well and ably fielded many questions. 
One project suggestion for them was for them to help us re-establish an Interact Club at Gorham H.S. Their input could greatly help as a student-to-student promotion and source of peer advice.
As thanks for coming to speak with us, our Club will be making a donation in their name to the Polio Plus campaign.

Thanks again to all of our generous restaurant sponsors who supported our Westbrook Together Days book drive. Your support is very important to us and to our community:
Frog & Turtle Gastro Pub
Casa Novello
River's Edge Deli
Dunkin Donuts
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Pizza Time Westbrook
Mr Bagel Westbrook
Dancing Elephant
Congratulations to our book donor winners.  Thank you for helping us collect books to benefit local children:
Kelsey Gillespie  
Marissa Bates 
Tim Mason 
Elizabeth Richards
Bob Ashley 
Jason Bailey
Veronica Bates 
Marilyn Brofree
Cheryl Gillespie
Lee Mainit
Pat Bernard
Tim Mason
Joan Boulie
Patty Kenney
Dick Lebrecque
Steve Rand

Please join us at our meeting this week to thank Steve Rand for his service to our club as President this past year.  Also to welcome Christine Johnson as President for the new Rotary year.

The 2015 Changeover dinner was held at Camp Hinds in Raymond. The afternoon opened with tours of the new RYLA facilities and courses. A “ribbon cutting” was held to open the now officially named RYLA Ridge and Avery Trail. We are proud that these designations recognize the contributions of many clubs and the district in outfitting the area for a variety of team building and outdoor personal experience activities. Avery Trail has been named for Jared Avery, current District 7780 RYLA Executive Director and member of RC Scarborough.  This well-deserved honor recognizes of all of his efforts to make these upgrades happen.  Starting as a participant, this year is his 16th year with RYLA.
Events continued at the “fire pit” with the official changeover ceremonies. All Presidents and Presidents-Elect were called to the front, where the Presidents were thanked for their service this year. Mike McGovern, RI Trustee, performed an impromptu swearing in for the Presidents-Elect. He then conducted the official swearing in of Sheila Rollins, asking her to affirm her commitment to our District for 2015-2016. After recognizing all past, current and future District Governors, the group enjoyed a cookout and fellowship.

At our meeting on June 16, Marge Barker, departing ADG for area 5 and District Governor Elect, introduced Tony Wagner, incoming ADG. Assistant District Governors make a three year commitment, so Tony will be our ADG through the 2017 -2018 year. Tony was born in New York and attended New York Maritime Academy where he earned a BS in Maritime Engineering.  He later earned his Masters Degree in HR and Management and retired after a successful career in sales and marketing management.   In Rotary, he just completed 2 years as the Chair of the Visioning Committee and remains on the committee as Vision and Planning Coordinator.
Tony introduced outgoing District Governor Lawrence Furbish. As we end our 2014-2015 year, we have 50 more Rotarians in the District than at this time last year. A new club was recently chartered, Kittery After-Hours. District-wide contributions to the Rotary Foundation are up, and he encouraged us to continue to support this “back bone” of Rotary. Half of what we give each year comes back to the District for use on our own projects in the District, so the more we give, the more will be able for our own grant projects.
Lawrence also spoke about the Bulgarian exchange.  The District recently finished hosting five Bulgarian Rotarians, our half of the exchange which began with our delegation’s visit a few months back.  Child nutrition is a common area of interest and he is hoping we might formulate a joint project around that subject.
Out district has made some strides in the area of publicity.  There is a public service spot currently running in our area on Channel 13 and Fox.  Watch the 60 second version at: . 15 and 30 second PSA spots are also available and can be used on a local cable station, a community bulletin board, on FaceBook, or our website.
Pictured at the Changeover Dinner: Tony Wagner, Marge Barker, Lawrence Furbish

Great progress was made on the Dale Ave house this school year. The outside is nearly complete. The interior walls are up and primed; tub and shower units are in place.  Look for recent photos on our web page, under Photo Albums, House #45.

Mark Adams, President and CEO of Sebago Technics was our speaker on June 9.  Founded in 1981 by former W-G Rotarian Walt Stinson, Sebago Technics, Inc. is a consulting firm of more than forty design professionals and technical staff providing services throughout New England. In 1998, the ESOP was started to transfer ownership to its employees.  Since 2007, the company has been 100% employee owned.
Mark spoke on ESOP's or Employee Stock Ownership Plans. There are about 11,000 ESOPs in the US employing 13 million people.  The most common industries with ESOPs are manufacturing, engineering, construction, and banking.   Among the other Maine ESOP companies are: Cianbro, Sargent Co, Johnny's Select Seeds, Moody's Collision, Lanco Enterprises, Howell Laboratories, J & S Oil, Prock Marine, and Maine Drilling and Blasting, among others. 
How it works: A company creates an ESOP Trust in which eligible participants are allocated shares. Each year an Independent Valuation Company determines share value. The Trust Administrator tracks all employee accounts.  The company makes an annual contribution to the trust. Upon leaving the company due to resignation or retirement, eligible employees receive distributions over 5 year period at which time the employee pays taxes.

Benefits: As employees have a stake in a company, it tends to be more productive and more profitable.  It can increase financial capacity, protecting jobs and the integrity of the company.  It can offer better employee benefits, including providing employees with retirement benefits.  It can also provide tax benefits for both the company and employees. The broaden ownership incentivizes employees to “think like owners”.

Rotary’s new member benefits program gives Rotary members access to discounts on a variety of products and services selected with their interests in mind.
Discounts & special offers
When Rotary Global Rewards launches in July, the program will include discounts on car rentals, hotels, dining, and entertainment. More products and services from companies around the world will be added throughout the year. Check back often to see what’s new in Rotary Global Rewards.
How it works
Anyone can view the offers and discounts on Rotary Global Rewards. But only Rotary club members who are signed in to their My Rotary accounts can redeem them. You can access and redeem rewards from your computer, smartphone, or tablet.
Create a My Rotary account now so you’re ready to take advantage of the new member benefits program when it’s available. If you need help creating an account, see the How to Create a My Rotary Account quick guide (PDF).

What: Annual Golf Tournament
Where: Gorham Country Club   
           93 Mclellan Rd Gorham ME
When: Thursday September 22  12PM Shotgun start.
How can you help?  Recruit!!  Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell you colleagues. Organize a team. Ask local businesses to sponsor a hole. Sponsor a hole for your business.
Brochures are now available with details on costs and sponsorship opportunities.
Questions?  Contact Co-Chairs Drs Jack Kivus, Wayne Lopez or Bill Chadwick

The 2015 Lobster Bake will be held Thursday July 16 at the Saunders' home on beautiful Sebago Lake. Hope to see all members, spouses and friends there! Look for a sign-up sheet at the next meeting.  Sign up to bring an appetizer, side or dessert.
Happy Hour 5 - 6PM.  Price remains at $25 per person.  Choice of steak or lobster.

This week we are pleased to feature a third Gorham RYLA 2015 participant, sophomore James Benson.
James, along with his sister Kristen, spoke to our club on May 5 about a recent mission trip to Guatemala.  That trip was his second short international trip helping others. He is a student athlete, participating in track and soccer, and has won state and New England awards with 4H.
Congratulations to James.  We know he will have a great experience!    Also, congratulations again to the other five students featured in previous issues of the Scribbler.  We are pleased to be sponsoring a full compliment of six deserving students this year.

We were very happy to participate in Westbrook Together Days this year.  We had gorgeous weather both days, and a perfect spot near the statue and under the shade of a maple tree. While book donations were slow, we collected some cash donations and made some great contacts.  
We are hopeful that several folks will be dropping off books at Desmond & Rand at 55 Stroudwater St in Westbrook this week to earn entry into our raffle. Books are being accepted 8:30 to 4:30 Monday thru Friday this week.  All books received by Friday June 5 earn the donor entry into our raffle.  Any books brought to our meeting on Tuesday will also qualify for entry into the raffle for great food and gift certificate prizes from our generous sponsors.  Tell your friends and neighbors!
A big thanks to our restaurant sponsors. We appreciate their support in the form of gift card and food coupon donations:
 • Frog & Turtle Gastro Pub
 • Panera Bread
 • Rivers Edge Deli
 • Pizza Time Westbrook
 • Mister Bagel
 • Dunkin Donuts
 • Corsetti's
 • Casa Novello
 • Chipotle Mexican Grill
 • Subway
 • Dancing Elephant (Deb Shangraw)

Portland Trails is approaching its 25th anniversary. The organization has grown over the years. It started as a Portland-centric group focused on land conservation and trails.  It has since expanded outward to support strong trail and walking networks throughout the greater Portland area.  They also now help promote, fund and build natural playgrounds and walkable communities. In fact, the Canal school has recently approached them for assistance with creating a natural playground.
A recent acquisition is the Conant-Saunders property in Westbrook. This is 5 acres along the Presumpscot River that was gifted to Portland Trails in the will of Ellie Saunders.  There is potential for a boat launch on this land and also a possibility of connecting to the river walk at some point in the future.  Another Westbrook trail is currently in the works between the skate park on William Clark Dr to the Armory and cross walk on Stroudwater St.  Some funding for that is coming from the Westbrook Recreation and Conservation Commission.
There is currently an informal trail between Westbrook High and Middle schools. A couple of easements remain to be negotiated.  This trail is adjacent to our land on Dale Ave and adjacent to the remains of the Cumberland-Oxford canal.  Once the last house is complete, the trail can be formalized.  In the meantime, there is work that can be done to improve the trail.  The trail can be widened and the surface can be improved.   This might be a good project on which to engage the Interact club in the fall.

The Westbrook Regional Vocational Center award ceremony was held on the evening on May 21.  This celebration of student achievement saw a standing room only crowd at the Westbrook High School auditorium.
Pat and Cliff Plummer, representing Westbrook-Gorham Rotary, awarded 23 academic scholarships and 3 toolships totaling $12,250. Congratulations to all of the deserving graduates!

This week we are featuring the Westbrook RYLA 2015 participants, sophomores Connor Blake, Kiersten Hilton and Sarrah Terrano.
Connor is an honor roll student and a member of the varsity baseball team, student council, and Civil Rights team. Kiersten is an accomplished gymnist, competing in state championshisp for three years.  She is also a strong indoor track competitor in pole vault and long jump. Sarrah Terrano is an honors student as well as a strong track and field competior for Westbrook.
Congratulations to these three deserving students from Westbrook!

Rebecca Albert, Director Walker Memorial Library, was our special guest and speaker on May 19.  She told us about both the traditional uses of the library that continue and the new resources WML provides to our community.
What’s happening at the library?
  • Librarians still help people find the resources they need.
  • Computers – There are 10 computers for public use, plus more in the children’s area.
  • Librarians help people use the computers – Finding references, writing resumes, providing instruction in using Word, assisting job applicants, and assisting filing of unemployment claims
  • Free Wi-Fi- A popular and heavily used resource.
  • Meetings rooms that are well used for job interviews, realtors, for quiet study, homework and even by start-up businesses.
  • “Tech time with Chris” – Each Wednesday morning folks come in for help with their new (and old) devices.
  • Programming for teens.
  • Programming for adults - Book clubs, author visits, poetry readings.
  • Summer reading program – This year’s theme “Every hero has a story”. Activities will include:
    • Super hero camp
    • Local hero visitors – Police, Fire, Animal Refuge League
  • “Maker Spaces” – A new concept for libraries around the country. Like a community center with tools. Allows sharing of resources and skills among the participants.
  • 3-D Printer – A small printer that helps kids learn how to write computer code to create what they print.
  • Robots – WML has a few robots that allow kids to program their movements.Another means of teaching code writing while having fun too!

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.

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.


Club Executives & Directors

President Elect
Vice President
Immediate Past President
Vocational Service
Community Service
International Service
Rotary Foundation Chair
Club Protection Officer
Public Relations
Interact Advisor
Web Administrator
Golf Tournament Co-Chair
Golf Tournament Co-Chair
Road Race Chair
Executive Director


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