District Governor's Message October 2023
By:  DG Marion Cheney, RC of Dover
October is Mental Health Awareness Month
Every January Rotary International hosts the International Assembly that provides training and programming for District Governor Elects (DGEs). This year, Rotary International President-Elect Gordon McInally shared a story with our captivated audience.
Gordon’s story was about Gordon’s best friend Ian. The two were inseparable. They participated in sports together, went on vacations, served as each other’s best man.
Later in life, Ian started to withdraw from Gordon, family, and friends. Ian went to a very dark place. One day Gordon got a call. Ian had taken his life. Ian was not only Gordon’s best friend, but Ian was also Gordon’s brother.
This story touched me. I have family and friends who have retreated to this darkness that resulted in suicide. I left the Assembly wanting to put a focus on removing the mental health stigma. I didn’t have a clue where to start.
Four months later, while attending the International Convention in Melbourne, Australia, I visited the Rotary Action Group (RAG) Mental Health Initiative booth in the House of Friendship. Perfect timing. This RAG is for members who are interested in breaking stigma, raising awareness, and increasing access to prevention and treatment of mental disorders. An established RAG was a great place to start.
Great News. Rotarian Kiley Wilkens, with the South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club, volunteered to lead the charge and apply for our District Charter. District 7780 has formed a Mental Health Committee composed of Rotary members. We are recognized as District 7780 Chapter of the Rotary Action Group- Mental Health Initiatives (RAGMHI).
To improve the mental health and wellness of all Rotarians and community members by offering welcoming, hopeful, and trauma-informed practices and spaces, supporting community connections, and reducing social isolation.
  • Create a campaign which centers curiosity and consent while working to destigmatize mental health struggles and de-shame suicidal ideation.
  • Uplift and support people with lived/living experience as subject matter experts.
  • Enhance community care-seeking and care-giving skills.
  • Identify and promote diverse prevention and healing opportunities.
This is a great start. If you or your club is interested in joining this journey, please reach out to: Kiley Wilkens at
Lead your Club! Lead your District! Your Rotary Club and District Need You!
By: John LoBosco, Chair, Nominating Committee, RC of South Portland-Cape Elizabeth
Now is the time of year when we begin to select future leaders for our clubs and our district.  We hope you will consider taking on a leadership role in your club and, if eligible, consider applying to become our district governor or at least help us identify individuals in the district who would be great governors!  We also can use your help in identifying an eligible person from a club in Oxford or York counties to fill an opening on our District Finance Committee.
District Governor
Our district will select a candidate to serve as our District Governor in 2026-27. The successful candidate will join a leadership team that includes District Governor Marion Cheney, District Governor-Elect Bob MacKenzie, and District Governor-Nominee Emma Bodwell.
To be eligible for consideration, the candidate needs to have served as a club president and, also, to have been a Rotarian for 7 years as of the time he or she takes office.  (If necessary, a waiver of the 7-year requirement can be requested.)
To be placed before our district’s nominating committee for consideration, the candidate should complete and submit a brief application, found here District Governor 26-27 Application, together with a recent photograph, and a resolution, Club Resolution for District Governor 26-27, adopted by the candidate’s home club.
While Rotary does not permit campaigning, we encourage you to step forward to seek the position or to encourage other worthy Rotarians to do so.  If someone would make a great District Governor, then encourage them to seek the nomination.
For further information, contact District Governor Marion Cheney or the Chair of our Nominating Committee, John LoBosco
District Finance Committee
Our district’s nominating committee also will choose a member to serve a three-year term on our district’s finance committee.  The candidate must come from a club in either Oxford County or York County as that is the opening available this year.  Preference is given to someone who has served as a club president or treasurer and/or has accounting/finance as a component of their vocation or profession.  The committee is responsible for the fiscal integrity of the district.  It meets approximately four times per year.  The links to the application and club resolution for the finance committee position are here. 
For further information, contact the Chair of our Finance Committee, Dick Hall
Club President and other Club Leadership Positions
Let your club president or the chair of your club’s nominating committee know of your interest in joining your club’s leadership track or serving on its board.  Remember, service as club president makes you eligible to serve as district governor in the future — and can open up all sorts of opportunities for service and friendship within the district and internationally!
Connecting the Dots - October 2023
By: Sarah MacGillivray, Secretary, and Public Image Coordinator, District Foundation Committee, RC of Bath Sunrise
1) It is hard to believe that it is already October, and that can only mean one thing…World Polio Day is almost here!  October 24th is WPD this year, and it is a great opportunity to plan a community event, a creative fundraising event, or to just talk at your club meetings and share on social media the importance of polio eradication.  I was fortunate to be traveling in Italy last month and saw this simple idea at the Venice airport.  It was being filled with coins and bills, and I of course had to add to it!  Click on the full story below for helpful ideas and details, as well as links for more information.
2) Ron Smith from the Rotary Club of the Fryeburg Area, has some exciting news about our District’s PolioPlus Society!  He writes:  Join the PolioPlus Society and Earn Matching Paul Harris Fellow Points! Polio eradication remains Rotary Foundation’s highest priority. From over 100,000 infections a year to now in 2023 only 7 wild polio cases so far this year in the two remaining endemic countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Rotarians around the world with its partners are even closer to total eradication. The Polio Plus Society is a district-by-district program to promote individual giving to PolioPlus.  Members of the Society agree to give at least $100 annually toward polio eradication until polio is stamped out worldwide. Click on the full story below for more information on joining!
3) From Bob Gravino, Bath Sunrise Rotary Club: The District 7780 Rotary Peace Centers Fellowship Subcommittee, composed of Claudia Frost, Carol Madsen, and myself, is putting together a plan for moving forward.  Click on the full story below for more details.
4) Last but not least, click on the full story below for the four Rotary Moments that we would like to have shared at your club meeting.  If you are your club’s Foundation Chair, you are the natural person to share these during a club meeting.  But they are for everyone to read!  They are also for everyone to talk about, or ask questions about.  We hope you will use these to help educate newer members and remind members who have been around for a while of all the good that is being done around the world thanks to donations that we all make to OUR Rotary Foundation!
District 7780's 2nd Annual Recovery Conference is a Great Success!!
By: Gregg Dowty, District 7780 Recovery Initiative Team, RC of Dover
“Wow!” “Amazing day!”  “Powerful leaders!” “Thank You, Rotary!” These are just a few of the comments made by attendees at the second annual District 7780 Recovery Conference held on September 21st in Portland. Rotarians, recovery specialists, journeyers and community leaders came together to shine light on recovery efforts in Maine and New Hampshire. Brad Paige, CEO of Kennebunk Savings; Stacey Chiocchio, Community Citizen Manager for Hypertherm Associates; and Michael Sauschuck, Maine Public Safety Commissioner gave keynotes addresses detailing the work of their companies and the State of Maine to reduce stigma, provide a path to recovery through work and housing opportunities, and support those on the road to recovery. 
Gordon Smith, Maine Director of Opioid Recovery and Karen Morton-Clark, New Hampshire Governor's Recovery Initiative, outlined the Recovery Friendly Workplace (RFW) initiatives in Maine and New Hampshire. New Hampshire has been a leader in this field and Maine has just launched its RFW program. Rotary District 7780 has been a promoter and advocate for recovery through District 7780 Recovery Initiative chaired by DGE Bob MacKenzie. Thirteen Rotary Clubs across our district supported this conference through sponsorships and it was attended by over two dozen Rotarians.
Perhaps the conference was best described by attendee Heidi Heyland, York Harbor Inn. "It was a moving experience for me. I think everyone has been impacted by a family member, friend, neighbor, or co-worker who has struggled with sobriety in some form, but hearing how we as employers can give hope to someone in recovery was really impactful."
Editor’s note:  Look for more updates from this committee in the months to come.  This is an important issue in our district as it is in the country.  As one of the 200 plus people who attended this conference, I have come to understand the need to reduce the stigma of addiction.  One of the ways to do that, mentioned over and over during the conference, is to tell your story.  It is a mental health issue which people cannot handle alone. CM
International Cafes Continue their Success!!
By:  DGN Emma Bodwell, Host International Café, Member DISC, RC of Bridgton-Lake Region and William Dunn, Member DISC, RC of Yarmouth
On Saturday, September 16, DISC hosted another amazing International Cafe!  Although Hurricane Lee was circling around us, we had a great turnout of 38 people, Rotarians from the District and elsewhere, and some really awesome presentations!
Please take the time to listen and watch!  Here is the link:
Nate Nickerson provided a presentation on Konbit Sante’s project in Northern Haiti to strengthen health systems’ infrastructure by installing a solar project.  The project, at Justinian Hospital, will provide an alternative source of power to compensate for the very unreliable electricity situation in Haiti. Nate’s PowerPoint is available by reaching out to His contact Info: Nate Nickerson, 207-939-5483, or .
Mike DeLuca introduced the Global Travelers E-Club, a virtual Club established in Minnesota but with members from around the world.  The approximately 100 members meet on-line, but travel in groups internationally to provide service.  They have done large projects in Kenya, Colombia, Egypt and Turkey and smaller projects in several other countries.  More info is available at Mike’s PowerPoint is available at Contact Info:  Mike DeLuca, Past Club President, AG-District 5950,, cell and text: 612-801-5533.
Vitaliy Bezrodnov provided a very lively presentation on the Reunite Cultures Fund, formerly known as the Rotary Children’s Fund.  This project organizes groups of Rotarians to travel to other countries and learn about their cultures and then bring children from those countries back to the US to learn about our culture.  With this experience these young people then become cultural ambassadors for the US. You need to watch the vimeo of the Cafe to see his presentation. Contact Info:
Vitaliy V. Bezrodnov, Founder/Coordinator, Past President of Downtown Fuquay-Varina Rotary Club, RCF 501c3, International Cultural Exchange, Inspired, Funded and Run by Rotarians., 216.214.0828, Raleigh, NC, USA,
Emma Bodwell updated the attendees on past International Outreaches and on plans for the next International Outreach, which will be in Spring 2024 to Poland.  Application information has been sent to all District Rotarians and Applications are due by October 9, 2023.  Application available at  This will need to be printed, completed and returned at your earliest convenience.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to Emma at
Carolyn Johnson updated the attendees on Foundation Grants, noting that less than $350,000 in District Grants and Club funds has led to the District being involved in approximately $4.5 million in RI Global Grants.
The next International Café will be on Saturday, October 28, 2023 at 9:30 am.  Put it on your calendar! 
Do you have an international project to highlight, either in the works or completed, that you would like to share with the District?  Please reach out to us to get it on our calendar agenda at
Feel free to contact Emma with any questions: Emma Bodwell, DGN 2025-2026, Cell/WhatsApp:  207-595-1138,
Club News
  Click HERE for news about projects and fundraisers from around our district.
Bridgton-Lake Region
Brunswick Coastal
Fryeburg Area
Oxford Hills
River Valley
If we missed your club, 
please know that your work is appreciated. Please send your stories next month to:
Report from the DEI Committee
Your Words Matter!
By:  Jim Munro, District 7780 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, RC of Dover
This new Rotary year, we continue to embrace many of Rotary International initiatives. The last Diversity, Equity and Inclusion survey that was sent out to District 7780 Rotary Club Presidents gleaned some important information. In the next few newsletters, those words will be shared with you.
Quote: What inspiring and qualified individual would be available in our district to deliver a program on DEI to our club?
The District DEI committee is collecting speaker resources. Last year the Rotary Club of Dover hosted several great speakers including Members of the DE&I committee of Wentworth-Douglas Hospital, a representative for the Black Heritage Trail of NH which resulted in a club field trip to Portsmouth to tour local black history sites, and the Director of Seacoast Outright which is an organization that serves LGBTQ+ youth in the NH and Southern Maine seacoast communities.
Rotary International President Gordon McInally states in his video, that “DEI is making Rotary an open inclusive organization that embraces the best people, the best ideas and the best partnerships no matter where they come from.”
The next District 7780 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion meeting will be held on Monday, October 9, 2023 at 4 p.m.
Please join us! Email Jim Munro ( or Carol Marcotte ( Can’t attend but have a great DEI story or idea, contact us please!
Yours in Rotary Service,
Rotary 7780 Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee
Rotary Healthy Communities Challenge
By:  iPDG Claudia Frost, Chair, Education & Information Committee, Rotarians Against Malaria, Rotary Action Group, and RC of Brunswick 
Rotary International President Gordon McInally recently announced that in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and World Vision, Rotary is launching the Rotary Healthy Communities Challenge. This initiative will provide $30 million to combat malaria, diarrheal diseases, and respiratory infections. These afflictions are the leading causes of death among children under five years old in four Sub-Saharan African countries: Zambia, Nigeria, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that last year 247 Million people in 84 countries were infected and 619,000 of them died. During the years before Covid, there were about 400,000 victims per year. The victims are mainly children below 5 years old and pregnant women. 95% of all infections and deaths are in Africa between the two tropics.
PDG Claudia Frost has joined the efforts to eliminate malaria and is Chair of the Education and Information Committee of the Rotarians Against Malaria (RAM) Global Rotary Action Group (RAG). Claudia’s interest in malaria comes from Rotary trips to three African countries: Nigeria, Zambia and Kenya.
District 7780 has an opportunity to access some of the funding for RAM through the Rotary Healthy Communities Challenge. Clubs that can contribute smaller amounts are encouraged to step up and join the effort. A good start is at the website for RAM:
All Rotarians are welcome to join this Rotary Action Group to learn more about the initiative and to join in the fight to eliminate malaria. Please contact PDG Claudia for more information regarding accessing these funds. She would be happy to speak to individuals or present to Clubs or Rotary Club Boards.
iPDG Claudia Frost
H. 978 468-1579
C/t. 207 449-9884
Coming Soon from the Rotary Indigenous Partnership Committee (RIPC)
By:  Jud Knox, RIPC Team Leader, RC of York
Upcoming activities of Interest:

Learn the TRUTH:  January 24th, 2024 5:00-7:00 pm on a computer screen near you. In conjunction with Wabanaki Reach, the virtual program “INTERACTING WITH WABANAKI HISTORY" featuring ten participant readings, will be available to all Rotarians in District 7780.  Keep an eye out for more information to come but, mark your calendars now.

Speaking of the TRUTH, you might also engage with the movie “Killers of the Harvest Moon” coming to theaters near you on or around October 20th.

Questions or concerns? Contact RIPC Team Leader Jud Knox at

A Message From The District 7780 Public Image Committee
By: Brenda Pollack, Chair, District Public Image Committee, RC of Biddeford-Saco
For more than 100 years, Rotary has united leaders who are committed to using their expertise to improve communities. While we’ve made a significant difference around the world, many people still don’t fully understand who we are as people of action and what makes us unique. People of Action isn’t an advertising campaign. It’s the way we talk about and present ourselves and it supports the message that, together, we envision a world where people take action to create lasting change. It’s a message based on stories of local impact, so it’s important that we tell our story in ways that help people everywhere understand what Rotary does, how we’re people of action, and why our work matters.
Avoiding common errors
Every member plays a role in strengthening the Rotary brand. You and your club help build Rotary’s brand recognition by using our logos correctly and consistently.
Review these examples of how to use Rotary’s brand guidelines to avoid common errors.
Correct: When creating your official logo, use your club, district, or zone logo instead of the Rotary, Rotaract, or Interact Masterbrand Signature alone.
Incorrect: Don’t use the Rotary, Rotaract, or Interact Masterbrand Signature without your club, district, or zone name, with other elements, color change, or in a photo or image other than the one provided by Rotary International.
Reach out to:
or visit the Public Image webpage at: 

District Calendar
Harvest Dinner - Brunswick Coastal
Topsham Fair Grounds
Oct 07, 2023
4:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Oct 09, 2023
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Oct 11, 2023
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Oct 12, 2023
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM UTC-04:00
IRIS Network Walk
Oct 14, 2023
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Oct 19, 2023
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Oct 23, 2023
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Oct 23, 2023
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
PRE PETS in person training
121 Broadway
Oct 28, 2023
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
International Cafe
Oct 28, 2023
9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Nov 13, 2023
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Foundation Committee
Nov 14, 2023
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Nov 16, 2023
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Nov 27, 2023
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Nov 30, 2023
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
View entire list
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