March 2018 - ISSUE 9
Upcoming Events
Membership Best Practices Seminar-Cape Elizabeth
Cape Elizabeth Community Center
Mar 22, 2018
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
RLI Rotary Leadership Institute, Wells ME
Mar 24, 2018
Assistant Governors' GoToMeeting
Mar 28, 2018
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
District Training Assembly 2018
York County Community College
Apr 07, 2018
8:00 AM – 12:45 PM
Vision to Plan Workshop 11
South Portland Housing Authority
Apr 12, 2018
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Assistant Governors' In-Person Meeting
Apr 25, 2018
5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
District Conference 2018: Summit at Mt. Washington
Mount Washington Hotel, Omni Resort
May 03, 2018 – May 06, 2018
Go-To-Toronto Send-off Party
Cumberland Club
May 15, 2018
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Assistant Governors' GoToMeeting
May 23, 2018
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
District Foundation Committee
Cumberland Club
Jun 05, 2018
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.
Having trouble viewing the Newsletter?
Click here to view it online.
District Governor's Newsletter
March 2018
Clean Water: We Should NEVER Take it for Granted!  March is Water and Sanitation Month here at Rotary
When we started our “Pyramid of Peace” visits to area Rotary Clubs last summer, we found huge awareness of PolioPlus, our signature disease-prevention initiative.  There’s widespread engagement in our Rotary communities to tackle literacy and education challenges, community-building projects and to feed the hungry.  But how many of our forty Rotary clubs are focused on domestic water quality?
My awareness of the integral link between disease and sanitation goes back to 1994, when I traveled to El Salvador on a Rotary water project pilot mission.  I ended up with some first-hand experience (well, OK, it wasn’t really the hand that was in distress) with water-borne intestinal illness.  It is a trip I will never forget, for that reason and many more. It gave me a new personal respect for the importance of clean water.  As Past District Governor Ann Lee Hussey often suggests, if you want to understand the world, you need to travel it.
In recent years, as we’ve all supported PolioPlus and worked to end polio worldwide, we’ve learned much more about monitoring sanitation systems, because that’s where signs of the wild polio virus (WPV) are often found lurking.  Vigilance and monitoring will continue for many years after the last WPV case is reported, and that surveillance is critical to preventing any recurrence of disease.
With that context, it’s essential for Rotarians to be focused on clean water for the world.  It’s equally important that we look in our own back yards and realize it’s a local problem too. 
Some may believe that water and sanitation concerns are for other countries.  Consider these two excerpted articles from “right here at home."
AUGUSTA, Maine — The water that flows out of your faucet may taste good, smell good and look good — but there’s a chance it could make you sick.
That was the message from some scientists who shared their ongoing research at the Maine Sustainability & Water Conference, held each year by the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions. They don’t want to just frighten people, either. They want to encourage them to test their water for such invisible troublemakers as arsenic and lead, and then take steps to mitigate problems that may be found.
“The major problem is that Maine has a high reliance on wells, but very few people test their wells,” said Anna Farrell of the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor, while presenting a poster at the conference. “And knowing what to do with that information once you get it is also not known.”
Arsenic is a toxic chemical naturally found in Maine’s soil and bedrock. It can dissolve into drinking water through the ground or as runoff, and thereby make an unwelcome appearance in the private wells that more than half of Mainers rely on for their drinking water, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. About 10 percent of Maine wells have an elevated level of arsenic, and drinking that water can lead to problems over time such as skin damage, circulation problems, stomach pain, nausea and tingling in the hands and feet. Drinking it for many years may raise the risk of developing cancer, including skin, bladder and lung cancers, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Arsenic exposure also can lead to low birth weight and affect brain development in young children.
By Abigail Curtis, Bangor Daily News Staff • April 5, 2017 6:01 am 
Updated: October 10, 2017 1:55 pm
Pease Moms fight for safe drinking water
Their work is leading to the first nationwide study of the health effects of PFCs
Published: August 4, 2017
Never underestimate the power of Granite State moms. Andrea Amico of Portsmouth remembers “feeling like my world was crashing down” when tests showed that her two kids, exposed to perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in drinking water at the former Pease Air Force Base, had elevated levels of these harmful materials in their blood.
A byproduct of firefighting foam used by the military, PFCs have been linked to birth defects, various forms of cancer and immune system dysfunction. This has caused many sleepless nights not only for Andrea but for countless Americans living and working near at least 660 sites across the country that have been contaminated with these materials.
When officials ignored her concerns, Andrea joined with Michelle Dalton, Alayna Davis and other Pease parents to campaign for action. When told that only 100 people would be tested for PFC exposure, Andrea created a “Testing for Pease” page on Facebook, organized with friends and neighbors, and eventually won testing for 1,600 people.
The Pease Moms pressed the federal government to agree that a health study of water contamination at Pease was feasible, and when the Air Force said it lacked the authority to pay for the study, they refused to take no for an answer. Now, thanks in large measure to their tenacious efforts, Congress is on the verge of approving the first-ever nationwide study on the human health implications of people exposed to PFCs in their drinking water.
In June, as a member of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, I worked with my Democratic and Republican colleagues to include an amendment in the annual Defense Authorization Act authorizing the Department of Defense to conduct this study and produce much-needed answers about the health impacts of exposure to PFC contamination.
As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will lead a similar bipartisan effort to include funding for the study to be conducted by the appropriate agency, and success in securing funding will depend on the continued engagement of concerned citizens in New Hampshire.
The Environmental Protection Agency calls PFCs “contaminants of emerging concern” because the agency’s lengthy process for assessing toxicity has not yet concluded. But scientists who have studied PFCs have little doubt that they are harmful.
PFC contamination has been detected in drinking water sources in a number of towns across New Hampshire. State health officials determined that more than 1,500 people, including children who attended two day care centers, have elevated levels of PFCs in their blood from drinking contaminated groundwater at Pease.
Several communities are struggling with groundwater PFC contamination near the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics plant in Merrimack. Residents near the Coakley landfill Superfund site in North Hampton are concerned about high levels of PFCs found in nearby surface waters.
Because so many drinking water systems across the United States confront similar challenges, I have joined with Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, to introduce the bipartisan Safe Drinking Water Assistance Act, which would remove barriers that limit the EPA’s ability to respond with appropriate urgency to emerging contaminants like PFCs.
Our legislation would expedite the health analysis of these harmful chemicals, bolster cooperation between the EPA and local communities, and provide support and resources to states dealing with health challenges posed by these harmful materials.
The safety of our drinking water is essential and non-negotiable. And we have learned valuable lessons from the Pease experience. When questions are raised about drinking water quality or any other critical public health issue, governments at all levels need to be better partners to local communities. And when these things fail, it’s up to ordinary citizens to get involved, demand action, and persist until the problem is solved.
The courage and persistence of Andrea Amico and other Portsmouth activists is a big reason why my amendment to fund a national PFC health study was successful. And though this study will be nationwide in scope, I’ll work to ensure that it pays particular attention to the health impacts on Seacoast residents.
Thank you, Pease Moms, for showing us how to stand up effectively for our families and communities.
Democrat Jeanne Shaheen is New Hampshire’s senior senator.  This article appears in the  August 4 2017 issue of New Hampshire Business Review


Clean water begins at our own faucets, and those of our neighbors, here in New Hampshire and Maine.   What can your club do?  A few ideas:

  •       Support local education programs about water quality.
  •       Support testing of wells, in areas where there is no municipal system.
  •       Demand clean water as a basic human right and need in your community.
  •       Clean up, and encourage, all shoreline, beach, lake, river and stream areas in your community: these are essential to local tourism, but they’re also vital parts of the ecosystem that keeps us healthy.
  •       Support agricultural methods that protect our water supply.
  •       Invite speakers to your club who can share their passion for sustainable water quality everywhere we live in Maine and New Hampshire.
  •       Ask local officials, public works and leaders what needs are not being met in this area, and respond in a way that makes sense for your club.

Thank you for making a difference with clean water for all of us.  Thanks, too, for the dozen-plus clubs that have helped to fund the current clean-water work underway in Guatemala, in partnership with Westbrook-Gorham Rotary.  We’re one world, and this is one fine way to help our neighbors.

DG Dave


A Frugal Feast
Frugal=Delicious!  District Celebrates Rotary’s 113th Birthday
Over seventy Rotarians gathered at Woodfords Church in Portland last Friday (February 23) to commemorate World Understanding and Peace Day, the traditional birthday party for Rotary International.
Rotarians and guests enjoyed a delicious meal of antipasto, soups, salads and ample desserts orchestrated by talented chef and Past District Governor Sheila Rollins, and her kitchen team.
Three speakers from our Clubs highlighted programs helping to address food insecurity in the region.   We learned that in Maine, one of four children is not sure where their next meal is coming from.  Steve Mortimer of the Locker Project talked about the ways Rotarians assist his organization in distributing food to twenty-three schools in the Greater Portland area.  Learn more about this at:
Damariscotta-Newcastle Club VP Winslow Myers reported on their efforts to raise money, in partnership with the Lions Club, between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Those funds then fill the local food pantries with non-perishable food that gets distributed by over one hundred volunteers.
Hampton Rotary President Bill McGowan shared news about an event, now in its sixth year, that creates high community awareness and, at the same time, fills pantry shelves.  A “shopping spree” at the local Market Basket grocery in Seabrook NH, funded by Rotary and a local running club's donations, fills carts with over five thousand dollars worth of items destined for local food pantries.  Bill shared a list of the items most-needed by the pantries.
Past District Governor Marty Helman then rolled out customized marketing ads for each program, created with the new “People of Action” templates available to all clubs on Rotary Brand Center.  Clubs create their own social media and print advertising in minutes.   Log in with your account and learn more here:
Here’s one example from our Friday dinner presentation:
A big, non-frugal thank-you to the Rotary volunteers who made Friday night such a fun and successful event!.  A portion of the Frugal Feast registration fee is being sent to the Rotary Peace Centers.
Polio Plus Update for March
I wish the news was better, but since last month, 2 new cases of the wild polio virus have been discovered in Afghanistan bringing the total to 3. Nevertheless, things are improving. No cases have yet to be reported in Pakistan. You may remember in 2017, we ended the year with 22 cases of wild polio virus in two countries (14 in Afghanistan and 8 in Pakistan). In 2016, we had 35 cases in three countries (12 in Afghanistan, 19 in Pakistan, and 4 in Nigeria.) Pakistan has been making great strides in our struggle to eradicate polio.
One of the interesting things about our End Polio Now efforts are the many details most Rotarians are not aware of. We get reports of cases, but there is more to it than that. WPV (wild polio virus) cases are children who have been identified as having the disease after having exhibited some signs of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP).  When we speak of surveillance, we are talking about a network of local and regional health centers to which parents bring kids who are having signs of paralysis.  99% of the AFP cases do not turn out to be polio.  The surveillance sites take stool samples which are sent to labs funded by the Polio Eradication Initiative - about 190 of them, globally. This is where they are examined for the presence of the polio virus. 
Another aspect of the program is the environmental sampling that goes on. In areas where polio cases occur, samples are taken from the soil and sewage for testing to see if there is evidence of the wild polio virus. For example, during this year there have been 15 positive environmental test results in Afghanistan. According to World Polio Plus Chair, Mike McGovern, "the continuing positive environmental samples are troubling and are our biggest worry at this time.  The program focuses on the areas of positive samples to further engage the community and to promote vaccinations." There have been extensive discussions in the last three months about the  need to do more in this area. Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair, Paul Netzel was in Pakistan recently stressing this point with government officials - our partners. The distressing thing is that even when we get to zero cases, if there are still positive environmental samples, we cannot claim that polio is eradicated.
Lawrence Furbish, District Polio Plus Chair
District Literacy
Adopt-A-Village in Guatemala is a nonprofit organization that works with hundreds of Mayan villages in the Huehuetenango region. It is one of Guatemala’s underprivileged regions and has extremely limited education and employment opportunities. The nonprofit organization focuses primarily on child education, addresses needs of orphans and widows, and includes support for agriculture and nutrition.  The organization was funded in 1991, and has partnered since then with North American Rotary Clubs to improve the agonizing conditions and bring hope, a better future, and peace for a disadvantaged region.  Please visit the website if you would like to learn more about this program.
Read Across America
In 1997, a small group of the National Education Association (NEA) decided to create a day of reading by celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday on March 2, 1998, making it the largest celebration of reading this country had ever seen.
In our district, Read Across America is a memorable day for our students, teachers, and Rotarians. Again this year, Rotarians will bring the celebration of Dr. Seuss' birthday into classrooms and enjoy reading to children of all ages. Inspiring children to read is an important aspect of student achievement and creating lifelong readers.
We are asking you to share your favorite moment celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday by simply taking a picture and posting it on a public social media platform. When you post your photo use #district7780 and #ReadAcrossAmerica.

Mediators Beyond Borders International


The non-profit organization supported conflict resolution experts in volunteering and sharing their expertise, and experience in building bridges and strengthening peace. In the past ten years the organization operated in 15 countries and four continents. For example, some of the achievements are steps to reduce conflict for a wide variety of backgrounds such as refugee camps Pittsburgh, student groups in Sierra Leone, or former combatant camps in Ghana Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBBI) runs several Working Groups; for example, the MBBI-Rotary International (MBB-RI) Working Group is a vehicle for evolving the shared goals of both organizations. For more information:

The Rotary Club of Ngong Hills, Kenya, District 9212 collaborated with Berkeley Rotary Club, District 5160 and is working on a Global Grant “Warriors to Peace Guardians: Building Inter-Ethnic Collaboration GG#1756350. The budget is $99,721 and has $23,887 in commitments left to go.  Please visit the website if you like to learn more about the Global Grant or contact Maxim Schrogin, Berkeley Rotary Club at


The RYLA team lead by Anna Saucier has developed this great guide for Rotary Clubs to have a deeper understanding of RYLA. This resource is for members of clubs to understand the depth of the RYLA program and the process of filling camp yearly with 144 students and 50 staff members that work throughout the year to make RYLA a transformational leadership experience for our youth.
New Generations Conference
The Rotary Leadership Institute
Want to learn more about the Basics of Rotary?
Meet other Rotarians from around our District and surrounding Districts!
Learn how other Rotary Clubs are run and what they do?
                                 Attend RLI (Rotary Leadership Institute)
WHEN:  Saturday, March 24, 2018 7:30 AM – 3:30 PM  
WHERE:  York County Community College, Wells, Maine – In our own backyard!
Offering:  Parts I, II, III, & Graduate Classes.  The parts have to be taken in order.
Registration Fee:  $75.00 which includes materials, breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks. 
Time is running out!  Registration closes Saturday, March 19th!  To initiate course registration, please go to and click on the highlighted site name that you wish to attend on the left hand side of the page.  This will automatically take you to that site’s registration page.  You do not have to login to register!
I have emailed all the individual club presidents, AGS, Prospects for Parts II, III and Graduates as a reminder for them to sign up and to encourage other club members to do it as well.  It is a great program for new members to attend Part 1!
Any questions, please contact me.  I hope to see many of you there on March 24th!   
Marie A. Williams
RLI District 7780 Chair
District Training Assembly
WHEN: Saturday, April 7, 2018
WHERE: York County Community College - Pratt & Whitney Building
112 College Drive, Wells, Maine
TIME:  8:00 am - 12:45 pm
COST:  $20.00 per person
What better way to welcome new members to the family of Rotary. It’s time again to pull your team together and register for the District Training Assembly (DTA).  Once a year we gather to share ideas, fellowship and more than a few laughs.
If you are a President, President Elect, Club Secretary, Treasurer, Foundation Chair or Protection Officer- this assembly is for you!  Whether you are a new member or veteran member- there is something at DTA for everyone!
Interested in learning more about our year-long efforts at a District Strategic Plan- you won’t want to miss this opportunity to delve into the results and discuss implementation ideas.
DTA is a great way to get all of your club members, officers and committee chairs networking, engaged and aware of what’s happening with the clubs in our District. Your friends and neighboring Rotarians will be showcasing their great work, promoting opportunities and leading discussions on how their projects and ideas are taking flight. For example; you’ll have an opportunity to see what kinds of International projects need partners, to hear best practices in putting together collaborative projects, to learn about the progress our district is making in the Opioid Recovery process and you’ll be the first to hear the winning speech of the Four-Way test competition- It’s all happening during the DTA!
Rotary Summit at Mount Washington
MAY 4-6, 2018
District History for March
There is no question for March just an explanation as to why I am trying to get you all to share your Rotary memories.  Last month, I asked you to share one of your favorite or most impressive memories with me and the District.  I started it off with my memory of the ice storm of January 1998.  To my embarrassment, as we get older every year, our memories fade and we often forget some of the details of an event whether they may be minor or sometimes even major lapses in memory.
Well, mine for last month was what I call a minor/major lapse!  I forgot how much we got from Rotarians and Rotary clubs from all over the world and as far away as Siberia as well as a few others.
The article I posted from my “memory” in the February 2018’s District newsletter has had many details added which did not come to mind until I recently looked up something for Ellen Labrie regarding Rotaplast in my June1998 newsletter.  Thank you, Ellen! 
My revised article about the Ice Storm of 1998 that was posted in the February Newsletter is below!
“This past week’s ice storm reminded me of one of my most memorable experiences I have had in Rotary. It was the outpouring of help and caring we got from all over the Rotary world to District 7780 during the ice storm of 1998.  I was District Governor when this unbelievable ice storm hit us.  The northern part of our District suffered some severe ice damage and lengthy power outages.  We had at least 14 clubs in the state that were affected by this storm and then we had we had a second one at the end of January.  PRID Dan Mooers suggested we apply for a Disaster Relief Grant from The Rotary Foundation, so with Dan’s help, I did and we received a $2,500 grant.  The one and only time this District ever received such a grant.  RI sent a Disaster Relief Notice out to the then 521District Governors around the world.  We received donations from all over the world as far away as Siberia and even from 1997-1998 RI President Glenn Kinross from Australia!  We received $28,270.93 in donations including the $2,500 Disaster Relief Grant (much higher than $15,000).  I received numerous calls from Rotarians from all over the country.  It was very heartwarming to see how much Rotarians care!
We received monetary donations plus donations of canned goods, water and non-perishable goods.   Then on top of all of this we had a group of Rotarians from The Rotary Club of Stafford, CT drove up to Kennebunk, ME where then Kennebunk Club President Steve Adams, plus several members from his club and others, plus Bruce and I met them.  They had a truck load of water, food and other supplies which we then drove to a shelter in Newfield, ME which was very hard hit to deliver these much needed supplies.  When we arrived at the fire station, they opened the doors and cheered when we started to unload the truck.  This trip received TV coverage from channels 6, 8 and 13.  The following weekend, they came back and went to shelters in Limerick and Bridgton, ME.  Channel 8 TV covered them in Bridgton.
We were able to assist individuals, families, local food pantries, churches and fired departments. Rotarians throughout the District took in neighbors without power, provided food to shelters and food pantries and helped clean up debris afterwards for the elderly that could not do it. The disaster relief money we received was distributed throughout our district.  PRID Dan Mooers, then DGN Mike McGovern, then DT Dick Thompson and myself spent time figuring out who was most in need and then we personally delivered the checks to these area organizations.  It was the most heart-warming and one of the most memorable experiences of my Rotary life.  It still makes me very proud to be part of this organization and to have the opportunity to work with such generous and dedicated people!  THANK YOU, Rotary District 7780.  You really believed and lived Rotary’s theme in 1997-98 and still do - “Show Rotary Cares, for your community, for our world, for its people!”  Marie A. Williams
PLEASE send your articles of something special that happened in Rotary that made an impression on you.  The longer you wait, the harder it may become to remember some of the very important details.  Share your heartwarming stories NOW with everyone in the District.  As you can see, my article is much longer than the original.  The memories sometimes fade or part of the details are forgotten but thank goodness the written word doesn’t.  After my research for Ellen Labrie, I then proceeded to check back through my old newsletters and found much to my embarrassment that my article was way off from what was originally reported in my newsletters.  Don’t wait any longer to write your article, do it now!  Every day that goes by, details may/can be forgotten especially if they are only memories and not written down!
Send your memories/articles to me at so they can be put up on the District Website for everyone to read, even years from now!
Marie A. Williams
District Historian    207-439-3761
The Rotary Club of Portsmouth added new members Angela Ferris, an area commercial lender and Ann Arnold, a marketing entrepreneur.
On February 20th, the Rotary Club of Kittery inducted two new members: Larry Goff, and Saik Roy. The week before we inducted Steve Bousquet. Within the last year we have inducted six new members, including Deb Anderson, Maryna Shuliakouskaya, and Desire'e Hopping. This has been a huge infusion of talents, ideas, energy, and friends into our small club.
Maryna could not be there when the picture was taken but think six!  Above are Debbie, Desire'e, Larry, Saik, and Steve
Damariscotta-Newcastle Rotary Club
Membership Chair Wilt Jones and President Rick Hagen welcomed Ed Stelzer to the Damariscotta-Newcastle Rotary on February 13th. Ed is retired from a 40 year career in U.S. shipbuilding and design, working most recently at BIW.  Ed has already begun volunteering by helping to set up and take down tables, chairs, utensils, etc. for our weekly breakfast.  He is a former Rotarian returned to Rotary and Service Above Self!
The newest member of the Damariscotta-Newcastle Club, Laura Fortman, was sponsored by President Elect Jane Gravel and inducted by President Rick Hagen.  Laura served almost 8 years as the Maine Labor Commissioner and most recently spent 3 1/2 years at the US Department of Labor as Deputy Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division.  Welcome Laura!
The Hampton Rotary Club is pleased to announce the induction of their newest member, Lori Clark, into the club at a recent breakfast meeting.
See above left to right: The Hampton Rotary's Membership Director Geoff Merrill, New Member Lori Clark, and Club President Bill McGowan.
Damariscotta-Newcastle Rotary Club will meet at Schooner Cove, 35 Schooner Street, Damariscotta, ME beginning April 3, 2018.
Still every Tuesday morning, 06:45 coffee/07:15 breakfast ($15) and meeting, program ends 08:30 am.  Start your day off right by joining us.
A bit of history: Back in 1997, the club was meeting at Back Street Landing, a restaurant where the Skidompha Second Hand Bookstore is now located. The restaurant burned down! For the next several weeks, we moved to the Salt Bay Café where there was a partition down the middle of the room---half the club could not see the other half, but hey, the club was homeless otherwise.
Club management was able to find space at Second Congregation and we moved in on Tuesday mornings. Having always used restaurants for meetings, we now faced the prospect of cooking breakfast in the church kitchen.
We have had three cooks, making great breakfast buffets over the years and now will have a new venue also with fabulous breakfast buffet.  Come join us!
Directions:  From Route 1 North, exit onto River Road Newcastle (as in the past), drive past church and road bears to right across Damariscotta River, through downtown Damariscotta and turn right at the traffic light onto 129/130.  Go 0.4 miles and turn right towards hospital (overhead blinking yellow light). Take first left and Schooner Cove is on the right.
The Rotary Club of Ogunquit
On Saturday, February 10th, the Ogunquit Rotary Club sponsored its annual Day of Warming at the Wells-Ogunquit Center in Moody.  Every year, the club invites local senior citizens to participate, and provides the meal and entertainment.  This year, 50 senior citizens attended the Day of Warming, which included a meal of chicken pot pie prepared by The Ogunquit Village Food Market, and Valentine's Day cupcakes prepared by club member and former Rotary president, Lisa Aubin.  Musical entertainment was also arranged with local pianist & vocalist David Hollis performing a variety of songs.  It was truly a *heart*-felt event, with Valentine's Day decor and theme!
Pictured from left to right: Erin Haye, Elizabeth Ford, Carol Brennan, Tracy Smith, Kerry Ellen Enright, George Wilson, Peter Woodbury, and John Clancy
The Rotary Club of Portland
Left: Dean Rock, e-NABLE Volunteer; Right: John Curran, Portland Rotarian.
Members of the Rotary Clubs of Portland (John Curran, Roger & Liz Fagan) and Yarmouth (Bill Dunn), and Cumberland resident Dean Rock, are in the final stages of planning for a trip to Kosovo to deliver prosthetic hands and hearing aids.  They are working with Rotary Ambassador Scholar Gani Abazi from the Boston area, who is a native of Kosovo.  Gani is providing the on-site contacts and coordination and will also be on the trip.  The trip will take place April 21-28, 2018.
During this trip John, Dean and Bill will be fitting LN-4 hands ( that they will bring with them to children and adults missing lower arms and hands.  Many of these are needed because of accidents with mines left over from the Balkan wars of the late 1990s.  During the clinics they will also be taking measurements for more custom-fitted and natural looking 3-D printed arms/hands ( that will be assembled using a 3-D printer when they come back to the Maine.  These 3-D hands will be delivered during a subsequent trip.  The team will also be focused on training Rotarians in Kosovo as partners to ensure long-term sustainability.
At the same time, Roger and Liz, both specialists in hearing loss, will be evaluating and treating children and adults and fitting them with hearing aids.  Roger and Liz will also be working with the local healthcare system to explore training opportunities to share their expertise.  Beyond these service projects, team members will also be speaking at local Rotary Clubs (there are 11 in Kosovo, with 3 in the capital, Prishtina) and meeting with government officials to develop support for sustaining the project.
Each of the participants on the trip is paying their own way for travel and on-site expenses.  However, they still need to raise several thousand dollars for prosthetic hand supplies and hearings aids.  Therefore, they are asking if any other District Clubs have any funds left over in this year’s budget that can be directed, or re-directed from delayed projects, to this project.  Same for any District Rotarians who would like to contribute.  Checks should be made out to the Rotary Club of Portland, with “3-H” in the memo line (standing for Hands, Hearing and Health) and sent to John Curran at 11 Brookside Drive, Falmouth, ME 04105.  If you have any questions, send an E-Mail to John ( or Bill (
The Rotary Club of Portsmouth
The big news from our club has to be the wildly successful Bangladesh Rotaplast Mission fundraising effort.  The campaign is raising monies, allowing any Portsmouth Rotarian interested in joining the trip slated for October.  Just last month, President Ben Wheeler set a $96,000 goal for the project. Thus far, after one fundraising event at the Atlantic Grill, at least 20 Rotarians had given more than $1,000 each. That, plus a Labrie Family gift of $25,000 and other donations had helped bring us to $91,000 by mid-February.
Ellen Labrie with Past District Governor Mort Schmidt
The mission honors the memory of past District Governor and Club President Jim Labrie. Jim, a cleft  palate victim himself, underwent numerous surgeries and went on to become a highly successful business man and community philanthropist.
The Father Allen Committee was working hard to develop criteria for a new award to be given in Gordon’s name. Once again, several Rotarians stepped up to fund this worthy cause. Father Gordon Allen, a retired Episcopal priest, went on to a second ministry as our beloved club chaplain.
Ramona Dow’s Basic Needs Committee was overwhelmed with cash donations and jars of peanut butter for the Seacoast Food Pantry.
Donna Lewis receiving gift from Ramona Dow for Greenland food pantry
The month’s programs included speakers from Seacoast Pathways. Pathways is a program that supports the mentally ill with “club houses” and cooperative job opportunities. We also heard from New Hampshire Legal Aid and UNH’s new ECenter. The ECenter fosters leadership and support in generating entrepreneurial ideas and initiatives.
Pictured to left:  Ann Strachan of Seacoast Pathways
The River Valley Rotary Club
The guest speaker on February 5, 2018, for the River Valley Rotary Club Fellowship Luncheon held at HOPE Association in Rumford, Maine was our very own fellow Rotarian - Dr. Jerry Cohen!
He gave a presentation on a subject which is near and dear to his heart - Rotaplast!
What it is and how folks can help!
Rotaplast International, Inc. is committed to helping children and families worldwide by eliminating the burden of cleft lip and/or palate, burn scarring, and other deformities. Working with local professionals, Rotarians, and other organizations, Rotaplast sends multidisciplinary medical teams to provide free reconstructive surgery, ancillary treatment, and training for the comprehensive care of these children. Rotaplast supports education and research towards prevention of cleft lip and/or palate. Our aim is to help local professionals build sustainable models for the care of these children, improving their lives and those of their families.
•  A cleft is an opening or gap of the lip or roof of the mouth which normally comes together during the early weeks of pregnancy.
•  One in 700 children is born with a cleft lip or palate, or both.
We also discussed how much money our own Rotary club has given to the program since inception, and it was enough to provide life changing surgery to over 400 children!
The River Valley Rotary Club held another Lobster Lunch fund raising event on Monday, February 12, 2018, and are proud to say we raised over $2500!  
Thanks to the businesses and private individuals who participated by purchasing a lobster salad or chicken salad lunch, and to Wal-Mart of Mexico for giving a great discount on chips and rolls.
And thanks to the many volunteers from our fellow Rotarians: Greg Trundy, Rich Allen, Randall Therrien, Paul Doroghazi, Ed Paterson, Joe Sirois, Jerry Cohen, Dick Lovejoy, Paul Jones, Dave and Patty Duguay, and the HOPE Association for providing the kitchen to put the meals together.
Seen in the photo are left to right: Paul Doroghazi, Dave Duguay, Joe Sirois, Paul Jones, Dick Lovejoy, Patty DUGUAY and Greg Trundy.  (The rest were making deliveries!)
The guest speakers January 29, 2018 at the River Valley Rotary Club Fellowship meeting were from the Maine Adaptive Sports services.

Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation promotes year-round education and training for individuals with disabilities in order to develop skills, enhance independence, and provide enjoyment through active recreation.
The organization is open to financial donations and commuted, dependable volunteers that would like help and make a life changing difference in other’s lives.

The River Valley Rotary Club is seen here donating $250.00 to the organization. The River Valley Rotary Club President - Randy Therrien presenting the check to Deb Maxfield- the Director of Marketing for the Maine Adaptive Sports and Barbara Schneider, Executive Directtor, along with Dick Lovejoy - Fellow Rotarian, also long time volunteer to the Maine Adaptive Sports, and the others are members of the HOPE Association.
The Rotary Club of Sanford-Springvale
The newest Little Free Library was presented to the Sanford-Springvale Rotary Club after being painted and decorated by members of the Sanford Art Association. Mary Saltmarsh (pictured above) decoupaged pressed flowers all over the box. This will soon become the sixth LFL installation in the Sanford area. The Little Free Library program, underwritten with a District grant, has generated tons of community interest. At least five other community organizations are involved in the  project in significant ways. This project has been a great opportunity to amp up Rotary’s image in the Sanford community and to encourage collaboration among community organizations.
Sebago Lake Rotary Club
The Rotary Club of South Berwick-Eliot
Rotary and Interact clubs support children in Guatemala
At a meeting on Thursday, South Berwick-Eliot Rotary Club President Skip Cousens presented Anne Marie Klein Christie with a check for $5000.  He was joined by two officers of the Interact Club at Marshwood High School, Courtney Thim and Matthew White. (Judi Currie/
By Judi Currie
Posted Feb1, 2018 at 3:11 PM
UpdatedFeb 1, 2018 at 3:11 PM
SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — A small group of people in Maine are making a big impact in Guatemala.
The South Berwick-Eliot Rotary and the Marshwood High School Interact clubs on Thursday presented a check for $5,000 to Safe Passage.
Anne Marie Klein Christie, U.S. director for Safe Passage, said she is gratified by the warmth and generosity of the Rotarians.
Working in Guatemala City since 1999, Safe Passage brings hope, education, and opportunity to the children and families making their lives around the city’s garbage dump.
Klein Christie said she is going to Guatemala Sunday for a couple of weeks where they are very excited to have two-and three-year-old children coming to the daycare and to add a sixth-grade class to the elementary school.
“It’s so important for our kids because the dropout rate is so high in Guatemala, and in Guatemala City it’s extremely high,” Klein Christie said. “The situation these children are in with gangs and poverty means we really need to work with them. It is so important.”
Safe Passage has social workers on the streets and she said they do what they can to address poverty in that space.
“It’s not just a lunch for one day, we’re teaching them to fish,” Klein Christie said. “We promised to be there for years to come and it’s only possible because of this Rotary Club and Rotary International. Your work here has been essential for us to be able to grow.”
Klein Christie said as the Rotarians were enjoying their breakfast Thursday morning, so too will the children, who get four meals a day.
“Right about now they are pouring into the school wearing shirts and shoes you have given them,” Klein Christie said. “This $5,000 today is the equivalent of a teacher salary for the year, so it makes a real impact.”
Rotary President Skip Cousens, along with two officers from the Interact Club at Marshwood High School, presented Klein Christie with the check, $1,000 which came from the student fundraising efforts.
With the assistance of advisors from the South Berwick-Eliot Rotary Club and faculty advisors, including Grace Jacobs, the Interact students organize projects throughout the year.
Jacobs said they meet weekly to work on the service projects that have an impact locally and globally.
“We have 45 Interact students right now,” Jacobs said. “These are students who want to be involved in something and make a difference, knowing that what they are doing matters.”
Jacobs said they could use volunteers in case, “there are any adults out there who want the same feeling.”
The group has a comedy night show and dinner fundraiser coming up on March 2.
The Rotary Club of Bethel
Have Something You'd Like to Share with Us?
Updates and short articles with images or videos, and the names of new members and those who have passed, may be submitted to our Newsletter Editor, Deb Marsolais, at to be included in our Monthly Newsletter. The District Newsletter is a means of communicating to other clubs in our district; items of interest, upcoming events, fundraisers, opportunities of service, or member news.
Deadline for May Newsletter Submissions:  April 24th
As a precaution, unless you have obtained a written consent from a parent/guardian, every child’s face which appears in a picture submitted for the newsletter or website, will be edited so that it is blurred out in the picture.  Since there may be situations involving abuse, neglect, custody dispute, etc., and parents wouldn't want their child's picture to appear in public, this is being done for the child's privacy and protection.
If you have a submission for the newsletter or website, and would like to have us post a picture with a child (children) in it, please let us know if you have received a consent, otherwise we will edit it accordingly.
Thank you for your cooperation. … or follow us on Facebook!