Annual Christmas Party - This year at the Rand's!!
Dec 13, 2016
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
WRVC Conference RoomJan 03, 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
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Christmas Trees 2016
We are now selling Christmas Trees
While they last!!
Corner of Mechanic St and William Clarke Dr in Downtown Westbrook.
Hours of operation (weather permitting)
up to 6' $30, up to 8' $40, over 8' $50
$15 w/Bow $13 plain
(cash or check only please)
We are all volunteers and all profits directly benefit
Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club Charities
We support many local causes, especially those focused on children.
Home Page Stories
A food drive to "pack the pantry" at Westbrook High School begins Monday December 5 and continues until Christmas Break - December 22 last day to drop off.
60% of WHS kids qualify for free or reduced price lunches. When they are not in school, providing extra meals can be a big problem in many households, especially around the holidays. You can help by bringing requested items to the WHS Main Office during school hours or you can send a donation to The Locker Project (http://mainelockerproject.org/) .
The Locker Project, in partnership with the Good Shepherd Food Bank, helps ensure food security for all Maine children through local schools. The Locker Project works with schools to create programs for providing students with healthy class-time snacks and take-home food for the times they are most likely to experience hunger.
Non-perishable items most requested and not often available from Good Sheppard include single serve items like:
- Packages of crackers or cookies (peanut butter, cheese, Oreos, choc chip, etc)
- Cup of Soup/Soup for One/Campbells Single Serve
- Granola Bars/Cereal Bars
- Pop Tarts
- Fruit Roll Ups
- Mac n Cheese
- Single microwaveable meals of all types
Other items needed include:
- Peanut butter
- Canned goods
- Boxed Cereal
Thank you for your generosity this Christmas.
Thanks to the students of the Westbrook High School Interact Club who designed and decorated a tree for the Festival of Trees this year. The theme of their tree is "Blue and White".
The Festival of Trees is held annually at the Westbrook Warren Congregational Church. During the Festival, people come to enjoy the display of trees and participate in several fundraising activities over the course of the week. The Festival this year runs from December 3-10. Monies raised help local charities. Thanks to the students for participating in this great community event.
Thanks to those in Rotary and in the Gorham Community for supporting this great project recently completed by GHS Interact Club. The students used the donations to make "goody bags" for use with children at the hospital. Neile Nelson, GHS Interact Adviser, said "The generosity of our local businesses and community is amazing and these kids are getting it done."
Congratulations to Gorham High School Interact Club on a job well done!
Sgt Keith Roy, Assistant Toys for Tots Coordinator for Alpha Company 1st Battalion 25th Marines, was our guest and speaker on November 29. His unit is based in Brunswick and has over 200 toy drop-off locations around the area. These boxes be picked up between December 2nd and 15th and taken them back to the Toys for Tots storage hangar at the Brunswick airport. At Brunswick, six active duty Marines will sort and group toys by age and sex, finishing by December 20 so the toys can be distributed by Christmas.
Sgt Roy told us that 1947 was an important year for Toys for Tots. In that year, the wife of Maj Bill Hendricks made a Raggedy Anne doll and asked her husband to find a charity that could give it to an underprivileged child in Los Angeles for Christmas. He was unable to find a charity that could do that, so his wife told him to start one. That year, Maj Hendricks was able to collect and distribute over 5000 toys to the children of Los Angeles. The Marine Corp took notice and adopted the foundation in 1948 and it became part of the Marine Corp Reserves.
During the Korean War, Marine Reservists were called to duty and people in communities all over the country came together to keep the Toys for Tots program running until their return. That tradition of community support continues to this day. Many businesses place drop boxes at their location, host fundraisers, provide advertising, provide transportation, and/or provide manpower to help sort the toys.
Last year, this one unit served over 14,000 families, providing over 40,000 toys. They largely work through local non-profits who refer families and children. Even with last year's staggering number, Sgt Roy told us that the number of requests for help is on track to be higher this year. He ended by asking us to support the children, support the Marines and to support Toys for Tots so that no child will feel forgotten this Christmas. We are pleased to report that $366 was raised and several toys were donated at our meeting.
Deb Shangraw with Sgt Keith Roy
Dr. Peter Lancia, the new Superintendent of Westbrook schools, was introduced by Mike Foley. Mike has known Mr Lancia since Mike was a 6-year old student at Saccarappa. Peter has been with Westbrook schools for 27 years, including teacher at Saccarappa, Principal at Congin, Assistant Superintendent, and now Superintendent. During his career, he has been Maine Teacher of the Year, and Maine Curriculum Leader of the Year. He is also a Lecturer at USM.
Westbrook has approximately 2600 students in K-12 and is one of the few school systems in the state that is growing. Many students are immigrants who speak a language other than English at home: Arabic, French, Russian, Somali and Vietnamese, among many others.
Peter spoke proudly of the community partnerships the school system has formed with Public Safety, mental health providers, and others. The school district looks not just at test scores, but at the growth and learning of the “whole child”.
With the recently passed funding referendum, there will be many improvements at both Saccarappa and the Middle School. Saccarapa will double in size with the addition of dedicated space for a gym, library and cafeteria that they do not have now. The Middle School will add several classrooms. They hope to break ground in the spring on both projects and complete the Middle School work by fall 2018 and the Saccarappa work by fall of 2020.
On Saturday November 19, dozens of District 7780 Rotarians and Interacters converged on a warehouse in Biddeford to load the most recent container of mobility devices. Over 3000 crutches, canes, wheelchairs, boots and other items were loaded by the team and will be shipped to Uganda.
Huge thanks to Dennis Robillard, our District chair for C4A, and Israel Collins, President of Saco Bay Sunset, for all of their hours of effort organizing items leading up to this day. Thanks to Westbrook-Gorham Rotarians who participated: Jeff Malloy, Bill Gowen and Christine Johnson.
Westbrook Interact adviser, Bruce Dyer, and Interact/RYLA students Kallie Cyr, Kelly Maguire, Kara Fortier and Sydney Cole (RYLA), were our guests on November 15. Kallie, Kelly and Kara went to Rotary UN Day, a two-day District-sponsored trip November 11-12. Sydney attended RYLA in June.
The Rotary UN Day trip included a visit to Time Square, dinner at Bubba Gump’s, attendance at the Broadway musical Phantom of the Opera, and a visit to the 9/11 Memorial, in addition to the UN activities. The students were at the UN for several hours. They attended an information fair where they learned about service projects that they might be interested in. They picked up lots of brochures, including information on sustainability projects that they are hoping to integrate into one of their classes this year. They heard from several high-powered speakers, including the Ambassador from South Korea and Rotary International President John Germ who provided insight on current topics affecting the global community. They also heard from several youth leaders. Finally, they learned about the fight against polio and the current status. They came away believing that even young people can create and work on projects that can make a difference.
Sydney spoke about her RYLA experience. She told us that RYLA stretched her comfort zone with positive risk taking. She came out of the experience more confident and outgoing.
The Westbrook Interact Club has several projects in the works for this year. They are seeking older citizens for whom they can rake leaves. They will be baking pies for the holidays and bell ringing for Salvation Army kettles. They are also hoping to volunteer at Barbra Bush Children’s Hospital and with local nursing homes, as they have in past years.
Caren-Marie Michel, Treasurer and Past President of Westbrook Arts and Culture, was our speaker on November 8. WAC was formed in 2006 as an arts and culture committee under Mayor Bruce Chaluda. By September 2008, the group had evolved into an independent organization with development of their mission statement which states in part: “Westbrook Arts and Culture vitalizes Westbrook by supporting the City’s cultural assets, integrating art and culture into community life and showcasing Westbrook as a great place to live and visit.”
Westbrook Arts and Culture gained support from the Maine Arts commission in 2007 and secured Cornelia Warren Community Association grants. In 2008, they established the Fourth Friday Art Walk. The group become largely inactive for a few years, but was revitalized in 2014 when it became a 501(c)3 charity. In May 2014, they sponsored Paper City Pop-up during which various businesses hung the work of local artists. In 2015, they sponsored the first Paint Westbrook event with 20 artists painting in several locations around the City. The 2016 Paint Westbrook event attracted about 30 artists. They also sponsored another Pop-Up display in 2016.
One of the most visible and popular projects of 2016 has been the Greetings from Westbrook sign recently painted over the course of about two weeks by Portland graffiti artist Mike Rich. The mural at 821 Main St was sponsored by WAC, the Warren Memorial Foundation, Ethos/Vont Marketing and six other downtown businesses: HVAC Service, Frog & Turtle, Swanson Group, Westbrook House of Pizza, Peoples United Bank and Fajita Grill. Each letter of Westbrook has been spray painted and includes iconic figures from the City’s history.
Westbrook Arts and Culture has many plans for the future. These include: commission of a new sculpture for Riverwalk, development of their website to include artists and musicians working in Westbrook, and installation of a graffiti art wall near Warren Field. This proposed permanent art wall will be for use by graffiti artists in hopes of sparing other buildings in the City.
Jason Beever (L) thanks Caren-Marie Michel
as she holds the book she signed for donation
to Baxter Memorial Library in Gorham
Westbrook Gorham Rotary Club Charities has a CLYNK account to raise funds for our club's charitable arm. Funds raised through your CLYNK returns will be used to purchase children's books that our speakers will sign for donation to the Westbrook Warren and Gorham's Baxter Libraries.
Please pick up your pre-taggged CLYNK bags at any meeting. Pick up some extras for friends and family too. Bags are returned to Hannaford locations at your leisure. As funds add up, we will receive a check and purchase more bags.
Please help make this ongoing fundraiser a success!
Please help make this ongoing fundraiser a success!
Click on the name of an Executive or Director below
Write to us at:
PO Box 91
Westbrook, Maine 04098-0091
Club Executives & Directors
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