Stories

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Donald Wescott Linscott, known to us as Scott, grew up in Auburn ME and graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in Photo Journalism. He continued his studies at USM in Color Photography. He met his wife Robin, a Massachusetts girl, at UMaine and they married in 1984. 
 
While at Orono, he was Editor of the campus newspaper.  However, in the process of chasing a story, he had an epiphany – he could not be a hard news journalist nor did he want to be a feature writer. Photography was to be his career.
Scott Linscott - Photographer Extraordinaire 2017-10-24 04:00:00Z 0
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Henry Saunders of Saunders Brothers in Westbrook has been a member of Rotary Club of Westbrook-Gorham for over 50 years. Henry has made several donations to the Rotary Foundation during those years to honor his late wife Marjorie, his father, his brother and his partner Karen Marie O’Reilly with Paul Harris Fellows.
New Major Donor Henry Saunders 2017-10-23 04:00:00Z 0
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We were happy to welcome Interact President Morgan Kendall and several club members to our meeting. We also welcomed two of the students who attended RYLA last summer – Emma Ranco and Sean White.
 
Emma and Sean each spoke about their experience at RYLA. Emma commented that being in the woods- without her phone- was outside her comfort zone. Initially, it was kind of scary, but there is a great “vibe” to the place and people came together quickly in this “life changing” experience.  Sean told us that he debated sneaking in his phone, but he didn’t. He mentioned the opportunity to get to know new people and to have the opportunity to “take charge” in a group. They both said it was a lot of fun and improved their confidence.
Westbrook Interact Club & RYLA 2017-10-10 04:00:00Z 0
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On Thursday September 28, from 12:10 to 12:45, the Gorham Interact Club was on the GHS football field with the two owners of Gorham Yoga Company, Amber Wilson and Jessi Dobbins. The Club now has over 100 members!! As part of this activity, President Aaron was interviewed by Dave Eid of WGME 13. 
 
This event was held in support of the Healthy Gorham Initiative, created this past May by a group of citizens hoping to make Gorham one of the happiest and healthiest towns in the US. A recent Danish study demonstrated that only 25% of how long we live is dictated by genes.  A full 75% is determined by our lifestyle. A National Geographic Fellow and New York Times bestselling author author Dan Buettner developed the concept of Blue Zones - areas of the world where people live measurably longer, healthier and happier lives. The first lesson: people will live longer and better lives if they move naturally.
 

September's theme of Healthy Gorham is "moving naturally". The Club also plans to get involved with "kindling kindness" and "growing gratitude" in upcoming months.  Enjoy this video of the kids in action: https://vimeo.com/236329248 

GHS Interact Moving Naturally 2017-09-28 04:00:00Z 0
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Past District Governor and current District Foundation Chair Marty Helman joined us on September 26 to share Rotary’s long history of promoting and building peace. She began with this quote from Lao Tzu:

If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.

Rotary's History of Peace Building 2017-09-26 04:00:00Z 0
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Fifteen teams teed-off at the 23rd Annual Rotary Classic Golf Tournament at Gorham Country Club on Tuesday September 9.  The weather threatened all day, but fortunately only sent us a few sprinkles late in the afternoon. 
 
This year we had a record 43 hole sponsors!  Without sponsors at all levels, this tournament could not be a success.  If you see or do business with one of our sponsors, please thank them for their support.
Golf Classic A Success 2017-09-19 04:00:00Z 0
Posted on Sep 12, 2017
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District Governor David Underhill, his wife Linda and Assistant Governor Tony Wagner were our guest on September 12, 2017.  Dave noted that year-to-date there have been only 10 cases of polio in the world compared to 350,000 annually in the 1980s. With the continued support of Rotary and its partners, it will be reduced to zero. If we can do this with polio, Rotary can do this with substance misuse disorder too.  
 
In District 7780, we have formed a Recovery Initiative led by Bob MacKenzie of Kennebunk Rotary Club to combat the opioid crisis and substance misuse in our local communities. The Recovery Initiative will help clubs share the work they are already doing with a goal of expanding upon it.
District Governor Visit 2017-09-12 04:00:00Z 0
Posted on Sep 09, 2017
We were pleased with the results of the Food Drive on Saturday September 9. A dozen boxes were overflowing with cans, boxes and bags of non-perishable food and snacks that were divided between the Westbrook High Pantry and the Westbrook Community Pantry.  Each Pantry received enough food to fill the back hatch of a large SUV. In addition, people stopped by with cash donations of $150.
 
 
L: Veronica, John and Dana of Kiwanis.
R: Christine, Bill, Deb and Sarah of Rotary
 
Thanks to members of Westbrook-Gorham Rotary, Westbrook Kiwanis and Downtown Westbrook Coalition for making our first food drive a success. We look forward to working with these partners again on future projects in our community!
 
Dana Smith - Kiwanis, Jean Reilly - Westbrook Community Pantry,
Veronica Bates - Kiwanis, and Deb Shangraw - Rotary
 
Westbook Community Food Drive 2017-09-09 04:00:00Z 0
Posted on Sep 05, 2017
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New Westbrook-Gorham Rotary member Becky Albert grew up in Westbrook, the fourth of five children. Her early years included eating ice cream at Vallee’s Drug Store, seeing movies at the Star Theater, and enjoying Sacarrappa Days. Her three older siblings were more than 8 years older, so she was exposed to a lot of popular music and literature from a very early age. She recounted reading every single Nancy Drew book on her sister’s shelves and receiving The Hobbit as a Christmas gift one year. She also devoured many books at both the Warren and Walker libraries. These were the beginnings of her love for literature.
Becky Albert – Classification Talk 2017-09-05 04:00:00Z 0
Westbrook Food Drive September 9 2017-09-02 04:00:00Z 0
Posted on Aug 29, 2017
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Westbrook Fire Chief Andrew Turcotte introduced his friend and colleague Bob MacKenzie, Police Chief of Kennebunk ME and member of Kennebunk Rotary Club.  The topic this week - a new committee formed this year in District 7780 called the Recovery Initiative. Bob has been Police Chief in Kennebunk for 9 years, a Rotarian for over 10 years, and is chairing this new committee. Creating the Recovery initiative has given him the opportunity to marry his background and interest in public safety with service in Rotary.
District Recovery Initiative 2017-08-29 04:00:00Z 0
Posted on Aug 23, 2017
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Scott Linscott and Christine Johnson had a great time at Westbrook Community Center on August 23rd helping Steve from The Locker Project give away fresh fruits, vegetables and baked goods. They joined Veronica Bates and Sarah Zwicker from Westbrook Kiwanis to unload boxes, set up tables, sort produce, help folks pick out items, and clean up at the end. While we are sad that this was the last event of the summer, The Locker Project be back at the High School sometime in September. We love being part of this effort to fight food insecurity in our community.  Look for announcements about how you can help.
 
L-R: Christine Johnson, Scott Linscott, Sarah Zwicker & Veronica Bates
The Locker Project at WCC 2017-08-23 04:00:00Z 0
Posted on Aug 22, 2017
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President Bill Chadwick introduced our speaker, Past District Governor Sheila Rollins, by first telling us a bit about St Joseph’s College, Maine’s only Roman Catholic college. St Joseph’s was founded in 1912 by the Sisters of Mercy and was located on the grounds of the Motherhouse on Stevens Ave in Portland until 1956 when it moved to its current location in Standish.   It is now a co-ed liberal arts college situated on a 474-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake.  At this college, we hope to co-sponsor a new Rotaract club.
St Joseph’s – A new Rotaract Club 2017-08-22 04:00:00Z 0
Posted on Aug 15, 2017
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The Downtown Westbrook Coalition sought out and found an enthusiastic and hardworking summer intern in Shannon Cilento, our speaker on August 15. Shannon hails from upstate New York and is a Cornell grad, where she received her MA in historic preservation planning this past May. She previously earned her BA in Anthropology & Archeology at Oswego State.
 
Shannon’s 10-week internship focused on three areas: Business Directory & Map, Historic Kiosk, and compilation & digitation of previous Plans and Studies.  All of her efforts were in furtherance of Downtown Westbrook Coalition’s application to become an accredited Main Street Program.
DWC Intern Shares Results 2017-08-15 04:00:00Z 0
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It was on July 4, 1939, Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day, when the longtime Yankee first baseman uttered the famous words at a home plate ceremony at Yankee Stadium:  "Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”  Bill Chadwick used these words on August 8, 2017 to introduce our speaker Karla Wheaton, ALS Northern New England Events Manager – Maine.
ALS Association - Giving Help and Hope 2017-08-08 04:00:00Z 0
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We are proud to announce that our 2017-2018 President, Rev Dr William Chadwick, has received a citation for excellence from Jose Moreno, Guatemala’s Ministro de Desarrollo Social (Minister of Social Development), for work done in Guatemala. Bill and teams from Stroudwater Christian Church have been traveling to Guatemala and working on health and education projects for many years.  Bill's most recent trip this past February included installing eco-stoves, many funded by our Rotary Club, along with research and relationship-building to support the upcoming global grant we are working towards to drill wells in the Rio Dulce area.
 
Congratulations Bill!
President Receives Citation for Excellence 2017-08-01 04:00:00Z 0
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Westbrook-Gorham Rotary was pleased to welcome several members of the Gorham High School Interact Club to our meeting on July 25. The students provided a report on their activities from the 2016-2017 year, then shared the goals and plans for the 2017-2018 year.  We also heard from three students who attended RYLA in June at Camp Hinds.  
Interact Club Ready for Growth 2017-07-25 04:00:00Z 0
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Employee Support of Guard and Reserve (ESGR) began in 1972 when use of the draft ended and it was realized that the Guard and Reserve could be deployed more often and for longer periods.  ESGR primarily addresses the needs of part-time military service members and their employers.  Their mission is to encourage and promote a positive, supportive relationship between members of the Guard and Reserve and their civilian employers.
ESGR Supports Guard and Reserve Members 2017-07-18 04:00:00Z 0
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In the most recent quarter, we received $122.35 from Hannaford Community Cash. This brings our CLYNK total for three quarters to over $269 in money raised. A huge thanks to the Gorham High School Interact Club who filled several bags this quarter that boosted our total. Also, thanks to everyone who has been filling bags for literacy.  Please keep them coming!
 
New bags are available at each meeting. This bottle collection project helps us purchase children’s books for our speakers to sign and donate to our local libraries.  In addition, tabs removed from the aluminum cans can be saved for donation to Ronald McDonald House.
CLYNK Pays Dividends 2017-07-18 04:00:00Z 0
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On July 11, our annual lobster bake was held on beautiful Sebago lake at the summer home of Henry Saunders and Karen Reilly.  Dan Willett and former WG Rotary member Walt Stinson cooked the lobsters, corn and potatoes, with assistance from Ellen Stinson and Julie Carmichael.  Bill Chadwick manned the grill for those of us who prefer “turf” over “surf”.  Nelson Harmon transported the lobsters and members brought salads, appetizers, beverages and desserts to complete the meal. The weather cooperated to provide another wonderful evening.
 
 
A Very Special Lobster Bake 2017-07-11 04:00:00Z 0
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This is the first of what we hope will be a periodic series of stories about charitable activities taking place in our community - activities in which our members are involved. To share your story, contact Christine Johnson.
 
 
The Open Door Kitchen provides a free monthly community meal at First Baptist Church in Westbrook. The cost is underwritten through the church budget, a generous grant from The Narragansett Number One Foundation and donations from individuals. Each month, volunteers prepare nutritious meals for over 125 guests from the Greater Westbrook area. Their stated goal is to provide a hot, nutritious meal and make connections with others in a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere.
FBC Community Dinner – Open Door Kitchen 2017-07-09 04:00:00Z 0
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On Tuesday evening June 27, 2017, Rotarians from across District 7780 gathered at Camp Hinds in Raymond to celebrate the start of the new Rotary year. Due to inclement weather (rain and thunder storms!), we met in the lower level of the newly-opened dining facility for fellowship and a short program.  
 
The group then moved upstairs to meet the assembled RYLA campers and staff, and enjoy an energetic dining experience. Attendees were encouraged to "mix it up" with Rotarians, RYLA Attendees, and RYLA Staff members sharing tables and stories. The meal concluded with singing of the "Purple Soup" song...... you had to be there.......
 
 
L-R: Woody Beach, Dr Wayne Lopez, Christine Born Johnson, Gorham Interact Pres and RYLA Facilitator Aaron Farr, and one of the guests of honor Rev Bill Chadwick. Missing the photo op was Jason Beever, a one-time Boy Scout camper and staff member at this very camp for several years back in the 70-80s.
 
 
 
District Changeover 2017-06-27 04:00:00Z 0
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During our changeover luncheon on Tuesday June 27, we thanked outgoing President Jason Beever for another year of service to our club. Then incoming President Bill Chadwick shared his vision for our new year.  Bill shared his enthusiasm for meeting the challenges set before us by both our new District Governor Dave Underhill and RI President Ian Riseley.  
 
This year we in Rotary will be working hard at “telling our story” to raise awareness, attract new members, and help Rotary International tell our collective story. While awareness of Rotary has increased in the past few years, there is still a lack of understanding about what Rotary does in our communities and around the world. 
Bill Chadwick Takes the Reigns 2017-06-27 04:00:00Z 0
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Gift of Life New England, Rotary District 7780, and Maine Medical Center held a recognition reception on June 22 at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital to thank the care givers and other Portland area locals for their work with our two most recent heart patients – Jean Carlos Vasquez and Angel Abrego Quiroz of Panama.  Gift of Life New England was founded by Rotary District 7910 in Massachusetts in 2000.  Since then GOLNE has helped 71 children, including six who have come to Maine starting in 2012.
 
During the event, we remembered the late Paul Emery, Westbrook-Gorham Rotary member, whose passion for helping children first brought GOLNE children to Maine. His wife, Pat Emery, was in attendance and was recognized.
 
Dr John Lombard, Dr Reed Quinn, Ted Shaughnessy
Pediatric Care Recognition at MMC 2017-06-21 04:00:00Z 0
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Elder abuse is very likely to be happening in our community. The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that only 1 in 14 cases are reported to authorities and that most perpetrators are known to their victims.  Elder abuse is a community problem with community solutions so now is the time for all of us to become educated and get involved in this issue. This message was made clear by our speaker on June 20, Betty Balderston- Elder Abuse Prevention Advocate with Legal Services for the Elderly (www.mainelseorg).
 
Elder abuse can take many forms – physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, neglect, abandonment and financial exploitation. Betty focused on financial abuse during her talk.
No Excuse for Elder Abuse 2017-06-20 04:00:00Z 0
You're Invited 2017-06-16 04:00:00Z 0
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Fittingly, the day after the 30th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan's "Mr Gorbachev - Tear down this wall" speech ushering in the end of the Cold War within a few short years - Westbrook Fire Chief Andrew Turcotte, accompanied by Deputy Chief Steve Sloan, spoke to our club about the most recent "layer" of the Greater Portland - Archangel sister-city program - and the 7 individual visits over the past 1.5 years. 

The fire / EMS / rescue / forestry / warden exchanges between our two sister cities have served to further strengthen the bond which was tied almost 29 years ago on November 18, 1988 - in a signatory between Archangel's Mayor Stanislav Potyemkin and Westbrook's Mayor Phil Spiller - in this apolitical, grassroots friendship devoid of national disputes 
 
L-R: Steve Sloan, Phil Spiller, Chief Andrew Turcotte,
Bill Chadwick
Fire Chief Provides Sister City Update 2017-06-13 04:00:00Z 0
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To cap off a great year and do one more service project before summer vacation, members of the Gorham Interact Club volunteered at Sebago Lake State Park on Saturday, June 10th.  They worked very hard from 9:30-1:00, helping the State Park work crew with the difficult job of cleaning things out after a spring of lousy weather. They raked leaves, cleared brush and removed debris from the inner areas of the park. Interact Adviser Neile Nelson commented: I am so so proud of these kids. They are remarkable.”
 
  
Gorham Interact Cleans Up 2017-06-10 04:00:00Z 0
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“Senior power” is Maine’s greatest natural resource, according to David Nealley, publisher of Maine Seniors magazine. Nealley addressed the membership of the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club at its June 6 lunch meeting held at the Westbrook Regional Vocational Center Culinary Arts dining room.
 
Nealley, a 1984 Business Administration graduate of the University of Southern Maine, has accumulated an impressive background in a variety of fields including financial services, business management and politics. He was awarded a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Blue Chip award for successfully resurrecting the Snow and Nealley Company, an old family business manufacturing axes and garden tools. His revitalization of that company led to his being featured in Entrepreneur and Forbes magazines for his niche marketing expertise.
Nealley says “Senior power” Maine’s greatest resource 2017-06-06 04:00:00Z 0
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Congratulations to Henry Saunders. He was honored by the University of Maine with the 2017 Stillwater Presidential Award. The celebration took place at the Wells Conference Center on the UMaine campus in Orono on Saturday night June 3. Each year, the Stillwater Society honors key supporters of UMaine.  Past recipients have included Sen Olympia Snow, Sen Susan Collins, Harold Alfond, among other business leaders and philanthropists.  He was introduced by Dr. Dana Humphrey, Dean of the College of Engineering.
 
Stillwater Presidential Award 2017-06-03 04:00:00Z 0
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We had a great speaker on May 30 for our weekly Westbrook-Gorham Rotary luncheon - Vanessa Pike of Visit Portland (formerly Greater-Portland Convention & Visitors Bureau). Visit Portland is the destination marketing organization for greater Portland.  They are a non-profit organization that is funded by their members – 450 and growing. No taxpayer dollars are used. The name-change from CVB to Visit Portland was designed to simplify their name and their message, and bring people to the region.
Visit Portland 2017-05-30 04:00:00Z 0
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On Wednesday night May 24, an ecstatic capacity crowd cheered on the graduates from all of the WRVC programs. Pat Plummer represented Westbrook Gorham Rotary, presenting 15 scholarships and 9 toolships. She described the evening as “joyful”. Cliff Plummer also attended. He commented “Today, students can take part in programs for not only building trades and electrical, but also medical and social services, computer and web design, truck driving and heavy equipment operation, early childhood education and business. I almost forgot firefighting and EMT's.”
 
 
As part of the celebration, Culinary Art students had some delicious treats for graduates and family members. 
 
 
We are happy to be affiliated with this wonderful institution that equips its graduates to succeed as they further their education or immediately embark on their chosen career.
WRVC Graduation 2017-05-30 04:00:00Z 0
The Gorham Interact Club is winding down a book collection to support our ongoing literacy project. The students asked their classmates to bring in gently used children’s books for all ages.  Through May 23, they had collected well over 300 books!  Collection at Gorham ends on May 31.
 
 
L-R: Tom Nelson, Brittany Desjardin, Caroline Gross,
Jacob Dupuis, Neile Nelson
 
Beginning on May 30, Westbrook High School Interact Club will start their own book collection.  They have structured it in the form of a contest, challenging Freshman, Sophomore and Junior classes to collect the most books. A prize will be awarded to the winning class.
 
We are so grateful to the Interact Clubs for embracing this project.  Collected books will be distributed where there is need including at Stroudwater Food Pantry, Gorham Rec, Intercultural Community Center, and the summer bookmobile.
Interact Club Book Collections 2017-05-29 04:00:00Z 0
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Barbara Nichols, Director of Food Services for Westbrook Schools, was our guest and speaker on May 23. She spoke about the upcoming summer feeding program for children up to 18 years of age. During the summer of 2016, this program provided 15,000 lunches and 5,000 breakfasts.  They expect to meet or exceed that number in 2017 at the five feeding sites with the help of many volunteers and a few staff members.
Summer Lunch Program 2017-05-23 04:00:00Z 0
This Tuesday May 23 is the last service from the culinary students for this Rotary year.  Come wish them well as many move on from high school to their next adventure!'
 
 
Pictured L-R: Chef Charles, Sean Butterworth - Bonny Eagle, Samantha Low - Gorham, Emily Dolloff - Bonny Eagle, Bryan Bushey - Bonny Eagle, Andy Green - Scarborough, Jasmine Mason - Home School, Anthony Marston - Bonny Eagle, Wade Blanchette - Bonny Eagle. Missing Samantha Glantz - Bonny Eagle.
Last Service is this Week 2017-05-22 04:00:00Z 0
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During 2017 District Conference, eighteen clubs were presented the District Governors Award for 2016-2017.  This year the focus was literacy.  
 
Congratulations to our Club on earning this prestigious award. Thanks to all who made it possible!
 
President Jason Beever (R) accepts the award 
from AG Ann Schieber
District Governor's Award 2017-05-20 04:00:00Z 0
The Samoset Resort in Rockport was the location of our 2017 District Conference. Our Guatemala Water Project was featured in the House of Friendship which lead to additional clubs coming on board as partners on the project.
 
 
 
Much of the weekend was focused on the opioid crisis facing Maine. On Friday, several attendees created banners for use by the local MCRC (MidCoast Recovery Center) at summer events.  Saturday included a panel discussion on opioid misuse featuring Kennebunk Police Chief and Kennebunk Club Past President Bob MacKenzie, and recovering addict Ashley Hurteau who shared her story.
District Conference 2017 2017-05-19 04:00:00Z 0
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New England’s largest horse shelter, the MSSPA, is located on River Rd in Windham. It is a rehab facility, a shelter, and an adoption facility for animals seized by law enforcement due to abuse or neglect. This no-kill shelter is open to the public every day.  On Tuesday May 9, Meris Bickford, Esq, Vice President and CEO of MSSPA told us about this nearly 150 year-old organization.
NE's Largest Horse Shelter in Windham ME 2017-05-09 04:00:00Z 0
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Jacquie Lortie, Literacy Lead Teacher at Village School in Gorham was our guest and speaker on May 2. Her primary job is to support students in Kindergarten through fifth grade who are having difficulty learning to read. Jacquie and three ed techs serve almost 50 students each day.
 
Jacquie and her team see their students daily for 45 minutes in small groups of 2 or 3, organized according to their reading levels instruction can be individualized as much as possible. Typically, they see 12-15 in each of Kindergarten, first grade, and second grade each year. The numbers decrease as the students move into third, fourth and fifth grades because they have made the gains needed to be working at their grade level.
Reading Aloud Boosts Achievement 2017-05-08 04:00:00Z 0
Five students from the WRVC are heading to the DECA International Career Development Conference in Anaheim CA this week, April 26-29. These students all placed well in State competition, earning them the right to attend and compete at Anaheim.
 
Our club was pleased to help them with their trip by providing $1000.  The check was presented by Mike Foley at our April 11 meeting.
 
 
Pictured with W-G Rotary Member, DECA Alum, and former State Office of Maine DECA Mike Foley (R) are: Isaiah McGill, Senior, Hospitality Services Team; Anthony Morrison, Senior, Hospitality Services Team; Matt Berry, Senior, Buying and Merchandising Team; Zach Pelletier, Sophomore, Sports and Entertainment Marketing; Isaac Noyes, Junior, Buying and Merchandising Team
 
We wish them the best of luck in California!
DECA Teams Head to International Conference 2017-04-11 04:00:00Z 0
Thanks to Rev Mutima Peter and Intercultural Community Center business manager Karen Collins for sharing the vision and programming of the ICC and associated Power School in Westbrook during our weekly Rotary luncheon meeting April 11. The ICC is a safe haven and learning center for immigrants and refugees/asylees in our Westbrook and Greater Portland community.
 
L-R: Phil Spiller, Mutima Peter, Susan McCarthy, Karen Collins
Intercultural Community Center 2017-04-11 04:00:00Z 0
On April 8, 2017,  six members of our Club attended the District Training Assembly at USM's Abromson Center.  After a welcome assembly in Hannaford Hall which featured a roll call of the clubs by District Secretary Deb Grabowski, attendees moved to breakout sessions.  There were special sessions for the PEs, Secretaries, Treasurers, and Protection officers, as well as sessions of interest to all members.  Attendees learned about District and Global grants, fundraising for all club sizes, membership recruiting and engagement, and youth services, among other "hot" topics.
 
L-R: Scott Linscott, Christine Johnson, Bill Chadwick, Bill Gowen. 
Not pictured: Jason Beever, Dave Rolfe
District Assembly - A Learning Experience 2017-04-08 04:00:00Z 0
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On Saturday, April 8th at the University of New England, 28 members of the Gorham High School Interact Club participated from 6:00pm until 6:00am in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
 
“Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Relay is staffed and coordinated by volunteers in more than 5,200 communities and 27 countries. Volunteers give of their time and effort because they believe it's time to take action against cancer. “
 
28 members of Gorham Interact Club at Relay for Life
with Adviser Neile Nelson (L)
GHS Interact - Highest Earning Team at Relay for Life Neile Nelsen - Interact Adviser 2017-04-08 04:00:00Z 0
Westbrook-Gorham Rotary has been volunteering in a reading program at Gorham's Village School since early December 2016.  This reading program was started by VP Kate Wight in close collaboration with Jacquie Lortie, Literacy Specialist at the Village School and Principal Brian Porter. Kate was inspired during the 2016 District Training Assembly where she learned about a similar program that has been supported by Brunswick area Rotary clubs for several years.
 
Each volunteer reads with three children per visit, working with each child for about 20 minutes at a time. The children read aloud from books or lessons provided by their teachers.  Two volunteers are reading with second graders and three are reading with first graders.  The program will continue through this school year and will be followed up by a debrief with the team over the summer.
 
 
Pictured here are: Woody Beach, Kate Wight, Principal Brian Porter, Ethan Johnson, Christine Johnson, and Steve Rand
 
 
Reading Friends at Village School 2017-04-07 04:00:00Z 0
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During our Welcome Spring dinner on April 4, Past District Governor Sheila Rollins presented the Rotary Club of Westbrook-Gorham with a Membership Development Award.  This award recognizes our club as having the highest retention rate over the past three years in District 7780.
 
We are one of only three clubs in our 40-club District to achieve this high retention rate. Presidents during these three years were Patty Kenney 2013-2014, Steve Rand 2014-2015, and Christine Johnson 2015-2016.  Congratulations to our club and a huge thank you to our loyal members!
 
PDG Sheila Rollins; Past Presidents
Christine Johnson and Steve Rand
 
Photo by: Scott Linscott
Membership Development Award 2017-04-04 04:00:00Z 0
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During our Welcome Spring Dinner, it was fitting that we officially welcomed our two newest members - Rebecca Albert (Becky) and Donald Linscott (Scott).   Becky is Librarian of Walker Library and Scott is a professional photographer and owner of Linscott Photo. 
 
President Jason Beever (L) presented both with their membership packets.  These packets include their name badges, their Rotary lapel pin, certificate of membership, 4-way test coin, and Objects of Rotary. 
 
We are very pleased to have both of them in the club!
 
Photo by: Robin Linscott
Welcome New Members! 2017-04-04 04:00:00Z 0
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On Tuesday evening April 4, 2017,  32 Rotarians, friends, and guests joined us for our Welcome Spring dinner. As usual, Chef Limoggio and the culinary students of the Westbrook Regional Vocational Center did an outstanding job of meal preparation and service.  
 
To start the evening the Westbrook High School Jazz sextet played several selections.  As the meal progressed, we conducted our program which included an award, new member inductions, a surprise, and an update on Guatemala.
 
        
Welcome Spring Dinner 2017-04-04 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Pompom Linscott
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I’m a dog. My human named me after the two transplant surgeons that saved his life in May of 2012: James Pomposeli and Liz Pomfret. They replaced his diseased liver with half of his son’s liver! My job was to help him recover from his surgery. Sometimes I cuddled up and rested with him and other times I made him walk and play with me.

You know my human as Scott Linscott. Today he is an active photographer, cyclist and always on the go. He is a big advocate of organ and tissue donation and speaks of it whenever he can. It saved his life!

April is Donate Life month. It’s the perfect time to go online at www.donatelife.net to register as an organ and tissue donor. Twenty people die in the United States each day waiting for the gift of life.
A Dog Named Pompom Pompom Linscott 2017-04-02 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Phil Spiller
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Fire professionals and cadets from Archangel Russia, along with local Archangel Committee member Susan McCarthy, a fire-protection specialist, and South Portland Fire Dept Lt Chris Copp joined us for lunch on March 28.

This is the fifth trip of a bi-lateral exchange between the fire and rescue services of Greater Portland / Maine Warden and Forest Services in Augusta - and the similar departments in our Greater Portland sister-city of Archangel. This particular visit is called Project Brotherhood 2017, and included a 2-hour briefing on the program that kicked off the 2017 Maine Fire Chiefs Association annual meeting at Sunday River.

Project Brotherhood 2017 Phil Spiller 2017-03-28 04:00:00Z 0
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It was great to have Kiwanis President and School Board Member Veronica Leigh Bates at our meeting on March 28. She introduced our speaker Katie Brown Executive Director of The Locker Project (TLP). The mission of TLP is to connect food-insecure children in Maine with nourishing food to improve their learning capacity, health, and future.

Starting as a grass roots pantry to help out at snack time at East End school in Portland, TLP now works with volunteers in 23 schools in the greater Portland area, including WHS. The pantry at WHS was started in October 2016 and it the first TLP pantry in Westbrook. Expansion to the middle school is being planned.

Improving Learning Capacity and Health 2017-03-28 04:00:00Z 0
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A record number of over 200 local high school students attended the 2017 District 7780 Interact Conference at Scarborough High School on Saturday March 25.  The students had a full morning of activities and break-out sessions, culminating with an inspirational talk by Travis Roy. Both Gorham and Westbrook Interact clubs were represented.
Record-setting Attendance at Interact Conference 2017-03-26 04:00:00Z 0
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Bruce Wildes, Director of the Cumberland Woodbank was our guest and speaker on March 21. The Cumberland Woodbank is an all-volunteer program that collects and processes donated hardwood logs and firewood, and provides firewood or fuel to those in need. Bruce told us that the Woodbank started in 2007 in one small trailer with no heat.  Last year, they handled over 100 cords of wood, about 85% of which was sold to generate cash to provide fuel to 35 homes around Cumberland County.
Cumberland Woodbank - Providing Fuel to Those in Need 2017-03-26 04:00:00Z 0
Thanks to Westbrook Kiwanis for organizing this essay contest and asking our club to co-sponsor. In addition, thanks to our own Deb Shangraw and Emerald Property Management for also sponsoring a prize.
 
Community Essay Contest 2017-03-19 04:00:00Z 0
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On March 7, our board of directors voted to pursue a Global Grant for water drilling in Guatemala that will provide clean drinking water to thousands of people. The target date for this project is February 2018 with a club commitment of $1000.
Clean Water for Guatemala 2017-03-12 05:00:00Z 0
Rotary Saving Lives in Guatemala Bill Chadwick 2017-03-05 05:00:00Z 0
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The Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club sponsored an International Project that will have a lasting impact on the health of the woman and children of Guatemala.   The project was to build twelve “ECO-STOVES” in the jungle village of Cuatro Cayos.  The women of the village cook over open fires inside of their homes.  They inhale creosote and smoke particles resulting in a 17% lung cancer mortality rate.  
Project Addresses Lung Cancer in Women Bill Chadwick 2017-03-05 05:00:00Z 0
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We are pleased to report that both 10-month old Angel Abrego Quiroz and almost 13-year old Jean Carlos Vasquez were cleared to return home to Panama on their scheduled flight early on February 17, 2017. The children and their mothers had arrived in a snow storm on January 7 for life-saving heart surgery at Maine Medical Center.   With some delays due to a virus for Angel and need for exploratory surgery for Jean Carlos, the two children came through their corrective heart operations on Feb 2 and 3 with flying colors.
 
  
Angel Abrego Quiroz (L) and Jean Carlos Vasques (R)
Panamanian Heart Patients are Home 2017-03-01 05:00:00Z 0
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On February 28, we joined with schools and other organizations in our community to celebrate Read Across America Day.  Read Across America Day, also known as Dr Seuss's birthday was March 2, and celebrations were seen around the community during that entire week.
I Can Read Wth My Eyes Shut and Other Tales 2017-02-28 05:00:00Z 0
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On February 7, Rich Cantz Senior Vice President Strategic Development of Goodwill Industries of Northern New England was our guest and speaker. Rich previously worked for United Way and for Youth Alternatives (now Opportunity Alliance). Rich was a Rotarian for about 10 years in the Portland Club and has been speaking at local clubs to tell the story of Goodwill.
The Other Side of Goodwill 2017-02-07 05:00:00Z 0
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Ken Hawley, President of The Transformation Project (TTP), was our guest and speaker on January 31, 2017. Ken spoke about the great work being done with young people in "lock up" at Longcreek Development Center, a youth incarceration center that has been around for about 150 years.  Kids can respond well while at the center, but struggle with transition back into the community. That's where TTP can help.
The Transformation Project Comes to Westbrook 2017-01-31 05:00:00Z 0
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Bill Chadwick just got back from Guatemala where he delivered the first of three trauma bags that he was able to purchase with our ROTARY DISTRICT GRANT.  Chief Andy Turcotte leveraged Bill’s work in Guatemala with his emergency medical vendors and actually was able to obtain three bags for the price of one!
 
The first bag went to a remote jungle village and now represents the best medical equipment for eight hundred people in Cuatro Cayos, Izabal, and Chiquimulilla Guatemala.   Bill was able to sponsor a training clinic featuring the director of Surgery from Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis, Dr. Donald Van Nimwegen.  The locals were trained in how to use all of the gear in the bags.  It was a very productive trip.
 
In four weeks, three Rotarians from our Club will return to do an International Clubs Project with the Los Amates Rotary Club of Rio Dulce Guatemala.  They will have eight members on site to help us construct 12 Eco-Stoves.  Westbrook is paying for six, and Los Amates is paying for six Check out the stoves on… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdXsyb2JruI 
 
 
Trauma Bag Delivered to Guatemala 2017-01-29 05:00:00Z 0
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Warren the Moose has been visiting some warmer parts of the country this winter.
 
Recently he has been seen in New Orleans and Ft Lauderdale, and he is learning to fly, courtesy of Jet Blue.  We’ve also learned that Warren is huge Pats fan!!  We're told that he is looking forward to Super Bowl LI.  Go Pats!!
 
 
  
 
Warren has been on the Go 2017-01-29 05:00:00Z 0
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Jean Carlos and Angel have now been in Maine for three weeks.  They are finally scheduled for surgeries at Maine Med on February 2nd and 3rd. While they have been waiting, some local folks who speak Spanish have been getting them out around the area, although our cold weather has presented a bit of a challenge. They’ve been out walking around the Mall and up to LL Bean, among other retail establishments.  They have enjoyed eating at Tu Casa, Burger King, Country Buffet and Great Wall Buffet. They have also attended church in Westbrook. 
 
We are extremely grateful to Elvira Perez and her husband Pete Provencher; and to the Alvarez family, Anna, Saul and Jessica. They have opened their hearts and their homes to make the children and their mothers welcome. For more pictures, see the Gift of Life page of our website.
 
Jean Carlos, Maricruz, Angel and Itzy
Gift of Life Update 2017-01-29 05:00:00Z 0
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We now have a surgery date for baby Angel of February 2.   Jean Carlos undergoes exploratory surgery on January 23.  We wish Jean Carlos well, and we hope to have a final surgery date for him later this week.
 
While the children and their mother's are in Maine, they are staying at Ronald McDonald House. The suggested donation per night per room is $10, but the payment is voluntary and only as someone can afford to pay it.  Shown below is a 'Wish List" for the month of January 2017. This list is provided in case members or friends would like to help support this wonderful organization that is helping our Gift of Life children.
 
 
Gift of Life 2017-01-22 00:00:00Z 0
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In April 2016, a group of 18 adults from the congregation of FBC Westbrook traveled to Guatemala to work with children in poverty.  They spent their week in a rural AMG school in the town of Oratorio painting, prepping meals and working with children. AMG Ministries provides nutrition, education, access to healthcare, employment skills and more to more than 8,000 children in centers throughout Guatemala.
 
The third-world poverty the team from FBC experienced firsthand opened their eyes to the opportunity made possible through child sponsorship. The group came home sponsoring 10 children. That number has grown to 22 Oratorio children now sponsored by families in the congregation. The church sees the Oratorio work as its sister school and is committed to a continued relationship and providing life-changing sponsorship for as many children as needed. There are currently 14 children needing sponsors.
 
 
In December 2016, Scott Linscott returned to Guatemala to use his skills as a professional photographer to help AMG better tell the story of the work being done there. Their philosophy is: A hand up lasts longer than a hand out. They want to be sure their work is sustainable, a goal they have in common with Rotary funded projects.
 
On January 17, Scott told us that 25% of children growing up now in Guatemala will not be able to read or write. Only $200 per child per year is spent on education in Guatemala vs $8500 per child per year in the US. In some areas, there is disparity of education between boys and girls.
 
Many homes are very modest, built of cinder block and pressed plywood. Open cooking stoves are common, especially in rural areas, presenting a health problem for women and young children. Agriculture is a big part of the economy, but produce represents income to the family so children of farmers are not fed their own produce. 
 
For more information about child sponsorship visit https://goo.gl/EQ6kL7 
 
Another trip to Oratorio is planned for April 2018.  Contact Scott Linscott at scott@linscottphoto.com for more information.
 
   
L: Scott holding a woven table runner purchased in Antigua,
but likely woven in a mountain village.
R: Scott Linscott with Jason Beever
 
FBC Supports AMG School in Guatemala 2017-01-17 05:00:00Z 0
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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!!
 
Doing Good Is Simple 2017-01-16 00:00:00Z 0
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
 
Gift of Life Update 2017-01-16 00:00:00Z 0
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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.
 
Making a Difference to Kids in our Community 2017-01-10 00:00:00Z 0
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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.
 
Gift of Life Children are now in Maine 2017-01-10 00:00:00Z 0
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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
 
Changing the Face of Dying 2016-12-20 00:00:00Z 0
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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.
 
  
 
 
Christmas Party 2016-12-13 00:00:00Z 0
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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
 
Fire/Rescue Team Visits Archangel Russia 2016-12-06 00:00:00Z 0
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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
  • Raisins/Craisins
  • Mac n Cheese
  • Single microwaveable meals of all types
Other items needed include:
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Canned goods
  • Boxed Cereal
Thank you for your generosity this Christmas.
 
Westbrook High School Pack the Pantry 2016-12-05 00:00:00Z 0
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!
 
 
 
GHS Interact Project for Barbara Bush Children's Hospital 2016-12-05 00:00:00Z 0
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.
 
 
WHS Interact at the Festival of Trees 2016-12-05 00:00:00Z 0
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
 
Toys for Tots Since 1947 2016-11-29 00:00:00Z 0
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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.
 
Long time Westbrook Educator is now Superintendent 2016-11-22 00:00:00Z 0
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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.
 
Youth Services - Rotary UN Day and RYLA 2016-11-21 00:00:00Z 0
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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.
 
 
 
Crutches 4 Africa Container Load 2016-11-21 00:00:00Z 0
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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 Arts and Culture 2016-11-08 00:00:00Z 0
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The Toys For Tots Foundation is a Top-Rated Charity.  Over 97% of donations go to their mission of providing toys, books, and other gifts to less fortunate children. Less than 3% is spent on fundraising and overhead. 
 
This week, on November 29, 2016, our speaker will be Staff Sgt Andrew Roberson, Central Maine Marine Toys For Tots Coordinator. He will be telling us about local efforts in Maine around this signature program that helps make Christmas special for many children in need. The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.
 
We encourage members to bring toys, children's books and/or cash donations for Toys for Tots to our meeting on November 29.  If you choose to write a check, please make it payable to Westbrook Gorham Rotary Club Charities and the club will write a single check to Toys for Tots.  Thank you for your support. Let's help provide a Merry Christmas to some local kids who might otherwise go without!
 
Toys for Tots - THIS WEEK!! 2016-11-04 00:00:00Z 0
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Thank you to Executive Director Kara Wooldrik of Portland Trails for her outstanding presentation at our weekly Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club luncheon.  Portland Trails is a non-profit land trust with the mission of creating and maintaining a network of trails and green spaces that connect people with places.

With 70 miles of trails, Portland Trails turned 25 years old this year.  With a small staff of seven, they are an "umbrella organization" for many other trail and land trust groups throughout the Greater Portland area, including portions of the 28-mile Sebago To the Sea Trail that runs through the outdoor Warren Recreation area along the Presumpscot River. In the past year, they have seen 1M users of their trails.  The organization has over 1000 members, over 3000 volunteers and over 200 corporate partners – people powered conversation. They encourage removal of invasive species to allow the growth of native plants.
 
A top priority for the organization is to enable people-powered transportation – trails that help people move around, commute and run errands. Their magic number is ¼ mile. People are more likely to use the trails if they have access within ¼ of a mile. They have accomplished this goal in Portland and are now working on the same goal for Westbrook, Falmouth and other communities.   Future projects include connecting the Conant property along the river to the Riverwalk and creating a Westbrook to Portland trail – 22 miles along the Presumpscot River from downtown to downtown.
 
Jason Beever (L) with Kara Wooldrick (R) and
the book she signed for the Warren Library
 
Portland Trails - People-Powered Conservation 2016-11-01 00:00:00Z 0
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Don't forget the ongoing Gorham High School Interact Club project.  From November 1 through November 22, they will be collecting latex free pediatric band aids (with characters, etc.), stickers, packages of crayons, and coloring books to support the new child life services section being implemented in the Emergency Department at Maine Medical Center in Portland.  Look for their collection boxes at:
 
· Chalmers Insurance Group – 65A Main St, Gorham
· Great Falls Construction – 20 Mechanic St, Gorham
· Mister Bagel – 13 New Portland RD, Gorham
· Hannaford – 99 Main St, Gorham
· Morgan Dental – 94 Main St, Gorham
· Willis Real  Estate – 34 E Main St, Gorham
· Gorham House of Pizza – 2 State St, Gorham
 
 
You may always bring donations to a club meeting on or before November 22.   Tell your friends - Tell your family.  Let's help the students make this project a big success!!
 
Gorham Interact Club Project 2016-10-31 00:00:00Z 0
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Mike Shaughnessy, President of the Friends of the Presumpscot River (FOPR), was our guest and speaker on October 25.  Founded in 1992, FOPR is an all-volunteer non-profit organization, supported primarily by membership dues and small donations. Their mission is to protect and improve the water quality, indigenous fisheries, recreational opportunities and natural character of the Presumpscot River.
 
The Presumpscot River is 25 miles long and drops in elevation by over 270 feet as it runs from Sebago Lake to Casco Bay.  The name Presumpscot originates from an Abenaki word meaning “many falls” or “many rough places”. The river was once teeming with fish including river-spawning salmon, shad and alewife, as well as land-locked salmon, brook trout and the now extinct Presumpscot Jumper. With industrialization, it became a river of dams used to generate power.  At one time, there were 10 dams. With the removal of the Smelt Hill dam in 2002, there are now 9.  All except one are owned by SAPPI.
 
One of FOPR’s areas of focus is to restore the vitality of the river by re-introducing the historic migratory sea-run fish river above Saccarappa Falls.  This has involved working with dam owners to either remove the dam or install fish ladders.  Alewife and shad are now migrating.   Once small fish are re-established, larger fish should follow.
 
Fishing and bird watching are two of the most popular forms or recreation in the United States. The work being done by FOPR will enhance these activities in our area, making for an attractive community with easy access to river-based recreation.
 
Mike Shaughnessy, President of FOPR (L) with Phil Spiller (R)
 
Friends of the Presumpscot River 2016-10-25 00:00:00Z 0
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On Friday October 21, Paul Emery was presented with the insignia designating him Paul Harris Fellow Plus One.   Paul is currently at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House Room 104 and has appreciated the visits from his fellow Rotarian. 
 
Paul joined the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club in April 1998.  Over the years, he has contributed many hours to Club fundraisers, events, and projects, all in the spirit of “service above self”. Paul has been our District’s Chair for Gift of Life New England for several years, an organization that brings children with heart defects to the US for life saving surgery.  He has also been a longtime supporter of the Rotary Foundation and was approaching the PHF+1 recognition level when he became ill.  Through a donation of Foundation points to thank him for his service, we were able to move him to that next level.
 
Westbrook-Gorham Rotary thanks Paul for his dedication to our Club, to Rotary, to our Community and to doing good in the world.
 
Paul handing Gift of Life cases to John Curran
at MMC in July 21016
 
Paul Emery - Paul Harris Fellow +1 2016-10-21 00:00:00Z 0
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Marty Helman, District Foundation Chair, was our guest and speaker on October 18. Marty thanked our Club for our growing commitment to the Rotary Foundation. She also recognized our participation in a District grant with My Place Teen Center last year and our current District grant that will supply a trauma bag for Cuatro Cayos, Guatemala.
 
She provided a polio update. Mike McGovern believes we are now counting down to polio eradication in months rather than years.  While there have been a few new cases reported in Nigeria, a country that had been polio free for almost two years, they believe these are isolated cases and there are mechanisms in place to continue vaccinations and prevent a resurgence. The number of cases in Afghanistan and Pakistan are fewer than last year at this time, and environmental tests are free of polio.
 
Marty then spoke about how we might leverage ongoing work in Cuatros Cayos to develop a global grant.  Global grants with a minimum of $30,000 are much larger than district grants and have more oversight.  Global grants must be sustainable, involve knowledge transfer, source materials locally, and create a source of income that will allow for ongoing maintenance of whatever is installed.  The good news is that by partnering with other clubs in our district, in the US, or other parts of the world, and with a local Guatemalan club like Los Atomos, a single club might only need to provide $1500-$3000 to support a Global grant. Bill and Jason will be working on a plan for a Global grant during the upcoming trip in February when they will have an opportunity to make connections, identify costs and action items.
 
Finally, we asked Marty to sign a book to be donated to the Baxter Memorial Library.
 
Dr Wayne Lopez, President Jason Beever, Pres-Elect Bill Chadwick 
and District Foundation Chair Marty Helman
 
District Foundation Chair Visits Club 2016-10-18 00:00:00Z 0
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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!
CLYNK for Literacy 2016-10-17 00:00:00Z 0
The first books signed by our recent speakers have been donated to the Gorham and Westbrook Libraries. Club Service Chair Christine Johnson with Walker Memorial Library Children’s Librarian Kara Reiman (T) and Baxter Memorial Library Children’s Librarian Heidi Whelan (B).
 
   
 
Donations to Libraries 2016-10-17 00:00:00Z 0
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Bill Dunn of the Yarmouth Rotary Club was our guest and speaker on October 11. Bill was part of a team of 11 from District 7780 who traveled to Cuba in April of this year.  The trip was led by the Rotary Club of Exeter NH who were awarded a District Grant to install water filters in several communities across Cuba. Rotarians from Bridgeton, ME, Exeter, NH, Kittery, ME, South Portland Cape Elizabeth, ME and Yarmouth, ME toured the western part of Cuba for seven days in early April. 
 
The group was in Cuba on the 50th anniversary of Castro shutting down Rotary in that country. Rotary does not allow clubs to obtain or retain charters in countries with no freedom of assembly. While there, they could not promote Rotary, but they could answer questions.  Bill told us that the state departments of the two countries had different agendas for their trip.  The US wanted them to engage directly with and work with local people. The Cubans wanted to promote tourism.  The did a bit of both in their time there.
 
Each traveler packed about half of their suitcases with medical supplies where were sorted for distribution. Some of the team worked with a local plumber to install filtration systems in three communities, while others on the team visited the local hospitals to distribute the medical supplies. They found that hospitals had plenty of doctors, but had limited supplies.  The filtration systems were installed in locked rooms, with spigots outside of the rooms with Rotary signage. The first system took them 3 hours to install, the second 2 hours, and the final system took 1.5 hours.  Three additional systems were sent to other communities.
 
Transportation was a challenge throughout their trip. Sometimes the arranged transportation did not arrive, so alternate plans had to be made. In Cardenas, horse drawn carriages were the norm as car parts are hard to come by. In Havana, they saw many old US cars, although many of those are owned by the government.
 
The established tourism industry caters to Europeans and Asians who had not been banned from travel to Cuba. Their final stop was in Havana where they toured the Hemingway Museum and took in the night life. They visited the famous Tropicana night club, where Bill was pulled on stage with the dancers.  The entertainment that evening was two hours of non-stop music and elaborate costumes.
 
Bill Dunn (L) holding the book he signed for the Walker Library
with Christine Johnson
 
Highlights of District 7780’s Cuba Trip 2016-10-11 00:00:00Z 0
At the October Board Meeting, the Board approved a proposal to donate a children's book to a local library in the name of each speaker during the upcoming year. The Club will alternate between the Walker Library in Westbrook and the Baxter Library in Gorham.
 
In honor of our District Governor, Marge Barker, who signed the first books, we are donating books to both libraries this first week.
 
President Jason Beever (L) with District Governor Marge Barker
holding the books that will be donated to Walker and Baxter Libraries
 
The next day, the first books signed by Marge were donated to the Baxter Memorial Library in Gorham. Westbrook librarian Kara Reiman was on vacation. Look for the Westbrook presentation next week.
 
Baxter Children's Librarian Heidi Whelan (R) accepts
books from Christine Johnson (L) Club Service Chair
 
Board Approves a New Literacy Project 2016-10-04 00:00:00Z 0
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2016-2017 District Governor Marge Barker made the annual DG visit to our club on Oct 4. Marge spoke on several topics of importance to our District this year. Items she spoke about include:
 
Visioning – The District is in the process of visioning as a step towards developing a strategic plan. The process received very high ratings on the evaluation forms from the Westbrook session. Additional sessions are being held in Portsmouth on Nov 3 and Brunswick on Jan 17.
 
Polio Eradication Day Oct 24– Marge is asking that all clubs plan some event on or around that day to raise awareness about Polio and the need to raise funds to finally eradicate this disease.
 
100 for 100 Dinner – Nov 10. $26.50 per ticket will be donated to the Rotary Foundation.
 
Birthday of Rotary – Marge challenges all clubs to celebrate the 112th Birthday of Rotary in February 2017 and bring in the public.  There will be no District dinner or event.
 
Committee Chairs – All District Committee chairs are listed on the District website and are there to help clubs.
 
District Literacy Award – There are 10 criteria around literacy to achieve this award which replaces the District Governor’s award for this year.
 
District Conference May 19-21 – Samoset Resort Rockland. While District 7790’s conference will be held in Quebec that same weekend, we have invited 7790 Rotarians who can’t make it to Quebec to join us. There will be two service projects, one on Hurricane Island and a second food project that is still under development.
 
International Convention – Atlanta – 24,000 people are already signed up, about double the number that went to Brazil two years ago. There still is time to sign up for those interested.
 
At the end of her speech, she congratulated President Jason on being 2016-2017 President of Westbrook-Gorham Rotary and presented him with his “graduation certificate” for completion of several months of training in preparation for the current Rotary year.
 
 
District Governor Annual Visit 2016-10-04 00:00:00Z 0
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On October 4, the Board approved a new fundraiser through Hannaford Community Cash. Participants in the program fill specially tagged CLYNK bags with returnable bottles on an ongoing basis.  Bags are returned to Hannaford locations at your leisure. As funds add up, the benefiting organization receives a check.
 
A CLYNK account has been opened for Westbrook Gorham Rotary Club Charities.  CLYNK has provided the initial 100 bags and tags for our use.  Please pick up yours at our next meeting. Perhaps pick up some extras for friends and family too.
 
Funds raised will initially be used to buy the books we donate to local libraries in the name of each speaker.  Please help make this new fundraiser a success.
 
Board Approves New Fundraiser 2016-10-04 00:00:00Z 0
President Jason and Secretary Mike were pleased to induct two new members into Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club on September 27.
 
Mike Sanphy is currently a Westbrook City Councilor, President of the Westbrook Historical Society, and a board member of My Place Teen Center, among other volunteer activities.  Mike was born in Portland and is a Vietnam Veteran. He started with the Westbrook Police Dept in 1968, where he served for 40 years.  In addition, he was a volunteer for a fire call company, retiring as Captain after 20 years. He also served as Westbrook's Emergency Management Agency Director for 27 years. He holds a degree from USM in Vocational Education.  He lives in Westbrook with his wife Cheryl.
 
 
Andrew Turcotte is currently Westbrook's Fire Chief and has been in Westbrook for three years.  He has been in public safety work for 20 years. He holds degrees in Paramedicine, Community Paramedicine, and Nursing. He is a member of the International Association of Fire Chief's and is an active member in their EMS Section.  He has also has completed many other intensive programs and certifications in fields of paramedicine and nursing.  Andrew has been deeply involved in the Archangel Sister City relationship, participating in a Fire/EMS vocational exchange program that brought Russian firefighters for training to the Greater Portland area. He recently traveled to Russia to participate in the training there.  He lives in Windham with his wife Allison and two daughters.
 
 
We are very pleased to welcome Mike and Andrew to our club.
 
Two New Members Inducted 2016-09-27 00:00:00Z 0
We are pleased to announce that the Chef and students are back for the new school year. We are looking forward to a great year and can't wait to see what they will cook up for us this week!
 
Dave Rolfe and Chef Limoggio share a laugh
 
The Students are Back! 2016-09-27 00:00:00Z 0

Finally, the complete Winner's Circle of our 22nd Annual Golf Classic:

1st Place Gross: Emerald Management (Platinum Sponsor) - Kyle Shangraw, Kurt Shangraw, Neil Carroll & Reggie Grant.

1st Place NET: Team Beever - Jason Beever, Linda Beever, P Sweeney & Bill Chadwick (pictured below: Linda & Jason)

2nd Place NET: RM Davis - Matthew McFarland, B. McFarland, C. Webb & M. Webb

3rd Place NET: Chalmers Insurance Group (Gold Sponsor) - Ethan Johnson, D Willis, B Perrin and J Fox (Pictured below)

Closest to the pin: Bob Whiting
Long drive men: Justin Vincent - Saco River Dentists
Long drive women: Laurie Waschol - Biddeford Savings Bank
Putting contest: Dave Willis

Congratulations to all of the winners!!

Thanks again to our many sponsors and to the many volunteers who worked countless hours before, during and even after the event. The golf classic would not be a success without you.

 

Winners Circle - 22nd Annual Golf Classic 2016-09-20 00:00:00Z 0
Katie Sherman, the new Executive Director of the Gorham Business Exchange, was our guest and speaker on September 13. Katie grew up on August, graduating from Cony High School and UMA. She moved to southern Maine in 2009 and is currently Operations Manager at Knight Property Services.
 
The Gorham Business Exchange's mission is to be an advocate for local businesses to enhance the community in which we live. They are a non-profit organization serving the Gorham, Maine area and will be celebrating their 20th Anniversary in 2017. They periodically hold after-hours events and are hoping to make the organization more family friendly while expanding their community base.
 
Pictured at a recent GBE after-hours event at Smiling Hill Farm
Top: Katie Sherman, Dtr Gorham Business Exchange
Bottom: Kate Wight, VP W-G Rotary
 
Gorham Business Exchange 2016-09-19 00:00:00Z 0
Located during our closet clean-out in August, here is our club brochure from 1999-2000 Rotary year.  Cliff Plummer was President and the Club was still meeting at the Dunn St Legion Hall.  Current members should recognize some of the smiling faces in the club picture on the front page.  They include Dave Rolfe,  Cliff, our current President Jason Beever, Frank Emery and possibly Bill Gowen and Wayne Lopez way in the back!!
 
Over time, some of the organizations we support have changed, but most were, and continue to be, youth and senior related.
 
 
A Blast from the More Recent Past 2016-09-11 00:00:00Z 0
We are pleased to report that our club has been awarded a $2400 District Grant towards our project in Cuatro Cayos Guatemala. This money, along with our match of $1000, will fund a trauma bag unit along with training on how to use it. Assistant District Gov Tony Wagner (L) presents the District Grant check to Pres Elect Bill Chadwick, President Jason Beever and Foundation Chair Steve Rand (L to R).
 
 
In addition, during the Board meeting of August 30, Bill told us about eco stoves that can be constructed in Guatemalan homes. These stoves are made from about $60 work of materials and help vent cooking smoke, providing a healthier home environment for women and children.  The board voted to approve $360 to build 6 stoves during the February trip.  
 
 
Thanks to Rev Bill who wrote the grant proposal and who has done so much legwork on the ground in Guatemala. More and greater projects to come!!
 
District Grant Awarded 2016-08-30 00:00:00Z 0
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Woody was born in Canada, but moved to Maine in 1940.  He graduated from Deering High School in 1947 and from the University of Maine with a degree in General Engineering.  He worked in the paper industry for his entire career.  He started in paper manufacturing in Lee MA, later worked in sales, and finally in consulting on ways to make better paper.  In 1991, he and his late wife Virginia, purchased a home on Raymond Pond where he currently lives.
 
Woody’s has history with Rotary, as his father was a member in Rumford ME.  Over the years, Woody has been a member of several Rotary clubs.  First in Lee MA, then in Hartford City IN, later in Raleigh NC, and finally Westbrook-Gorham.
 
 
 
New Member Inducted: Woody Beach 2016-08-30 00:00:00Z 0
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Ethan grew up in Buxton.  He graduated from Westbrook High School and holds a degree in Business from USM.  He has been in the insurance industry for 14 years, focusing on commercial insurance. He likes his work because he helps people.  His parents and grandparents were a great influence in his life.  Specifically, his grandfather who encouraged him to do a good deed every day.

Ethan lives in Gorham with his wife Maria and their two children, Mia 5 and Robbie 9 months.
 
 
 
New Member Inducted: Ethan Johnson 2016-08-30 00:00:00Z 0
Thanks to Mike Foley, with some small assistance from Christine Johnson, for cleaning out and reorganizing our storage close at WRVC last week.  We found several item of interest that we’ll be presenting to the Westbrook Historical Society, including these badges and attendance insignia from the past.
 
 
Note the two different styles of badges, with hangers representing perfect attendance achievement. Assuming there was an owner of the badge on the left, he had 34 years of perfect attendance at the time this badge was returned to the Club.  If you think you know who that was, let us know so we can include that information with the donation. Also, please share information about the 5 year stars pictured and the older 100% bars shown at right.  
 
Finally, note the background is a sheet of membership cards found in a box of Secretary's records. Membership cards are a practice that has fallen out of use by many clubs, including ours. However, a Google search indicates that RI membership cards are still in use around the world.
 
 
History Corner - Name Badges 2016-08-28 00:00:00Z 0
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Tarlan Ahmadov, Program Manager of Refugee & Immigration Services and Language Partners, a program of Catholic Charities Maine (CCM), was our speaker on August 23.  Dick Lebrecque introduced Tarlan who was born in Azerbaijan, at that time part of the Soviet Union. Prior to his immigration to the US, he graduated from Baku University with a Masters Degree in History and Social Sciences.  Tarlan worked in Education in Baku, and later joined the non-profit sector, combined with consulting business to the Consulate of Azerbaijan in Tehran, Iran. Tarlan has worked in different capacities with local and international NGOs, such as IFES and Social Research Center, and speaks several languages fluently. He joined CCM in November 2003 as a volunteer and was hired as a Resettlement Case Manager the following year.
 
Tarlan spoke to us about the current world refugee situation.  In 2015, 65.3M people left their homes, with most from Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. Only 21.3M of those were accepted as refugees by United Nations definition. A refugee is defined as a person who is unable to return to their own country because of well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.
 
In 2015, 10M people were “stateless”, meaning they were staying in refugee camps and not considered residents of any country. In that same year, the United States accepted 70,000 refugees who had been in the vetting process for 3-5 years. Of those, 442 settled in Maine.  The projection for 2016 is 85,000, with about 525 likely to settle in Maine.  Most refugees who enter the US settle in California, Texas, New York and Arizona, where infrastructure is in place to handle higher numbers.
 
   
 
Refugee & Immigration Services 2016-08-23 00:00:00Z 0
As promised, here are a few recipes from Cookin’ for those ROTARIANS (circa 1959).  In honor of canning season, we are starting with pickle and relish recipes.  Note that the convention of the time was to credit each cook as “Mrs”. Sometimes her given name was also included - sometimes not.
 
 
    
 
 
 
History Corner - Cookin' for those ROTARIANS 2016-08-22 00:00:00Z 0
The Rotary Club of Westbrook-Gorham will hold its 22nd Annual Rotary Classic Golf Tournament at the Gorham Country Club on Tuesday, September 20, 2016. The 18-hole four ball scramble will begin with a Shotgun Start at 12:00 noon.  
 
All hands are needed to make this fundraiser a big success. Please arrive by 10:30AM to help with set up.
 
During the event we will need help with:
  • Set up of canopy, signage, and registration area
  • Packing goody bags and placing on carts
  • Check-in/Registration
  • Collecting payments
  • Oversight of putting contest
  • Selling Raffle tickets
  • Drawing raffle tickets and compiling results
  • Oversight of hole in one for Truck prize
  • Oversight of hole in one for Harley Davidson prize
  • Posting all the fun we are having on FaceBook
  • Clean up, as needed.
We hope to see you all there!
 
22nd Annual Golf Classic - This week!! 2016-08-16 00:00:00Z 0
The Westbrook Historical Society was the setting for our meeting of August 9.   Thanks to Mike Sanphy, new Rotarian and President of the Westbrook Historical Society, Tom Clarke - Treasurer, and Diane Dyer - Director, for hosting our meeting. The Historical Society is strong thanks to members and volunteers like Mike, Tom, Diane, and Martha Brackett - Secretary.
 
L-R: Mike Sanphy, Tom Clarke, Martha Brackett
Absent: Diane Dyer
 
The Westbrook Historical Society was founded in 1975 at a time when many communities across the United States were considering how to best preserve their own history as we approached our country’s bicentennial. The Society was originally housed at the old High School (now elderly housing), and later on the second floor at the Dunn St Legion Hall. They now occupy ground floor space at the Westbrook Community Center, making them handicap accessible.
 
In recognition of our 90 years, Westbrook-Gorham Rotary has donated several items to our growing collection at the Historical Society.  Thanks to President Jason Beever who has donated many items from his late mother Jane Beever’s collection.   These include a box of items from the time of Ken Brook’s time as District Governor, programs, club directories, song books, and Jane’s PHF certificate and medallion.
 
L-R: Jason Beever and Mike Sanphy
 
The Westbrook Historical Society has a large collection of our newsletters from across the years, but there are large gaps in the record.  If you have any Reveille’s or Scribblers in your collection, please consider donating them to the Historical Society.  Also, if you know any former Rotarians or family members who may have material in their family, please let them know of our efforts to acquire Westbrook-Gorham Rotary related material of all kinds for preservation.
 
Some of the Rotary collection at the Society
 
Finally, we now have a small collection of Rotary pins, patches, and insignia. We are interested in collecting more to create a nice display we can donate and present to the Historical Society.  If you have any theme pins, district pins, interact pins, programs pins (like polio plus, rotaplast, RAG, Gift of Life, etc), or other insignia that you no longer wear, please bring them to a meeting.
 
Rotary Meets at the Historical Society 2016-08-09 00:00:00Z 0
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On Sunday August 8, a beautiful summer day, a celebration was held to honor two young men who lost their lives too soon: Trey Arsenault & DJ Bruenig.  DJ's brother Derrick began a fund to help Trey's family. So many generous people gave so much, that he donated a portions of those funds to help rehab the basketball courts at the Cornelia Warrant Sports Complex where Trey loved to play.  Sadly, Derrick lost his brother to a tragic accident in February of this year. Trey and DJ were best friends and so the renovation of the courts now honors both young men.
 
The City and many local groups like Kiwanis and Rotary have also provided support for this project. The courts are now paved.  Soon, drainage work will be completed along with the addition of lights, landscaping and amenities like a bike rack and fencing.   We expect that there will be opportunities for some hands-on work by volunteer groups to finish this wonderful community project.
 
We were pleased the District Governor Marge Barker joined a few Westbrook-Gorham Rotarians at this celebration.
 
 
 
 
Community BBQ Held August 8 2016-08-08 00:00:00Z 0
Rich Emerson - CPA Managing Partner & Tax Specialist with Purdy Powers and Company - reviewed our new 501c3 entity with the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club, outlining new procedures and bookkeeping requirements. The purpose of adding a 501c3 entity is to facilitate donations to Rotary Club service and charitable projects as possible tax deductible items for the individual donor.
 
The Club remains a 501c4, a membership organization. Dues will continue to be paid to the Club. Westbrook-Gorham Club Charities is our new 501c3 entity that will also include the current Rotary House account. 
 
L to R: Bill Gowen – Treasurer, Rich Emerson – Tax Accountant,
Jason Beever - President
 
Westbrook Gorham Rotary Club Charities 2016-08-06 00:00:00Z 0
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We are very pleased to announce that the current Rotary House at 47 Dale Ave is now under contract.  The buyer is purchasing the house along with the final lot next door.
 
Judith Reidman, along with Pat and Cliff Plummer, are working the punch list items to ready the house for closing.  As in the past, they will put out a request to the club for help when it is ready for the final clean up. 
 
Here are some pictures of our latest project.  A great job by the students of the Westbrook Regional Vocation Center.
 
     
47 Dale Ave Under Contract 2016-08-02 00:00:00Z 0
The Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club has donated funds to the City of Westbook to install a new bike rack during the renovations of the Cornelia Warren Basketball Courts. The courts are adjacent to the former Warren Library property and are part of a larger recreation complex.  
 
This project began as a small fundraiser in the wake of tragedy and has blossomed into a major $150,000 overhaul of public recreational space in Westbrook.  Our $300 check for the bike rack was presented to Maria Dorn by Phil Spiller at our July 26 meeting. Thanks to Phil Spiller for bringing this need to our attention. 
 
Note that while the courts remain under construction, there will be dedication ceremony held on the afternoon of Sunday August 7 (time to be announced). These court renovations are being undertaken in memory of Treyjon Arsenault, a young WHS grad who was murdered in Portland in July 2015. 
 
 
New Bike Rack for Cornelia Warren Basketball Courts 2016-07-31 00:00:00Z 0
Re-published here is an article by Mike McGovern from Beyond Borders, a Zones 24 & 32 publication (http://portal.clubrunner.ca/50077). 
 
 
Polio - We have not yet won the war 2016-07-31 00:00:00Z 0
Dr. Mike Parker is a retired dentist, former Gorham Planning Board Member, and current President of PRLT, a non-profit conservation organization founded in 1986. The goal of Presumpscot River Land Trust is to conserve land for the public good and promote conservation of land with public access for low impact recreation. They focus on conserving and protecting outstanding lands in Gorham, Gray, Sebago, Standish, Westbrook, and Windham to preserve the character of the Presumpscot River watershed for the benefit of people and wildlife.
 
Added to the list of land for Maine’s future have been: Randall Orchards, Gumbo Gun power Mills, Land neat the new Great Falls Elementary School, Mill Brook Preserve, and others. Also, PRLT has collaborated with Sebago To The Sea Trail Project.
 
Pictured: Mike Parker (L) with Wayne Lopez
 
Presumpscot River Land Trust (PRLT) 2016-07-26 00:00:00Z 0
The weather in Standish at beautiful Sebago Lake was perfect on Tuesday July 19.  About 50 Westbrook-Gorham Rotarians and friends enjoyed lobster or steak at our annual lobster bake, followed by a Rotary sing-along.  Warren the Moose was also there enjoying the festivities!
 
 
 
Thanks are due to many people: to Henry Saunders for hosting us again this year; to Nelson Harmon for organizing and securing the lobsters; to Dan Willett, Walt Stinson, and Mike Foley for cooking up a great feast; to Pat & Cliff Plummer for elbow grease, utensils, and supplies; to all members who helped prepare the site and/or brought a dish or dessert to share.
 
   
 
A very successful team effort. Thank you for making this a great event of food and fellowship.
 
  
 
 
Let's do it again next year!!
 
 
Lobster Bake 2016 2016-07-19 00:00:00Z 0
Past District Governor Peter Johnson congratulated our club on a very successful Rotary year. As immediate past District Foundation Chair, he was pleased to report that our giving last year to the Rotary Foundation was at a multi-year high of over $8000, which includes Annual Fund as well as other giving such as Polio Plus.  Our Annual Fund per capita was $273, well above the District average and the highest average for our club in memory.   A huge thanks to all members who contributed and thanks to the board for providing matching funds that helped make this possible.
 
In addition, Peter presented President Jason Beever with his Paul Harris Society recognition.  This blue PHS hanger is worn with the Pall Harris Fellow pin and signifies a commitment to give at least $1000 per year to the Rotary Foundation.   Thank you Jason!!
 
 
L-R: President Jason Beever, PDG Peter Johnson,
Immediate Past President Christine Johnson
 
2015-2016 Rotary Foundation Recognition 2016-07-17 00:00:00Z 0
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In celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Rotary Foundation, Rotary is encouraging members everywhere to do 100 acts of good throughout the year. Let others know by posting photos of yourself on social media, along with a brief description of the act, using the hashtag #100actsofgood.
 
 
100 Acts of Good 2016-07-17 00:00:00Z 0
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During our meeting on June 28, Jason introduced officers and committee chairs for the 2016-2017 Rotary year. He also expressed his enthusiasm at having this second opportunity to lead our club.
 
The following club members have agreed to serve in these capacities:
 
Christine Johnson – Immediate Past President & Club Service Chair
Bill Chadwick – President-Elect & International Service Chair
Kate Wight – Vice President & Community Service Chair
Mike Foley – Secretary
Bill Gowen – Treasurer
Carlo Giraulo – Sergeant at Arms
Judith Reidman – Vocational Service Chair
Dave Rolfe – Club Protection Office & Youth Services Chair
Paul Emery – Public Relations
Jack Kivus – Membership
Steve Rand – Rotary Foundation
 
Jason also advocated for our continued support of the Rotary Foundation and encouraged members to sign up for Rotary Direct. He also confirmed that our first club assembly of the new year will be August 2.
 
L-R: Christine Johnson holding the 2015-2016 Rotary Theme Banner,
Jason Beever holding the 2016-2017 Rotary Theme Banner
 
Jason Beever Takes the Helm for 2016-2017 2016-06-28 00:00:00Z 0
Thanks to Woody Beach, long time Rotarian and UMaine alumna, for presenting us with a District 779 cookbook circa 1958.  His dad was also a long time Rotarian from the Rumford Club and this cookbook comes from his collection.
 
L-R: Christine Johnson President 2015-2016, Woody Beach,
Dan Willett
 
Cookin' for those Rotarians was sponsored by the Westbrook Rotary Club during the District Governor year of our own Phil Stultz.  As noted in the forward, his wife Orra was instrumental in the compilation of the book, collecting recipes from her fellow Rotary-Anns. The book was dedicated to then Rotary International President Clifford A Randall who is said to have been “a specialist in the culinary arts”.  It is fun to note that the contents are in both English and French, as parts of Canada were included in our District at that time.
 
 
 
We will look forward to sharing some recipes in future Scribblers.
 
Cookin’ for those Rotarians 2016-06-28 00:00:00Z 0
Recently, Jason Beever found a cache of Rotary material that his mom Jane Beever had saved, possibly from her time as club Secretary. Included was a metal box that contains items from Kenneth Brooks’ term as District Governor.
 
Kenneth Brooks was the second District Governor from the then Westbrook Rotary Club (Philip Stultz served 1958-1959). At that time, we were part of District 779 and the RI theme for that year was “Let Service Light the Way”.  It was also the 75th Anniversary of Rotary.
 
On July 25, 1979, a brief article appeared in Le Nouvelliste, a local newspaper in Quebec that is still in print. It shows immediate PDG Louis-Phillipe Matte (L), along with Guy Reynolds (R), President of the local Rotary Club in Trois-Rivieres PQ, along with Kenneth Brooks (center).  This was taken during the annual DG tour of clubs.
 
 
Later in that Rotary year, the Westbrook Club was host club for the annual District Conference held at The Balsams in Dixville Notch, NH.
 
 
Included in the program were photos of folks important to the conference, including three Westbrook Rotarians.  Note the great photo of a very young Frank Emery, then club President, who is still a member of our club today!
 
 
Near the end of his term in April 1980, Kenneth and his wife Dena were guests at an event in Hampton Beach NH.  One of the hosts took and sent along this photo of the couple.
 
 
History Corner – Kenneth Brooks DG 1979-1980 2016-06-27 00:00:00Z 0
Prep work has officially begun on the Westbrook-Warren Recreation area - Phase I of a planned multi-phase project in the first major refresh of the area since 1982. The planning committee hopes to have two new full-length basketball courts, lighting, seating, and landscaping ready for presentation to the community by the middle of August - in the first step towards a larger project focusing on the ball fields, trail system, parking, security, entrances, pool area and other park features of the entire area leading along the Presumpscot to Riverbank Park.
 
 
Westbrook-Gorham Rotary has agreed to fund a bike rack, an item identified as an extra amenity by the planning committee.  On July 26, we'll present our check to Maria Dorn from the City of Westbrook.  Thanks to Phil Spiller for bringing this need to our attention.  
 
The recreation area was originally established on Westbrook's 100th birthday in 1914, when SD Warren's son John built a trail from the old Warren swimming pool in the river (concrete pilings still visible in the river to this day below the current pool in the park) to Riverbank Park - also established in 1914 by John Warren to join the villages of Saccarappa and Congin and bring the city closer together.
 
Westbrook-Warren Recreation Area Under Renovation 2016-06-22 00:00:00Z 0
Rotarian Owens McCullough P.E., VP Engineering and Project Development at Sebago Technics, was our speaker on June 21.  Ten years in planning and involving thousands of hours of meetings and research, the new Westbrook Public Services and School Bus Center is due to open ahead of schedule in October of this year. Shown on the slide in the bottom photo are the existing building to be converted to unheated storage, the new public service garage, new school bus center, new fuel island, and new 9000 square foot sand and salt storage building.
 
 
 
The project includes over 22,000 square feet of fleet maintenance and administration and an indoor equipment washing area. The existing building is getting a new metal skin.  There is high energy efficiency paneling in the Admin area (R30.8) and radiant heat in the maintenance area.  All surface water will flow to the filtration pond, an environmentally sound design.
 
Owens told us “A project is only as good as the planning you put into it”.  This project was a team effort: SMRT Architects, Sebago Technics, Great Falls Construction and Westbrook Public Service.
 
L to R –Owens McCullough, Arty LeDoux-Westbrook Public Services,
Todd Desmarais-Great Falls Construction
 
New Westbrook Public Service Garage 2016-06-21 00:00:00Z 0
On June 7, we thanked Henry Saunders for his long time support of the Rotary Foundation by recognizing him with a Paul Harris Fellow +2.  In the past, Henry has funded Paul Harris Fellows for his late wife Marge Saunders and his brother Don Saunders.  Henry has served in Rotary for nearly 49 years.
 
 
On June 14, we thanked Dr. Wayne Lopez for his ongoing support of the Rotary Foundation with a Paul Harris Fellow +4. Wayne has served in Rotary for over 36 years. 
 
 
Multiple Paul Harris Fellows Awarded 2016-06-14 00:00:00Z 0
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Mary Willson, Marketing Director Stroudwater Lodge in Westbrook, was our guest and speaker on June 14. She shared floor plans and elevation drawings as she told us about this new facility under construction off Spring St.
 
Opening this late fall adjacent to Avita of Stroudwater will be Stroudwater Lodge, a Northbridge Senior Living Community of 95 from one bedroom studio to two bedroom units. Designed for people who enter at independent level, but allowing them to remain in their apartment and using services as needed.
 
This state of the art fully sprinkled building will be built to green standards and will include a full spectrum of activities for residents. While residents can prepare their own meals in their units, meals will also be offered in their dining room, with ingredients sourced locally as much as possible.
 
 
Stroudwater Lodge - New Senior Living Community 2016-06-14 00:00:00Z 0
The 2016 District Conference was held at the Tarry A While Resort in Bridgtonr. This beautiful property is located on the shores of Highland Lake, with views of Shawnee Peak. Tarry A While
 
  
 
Friday morning, a group of Rotarians met at the Maine Lake Science Center in Bridgton and blazed a new trail for the facility. Maine Lakes Science Center
 
 
In the afternoon, it was off to set up for the Conference.  As attendees and guests arrived, they were greeted by live music, a solo guitar, and some delicious appetizers. Opening remarks were made by District 7870 DG Sandra McGonagle and key note address for the evening was delivered by David Lee.  David, a management consultant and thought leader in the field of employee engagement and performance, spoke to the power of storytelling as a means of attracting and engaging new members.   What is YOUR Rotary story?  Share that story with your fellow Rotarians, friends, neighbors and business acquaintances. 
 
            
 
Throughout the conference, the Hall of Friendship highlighted service projects and initiatives underway in many clubs across the District. Westbrook-Gorham highlighted our relationship with My Place Teen Center.  
 
 
There was also an ongoing silent auction to raise funds for Polio Plus.  Our club contributed a Maine Wine & Chocolates bag that was well received and bids exceeded our expense to provide that item.
 
 
 
On Saturday the first Plenary Session subject was Human Trafficking, with panelists that included law enforcement, social workers and a local survivor of trafficking. The moderator, Jennifer Morin of Not Here Justice in Action Network, led the discussion on working collaboratively across a multi-disciplinary network to combat human trafficking and exploitation.  
 
The second Plenary Session was on Peace & Conflict Resolution. Marilyn Kellogg, Founder and Director of Open Minds based in Manchester NH, led a discussion with two young people who have worked in her program - one of whom grew up in a refugee camp and the other who grew up on military bases across the US.
 
The third Plenary Session was a presentation by the District Vocational Training team who recently visited Argentina and the four-member Argentine team that was on the last leg of their exchange trip to our District.
 
After hours in the Rec Hall with the Argentine
Vocational Group and hosts
 
Bridgton Rotarian Mody Botros (L) with
Bridgton Interact & Earlyact students
 
The final Plenary Session was a presentation by local Interact and Earlyact students who participated in a recent  international service trip to Dominican Republic where they installed toilets and created a safe playground at a local school.  For more information, and to hear from the participants: Bridgton Interact Service Project - DR  .  After lunch we heard from Exeter Club President Rachael Ela MacDonnell about the recent District Grant trip to Cuba to install water filtration systems and delivery medical supplies.
 
That evening, Julia  Phelps, Rotary International Director for Zones 24 & 32 shared her Rotary story with us. After a wonderful dinner prepared by A Fine Kettle of Fish, awards for the year were presented.  We then adjourned for a dance demo and some lessons in the rec hall.
 
 
L-R: Linda & Jason Beever; Steve & Patty Rand; 
 Christine Johnson
 
 
The conference ended on Sunday morning with a nice remembrance of Rotarians from District 7780 who had passed in the past year. 19 Rotarians, with over 350 years of service were remembered with a candle lit and a bell run as each name was read. We concluded by signing Amazing Grace.
 
  
 
 
District Conference 2016-06-13 00:00:00Z 0
The Rotary Club of Westbrook-Gorham was pleased to be presented both the Governor's Citation and the Bronze Presidential Citation for the 2015-2016 Rotary Year during the District Conference this year.
 
Thanks to all who worked so hard this year to make these Awards a reality!!
 
 
 
An Award Winning Year 2016-06-12 00:00:00Z 0
MPTC - Our District Grant work with MPTC is now complete with the meal of June 10.  Thanks to Deb Shangraw and Paul Emery who took the last shift.  Also thanks to all who participated over the course of the last several months, including Mike Foley, Steve Rand, Juile Hamm, and Christine Johnson (we apologize for any omissions).
 
L-R: Mike Sanphy, Deb Shangraw, Paul Emery
 
New Members - Two new members were confirmed by the Board on June 7.  We are pleased to welcome Jessie Jamison and Ethan Johnson to the Rotary family.
 
 
 
Golf Classic - Time to start solicitation for our Annual Golf Classic on September 20, 2016.  Brochures should be available at our next meeting. Electronic version is available from Steve Rand.
 
 
MPTC Beach to Beacon - Race Volunteers are needed to support MPTC as major beneficiary of this year's B2B.  If you are interested, go to http://www.beach2beacon.org/volunteer  and sign up for Team MPTC. 
 
 
Literacy Initiative - Kate Wight reported on a reading initiative she is developing with the Village School in Gorham. This will start in the Fall.  Any who volunteer are asked to commit to one hour a week for 6 weeks.  In addition, the school will be interested in volunteers talking about their vocation with students.  This sounds like a wonderful project and it ties in nicely with the Governor's Literacy Award for the 2016-2017 Rotary year and DGE Marge Barker's focus on Literacy.
 
Gift of Life - Gift of Life New England held a board meeting recently. Paul Emery attended.  There as some concern that this organization would disband, but it will continue.  Paul has asked the organization to help him fund one child during the upcoming Rotary year. 
 
House Project - Dale Ave - We are nearly ready to put this house on the market. A meeting was to be held Wednesday June 8 to review remaining steps.  The mold had been completely remediated. We will look for an update at our next meeting.  We must also now start the process of developing the final lot on Dale Ave.
 
 
 
Bits & Pieces from Club Assembly 2016-06-07 00:00:00Z 0
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A small but enthusiastic crowd celebrated the chartering of our District’s newest club, Rotary Club of Saco Bay Sunset.  The event was held Thursday June 2, 2016 at Dunegrass Country Club in Old Orchard Beach, with live music, a silent auction, and summer barbecue theme.
 
Attendees received beer glasses with a fun rewrite of the four way test:  1st Is it cold enough? 2nd Is there enough for all concerned? 3rd Will it build good times and MUCH better friendships? 4th Can it get any better than this?  Appropriate given their meeting place at Dunegrass in the Augusta Room at 6PM on Thursdays.
 
Congratulations to the 23 charter members of Saco Bay Sunset, 16 of them new Rotarians! Welcome to our Rotary family.
 
 
Saco Bay Sunset Charter Night 2016-06-02 00:00:00Z 0
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Founded in 2012 and based in Portland, Maine, Garbage to Garden is a curbside compost service that offers urban dwellers, schools and commercial businesses a convenient way to recycle food scraps, including meat, dairy and bones, to be used to renew our local soil. Within a month of start up, they were collecting from 100 customers.
 
Garbage to Garden is the most successful market-based curbside composting company in the Northeast, currently servicing over 5,000 households, and over 100 schools, restaurants, businesses and events. One of their customers is MPTC.  The ethos of Garbage to Garden is rooted in the spirit of sustainability and supporting the local economy while making composting for the masses as approachable as possible.
 
Garbage To Garden created a partnership with Bensen Farm in Gorham where waste is managed in large windrows. The resulting compost is bagged and sold at garden centers across Maine under the brand Surf n’ Turf Compost. We understand that demand for this product is very high as more people want a non-chemical approach to renewing and enriching soil.
 
Garbage To Garden continues to grow.  They recently reached agreement with Scarborough for centralized collection locations across town. They are among 5 finalists in Gorhams Saving’s Bank Launch Pad competition and will be “pitching” their business live at USM’s Hannaford Hall on Tuesday June 7th at 5:30PM in hopes of winning the top prize of $50,000.  They will be pitching again at Greenlight Maine on June 14th, with top prize of $100,000.  We wish them luck in both competitions.
 
Phoebe Lyttle - GTG Marketing with Wayne Lopez
holding a 6 gallon residential container
 
Garbage to Garden - Recycling Food Waste 2016-05-31 00:00:00Z 0
 
On May 26, Past-President and longtime club member Patricia Plummer presented $15,000 worth of scholarships and toolships to students of the Westbrook Regional Vocational Center at their annual awards night. The scholarships are generated from proceeds of the House Project, a partnership between the club and the school where students build houses and Westbrook-Gorham Rotary purchases the land & building materials and markets the house. This program has been in place since 1958! Congratulations to all the students and especially to those receiving awards.
 
Scholarships & Toolships Awarded 2016-05-26 00:00:00Z 0
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On May 24, President-Elect Jason Beever and Vice President Bill Chadwick signed our District Grant proposal.  The project proposes to bring sustainable health care to the roughly 800 indigenous people in the villages of the Cuatro Cayos region of Guatemala through the purchase of a Bell Portable Dental Surgery Unit and a Medical Trauma Bag complete with supplies.
 
This project builds on the previous work of Wayne Lopez, Bill Chadwick and many others from the Stroudwater Christian Church, and the relationships they have built with local people and organizations.  In fact, Bill was instrumental in the forming of a new Rotary Club in the area with which we propose to work, Los Ametes Rotary Club #81824, Guatemala. 
 
We are hopeful that our proposal will be accepted and funded for about $9800. If funded, the work will take place in February 2017.
 
District Grant Proposal Submitted 2016-05-25 00:00:00Z 0
Westbrook Fire Fighter and Paramedic, Brandon Brichetto was our guest and speaker on May 24. Brandon grew up in Prides Corner and is a graduate of Westbrook High School 2012.  He is currently a student at USM studying Therapeutic Recreation and lives in Gorham.
 
Brandon was referred to Camp Susan Curtis (CSC) in 2005 by a guidance counselor.  He was 10 years old, a normal age for a first referral to CSC.  He returned every year after that. He made many close friendships, including 3 girls who are like sisters and with whom he still keeps in contact regularly.
 
Before Brandon attended CSC, he skipped school a lot and was heading down a bad path. He recalled an exercise during which the campers were asked “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” He decided he wanted to help people. He began to focus on school and find opportunities to learn and grow in the medical field. This led to his current job and career.
 
L-R: Terri Mulks - Camp Director 
Brandon Brichetto- Westbrook Fire Fighter/Paramedic
Christine Johnson - W-G Rotary President
 
Camp Susan Curtis is located on 100 conservation acres on Trout Lake, the upper-most lake in the Kezar Lake Watershed. Students must be referred to the camp, which is focused on economically disadvantaged kids. CSC servea kids from all 16 Maine counties, using about 275 referral sources across the state. They see about 500 campers each summer, with 125-140 attending each of four 2-week sessions. The camp provides structure and skills for life in leadership and communications and costs about $1200 per camper for each 2-week session.  The great news is that kids who attend at least 4 years of camp have a 99% high school graduation rate.
 
Brandon has continued to stay connected to Camp Susan Curtis, returning as a staff member each year. He told us he likes to keep busy, and sure will be busy this summer balancing camp and work!
 
Westbrook Fire Fighter and Camp Susan Curtis 2016-05-24 00:00:00Z 0
Congratulations to Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club member Henry Saunders.  At his first meeting after his return from Florida, via Texas, he was recognized with the prestigious Paul Harris Award.  He recently achieved PHF+2.
 
 
Paul Harris Fellow recognition is given to individuals who contribute $1,000 or more cumulatively to the Rotary Foundation. Multiple Paul Harris Fellow recognition is given at subsequent $1,000 levels.
 
Henry has been a longtime supporter of the Rotary Foundation, honoring both his brother Don and his late wife Marjorie with Paul Harris Fellows in past years. His chief area of interest has been the eradication of polio around the world.  During the presentation, he spoke about the scourge of polio that he witnessed as a child. How it impacted friends, neighbors, and fellow students. It was even dangerous to swim at the Cornelia Warren pool, then located at the edge of the Presumpscot River.
 
Thanks to Henry for supporting the great work of our Foundation.  We have never been closer to the complete eradication of polio.
 
Longtime Member Honored with PHF+2 2016-05-24 00:00:00Z 0
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Since November 2014, Abigail Cioffi has served as the Coordinator for the Westbrook Downtown Coalition, working with local business and other interested people to build a sustainable and complete community revitalization effort using the proven components of Design, Economic Vitality, Organization, and Promotion.
 
The Westbrook Downtown Coalition is community run to make sure all stakeholders have a voice in the process, including businesses and residents of the City. They have looked to other successful communities to provide examples for success, like Biddeford which is helping Westbrook develop a strategic plan.   Also, Montclair NJ which won the Great American Main Street national award last year. 
 
Strategic planning and visioning have been a focus of this group to date, since a plan is required to apply for many grants.  There are many opportunities to request funding to support their efforts including Community Development Block Grant program, National Historic Trust program through HUD and Maine Development Foundation, and Main Street Development program.  
 
Abigail told us that there is lot of excitement around the planning process, and people ready to go and get things done. They are now recruiting committee members.
 
For more information, contact Abigail Cioffi at (207) 391-2977 or Abigail@downtownwestbrook.com
 
(L-R) Abigail Cioffi –Westbrook Downtown Coalition Coordinator,
Philip Spiller and Christine Johnson
 
Revitalizing Downtown Westbrook is Focus of Coalition 2016-05-22 00:00:00Z 0
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We are pleased to announce that twenty-eight $500 scholarships and two $250 toolships will be awarded at the WRVC Awards night on Thursday May 26.  The event starts at 7PM at Westbrook High School auditorium.  All are welcome to attend and recognize these fine students.
 
As part of their application, students were required to write a three paragraph essay about the impact that vocational education has had on them.  Some of the statements that stood out to the selection committee:
  • Without WRVC I would have never found myself.
  • This class has really shown me maturity and it has also shown me responsibility.
  • What has WRVC done for me? It helped me discover my true passion in business.
  • Medical Occupations has been very rewarding. I will come out of class with Personal Support Specialist, CPR, phlebotomy license and CNA.
  • Vocational school has had a great impact on me as a worker and as a student.  I have learned the importance of safety in the workplace and of keeping my own area clean. I have also learned the responsibility of showing up on time and working as a team.
  • Vocational school is the only reason I get up in the morning. It is the reason my grades have improved and it’s the reason I will be attending college. I will be forever grateful for the amazing opportunity Voc has provided me.
Thanks to Pat Plummer, Cliff Plummer and Judith Reidman for reviewing the applications.
 
Scholarships to be Awarded May 26 2016-05-22 00:00:00Z 0
Congratulations to Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club members Dr Jack Kivus and Patricia Plummer.  They were recognized at our meeting of May 17 with the prestigious Paul Harris Award.  Jack recently achieved PHF and Pat PHF +1.
 
Paul Harris Fellow recognition is given to individuals who contribute $1,000 or more cumulatively to the Rotary Foundation. Multiple Paul Harris Fellow recognition is given at subsequent $1,000 levels.
 
Thanks to both for supporting the great work of our Foundation.
 
(L-R) Patricia Plummer, Dr. Jack Kivus,
and Foundation Chair Steven Rand
 
Paul Harris Fellow Awards 2016-05-17 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Clubs across Maine are opening their doors to former State Senator Dick Woodbury for presentations on Ranked Choice Voting; what it is, and why it matters. Last year, 73,000 Mainers signed petitions to place a nonpartisan citizen initiative for Ranked Choice Voting on the November 2016 ballot. If enacted by voters this fall, Ranked Choice Voting would be used to elect Maine’s Governor, U.S. Senators, U.S Representatives, State Senators and State Representatives beginning with the 2018 election.
 
Senator Woodbury noted the current lack of civility among candidates, a divisiveness that carries over into governing. He believes that ranked choice voting has the potential to improve the dynamics of voting in three areas: 1) lets voters vote for their preferred candidate vs strategic voting 2) avoids having a winner win with less than majority vote and 3) lets candidates and voters focus on policies and positions rather than "viability" of the candidate.  He also believes that this could reduce negativity in campaigning and possibly lead to more candidates stepping forward.
 
Ranked choice voting is currently being used in cities like Oakland, Cambridge, Minneapolis and Portland ME.  If approved by Maine voters, it would be the first statewide use of this voting process.
 
 
L-R: Adam Pontius - Coalition Coordinator, Deb Shangraw
Dick Woodbury - former Maine State Senator
 
Ranked Choice Voting Proposed for Maine 2016-05-15 00:00:00Z 0
A huge thanks again this year to Chef Charles Limoggio and the Students of the WRVC Culinary Arts Program. Our final meal this school year was extra special with three entree options (including a carved roast), salad, and pie. We appreciate all you do and can't wait to return in the fall.  
 
It is disappointing to report that two students from Bonny Eagle could not be there due to the vandalism at their school.  With their school canceled, they could not attend WRVC that day.   Our thanks go out to them as well for a great year!!
 
 
 
 
 
Thanks to Chef Limoggio and Student of WRVC 2016-05-10 00:00:00Z 0
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Jeff and Kiersten Malloy are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Peighton Evelyn Malloy.  She was born on Mother’s day 5/8/16 weighing 6 pounds 13 ounces. 
 
Congratulations to the whole family!!
 
 
It’s A Girl!! 2016-05-08 00:00:00Z 0
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Joining other citizens of Westbrook, The Rotary Club of Westbrook/Gorham members were delighted to spend their Saturday morning picking up paper, plastic cubs, bottles and cans, and cigarette butts from the road sides and public places of the City of Westbrook, all in an effort to make beautiful the city they love.
 
Lynn Leavitt, Sustainability Coordinator – City of Westbrook,
Christine Johnson, Paul Emery, Rotary, Julie Hamm
Note Pictured: Mike Foley; Judith & Ed Reidman
 
Future Rotarian!??
 
Fun with tools
 
Cleaning the ditch near the High School
Rotary Volunteers at Westbrook Community Cleanup Day 2016-05-07 00:00:00Z 0
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Congratulations to Deb Shangraw, recipient of the 2016 Highland Lake Grange Community Service Award. This award is given annually to a Westbrook resident who has positively impacted the surrounding community.
 
At a special meeting of the Grange on May 5, attended by family, friends, fellow Rotarians, City Officials, the Director of My Place Teen Center, and Grange members, Grange Master David Gown listed the many service organizations Deb is involved with, including the Westbrook Gorham Rotary, My Place Teen Center, and the annual Toys for Tots drive, and work on the Duck Pond Historic District Committee. David concluded with the words “She’s done a lot for the city, especially the teen center. She’s always there to help people, the award is well deserved.”
 
Highland Lake Grange 2016 Community Service Award 2016-05-05 00:00:00Z 0
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A Sunday sermon by our own Rev Bill Chadwick led to the creation of the Stroudwater Christian Church Food Pantry (SCCFP) in 2015. As Doug Horner relayed the story to us at our meeting on Tuesday May 3, Bill spoke of the need to address hunger in our immediate community.  Doug, who had been looking for an opportunity to serve, raised his hand to volunteer to lead that effort.   On their first day, about 9 months ago, they served 6 families.  This all volunteer effort is now serving 326 families, half of those from Westbrook, on a regular basis. This represents about 1000 people.
 
The SCCFP mission is: To do the work of Jesus feeding those in need and reducing the number of food insecure within the Greater Portland Community. Their strategic goals are: 1) Feed the hungry, 2) Treat people with dignity and respect, 3) Build it to last - sustainability and 4) Own their financial solvency outside of the church budget.
 
The Food Pantry is a 501c3 organization and is registered with both the Good Shepherd Food Band and Feeding America. These organizations provide significant help to their registrants. They manage the relationship with Hannaford that allows SCCFP to pick up food directly from each participating Hannaford store once a week. Hannaford provides fresh meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables, along with baked goods.  However, dry goods are not included.  Our food donations this week helped fill that gap.
 
Out of about 1.3M people in Maine, over 200,000 lived in food insecure households in 2015.  This means they could not count on 3 meals a day. In this number are 1 in 4 children.  The volunteers of the Stroudwater Christian Food Pantry are doing their part to address those numbers.  Unlike many other food pantries, they are open twice a week: Wednesdays 12-3 and Sundays 1-3.  Registered families can come once a week on either day to pick up food quantities based on guidelines for calories and nutrition based on household size.
 
Thanks to all who brought in your generous donations of dry goods.  Your support is very much appreciated.
 
L-R: Rev Bill Chadwick, Dr Wayne Lopez, Doug Horner,
Paul Emery, Christine Johnson
 
Stroudwater Food Pantry - Feeding Those in Need 2016-05-03 00:00:00Z 0
Jason Beever’s family has a long standing commitment to service through Rotary and a long history of family businesses in Gorham.  His great grandfather, Clarence E. Carll, along with his cousin Eugene C. Carll, raised corn on a farm in Buxton and had a corn canning business in Buxton and Gorham.  They also co-owned Carll’s Insurance Agency in Gorham. Clarence eventually took over the business and renamed it C. E. Carll  Agency. He later sold that business to his son-in-law Arthur D. Andrew, Jason’s grandfather.  At the untimely death of his brother Lawrence, Arthur took over L.C. Andrew Lumber Company and sold the insurance agency to Jason’s father John S. “Mike” Beever.
 
According to early records, Clarence joined Westbrook Rotary Club sometime prior to 1928 and was President of the club in 1937-38. Arthur joined as young man in 1934 and was President in 1942-1943.
 
  
  Clarence E. Carll                Arthur D. Andrew
     circa 1928                        circa 1934
 
The club program on October 9, 1984 was a celebration honoring Arthur for 50 years of perfect attendance.  Master of Ceremonies at that meeting was John Hay (Hay Funeral Home) who had achieved his 50 years of perfect attendance the year before in 1983. The two had a friendly rivalry to see who would have the most years of perfect attendance, which was eventually won by John Hay when Arthur's declining health prevented him from going to meetings.
 
Four Generations of Rotary 2016-05-02 00:00:00Z 0
Katelyn Gendron, currently with WEX, was a Westbrook-Gorham Rotary-sponsored 2003 RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) participant and is a 2005 graduate of WHS.  For her, RYLA was truly a life changing experience where she learned a lot about herself, including finding her passion for helping others achieve their goals.  She was so impressed with RYLA, that she went back as a facilitator from 2004-2007.  After college in Florida, an MBA, and a career start, she returned as a facilitator in 2015 and is now on the Advisory Staff of the program.  She also volunteers with Junior Achievement.
 
Katelyn (right) at RLYA 2003
 
When preparing to speak to us, she asked herself “What is RYLA’s secret sauce?”  She identified three key components:  1) The amazing location at Camp Hinds, in the woods away from electronic devices; 2) Meeting new people from across Maine and New Hampshire, people with whom you have no history, kind of a clean slate; and 3) The caliber of those people – staff and students.
 
RYLA is about “doing”, but is also about “discussing”.  They tackle team challenges using a common model that looks at accomplishing a task through a good, ethical process that leads to positive relationships.   RYLA cultivates a personal growth mindset, where failure is seen as a learning opportunity.  Fundamentally, RYLA is a scholarship program in leadership training.
 
Our Club is proud to have sponsored Katelyn 13 years ago, and continues to be committed to sponsoring several students each year.   To qualify, students must be completing their Sophomore year of high school, complete the RYLA application, and complete an interview. Time is running short, but RYLA applications can be obtained from WHS or GHS Guidance, or by contacting the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club.
 
L-R: Hal Thomas W-G Rotary RYLA Selection Committee
Katelyn Gendron - RYLA 2003 & RYLA Advisory Staff
Phil Giordano - President 2015-2016 Scarborough Rotary
& District RYLA Chair
Jason Beever - W-G Rotary President-Elect &
RYLA Selection Committee
 
RYLA - The Gift That Keeps on Giving 2016-04-26 00:00:00Z 0
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If you haven't done so already, we hope you will consider making a 2015-2016 Rotary year donation to our Foundation at or before our meeting on May 24. 
 
Remember, all donations made to the Foundation will be matched dollar for dollar by our club, in your name, up to $100. We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to move closer to a Paul Harris Fellow, or the next level of PHF.  You contributions can be made to the Annual Share Fund, to Polio Plus, or to a cause in Rotary's areas of focus like providing clean water, supporting education, and promoting peace.  To receive this match, please make your donation by May 24.
 
You can give on line at https://www.rotary.org/myrotary, mail a check to The Rotary Foundation, 14280 Collections Center Dr, Chicago, IL 60693 or call 1 866-976-8279 9:30AM to 6:30PM ET Monday-Friday.  Or rock it "old school" and hand a check to our Foundation Chair Steve Rand out our next meeting.   Please help us close out this year on a high note!!!
 
Thanks to all who have contributed to the Rotary Foundation so far this year. Individual Rotarian donations of all amounts have made the Rotary Foundation strong, vibrant, and very well regarded for nearly 100 years.  YOUR contributions have allowed Rotary to make a difference in the lives of millions around the world.
 
 
Foundation Giving Match Deadline is May 24 2016-04-25 00:00:00Z 0
Our 67th Annual Patriots' Day Road Race was held on Monday April 18, with temperatures approaching the 70s by the time trophies were awarded.   Thanks to all the teams who participated: Westbrook, Gorham, Scarborough, South Portland, and Deering.  We had a good crowd of almost 70 runners. 
 
 
 
 
The top boys team was from Scarborough and the top girls team was from Westbrook. Top three girls all from Westbrook: Maddie Hebert, Delilah Graffam, Maddie Smith. Top three boys all from Scarborough:  Colin Tardiff, Andrew Sholl and Connor Doherty.
 
 
 
Thanks to all of you who volunteered for Race Day: Dave Rolfe, Frank Emery, Steve Rand, Jason Beever, Judith Reidman, Jeff Malloy, Hal Thomas, Christine Johnson, and Bill Gowen. This historic race could not continue without the support of our club members. Special thanks go to Dave Rolfe who lead the volunteers in Owen’s absence.  Also a huge thank you to Owens McCullough for the pre-race organization and coordination. In addition, he sent along two of his engineers to help out - Craig Burgess and Tyler Peabody. Their on-site support was critical.
 
 
 
Finally, a big thanks goes to the City of Westbrook:  Brian from Public Services who helped us set up and break down safely, the Fire Dept which provided an ambulance to follow the runners, Police Dept for providing a car to lead the runners, and particularly to Chief Roberts who wielded the starter pistol. A great community effort!
 
67th Annual Road Race Held On a Warm Spring Day 2016-04-18 00:00:00Z 0
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Jenny Stasio, Director of Operations of Family Crisis Services (FCS), spoke about the evolving role of FCS.  FCS was founded in 1977 and is the domestic violence resource center that serves victims and survivors in Cumberland County.  FCS provides safe and accessible services to all people affected by domestic violence regardless of race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender, age, primary language spoken, or immigration status.
 
FCS provides a wide variety of services including a 16 bed shelter in Portland, youth advocacy, prison advocacy, elder advocacy, and a 24 hour hotline. Anyone looking for help for an individual can call this hotline: friends, family, church family, neighbors, etc.  The two full time elder advocates work with victims of elder abuse and can meet with folks in their homes. In the past grant year, they have seen and worked with over 500 victims who were age 50+.
 
They have outreach offices in Bridgeton, Brunswick and at the Portland Police Dept.  They credit EPIC, Enhanced Police Interest Collaborative, with preventing homicides. They also run a program called Guys with Pies, a program that works with you men (over pizza) to mentor them to break the cycle of abuse.
 
FCS now has 46 active volunteers in addition to their full time staff. These volunteers are being featured on FCS FaceBook page during the month of April:  https://www.facebook.com/FamilyCrisisServices/?fref=ts
 
FCS receives funding for their programs from many sources: the United Way, Federal grants, Community Development Block Grants, by budget line items of Cities and Towns in Cumberland County, and by private donations.  Their Third Annual Gala Dinner & Auction will be held Thursday May 5, 2016 from 6-9PM at the Westin Portland Harborview.  For more information or to purchase tickets: http://newbeginningsgala.com/
 
 
Pictured: Jenny Stasio with Judith Reidman
 
Family Crisis Services Provides a Wide Range of Services in our Community 2016-04-12 00:00:00Z 0
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We are pleased to report that Westbrook Police Chief Janine Roberts joined us for lunch on April 12. She provided a brief update on policing initiatives underway in Westbrook. 
 
Thanks to grant funding and a City match, the Community Policing Coordinator for the Brown St area of Westbrook has been on the job for 6 months.  The officer is located at 192 Brown St in a converted apartment and the department now expects funding will be available for a second year.
 
Westbrook will have two bicycle officers this summer and two new patrol officers will be coming on board May 1.
 
A new police dog has been purchased.  The dog's name is Brook and her Canine Officer will be Ben Paul.
 
Westbrook Police Chief Update 2016-04-12 00:00:00Z 0
Westbrook High School Interact club members were recognized at the Rotary luncheon for their many community service projects. Some of their activities they told us about include: decorating the school hallways for Spirit Week, hosting a Valentine's Day Tea at Springbrook Nursing Home, Christmas gift wrapping at the Community Center, Salvation Army bell ringing and raking leaves for elderly residents of Westbrook.  An ongoing project which many of the students participate in is Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Ths is done in conjunction with other service clubs at the High School and involves students from all of the elementary schools in Westbrook.  As they did last year, they have plans to visit Barbara Bush Children's Hospital to visit with sick children in the near future.
 
Thanks to current President Letta Oeur and Junior Reilly Joyce for sharing what the club has been up to this year and some of their plans for next year. 
 
Standing L to R: Bruce Dyer - WHS Club Advisor,
Brianna Garcia, Courtney Arsenault, Sarah Terrano,
Alexandria Phelps, Danielle Breunig.
Seated: Morgan Menezes, Reilley Joyce,
Interact President Letta Oeur, Natalie Merrill
Interact Club - Serving Our Community 2016-04-11 00:00:00Z 0
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Our 67th Annual Patriots' Day Road Race road race for local high school boys and girls will be held on Monday April 18. Owens McCullough and Dave Rolfe have been hard at work behind the scenes and will be asking for help this week. Letters have been sent to area coaches and the request has been made for public safety support.
 
Volunteers should plan on arriving by 9AM.  We'll need help checking in the runners, handing out numbers, recording the order of finish, and supplying water, among other activities.  The race starts at 10AM.   Once the race finishes, we'll tabulate the results, award the trophies, and will need help cleaning up.
 
Always a fun time and a great make up opportunity as well.  We hope to see everyone there to help with logistics and cheer on the runners!
 
Note that school vacation week starts April 18, so there will be no meeting on Tuesday April 19.  
Road Race April 18 / No Meeting April 19 2016-04-11 00:00:00Z 0
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Every year, Rotary’s Presidential Citation program helps Rotary clubs around the world focus their efforts and achieve more in their service. This year, for the first time, the Presidential Citation was data-driven and goals were quite challenging. The criteria were in the following categories:
 
1) Mandatory Activities in setting goals in Rotary Club Central and paying July semi-annual dues on time - We achieved both goals.
2) Membership Development and Retention - We exceeded by achieving all 4 goals.
3) Online Tool Adoption - We fell short by one, only achieving 1 goal.
4) Foundation Giving - We exceeded by achieving all 4 goals
5) Humanitarian Service - We exceeded by achieving 4 goals.
6) New Generations - We fell short by one, only achieving 1 goal.
7) Public Image - We exceeded by achieving both goals.
 
The purpose of the Citation is to honor the efforts of the many clubs who have worked so hard toward their Rotary goals during the year. Seeing how many Clubs had made great strides in service without reaching every goal needed to achieve a Citation, RI President K.R Ravindran sought a way to recognize that work as well. 
 
As a result, the Citation this year will be modified and issued in three levels: Gold, Silver, and Bronze. The Gold citation will recognize those who met the high bar of all seven goals; Silver citations will go to those who have achieved six goals, and Bronze will go to those who have attained five (including, in all cases, the mandatory goals).
 
As you will note from our Club's results shown above, Westbrook-Gorham Rotary achieved bronze level.  We met or exceeded in 5 categories, falling one goal short in each of two others.   Congratulations to all and thank you for your contributions that made this possible! 
Presidential Citation 2015-2016 - Announcement 2016-04-10 00:00:00Z 0
Ten Westbrook-Gorham Rotarians attended the District Assembly on April 2 at USM Portland. Our FaceBook pro, Kate Wight got a group "selfie" as we started our day. Unfortunately, Paul Emery missed the photo op as he was networking with one of the 100+ Rotarians from around the District who attended this annual event. It should be noted that our Club had the highest attendance per capita of any club.  Love the enthusiasm!!
 
 
Amazing Participation at District Assembly!! 2016-04-05 00:00:00Z 0
Mobility - Health - Dignity - Access -  These are the goals of Crutches 4 Africa, a non-profit organization created by David Talbot of the Rotary Club of Mountain Foothills, just west of Denver, Colorado. It is estimated that 20M people in Africa alone have a need for a mobility device.
 
We are pleased to report that Westbrook-Gorham Rotarian Jeff Malloy has been collecting mobility devices in support of Crutches 4 Africa. We are fortunate that Casco Federal Credit Union has the local space to store the devices until they can be taken to the District storage facility in Biddeford.   Once enough units are collected at Biddeford, they will be loaded into a shipping container and sent to where they are most needed.  
 
    

Each shipping container can hold about 3000 units.  A "unit" is a pair of crutches, a cane, a walker, a brace or a wheelchair. It costs $9000 to $10,000 to ship  container from the US to Africa.
 
 
Our Club is hoping to learn from the successful collection activities of the Saco Bay Club and place collection boxes and signage in local grocery stores in both Westbrook and Gorham.  Look for more information about how you can help with this effort.
 
Mobility Device Collection Underway 2016-04-05 00:00:00Z 0
On May 4, 1955, about 3 weeks after Jonas Salk discovered his vaccine,  David contracted polio in Denver CO. He awoke paralyzed and was admitted to Denver Children's Hospital on May 7, to a ward with 18-20 other children. However, because he lived in the US, with access to great health care and physical therapy, by third grade he was living a normal childhood and actively participating in sports. Unfortunately, starting with some noticed weakness in 2001-2003, he was diagnosed with post polio syndrome and currently uses crutches and a brace.
 
A videographer by profession, David spent time in Africa. What he saw there led him to found Crutches 4 Africa to provide mobility devices to help those afflicted by diseases, like polio, and by other causes like land mines. In 2006, he was in Africa where he witnessed adults and children who crawled on the ground because they did not have access to crutches or braces. By the end of that year, David had collected 235 pairs of crutches and shipped them to Uganda. He also joined the Rotary Club of Mountain Foothills in Denver, CO.  
 
To date Crutches for Africa has shipped over 73,000 units to a long list of countries in Africa which has meant that thousands of men and women no longer needed to crawl through mud, garbage, and sewage. 
 
L-R: Jeff Malloy, David Talbot, Candace Talbot, Dennis Robillard
David Talbot - Crutches 4 Africa 2016-03-29 00:00:00Z 0
Rev Bill Chadwick spoke about his church’s work in Cuatro Cayos, a small town in the jungles of Guatemala. He and fellow Rotarian Wayne Lopez recently led a group of 20 to work on several ongoing projects. These projects include building and equipping a school, establishing a bakery to be owned and run locally, building a health clinic, providing dental services, feeding local children, providing mosquito nets to fight Zika Virus, among other projects

Bill showed how this work dovetails with the Rotary Foundation's motto of Doing Good in the World and to Rotary’s six areas of focus: Promoting Peace, Disease Prevention, Water & Sanitation, Education, Economic Development, and Child & Maternal care.  
 
Finally, he spoke about his vision for the future: equipping this new clinic with a portable dental chair and other associated equipment. We hope to submit this project for a District grant in 2016.
 
 
Rotarians Doing Good in Guatemala 2016-03-28 00:00:00Z 0
The Westbrook High School Interact Club sent seven students this past weekend to the New Generations Conference. Attendees were treated to a continental breakfast and a couple of ice breakers in the cafeteria where they met and learned about students from other schools.  The energy in the room was high!   Then off to the auditorium for a series of speakers which included a panel discussing Student Exchange, RYLA and Roteract, and a presentation by David Talbot of Crutches 4 Africa, among other speakers.  
 
L-R: Christine Johnson - W-G Rotary, Brianna Garcia,
Natalie Merrill, Letta Oeur - Interact President, 
Reily Schumacher, Courtney Arsenault, Danielle Breunig,
Reilley Joyce, Bruce Dyer - Interact Advisor
 
After a great lunch, keynote speaker Rotarian Deepa Willingham, Founder/Chair of PACE Universal, talked about poverty and illiteracy in the world, especially among girls in developing countries. It is estimated that 600-800 thousand people are trafficked across international borders each year. Most of these are women and girls, including girls as young as 5.  In the US, it is estimated that 14,500 -17500 people are trafficked annually, primarily women and children. Extreme poverty and lack of schooling are significant factors driving these numbers. With no education, the cycle of poverty continues from one generation to the next.
 
 
Promise of Assurance to Children Everywhere (PACE) was established to meet the educational needs of girls in impoverished areas of India and elsewhere. PACE started with 25 students at its pilot learning center in Piyali, India, and now has over 200 girls enrolled. There is currently a second school under construction in Mexico and another planned for Honduras. There is even discussion of establishing a program in Appalachia.  The school provides full education to girls of the community, but also offers programs to their mothers in finance and language skills. In Piyali, this has led to many small businesses that allow women to provide income to the household, raising the standard of living for the entire family.
 
To read more go to: paceuniveral.org or watch this YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/YwEhKu3T51Q 
 
       
WHS Interact at New Generations Conference 2016-03-28 00:00:00Z 0
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On Friday March 25, a small group of local Rotarians was fortunate to meet with David Talbot, Founder of Crutches 4 Africa, at the Casco Federal Credit Union in Westbrook.  Jeff Malloy, Manager of the branch, was our host.  We were joined by Israel Collins, President of Saco Bay Sunset Club and Dennis Robillard, our District's Crutches 4 Africa Coordinator.
 
During our nearly one hour discussion, we learned that David is a videographer and also a polio survivor.  He was working in Uganda in 2005 when he saw a site that stopped him in his tracks - a woman, a polio survivor, with her leg severely deformed and bent back touching her shoulder.  Also on that trip, at the head of the Nile River, he saw a billboard displaying Rotary's 4-Way Test. This was his first real exposure to Rotary. He liked the straight forward and moral message of the statements of the 4-Way Test.
 
July 17, 2005 was the beginning of Crutches 4 Africa, when he awoke from a dream realizing what he needed to do to help people like the woman he saw, right down to what the logo should look like.  in 2006, he joined Rotary and credits the reach of Rotary with helping Crutches 4 Africa grow to what it is today.  In fact, Maine Rotarians have contributed significantly to this project, shipping items in quantity only second to that of the home base in Colorado.
 
As of this meeting, 73,000 units had been distributed, with 5,000 in transit.  We learned that David and his wife Candace were on their way to Africa, via Maine, to meet and distribute this latest shipment.
 
L-R: Dennis Robillard, David Talbot, Jeff Malloy
One on One with David Talbot 2016-03-25 00:00:00Z 0
These photos are from the 1975 Club Directory.  We are happy to report that they remain club members to this day!  Bill Gowen, Dick Labrecque, Henry Saunders and Nelson Harmon.  Looking good gentlemen!!
 
History Corner 3-21-16 2016-03-22 00:00:00Z 0
Andrew R. Turcotte (Andy) the Fire Chief of Westbrook, who oversees all areas of the operation, was our guest and speaker on March 15.  
 
Andy spoke about the coming exchanges between the fire department of Archangel, Russia and the Greater Portland Fire Departments.  Teams from Archangel will make two trips here and teams from Greater Portland Fire Department will make two trips to Russia to learn from each other. Firefighter exchange programs are not a new concept nationally, but are in their infancy in our area. This exchange program will allow both areas' firefighters an opportunity to enhance performance, pursue new innovative ideas in Fire/EMS service lines, assist in use of new technologies, and build strong lasting relationships.
 
L-R: Mike Sanphy – Westbrook City Council, Chief Andrew Turcotte,
Deborah Shangraw – Rotary Club of Westbrook/Gorham.
 
Sister Cities Fire Departments 2016-03-22 00:00:00Z 0
A small group of Westbrook-Gorham Rotarians and their spouses attended the Camp Susan Curtis Leadership Celebration on Friday March 18 at the Marriott Sable Oaks. Thanks to a club member, our club was listed at the Sabattus Cabin Sponsor level in that evening's program.
 
The program included their usual wonderful line up of inspiring speakers, including a young man from Westbrook. Brandon Brichetto, a Camp Susan Curtis Alumnus, spoke of the difficulties and challenges of his childhood in a dysfunctional home.  When he was 10, a school councilor recommended him to the Camp.  He continued to attend for 8 years.   Thanks to the programs at Camp Susan Curtis, at the age of 16, he knew he wanted to go to college and have a career helping people.  He is now a Westbrook Firefighter and Paramedic as well as a student at USM.  We are pleased to report that he received a standing ovation.
 
L to R: Steve & Patty Rand, Willie & Christine Johnson, Jack and Linda Kivus, Linda & Jason Beever
 
Susan Curtis Foundation Leadership Dinner 2016-03-22 00:00:00Z 0
We are pleased to announce that Mike Foley and Jessica Champagne were married on March 12, 2016 at Eastpoint Christian Church in Portland ME. Congratulations to Mike, Jessica and Joseph!!
 
Mike Foley & Jessica Champagne Are Wed 2016-03-15 00:00:00Z 0
The Westbrook Rotary Club first met at the Westbrook Tavern Hotel in 1926. The Club met there until the Tavern closed in early 1936.
 
The club then moved to the American Legion Hall on Dunn Street, where it met from 1936 until 2002, with the exception of a couple of years when the club met at The Polynesian on lower Main St.
 
 
If any club member or friend can recall the years we met at The Polynesian, please let us know.
 
 
Since 2002, the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club has met at the Westbrook Regional Vocational Center.
 
 
While we have tried a few different summer venues over the years, we now consider the American Legion Hall on Conant St to be our permanent summer home.
 
 
History Corner - Our Meeting Places 2016-03-15 00:00:00Z 0
On Tuesday night March 8, the 90th Anniversary dinner was well attended and much enjoyed by all.   During the reception, we enjoyed the Westbrook High School Jazz quartet. These four top high school musicians asked Willie Johnson, jazz trombonist and husband of President Christine Johnson, to sit in.  The band also led us in singing a verse of American the Beautiful just prior to dinner.
 
    
 
Chef Limoggio and the culinary arts students out did themselves with a delicious peach and mango fruit punch to accompany the wide selection of cheeses and fruits presented for the reception.  We saw Mike Foley at the punch bowl several times during the evening, so we know it was good!   As usual, the meal was superb and the students were efficient and attentive waiters.  The meal was capped off by a moist yellow sheet cake topped with a light and delicious blood orange icing and served with ice cream.  Thanks to Bill Gowen, our longest time member in attendance, for cutting the cake.
                             
 
 
Steve Rand welcomed the many invited guests including DG Sheila Rollins and her husband Merrill, DGE Marge Barker, DGN Dave Underhill and his wife Linda, Portland Club President Bowen Depke, and Sebao Lakes Club member George Bartlett.  We were also pleased to welcome Westbrook Mayor Colleen Hilton as well as City Councilor and Westbrook Historical Society President Mike Sanphy. Other guests included Bruce Dyer and two of his Interact students, in addition to the spouses of several of our members.
 
90th Anniversary Dinner was a great success! 2016-03-15 00:00:00Z 0
Congratulations to Deb Shangraw's son and daugther-in-law Kurt and Katie Shangraw on the birth of their first child, a daughter, Harper Kennedy Shangraw on February 26.  Deb is sure a very proud Nana based on the number of photos she has been sharing on FaceBook!!
 
  
Deb Shangraw is now a Nana! 2016-03-15 00:00:00Z 0
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Composer – Carroll M. Richardson 1926
Sung to the tune – “It’s Nice to Get Up in the Morning”
 
Oh, we’re especially glad to be with you,
As members of Rot-a-ry,
We’ve got the finest little club
That ever you did see.
We gather every Tuesday,
The Tavern’s were we eat,
And a visiting Rotary member
We are always glad to meet.
 
We believe the Rotary spirit
Is an asset to any man,
To mingle with your neighbor
And to grasp him by the hand,
Indulge in song and story,
And get the other man’s views,
With a programme to entertain you,
And drive away the blues.
 
So, Old Westbrook has come into Rotary,
With a Rotary spirit true,
With “Harry Boy” to lead us,
You can bet we’ll put it through,
We’re all enthusiastic
To try and make Rotary feel,
That the Westbrook Club is a credit,
To be in the Rotary Wheel.
 
Note the mention in this song of the Westbrook Tavern Hotel, our original meeting place, and Harry FG Hay, our first president. Carroll Richardson was the Westbrook Postmaster.
History Corner - Westbrook Rotary Song 2016-03-06 00:00:00Z 0
Seth Goodall, a former state legislator, entrepreneur, and practicing lawyer, was appointed by President Obama to serve as the Small Business Administration’s New England Regional Administrator on July 10, 2013. Seth oversees SBA’s six New England district offices and is responsible for the delivery of the agency’s financial and technical assistance and governmental contracting activities throughout New England.
 
Small dollar loans are the engine of the economy. The average SBA loan size in Maine is just over $150K. In 2015, the SBA distributed 580 loans worth $110 million in the State of Maine alone, and overall, small businesses create 2 out of every 3 jobs in America.
 
Many businesses in Westbrook and other communities have used SBA loans to grow their business.  For example, Lee Auto Malls received an SBA loan many years ago and has grown into a large successful auto dealer.  More recently, Pika Energy and Black Dinah Chocolates have used SBA lines and counseling services. Pika is now attracting venture capital.
 
The SBA also has SBA Development Centers and Women’s Business Centers that offer business and financial counseling services.  SCORE in our area has a strong track record and reputation nationwide. All of these centers have provided over 8000 hours or counseling across Maine.  In addition, the SBA was instrumental in bringing $81M worth of government contract work to Maine small businesses in 2015.
 
Seth was delighted to speak to us as he considers Rotary clubs as means of spreading the word in local communities about services available from the SBA to help small businesses grow.
 
Small Business Administration can help businesses grow 2016-03-01 00:00:00Z 0
Our Charter President Harry F.G. Hay  - excerpt from Westbrook Historical Society Publication: Westbrook Mayors - A Brief history of The Village, The Town, and The City.
History Corner 2-29-2016 2016-02-29 00:00:00Z 0
After a long successful career as a partner of the law firm – Murray, Plumb, and Murray, Ms. Barbara Schneider, Atty. became the new executive director of Maine Adaptive Sports in October of 2015.
 
Barbara, a long-time resident of Maine as well as an avid skier, is married to a husband with permanent physical disabilities.  She is a passionate advocate for providing individuals with educations and training in order to develop skills that provide enjoyment through outdoor recreation.
 
Maine Adaptive Sports promotes year round adaptive sports programming, free of cost to their athletes who have a wide range of physical and cognitive disabilities.  There are programs across a variety of both winter and summer sports like skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, climbing, cycling, golf, tennis and paddling. Participants range from children to adults, and include veterans, children with limb loss, and adults with MS.
 
Maine Adaptive is able to offer this free programming through a combination of efforts - adult and junior volunteers, partners and affiliations, member schools, funding from personal and corporate donations and scholarships, wills and bequests, annual campaign, community events, ski-athons and many other events.
 
Maine Adaptive started in 1982 with 8 participants and 2 seasonal volunteers.  There are now 7 year round staff a six locations.
 
For More Information, visit www.MaineAdaptive.org
 
From left to right Frank Emery (Left), Rotary,  Anita Emery (Center), Ski Race team, Maine Adaptive Sports,  Barbara Schneider (Right), Maine Adaptive Sports
Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation - Year Round Programming 2016-02-29 00:00:00Z 0
Our Club Newsletter:  Over the years, our club newsletter has gone by three different names.  Originally published on May 10, 1926, The Rotary Reveille was a one page weekly newsletter covering topics like: upcoming speaker, speaker presentations of the previous week, announcements, poems, cartoons, count of guests and Rotarians in attendance.  At least monthly, there was also a summary of attendance. Attendance in the first year of publication ran from a low of 75% to a high of 100%!
 
Later, the publication became the Saccarappa Scribbler and eventually the Presumpscot Scribbler.  Pictured is our very first newsletter.
 
 
Many years worth of Reveilles and Scribblers are stored at the Westbrook Historical Society.  However, there are none in the archives from the 30s, very few from the early 40s only, none from the early 60s , none from the early 80s, with the last ones in storage from 1991.
 
If you or a family member may have saved our newsletters over the years, we'd love to see them.   We hope you would consider donating them to the Westbrook Historical Society to help fill in some gaps in the record.
 
Here is another great example from our 60th year.  "Bob Nunley gave us an assist at the piano, but the singing was not enthusiastic".   Also, see the story about Wayne Lopez's trip to the Far East.   The Editor, Mr Greenwood, sure had a great sense of humor!
 
 
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Fun Fact:  Our Rotary District number has changed many times over the years due to the growth of Rotary.   Note that Westbrook-Gorham was chartered just before the District changed from 8 to 38.  So we have been part of seven different districts in our 90 years!
 
1915-1918 District 1
1918-1922 District 2
1922-1924 District 31
1924-1926 District 8
1926-1937 District 38
1937-1949 District 193
1949-1956 District 285
1956-1990 District 779
1990-1991 District 778
1991-through current 7780
 
Club History Corner 2-22-2016 2016-02-22 00:00:00Z 0
Be sure to ask Bill Chadiwck about his recent trip to Guatemala. He and 19 others, along with 5 local folks handled 7 major projects during their time there!   He has lots to share and will be telling us all about it on March 22.
 
Here are a couple of pictures to peak your interest.  On the left, we see Bill with a local teacher as he accepts the books we funded. On the right, Wayne is looking great next to a local Dentist who helped him with his work.
 
    
                                    
Bill Chadwick & Wayne Lopez - Service in Guatemala 2016-02-22 00:00:00Z 0
On December 24, 1925, “a number of prominent citizens” gathered at the Westbrook Tavern at 1 o’clock to discuss and “take some definite action towards forming a business men’s club” to best fit the city’s needs.   15 men met that day at 810 Main St in downtown Westbrook:  Paul Smith, hardware; Nels F. Nelson, Clothier; Henry S Cobb, printer; Wade L. Bridgham, Attorney; Hale M. Dow, Florist; Harry FG Hay, Funeral Director; Fran A. Chase Jr. Coal; Paul Fraser, Recreation; Harry Higgins, Electric Transportation; James A. Lewis, Public Schools; Richard G. Raymond, Drugs; Carroll M. Richardson, Postal Service; Arthur G. Worthington, News Paper; Edwin B. Carr, Boots & Shoes; Granville C. Shibles, Osteopathic Physician.
 
Westbrook Tavern Hotel 1928 -  Westbrook Historical Society archives
 
Our charter was issued on March, 8, 1926.  On April 6, 1926, the Westbrook Rotary club observed a ladies’ night at the Congress Square Hotel.  Official presentation of the charter was made at that time. Presentation of the charter was made by Past President William B. Jack of the Portland Rotary Club, representing Eaton D. Sargent, Governor of the 8th Rotary District.  It was accepted by Harry F.G. Hay, president of the Club on behalf of 25 charter members.
 
Greetings were extended by Edward L Pickard, President of Westbrook Kiwanis Club and addresses or remarks were given by Ralph O. Brewster Governor of Maine;  Austin H. MacCormick of Bowdoin College and secretary of the  Brunswick Rotary club; Fred D Gordon, President of the Portland rotary club. Rev Roderick A. Macdonald pastor of the Warren Congregational Church was the toastmaster. The program was broadcast on WCSH radio between 7 and 8 PM.
 
Our club continued to hold regular meetings at the Westbrook Tavern on Tuesdays at 12:30PM until March 1936 when the Tavern closed.    After that, for about 50 years, we met at the Dunn St Legion Hall. We moved to the Westbrook Regional Vocational Center after that. If you know in what year we made that move to the WRVC, please contact President Christine with details.
 
Moving to the modern era, here is a great picture of our first woman president, Jane Beever 2001-2002, and her son Jason Beever 2003-2004 & 2016-2017.  Photo from a meeting in 2003-2004.   Thanks to Jason for sharing.
Club History Corner 2-15-2016 2016-02-15 00:00:00Z 0
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Ann Lee Hussey (Left), with club president Christine Johnson (Right), is a member of the Rotary Club of Portland Sunrise and served District 7780 as Governor in 2010-2011. Previously, Ann Lee served on the Reach Out to Africa Initiative as Zone 32 Coordinator for Health and Hunger, and as a member of the RI Rotarian Action Groups Committee.  Ann Lee has also served as Presidents’ Representative at several district conferences. Ann Lee currently serves as Adviser to the International Polio Plus Committee for 2015-2016 and Chairs the Polio Survivors Rotarian Action Group. 
 
Ann Lee told the club that her passion in Rotary started before she became a member – when she participated on a Rotary-sponsored polio immunization trip in 2001.   She has seen firsthand how the Rotary Foundation has changed lives around the world.   While Polio may be wiped out in our lifetime, the Annual Fund of the Rotary Foundation has ongoing importance. Rotary is not just asking for money; it is asking for Rotarians to change the world.
 
The Polio Plus initiative has really put Rotary on the world stage. The Rotary Foundation has achieved a top 4-star rating for the last 8 years, a great reputation for moving forward to the next big initiative. Other organizations are interested in partnering with us in future projects that fit with Rotary’s six areas of focus.
 
Contributions to the Annual Fund help support our humanitarian activities, from local service projects to global initiatives. Rotarians typically make monthly or annual gifts of cash or stock, but can also provide bequests from their estates. It is easy to name the Rotary Foundation in your will using a codicil (speak with your lawyer).  If you share information with the Foundation about the anticipated value of this bequest, you can be recognized as a Benefactor ($1000+) or a member of the Bequest Society ($10,000+).
 
As was proven with the March of Dimes that helped eradicate polio in the US, the size of your wallet is not as important as the size of your dreams.
Ann Lee Hussey and the Future of Polio Plus 2016-02-09 00:00:00Z 0
Thanks to Mike Sanphy for locating additional Rotary historical documents and pictures at the Westbrook Historical Society.  Also, thanks to Nelson Harmon for providing a Club photo from December 1970 showing club members standing in front of the Dunn Street Legion Hall – with names!
 
Westbrook Rotary Club December 1, 1970
Courtesy Photo - Nelson Harmon

If you have any Rotary memorabilia at home that you would like to share, or know of a local family member of a former club member, please let President Christine know.  We are very interested in expanding the Rotary collection at the Wesbrook Historical Society and identifying/creating a collection at the Gorham Historical Society.

Current items in the Westbrook Historical Society collection include:
  • 1959-60 scrap book compiled by Howard W Steven, President.
  • 50th Anniversary Gold program from 1975
  • February 1928 photo of club members in front of Walker Library taken for The Evening News
  • 1975-76 50th year club directory – two copies.  One copy has updated pages added through about 1982.
  • 1926-1932 notebook called “Concerning Rotary” – attributed to Granville “Doc” Shibles
  • 1926+ Bound historical ledger prepared by Granville Shibles
  • May 1926-June 1927 bound copies of The Rotary Reveille, the newsletter of the time
  • May 1940-June 1942 bound copies of The Rotary Reveille
  • 10-1-85 to 6-23-87 ring notebook - copies of Saccarapa Scribbler, the newsletter of the time. From Bill Greenwood.
  • Three hardcover Rotary International-published books.
  • ......And the search of their files continues.
1926 Visiting Portland Visiting Rotarian Badge
with name of Westbrook Charter Member Granville Shibles
​(Westbrook Historical Society Collection)
Club History Corner 2-28-2016 2016-02-08 00:00:00Z 0
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The 90th Anniversary event planning is coming along nicely, although reservations are coming in slowly.  Please sign up this week to reserve your spot for this wonderful evening event.

The Club voted to award an Honorary Paul Harris Fellow to Jonathan Ayers, President & CEO of Idexx.  He will be contacted to identify a time to award him this prestigious honor.  Idexx has been a generous supporter of Gift of Life. To date, our club has helped support life-saving surgery for 7 children from El Salvador and Dominican Republic.

Road Race planning is underway.  Our annual race will be held this year on Monday April 18. All hands are needed to help out.  Please arrive by 9AM.  There is no meeting during that week, so this is a great make up opportunity as well.

A mold problem has a been identified in the basement at the new house on Dale Ave.  Steve Rand has secured 3 quotes to mitigate the problem. Owens McCullough will visit the sites and review the quotes. Jason Beever is pursuing possible insurance coverage both from the club and from the school.

All members should visit www.rotary.org/myrotary  and sign up for My Rotary.  This is different from the Cub Runner website for our club, but your basic information carries over to this site, like your primary email address.  If you haven’t already, please visit this site and register.  It can be a fun resource with access to: Rotary Action Groups, Rotary Showcase, Foundation information, Rotary History, current Rotary news, and personal reports, among other things. Use the primary email address you use on our club website to login or set up your account.

Rotary Leadership Institute – We have room for one more on Saturday March 19 at York County Community College, 8AM-3PM.  The club will cover the $75 of training. Sign up for Part I, Part II or Part III, based on courses taken previously.  This is a great learning experience for both new and seasoned Rotarians.   Contact President Christine if you would like to attend.
 
Bits & Pieces from Club Assembly 2016-02-02 00:00:00Z 0
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Our charter was found right where we had left it.  In our closet at WRVC!!
 
Thanks to Chef Charles, it is now hanging on the wall near our check-in table.  Thanks to Mike Foley for snapping this photo.
 
 
 
Charter Found!! 2016-01-31 00:00:00Z 0
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John Bundy Brown 1805-1881, who made a start in life as a grocery store clerk, went on to become a top real estate owner in Maine.  He founded J. B. Brown, a real estate company, which is still has a prominent role in the city of Portland as JB Brown & Sons.  John had five children, one of whom was John Marshall Brown who studied law at Bowdoin College, received an appointment in 20th Maine Regiment as a First Lieutenant, was Adjutant to General Joshua Chamberlain and distinguished himself in prominent battles of the Civil War including Gettysburg. He retired a Brevet General, returned to Portland, married, and had five children including a daughter, Alida Greely Brown, who died in Switzerland at the age of 19.
 
To honor his daughter’s memory, John commissioned a stone memorial chapel in Falmouth Foreside whose foundation was laid in 1890. The Chapel became the burial place of John Marshall Brown, his wife, and their daughter Alida. Before pine trees grew up around it, it was a key navigational mark in Casco Bay.
 
Through subsequent gifts and endowments from the Browns and the Payson Family as well as others, this chapel with the addition of other buildings eventually became the Episcopal Church of Saint Mary in Falmouth, Maine. The church was initially a summer parish, but evolved into a year round parish as the local populous expanded outward from Portland.
 
Born in New Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia, Rev Nathan W. Ferrell has been Rector since 2012.

From left to right: Bill Gowen – Club Treasurer with Rev. Nathan W. Ferrell, Rector of the Episcopal Church of Saint Mary in Falmouth, Maine.

 
 
Saint Mary Episcopal Church in Falmouth, Maine - A Fascinating History 2016-01-26 00:00:00Z 0
Here is a great picture and story from the Westbrook American back in 1995 showing John Hay holding our charter from March 8, 1926. 
 
If any current or former members have Club historical materials in their possession, or know anyone who might have interesting information such as news clippings, journals, meeting minutes or photographs, please contact President Christine.  We are working to compile material to share during our kick off event and over the course of the next year.
 
Our Charter 2016-01-25 00:00:00Z 0
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Rotary District 7780 is committed to creating and maintaining the safest possible environment for all participants in Rotary activities. It is the duty of all Rotarians and any other volunteers to safeguard to the best of their ability the welfare of and to prevent the physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of children, youth, and other vulnerable person with whom they may come into contact.
 
Sheriff Dubois conducted the mandatory training session for our members which included how to recognize abuse or harassment.; Allegation Reporting Guidelines; Protection of the complainant; Reporting to appropriate law enforcement authorities; and District Procedures in response to allegations.
 
All members not present at this meeting are encouraged to review the training materials since review of this topic is mandatory every three years.  Materials will be made available on our website shortly. It can also be shared via email, once available.
 
Also, anyone who expects to be in a one-on-one situation with someone in a protected class, should complete a Background Check form.  It is the policy of our District that the Club will pay the small feed involved should a member request to follow this process.  The form is available from our Club Protection Officer Dave Rolfe.  He will process the form through the District Protection officer.
 
 

Left: From left to right: David Rolfe – Club Protection Officer. Dr. Bruce Dyer of Westbrook High School Guidance – Rotaract Club Advisor, Sheriff David G. Dubois - Sheriff, Stratford County, New Hampshire – District 7780 – District Protection Officer.

Club Protection Training 2016-01-25 00:00:00Z 0
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Members of the Windham Historical Society entertained our club with the story of the recent archaeological dig at the suspected location of the Provisional Fort of Windham at what is now the intersection of River Road and Anderson Road in South Windham.  The Fort was known to have been erected on the top of the highest hill in Windham and was built to protect the families of Westbrook and South Windham from constant threat during the Indian wars in the period of 1744 – 1784. The first school in Windham and a church were built inside the fort. Once it was no longer needed, the Fort was dismantled and materials were used to build other structures in Windham.
 
The Historical Society wanted to determine if the fort was indeed at this location, and if portions of the fort are located under the road. In the front lawn of the Parson Smith House (see above) test pits were dug. When some artifacts were found, trenches one meter wide by four meters long were dug carefully and yielded artifacts typical of the period including pipes, fragments of pottery, nails, and parts of a flintlock rifle.  Different soil colors indicate where walls of the fort were constructed.
 
The Windham Historical Society, working closely with the Maine Historic Heritage Commission, will be back in April of this year and dig more trenches to further explore the site before planned road construction begins. They are now confident that a good part of the fort is under the road. However, work being done by the Maine Department of Transportation to lower the River Road 4 feet at that point to improve sight lines and vehicle safety will move forward.
 
Anyone seeking more information is urged to visit http://windhamhistorical.org/parson_smith.shtml or check out this WCSH6 Story from November 2015 WCSH6 Windham Historic Dig
 
From left to right: Mike Sanphy – Westbrook Historical Society,
Jim Hanscom, Ernie Mitchell – Windham Historical Society,
Ted Rogers, Rotary Club of Westbrook/Gorham and
Linda Griffin of Windham Historical Society.
Provincial Fort of Windham 2016-01-17 00:00:00Z 0
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Phil is a long time Westbrook resident and WHS graduate, class of 1991.  He graduated from Cornell University with Degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Management and served 10 years of active duty in the Navy.  During his time as a Captain and Pilot in the Navy, he served as an Aircraft Commander, Mission Commander and Pilot Instructor.  After leaving active duty, he continued in the Navy reserves while working as Captain for Jet Blue.  
 
He told us that his community involvement really got started about 2 years ago with the 25th anniversary of the sister city program.  Phil’s father, Phil Spiller Sr, was instrumental in the creation of this partnership in 1987 between Greater Portland and Archangel Russia.  Since then, he has become involved with Westbrook’s downtown coalition network, MPTC Board, Westbrook Together Days Organizing Committee, Cornelia Warren Courts renovation, Westbrook Historical Society, and the 10 year sustainability board for the Jetport.  He is a local Cornell Ambassador and a member of American Legion Post 62 on Dunn St.  Also, he is an advocate for the Portland Boxing Club, of which Jet Blue is a sponsor at the Portland Expo.
 
Phil has been a Pilot for Jet Blue for 10 years and is based in Boston. He can work 12-18 days a month, with many layovers not in New England. He told us about two hot button issues in the airline industry today. The first is laser strikes.  Through October 2015, there were over 5300 laser strikes on domestic aircraft in the US.  This is a serious offense that can blind pilots and endanger passengers.  Anyone caught can face up to a $250K find and up to 20 years in jail. The second issue is the proliferation of drones. While drones must now be registered, the increasing popularity of these recreational devices could pose a hazard to commercial aircraft.
 
The Club thanks Phil for his service and is pleased that he has added Rotary to the list of his community activities.
Phil Spiller Classification Talk 2016-01-11 00:00:00Z 0
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We are pleased to announce that the IRS has approved our new non-profit entity, WESTBROOK GORHAM ROTARY CLUB CHARITIES.  Our Treasurer, Bill Gowen, will share more details at our next Club Assembly on February 2. 
 
Thanks to all who worked so hard on this for so long. Particular thanks go out to Judith Reidman and Bill Gowen.
IRS has approved our non-profit 2016-01-11 00:00:00Z 0
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This month’s District “What’s Your Story?” theme is Community Service.  If we submit a story about our club’s involvement in this area of focus, our club’s name will go into a drawing to win two free tickets to the District Conference.  This month’s deadline for submission is January 31st.  Stories should be 1 or 2 paragraphs. Pictures are a plus!    Please let Christine know if you’d like to write a story.  We can write about anything we are involved with locally.  Two potential ideas are the House Project and our involvement with MPTC.
Community Service Focus for February District Newsletter 2016-01-11 00:00:00Z 0
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The Sanford-Springvale Rotary Club cordially invites you to join its members for breakfast on January 21, 2016 at 7:15 a.m. at Above and Beyond Catering at the Town Club, 6 Washington St, Sanford, ME.  The speaker will be TRAVIS MILLS (Retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant of the 82nd Airborne) who will share his inspiring story.
 
There is limited space.  RSVP to Elias Thomas – ethomas@metrocast.net  before January 15th .
$12.00 per person (Checks payable to Sanford-Springvale Rotary Club).
Travis Mills Speaking at Sanford-Springvale 2016-01-11 00:00:00Z 0
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Thanks to the hard work of our members, our tree sale was a big success again this year.  Special thanks go out to Steve Rand for leading the way. While net proceeds are down slightly from last year due to some one-time expenses, income was up a healthy amount.  We are well positioned for next year. 
 
Also, we raised over $170 for the food pantries.  This money will be sent with our match this week.
 
Great work all!  
Christmas Tree Sales Results 2015-12-28 00:00:00Z 0
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The Reverend Dr William Chadwick, otherwise known as VP Bill, was our speaker on December 22nd.  He presented a topical and interesting program that was a prophetic and scientific examination of the Star of Bethlehem. He examined several quotes from scripture in conjunction with re-creations of astronomical phenomena in the night sky. In addition, he discussed prophecies familiar to the magi of Babylon which tie in with many aspects of the Christmas story.
 
The Babylonian magi were religious scholars who combined astronomy and astrology in interpreting dreams, visions and cosmic events which lead them to look for and eventually follow a bright conjunction of planets (Venus & Jupiter) towards their west in 2BCE.  Likely, there was a triple conjunction (two planets coming close together three times in a short period of time), making the cosmic event even more significant to the magi.  Interestingly, Venus has been called the Mother Planet and Jupiter the King Planet.
 
Johannes Kepler, a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer discovered laws of planetary motion around 1609.  Using those laws, he could calculate sky maps for any day in history and set out to recreate the night sky at the time of the Jesus’ birth, using the death date of King Herod as a guide. These re-creations found that there were significant planetary and star conjunction events in both 3 BCE and 2 BCE which would explain the magi’s intense interest in the skies over Judeah and their belief that something important was happening in that direction (the birth of a King). Of course, their journey led them to Jerusalem and ultimately to Bethlehem, a small village that was known for raising lambs to be used in the Passover sacrifices each year.
The Star of Bethlehem 2015-12-22 00:00:00Z 0
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We are pleased to report that the Rotary table raised the most “tips for charity” this year at the December 11 luncheon.  $348!!  All proceeds were designated to the Westbrook Food Panty and the Good Samaritan Fund.
 
A huge thanks goes out to Rotarians, family, and UMaine Alumni who joined us this year.  We are looking forward to retaining that number one position next year.
Tips for Charity – A big success 2015-12-20 00:00:00Z 0
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Still looking for that perfect hostess or business gift? Check out http://purchasing4mycause.com/ . Time is running short for Christmas delivery so visit the site today!    
 
When you “proceed to checkout”, select your cause: Civic/Community/Religious, in the State of ME, then click on Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club.  15% of your purchase will come back to our club.
Purchasing 4 My Cause 2015-12-20 00:00:00Z 0
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On December 3, the Portland Alumnae Club of the University of Maine held their annual Christmas luncheon. Each year, this group chooses a service project or charity of interest to the members, and then brings items to donate to that cause.  This year, they agreed to donate children’s books to our club for distribution as part of the District 7780 Literacy Project.
 
District Governor Elect Marge Barker was the guest speaker.  She spoke about her passion for books, especially seeing children reading and enjoying books. She also spoke about her involvement with Rotary projects in several countries, like the District’s Guatemalan literacy project.
 
Thank you to Marge for being a wonderful speaker.   Also, a huge thank you to the Portland Alumnae members for helping us with our Literacy Project.
UMaine Alumnae Support our Literacy Project 2015-12-13 00:00:00Z 0
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Thanks to Judith and Ed Reidman for opening their home to us again this year.  The event was well attended by about 43 club members and their families. As usual, there was a whole lot of great food and drink, with some recipe sharing.   The Yankee swap provided great (and somewhat competitive) entertainment with nearly 40 participants. Popular items that changed hands several times included Kahlua, a tool kit, and a set of Christmas bowls.
 
  
  
 
Also, thanks to all who brought Toys for Tots and Teens. These items, along with other donations to date, will be given to the Marines this coming Tuesday morning. 
 
We are all looking forward to next year's Christmas party when Steve and Patty Rand will be our hosts.
 
  
  
 
Another successful Christmas Party 2015-12-08 00:00:00Z 0
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Paul Harris Fellow recognition is given to an individual who contributes $1,000 or more cumulatively to the Rotary Annual Fund. Multiple Paul Harris Fellow recognition is given for each subsequent $1,000 donated in an individual’s name, including any matching funds from the Club.
 
Congratulations and a huge thanks to Dan Willett for his generosity to Rotary by reaching the Paul Harris +3 giving level.
 
Steve Rand (Right), Rotary Foundation Chairperson, recognizes Dan Willett (Center) Rotary Assistant District Governor, Anton Wagner, (Left) adds his congratulations.
Dan Willett – Paul Harris +3 2015-12-06 00:00:00Z 0
New Rotary member, Jeff Malloy, grew up in Cumberland and graduated from Greeley High School 1992.  He took classes at USM, then later at Andover College (now Kaplan University) studying the travel and tourism industry, but found his interests shifting to retail management. He joined Wal-Mart where he gained extensive experience, including formal training at Wal-Mart’s management training Institute in Half Moon, New York.  After honing his skills as manager of several retail stores, including iParty (now Party City) and Yankee Candle, Jeff accepted the position of branch manager of Casco Federal Credit Union in Westbrook. Jeff met his wife Kiersten while working at Wal-Mart.  They have been married for four years and are expecting their first child, a girl.
 
                            
          
Jeff was impressed by the community values taught by Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, which led to his decision to become involved in Westbrook community projects.  Since joining Rotary, Jeff has taken on the chairmanship of Crutches4Africa – a Rotary project that collects crutches, canes, walkers, and wheelchairs to be shipped to Africa.  This mobility equipment is distributed to people who use them to get around without crawling, restoring dignity and, in many cases, the opportunity for employment.
 
If you have any crutches, canes, walkers, and wheelchairs sitting unused in a basement or closet that you would like to see put to good use, contact Jeff at (207) 839-5588 or email him at jmalloy@cascofcu.com or simply bring them to Casco Federal Credit Union at 35 Cumberland Street in Westbrook.
New Member Classification Talk - Jeff Malloy 2015-11-22 00:00:00Z 0
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Giving Tuesday is a global movement for charities and individuals to come together for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.  Join Rotary on 1 December by participating in Giving Tuesday and celebrate the good work our members do around the world. Get involved by giving online on 1 December and sharing what inspires you to support our Foundation.
 
This would be a great opportunity to sign up for Rotary Direct, the easiest way to support the Foundation. Remember, our Club will add $25 to your donation for all who sign up for Rotary Direct and will match up to $100 donation (even if that donation is made in smaller monthly increments between now and June 1).
ROTARY FOUNDATION MONTH 2015-11-22 00:00:00Z 0
On Friday November 13, Rotarian volunteers Christine Johnson and Paul Emery prepared the evening meal at My Place Teen Center. Friday is often a simple meal, such as warming up leftovers from earlier in the week.  Here we see Paul and Christine preparing garlic bread using bread provided by The Baker’s Bench located on Brackett St in Westbrook. We joined the kids upstairs during the meal and had a chance to chat with many of them. What an energetic bunch!  
                                                
The next opportunity to volunteer is December 11. Please contact Steve Rand or Deb Shangraw if you are interested.  We encourage you to see this wonderful Center first hand.
Rotarians Prepare Meal for My Place Teen Center 2015-11-13 00:00:00Z 0

Terry Hodskins (second from left), a Wells Rotary Club member, launched a quilt project on behalf of Wells Rotary Club in 2001, naming the project WRAP-A-SMILE. The name recognizes the fact that repair of a cleft lip enables a child to smile for the very first time. Since its inception it has grown quickly. Every time there is publicity about Wrap-A-Smile more quilters begin stitching.

                                                         

Quilters are a group of ladies (and sometimes guys too) that purchase or have fabric of all descriptions that they cut up and re-assemble into interesting patterns. Over nineteen thousand small and colorful home-crafted quilts have passed through Terry Hodskins’ hands on their way to children in distant hospitals and clinics, who will be wrapped in one of these donated quilts while they are recovering from surgery.

Wrap-A-Smile is devoted to supporting the medical missions of Rotaplast International and Alliance for Smiles. Rotaplast International is an organization which began as a project of the Rotary Club of San Francisco. Rotaplast Doctors go on missions to countries around the world, offering free surgery to repair cleft lips and cleft palates.

If you would like to take part or know someone who would, quilts should be baby/lap size, child-friendly colors and 100% cotton. The smallest size 36 x 46 and larger size 40 x 60 and any size in between. They should be machine quilted or hand tied, as they may be washed in rivers and are generally exposed to difficult conditions.

All inquiries should be made to Terry Hodskins . More information about Rotaplast International can be found at www.rotaplast.org.

Wrap a Smile 2015-11-10 00:00:00Z 0
Congratulations and thank you to Judith Reidman for achieving the Paul Harris +2 Fellowship level.  Her generosity to the Rotary Foundation over the years is much appreciated. She is seen here with President-Elect and past W-G Rotary Foundation Chair Jason Beever (left) and District Governor-Elect Marge Barker (right).
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Contributions to the Rotary Foundation by Rotarians count towards Paul Harris recognition levels.  Life time giving is used to achieve each level, starting with $1000 to become a Paul Harris Fellow. Each increasing level represents an additional $1000 of lifetime giving.
 
Funds may be designated to whatever Rotary cause donors wish: Polio Plus, Share Fund, Endowed Funds, or to support a specific cause in one of Rotary’s areas of focus: Promoting Peace, Fighting Disease, Providing Clean Water and Sanitation, Saving Mothers and Children, Supporting Education or Growing Local Economies.
                                        
Judith Reidman Awarded Paul Harris +2 2015-11-10 00:00:00Z 0
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It was the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month when the armistice – the end of hostilities in WWI – went into effect in 1918.  Armistice Day was celebrated in 1919 and became a legal holiday in 1938.  It was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.
 
Wearing red poppies to celebrate veterans began with a line in a poem by the Canadian military physician Lt. Col John McCrae – “In Flanders fields the poppies blow/Between the crosses, row on row”- written for those who died in a Belgian field in WWI.
 
On Wednesday November 11, 2015, let us remember all who have served in our armed forces, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
In Honor of Our Veterans 2015-11-08 00:00:00Z 0
We were pleased to welcome to our meeting, Victoria Poldoskya, part of the Sister City Delegation visiting Westbrook from Archangel, Russia.  She was the guest of new member Phil Spiller and Henry Saunders.  Pictured:  Club President, Christine Johnson presents the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club Banner to Victoria as ADG Toni Wagner looks on.
                    
Russian Delegate Visits Westbrook-Gorham Rotary 2015-11-03 00:00:00Z 0
Congratulations to Jeff Malloy, Manager of Casco Federal Credit Union, and Phil Spiller, Navy pilot and senior pilot at JetBlue Airline, our two newest members. We are so glad you have joined the Rotary fellowship.
 
Pictured: Long time member Henry Saunders, sponsor of Philip Spiller Jr.  Patricia Kenney, sponsor of Jeffrey Malloy. Far right, Assistant District Governor, Tony Wagner.
             
New Member Induction 2015-11-03 00:00:00Z 0
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At our board meeting on November 3, the board approved matching funds for the current Rotary year.  Our club will match all contributions up to $100 to the Rotary Foundation. Club matching funds will be given in your name towards Paul Harris recognition levels.  You may designate your funds to whatever Rotary cause you wish: Polio Plus, Share Fund, Endowed Funds, or to support a specific cause in one of Rotary’s areas of focus: Promoting Peace, Fighting Disease, Providing Clean Water and Sanitation, Saving Mothers and Children, Supporting Education or Growing Local Economies.
 
Should you choose to take advantage of this match, you may contribute by logging on to https://www.rotary.org/myrotary, by sending a check directly to Rotary at The Rotary Foundation, 14280 Collections Center Dr., Chicago, IL 60693 or by handing a check to our Foundation chair Steve Rand at a meeting.
 
Sign up for Rotary Direct, an easy way to support the Rotary Foundation on an ongoing basis, and the Club will add $25 to any match.
Board votes to provide matching funds 2015-11-03 00:00:00Z 0
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During th gift giving season, please consider visiting this site: http://purchasing4mycause.com/   When you buy a gift from Purchasing 4 My Cause, and name us as your charity, 15% percent of your purchase is returned to Rotary Club of Westbrook Gorham.
Purchasing 4 My Cause 2015-11-02 00:00:00Z 0
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Thanks to the generosity of our members, in honor of Polio Plus month, we are able to send $260.52 to Rotary International to continue the fight against polio. Our donation will be double matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation so our dollars will go further.
 
As part of this donation, we will be honoring our recent speakers:
  • Senator Cathy Breen - Maine State Senate
  • Sheriff William L. King Jr - York County
  • Scott Linscott - Westbrook
  • Elias Thomas - Sanford-Springvale Rotary
  • Sheila Rollins - District Governor Bridgeton
  • Robert Marcroft - Preble St Veterans Housing Services
Polio Plus Donation 2015-11-02 00:00:00Z 0
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Our book distribution boxes have been placed at the Westbrook Community Center and the Gorham Parks and Recreation Center. Please ask you family, friends, neighbors, colleagues or folks in other organizations to which you belong to consider donating new or gently used children’s books. 
 
Julie Hamm will collect them each week at our meetings or they can be dropped off at the offices of Desmond & Rand Monday through Friday from about 9AM to 4:30PM.  Let’s help make this District project a great success!
Literacy Project Update 2015-11-02 00:00:00Z 0
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For those who missed it, you can read about the success of the Rotary District 7780 Dress Up To Drive Out Human Trafficking fundraiser held Friday Oct 30 in downtown Portland. This article appeared in the Scene & Heard column of the Maine Sunday Telegram on Sunday November 8.   Among the pictures - Westbrook’s own Patty Rand, wife of Westbrook-Gorham Rotary past-president Steve Rand.
 
Rotarians in the news 2015-10-30 00:00:00Z 0
We were fortunate enough to have Senator Cathy Breen speak to our group today. She highlighted the '16-'17 budget tax changes and answered several questions from the audience.
 
Some of the highlights:
  • Income tax cuts for all Mainers with a targeted cut to working and middle-income Mainers - top rate has been reduced from 7.95% to 7.15% and nearly doubles the standard deduction to $11.6 for singles and $23.2 for married couples.
  • Property tax relief – Doubles homestead property tax credit and retains municipal revenue sharing level.
  • Other tax reforms – military pensions 100% exempt and conforms to federal exemption for estate tax at $5.5M
  • The budget is fully paid for - lodging tax increased to 9%, meal tax remains at 8% and sales tax remains at 5.5%
 
                                                 
Legislative Update by Cathy Breen 2015-10-27 00:00:00Z 0
One of our own, Deborah Shangraw, was honored by WCSH Channel 6.  6 Who Care is a program that seeks to find and honor individuals who demonstrate exceptional service to their community.
 
                                           
 
To quote from the award: Deborah Shangraw is a champion for My Place Teen Center in Westbrook. As a member of their Advisory Council, she has advocated fearlessly for its funding (including her own generous contributions and her appeals to the Governor's office and the Legislature). She is a regular presence the MPTC, volunteering at least 20 hours each week with the kids. For 21 years Deb has been part of the Real Estate Managers Association Toys for Tots Drive – one of the largest of its kind in Maine; she served as the State Event Chair for six years. A devout churchgoer, Deb is deeply involved in meeting basic and emergency needs in the community (home heating oil; Thanksgiving baskets; clothing for those in need). Most often her help is given very quietly, with no expectation of recognition. Paul Emery says "Deb is an outstanding person combining great business acumen, personal warmth, devoted motherhood, and extraordinary generosity, giving money, energy, and time to organizations and individuals in need."
 
Congratulations Deb!!
Westbrook Philanthropist & Rotarian Honored 2015-10-25 00:00:00Z 0
(From left to right) RYLA Chair Jason Beever, RYLA students; Sarah Terrano and Connor Blake from WHS; Kara Ellsmore from Gorham High School; Dr. Bruce Dyer Interact Advisor WHS; and Harold Thomas, RYLA selection committee.  Three other students were not able to join us including GHS students: Noah Bird and James Benson.
 
                      
 
Each year, a small group of W-G Rotarians reviews applications and interviews students from Westbrook and Gorham High Schools to select up to three candidates from each school to attend RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards).  While many RYLA attendees are members of their local Interact Club, not all have that opportunity.  The goals of Interact (and also RYLA) include developing leadership skills and personal integrity, demonstrating helpfulness and respect for others, understanding the value of individual responsibility and hard work, and advancing international understanding and goodwill.
 
Each students spoke about their life changing experience during the 3 day program at Camp Hinds, which involves many social and physical team building activities. Kara told us that RYLA was about making relationships and helping others on your team through the challenges. Connor spoke about meeting new people and successfully facing an obstacle course as a team; like figuring out how to get all team members over the 12’ climbing wall.  Sarah commented that speaking in front of people was outside of her comfort zone, but an introduction exercise during which a ball was passed to each speaker was great and helped her overcome that fear (and she did well in front of us!).
 
As we have heard from previous attendees, RYLA is a great and often life-changing experience. We look forward to promoting RYLA at both schools for the upcoming year.  Ideas for “getting the word out” to a broader audience about this great program are welcome (speak to Jason or Hal).
 
RYLA Students Share Their Experiences 2015-10-20 00:00:00Z 0
Club Publicity Chair, Paul Emery (left), along with long time member T. Nelson Harmon (right), present to Henry Saunders (center) a framed picture of the members attending the 2015 Lobster Boil. 
 
This annual event has been held each summer at Henry’s Sebago Lake home for the past several years.  This small token was given in recognition not only of his great generosity in opening his home and grounds each year, but also in tribute to his many long years of service to the community through the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary.  Thanks Henry!!
 
                  
Henry Saunders Tribute 2015-10-20 00:00:00Z 0
World Polio Day October 23 2015-10-19 00:00:00Z 0
Frank Emery introduced his guest speaker, Roy Mickelson-Principal-Windham Christian Academy.  Roy is originally from Long Island, NY and he served in the Army in Korea. He and his wife first moved to Maine in 1972.   We learned that Roy has another connection to our club.  He and Bill Chadwick attended the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, from which Roy graduated in 1981 (Bill in 1982).
 
                               
 
Roy loves the outdoors – mountaineering, camping, hiking, canoeing, fly fishing, Father/Son Wilderness Ministry.  He has been at Windham Christian Academy for 31 years and has headed the school since 2001 when he became principal.
 
Professor Lynn Brown of St. Josephs College described WCA as “the best kept secret in the community”. Through a partnership with Saint Joseph's College in Standish called the Early Scholars Program, qualified high school seniors and second semester juniors may take up to four on campus college courses over three semesters while still enrolled in high school.  Most of these courses earn the student dual credit (high school and college). 
 
WCA has 100 students in grades K-12. WCA partners with homeschooling parents by providing a one day per week program designed to incorporate music, art, and physical education into their schooling. It is a great opportunity for homeschoolers to interact with their peers and for parents to diversify their homeschool program.
 
On average these students achieve higher test scores than both the State and Federal averages.  School tuition is only $4400 per year vs a State average of $9-10K.  This low tuition is thanks to the generous support of the Assembly of God Church and also to teachers who are willing to work for lower than average salaries.  Over the years WCA has a strong track record of graduating students who have gone on to productive lives in Community Service, education, Medical professionals, and as missionaries overseas.
Windham Christian Academy Christine Johnson 2015-10-19 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Sheila Rollins
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Human trafficking is an issue that our district has decided to address. As with all issues that Rotary chooses to get involved with, volunteers and contributions will play an important role, but the first step has to be to raise awareness of the issue. This event was created primarily to accomplish that. In addition, the silent auction and sponsorships will raise money to help support Preble Street and Voices4Freedom.

 

Taking action against human trafficking goes hand in hand with four of Rotary’s six areas of focus. At the root of human trafficking is the exploitation of people who are vulnerable to traffickers because of displacement by war (Peace and Conflict Resolution), lack of education (Education/Literacy), and poverty (Economic Development). Also, many trafficking victims are women and children (Child and Maternal Health).

Dress Up to Drive out Human Trafficking Sheila Rollins 2015-10-11 00:00:00Z 0
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We covered several topics this month.
  • MPTC: Deb Shangraw and Steve Rand have the lead with this District Grant project. They will coordinate volunteers for our assigned night, normally the second Friday of each month. Upcoming dates are November 13, December 11 and January 11.The Falmouth Club has the fourth Friday, but we may need to help out now and then.If you are interested, please contact Deb or Steve.
  • Christmas Trees: The city has confirmed that power issues will be addressed and we’ll be back at our usual spot this year in the parking lot. Steve will contact G&S, the folks who supplied our trees last year to place our order.
  • Charitable Giving Committee: Jason Beever has agreed to head up a committee to recommend a list of donations for the 2015-16 year.He has the list of folks who volunteered to help and will be setting up a meeting in the near future to discuss.
  • Publicity: Paul Emery has been doing a great job with publicity.We have had a short story in most of the last several issues of the American Journal.In fact, we had some additional golfers inquire and join our tournament as a result of the publicity.Great job Paul!
  • Literacy Project:We have received a large number of book donations over the past few months. Most have been cleaned and sorted, and Rotary sticker attached.Some additional books need processing and Julie Hamm will organize a session to take care of them and reach out for volunteers.If you would like to help, please contact Julie.The last item we need prior to placing the boxes is signage.Christine Johnson is working on that.
  • 90th Anniversary Celebration: Our Club turns 90 on March 8, 2016.  We are looking for volunteers to work on this committee and propose a plan to recognize this milestone. Previously, we had agreed to hold any event in the spring, after our snow birds return to the nest.  Dave Rolfe has material from the 75th  that could be used to generate ideas.  If you would like to be involved in planning, please contact Christine Johnson.
Club Assembly Summary Christine Johnson 2015-10-06 00:00:00Z 0
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Platinum Sponsors ($600)
Century 21 First Choice – Richard Durgin
Desmond & Rand, PA/Stroudwater Title Services
Emerald Management Corp
Gannett Drive Dental
Saco River Dentistry, PC
SIGCO, Inc
 
Gold Sponsors ($450)
Chalmers Insurance
Mister Bagel Westbrook
Wayne Lopez DDS
O’Brion Carpet Care
Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution
 
Putting Contest Sponsor
Shaw Brothers Construction
 
Hole in one Contest Sponsor
Lee Dodge of Westbrook
 
Hole Sponsors
Allstate Insurance - Carlo Giraulo
Blake Hurley McCallum & Conley, LLC
Burns Fencing
Carr & Langille Plumbing and Heating
Cavallaro Auto Repair
Diamond Landscaping, LLC
Glidden Excavating and Paving LLC
Gorham Flag Center
Gorham Heating, Inc.
Nelson Harmon
Hillside Lumber
Honor of Bob Nunley
L.P. Appliance
MacDonald Bros Electrical
Mainely Small Engines
Morgan Dental Care
Norton Insurance
Plummer Properties
Rand Stoneworks
Keller Williams Realty - Reidman Assoc.
R.M. Davis
Dr. Ted Rogers Chiropratic & Acupunture
Henry Saunders
Bruce Saunders
Sawyer & Sawyer, P.A. Gorham
Sebago Technics
Stone Coast Mortgage
TJ Sandwich
Tyvis Realty Trust
Dan Willett
 
Prize Donors
AAA Northern New England
Tom & Jerry’s Car Wash
Julie Hamm
Dave Rolfe
Cavallaro Auto Repair
Casco Federal Credit Union
DiMillo’s Floating Restaurant
Jack Kivus
Desmond & Rand PA
Cliff & Pat Plummer
 
Other Supporters
Rotary Club of Portland
Gorham Sand & Gravel
P&C Insurance
Sunset Ridge Golf Course
Stroudwater Christian Church
Thanks to all of our Golf Classic Sponsors!! Christine Johnson 2015-10-04 00:00:00Z 0
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Sheriff William L King (center) was our guest and speaker on September 29. He was joined by Westbrook's Captain Sean Lally (right).  Sheriff King spoke about the heroin epidemic in Maine, the origins of this crisis, and steps being taken to try to reverse the trend. He made it very clear that the face of addition has changed.  It is no longer the dirty junky in the bathroom or stair well, it is now often middle class Caucasian women in their twenties. How did we get to this point?
                                                              
Opiates have a chemical structure similar to endorphins so opiates lock onto endorphin receptors in the human body creating an analgesic effect and exciting neurons into a euphoric state. Over time, the addict needs more and more and eventually they do not work on their own any longer. 
 
A commonly prescribed opiate is Oxycontin.  Since it was introduced in 1996, admissions to hospitals for opiate abuse have ramped up.  In 2000, an FDA report showed that Maine was in the top tier of states with misuse of this drug.  By 2011, Maine topped the nation in prescription drug misuse.
 
Aggressive enforcement to crack down on subscribers, along with special coatings on the drug to make it harder to crush and abuse have made it harder for addicts to obtain it.  Heroin has become an inexpensive alternative to feed the need, providing a clear link between heroin and the overuse of prescription opiates.  In fact, counterfeit Oxycontin, actually heroin, is found in pill form that looks like the prescription drug.  Heroin related emergency room admissions have increased dramatically since 2007.  In the past couple of years, opiate related overdose deaths have fallen slightly, while heroin related overdose deaths have risen sharply.
In the 1960s, heroin users were only about 44% white and nearly 83% were male.  In the 2010s, heroin users are 90% white and nearly 52% are women.  In the 1960s, the mean age of heroin users was about 16.5.  In the 2010s, the mean age is nearly 23.  Treatment includes methadone or suboxone protocols to replace the need for opiates, but there are not enough beds and sober houses to meet the current need.
 
                                    
                   The new face of addiction.
 
Heroin is being delivered to Maine largely via I95.  This means that most drugs coming into the state pass through York and Cumberland counties.  In nearly every news story on trafficking arrests, you will almost always see at least one out of state name included, often from New York.  The DEA has an office in Portland and has partnered with local law enforcement to track incidents and help stamp out heroin overdoses.
Heroin in Maine Christine Johnson 2015-10-04 00:00:00Z 0
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As some of you may remember, Kerstin Kirchner of the Saco Bay Rotary Club spoke to us at a recent meeting about an upcoming Rotary service trip to Guatemala to be led by Carolyn Johnson.    In Guatemala only 3 out of 10 children graduate from 6th grade. About 25% of the country’s population is illiterate, and the number jumps to 60% among the Mayan population. The Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP) is an initiative between Rotary Clubs and Cooperative for Education is to provide textbooks, computer labs, scholarships, and literacy and training programs to children in Guatemala. Since 1998, over 23,000 students at more than 300 schools have received the needed support. A big thank you goes out to the 28 Rotary Clubs in our District that have participated in Global Grants and donated a total of $32,000 through the beginning of 2015.
 
              
 
However, the Mayan schools need a lot more; for example, the Paraíso community asked our District for help to build toilets for the school.  They are looking for about $2,200, which will cover the cost of the materials (block, cement, rebar, sand…); the parents will do the construction.  The school now has only two toilets for 150 students, but needs to construct four more to accommodate the school enrollment and provide toilets designated for the girls. There is no Rotary club in the immediate area. 
 
The school, Paraíso, is one of the CORP schools.  It is a rural village, a very beautiful but remote area.  Our PDG, Carolyn Johnson, founder of the Culture of Reading Program, began working in the school in January 2014, so is now in our second school year with them.  She is working with grades 1-2 and 3-4 right now (will pick up 5-6 next January) and will continue to work with the school for two more years. 
 
                                                                  
 
If you would like to help with this project to build additional toilets needed by these students, and needed to help keep girls in school, please bring your contribution to our meeting on September 29.  Checks can be made payable to:  Wells Rotary Charitable Fund.  We will send all contributions to their treasurer on Tuesday.  Funds will be designated for the Guatemala sanitation project and provided to PDG Carolyn Johnson for use during the upcoming trip in October.
 
 
Paraíso Guatemala School Sanitation Project – A critical need Christine Johnson 2015-09-27 00:00:00Z 0
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Gorham Country Club was our host for the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary 21st Annual golf Classic.  Just before 12 Noon on Tuesday September 22, 2015, Golfers were provided the "rules of the road" by tournament co-chair Jack Kivus.  

 

                                 

After a great afternoon of play (or "a good walk spoiled" according to Mark Twain), the following list of folks prevailed on the day:

 

1st Place Gross - Gannett Drive Dental (Dr Jack Kivus, Victor Gaudreau, Marcel Mathieu, Tom Rowe)

            

1st Place Net - Chalmers Insurance (Jason Beever, Patrick Sweeney, Linda Beever, Ashley Woodcock).                                                           

 

2nd Place Net Andrea Todd’s Team (Andrea Todd, Jim Violette, Ed Symbol, Sue Joyce)

3rd Place Net - Bill Chadwick’s Team (Bill Chadwick, Ron Moody, Pam Moody, Channing Denton).

Longest Drive for Women – Linda Beever

Closest to pin Hole #4 – Patrick Sweeney

Putt Contest Closest to pin Rev Dr Bill Chadwick (seen here with Kate Wight who is assisted by daughter Soleil Diem Wight).

                     

50/50 Raffle Winner - Bill Chadwick

21st Annual Golf Classic Winner's Circle Christine Johnson 2015-09-22 00:00:00Z 0
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Jessica Champagne and Mike Foley have announced the arrival of their baby boy Joseph Michael Foley. He and Mom are very healthy and doing great! He was born at 8:50PM weighing 7lbs 12oz and 20in long.

 

Congratulations Mike and Jessica!

 

                                      

New Baby! Christine Johnson 2015-09-22 00:00:00Z 0
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The weather was nearly perfect for our 21st Annual Golf Classic at Gorham Country Club on Tuesday September 22.  60+ enthusiastic golfers, a record turn out,  munched on Italian sandwiches and other snacks in the goodie bag, then enjoyed a great afternoon on the course.   At the awards banquet held afterwards, winners were recognized (see related story) and 65 raffle prizes were given out.
 
           
 
 
A huge thanks to all of our hole sponsors and golfers.  We’ll have final results soon, along with a complete list of sponsors, but there is no question that the event was a huge success this year.  Great job by all on the golf committee! Special thanks to Wayne Lopez, Jack Kivus, Bill Chadwick, Steve Rand, Pat Plummer, Cliff Plummer and Julie Hamm.
 
                      
                           
 
Annual Golf Classic a Huge Success Christine Johnson 2015-09-22 00:00:00Z 0
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Scott Linscott, a Westbrook resident and organ recipient, was our guest and speaker on September 8.   Scott held the meeting spellbound as he told the story of how his own medical emergency at Disney World in May of 2011 when he found out his liver had failed and he had only a short time to live, resulted in a partial liver transplant from his son, and started Scott on his life’s work of encouraging people to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors either on a driver’s license or with the New England Organ Bank.
 
121,000 Americans are on the waiting list for an organ donation. While medications can help prolong line until a donor is found, 18 people die every day on the waiting list.  That is 6800 people a year die waiting for a donor.  Most, approximately 90,000, are waiting for a kidney.
 
About 6000 people receive liver transplants annually.  The liver will regenerate, so healthy donors can donate 60% of their liver and their own liver will regenerate. However, the top choice is a full liver transplant from a deceased donor.  Living donors are used only after waiting to determine if a deceased donor can be found.  This waiting can be problematic in New England, where the wait is the worst in the US, behind only California.
 
To register to become a donor, visit http://www.organdonor.gov/ .  You can also sign up when you renew your driver’s license.
 
Pictured: Westbrook-Gorham President Christine Johnson (left) with Scott Linscott (Center), a speaker invited by Rotarian Pat Plummer (Right)
Westbrook Organ Recipient Shares His Story Christine Johnson 2015-09-15 00:00:00Z 0
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Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club met at My Place Teen Center at 755 Main St in Westbrook on September 15. 
 
We enjoyed the newly completed dining area and kitchen on the lower level.  The Rotary Club of Falmouth provided the new flooring which looks great!
 
 
      
 
MPTC Director, Donna Dwyer spoke about the Herculean effort over the past 4 years to bring the building up to a high standard and renovate it to best serve the nearly 600 kids who use the center.  MPTC still needs ten thousand square feet of siding to eliminate leaking.
 
 
Following our meal, we went on a tour of the building. They have a small gym area on the lower level.  The upper level still sports the beautiful windows of this former church.  There are many nicely decorated and equipped areas for the kids to play, study, or just relax.
 
In the coming months, members of Westbrook/Gorham Rotary will help prepare and serve meals on the 2nd Friday and the Falmouth Rotary Club on 4th Friday of each month.  Next opportunity to volunteer is Oct 9, followed by November 13 and December 11. Deb Shangraw and Steve Rand are coordinating our efforts.
 
My Place Teen Center - A great place to meet! Christine Johnson 2015-09-15 00:00:00Z 0

Some of the new Rotarians being welcomed by the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club this fall.

Front Row: Patty Kenny (left) who sponsored Jeff Malloy (right) Branch Director, Casco FCU, Westbrook

Back Row: Kate Wight, Morgan Dental, Gorham; Phil Spiller Jr., JetBlue Airline Pilot who is sponsored by Henry Saunders (right).

New Member (and applicant) Photo Opp! Christine Johnson 2015-09-15 00:00:00Z 0
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Lee Nelson of WCSH Channel 6 was the Master of Ceremonies at the Rotary Club of Portland Maine 100 Anniversary Gala.  The Roaring Twenties themed gala, at the Holiday Inn by the Bay, was attended by over 230 people.
 
The Portland Club was the 177th Rotary club, chartered on September 1, 1915 under the auspices of the Boston Rotary Club. That was a difficult time to start a Rotary club with war raging in Europe and growing unease in the United States.  
 
A short film provided reflections from many Portland Rotarians, including past District Governor Bob Patten prior to his passing earlier this year. District Governor Sheila Rollins congratulated the club on their milestone and two Paul Harris Fellow Awards were presented.  The first PHF was presented to long time Rotary member and former Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Court, the late Judge Vincent McKusick.  It was accepted on his behalf by a colleague from Pierce Atwood. The second PHF was presented to Westbrook’s own Enoch Barton (see related story in this Scribbler).
 
Portland City Manager Jon Jennings read a City Proclamation, after which Keynote Speaker Senator Angus King was introduced.  He related childhood memories of his father’s involvement with Rotary in Alexandria VA and periodically attending those meetings himself.  During his short speech, he quoted Robert F Kennedy: “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”  Senator King has a long history with Portland Rotary and was presented a Paul Harris Fellow Award at the conclusion of his speech.
 
The evening concluded with dancing to the Carmine Terracciano Band.
 
Pictured: W-G Rotary Club President Christine Johnson with District Governor Sheila Rollins (and boa!)
Portland Rotary Club 100th Anniversary Gala Christine Johnson 2015-09-12 00:00:00Z 0
Westbrook Resident and Business Man Honored with Paul Harris Fellow 2015-09-12 00:00:00Z 0
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Past District Governor and South Berwick Rotary Club member Elias Thomas III was our speaker on September 1.   Elias has been active in Rotary since 1978.  His first trip to India was in January 2001.  That trip had a great impact on him and solidified his understanding of the importance of the Rotary Foundation and the Polio Plus initiative.  He has gone back to India every year since then, enduring a 14 hour non-stop flight from NY to Delhi each time.
 
During his first trip, he and his team were part of a country-wide effort to immunize 75M in on day. On January 22, 2001, 200M children under 5 were ultimately immunized, making headlines across the country. Local Interact Club members checked off each child as they were immunized, and “clean up” teams followed up by visiting homes to be sure all children in a community were immunized.
 
After a few years of immunizations, he began to feel that there was more that could be done during these trips.  For the past six years, he and his teams have built five water catchment dams to prevent flooding during heavy rains.  All are built by hand, and so far, all dams built have held up.   In 2012, he returned to the site of the first dam he helped build. The area has gone from one crop a year to three.  Where once it was brown and dry, it is green. Residents pump water to terraced fields to grow more crops.
 
He now leads a multi-national “Rotary Dream Team” each year.  On his most recent trip in February 2015, there were 28 participants from 6 countries.   To quote Elias, “It’s all about giving back – to the communities in which we live, as well as to the communities we may never see, but which need our support.”
 
If you are interested in participating in the February 2016 program, contact Elias for more information (elias@exitkeyrealestate.com).  Departure is slated for February 12, 2016, but is dependent upon National Immunization Day as set by the Indian government (one of February 7, 14 or 21), and may leave one week earlier on February 5.
Rotary Dream Team in Action Christine Johnson 2015-09-01 00:00:00Z 0
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We had an outstanding meeting this week with our guest District Governor Sheila Rollins.  We talked about what we do as Rotarians and why we do it.  Each club brings unique expertise and interests to Rotary.  Thank you for all that you do!
 
Don’t forget the Foundation spending seminar at USM on September 19. Register at the district website.  The great thing about Rotary is that we all have a say in how the Foundation dollars returned to our district are spent.
 
Other upcoming District initiatives include:
  • The Bridgewalk Kittery-Portsmouth in recognition of World Polio Day October 24, 8:30AM – Noon.
  • The Anti-Slavery Initiative October 30 at 1 Longfellow Square, Portland, $30.This event is being held in conjunction with the Preble Street Anti-Trafficking Coalition and Voices 4 Freedom. Together we can end slavery.
  • District project in Argentina – Vocational training on youth mental health, an area of support not currently available in that country.
 
Congratulations to Steve Rand and Julie Hamm for receiving special recognition awards from Sheila. You guys are the best!
 
Finally, we spoke about telling “our story”.  Why did we join Rotary?  What keeps us involved? Look for Kate Wight to be contacting you about sharing “your story” on FaceBook, on our website, and in upcoming Scribblers.  We look forward to hearing from all of you.
District Governor Annual Visit Christine Johnson 2015-08-25 00:00:00Z 0
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At our meeting on August 25, Assistant District Governor Tony Wagner presented a $3500 check to Donna Dwyer, President & CEO of My Place Teen Center. This district grant is being matched by $2000 each from the Westbrook-Gorham and Falmouth clubs in support of a nutrition and mentoring program at MPTC. We are thrilled to help!

Pictured are John LaBelle (Falmouth Club), Deb Shangraw and Paul Emery (W-G Club), Roger Berube (Falmouth), Donna Dwyer, Steve Rand (W-G club) and Tony Wagner.

My Place Teen Center District Grant Awarded Christine Johnson 2015-08-25 00:00:00Z 0
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Kate Bugeau Wight was inducted into the Rotary Club of Westbrook-Gorham on August 18, 2015.  President Christine Johnson (left) welcomes Kate (right) as a new member.
 
Kate originally from Berlin, NH, graduated from St. Joseph’s College in Standish with a degree in Communications, PR, and Advertising. She has had a remarkable career to date including Executive Director of Berlin NH Main Street Program – a program that brought new business into a town that lost its largest employer; moved to NC where she became Property Manager of a 192 unit property; worked for SERVPRO, at which point she became of member of Rotary in Hickory, NC; and recently moved to Cumberland where she joined Morgan Dental Care in Gorham as the Director of Communications and Marketing.
 
Kate is married to Jake Wight and is the mother of two beautiful girls.  Westbrook-Gorham Rotary is proud to welcome Kate to our club and looks forward to including her in all of our community activities.
Kate Wight Inducted as New Member Christine Johnson 2015-08-18 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Aug 10, 2015
Phillip Allen (Center) Veterans Housing Services Coordinator and Robert (Bobby) Marcotte (Right) Housing Residential Specialist from Preble St Veterans Housing Services were our speakers on August 11.
 
             
 
Preble Street Veterans Housing Services is a housing stabilization program funded by the Veterans Administration. A collaborative effort between Preble Street and Pine Tree legal Assistance, VHS offers case management, housing search assistance, budget counseling, and financial assistance to eligible Veterans and Veterans’ families throughout Maine with offices in Bangor, Lewiston and Portland.
 
The Federal Government has recognized that there has been an upsurge of veterans that are homeless or who are at risk of homelessness. Currently, 15 case managers from this agency engage long-term with veterans offering support various levels of support in Maine. They link vets to services such as food stamps, housing vouchers and VA services.  They provide financial assistance such as rent deposits, arrearage payments, moving and storage expenses, and arranging child care with the ultimate goal of keeping veterans in current housing or securing safe and stable housing where they can receive mail, provide an address to employers, and have access to public transportation.
 
As the housing specialist, Bobby acts as liaison and mediator between the case manager and landlord. He keeps abreast of housing vacancies and short wait list properties.  He is a resource to both the case management and the landlord and works to prevent evictions.
 
Since October 2011, VHS of Maine has assisted over 1000 veterans.   A $1.7M grant has been available annually for four years, and based upon their success, they are expecting a 3 year extension.
Veterans Housing Services - Housing Stabilization Program Christine Johnson 2015-08-11 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Aug 03, 2015
We were pleased to recognize the following members this week:
  • Henry Saunders (left) - 31 years of perfect attendance
  • Ted Rogers (second from right) - 33 years of perfect attendance
  • Mike Foley (not pictured) - New member sponsor
  • Steve Rand and Jack Kivus - New Past President Badges
 
Club Recognition Christine Johnson 2015-08-04 00:00:00Z 0
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Members!   Check your online profile on Club Runner and update or add a photo today.   Members currently missing a photo: Dick Labrecque, Frank Emery, Deb Shangraw and Kate Wight.  
 
We hope to see your smiling "mug" in your profile soon.   If you need assistance uploading a photo, contact Mike Foley or Christine Johnson.
Member Photos Wanted Christine Johnson 2015-08-03 00:00:00Z 0
Mike Foley gave a user-friendly lesson to club members on the ins and outs of using the Club Website, including a guided tours into the different links, how to sign in as a member,  link to past bulletins, find District information, and using the membership directory.
 
 
Don’t forget.  From our website www.westbrookgorhamroatary.org , you can quickly look at upcoming Speakers and programs, Upcoming Events, and read past Bulletins. You can also find links to minutes of past board meetings and Photo Albums.  Finally, members can find out what date they have been assigned to secure a program by looking under Site Pages and the Program Assignment links.
 
Once a member signs in using the email address at which they receive our Scribbler, they have access to update their contact information, upload a photo and find contact information for fellow club members. They can also track their attendance and check your billing account balance.
Club Runner Updates Christine Johnson 2015-08-03 00:00:00Z 0
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If you are in the market for a business or personal gift, please visit  http://purchasing4mycause.com/ . They have various food basket options, as well as gifts and gadgets for home and kitchen.
 
A portion of each purchase can be directed to a cause of your choice, like our Rotary Club.  Just select Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club from the list of causes as you check out.  This is a great way to provide a little extra income for our club while making purchases of high-quality gifts for friends, family, clients or customers.
 
When you visit this site, don’t forget to enter your email address when prompted.  Each email address provided will give us an extra $1.  Please share this information with friends, family and colleagues.  The more who know about this great website, the more opportunity we have for making this an ongoing fundraising effort for our club.
Purchasing 4 My Cause Christine Johnson 2015-07-27 00:00:00Z 0
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In memory of longtime member Robert B. Nunley, who passed away June 28th of this year, our club has donated $100 to Windham Hill United Church of Christ for the Columbarium Construction Project. 
 
We thank Bob for nearly 48 years of service.  He will be missed.
In Memory of Bob Christine Johnson 2015-07-27 00:00:00Z 0
Come on out and support our Rotarian friends in Scarborough.  This looks to be a fun family event.  No dog required!
  
Dog Days Scarborough Christine Johnson 2015-07-27 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Jul 20, 2015

As part of a new RI program instituted recently, a special Rotary pin was presented to Paul Emery for sponsoring new member Deb Shangraw.

 

 

We thanked long-time member T. Nelson Harmon for his outstanding efforts in organizing the annual Westbrook Gorham Rotary Club Lobster cookout.

 

Also, at a recent meeting, we recognized Hal Thomas for 31 years of perfect attendance, and counting!

Club Recognition Christine Johnson 2015-07-21 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Jul 18, 2015
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We are pleased to announce that, in partnership with Falmouth Rotary Club, we have secured a District Grant for $3500. Together, Westbrook and Falmouth Rotary Clubs will augment My Place Teen Center’s new Culinary / Wellness program.
 
Partnering provides an opportunity to invest our time, money and energy wisely.  Improving the lives of disadvantaged youth and breaking the cycle of poverty for families in our immediate area is an initiative we can get excited about.  MPTC is an organization serving the greater Portland community in a way that truly changes lives by serving at risk youth ages 10 to 18 with a unique after school program.
 
Our project, adding to My Place Teen Center’s Culinary / Wellness program, includes four related initiatives:
 
1. Provide qualified speakers on the topic of wellness from our clubs, as well as wellness and nutrition experts in our community, for after-meal presentations and discussions at My Place Teen Center on a monthly basis. We will actively engage with the young people served by my place teen center helping to bring the best teaching on wellness topics to these kids.
 
2. In addition to wellness and nutritional topics, members will speak about their own careers at some of the monthly after-meal presentations. They will describe the nature of their work, steps to attaining the appropriate job skills, and related career opportunities. In this way our Rotary clubs will augment MPTC’s program by providing additional insight into non-foodservice career paths.
 
3. Volunteer our time once monthly (at a minimum), in conjunction with the above 2 initiatives, as volunteers at MPTC’s upgraded kitchen and dining room facility. We will support the new Food service / wellness initiative by assisting as needed in the preparation tasks alongside MPTC’s members and staff. This would be prior to the after-meal discussion thus providing better opportunity to connect with the young people we will be serving.
 
4. Our club and district monies will be used to provide a year’s worth of food nutritional food (dairy, fresh vegetables and fresh fruit) and kitchen staples (cleaning products, paper products etc) critical to both a commercial kitchen environment and healthy eating. The focus of this MPTC program necessitates these healthier foods and commercial kitchen supplies. Donated food, while appreciated, is often processed and of lesser nutritional quality. The grant money requested, $3500, plus $2000 from each club, totaling $7500 will insure that this specific food will be available throughout this first critical year.
District Grant Application Approved Christine Johnson 2015-07-19 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Jul 15, 2015
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Taking a well deserved break from their many community activities and charitable projects, Rotarians of the Westbrook Gorham Rotary moved their weekly meeting to the Saunders' summer residence on the west shore of Lake Sebago where Henry Saunders once again played host to the Annual Rotary Lobster Cookout.
 
Arrangements and coordination for the event were handled by veteran Rotarians Nelson Harmon and Dan Willette. Lobsters were cooked by the experienced team of Walter and Ellen Stinson, assisted by many other talented Rotarians. Steaks were cooked this year by  the affable Rev Bill Chadwick.
 
Following the cookout, Rotarians and guests retired to the living room of Henry’s summer home for a song fest led by a local pianist.
2015 Lobster Cookout Well Attended Christine Johnson 2015-07-16 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Jul 06, 2015
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Deborah Shangraw was formally inducted into the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club on July 7, 2015. Here she is shown receiving her certificate and other credentials from 2015-16 President Christine Johnson

Deb is the owner-manager of Emerald Management located on Main Street in Westbrook. Her company, which she founded 20 years ago in 1995, successfully manages over 400 property units, including residential apartments and condos. She also consults with condominium boards to manage their properties. Her early career was focused on subsidized housing across northern New England, and she uses the skills and knowledge learned then in managing her properties today.

Deb, who is the proud mother of two and a prospective grandmother, is heavily involved in the community. She volunteers with Maine Toys for Tots and Teens each year with the Maine Real Estate Manager’s Association. She is an ardent supporter of My Place Teen Center, as well as active in her church and with other groups. The Gorham-Rotary is proud to welcome Deborah to our club and looks forward to including her in all of our community activities.

Deborah Shangraw Inducted Christine Johnson 2015-07-07 00:00:00Z 0
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Outgoing President Stephen Rand of the Gorham-Westbrook Rotary handed over the gavel to incoming President Christine Johnson with best wishes for the 2015-2016 year.
 
President Christine Johnson is (Front row center) is joined by her team for the coming year. Christine is joined on her right by Community Service Chair- Julie Hamm and on her left by Vocational Service Chair- Judith Reidman. Behind Christine from left to right: Public Relations - Paul Emery; Club Protection Officer & Interact Advisor - Dave Rolfe; President Elect - Jason Beever; Treasurer - Bill Gowen; Secretary & Web Administrator - Mike Foley;  Membership & Golf Tournament Co-Chair – Dr. Jack Kivus;  Immediate Past President & Rotary Foundation - Steve Rand; and International Service & Vice President – Rev. Bill Chadwick.
 
Not shown are Road Race Chairman - Owens McCullough;  and Golf Tournament Co-Chair - Wayne Lopez
Welcome to the 2015-2016 Rotary Year Christine Johnson 2015-06-30 00:00:00Z 0
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
Corsetti's
River's Edge Deli
Dunkin Donuts
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Pizza Time Westbrook
Mr Bagel Westbrook
Panera
Dancing Elephant
Subway
 
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
 
THANKS to Book Donors and Sponsors Christine Johnson 2015-06-23 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Rolfe on Jun 22, 2015
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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
Mentoring 
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.
Interact Club is strong and active Dave Rolfe 2015-06-23 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Jun 19, 2015
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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.
District Changeover Dinner - Fun at Camp Hinds Christine Johnson 2015-06-20 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary House Update Christine Johnson 2015-06-16 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Jun 13, 2015
Katherine N Wight (Kate), currently of Cumberland Center, has submitted an application to become a member of our club.  Kate (Bugeau) was born and raised in Berlin NH.  She is a graduate of St Joseph’s College in Standish. She and her husband Jake, along with daughters Soleil and Everleigh, recently moved to Maine from North Carolina.
 
She has been a Rotarian since 2010 in North Carolina.  She is Director of Marketing and Communications at Morgan Dental Care in Gorham. She is a past member of BNI and volunteers for the Chamber.  She and her family love spending time outdoors together.
 
If the two week waiting period ends with no objections to membership, the Board of Directors will vote on her application at the next meeting July 7.
Candidate for Membership Christine Johnson 2015-06-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Jun 08, 2015
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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”.
Sebago Technics and the Benefits of ESOPs Christine Johnson 2015-06-09 00:00:00Z 0
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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.
Final RYLA Participant 2015 Christine Johnson 2015-06-07 00:00:00Z 0
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Don't forget, Club Assembly this week.
 
Please join us to discuss two important topics:
 
 * Golf Tournament - a major fundraiser
 * Westbrook Together Days - review of this year & ideas for next year
Club Assembly Christine Johnson 2015-05-31 00:00:00Z 0
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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!
RYLA Participants 2015 Christine Johnson 2015-05-26 00:00:00Z 0
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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!
Westbrook Regional Vocational Center Awards Ceremony Christine Johnson 2015-05-21 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on May 18, 2015
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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!
     
What's happening at the Library? Christine Johnson 2015-05-19 00:00:00Z 0
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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!
RYLA Participants 2015 Christine Johnson 2015-05-17 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on May 11, 2015
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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 http://portal.clubrunner.ca/6948/PhotoAlbums/rotary-house-45 ).  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.
Annual Lunch with the Trades Christine Johnson 2015-05-12 00:00:00Z 0
House Project #45 - Dale Ave Christine Johnson 2015-05-05 00:00:00Z 0
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Pam Turner, Library Director at Baxter Memorial Library, joined us on April 28.  She told us about the upcoming summer literacy initiative, Gorham Reads.
 
Baxter Memorial Library, North Gorham Public Library and the School Dept have joined forces to get kids in Gorham reading this summer.   All grades from K-12 are targeted, with a particular focus on K-5.  K-5 kids will receive a back pack that will include a book, library card application and reading list.  It will also include a game card, a kind of literacy bingo with activities to check off.  Each completed card returned will be entered for prizes.
 
The Baxter Library underwent a major expansion in 2003.  They are open 43 hours a week, including hours on Saturday with 6 full time and 5 part time employees.  They currently have about 7500 registered borrowers and an annual budget of $486K, of which $21K is for books.  In addition to books, they also lend DVDs, Blue Ray and Magazines, and have several well-used public computers. If you are not a Gorham resident, you can join for $30 a year per household.  
Summer Program: Gorham Reads Christine Johnson 2015-04-28 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Apr 19, 2015
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Each spring, on the day observed in New England as Patriots Day, the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club sponsors a road race exclusively for high school runners. Franklin Emery initiated the race (We believe in 1948) to provide high school students their own event to coincide with the Portland Boys Club 5-miler and the Boston Marathon, each celebrating the legendary ride of Paul Revere. 2015 was the 66th running of this event.

 

2015 Results

Boys Team: Scarborough

Girls Team: Westbrook

 

Local Boys Winner: Luther Williams, Westbrook

Local Girls Winner: Halee Phelps, Westbrook

 

Top Boy: Jacob Terry, Scarborough

Top Girl: Halee Phelps, Westbrook

Annual Road Race Christine Johnson 2015-04-20 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Apr 13, 2015
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Jeff Rousselle, Sales and Marketing Manager of 24 Trauma Restore, was our guest and speaker on April 14.  24Restore is a Massachusetts-based, full service disaster restoration company specializing in restoring homes and commercial properties to their pre-loss condition.  They have experience working with angry, grieving and stressed people. They try to minimize demolition, fully document the process, and make sure restoration is done the right way.
 
They currently have operations in all New England states and are expanding into in NY. They remain an owner operated company, not a franchise, as a means to maintain quality control. They clean up after disasters like fire, water damage, mold, unattended death, meth labs, and biohazards. They also do reconstruction in which they use their own forces and are always interested in partnering with local contractors.  They aim to be a one stop shop for any type of loss.
 
This past winter, ice dams have created a lot of work. Many people don’t understand that while insurance will pay for damage done, they won’t pay for upgrades to a roof to permanently resolve the problem.   Other contamination items they have experience with include roach mitigation and skunk removal and clean up.  They have a special room in one of their Massachusetts facilities where they can clean and remove smells from clothing and fabrics.
 
Deb Shangraw praised Jeff and his company for their great work in properties she manages and for their strong local support of Toys for Tots and Teens.
 
For more information: www.24restorene.com
24 Trauma Restore Christine Johnson 2015-04-14 00:00:00Z 0
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Our annual road race for local high school boys and girls will be held on Monday April 20. Owens McCullough and Dave Rolfe have been hard at work behind the scenes and will be asking for help this week. Letters have been sent to area coaches and the request has been made for public safety support.
 
Volunteers should plan to arrive by 9AM.  We'll need help checking in the runners, handing out numbers, recording the order of finish, and supplying water, among other activities.  The race starts at 10AM.
 
We hope to see everyone there to cheer on the runners!
Annual Road Race – Patriots' Day Christine Johnson 2015-04-12 00:00:00Z 0
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DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. On April 25-28, 2015, ten students from the Westbrook Regional Vocational Center will be attending the DECA International Career Development Conference in Orlando Florida.  Eight of those students spoke to us briefly about their accomplishments, with several first place finishes in state competition that have qualified them to attend this prestigious event.  
 
The students are in the process of raising funds to support this trip:
  • April 7 - Texas Roadhouse – 600 Gallery Blvd, Scarborough.  Restaurant hours 3-10PM.  A portion of profits for meals sold that day will be donated to DECA
  • April 12 - Bottle Drive – Contact radleyr@westbrookschools.org for pick up and drop off information
  • April 15 - Fashion Show - 7PM at WHS Auditorium
  • April 19 – Pancake Breakfast – 8-10AM - Eagles Club 89 Saco St, Westbrook.
 Please come out and help these accomplished students in their fundraising efforts.
WRVC DECA Students will represent Maine at International Competition Christine Johnson 2015-04-05 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Christine Johnson on Mar 30, 2015
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Stu Simon, Development Director, and Tony Doman, President of the Board of Directors of Port Resources, were our guests and speakers on March 31.   Port Resources provides services and programs to people with developmental disabilities and behavioral health challenges. They are dedicated to empowering people to live meaningful and fulfilled lives in their communities. They have 22 group homes around Cumberland County, including 5 in Gorham, serving about 90 people. Much of their funding has come from the state through Maine Care.  However, the state is now moving towards funding group homes only for the profoundly disabled.
 
Port Resources offers community outreach services, like outpatient counseling and life skills training, to about 300-400 people. They also work with people who have autism and Down’s syndrome.  In addition, they offer professional training and software development.  Their training arm offers training for CNAs and for Direct Support Providers who work in homecare.  They train both their own personnel and those of other social services organizations.  All of these offerings are a means of diversifying their services and revenue streams to support their group homes as state funding priorities change.
 
Port Resources is located on Gannett Dr in South Portland.   They accept donations of cash, goods and volunteer labor, including their Adopt-A-Home program.  For those wishing to donate goods, they have Our Wish List to identify needed items.    Upcoming Fundraising event: April 14, 4-9PM, Flatbread’s Pizza, Commercial St Portland.  A donation will be made for each pizza sold.
 
Read more about Port Resources on their website at: http://portresources.org/
Port Resources - Expanding services to our community Christine Johnson 2015-03-31 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Paul Emery on Mar 23, 2015
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Tom Elliman, was the guest of Bill Gowen and our speaker on March 24.  He started in Maine and returned back to his roots in 2007 after he lived and worked in Motorsports in the following cities: Oxford and Portland, ME, Loudon, NH, and Dearborn, MI.
 
He graduated from Lincoln Academy in Newcastle and went on to Wesleyan University.  After college and the army, Tom started at Channel 8 working as a weather reporter. He and a friend had the idea of doing a short Motorsports segment weekly. This grew into a career which ranged from working at local tracks such as Oxford Speedway, to becoming the manager and promoter of N.H. International Speedway in Loudon, all the way to the big league with Ford Motor Company in their racing division.
 
Tom entertained the Westbrook Gorham Rotary Club with the history of Motor Sports back to the original motor car built in Germany, through amateur racing which consisted of drivers with full time jobs who raced on their own time, through semi-professionals who worked part time at one job and part time in an expanded racing season, all the way to big time professional racers who did nothing but race.
 
Tom has worked at:
Greater Portland Landmarks
Republican City Committee
Marketing Consulting Services
Ford Racing
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
NASCAR
Former Channel 8 Weatherman makes it big in racing Paul Emery 2015-03-24 00:00:00Z 0
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District 7780 District Assembly - Saturday March 28, 2015  - York County Community College, Wells ME
 
I am a Rotarian but not an officer or a committee chair, why should I attend District Assembly ?
       One key to a successful and growing Rotary club is informed and enthusiastic members. Attending Rotary meetings above the club level exposes you to knowledge about Rotary that will motivate you and your club will become stronger and more effective. You will also expand your personal and business network to Rotarians from across the district and you will enhance your personal leadership skills.
 
What is District Assembly ?
               In view of the annual turnover of Rotary leadership and members each year, special effort is required to provide club leaders with appropriate instruction for the tasks they will assume. The annual district assembly is the major leadership training event in each Rotary district of the world.

The workshops offer motivation, inspiration, Rotary information and new ideas for club officers, directors and key committee chairmen of each club. Some of the most experienced district leaders conduct informative discussions on all phases of Rotary administration and service projects. The sessions give all participants valuable new ideas to make their club more effective and interesting.
 
If you would like to attend District Assembly for Rotary District 7780, let Steve Rand know by our next meeting on March 24 so the club can organize payment.  Also, please register at the District website by the registration deadline which is Wednesday March 25.  
District Assembly March 28, 2015 Christine Johnson 2015-03-22 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Mar 16, 2015
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Our St Patrick's Day dinner and social was a great success.  43 Rotarians, Kiwanians, and friends gathered for a wonderful meal and fellowship at the Regional Vocational Center Culinary Arts Dining Room.  Chef Limoggio and the students prepared and served a delicious meal. 
 
Special guests included Rotary District Governor Elect Sheila Rollins and her husband Merrill, District Governor Nominee Marge Barker, Assistant District Governor Elect Tony Wagner, and Westbrook Kiwanis President Dillon Knight. 
 
The Crooners were in fine voice. The sang several "rat pack" hits including Ain't That a Kick in the Head, Memories Are Made of This, and Summer Wind. Then they switched into St Patrick's Day mode (pictured) and lead a sing-along of favorite Irish tunes. Thanks to Carlo Giraulo, Paul Andriulli and Vincent Fiero for a fun night.
St Patrick's Day Dinner and Social Big Success Christine Johnson 2015-03-17 00:00:00Z 0
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Cristal and Yeremy flew back to the Dominican Republic on Thursday March 12. Yeremy´s father picked them up at the airport and they all traveled about 50 miles west of Santo Domingo to Bani, Yeremy’s hometown. Ingri and Cristal slept there that night and continued their travel of some 100 additional miles to their hometown of Barahona on the southwest coast the next morning.
 
Thanks are due to GOL New England, to the medical team at MMC and to Rotary’s own Paul Emery, for these two Gifts of Life.
Gift of Line Update - The children are home Christine Johnson 2015-03-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Mar 09, 2015
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Angela is an Alaska native, born and raised in Juneau. She worked at the Alaska Public Offices Commission while attending the University of Alaska Southeast and later, after participating in a student exchange program, she transferred to Binghamton University.  She worked for the City of Binghamton NY as Project Officer, Deputy City Clerk, and finally City Clerk.  She is a graduate of Binghamton University with BA in Philosophy, Politics and Law.
 
Angela joined the City of Westbrook in December 2014.  She has great respect for history and the history of government, and appreciates Westbrook’s concern for historical preservation. In fact, one area of focus for her this year will be records preservation and retention.  In her short time in Westbrook, she has seen a strong concern for people in Maine and appreciates the great city/town clerk network we have here.
New City Clerk Introduces Herself Christine Johnson 2015-03-10 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Mar 07, 2015
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Peter Milholland, Citizen Stewards Coordinator for Friends of Casco Bay, joined us on March 3. Peter has long experience volunteering with environmental groups and joined the staff of Friends of Casco Bay in 1995. 
 
Friends of Casco Bay was started 25 years ago by folks who lived in the area around Casco Bay. They were spurred on by a 1989 report which described the poor health of the Bay due to things like oil discharge and sewage.  At the time, there was no group to place focus on the ongoing health of the Bay or to advocate for the changes needed.  The first employee was Joe Payne, the Bay Keeper, who retired earlier this year. While the Bay Keeper holds the official title, trained citizen volunteers are critical to the organization’s mission.
 
In 1993, Friends of Casco Bay was certified to train volunteers based on EPA standards so that data can be used by Federal and State Agencies in making decision and setting policies.  They train citizen scientists to perform water testing: pH, clarity, temperature, among other factors.  Over the years, they have been able to refine the sampling process to become more efficient and effective in the data gathering.  These volunteers are also trained so they can be effective advocates for the Bay, for example, in the area of nitrogen pollution mitigation and prevention.
Friends of Casco Bay - Advocating for the Bay for over 25 years Christine Johnson 2015-03-08 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Paul Emery on Feb 28, 2015
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Gift of Life, a Rotary sponsored organization and an international project of the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club, brought two children from the Republica Dominica to Maine on February 9 for heart operations.  We had the pleasure of meeting them on February 24.
 
Guests at our meeting were the two children, Cristal Espinosa and Yeremy Berroa, and their mothers, Ingri Beltre and Valentina Mateo. Accompanying them was Sarah Taylor and her niece Abby. Sarah is a member of the Gift of Life, and serves as a friend and interpreter, as the children and their mothers only speak Spanish. Sarah was instrumental in coordinating with members of the Rotary Club of Portland which worked with our club in obtaining warm clothing and boots as well as assisting in doctor and lab appointments.
Gift of Life Provides Chance at Long Life for Two Youngsters Paul Emery 2015-03-01 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Feb 21, 2015
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Heidi Tucker, Project Director at Westbrook Communities that Care was our speaker on February 3. WCTC has been around since 2011.  It is committed to reducing teen alcohol and drug use and in supporting positive youth development. Working with a recent Drug Free Communities Support Program grant is just part of what WCTC does. It brings together community members and partner organizations that work together to support youth in Westbrook to help them grow up healthy and safe. It works to strengthen the net of support for our young people by bringing people together to focus on one issue at a time, starting with youth substance abuse.

Westbrook Communities that Care Christine Johnson 2015-02-22 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Christine Johnson on Jan 12, 2015
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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.

Rotary UN Day – An inspiring experience Christine Johnson 2015-01-13 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Christine Johnson on Jan 05, 2015
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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.

Rotary Direct – An easy way to give Christine Johnson 2015-01-06 00:00:00Z 0
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