District Governor's Message - October 2021

The many faces of DG Dick Hall.
As you can see from the pictures above, the District Governor has many responsibilities and many faces.  I have now completed 35 of my 41 official club visits and it has been such fun.  I knew every club had its own personality before, but now I am hearing about the unique aspects of each club’s meetings, service, socials, and fun.  Who knew that Rotary now has a Six Way Test, where “Is it Fun?” has been added by several clubs and “Is it sustainable?” has been adopted by the Brunswick club.  I am so impressed with all the work being done and how Rotary Clubs are figuring our how to safely gather together, even in the face of this escalating pandemic.
District Day of Service to the Environment.
I am so pleased to report that 22 clubs have registered their service project in support of our District Day of Service to the Environment.  Due to club schedules, clubs participated before the “official dates” and some will participate after.  All of this service is great.  Thanks so much.
October’s Rotary theme is Economic and Community Development.
Rotarians promote economic and community development and reduce poverty in underserved
The Empowering Girls Initiative
By:  Peggy Belanger, RC of Kennebunk/Portside
Immediate Past District Governor, D7780/2020 - 2021
RI D7780 Membership Co-Director
Zone 32 Empowering Girls Ambassador
The Empowering Girls Initiative is one of three Presidential Initiatives for Rotary year 2021-2022 as we Serve to Change Lives.
The initiative is focused on club-level projects through which Rotary clubs can create positive change in the lives of girls.
Specifically, the initiative challenges clubs to:
  • Engage in a project or projects of their choice that empowers girls.
  • Address the needs and inequities that girls throughout the world face on a daily basis.
  • Implement a project, then monitor and measure the impact of the project.
Clubs Partner for Beach Cleanup
By: Peggy Bellanger, PDG, RC of Biddeford-Saco
New Rotaract Chair
Members of Biddeford-Saco RC and Saco Bay RC, along with D7780’s new Rotaractors from University of New England, cleaned Bay View Beach in Saco ME on Saturday, September 25th. It was a gorgeous day to be together caring for our community.  PDG Peggy was excited to introduce UNE Rotaract Club President Emily Birdsall (pictured in photo w/PDG Peggy). Many thanks to Rotarian and UNE Professor/Rotaract Coordinator Mike Burnham for organizing this project. Photos highlight members enthusiasm for a job well done. 
Two Opportunities for District Rotarians to Help Afghan Refugees
Resettlement of Refugees In Maine
By: Michele Bois-Gilbody, RC of Freeport Club
Dear Friends and Fellow Rotarians,
I want to invite you to participate in a wonderful service opportunity to collaborate with Catholic Charities of Maine to assist with the resettlement of Afghan refugees. To date there are over 100 people relocating from Ft. William, VA to our district. Catholic Charities of Maine is looking at housing prospects primarily in Augusta and Biddeford, with secondary locations in Brunswick-Topsham and Lewiston. There are two families confirmed and currently making their way to Maine: consisting of Mothers, Fathers, a Grandmother and 5 children. We do not yet have clothing sizes, but have the ages of the children, in one family, two girls (infant and age 2) in the second family a three-year-old- sex unknown, a 5-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl.
How can we help?
Resettlement of an Afghan Family
By: Jen Fullmer, RC of Biddeford-Saco
Mohammad H. and his family were miraculously pulled through the Abby Gate into the “safe zone” at Kabul Airport in Afghanistan, just 24 hours before the bomb went off last month.  A very small “pick up team” of people from my network over the years made it happen, along with one incredible Marine.  Now, we Rotarians have an opportunity.
During my time in the Air Force, I spent a year studying at the U.S. Air Force Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama, where Colonel Mohammad H. of the Afghan Air Force was my classmate and dear friend.  My husband and I are sponsoring him and his family to Maine and we expect them to arrive around the end of October or later. 

Mohammad H. will arrive with 11 members of his immediate family,

Polio Corner

How Are You Celebrating Polio Month?
By: PDG Ann Lee Hussey, RC Portland Sunrise
District PolioPlus Chair
Did you know: 
  • The goal of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative is to ensure that no child will ever again know the crippling effects of polio. 
  • The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is the largest public health initiative the world has ever known.
  • As of September 24, it has been 7 months and 28 days since a child was last paralyzed by the Wild Polio Virus anywhere in the World!!!
#EndPolioNow is not just wishful thinking!
Now is the time, an amazing chance to do something great for the world!
Be creative in raising awareness and funds for PolioPlus this year, add a new twist! 
Pints for Polio

By: Sarah MacGillivray, Member, Bath Sunrise’s Satellite e-club
District 7780 Foundation Public Image Coordinator 

DG Dick is encouraging our clubs to participate in "Pints for Polio" as a way to raise awareness in our communities about Rotary's efforts to eradicate polio worldwide, while having a fun social event for the club and community, and of course to raise funds for PolioPlus.


We Were Saddened to Hear

Suzanne Ilsley, a much-loved Rotarian, passed on Tuesday,
September 28th.

Suzanne was a high energy dynamo.  With her infectious laugh, Suzanne could brighten anyone's day. A member of the RC of Wells, twice the club’s president and three years an AG, Suzanne will be missed.
Rotarians and Friends are invited to visit with Suzanne’s family on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 from 12:00 to 2:00 and 5:00 to 7:00 in the JS Pelkey and Son Funeral Home in Kittery. A Mass of Christian Burial will be Celebrated on October 7, 2021 at 11:00 am. in St Raphael Church in Kittery. More information at Obituary | Suzanne Ilsley of Kittery, Maine | J.S. Pelkey and Son Funeral Home (
Club News
Here is news about projects and fundraisers from around the district.
Clubs in this Month's News
Bath Sunrise
Bridgton-Lake Region
Brunswick & Brunswick Coastal
Oxford Hills
Portland & Portland Sunrise
So. Portland/Cape Elizabeth
If we missed your club, please know that your work is appreciated and honored, and send your story next month to:
District Updates
There is Still Time for Nominations
By: PDG Dave Underhill,
Chair, District 7780 Nominating Committee
Nominations are still being received for District Governor candidates and for candidates for the District Finance Committee.  Please consider whether you might be a candidate, or whether you may know a potential candidate, and share this information with your Club.  The deadline to apply is October 15.
The District Governor who is selected this November will serve in the position for one year beginning July 1, 2024 through June 30, 2025.   The finance committee vacancy is for a three-year term beginning next July 1, 2022.
A “call for nominations” was published in the September District newsletter.  For more information about how to apply, see the notices and documents at this link on our district website (log-in is required, use your Rotary Clubrunner name and password):
If you have questions about the process, don’t hesitate to contact me at
District Foundation Update
By: Sarah MacGillivray, Member, Bath Sunrise’s Satellite e-club
District 7780 Foundation Public Image Coordinator

It is with much excitement that we share that our District has been awarded the Zone 32 District with the highest total Foundation Donations!  This is quite an honor and it is thanks to all of our clubs and members.  Wonderful work everyone! Click here to watch a short video that will be shown at the Thursday, November 4, Zone Institute Virtual Summit event, “Together We Celebrate.”

As you know, monies donated to The Rotary Foundation can be donated to

District Membership Committee Update
By: Peggy Belanger (KennebunkPortside RC)
 Lorraine Faherty (Damariscotta-Newcastle RC)
D7780 Membership Co-Chairs
In order for RI to grow, and to achieve its mission, Rotary Districts, like ours, must consider developing new clubs.  Ask yourself, who is not represented or which community location is not part of our membership?
I am pleased to announce that we have seen a steady rise in D7780 Membership for our 1st Quarter.  Multiple clubs have inducted at least one or multiple new applicants.  We are at 1500+.
In order to grow Rotary, RI asks us to Increase our Impact at the Club & District Level, Enhance Participant Engagement, Expand our Reach, and Increase our Ability to Adapt & Accept Change.
District's Youth Exchange Committee Update
By: Kathi Perkins, RC of Westbrook-Gorham
Chair, District Youth Exchange Committee
Are you interested in learning more about Rotary’s youth exchange programs?  Our District is part of the Eastern States Student Exchange, or ESSEX, which offers long-term exchanges for high school students during the school year and short-term exchanges during the summer.  The summer program is particularly exciting as it is a true exchange: a student from District 7780 is matched with a student and family in another country.  Then the families decide how long the exchanges will be (3-4 weeks), which student will travel first, and the dates of the exchange.  Each family is a host family for 3-4 weeks, but the students spend 6-8 weeks together, half in each country. There is little responsibility for the host club as there are no expenses except inviting the students and host family to a meeting or two and/or involving them in a community service or social event occurring while the visiting student is in the U.S.
Crutches 4 Africa Has a New Home
By:  Dennis Robillard, RC of Saco Bay Sunset
District 7780 Chair 2021-22, Crutches 4 Africa
Crutches 4 Africa has found a new storage facility at the Lion’s Club building at 128 Saco Ave., Old Orchard Beach. If you have anything to drop off or would like to get involved, please call or email Dennis Robillard for more information at 207-468-0443 or Need a speaker for your club, please contact Dennis.
District Calendar
Pints for Polio-3rd Option
Oct 15, 2021
5:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Pints for Polio-4th Option
Oct 16, 2021
5:00 PM – 11:00 PM
District Governor Track Meeting
Oct 18, 2021
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
President's Open Forum with Governor
Oct 19, 2021
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
DISC Committee Meeting
Oct 21, 2021
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
President's Open Forum with Governor
Oct 21, 2021
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
International Cafe
Oct 23, 2021
9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
DEI Committee Zoom Meeting
Oct 25, 2021
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Assistant Governors Meeting
Oct 27, 2021
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Zone Summit- Day 1 of 3
Nov 02, 2021
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Zone Summit- Day 2 of 3
Nov 03, 2021
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Zone Summit- Day 3 of 3
Nov 04, 2021
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
NE PETS Committee Meeting
Nov 06, 2021
8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Foundation Committee Meeting
Nov 09, 2021
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
View entire list
Russell Hampton
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