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.
Christine Johnson welcomed those gathered, including Aaron Farr and Abbie vanLuling from Gorham High School Interact, Morgan Kendall and Rhiannon Doiron from Westbrook High School Interact, Deanna Kelly a local young philanthropist, AG Tony Wagner, and PDG Sheila Rollins. Each table in turn introduced their guests.  
Later in the program, PDG Sheila Rollins presented an award to our club and President Jason Beever inducted two new members (see separate stories). With dessert came a little surprise for Woody Beach.  It was his 88th birthday that day, so we sang Happy Birthday and we had a second dessert - a luscious lemon birthday cake presented by the students.  Finally, Bill Chadwick provided an update on our District Grant in Guatemala and introduced a Global Grant proposal that he has been diligently laying the groundwork for.
The trauma bag project got started when a young boy in Cuatros Cayos tragically lost his life.  Bill received an email from a contact in Guatemala who had not been able to save a child at the scene of an accident.  Having portable equipment and training could have saved his life.  A district grant, spearheaded by Bill, was created to fill this void.  With the help of Westbrook's Fire Chief Andy Turcotte, the grant money to buy one bag was leveraged to purchase three. Within hours of delivery and training, equipment was put to use! 
While in Guatemala delivering the trauma bags, a group that included Rotarians from the Los Amates Guatemala Rotary Club, completed another project - construction of 12 eco-stoves.  Half of the stoves were funded by our club, the other half by the Los Amates club.  These stoves replace open pit stoves that create unhealthy levels of heat and smoke in homes. While some recipients were unsure at first, once they saw the stoves in action, they were very happy with the results. These stoves will help reduce the incidence of lung cancer and respiratory illnesses.
Finally, Bill touched upon a new project he hopes will be funded by a global grant next year.  While in Guatemala, he made several contacts with well drillers and other resources as he works to create an application for a global grant that will provide clean water to Cuatros Cayos and other nearby communities. He has already engaged several clubs in our District, in Florida, and in Guatemala who are interested in partnering with us on this project.  His goal is to raise $20,000 from up to 20 clubs to attract global grant funding that will allow the project to drill 4 wells. He has even developed a great logo for soliciting the needed funds from partner clubs:
Bill's presentation concluded a wonderful evening of music, food, and fellowship.
Photo credit:  Scott Linscott of Linscott Photo; Christine Johnson; Bill Chadwick