District Governor's Message September 2023
Celebrate Literacy in September
By:  DG Marion Cheney, RC of Dover
I have shared my challenging childhood days with some of you.
At the age of four, I started immersing myself in books. It was a way to escape from all the turbulence in my home.
My Mother and I would make our weekly visits to the public library where I would fill my red radio flyer wagon with books and head home.
I coveted my stamped library card collection stored in my box of treasures.
In first grade I was tested at a fourth-grade reading level. I was bored with reading assignments. I read everything and anything within reach, including Peyton Place*, that I brought to school in my book bag.
After a lengthy discussion with the school principal my folks decided to invest in a complete edition of encyclopedias…I was in heaven.
I still love to read. In the words of Gary Paulsen, an American writer of mostly children’s and coming of age books, “Reading isn’t passive. I enter the story with the characters, breathe their air, feel their frustration. Reading for me is spending time with a friend. A book is a friend you can never have too many”.
A book is a dream you hold in your hand. Share a dream with someone this month.
*For our younger readers, Peyton Place was a novel written by Maine author Grace Metalious, about three women who are forced to come to terms with their identity, both as women and as sexual beings.  One of the best-selling works in publishing history, it was set in a small, conservative, gossipy town in Maine in the 1940’s. This 1950s book scandalized and captivated America—and eventually destroyed its author’s life.
Connecting the Dots September 2023
By: Sarah MacGillivray, Secretary, and Public Image Coordinator, District Foundation Committee, RC of Bath Sunrise
There really is no better way to Connect the Dots than to show how your money comes back, in part, to our District than to share in more detail the information on this year’s District Grants.  We were able to fund projects from 15 of our District Clubs, plus an outreach project for the District, for a total of $61,455.  The checks went out on August 1, which is impressive!  Our grants review committee is to be commended and thanked for their hard work. Our Foundation Committee approved and got all of the paperwork through to TRF quickly, and in turn we were approved quickly. It is amazing to me each year that the projects are so diverse and that there is such breadth and depth of District grant projects.  This year the projects included local playspace, reading programs and a playground to international initiatives in Cambodia, Zambia, and the Dominican Republic.  Click at Read More below to be taken to the full story and a brief summary of each Club’s project:
Your Rotary Moments for this month can be reached by reading the full story (Click at Read More below to be taken to the full story) Last month, we only gave you one moment to share, and thought that just wasn’t enough!  There is so much to share about all the good that is done with donations that are made to OUR Rotary Foundation.  If you ever need something more, please remember to visit our District website and click on the Foundation tab. (
Please welcome the new District 7780 Rotary Foundation Area Representatives: To better support D-7780 Rotarians charitable goals with the Rotary Foundation, nine Rotary Foundation Area Representative (FAR’s) positions have recently been named and approved by District Governor Marion Cheney. This group of leaders are highly knowledgeable about all aspects of The Rotary Foundation, are members of our District, and will work alongside the nine Assistant Governors (AG’s), the clubs and their members as a resource to help answer questions about TRF.  Click at Read More below to be taken to the full story.
Dollars Raised in District 7780: Our Foundation Committee Chair, Dave Underhill shared some very impressive data with me, and I of course wanted to share it with all of you. After the Rotary Foundation books were closed (unaudited numbers), they showed our Rotarians and Clubs donated a total of $344,559 in Annual Giving, a new record for our district. Click at Read More below to be taken to the full story.
Flight to End Polio
Happy Ending to the Saga: The Flight to End Polio
By:  Nancy Hawes, South Portland Cape Elizabeth RC, updated by Dave Underhill, Portsmouth RC and Sarah MacGillivray, Bath Sunrise RC
We hope you remember the story of the two Iowa Rotarians who started their around the world trip to raise awareness to the importance of ending polio.  A number of our District 7780 Rotarians turned out for the party at Port City Air, Pease Tradeport in Portsmouth in May at the start of their trip. We are delighted to report that their single-engine Cessna 210 touched down in their home-town, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Sunday, July 30, after circumnavigating the globe to end polio, raising significant awareness and money along the way!
With World Polio Day coming up next month, we thought it was a great time to share their successful story, and get folks thinking about what sort of projects they might be able to do.
Click at Read More below to read the Full Story and details of their amazing trip.
Disaster Response Grant Update and My Trip to Poland
By: PP Carol Marcotte, RC Saco Bay Sunset
A Disaster Response Grant from The Rotary Foundation was received by D7780 and overseen by RC Saco Bay Sunset in partnership with RC Lublin Centrum (Poland).  The clubs received $25,000 to repair the roof of the convent housing the Congregation of Sisters of St. Anne in Brzuchowice (Bryukhovichi) (now called the Peace Shelter). The monies were also used to add a corridor with extra rooms to the building to house refugees. RC Saco Bay Sunset and RC Lublin Centrum and RC Ukraine Unity Lviv partnered to oversee the transporting of materials across the border from Poland into Ukraine as well as repairing the structure. Currently, 32 Ukrainian refugees (mothers, children and grandparents) live at the Peace Shelter. 
RYLA Graduates Share Their Experience
By: Amy Miller, South Berwick-Eliot RC
From left to right:  Emily Rumble (RYLA Co-Director and MHS Interact Advisor), James Foss, Chloe Walker and Lana Emery (3 of the 5 MHS students who attended RYLA this June)
Three of the five Marshwood students who went to the RYLA camp this summer in Raymond, Maine, came to the South Berwick-Eliot Rotary Club this week to talk about their experiences. Chloe Walker, James Foss and Lana Emery were accompanied by the camp director Emily Rumble, an English teacher at Marshwood High who also leads the Interact Club and RYLA Senior Staff Assistant Bridget, who lives in York and is a RYLA leader, was also there.
A very enthusiastic Emily talked about how she began as a camper and has been involved with RYLA - the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards - almost half her life. She thanked the club for investing in campers and noted what a big impact the four-day leadership program has on them. “For you to say I believe in you, I want to invest in you” is significant, she said. Emily noted that campers go back to school and talk about their experiences, which helps the camp program.
Update on Youth Exchange
By:  Kathi Perkins, Chair, Youth Exchange Committee, RC of Westbrook-Gorham
District 7780 had a successful 2022-2023 exchange year!  Six students from five clubs took advantage of the short-term summer program in the summer of 2022.  One long-term student from Kittery spent the school year in Thailand. Two long-term students, one from Kittery and another from Gorham, spent the school year respectively in Romania and in Ukraine.
There was only one summer student in 2023, with an exchange between Italy and South Portland-Cape Elizabeth.  Our outbound student returns August 29, just in time to start school!  Our one long-term student from Brazil arrived in mid-August to NorthYarmouth, registered for her classes at Greely High School in Cumberland, and started school the last week of August.  Many thanks to the Yarmouth Club and David Wilson for sponsoring and welcoming her.
President's Citation Awards
Five District 7780 clubs received The Rotary International President’s Citation for 2022-23. 
Chief and PP Kevin Schofield, Sebago Lake-Windham RC, received citation from iPDG Claudia Frost on August 17, 2023
Congratulations to the Portland Rotary, PP Bruce James; Biddeford-Saco Rotary, PP Brenda Pollock; Sebago Lake-Windham Rotary, PP Kevin Schofield; Saco Bay Sunset Rotary, PP Carol Marcotte; and South Berwick-Eliot Rotary, PP Tom Harmon. 
This is an honor for the club and the president. iPDG Claudia Frost is presenting the award to each of the five clubs. “Each of these five clubs accepted the challenge of setting goals as a ‘team’ and working to achieve the goals. These goals are found on Rotary Club Central and the process begins with the sitting club president and the club members at the start of their year. Best wishes for the success of all District 7780 clubs in 2023-24.”

September 2023
Club News
 Click HERE for news about projects and fundraisers from around our district.
Bridgton-Lake Region
Fryeburg Area
Oxford Hills
South Berwick-Elliot
If we missed your club, 
please know that your work is appreciated. Please send your stories next month to:
District Recovery Conference
What: Building Recovery Ready Communities
  • Recovery in the Workplace
  • Recovery Housing
When: September 21, 2023
Where: Italian Heritage Center, 40 Westland Ave., Portland
SAVE THE DATE: The September 21, 2023 all day 2nd annual conference on Building Recovery Ready Communities to assist those in recovery from SUD (Substance Use Disorder) has come together! Our panels, sponsored by the 39 Rotary Clubs in 7780, will focus on “Recovery in the Workplace” and “Recovery Housing,” both critical needs to ensure sustainability. Our panelists and keynoters represent leaders in business, non-profits, and local cities and towns in New Hampshire and Maine. Location will be the Italian Heritage Center in Portland. Registration at $25 per person will be emailed to Club Presidents. Your ideas, suggestions, questions, and participation are vital to making this initiative a reality. See you on the 21st!
World Suicide Prevention
World Suicide Prevention is now practical.  Two remarkable speakers will deliver an hour of ideas for action in Mexico, USA and Canada.
Click HERE for full size flyer
Register HERE to receive Zoom link
In Memoriam - Joe Rotondo
Joseph Rotondo, RC of Freeport
12-9-1937 to 7-12-2023
The Rotary Club of Freeport is co-hosting with the Rotondo family a Celebration of Life for Joseph Rotondo, on Saturday, September 23, from 10 – 12 at the Freeport Community Center, 53 Depot Road in Freeport, ME
Joe was a long-time member of our club. He was fiercely dedicated to educational opportunity and was a valued member of our scholarship committee. Joe also served as liaison to our community elder's organization, helping to bridge the gap between our two organizations. 
Joe lived the ideals of Rotary, and always had a kind word or suggestion to offer. He will be greatly missed by our Rotary family.  
All Rotarians are welcome to join us as we honor our friend and fellow club member. 
In Memoriam - George Bartlett
George Bartlett, President 1996-97, RC Sebago Lake-Windham
3-20-1939 to 7-21-2023
It is with great sadness that we share that our good friend, local businessman and fellow Rotarian, George Bartlett, passed away on Friday, July 21, 2023.
George was the owner of the Busy Bee Laundry in Windham and supported many local charities. He was always willing to share his business knowledge and experiences with new businesses through his involvement in the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce and Sebago Lake Rotary Club.
District Calendar
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
View entire list
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