Notes from Club Assembly June 14, 2022

  • Charities Budget -  Our charities budget, previously approved by the board, was approved by the club. We hope to raise $25K this year through our various fundraisers and we hope to give most of that away!  As usual, outside of the house project, our budget is heavy on youth services areas, including support of Interact, RYLA, and various scholarships.  Members may request a copy of this budget from PE Christine.  
  • Club Budget -  Our club budget, previously approved by the board, was approved by the club. This is the budget that drives our semi-annual dues which will remain at $110 per half.  However, we will revisit this before the end of November to be sure we are on track. Club items include District and RI dues, website, insurance, and Rotary magazine. Members may request a copy of this budget, and/or more information, from Treasurer Karen Arnold.
  • Golf -  We are three months away from our biggest fundraiser of the year.  We need all member engaged in finding hole sponsors, raffle prizes and golfers.  With our new course, Val Halla in Cumberland, we have the ability to grow this tournament to 20+ teams
  • Trees - We continue to work to confirm that we can obtain trees under the umbrella of the South Portland/Cape Elizabeth club. Steve Rand is point person for this and has a high level of confidence that we will secure some trees for this year. 
Notes from Club Assembly June 14, 2022 2022-06-20 04:00:00Z 0

Summer Volunteer Opportunities

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There are several opportunities to volunteer in our Communities this summer.
Rotary Reading Friends - Gorham Great Falls Elementary School is requesting our club’s support during its 5-week summer academic program. Reading buddies are requested to help strengthen students' reading experience in  Kindergarten through 5th grade. You can sign up for whenever works for you and plan for about an hour.
To be a volunteer, a simple online application is required, and a background check will also be performed at no cost to the volunteer. Start the process here:
Timeframe: July 5-Aug 4, 2022
Days: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays
Time: 8-11:30am (you pick your hour(s) in conjunction with the teacher)
Please consider signing up by June 24th and supporting one of Rotary's focus areas, Basic Education and Literacy. Together, we can help to create stronger young readers! Contact Karen Arnold, 207-749-5793 or with questions.
Summer Volunteer Opportunities 2022-06-13 04:00:00Z 0

Take Advantage of our Club Matching Program

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As we approach the end of this Rotary year, we hope you will consider a new or additional gift to The Rotary Foundation. 
To donate easily and securely online, go to . Here you can choose a Fund or Area of Focus to support, but we hope you will consider donating to the Annual Fund (AF).  The AF is what provides money for our District Grants and provides matching funds for Global Grants.
Be sure to login using your email address so you and our Club receive credit for the donation towards your next Paul Harris Fellow. Our club matches your donation up to $100, in your name.  So do it by June 21st!!  Or bring a check to our next meeting made out to The Rotary Foundation.
To quote Past RI President John Germ, Foundation Trustee Chair: “Remember: It’s not about the money, but about what our money can do. I am a firm believer that when we all give what we can, both as clubs and individuals, to the Foundation every year, we take another step toward making the world a better place.”
Take Advantage of our Club Matching Program 2022-06-13 04:00:00Z 0

Welcome Rotary Year 2021-2022

On Thursday evening July 1, 2021, several club members and friends met at 33 Elmwood in Westbrook to celebrate the end of the old Rotary year and to welcome in the new year. With the weather threatening, we moved inside to a beautiful large space between the bar and the bocce court.  Fortunately, no one was playing bocce that night! 
Welcome Rotary Year 2021-2022 2021-07-13 04:00:00Z 0

New Member Inducted

During our changeover event on July 1, 2021, Past President Kathi Perkins (L) inducted new member Karen Arnold (R). Karen recently retired from a long career in engineering consulting, most recently as VP Global Environmental Health & Safety for Arcadis-US, Inc. Originally from Michigan, she and her husband have lived in Gorham for 32 years. 
Welcome Karen!  We look forward to putting you to work!!
New Member Inducted 2021-07-13 04:00:00Z 0

Speaker Book Donations

During the month of February, we donated two books each to the Baxter Memorial Library and Walker Memorial Library in honor of our wonderful guest speakers. Each picture book is greatly appreciated by the youth services librarians at both libraries. 
These picture books were donated in honor of:
Laura Seaton – Executive Director Window Dressers 
When a Lobster Buys a Bathrobe by Ed Shankman
Speaker Book Donations 2021-02-28 05:00:00Z 0

Volunteers  Build Window Inserts

In 2010, the Belfast Union Church was losing a lot of heat through thin aluminum windows. A local man measured, built and installed custom window inserts that made the church so much warmer that parishioners wanted inserts for their own homes.  185 more inserts were made that year.  Word spread and 1231 inserts were made the next year.  And that was just the beginning.
In 2012, WindowDressers was incorporated with a Board of Directors. That year they made 2200 insets across six community workshops. The organization is now based out of a well-equipped space at the Lincoln Street Center in Rockland.  Laura Seaton, Director, was our speaker on February 9, 2021 and shared details about how the organization works.
Volunteers Build Window Inserts 2021-02-09 05:00:00Z 0

Westbrook Interact Update

Westbrook High School Interact Club President Chloe Grosso and Bruce Dyer shared Interact Cub updates with us on February 9, 2021. While they have been “super limited” due to COVID-19, the club has been able to accomplish several service projects in the community.
Westbrook Interact Update 2021-02-09 05:00:00Z 0

Running a Business During the Pandemic

Our speaker on February 2, 2021 was Maryna Shuliakouskaya, President of the Kittery Rotary, COO of Acadia Management Group (Aroma Joe's and Subway), and owner of several Aroma Joe's locations, including the one in Gorham.  Maryna shared her thoughts on running a business in the middle of a pandemic and how she has applied the same principles to presiding over her club this year. 
Running a Business During the Pandemic 2021-02-02 05:00:00Z 0

Book Donated in Honor of Chief Fickett

While we may be meeting only via Zoom right now, we continue to donate a new hardcover children's book in honor of each of our speakers.  As always, we alternate between the Walker Memorial Library in Westbrook and the Baxter Library in Gorham. Purchase of these books is partially funded by your CLYNK donations, so keep those bottles coming!   If you need bags, just contact Christine Johnson.
Recently, Heidi Whelan, Children's Library at the Baxter Memorial Library received a new book. Is 2 A Lot? was presented in honor of then Acting-Chief Kenneth Fickett.  He has since been confirmed as the new Chief of Gorham Fire & Rescue.  Congratulations Chief!  
Book Donated in Honor of Chief Fickett 2021-02-01 05:00:00Z 0

Westbrook Families Feeding Families

Westbrook Families Feeding Families was founded about 12 years ago by Sue Salisbury and her mother Judy Petrie. At that time, there was a 5 to 7-day gap from school end to the start of the summer lunch program. Their focus was on bringing peanut butter, jelly and bread to summer lunch sites to fill that lunch food gap. That humble start grew to 110 bags delivered to Westbrook’s three elementary schools each week (pre-pandemic) and helping to stock shelves at the WHS and WMS food pantries.
Westbrook Families Feeding Families 2021-02-01 05:00:00Z 0

More Masks!!

Another round of 1 million disposable masks was recently distributed through the Rossi Family Foundation.  Ted Rossi, a Rotarian from District 7980 in Connecticut, donated the masks to be distributed to Rotary Clubs throughout New England.  The first 1 million mask were delivered to our area and distributed in early October. In that first round, we provided masks to the Gorham Fire Dept, Intercultural Community Center, and several local elder care facilities, among other places.
President Kathi will soon deliver masks to the Westbrook Fire Department for distribution to area organizations who request them, Westbrook Families Feeding Families for distribution with their food donations, and First Baptist Church for their partnership with the church for new Mainers and their outreach to the unhoused in Westbrook.  We are proud that our District is involved with this effort and that our club can be part of it.
More Masks!! 2021-01-19 05:00:00Z 0

Book Donated to Library

In honor of Todd Fields, Director of WRVC who spoke to us on January 6, we have donated a book to the Walker Memorial Library - I Am Neil Armstrong by Brad Meltzer.  Neil Armstrong's journey to the moon is the focus of the fifteenth picture book in the New York Times bestselling series of biographies about heroes.  This fun and friendly “I Am….” biography series of picture books focuses on the traits that made our heroes great--the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves.
Book Donated to Library 2021-01-19 05:00:00Z 0

WRVC is Going Strong

On Tuesday January 5, 2021, we welcomed Todd Fields WRVC Director to our Zoom meeting to share updates about WRVC.  Despite the pandemic, student retention year-to-year was high and funding has been secured and utilized for many updates and enhancements to the school’s facilities and programs.
WRVC is Going Strong 2021-01-05 05:00:00Z 0

Christmas Party with Santa Claus

We were pleased to FINALLY welcome Santa Claus to our Christmas Party on the evening of December 15, 2020!!  John Wolcott, a Rotarian from East Greenwich RI, has been playing this part for about 40 years.  His son, Matt Wolcott is a Portland Rotarian and we first heard about John after he spoke to the Portland Rotary club in 2018.  He was scheduled to join us in December 2019, but bad weather cancelled his appearance.
Christmas Party with Santa Claus 2020-12-15 05:00:00Z 0

Annual Christmas Tree & Wreath Sale

 Thanks to everyone who assisted with this big annual fundraiser. Not knowing what demand would look like with our new location in Riverbank Park and during the pandemic, we ordered about 15% fewer trees than last year. In the end, we sold out on Friday December 11, a bit ahead of schedule.  339 trees - Great job!!
We greatly appreciate the support of our Interact Clubs and Rotary family members who helped with lot set up, delivery, filling sales shifts, and lot break down. We could not have done it without those extra hands. We also want to thank Heather Douglass for the beautiful design used for our online flyer and on signage placed at our old lot location (see story photo).
With a little help from Portsmouth, Scarborough and South Portland-Cape Elizabeth clubs, we had record sales of wreaths this year - 165 wreaths!!  We appreciate the support of our large volume buyers as well as those who bought a wreath or two for their home.
Stay tuned for final financials from our treasurer later this month as we confirm all invoices are accounted for and paid.
Annual Christmas Tree & Wreath Sale 2020-12-15 05:00:00Z 0

Dr Seuss’s Birthday Celebration

On March 3, 2020 we celebrated Dr Seuss’s birthday. The Chef and students provided a wonderful and extensive meal inspired by seven children’s books.   The menu ranged from baked Haddock inspired by the Seuss classic One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish to Apple Crisp inspired by The Giving Tree.   A copy of each of the seven inspiration books was donated to both the Walker Library in Westbrook and the Baxter Library in Gorham.  
This was the fifth year we celebrated the Dr Seuss Birthday/Read Across America Week with a great meal and donation of books.  Thank you Chef Limoggio and students for a wonderful meal again this year.
Top: Rosemary Bebris, Library Director of Walker Library
Bottom: Jeff Knox Children's Librarian Baxter Library accepts books from Christine Johnson
Dr Seuss’s Birthday Celebration 2020-03-23 04:00:00Z 0

NEASC Visiting Team

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On March 3, 2020, the 9-member NEASC Visiting Team joined us for lunch. Kathy Fink, Chair of the Visiting Team for CTE Accreditation, spoke to us about the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and their work. NEASC is the oldest of six regional accrediting agencies.  Accreditation is a 3-fold process: a school completes a self-study, the visiting team completes an on-site evaluation, then there is follow-up to review findings. Members of this team came from Career and Technical Education programs all over New England and across disciplines.
NEASC Visiting Team 2020-03-23 04:00:00Z 0

RYLA Update

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Eight students from Gorham High School were interviewed by Bill Chadwick and Ethan Johnson (thanks to both!) and accepted for this year’s RYLA. Four students from Westbrook were due to be interviewed by Kathi Perkins, David Rolfe, and Hal Thomas on March 17. However, with school cancelled, the in-person interviews could not take place. Instead, Hal, Dave, and Kathi reviewed their applications and Kathi interviewed three of them by phone. They were all also accepted into RYLA.  Hopefully, the fourth will complete the application process shortly.
While it is unknown whether or not RYLA will happen at the end of June or be postponed, congratulations to these students who will have an amazing experience – whenever it happens!
RYLA Update 2020-03-23 04:00:00Z 0

Education Leaders Experience

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Wendy Harvey, Co-Principal at Westbrook High School spoke to us about Education Leaders Experience (ELE), a program of Educate Maine, which connects educators with businesses across Maine. Educate Maine advances education policies and practices that prepare students to be productive and engaged citizens.
Education Leaders Experience 2020-02-25 05:00:00Z 0

A Health Partnership in Haiti

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Konbit Sante Cap-Haitien Health Partnership works to strengthen the health system in Cap-Haiten, the country’s second largest city which is located only 600 miles from Floridan on the north coast of Haiti.  Konbit Sante (pronounced kone-beet sont-ay) is Haitien Creole.  Konbit means working together and Sante means health.
A Health Partnership in Haiti 2020-02-11 05:00:00Z 0

Forest Pest - Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Colleen Teerling, an Entomologist with Maine Forest Service, spoke to us on February 3, 2020 about the invasive pest Hemlock Woolly Adelgid.  This pest can be found all along the Atlantic seaboard from Georgia to Maine. Colder climates, like that in Maine, causes heavy mortality of the adelgid which slows down the damage.  However, this pest continues to spread in southern and coastal Maine.
Forest Pest - Hemlock Woolly Adelgid 2020-02-10 05:00:00Z 0

Donor Recognition - Polio Plus

Thanks to everyone in the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club who donated to the Polio Plus Fund in the 2018-2019 Rotary year.  The Rotary International Board of Directors suggests each club donate at least $1500 each year as we continue to work towards the eradication of polio around the world. Your donations through the cans each week, increased by the club match, and added to those funds donate directly to the Foundation by some of our members, exceeded that $1500 threshold.
Our certificate of appreciation was accepted by President-Elect Kathi Perkins at the recent mid-year Leadership Dinner.  Kathi is seen standing (center right) with other awardees of the evening.
Donor Recognition - Polio Plus 2020-02-03 05:00:00Z 0

Award Winning Gorham Educators

Our speakers on January 28, 2020 were Chris Record, Assistant Superintendent of Gorham Schools and Adam Parvanta, Technology Integrator/Teacher at Gorham High School.  Chris was named Maine Assistant Superintendent of the year for 2020 and Adam was awarded a Milken Educators Award in 2019, one of only 40 nationwide. We were sorry to miss Heather Whitaker, Maine Teacher of the Year 2020, due to illness in her family.
Award Winning Gorham Educators 2020-01-28 05:00:00Z 0

Donate Life in District 7780

Scott Linscott has been on the road visiting other Rotary Clubs in our district inviting them to join in on our District Governor's 100% Challenge. Our goal is to aim for 100% registered organ donors in each and every club.
Scott is telling his story of receiving a liver in 2012 while educating Rotarians of the crucial need for organ donors especially in our region. His presentation dispels common myths and shows members how quick and easy it is to register at in addition to registering at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
Scott will be making his presentation at our club at an upcoming meeting as well as contacting each of our members to see if we can attain 100% registered donors. 
District 7780 will then be having some fun recognizing top-achieving clubs at the district-wide training event in April.
Donate Life in District 7780 2020-01-27 05:00:00Z 0

Community Reads Gorham

Last fall, Westbrook-Gorham Rotary made a $250 donation to help support the annual Great Falls Elementary School program in Gorham called One School, One Book project.  This is our third year participating in this wonderful literacy event.
The One School, One Book program provides a book to every child, teacher and staff member which they read together during January.  Older students, teachers and staff receive one book.  Younger readers and their teachers receive an age-appropriate book with similar themes.
Roughly 550 students and 60 staff members in grades K-5 are participating this year. The books titles were announced just before Christmas break and students received a copy of their book the day they returned in January.  The books are read aloud in the classroom during the designated class period.  It usually takes the month of January to complete the reading and discussion for the chapter book.
The books being read in 2020 are both by author Kate DiCamillo.  Students are reading either Leroy Ninker Saddles up or The Tale of Despereaux!   
Community Reads Gorham 2020-01-27 05:00:00Z 0

Junior Achievement

On January 7, 2020, Michelle Anderson, President of JA Maine (R), and Jodi Mezzanotte, Assistant Superintendent of Westbrook School Dept (L), spoke to us about JA and about programs planned for Westbrook and Gorham. Michelle oversees all JA of Maine operations, including strategic vision, fundraising, partnership development, and mission expansion. She has been with the organization for over 10 years, starting her career as an intern upon college graduation. Jodi is on the JA Board of Directors and head of their Education Committee.
Junior Achievement has three areas of focus: financial literacy, workforce readiness skills and entrepreneurship.  They have nationally developed, age-appropriate programming for grades Kindergarten through High School using experiential games and activities delivered by volunteers in the classroom. Programming is offered state-wide and is free to all school partners.
Junior Achievement 2020-01-20 05:00:00Z 0

Gorham Interact Update

Received from Neil Nelson:
“Our Interact Club has been so busy this year with activities, volunteer opportunities and are beginning to plan our annual "Satellite American Cancer Society Relay for Life Event" in May. It is such a great opportunity for these kids.  We recently finished over 275 hours of volunteering with the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad and helping them to run their Polar Express. We had over 35 club members participate in at least 3 hours each for this event. It was fabulous. In the works now are being "guest chefs" at the Ronald McDonald House in Portland this spring and a couple of Habitat for Humanity dates.”
Other activities from Fall 2019 included: “Fall Yoga Day, the Festival of Trees in Westbrook, the Polar Express, a day where members of our club went to speak and work with 6th graders at Gorham Middle School to discuss transitions and aspirations, pictures of some of the 300 Holiday Cards our kids wrote and decorated and delivered to all the residents of Gorham House for the Holidays, an evening before Christmas when the senior members of the club Christmas Carol at the Inn at Village Square. It's been a very, very busy 1st semester of lots of activities and community service opportunities for our club members.” 
Neile also mentioned that they have a large Sophomore class that is very active and engaged. They have started promoting RYLA so we expect a good number of applications this year. 
Photos courtesy of Neile Nelson and Gorham Interact Club
Gorham Interact Update 2020-01-20 05:00:00Z 0

Polio Plus Donation

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The polio plus donation cans were emptied at the beginning of January 2020. Fourth quarter 2019 donations, including some funds raised during the Cornhole Tournament, totaled $131.25.   With club match, we’ll be sending a check to the Rotary Foundation for $262.50.   The Gates Foundation double match will bring the total value of our donation to $787.50.
Thanks to everyone for your ongoing donations to finally end polio.
Polio Plus Donation 2020-01-20 05:00:00Z 0

Locker Project Update

Westbrook-Gorham Rotary continues to support The Locker Project distributions in Westbrook.  In partnership with Westbrook Kiwanis and other community members, we provide volunteers to help sort and set up the donated food, help students and staff make their selections, and clean up at the end of the event.  All in about an hour each time.
Most events take place two Wednesdays a month in the WHS cafeteria at dismissal time.  In addition, we are fortunate to be able to secure and support periodic community events when school is not in session.  The most recent event was held on Monday December 30th at Westbrook Community Center in the midst of a snow storm!
Our next event is this week on Wednesday January 8 at WHS, followed by another on January 29. 
Locker Project Update 2020-01-06 05:00:00Z 0

Christmas Gifts for the Libraries

Westbrook-Gorham Rotary donated two books each to Walker Library in Westbrook and to Baxter Library in Gorham in celebration of the holiday season. 
“Frieda Makes a Difference” is a picture book published by the United Nations about a young girl named Frieda who embarks on a wonderful adventure to bring about positive change in the world.  “Cyrus Field’s Big Dream” is by local author Mary Morton Cowan.  It is a STEM non-fiction book for middle grade readers about one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century: laying a transatlantic telegraph cable to create instant communication between two continents.
Pictured here are children’s librarians Jeff Knox and Deb Tanguay from Baxter Library holding the donated books.
Christmas Gifts for the Libraries 2019-12-20 05:00:00Z 0

Festival of Trees

Westbrook-Gorham Rotary was proud to support the Festival of Trees again for Christmas 2019.  The Interact Clubs at both Westbrook and Gorham High Schools decorated trees, while club members and friends attended the Tips for Charity Luncheon at the Westbrook Warren Church.
The theme of the Gorham Interact's tree was Building Awareness One Tree at a Time honoring people who have fought or are fighting cancer.   Westbrook Interact's tree honors the school colors Blue & White.
Rotary’s table at the luncheon raised over $525 - our largest total yet!  Thank you to all who helped with your “tip”.   Proceeds are being donated to the Westbrook Food Pantry.
Festival of Trees 2019-12-13 05:00:00Z 0

Spirit of the Season at Two Local Businesses

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Xtreme Screen & Sportsware and Blazes Burgers are each lending a hand to children in need this holiday season.
Located at 937 Main St, Westbrook, Xtreme Screen has a "giving tree" for youth that the schools have identified as needing some help for the holidays.  Each tag contains the age and sex of a child in need, along with a short wish list of items.  Stop in during their regular business hours to pick a tag. Monday -Thursday 8am-4pm.  Wrapped gifts to be returned by Friday December 13.
Blazes Burgers at 652 Main St , Westbrook, across from Riverbank Park will be collecting items that Westbrook Schools Nurses have identified as being in high demand.  Sweatpants, socks, and underpants in all sizes.  Winter hats and gloves.  Drop unwrapped items in their collection box during the month of December.  Items will be distributed among the schools based on size and highest need.
Spirit of the Season at Two Local Businesses 2019-12-02 05:00:00Z 0

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

On Tuesday December 3, 2019, we will welcome John Wolcott of the Rotary Club of East Greenwich RI.   John is the father of Portland Rotarian Matt Wolcott and takes on the role of Santa each year.
Please join us for this seasonal program with John, his wife, and son Matt as we learn about “Clausmanship.”
Santa Claus is Coming to Town 2019-11-25 05:00:00Z 0

Cornhole Invitational 2019

The 5th Annual Southern Maine Cornhole Invitational was held on Saturday October 26 at the Gorham Sports Complex.  A record 63 two-person teams competed for cash in the winning bracket (or beer in the consolation bracket).   In addition, the tournament planning team was able to sell 10 Leader Board sponsors, a new component of the event this year.  The Leader Board sponsors included: Desmond & Rand, Stroudwater Title, Hops & Vine, Elaine Spiller (Spiller for Mayor), Gorham House of Pizza, and Gorham Savings Bank.
Cornhole Invitational 2019 2019-10-26 04:00:00Z 0

Interact Update

Westbrook High School Interact Adviser Dr Bruce Dyer, along with three students, joined us at our meeting of October 22, 2019. Kamdyn Russell is a Senior and President of WHS Interact Club. Matthew Eugley and MacKenzie Remington are two of the Juniors at WHS who attended RYLA this summer.

Interact Update 2019-10-22 04:00:00Z 0

Growing Adult Education

Shelli Pride, Director of Adult Education for Westbrook and Gorham, spoke to the club on October 8, 2019.  She has been involved with adult education for 23 years, most of that time as an instructor.  She took on her current role in July when she came to us from the Windham Adult Ed program.
Growing Adult Education 2019-10-08 04:00:00Z 0
Rotary House Visit 2019-10-01 04:00:00Z 0

Adult Education in the News

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Westbrook’s Adult Education Program continues to grow, especially in the CTE programs through WRVC.  There are currently about 150 students enrolled in courses that include English language, diploma classes, and heavy equipment.
Adult Education in the News 2019-09-29 04:00:00Z 0

Generous Winners

Fortune shined on Pat and Cliff  Plummer recently with two raffle wins.  Pat won a recent raffle at a lunch meeting and Cliff won the 50/50 raffle at the Golf Tournament on September 17, 2019.   The total take between the two raffles was about $240.  Ever generous, Pat and Cliff have decided to donate their winnings towards literacy in Guatemala. 
Immediate Past President Bill Chadwick and Vice President Scott Linscott each have ongoing projects in different parts of Guatemala through their churches. These raffle proceeds will be divided and donated to purchase books for their next trips over the winter.
Thanks Pat & Cliff!!   
Generous Winners 2019-09-24 04:00:00Z 0

First Quarter Polio Plus Donation

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We are pleased to announce that funds raised in our Polio Plus cans reached $185 in the first quarter of the 2019-2020 Rotary year. This is the largest amount seen in any one quarter in quite some time!  
The club will match this amount and forward a check to the Rotary Foundation this week. With our club's match followed by the Gates Foundation double match, your $185 turns into $1110 to continue the fight against polio!!
Thanks to everyone who donated through the cans this quarter.  Your ongoing support to finally eradicate this disease once and for all is making a difference.
First Quarter Polio Plus Donation 2019-09-24 04:00:00Z 0

25th Annual Rotary Classic

The numbers are still being crunched, but here are several highlights from this year’s tournament: 
On Tuesday September 17, 2019, thirteen teams teed off on a perfect day for golf.  We had many generous sponsors again this year, including tournament sponsors Gorham Sand & Gravel and Shaw Brothers.  We were also pleased to have four Platinum Sponsors, six Gold Sponsors, Hole-in-One Sponsor Lee Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram Westbrook, Putting Contest Sponsor Dave’s World, and Lunch Sponsor Mister Bagel.   In addition, we set a record with 57 hole sponsors!   Thanks to everyone who entered a team, recruited these holes sponsors or sponsored a hole!
25th Annual Rotary Classic 2019-09-17 04:00:00Z 0

Maine Geomatics

On September 10, 2019, Westbrook-Gorham Rotarian Owens McCullough, Sr VP Sebago Technics, introduced us to two of his employees – Rich Stone and Kira Harmon.  Both Rich and Kira are graduates of WRVC - Rich in Computer Repair Technology and Kira in Drafting.  They both also attended SMCC and Rich is currently studying to Architecture at University of Maine Augusta. Both are experts in the emerging field of high definition surveying.
Maine Geomatics 2019-09-10 04:00:00Z 0

Al Juniewicz Awarded Paul Harris Fellow

On September 10, 2019, Foundation Chair Steve Rand was pleased to award long-time member Alexander Juniewicz a Paul Harris Fellow. This recognizes his ongoing commitment to Rotary and to our Rotary Foundation.   Thanks Al!
Pictured: President Michael Foley, Steve and Al
Al Juniewicz Awarded Paul Harris Fellow 2019-09-10 04:00:00Z 0

Educating Engineers for Maine

On September 3, 2019, Henry Saunders introduced our speaker Dana Humphrey, Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Maine and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  Dean Humphrey is also Saunders Professor of Engineering Leadership and Management
Educating Engineers for Maine 2019-09-03 04:00:00Z 0

Bits & Pieces from Club Assembly

Posted on Aug 27, 2019
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We held our first club assembly of the new Rotary year on August 27, 2019, lead by President Michael Foley.  Members broke into discussion groups for areas of focus - youth services, community service/club service, vocational service, international service, but these topics were discussed with the full assembly.
Golf Tournament – We need folks out soliciting teams and hole sponsors. Golfers and donors can register at  or collect their checks and bring them to the next meeting.  We can invoice if needed -  just email request with company name, contact name, email address and mail address to  Deadline for hole sponsors to guarantee signage is close of business Tuesday September 10.   We can take teams until Monday Sept 16. Email details to along with digital file of logo for sponsors.
RotaryRocks!  - District Conference this year is being held on Saturday October 5, 2019 (rather than in spring) from 9AM to 4PM at Abromson Community Education Center on the campus of USM in Portland. It’s a great opportunity to show off what our club is doing and learn about projects of other clubs.  Registration at:   Bring a friend or colleague to learn more about Rotary.
Donate Life – Scott Linscott has issued a challenge to our club and to all clubs in the District. He asks us all to register as organ donors.  He will have packets to hand out at RotaryRocks! on October 5 for attendees to take back to their clubs. Contact Scott for more info on how you can register.
Club Table at RotaryRocks! – Each club is asked to present projects from their club during the October 5 event at USM.  Ideas identified during the assembly were House Project, Guatemala Water Project and Donate Life (Note: Subsequently it was learned that both the water project and Donate Life may be part of the District displays.  Kathi Perkins has agreed to lead the effort to develop displays for our table.  Please contact her with your ideas at
Lunch with the Trades – It was suggested that we return to the annual event of “lunch with the trades” next spring (April/May).  This is a date agreed to with WRVC staff to host students and faculty from the building trades who work on the house each year at a lunch meeting prior to end of school.
Bits & Pieces from Club Assembly 2019-08-27 04:00:00Z 0

WRVC-Rotary House Project – New Lot Selected

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Vocational Service Chair Judith Reidman reports that the City Council voted on July 15 to authorize conveyance of City Property to the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club, at no cost, for use by the Westbrook Regional Vocational Center. The property is located on West Pleasant Ave near the intersection with Quimby Ave.
In 2016, the city considered this lot for the program, but another lot located on Declaration Drive was selected instead. That project is nearing completion and the West Pleasant Street lot was proposed for the next house. This new lot is conveniently located within reasonable proximity to the Vocational Center.
Don’t Forget: On Tuesday October 1, 2019, we’ll hold our regular 11:30AM meeting at the current house at the end of Declaration Dr. It will be an opportunity for club members to see the property as it approaches completion.
WRVC-Rotary House Project – New Lot Selected 2019-07-15 04:00:00Z 0

Rotary in Romania

From April 27 to May 13, 2019, our own Kathi Perkins took part in an District outreach trip to Romania along with three other Rotarians from District 7780. They flew through Turkey to reach Bucharest where they started their Romanian adventure. This adventure ultimately took them across the breadth of the country through Sibiu to Oradea. 
Rotary in Romania 2019-07-09 04:00:00Z 0

Time for a Change

On Tuesday June 25, 2019, we recognized the end of the current Rotary year and the start of the new. We thanked outgoing President Deb Shangraw by making a donation of $100 to Veterans Housing Service in her name. Deb has been a long-time advocate in this area.  In addition, incoming President Mike Foley presented presented her Past President name badge.
Time for a Change 2019-06-25 04:00:00Z 0

RYLA - A Success for Westbrook & Gorham Students

Posted by Bill Chadwick
Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoorRotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a training program dedicated to developing the next generation of innovative leaders. Working with students after their sophomore year of high school, Rotary clubs throughout District 7780 selected 144 deserving candidates to send to BSA Camp Hinds in Raymond, Maine to participate in the RYLA program on June 22-26th. Once at camp, RYLA participants are assigned to a Leadership Exploration Group (LEG) with 11 others, and spend four days exploring the intricacies of leadership and how it arises in the real world. The activities the campers participate in focus on team-building, group problem solving, and interpersonal management within project teams.
On Tuesday night June 25th, the last night of RYLA, Rotarians were invited to attend dinner with the students.  I attended and had the privilege of sitting with students our club sponsored.  Each student glowed with enthusiasm about the personal challenges and growth they experienced while at the camp.  I asked one student from Westbrook, ‘What was the most significant thing that you have experienced while attending the camp?’  He responded, “I discovered things about myself that I really like, and I discovered things about myself that I really want to change. I want to become a better person.”  Wow!
Another student from Gorham told me of her fear of heights and how she overcame her fear to actually complete the high ropes course!  She stated, “My whole LEG cheered me on and inspired me.  Our group was so tight, and I learned the value of positive reinforcement and team work.”
As the evening ended each LEG did skits that reflected on aspects of ROTARY.  Some students did one that illustrated the Four Way Test and it was very entertaining.  As I got ready to leave student after student thanked me and our club for sponsoring them this year.  I can honestly say it was a wonderful time and I love the students we support.  It is in my opinion, one of our greatest gifts to the next generation.
RYLA - A Success for Westbrook & Gorham Students Bill Chadwick 2019-06-25 04:00:00Z 0

Westbrook Middle Annual Service Award

The Westbrook Middle School Awards Night and 8th Grade Promotion was held on Tuesday June 18.  This annual event is held to recognize students in a variety of areas.  These areas include Academic Honors, Presidential Fitness, excellence in subjects like art, languages, music and STEAM, and outstanding student.
Each year, the Rotary Club of Westbrook-Gorham presents the Annual Service Award to two 8th Graders.  This award is presented to a boy and a girl selected by their teachers based on criteria we provide – those who exemplify our motto, Service Above Self.
This year, Kathi Perkins presented the awards to Emilia DePeter and Charlie Fournier.  Emilia is an exemplary citizen and a role model in all ways. At WMS, she was involved in Builder's Club, Falcon's Nest, and Leadership Club. An avid dancer, she also gave back in the community by assisting with a special needs dance program, Darby's dancers. Charlie showed a quiet confidence in the classroom that garnered attention from his peers and teachers alike. He is a great example of how hard work and dedication is rewarding. He was high achieving in the classroom and also respected by all his peers for his kind and humble nature.
Two books were donated to the Westbrook Middle School Library in their honor:  Brazen:  Rebel Ladies by Penelope Bagieu and The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis.
Westbrook Middle Annual Service Award 2019-06-18 04:00:00Z 0

Focus on Foundation - Polio Plus

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On June 11, 2019, we emptied the Polio Plus cans for the last time this Rotary year.  The $50 you donated in our cans in this quarter will be matched by the club. A check for $100 will be sent to the Rotary Foundation by the end of the month, designated to polio eradication efforts.
In the 2018-2019 Rotary year, Westbrook-Gorham Rotary has donated $882 to polio eradication to date.  With this additional $100, we should end the year very close to the $1000 mark.
Thanks to all who have made donations each week in the cans.  Also thanks to those who choose to direct their Foundation giving to polio eradication. 
Focus on Foundation - Polio Plus 2019-06-18 04:00:00Z 0

Pat Plummer PHF+2

Congratulations and a huge thank you to Pat Plummer for her ongoing support of The Rotary Foundation. With her elevation to Paul Harris +2, she has cumulative lifetime giving of at least $3000.
Pat is a Rotary Direct participant which allows automatic donation from credit or debit card.  Pat told us “they make it so easy”.
You can join Pat as a member of Rotary Direct by setting up a recurring donation at:
Pat Plummer PHF+2 2019-06-04 04:00:00Z 0

Port Resources - Improving Lives

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On May 28, 2019, Stu Simon Director of Fund Development at Port Resources spoke to us about his organization.  With headquarters on Gannett Dr in South Portland and a service area of Cumberland and York counties, over 400 individuals receive services annually. Port Resources empowers individuals with developmental, cognitive and behavioral health challenges to live meaningful and fulfilled lives in their communities.
Port Resources - Improving Lives 2019-06-04 04:00:00Z 0

WRVC Awards Ceremony 2019

The annual awards ceremony for graduating students of WRVC was held in the Westbrook High School auditorium on Thursday May 23, 2019.  The program recognized CTE student of the year Derek Corbett (Heavy Equipment Operation) and winners from recent conferences and state competitions for Skills USA, DECA, and Future Business Leaders of American; in addition to National Technical Honor Society inductees.
WRVC Awards Ceremony 2019 2019-05-23 04:00:00Z 0

Keeping Westbrook Clean & Green

Lynn Leavitt, Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Westbrook, was our guest at speaker during our Rotary Night out on May 21, 2019.  With a curbside recycling rate of 25%, Westbrook creates about 50,000 lbs of recycling and 150,000 lbs of trash each week.  Annually, that means 2.6M lbs of recycling and 7.8M lbs of trash.   With a current tipping fee of $70.50 per ton for trash and no fee for recyclables, we have a huge incentive to recycle properly and reduce waste.
Keeping Westbrook Clean & Green 2019-05-21 04:00:00Z 0

RMH - Keeping Families Close

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Ronald McDonald House (RMH) in Bangor was opened in 1983 as a place of “comfort, care and compassion” where families of children undergoing medical treatment can stay. Ronald McDonald House Charities Maine was established in 1989 and the house in Portland opened in 1995. In 2015, the three organizations merged. We welcomed their current Development Director Alicia Milne as our guest and speaker on May 14, 2019.
RMH - Keeping Families Close 2019-05-14 04:00:00Z 0

Westbrook RYLA Students 2019

On Tuesday May 14, 2019 we were pleased to meet three of the four students from Westbrook High School who will be attending RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) this year.  After lunch, Kathi Perkins presented the students with a certificate recognizing their acceptance of this scholarship. 
These Westbrook students will join eight from Gorham at Camp Hinds on June 23-26, 2019.  GHS certificates were presented at a recent Interact meeting.
Pictured: Matthew Eugley, MacKenzie Remington, Kathi Perkins and Ashlee Townsend. Not able to attend: Homron Shahid
Westbrook RYLA Students 2019 2019-05-14 04:00:00Z 0

Meet the Presidents

During our lunch on May 14, 2019 we thanked outgoing Westbrook High School Interact President Kimberly Goddard (L).   She has done an outstanding job leading the Interact Club this school year.  We wish her the best of luck as she heads off to study Nursing at Husson College in Bangor.  She'll also be joining their field hockey team. 
We also welcomed incoming WHS Interact President Kamdyn Russell (R).   We look forward to working with the new club officers in the 2019-2020 school year.
Meet the Presidents 2019-05-14 04:00:00Z 0

Focus on Foundation - PHF +2

Cub Foundation Chair Steve Rand shared a few laughs with President Deb Shangraw as he presented her with a Paul Harris Fellow +2.  Deb is a Rotary Direct member, making painless and easy automatic donations each month to The Rotary Foundation. 
We also thanked Deb for funding an extra student to RYLA this year. We had budgeted for 11, but had 12 strong candidates between the two schools.  To thank her for this generous donation to our Club, we transferred 500 PHF points to her account moving her that much closer to the next PHF level.
Finally, as we move closer to the end of this Rotary year, don’t forget the great matching opportunity provided by our club.  For every dollar you donate to the Foundation, up to $100, the club will match that donation in your name.  If you sign up for Rotary Direct for the first time, we’ll add $25 more.  
The deadline for donations to receive the match for the 2018-2019 year is June 11, 2019 (our second meeting in June).  This will give our Foundation Chair Steve Rand a chance to pull reports, complete the matching funds paperwork, and submit it all to Rotary International by June 30.
To donate on line go to: or bring a check to an upcoming meeting made out to Rotary Foundation.
Focus on Foundation - PHF +2 2019-05-14 04:00:00Z 0

Thank You Culinary Students

We thanked Chef Limoggio and the six seniors (second year culinary students) during our lunch meeting on May 7.  Chef noted that the class this year was smaller than usual, but that they “really kicked butt”.  The students have some input into the menu planning and we don’t see entree items repeated within the same year.
In addition to our weekly lunches, they have many other opportunities to plan and cook meals. They did very well in the 9th year of Heart Association Competition, prepared and served two advisory council dinners for about 100 people, prepared breakfast for Cumberland County Superintendents meetings, and provided full-service lunches to Community Service Dept lunches when requested, among other events.
This year’s students are pictured with Chef Limoggio.  Morgan Gaston of Windham who will attend Johnson & Wales in the fall; Laura Goodwin of Windham who will attend Central Maine Community College; Noah Wilcox of Westbrook, Southern Maine Community College; Julia Zampini of Bonny Eagle, SMCC; Julia Downey of Gorham, SMCC; Jessica Collins of Westbrook, SMCC.
Thank You Culinary Students 2019-05-07 04:00:00Z 0

Dog Park Expansion at Bicentennial Park

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On May 3, 2019, Phil Spiller shared a presentation he had made the evening before at the City Council Meeting on the Westbrook Dog Park Expansion project. Phil calls it “one nice cohesive plan.”
The dog park is currently small and often muddy due to poor drainage that causes flooding when it rains. The area also features poor and uninviting trail entrances, poor and ineffective signage and a skate park that is looking tired. There has been a monument at the site since it was dedicated on July 4, 1976, explaining the name Bicentennial Park. 
Dog Park Expansion at Bicentennial Park 2019-05-07 04:00:00Z 0

Relay for Life

Congratulations to Gorham High School Interact Club who raised over $6000 for the American Cancer Society through their Relay for Life.  With an original goal of $4000, they blew past this number and nearly doubled what they raised in 2018!
Students play Kan Jam
& Mrs Nelson gets in the act with Spike Ball
About 80 students participated over the course of the day from 7AM to 7PM on Sunday May 5.  Parents, teachers and their children also came out in support of the fundraiser.  For 12 hours, at least some members of the group were constantly active – walking the track, or playing spike ball, tennis, Kan Jam, and frisbee.   They were kept well fed by donations from Mister Bagel, Aroma Joes, Subway and Gorham House of Pizza.
This event at Gorham is part of the larger Portland event being held on June 1.  With seniors graduating in mid-May, holding a separate event in Gorham allowed the seniors to participate and made it easy for the community to come out to support them.   There is still time to support them at this link: GHS Interact Relay for Life Fundraiser
Survivor Lap at the end of GHS Relay for Life
Relay for Life 2019-05-05 04:00:00Z 0

Community Cleaned Up

Many folks from across the community came out on Saturday May 4 to help clean up around Westbrook. This included local politicians, kids and a few Rotarians who met at one of three locations to sign-in and pick up bags.
Joseph Foley, Garry Rairdon, Lynn Leavitt, Mike Foley
Thanks to Scott Linscott, Michael & Joseph Foley, Phil Spiller and Christine Johnson for their efforts.  Also, thanks to Deb Shangraw for bringing a large box of delicious pastries for the volunteers at the park.
Community Cleaned Up 2019-05-04 04:00:00Z 0

Focus on Foundation - Clean Water & Sanitation

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On April 2, 2019, Bill Chadwick announced that the Global Grant for our water project has been approved!.  Bill has been working on this grant with the Los Amates club for well over a year and is very pleased that we can finally move forward. The work will take place in the community of Pozon.
Pozon is a community of about 2000 people in the Los Amates region of Guatemala.  The community will be providing storage and distribution systems worth about $50,000.  Our grant includes drilling, pumping equipment, training on maintenance of the infrastructure, and electrical system.  The total value of the project is nearly $130,000.
Our club's donation of $1000 has been multiplied exponentially with donations by several other clubs in our District, the Celebration FL Club, the Los Amates Club, District matching funds and finally funds from The Rotary Foundation.  The District and Foundation funds are available thanks to Rotarians who donate to the Foundation. Thank you for supporting our Foundation and allowing projects like this one to happen!
Focus on Foundation - Clean Water & Sanitation 2019-04-02 04:00:00Z 0

Through These Doors

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Rebecca Hobbs, Executive Director of Through These Doors, was our guest and speaker on March 26, 2019.  This organization was started in 1977 by a group of volunteers and was formerly known as Family Crisis Services. Our own Judith Reidman is currently Chairman of their Board.
Through These Doors 2019-03-26 04:00:00Z 0

Winter Dinner – Focus on Youth

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On the evening of Tuesday March 19, we welcomed 37 Rotarians and guests to our winter dinner at WRVC. On the final night of winter, Chef Limoggio and his students served a wonderful meal that started with fruit & cheese platters, crackers and punch while a Westbrook High School jazz combo played.  After dinner, we invited three groups of students to share a bit about their programs and activities.
Winter Dinner – Focus on Youth 2019-03-19 04:00:00Z 0

Illustrator & Author Shares Her Story

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Cathyrn Falwell, a Gorham-based children’s books author and illustrator was our speaker on March 5, 2019. When Cathryn was young, she loved to draw.  In fact, she illustrated her first book in kindergarten and she had it with her to show us!   Cathryn has a degree in Printmaking and worked as a graphic designer for a number of years. She showed us several examples of her work which made it clear that she was destined to illustrate children’s books.
Illustrator & Author Shares Her Story 2019-03-05 05:00:00Z 0

Read Across America

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On March 5, 2019, we celebrated Dr Seuss’ birthday and Read Across America week with a meal inspired by children’s books and a special speaker.  The meal included baked ham (Green Eggs & Ham), apple sauce (The Giving Tree), rice pilaf (Everybody Cooks Rice), roasted broccoli (Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli), green salad, homemade bread (Tony’s Bread), and chocolate cake (Thundercake).
We donated copies of these seven classic books to both Walker and Baxter libraries.  A huge thanks to Chef Limoggio, his staff and students for “cooking up” such a wonderful and imaginative meal!
Read Across America 2019-03-05 05:00:00Z 0

A Passion for Skiing

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Anita Emery, daughter of Frank and Christine Emery, was our speaker on February 26, 2019.  Anita was born with cerebral palsy.  She was adopted at age 1.5 into a family with a skiing legacy (her grandfather is in the Maine Ski Hall of Fame!). Frank got the kids involved in skiing early and Anita started with Maine Adaptive Sports at age 8.
Maine Adaptive now has multiple programs in winter and summer. The programs are staffed by many volunteers, including her dad. This year is Anita’s first year volunteering, one day a week, and she loves it. It provides the opportunities to meet people and hear their stories.
A Passion for Skiing 2019-02-26 05:00:00Z 0

Westbrook Strong

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During our Rotary Night Out at Mister Bagel, Mike Foley introduced our speaker, Gary Rairdon.  Gary and his wife Laurie have lived most of their lives in Westbrook and raised their family here. Gary has been involved in the Westbrook community for many years and is currently President of the City Council.
Westbrook Strong 2019-02-19 05:00:00Z 0

Go Pats!!

To get us all revved up for the Superbowl, a very talented Culinary student, Julia Zampini created this amazing desert... Patriot themed.  In fact, she may have actually made a couple of these!   Beautiful and delicious!!  Thank you Julia.
Go Pats!! 2019-01-29 05:00:00Z 0

Polio Update

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Mike McGovern, Past Rotary International Vice Present, Chair of the Nominating Committee for RI President, Chair of Rotary International’s Polio Plus Committee, and member of the South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club, was our guest and speaker on January 29.
Polio Update 2019-01-29 05:00:00Z 0

Big Brothers Big Sisters

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Phile Spiller introduced Nicole Avery, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine as our speaker on January 22, 2019.  BBBS moved their offices to the former St Mary’s parish hall on Main St Westbrook where they held a ribbon cutting in April 2018. Nicole joined the organization about 4 months ago. She grew up in Bridgton and has long experience in the non-profit sector.
Big Brothers Big Sisters 2019-01-22 05:00:00Z 0

Living the Word War

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Elizabeth Elsbach and Pof Don Zillman had the pleasure of writing 1200 pages in two volumes titled Living the World War: A Weekly Exploration of the American Experience in WWI.  Their goal was to recreate each week between October 1, 1916 and March 5, 1919 from the records of the New York Times and the Congressional Record (the debates on the floors of the US Senate and the House of Representatives).  Their mission was to ask readers to imagine how they would have reacted "if they didn't know what was coming next."  The week of January 12-18, 1919 (two months after the Armistice) included the start of the Versailles Peace Conference, continuing riots in Germany, the passage of the Prohibition Amendment, and further follow up after the unexpected death (at age 61) of Teddy Roosevelt on January 6.
Living the Word War 2019-01-21 05:00:00Z 0

WinterKids Games 2019

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On Monday January 7, the month-long WinterKids Games 2019 kicked off with Opening Ceremonies at Canal School in Westbrook.  This is the second year of this state-wide initiative with only two schools selected to represent each of the 16 counties in Maine. Canal Elementary in Westbrook is one of them!  WMTW selected Canal for the Opening Ceremonies and was there to cover the story:
WinterKids Games 2019 Christine Johnson 2019-01-08 05:00:00Z 0

Dan Willett Recognized with PHF+4

On January 8, Foundation Chair Steve Rand presented a Paul Harris Fellow Plus 4 pin to Dan Willett. This insignia recognizes Dan’s ongoing support of the Rotary Foundation and the work it does through Rotarians just like us.
Congratulations and thank you Dan!
Steve Rand Presents PHF+4 to Dan Willett
Dan Willett Recognized with PHF+4 Christine E Johnson 2019-01-08 05:00:00Z 0

Tips for Charity Luncheon 2018

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Thank you to everyone who attended or worked on the Tips for Charity luncheon on Friday December 7, 2018.  In addition to the Rotarians at our table, Phil Spiller hosted the Discover Downtown Westbrook table, Becky Albert hosted the Walker Library table, and Andrew Turcotte hosted the Fire Dept table. 
Special thanks to Steve & Patty Rand, John & Sue Bernier (Kiwanis), Dana Smith (Kiwanis), Toni & Dave Irish (UMaine Alumnae), Jim Born, Dave Rolfe, Judith & Ed Reidman, and Cliff & Pat Plummer, as well as Deb Shangraw and Mike Foley.  A wonderful community event!
Tips for Charity Luncheon 2018 2018-12-07 05:00:00Z 0

Bits & Pieces from Club Assembly

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* A huge thanks to everyone who donated to the Rotary Foundation during the 2017-2018 Rotary year.  Assistant Governor Tony Wagner presented a recognition banner to Westbrook-Gorham Rotary for being number 2 in per capita Annual Fund giving in District 7780 last year.
Bits & Pieces from Club Assembly 2018-12-04 05:00:00Z 0

Protection Training 2018

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Each Rotary District adopts a Protection Policy to ensure the safety and protection of all children and youth, vulnerable persons, fellow Rotarians and volunteers with whom we interact in our Rotary activities. This policy, which is reviewed by a committee at least annually, includes safety and protection from physical, sexual and emotional abuse or harassment and extends to all activities of Interact, Rotaract, RYLA and Rotary Youth Exchange, as well as to other projects and programs of Rotary Clubs.
Protection Training 2018 2018-11-13 05:00:00Z 0

Hannaford Helps Schools

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Hannaford is currently conducting a fundraiser to support local schools. Both the Westbrook and Gorham locations are participating.  Just purchase 4 items from the list of eligible items (or multiples of 4), all on the same receipt, then deposit your receipt in the collection tower near the front of each store. The tower has slots for each participating school.  For example, the Westbrook store tower has slots for WRVC, the Middle School and each of the four elementary schools – Canal, Congin, Hall and Saccarappa. For every four participating items purchased on a single receipt, $3 will be donated to your selected school.
This fundraiser will continue through December 1, 2018. You can visit the Hannaford website for the complete list of participating products Hannaford Helps Schools or you can pick up a flyer at an upcoming Rotary meeting which includes a list of many of the participating products.
Hannaford Helps Schools 2018-11-12 05:00:00Z 0

Reading at Village School

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We are back reading at Village School again this year.  Christine Johnson and Woody Beech are reading with first graders in the classrooms of Donna Landry and Heather Hurd.  Each child reads for 15-20 minutes during their first period starting about 8:50AM.  If you are interested in reading in a Gorham elementary school, contact Christine for more information on how to get started.
Christine Johnson (L) and Woody Beech (R)
with Abi Bartlett Literacy Coordinator
Reading at Village School 2018-11-09 05:00:00Z 0
The Power of Our Website and Social Media 2018-11-06 05:00:00Z 0

Fighting to End Polio

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In the 2017-2018 Rotary year, then Rotary International President Ian Riseley challenged clubs to contribute at least $1,500 toward the eradication of polio.  Members of the Westbrook Gorham Rotary Club really stepped up and contributed an amazing $4.547. This was more than a 10-fold increase over the previous year!
PDG Lawrence Furbish joined us on October 30, 2018 to present a certificate thanking us for meeting the challenge.  In addition, based on available date, he shared that our club has contributed $28,423 since 1998. Congratulations and a huge thanks to all who have contributed.
Lawrence Furbish presents the End Polio Now award 
to Immediate Past President Bill Chadwick
Fighting to End Polio 2018-10-30 04:00:00Z 0

Gorham – A Growing Community

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Gorham High School is currently planning a building project to expand the high school to meet current and projected needs.  Gorham Superintendent of Schools Heather Perry and Assistant Superintendent Dr Chris Record were guests at our meeting of October 30, 2018.
Gorham – A Growing Community 2018-10-30 04:00:00Z 0

Guests from Guatemala

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We were pleased to welcome Byron Alvarez and his new wife Francys from Guatemala City.  He has been our partner at Centro Cristiano Cultural De Guatemala for various projects in Guatemala.  He thanked us for our work in his country, and specifically mentioned the trauma bags that we were able to purchase and train as part of a District Grant a couple of years ago.
Byron and Francys were in Maine for a few days and attended our meeting as guests of Bill Chadwick.
Guests from Guatemala 2018-10-30 04:00:00Z 0

One Book, One School

The Great Falls Elementary School in Gorham will be conducting their One Book, One School reading program again this year.  Their goal is to purchase a copy of the selected book for all their 570+ students, all teaching and non-teaching staff in the building, and for their bus drivers.  This year’s title is Kenny and the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi.
Westbrook-Gorham Rotary was happy to help them with this project with a donation of $250. 
President Deb Shangraw (L) presents a check to
Dr Chris Record, Assistant Superintendent and
Heather Perry, Superintendent of Gorham Schools
One Book, One School 2018-10-30 04:00:00Z 0

Rotary Night Out at Mister Bagel

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On Tuesday Night October 16, Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club held our second "night out".  This time the setting was Mister Bagel in Westbrook, followed by a visit to Yes Brewing. 
President Deb welcomed members and guests and shared a few words about Rotary, including mention of our recent golf tournament and cornhole invitational fundraisers. She also promoted our upcoming Christmas Tree and Wreath sale.  Secretary Christine Johnson highlighted service activities our club has ongoing right now including the Socktober sock collection and CLYNK for Literacy that helps purchase books for our libraries.  Rotary's ongoing fight against polio was also covered as we pointed to our push during October to gather additional donations in our canisters that will be matched by the club in recognition of World Polio Day on October 24.
Rotary Night Out at Mister Bagel 2018-10-16 04:00:00Z 0

Donor Thanks

Thanks again to all of those who donated prizes, made donations to our raffle, or sponsored teams at our 24th Annual Rotary Classic Golf Tournament:
Donor Thanks 2018-10-07 04:00:00Z 0

Golf Tournament Results

Congratulations to the following teams and players:
Closest to the Pin on hole 4 – Laurie Warchol
     Steve Rand with Laurie Warchol
Putting contest - Morgan Rochleau
1st Place Gross - Emerald Management
    Morgan Rochleau       Reggie Grant
    Stephanie Sirois          Kyle Shangraw
     L-R: Stephanie Sirois,  Joe Blais,
       Morgan Rochleau & Kyle Shangraw
1st Place NET – Hubb International
     Sue Joyce                     Andrea Todd
     Ed Symbol                   Jim Violette
     Andrea Todd & Sue Joyce
2nd Place NET – Bill Holmes for County Commissioner
      Joel King                      Bill Holmes
      Rick Gross                   Gordon Cummings
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       Bill Holmes Team
3rd Place NET – Chalmers Insurance Group
     Ethan Johnson            Marlo Gasbarrone
     David Willis                 Greg Blackburn
Golf Tournament Results 2018-09-25 04:00:00Z 0

Remembering September 11, 2001

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On September 11, 2018, we were honored to have Sgt 1st Class Scott Hamilton, a member of our local National Guard’s 262nd Engineering Battalion located in the armory across from Westbrook High School, as our special guest and speaker.  He was introduced by Rotarian Phil Spiller, who was a young Navy aviator in 2001. 
Remembering September 11, 2001 2018-09-11 04:00:00Z 0

Greater Portland Council of Governments

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Phil Spiller introduced our speaker and special guest on September 4, 2018 - Kristina Egan Executive Director of Greater Portland Council of Governments. Kristina has been with this organization 2 years and has lived in Maine for 8 years, during which she worked for Mass Transportation in Boston. Quite the daily commute!
Greater Portland Council of Governments 2018-09-04 04:00:00Z 0

Our First Night Out

We had a nice turnout for our first Rotary Night Out. About 22 Rotarians and friends enjoyed pizza, wings, salad and onion rings from Westbrook House of Pizza, then were treated to a presentation on Urban Renewal by our own Henry Saunders.
A video of Saunders’ talk can be seen at:
Follow the links above to read more and to hear what Henry had to say.
Our First Night Out 2018-08-28 04:00:00Z 0

Classification Talk - Steve Sloan

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Steve Sloan, Deputy Fire Chief for the City of Westbrook, completed his classification talk on August 21, 2018. Steve is a native of Cumberland ME where he currently lives, and he is a graduate of Greely High School.  During his junior and senior years of high school he worked for the school department on the grounds crew. In his junior year he also joined the Cumberland Fire Department as an on-call volunteer.  The initial appeal was that he could leave school when his pager went off, but it’s also “where the fire ignited” his interest in his career.
Classification Talk - Steve Sloan 2018-08-21 04:00:00Z 0

“Back to School” Food Drive

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Our 2nd Annual “Back to School” Food Drive was held on Saturday August 18, 2018.  Thanks to President Deb Shangraw, Community Service Chair Sarah Hutchins, and Secretary Christine Johnson for organizing and running this event.  
“Back to School” Food Drive 2018-08-18 04:00:00Z 0

Gorham Biz Exchange & Gorham Real Estate Market

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On August 14, Ethan Johnson introduced our speaker, David Willis.  David spoke about the recent and upcoming events and activities of the Gorham Business Exchange (GBE).  He also provided insight into the history and trends of supply and demand in the Gorham Real Estate market.
Gorham Biz Exchange & Gorham Real Estate Market 2018-08-14 04:00:00Z 0

MEMIC at 25

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Michael Bourque, President & CEO of MEMIC (Maine Employers Mutual Insurance Company) was our guest and speaker on July 31, 2018. He gave us a brief history of workers’ comp in the US, and the circumstances that led to the creation of MEMIC 25 years ago.
MEMIC at 25 2018-07-31 04:00:00Z 0

GHS Interact & RYLA - Students Lead

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On July 24, members of Gorham High School Interact and several students who attended RYLA 2018 were our guests. WG Rotary Member Ethan Johnson introduced the students and their adviser Neile Nelson.  GHS Interact is currently an organization of over 100 students representing a mix of students across grade levels and other interests – athletes, scholars, actors, etc. They have reached this membership level in just two years thanks to the work of Aaron Farr, Immediate Past President of two years, other officers and directors of Interact, and Mrs. Nelson. Aaron was inspired to form the club during his attendance at RYLA in 2016.
GHS Interact & RYLA - Students Lead 2018-07-24 04:00:00Z 0

District Governor Visit 2018

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John Lobosco, our District Governor for 2018-2019, was our guest and speaker on July 16.  John joined Rotary in 2005 when he became a member of the Rotary Club of South Portland-Cape Elizabeth. His first Rotary meeting was actually a social event, a Lobster Bake at Fort Williams. When he won the raffle that night, he knew he was meant to join. He was engaged early with club activities and committee roles, and the rest is history.
District Governor Visit 2018 2018-07-16 04:00:00Z 0

Paul Harris Fellow Recognition

During his visit, DG John Lobosco awarded Paul Harris Fellow recognition to the following members of Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club:
* Jason Beever PHF +5
* Woody Beach PHF+3
* Deb Shangraw PHF+1
* Nelson Harmon PHF+1
Thanks to all of these folks for their generous, ongoing, significant and tangible support of our Rotary Foundation.
L-R: Deb Shangraw, Woody Beach, John Lobosco,
Nelson Harmon and Jason Beever
Paul Harris Fellow Recognition 2018-07-16 04:00:00Z 0

Lobster Bake 2018

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Our annual Lobster Bake at the home of Henry Saunders on Sebago Lake was well attended again this year.  Nearly 60 people joined the fun, chowing down on lobster or steak, corn, and potatoes, along with various salads and desserts.   While we dodged a few raindrops right at the start, the sky cleared and we enjoyed a great night of fun and fellowship.
Lobster Bake 2018 2018-07-10 04:00:00Z 0

Polio Plus 2017-2018

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In 2017-2018 Westbrook-Gorham Rotary raised $409 in the Polio Plus cannisters that we place on the tables for each of our lunch meetings.   These dollars are double matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This multiplies our donation to over $1200 this year. Thank you for your generosity throughout the year.
Polio Plus 2017-2018 2018-07-02 04:00:00Z 0

Welcome President Deb!

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Incoming President Deb Shangraw thanked outgoing President Bill Chadwick for a great year.  She presented him with his Past President name badge and a gift from our club – a gift certificate to the Golf & Ski Warehouse.
Welcome President Deb! 2018-06-26 04:00:00Z 0

2017-2018 – A Great Year!!

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On June 26, President Bill Chadwick summarized and closed out our Rotary year.
Bill told us that Presidential training starts well before the year begins. He recounted attending PETS in March 2017 and hearing then President-Elect Ian Riseley speak about Rotary and the selection of his Rotary theme Making A Difference. Later he attended Zone Institute Conference training for future leaders held in Hartford CT.
2017-2018 – A Great Year!! 2018-06-26 04:00:00Z 0

Service Above Self Awards 2018

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Our annual Service Above Self Awards for graduating eighth graders at Westbrook Middle School were presented by Becky Albert on behalf of Westbrook-Gorham Rotary on Wednesday June 20, 2018 at an awards and recognition ceremony at the WMS auditorium. These students were selected by their teachers as exemplifying the Rotary motto of Service Above Self.
The winners were Quentyn May and Kayla Rairdon. The two students were recognized for being good citizens in and out of the classroom.  Kayla, daughter of Gary and Laurie Rairdon, works on the Westbrook Strong 5K race that raises funds for the Matthew Rairdon Scholarship Fund.  Quentyn also volunteers in the community and plays alto sax with an interest in jazz.  Congratulations to both students.
Books were donated to the WMS Library in their honor.  The book titles this year were:  Build Your Own Rockets and Planes by ROB IVES  and Chasing King's Killer: The Hunt For Martin Luther King Jr's Assassin by James Swanson.

Service Above Self Awards 2018 2018-06-20 04:00:00Z 0

Christine Johnson PHF +6

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On June 19, 2018, our Foundation Chair Steve Rand and President 2017-2018 Bill Chadwick presented member Christine Johnson with a Paul Harris Fellow + 6. 
2017-2018 was an excellent year for Westbrook-Gorham Rotary’s Foundation giving, with total donations of nearly $20,000 to the Annual Fund and Polio Plus combined.  Watch for more advancing Paul Harris Fellows in the coming weeks!
L-R: Christine Johnson, Steve Rand,
Bill Chadwick
Christine Johnson PHF +6 2018-06-19 04:00:00Z 0

People for Wildlife

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Maine Audubon Volunteer John Grew was our guest and speaker on June 19. John is originally from New Jersey and recently moved to Maine from Indiana when he retired from Indiana University.  He had vacationed in the Boothbay region for over 25 years and had long wanted to retire to Maine.  He and his wife love the natural beauty of the state and outdoor activities like hiking, biking and kayaking. Volunteering with Maine Audubon allows him to support our environment and natural resources that make these activities so enjoyable here.
People for Wildlife 2018-06-19 04:00:00Z 0

Republic of Artsakh

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Our speaker on June 12, Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte, an ethnic Armenian, was born in Baku, Azerbaijan when it was part of the USSR.  Stalin had reorganized ethnic Armenians into a small region of Azerbaijan once called Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory whose sovereignty was disputed between Armenia and Azerbaijan.  During the Soviet period, the dislike/dispute among ethnic populations was controlled in an artificial "friendship of nations". However, with the break-up of the Soviet Union, tensions resurfaced.
Republic of Artsakh 2018-06-12 04:00:00Z 0

IDEXX Paul Harris Fellow

To thank Idexx for their strong support of Gift of Life over the years, Westbrook-Gorham Rotary honored Idexx Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Ayers with a Paul Harris Fellow.  We greatly appreciate their support of this program which brings children to Portland for life-saving heart surgery at Maine Medical Center. Accepting on Jonathan’s behalf was Pete Dewitt, Senior Communications Manager who spoke at our meeting on May 29.
This recognition of Idexx and Jonathan was suggested by Paul Emery.  Unfortunately, we were not able to present the award prior to his passing.
L-R: Phil Spiller, Abigail Ingalls, Pete Dewitt and
Deb Shangraw
IDEXX Paul Harris Fellow 2018-05-29 04:00:00Z 0

IDEXX - Growing in Westbrook

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On May 29, Idexx Senior Communications Manager Pete Dewitt and Communications Business Partner Abigail Ingalls were our guests and speakers. Twenty-five Rotarians and guests listened as Pete and Abigail shared some background about Idexx and what we have to look forward to in Westbrook.
IDEXX - Growing in Westbrook 2018-05-29 04:00:00Z 0

WRVC Awards Night 2018

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Promptly at 7PM on Thursday, May 24, the capacity crowd in the Westbrook High School Auditorium stood for the posting of the colors by the students of the Public Safety Honor Guard, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Director Todd Fields welcomed the students, families and friends to the annual awards night of the Westbrook Regional Vocational Center.  The program continued with short speeches by two student speakers - Westbrook student Isabelle Harvey of the Medical Applications program and Gorham Student Derek Kuusela of the Automotive program.  
Next, teachers presented outstanding student awards by program.  Each program could spend up to $200 to purchase a program-appropriate gift for their chosen student. Sixteen different programs were represented, including Culinary Arts, Electrical and Building Trades.  The gifts selected lined the front of the stage during the event.
WRVC Awards Night 2018 2018-05-24 04:00:00Z 0

Caring for the Victims of Human Trafficking

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Just Love Worldwide, a ministry of the Eastpoint Church, was formed in September 2017 to help victims of human trafficking.  Nancy Gallinaro Water Resources Manager for the City of Portland and founder of Just Love was inspired to create this organization after working in a safe house with minors who had been trafficked for sex in south Florida. The organization is run entirely by volunteers.
Caring for the Victims of Human Trafficking 2018-05-15 04:00:00Z 0

Farewell Until Fall!

Sadly, May 15 was the last service by the culinary students for this school year.  A huge thanks to Chef Charles Limoggio and all the students in the Culinary Arts program at the Westbrook Regional Vocational Center for providing us excellent service and meals all year.
We wish graduating seniors all the best for the future and we look forward to seeing returning students in September.
Farewell Until Fall! 2018-05-15 04:00:00Z 0

District Governor’s Award 2018

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During the 2018 Multi-District Conference held at the Mount Washington Hotel in NH, the District Governor’s Awards were presented. To qualify for this award, a club in District 7780 needed to complete or support a project in each of Rotary’s six areas of focus.  In addition, those projects along with volunteer hours and any money donated, had to be entered into the on-line tracking system and resource called Rotary Club Central.
Congratulations to all members of Westbrook- Gorham Rotary Club for participating in our variety of projects this year.  Also, a huge thanks to President Bill Chadwick for providing direction and leadership to be sure we checked all the boxes. A great accomplishment!
District Governor’s Award 2018 2018-05-15 04:00:00Z 0

WHS Interact Update

On May 14, 2018, Dr Bruce Dyer introduced the current President of WHS Interact, Morgan Kendall. Morgan is headed to USM in the fall to major in Entrepreneurship. Bruce told us that she is forward thinking and leads by example and he wanted to recognized her for her energy and passion.
Bruce Dyer
WHS Interact Update 2018-05-14 04:00:00Z 0

GHS Interact Relay for Life

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On Sunday May 6, 2018, GHS Interact Club raised $3795, including $150 in cash donations during an event fully planned and executed by the students. The Relay for Life event began at 7AM and continued non-stop until 7PM.  During the day, there were always people in motion walking or running the track; playing tennis, cornhole, volley ball, spike ball, wiffle ball, dancing; anything to stay in motion. Food was available all day to fuel the participants, some of which was provided by local businesses like Mr Bagel, GHOP and Amatos.
GHS Interact Relay for Life 2018-05-06 04:00:00Z 0

The Rotary Summit

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The Mount Washington Hotel was the setting for the 2018 District Conference, The Rotary Summit May 4-6, 2018.  Our District Conference was unique this year as it was a 5-District Conference including adjacent Districts 7790, 7850, 7910 and 7930.  These Districts cover much of Maine, NH and VT, along with parts of MA and Quebec.  Westbrook-Gorham Rotary members Jason Beever, Henry Saunders and Christine Johnson attended. They were joined by Karen Marie Reilly and Linda Beever.
The Rotary Summit 2018-05-04 04:00:00Z 0

60 Years of Building Houses to Train Students

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This year we recognize 60 years of partnership with WRVC and the City of Westbook in building houses to train students. In June 1958, the first house at 42 Libby Ave was completed, right around the corner from the school. This first house was made possible by the vision of Carl Jensen, Vocational Director and Galan Veayo Supt of Schools.
60 Years of Building Houses to Train Students 2018-05-01 04:00:00Z 0

Kathi Perkins Classification Talk

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Our newest member, Kathi Hall Perkins, was born in Bangor ME. However, she moved away two weeks later once her dad had graduated from UMaine.  The oldest of six kids, she grew up around Rotary. Her dad was an active Rotarian and the family hosted many traveling guests over the years like boy scouts and Up With People cast members, as well as Rotarians.  Her dad is a Past District Governor, so there were many Rotary-related trips to conventions and service projects. She has traveled to Haiti twice with her dad on Rotary service trips.  He has made over 30!
Kathi Perkins Classification Talk 2018-04-10 04:00:00Z 0

District Training Assembly

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On Saturday April 7, six members of Westbrook-Gorham Rotary attended the annual District Training Assembly at the new Pratt & Whitney Center at York County Community College in Wells. Attendees heard opening remarks in the beautiful two-story lecture hall from DG Dave Underhill, DGE John Lobosco, DGN Andy Glazier and DGND Peggy Belanger.  The Roll Call of clubs conducted by District Secretary Deb Grabowski showed attendance of nearly 180. 
District Training Assembly 2018-04-09 04:00:00Z 0

RYLA Invitation to Gorham High School

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Speaking to over 110 Interact students at Gorham High School on April 5, President Bill Chadwick and Interact Liaison Ethan Johnson invited Sophomores to participate in the upcoming 2018 RYLA CAMP at Camp Hinds in Raymond Maine. 
Ethan laid out the dynamics of the camp and the process to apply.  President Chadwick inspired the students by saying, “We came here today to ruin your lives!”  “You will never settle for less than your full potential once you have experienced the Leadership Training at RYLA”!
Last year’s participants each shared how RYLA left a positive impact on their lives.  Interact President Aaron Farr spoke about the camp motivating his call to leadership and being a positive part of his acceptance into YALE UNIVERSITY.   After the presentation, over thirty students took applications for the camp.
Interviews will be held the first week of May with students being notified of their acceptance shortly thereafter.   Nellie Nelson, a teacher at GHS and Interact Supervisor has done an incredible job in motivating and organizing this club.  Together we are the proud sponsors of the largest Interact club in New England.
Gorham Interact Club in the gym lobby at the high school
RYLA Invitation to Gorham High School Bill Chadwick 2018-04-05 04:00:00Z 0

Community Read Essay Awards

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On Tuesday April 3, 2018, a community event was held at the Westbrook Middle School to honor the winners of the Community Read essay contest and to show the movie on which the book was based.  The Westbrook Gorham Rotary Club provided support for these awards.
Students at all grade levels read the New York Times bestseller, Wonder by R. J. Palacio (or a book with similar themes appropriate to grade level). Wonder tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.      
Essay winners were: Madeleine Clark, Grade 2 – Saccarappa; Sofia Kirtchev, Grade 4 – Congin; Katie Cross, Grade 6 and Olivia McCartney, Grade 7 - Westbrook Middle School; Amina Al Sadoun, Grade 10 and Jaina Pelletier, Grade 11  - Westbrook High School.
After the awards, those in attendance were treated to a showing of the movie Wonder, originally released in November 2017.  Congratulations to all of the winners!
Community Read Essay Awards 2018-04-03 04:00:00Z 0

Community Recovery Liaison Program

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What is the Recovery Liaison Program? A collaboration of the communities of Buxton, Gorham, Windham and Westbrook, it is a program to help residents in recovery from opioid addiction. Danielle Rideout a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Director and peer support person for this program was our guest and speaker on March 27. She was joined by Gorham Police Chief Daniel Jones.
Community Recovery Liaison Program 2018-03-27 04:00:00Z 0

Heart Association Go Red Luncheon

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Three students from Westbrook Regional Vocational Center Culinary Arts program saw their menu prepared and served to a sold out crowd of 600 people at the 2018 Go Read Luncheon on Tuesday March 20, 2018 at Holiday Inn by the Bay. This American Heart Association event aims to educate attendees about heart disease and stroke in women while raising research funds to help educate, diagnose, and treat these diseases.
Students Domonic Maselli, Faythe Sossong and Emily Cormier won a competition held in February at WRVC enjoyed by 50 volunteers. That competition determined the menu to be served at this signature event. The meal started with Caprese Salad, followed by Balsamic Chicken with garlicky green beans and brown rice.  Dessert was Mango Blueberry Compote.  Also attending were WRVC students Melanie Clark, Kali Perry and Ariana Comeau.
Congratulations to all teams led by Chef Limoggio.
L-R: Faythe Sosson, Emily Cormier, Domonic Masselli
Heart Association Go Red Luncheon 2018-03-20 04:00:00Z 0

Gorham - Grow With Us!

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Maine has 20 official Maine Network Communities.  One of the newest is Gorham which achieved that designation last November at a Maine Downtown Center celebration in Westbrook. Dan Nichols of the Gorham Village Alliance organizing committee was our guest and speaker on March 20, along with Tom Ellsworth, the Gorham Economic Development Corporation Director (GEDCD).  We also welcomed Gorham Town Councilors Ben Hartwell and Sherrie Benner.
Gorham - Grow With Us! 2018-03-20 04:00:00Z 0

Read Across America Week Celebration

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On March 6, 2018, Chef Limoggio and the culinary students helped us celebrate Read Across America week with a lunch inspired by children’s books: Carrot Soup, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Pickles to Pittsburgh, Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli, and Pinkalicious.  In addition, we welcomed special guests Kara Reiman and Peter Lancia.
Read Across America Week Celebration 2018-03-06 05:00:00Z 0

Economic & Community Development

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Dan Stevenson, Westbrook’s Economic Development Director, was our speaker on February 27.  Dan comes to Westbrook with an extensive resume in economic development.  Most recently he worked in Biddeford leading the Heart of Biddeford initiative. In the upcoming year, Dan will be focusing on Westbrook’s Downtown, but other ideas are also in the works.
Economic & Community Development 2018-02-27 05:00:00Z 0

Update from Guatemala

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For their last couple of days working in the village, the team was on the road by 7AM. They mixed and poured concrete floors, but the work presented some challenges. The 100-pound bags of material were located about a half mile from the project site so the village men were enlisted to move the materials. With 90-degree heat and 100% humidity, it was very hot work and coconuts provided a refreshing drink.
Update from Guatemala 2018-02-26 05:00:00Z 0

Updates from Guatemala

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The Rotary/Stroudwater Christan Church team has been on the ground in Guatemala since the middle of last week.  The local team left Portland on the 3AM Boston-bound bus Wednesday and didn’t have dinner in Guatemala until around 9PM that evening.  A long day of travel! After a day to get acclimated, they headed to the village via ancient school bus to start their work. 
Updates from Guatemala 2018-02-19 05:00:00Z 0

Community Policing in Westbrook

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Megan Perry was our guest and speaker on February 13 for our meeting at Dunn St Legion Hall.  The Community Policing Coordinator is a civilian liaison between the police department and the Brown St neighborhood. Megan partners with CASA and the Recovery Liaison, as well as with Communities that Care to help identify need and connect people with services.
Community Policing in Westbrook 2018-02-13 05:00:00Z 0

Save these Dates for the Sea Dogs

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We are excited to report that Westbrook-Gorham Rotary was offered the opportunity to organize fundraisers around the Westbrook and Gorham nights at the Sea Dogs’ ball park this summer. The Sea Dogs will set up a special portal for us through which tickets can be purchased.  For every ticket purchased through that portal, we will receive part of the proceeds. The board has approved a proposal from our new Community Service Chair Sarah Hutchins that will cause those proceeds to benefit specific organizations.
Gorham Night is Thursday July 12 – To benefit Just Love – An organization that works to end Human Trafficking by working with law enforcement to find safe shelter, and provide training in schools, hotels, health care facilities, and non-profit or for-profit organizations. They may help a survivor find a home, a mentor, a job, a fresh start. Help them find legal services, drug rehab, child care. They promote survivors as leaders as they bravely speak out to end that which was done to them
Westbrook Night is Wednesday August 15 – To benefit Westbrook Recovery Liaison - The Recovery Liaison Program serves Westbrook, Gorham, Buxton, and Windham. It provides free support and resources to all community members with a substance use disorder. They work within a recovery-oriented system of care to link participants to supports that recognize all pathways of recovery. Participants are people who are working towards recovery and those in early recovery.
We will work with these two organizations, as well as with other local businesses and groups to advertise these Community Nights.  Look for more information as the dates draw closer.
Save these Dates for the Sea Dogs 2018-02-12 05:00:00Z 0

Our PE Continues Her Training

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Our President Elect, Deb Shangraw, attended training with her President Class on Saturday February 10 at Husson College in Westbrook. This training was lead by DGE John Lobosco (pictured left). The focus of the day was to become familiar with SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound), and to start thinking about goals for the next Rotary year around membership, service projects, and Foundation.
This Pre-PETS session, held about a month ahead of the President Elect Training Seminar, is designed to encourage PEs to start planning and working with their Board in preparation for taking the reins on July 1. The 2018 theme? Be the Inspiration!
Deb Shangraw (R) with Tony Plante
of Sebago Lake Club
Our PE Continues Her Training 2018-02-10 05:00:00Z 0

Cross-Cultural Construction Trip

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On February 14th , President Bill Chadwick will be leading a multi- Club team of Rotary volunteers and friends deep into the jungles of Guatemala.  Team members from Westbrook-Gorham Rotary are: Bill Chadwick, Steve Rand, his son Tyler Rand, Carlo Giraulo and Doctor Wayne Lopez.  They will join forces with four members of the Celebration Florida Rotary Club in Miami.  And finally at the destination of Cuatro Cayos a third club, the Los Amates Rotary Club will join the team for the projects
Cross-Cultural Construction Trip 2018-02-04 05:00:00Z 0

ConvenientMD Fills a Care Niche

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Lynn DeRocher, Director of Business and Community Development, spoke to Westbrook-Gorham Rotary on January 30, 2018. ConvenientMD, a small chain of NH-based urgent care walk-in clinics recently opened its first Maine location in downtown Westbrook. They quickly opened a second location in Portland and plan further expansion to add four more Maine locations in the near future.
ConvenientMD Fills a Care Niche 2018-01-30 05:00:00Z 0

Locker Project Feeds Westbrook Kids

The weather cleared in time for school to be open on Wednesday January 24 when The Locker Project paid its semi-monthly visit to Westbrook High School Cafeteria.  Large quantities of tomatoes, zucchinis, cucumbers, potatoes, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, apples, oranges, pears, bananas, healthy snacks, meats, and breads, along with many other fruits and vegetables were quickly snatched up  as the students came through on their way home.
Thanks to Kathi Perkins and Christine Johnson for setting up tables and helping the kids find what they needed to help feed themselves and their families.  The next time TLP will be at Westbrook High School is February 7.  To volunteer, please contact Christine.
Locker Project Feeds Westbrook Kids 2018-01-24 05:00:00Z 0

A Hand Up Can Change A Life

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For youthful offenders, the rate of recidivism is high - one third are reincarcerated within one year and half are reincarcerated within two years – without programs to support their transition into the community.  The Transformation Project, still under construction at 907 Main St in Westbrook, will offer opportunities for employment, housing, mentoring, and life skills.
A Hand Up Can Change A Life 2018-01-16 05:00:00Z 0

Interact H.E.L.P. Drive

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The Gorham Interact Club conducted a “Gift Donations for Elderly Patients” drive to assist Maine Medical Center. Items collected included: mechanical pencils, colored pencils, and large print activity books.
Items collected for the Hospital Elder Life Program were delivered on December 21 by a delegation from the Club.
Interact H.E.L.P. Drive 2017-12-21 05:00:00Z 0

January Healthy Snacks for WMS

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On December 21, just before the Christmas Break, $200 worth of healthy snack items were dropped off at Westbrook Middle School.  These items were used to stock the depleted shelves in preparation for the return of students to school in January.
January Healthy Snacks for WMS 2017-12-21 05:00:00Z 0

Woodfords Family Services

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Woodfords Family Services got its start 50 years ago in the basement of Woodfords Congregational Church. They started by working with five families with special needs children for whom public school was not a good fit. They now work with over 1500 families from very young children to elders. They are committed to the support and inclusion of people with special needs and their families in Maine communities.
Woodfords Family Services 2017-12-19 05:00:00Z 0

GHS Interact Helps Backpack Program

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On December 13, 2017, Gorham High School Interact Club officers presented a check for $1370 to representatives from the Gorham Backpack program.  This check represented half of the proceeds from the "Just a Kid from Gorham" T-shirt sale fundraiser. Congratulations to GHS Interact for a successful fundraiser!
GHS Interact Helps Backpack Program 2017-12-13 05:00:00Z 0

Tips for Charity Luncheon Thanks

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Thanks to all who attended, hosted tables, or made donations to the Tips for Charity Luncheon on Friday December 8. We had a good turn-out and a good time again this year. The folks at Westbrook-Warren Church do a great job organizing and executing food and beverage for two seatings totaling well over 200 people. Ray Richardson hosted and Doc Stockwell was back at the piano this year making it even more festive.
Tips for Charity Luncheon Thanks 2017-12-11 05:00:00Z 0

Gorham Interact at the Festival of Trees

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Members of the Gorham Interact Club, along with their adviser Neile Nelson, decorated their tree on Tuesday November 28, in preparation for the annual Festival of Trees now taking place at Westbrook Warren Church.  The theme for their tree is 1000 Cranes of Hope. Cranes are the international symbol of peace and hope. Read more about the symbolism of cranes when you visit their tree. 
Gorham Interact at the Festival of Trees 2017-12-04 05:00:00Z 0

Westbrook Interact at Festival of Trees

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Members of the Westbrook Interact Club, along with their adviser Dr Bruce Dyer, decorated their tree on Thursday November 30, in preparation for the annual Festival of Trees now taking place at Westbrook Warren Church.  The theme for their tree is Westbrook Reads!!  Their trees is cleverly covered with books for various reading levels.
Westbrook Interact at Festival of Trees 2017-12-04 05:00:00Z 0

Tree Delivery Thanks

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On Friday November 24, after many changes of delivery time from the tree company, the trees finally arrived at our downtown Westbrook sales lot shortly after 3PM. 
We are very grateful to the ten folks who could be flexible and worked hard to off load trees, unwrap trees, and finish the fencing and decorative lighting. We are particularly thankful for our newest (not quite yet) member Kathi Perkins who brought two granddaughters, one with a boyfriend!!  Also to Bill Chadwick who brought his friend Steve Dulac.  The extra hands were much needed.
L-R: Bill Chadwick, Marina Porl, Dave Rolfe,
Corey Staub, Karen Porl, Steve Rand,
Kathi Perkins, Mike Foley
Not pictured: Christine Johnson, Steve Dulac
Tree Delivery Thanks 2017-11-24 05:00:00Z 0

Christmas Tree Sales Lot Set Up

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On Tuesday November 21, a dedicated crew met for lunch at WRVC then headed down to our sales lot at the corner of William Clarke Dr and Mechanic St in downtown Westbrook to get ready for trees to be delivered.  
Thanks to all who helped: Becky Albert, Jason Beever, Bill Chadwick, Frank Emery, Mike Foley, Carlo Giraulo, Sarah Hutchins, Kathi Jenkins, Ethan Johnson, Christine Johnson,  Dick Labreque, Scott Linscott, Steve Rand, Dave Rolfe, and Andy Turcotte. 
Scott Linscott photos
Christmas Tree Sales Lot Set Up 2017-11-21 05:00:00Z 0

Interact Pies for the Pantry

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Seventeen Interact Club members from Westbrook High School made a dozen pies to donate to the Westbrook Food Pantry just in time for Thanksgiving. President Morgan Kendall, with the help of some of her members, planned and purchased the required ingredients to make apple, pumpkin and chocolate cream pies for Westbrook families.
Interact Pies for the Pantry 2017-11-20 05:00:00Z 0

Crutches 4 Africa

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On Saturday November 18, about two dozen District 7780 Rotarians and Interacters from ME and NH converged on a storage warehouse on Gooch St in Biddeford to load a shipping container with crutches, canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and other mobility devices.  These items had been collected over the past year by Rotarians and friends from Seacost NH and Southern ME. This 24' container, the 7th to be loaded in Maine for Crutches 4 Africa since 2011, is headed for Uganda.
Crutches 4 Africa 2017-11-18 05:00:00Z 0

New Name, Same Focus for Westbrook Coalition

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Discover Downtown Westbrook, the new name for Westbrook’s Downtown Coalition, was the topic of our program on November 14. Abigail Cioffi, Executive Director of DDW, shared some history of this just 3-year old organization which is working with businesses, the community, and the city to promote and revitalize Westbrook’s downtown.
New Name, Same Focus for Westbrook Coalition 2017-11-14 05:00:00Z 0

A Toast to Main Street

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Presumpscot Place on Foster St, also known as the old Junior High School gym, was the venue for A Toast to Main Street. This Maine Downtown Center event held on Thursday November 9 saw Westbrook officially designated a Main Street America community - one of only 10 in Maine.  This is an incredible honor that shows how far Westbrook has come and that our city has so much to offer. The Maine Downtown Center's core program is Main Street, which is a proven Four-Point Approach® to downtown revitalization developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980 and is currently used in 44 states in over 2,200 communities.
A Toast to Main Street 2017-11-09 05:00:00Z 0

Rotary House Update

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Owens McCullough P.E., VP Engineering and Project Development at Sebago Technics and W-G Rotary member, shared an update on the next Rotary House at our meeting on October 31. Our house construction project collaboration among Rotary, WRVC and the City of Westbrook began in 1957 and is the oldest continuing project of its kind in the United States. Rotary House #46 will be built on land at the very end of Declaration Drive in a well-established Pride’s Corner neighborhood.  
Rotary House Update 2017-10-31 04:00:00Z 0

A Brief History of the Fight Against Polio

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We were pleased to welcome Past District Governor, Sanford-Springvale Rotarian, and District Polio Plus chair Lawrence Furbish to our meeting on World Polio Day. Lawrence gave us a quick history of this ancient disease and Rotary’s role in taking on the challenge to eradicate it from the world.
A Brief History of the Fight Against Polio 2017-10-30 04:00:00Z 0

Kiwanis Installation Dinner

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Westbrook Kiwanis held their annual installation dinner, similar to Rotary’s changeover events, on Tuesday October 24. Kiwanians from other local clubs and District dignitaries were present to thank the outgoing officer team and induct the incoming team.  We are happy to report that Veronica Bates is continuing as President of Westbrook Kiwanis for 2017-2018.
During the event, Veronica announced a little surprise.  She presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Christine Johnson in recognition of our club’s collaborations in support of improving the lives of children in our community. This has included support of The Locker Project, the joint Food Drive we conducted in September, and literacy projects like the essay contest. She also recognized the efforts of Deb Shangraw who was unable to attend.  We look forward to future opportunities to collaborate.
Kiwanis Installation Dinner 2017-10-24 04:00:00Z 0

Scott Linscott - Photographer Extraordinaire

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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

New Major Donor Henry Saunders

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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

Westbrook Interact Club & RYLA

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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

GHS Interact Moving Naturally

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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: 

GHS Interact Moving Naturally 2017-09-28 04:00:00Z 0

Rotary's History of Peace Building

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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

Golf Classic A Success

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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

District Governor Visit

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

Westbook Community Food Drive

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

Becky Albert – Classification Talk

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

District Recovery Initiative

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

The Locker Project at WCC

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

St Joseph’s – A new Rotaract Club

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

DWC Intern Shares Results

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

ALS Association - Giving Help and Hope

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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

President Receives Citation for Excellence

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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

Interact Club Ready for Growth

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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

ESGR Supports Guard and Reserve Members

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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

CLYNK Pays Dividends

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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

A Very Special Lobster Bake

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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

FBC Community Dinner – Open Door Kitchen

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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

District Changeover

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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

Bill Chadwick Takes the Reigns

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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

Pediatric Care Recognition at MMC

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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

No Excuse for Elder Abuse

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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

Fire Chief Provides Sister City Update

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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

Gorham Interact Cleans Up

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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

Nealley says “Senior power” Maine’s greatest resource

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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

Stillwater Presidential Award

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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

Visit Portland

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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

WRVC Graduation

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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

Interact Club Book Collections

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

Summer Lunch Program

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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

Last Service is this Week

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

District Governor's Award

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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

District Conference 2017

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

NE's Largest Horse Shelter in Windham ME

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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

Reading Aloud Boosts Achievement

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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

DECA Teams Head to International Conference

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

Intercultural Community Center

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

District Assembly - A Learning Experience

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

GHS Interact - Highest Earning Team at Relay for Life

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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

Reading Friends at Village School

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

Membership Development Award

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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

Welcome New Members!

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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

Welcome Spring Dinner

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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

A Dog Named Pompom

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 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

Project Brotherhood 2017

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

Improving Learning Capacity and Health

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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

Record-setting Attendance at Interact Conference

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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

Cumberland Woodbank - Providing Fuel to Those in Need

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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

Community Essay Contest

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

Clean Water for Guatemala

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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

Project Addresses Lung Cancer in Women

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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

Panamanian Heart Patients are Home

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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

I Can Read Wth My Eyes Shut and Other Tales

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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

The Other Side of Goodwill

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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

The Transformation Project Comes to Westbrook

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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

Trauma Bag Delivered to Guatemala

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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… 
Trauma Bag Delivered to Guatemala 2017-01-29 05:00:00Z 0

Warren has been on the Go

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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

Gift of Life Update

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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

Gift of Life

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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

FBC Supports AMG School in Guatemala

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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 
Another trip to Oratorio is planned for April 2018.  Contact Scott Linscott at 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

Doing Good Is Simple

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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

Gift of Life Update

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

Making a Difference to Kids in our Community

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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

Gift of Life Children are now in Maine

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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

Changing the Face of Dying

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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: .
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:
Changing the Face of Dying 2016-12-20 00:00:00Z 0

Christmas Party

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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

Fire/Rescue Team Visits Archangel Russia

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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

Westbrook High School Pack the Pantry

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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 ( .  
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

GHS Interact Project for Barbara Bush Children's Hospital

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

WHS Interact at the Festival of Trees

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

Toys for Tots Since 1947

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

Long time Westbrook Educator is now Superintendent

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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

Youth Services - Rotary UN Day and RYLA

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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

Crutches 4 Africa Container Load

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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

Westbrook Arts and Culture

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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

Toys for Tots - THIS WEEK!!

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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

Portland Trails - People-Powered Conservation

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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

Gorham Interact Club Project

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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

Friends of the Presumpscot River

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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

Paul Emery -  Paul Harris Fellow +1

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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

District Foundation Chair Visits Club

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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

CLYNK for Literacy

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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

Donations to Libraries

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

Highlights of District 7780’s Cuba Trip

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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

Board Approves a New Literacy Project

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

District Governor Annual Visit

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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

Board Approves New Fundraiser

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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

Two New Members Inducted

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

The Students are Back!

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

Winners Circle - 22nd Annual Golf Classic

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

Gorham Business Exchange

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

A Blast from the More Recent Past

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

District Grant Awarded

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

New Member Inducted: Woody Beach

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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

New Member Inducted: Ethan Johnson

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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

History Corner - Name Badges

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

Refugee & Immigration Services

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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

History Corner 
- Cookin' for those ROTARIANS

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

22nd Annual Golf Classic - This week!!

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

Rotary Meets at the Historical Society

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

Community BBQ Held August 8

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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

Westbrook Gorham Rotary Club Charities

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

47 Dale Ave Under Contract

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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

New Bike Rack for Cornelia Warren Basketball Courts

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

Polio - We have not yet won the war

Re-published here is an article by Mike McGovern from Beyond Borders, a Zones 24 & 32 publication ( 
Polio - We have not yet won the war 2016-07-31 00:00:00Z 0

Presumpscot River Land Trust (PRLT)

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

Lobster Bake 2016

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

2015-2016 Rotary Foundation Recognition

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

100 Acts of Good

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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

Jason Beever Takes the Helm for 2016-2017

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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

Cookin’ for those Rotarians

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

History Corner – Kenneth Brooks DG 1979-1980

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

Westbrook-Warren Recreation Area Under Renovation

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

New Westbrook Public Service Garage

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

Multiple Paul Harris Fellows Awarded

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

Stroudwater Lodge - New Senior Living Community

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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

District Conference

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

An Award Winning Year

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

Bits & Pieces from Club Assembly

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  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

Saco Bay Sunset Charter Night

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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

Garbage to Garden - Recycling Food Waste

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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

Scholarships & Toolships Awarded

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

District Grant Proposal Submitted

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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 Camp Susan Curtis

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

Longtime Member Honored with PHF+2

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

Revitalizing Downtown Westbrook is Focus of Coalition

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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
(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

Scholarships to be Awarded May 26

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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

Paul Harris Fellow Awards

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

Ranked Choice Voting Proposed for Maine

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

Thanks to Chef Limoggio and Student of WRVC

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

It’s A Girl!!

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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

Rotary Volunteers at Westbrook Community Cleanup Day

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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

Highland Lake Grange 2016 Community Service Award

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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

Stroudwater Food Pantry - Feeding Those in Need

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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

Four Generations of Rotary

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

RYLA - The Gift That Keeps on Giving

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

Foundation Giving Match Deadline is May 24

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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, 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

67th Annual Road Race Held On a Warm Spring Day

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

Family Crisis Services Provides a Wide Range of Services in our Community

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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:
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:
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

Westbrook Police Chief Update

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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

Interact Club - Serving Our Community

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

Road Race April 18 / No Meeting April 19

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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