By: Dick Hall
District Governor 2021-22
RC of Portland
Youth Service Month & Commitment to RYLA

May is Youth Service Month on the Rotary calendar which is perfect for us as I am committed to finding 74 more sophomores to fill our RYLA camp this June.  According to many past participants, the experience can be life changing.  Several clubs have not recruited enough students to use their whole RYLA budget and have offered to sponsors campers outside their club area.  We also still have 12 district scholarship available.  The deadline has been extended to June 1, and we will bend that as much as we can so we can fill the camp.  I ask that every Rotarian in the district look for students who could benefit from the program.
As most of you know, The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Leadership Camp is an interactive development program designed to enhance leadership skills in the next generation of innovative leaders.  Working with students after their sophomore year of high school, Rotary clubs throughout Rotary District 7780, select up to 144 students to participate in RYLA – Leadership Camp. For more information, go to

District Training Assembly a Success
I was very pleased to have 165 attend District Training Assembly this year.  Peter Johnson did a superlative job in setting up a very diverse set of breakout sessions, in his last effort as he ends his three-year term as our District Trainer.  It was a real treat to see everyone in person.
District Conference-Celebrating Our Rebirth
Our next District event is our District Conference on May 14, and our theme is Celebrate our Rebirth.  It is a one day fast-paced conference with two keynote speakers and eight (8) 10-minute speakers.  The 10-minute speakers represent organizations that have benefitted from Rotary.  They will tell us what Rotary’s help meant to them.  Registration is open so CLICK HERE, but it closes soon.  Register now!
Wrapping Up the Rotary Year
We are entering the last two months of the Rotary year, so it’s time to ensure your clubs have achieved all the goals set by your leaders.  The membership numbers so far look great.  The Foundation donations have been strong.  I have heard about several very successful fundraisers, and I am seeing notices of service being done every week.  Now is the time to finish the Rotary year with great social and service events.
Although COVID was difficult all year, the clubs in our district have just kept going.  Clubs hit bumps in the road but just jumped over them, and kept going.  Flexibility has been the watchword, and clubs have really taken that to heart.

Thanks for all you do for Rotary.  I look forward to seeing you at service projects, social events and at the district conference.
By:  DG Dick Hall

At the District Training, Phil Giordano, RC of Scarborough and recent past RYLA camp director, was presented with Rotary's highest honor, the Service Above Self Award. This award recognizes Rotarians who demonstrate Rotary's motto, Service Above Self, by volunteering their time and talents to help others. The award is internationally competitive, and is granted to no more than 150 Rotarians worldwide.

Phil was RYLA camp director for many years.  He stepped into the position with extensive professional experience and leadership development expertise but limited RYLA experience. He spurred a very young staff to make a positive transformation and dedicated incredible amounts of time investing in staff. He created a Leadership Team of veterans to help make major decisions, to train staff, to schedule, to create the programming and to improve curriculum.  All this resulted in a world class RYLA program.

Understanding their strengths and growth areas, Phil guided staff development. He created an “Off-Season” culture to unite staff and continue their leadership journey. As the major coordinator with Rotary, the Boy Scouts and RYLA staff, he built relationships and enhanced communications. Beyond the RYLA program, Phil started the concept of our “New Voices Rotary Club.” He recognized the power of RYLA and RYLA staff to take the SERVICE ABOVE SELF spirit to chartering a new Rotary Club with members aged 17 - 27 years.

It’s times like the present war in Ukraine that remind us of the importance of building international relationships through Rotary.

In 2015 District 7780 sent a cultural exchange team to Bulgaria, after the initial outreach was done by then District Governor Lawrence Furbish. That two-week visit was followed up by a Bulgarian team touring our district the following year.

We kept working at finding the right project to further the cooperation. In 2018 the Petrich, Bulgaria, club sought an international partner for a project to provide medical equipment for the neonatal ward of their local hospital.

Six clubs in our district added to the contributions from several other countries to successfully complete the $90,000 fundraising effort. David Kitchen, of the Yarmouth club, who was on the original team, accepted an invitation to attend the opening ceremonies in January of 2020. The night before the opening, a baby was born who would not have survived without the new equipment. We continue to receive reports of how successful this project has been.  This is a tribute to all district Rotarians who spend weekends on local fundraisers that go so far in making this work possible.

The Bulgarian District Governor completed his term by bestowing the first ever title of Rotary Ambassador of Bulgaria to David Kitchen.

Connecting the Dots
It’s Time to Apply for a District Grant
By: Sarah MacGillivray
District 7780 Foundation Public Image Coordinator
Bath Sunrise RC
We have been talking a lot over the last few months about OUR Rotary Foundation and all of the good work it helps us to accomplish. Your donations help to make that good work a reality, and we’ve shared stories of successful district grants.  Now it is time to put all that information to work and make sure you have everything you need to submit your own Club’s application for a District Grant before June 1.
First, if you haven’t already, you might want to form a small committee of members who are interested in seeing this process through.  Maybe you already have an idea for a project, but remember that it isn’t too late to come up with a new one too. Visit our District Website ( and then click on the Rotary Foundation & Grants tab at the top of the page. A helpful dropdown menu will appear.  You will want to use many of these tabs!
Review the tab from the dropdown menu called District Grants, starting with the District Grant Criteria.  There is also a tab for a list of last year’s approved grants that you can review if you need ideas for projects that other clubs have tried.

By: Claudia Frost, District Governor Elect, Brunswick RC
and Lucy Lloyd, President, Brunswick Coastal RC 

The Rotary Foundation has created a channel for humanitarian support in the Ukraine region in response to the deepening crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.  Three Rotary Clubs in the District joined forces to support Ukraine through club and individual donations to The Rotary Disaster Response Fund.

Brunswick, Brunswick Coastal and Topsham Expresso invited community members to join in contributing to the goal of $10,000 by April 30, 2022.  The goal was met on Monday April 25!

An international writing project with three student clubs has been initiated by Rotarian Carol Marcotte, a University of New England (UNE) Rotaract Co-Advisor.  Carol reached out to Tom Burnett, Advisor, of Player Development - Early Act Club in St. Marteen/Caribbean to ask if the Club would be interested in partnering in a writing project. The same invitation was presented to Stephanie Moutsatous, Advisor for the Old Orchard Beach High School (OOBHS) Interact Club. The UNE Club President, Emily Birdsall, was invited too. The EarlyAct Club is sponsored by the Rotary Club of St. Marteen Middle Isle. The OOBHS Interact Club is sponsored by Saco Bay Rotary Club. UNE Rotaract is sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Biddeford Saco and Saco Bay.
During the last few months, students from all three clubs have been corresponding together. The EarlyAct Club members started the process. The contents of their letter writing were about themselves and their interests. They discussed their train project. Next the UNE Rotaract Club wrote back to the EarlyAct members. The UNE Rotaract response brought a huge delight to the Caribbean members. OOBHS Interact obtained letters from the EarlyAct Club and have responded.  The process of writing continues as OOBHS Interact have become pals with the UNE Rotaract Club and they will be writing letters back soon. The writing project is ongoing, and all members are hoping to reconnect in the fall and come up with a mini service project.
Carol Marcotte is District 7780 DEI Co-Chair and President Elect of the Rotary Club of Saco Bay Sunset. For more information about this project, contact Carol at
Here is news about projects and fundraisers from around the district.
Clubs in this Month's News
Bridgton-Lake Region
Kennebunk Portside
Oxford Hills

If we missed your club, please know that your work is appreciated and honored, and send your story next month to:
District Updates
At the most recent 7780 District Assembly the keynote speaker David Hart from District 7930 shared information about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). This year all Rotary Clubs are discussing how DEI can be enhanced. At the DEI breakout session, Presenter Carol Marcotte, Ph.D., shared a survey that was completed by the Saco Bay Sunset club.  The data was made into a DEI Commitment statement that included future goals and action steps.  The DEI District Committee provides this to you as a possible way to move forward with your club's DEI goals at the following links. Marion and Carol are Co-Chairs of the District 7780 DEI Committee.
District Calendar
Foundation Committee Meeting
May 10, 2022
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
7780 District Conference
May 14, 2022
8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
District Governor Track Meeting
May 16, 2022
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
DISC Committee Meeting
May 19, 2022
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
President's Open Forum with Governor
May 19, 2022
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
May 19, 2022
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
DEI Committee Zoom Meeting
May 23, 2022
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Assistant Governors Meeting
May 25, 2022
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
View entire list
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