February 2018 - ISSUE 8
Upcoming Events
Frugal Feast
Woodfords Congregational Church
Feb 23, 2018
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Finance Committee
Feb 26, 2018
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Assistant Governors' GoToMeeting
Feb 28, 2018
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Membership Best Practices Seminar
Ogunqit Chamber of Commerce
Mar 01, 2018
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Membership Best Practices Seminar
Wentworth Douglas Hospital
Mar 03, 2018
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
PETS: Presidents-Elect Training Seminar
Mar 08, 2018 – Mar 10, 2018
New Generations Conference
York High School
Mar 17, 2018
8:00 AM – 2:00 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
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.
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District Governor's Newsletter for February 2018
Frugal Feast Dinner, February 23.
What is peace for you?  The absence of war?  Resolving conflict?  The presence of tranquility, happiness, family, friends, joy and good fortune? Safety and security? 
Since July, Linda and I have been visiting our forty Rotary Clubs, talking about how we can work together to build a Pyramid of Peace.  The foundation of that pyramid is healthy families, clean water, and disease prevention.  Education, literacy and community economic development then lead to the apex, which is a peaceful community.
One precursor to peace is mutual understanding.  A favorite phrase of mine is “seek first to understand, then to be understood”, a core principle of Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  
Rotary designates February as our World Peace and Understanding Month, focused upon peace and conflict resolution.  In District 7780, we will celebrate with our Frugal Feast Dinner, an evening of fellowship and sharing on Friday, February 23, beginning at 5:30pm in the Woodfords Congregational Church, Portland.
We will hear from several of our clubs about the programs they run to address hunger in their local communities.  We’ll come away with new ideas!  All Rotarians, families and guests are welcome.
Our Frugal Feast supper is being arranged by PDG Sheila Rollins and PDG Marty Helman, and features an appetizer, soups, salad, garlic and gluten-free bread, fruit and dessert.  The cost is only $25, with a portion going to the Rotary Peace Centers.  You can register now at this link:
I hope to see you there!
Summit Update.
The 2018 Rotary Summit at Mount Washington, May 4-6, is coming up fast and District 7780 members are signing up rapidly.  As I write this in late January, over 120 of our members have registered.  Rooms are going fast and are being managed with a wait-list, which will clear over the coming few weeks.  If you are registered, you’ll be getting email confirmations and making final payments by March 1.  We expect over five hundred Rotarians to attend this amazing conference, which features Rotary International President Ian Riseley and inspirational speaker Travis Roy among our many keynoters, workshops and events.  We’ll have a service project to package meals for Rise Against Hunger, along with a youth service program, family events and much more. 
This link on our district page gives you an overview and then connects you with the Summit registration page and program information.
While I’m writing,  I want to share the news that our District 7780 Annual Meeting will take place during this Summit.  We will meet for a district 7780 lunch, awards celebration and our business meeting on Saturday, May 5, beginning at 11:30 am.  The meeting room will be posted, and noted in your conference registration materials.  Clubs are reminded, this meeting will include bylaw revisions, and your club can make proposals to change our district bylaws.  Proposals must be submitted to the district Bylaws Committee before February 19, and then reviewed by that committee. 
All club Presidents will get the formal agenda for our Annual Meeting, including recommended bylaws changes, by email no later than April 4, a month before the meeting, and our clubs will vote on any proposed changes May 5, during the district annual meeting at the Summit.
Coming events.
It’s a busy time on our Rotary District Calendar.  In addition to the Frugal Feast and Summit, be sure to have these dates on your calendar:
NEPETS:  Framingham MA, for all Presidents-Elect and Assistant Governors, March 8-10.
New Generations Conference (Interact, Rotaract, RYLA and more): March 17, 8 AM to 2 PM, York ME High School.  Look for more information in this newsletter.
District Training Assembly: For ALL Rotarians, and particularly for club officers, protection officers, future leaders looking for new ideas and connections on Saturday, April 7, at York County Community College.
More info can always be found on our District Calendar at this link:
Kenya Cultural Exchange Update.
We’re happy to announce that our District Grant funding for cultural exchange this year will support sending a group of six to the Kakamega Orphans Care Centre (KOCC) in Kenya.  This relationship began with the Freeport and Bethel Rotary Clubs, and we’ve now opened up new communication with Rotarians in Kenya to expand the partnership. 
District International Chair Emma Bodwell and Past District Governor Marge Barker led a selection process for the project. 
Congratulations to Steve Wight (Bethel RC, Team Leader); Carol Madsen (Bridgton Lake Region RC);  Joan Correll (Hampton RC); Claudia Frost (Brunswick RC); and Tom Wilbur & Catherine Wilbur (Freeport RC).  This group of six will embark on this journey in the spring. We can’t wait to hear their report when they get back, and to share their recommendations about ways we can help further support this wonderful facility and its services.  The KOCC provides home based family care, on-site housing, schooling, advanced education and small business training to students and families.   For more information on the KOCC and these programs:
District Strategic Plan Update
Our draft Strategic Plan for the district is ready for your review and comments.  We have shared it with the Past District Governors and Club Presidents in December and January. Take a look at the following link, and please email your feedback and comments to the head of the planning committee, Aileen Dugan, during the month of February.   We will make final tweaks and launch our plan execution at the District Training Assembly on April 7.   Thank you to the hundreds in our clubs who took part in the collective visioning and discussion events over the past year.
You can explore our draft strategic plan here:
If you would like to send comments, feedback or suggestions about the draft plan, please email the chair of the committee, Aileen Dugan (
Rotary International’s convention is practically in our back yard, in Toronto.  Info and registration here:
Our district will host a special event for our members and neighboring districts here in New England, at the Second City Improv Centre in downtown Toronto, Monday night, June 25.  This will include a reception, hors d’oeuvres and a ticket to the show as well.  Put it on your Toronto planning calendar and look for more information soon.
Thanks to each and every Rotary member in New Hampshire and Maine for continuing your service with the kind of energy that is truly making a difference.  We appreciate you!
DG Dave Underhill
Coming in 2018 - 2019!
New theme for 2018-19 just announced:  Be The Inspiration 

The Rotary Foundation Lauded by Charity Navigator -- again!
For the 10th consecutive year, The Rotary Foundation has received the highest rating — four stars — from Charity Navigator, the largest independent evaluator of charities in the U.S.
In the most recent ratings, the Foundation earned the maximum of 100 points for demonstrating both strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency.
Charity Navigator notes that "only 1 percent of the charities we evaluate have received at least 10 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that The Rotary Foundation outperforms other charities in America. This exceptional designation from Charity Navigator sets The Rotary Foundation apart from its peers and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness."
The rating reflects Charity Navigator's assessment of how The Rotary Foundation uses donations, sustains its programs and services, and practices good governance and openness. It also is a clear indication of the value and credibility of donating to The Rotary Foundation.
Congratulations, TRF!
Marty Helman
District Foundation Chair
Polio Plus Update for February
I had hoped that there would be great news and I could announce zero polio cases thus far this year, but I found out from our own Mike McGovern, chair of the International Polio Plus Committee, that one case has been discovered in Afghanistan. But take heart, things are improving. 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.) The trend is definitely in the right direction.
Sadly, there was tragic news last week from Pakistan where two polio vaccinators, a mother-daughter team, were shot by assassins on motorcycles. This is the first time in two years that
polio eradication workers have been killed. You may remember that several years ago, a number of them were murdered in Pakistan. Pakistan and Afghanistan now coordinate their national immunization days as 200,000 part-time vaccinators in Pakistan and 40,000 in Afghanistan work to give every child under the age of 5 polio drops.
There is great news to report on our District’s End Polio Now giving for the 2017-18 Rotary year. The combined giving goals for our clubs is $53,072, and already this year, individuals and clubs have given $42,449, or 80% of our goal. Seven clubs have met or exceeded the $1,500 in donations TRF is suggesting and several more are close. But, don’t get complacent. There are 8 clubs that have yet to give anything.
You may remember my discussing the Polio Plus Society. This is a group of District 7780 Rotarians who have pledged to give at least $100 a year to Polio Plus until polio is eradicated. One of them asked me if there was any particular time when they needed to make their donation. It is up to you, any time during the Rotary year is fine. We are all subject to the Four Way Test. And if you have not yet joined the Polio Plus Society, perhaps now is the time.
As of  December 13, 2017 Wrap-A-Smile has received 24,073 quilts that I know about, and since I have been keeping records.
A large number indeed, but think of it as 24,073 quilts covering 6 football fields.
That’s a lot of smiles now in over 23 countries through Rotaplast and other Rotary sponsored projects.
Total quilts received in 2017~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~1,090
Shipping cost for quilters~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~$1097.28
UPS boxes received~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~10
Received in person~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~131
Pictured above:  Wrap-A-Smile coordinator and founder, Terry Hodskins, began the quilt project on behalf of Wells Rotary Club and has seen it expand nationwide. In 2006, Terry Hodskins, was recognized by Rotaplast with a Distinguished Service Award for her wonderful commitment and support of Rotaplast’s mission. The project would not be successful without her leadership and the hundreds of quilters throughout North America supporting her.
Terry Hodskins, founder of the project will be stepping down soon and is now looking for some one to step in and take the reins.  It would be a shame to see this project of the Wells Rotary Club come to a slow end.
Quilters are going to continue to quilt, and they need to know that they will be going to a program that works . . . and, Wrap-A-Smile works!
Can you help?
Contact Terry at
If you have been on a Rotaplast mission, or even just seen photos, you are familiar with the image of a child, fresh out of surgery and wrapped in a beautiful handmade quilt. After surgery, this is the first moment the mother has seen her child since she anxiously watched them leave for surgery. Tears of joy fill the mother’s eyes seeing first-hand the life changing surgery her child has just received. The thoughts of new beginnings brighten the mother’s soul just as the cheerfully colored quilts brighten an otherwise mundane recovery room.

This vivid image that sets a Rotaplast mission apart from other surgical projects like it would not be possible without the quilters of Wrap-A-Smile. Since 2001, Wrap-A-Smile has hand crafted stunning children’s quilts for Rotaplast to send on missions. Each child that is treated on a Rotaplast mission takes home a beautiful quilt of his or her own. These quilts provide not just warmth, but also allow children and their families to take home a token of love to remember the day they were given a new smile. Each year, Wrap-A-Smile provides Rotaplast with more than 1,500 quilts to bring to 48 rotating sites worldwide.Wrap-A-Smile provides Rotaplast with more than 1,500 quilts to bring to 48 rotating sites worldwide.


International Service Committee Update
The International Service Committee is excited to announce the representatives of District 7780 for 2018’s Cultural Exchange to Kakamega, Kenya!
Steve Wight - Bethel Rotary Club (Team Leader)
Carol Madsen - Bridgton Lake Region Rotary Club
Joan Correll - Hampton Rotary Club
Tom Wilbur - Freeport Rotary Club
Catherine Wilbur - Freeport Rotary Club
Claudia Frost - Brunswick Rotary Club
Back row left to right:  Carol Madsen, Tom Wilbur, Claudia Frost & Joan Correll
Front Row left to right:  Steve Wight & Sukie Rice (not pictured: Catherine Wilbur)
The team will be traveling to Kakamega from March 28 through April 10, 2018. The purpose of this trip is to learn more about the work being done at the Kakamega Orphan Care Center and to explore the needs of the KOCC in terms of sustainability. The team will be living at the orphanage and will collaborate with local Rotary Clubs regarding additional support through Rotary.
Sukie Rice, Director of Friends of Kakamega, met with the service team to prepare them for the visit.  She spoke of the fifteen new children who will be housed at the KOCC and told of the need for funding of these new residents.  Any club or individual that is interested in finding out more about sponsorships can contact any of the team members or go to:
The Rotary Club of Freeport, Maine has funded a successful farm business training program for young women in Kakamega.  The District team will join in the classes and explore more ways for Rotary to help.
The team is in the process of putting together a list of items that have been requested by local Rotarians and orphanage workers.  Please support our District team with your donations.
2018 Rotary Project Fairs
Wanna get away?  Tired of the same old vacation ideas?  Start some long-range planning by putting your sights on a future Rotary Project Fair!
What is a Rotary Project Fair?  Grass-root, regional conventions designed to highlight local service projects both underway and in development.  When are they?  Most tend to happen annually at roughly the same time of year, making it easy for forward planning.  Where are they?  The precise city tends to vary within the region.  Here's a starter list: 
South America:    Peru - May, 2018.  Site TBD.
Africa:   West Africa - Oct 3-10 2018.  Conotov, Benin.
How do I find out more detail? 
Head for the local Rotary District webpage, or ask Mr. Google.
What are the added benefits of attending?  You'll discover projects where you can help with funding or participate directly.  You'll meet other Rotarians from other cultures, and perhaps make a new friend or two in the process.  You'll have a reason to travel somewhere you're not likely have gone on your own, and create an excuse for further travel to somewhere else in the region for a few days of traditional travel and sightseeing:  what could possibly be wrong with that?  So start thinking ahead!
Why would our district annual fund chair be writing about this?  Sure, Every Rotarian Every Year supporting The Rotary Foundation through our personal contributions is how we keep our Foundation vibrant and meaningful, but the other side of the coin is the excitement that comes from accessing and spending those contributions via our District and Global Grants.  Rotary Project Fairs are one more opportunity that bring The Rotary Foundation to life!
Peter Johnson
District Foundation Annual Giving Chair
Rotary Foundation Supporters Dinner
District 7780’s Global Scholar, Lonnie Hackett, will speak at the Rotary Foundation Supporters Dinner as part of the Presidential Peace Building Conference in Coventry, England, February 23 and 24.  Lonnie is attending Oxford University where he is pursuing a degree in public health.
Lonnie Hackett, Bowdoin ’13, has visited many clubs in the District to thank members for their club support of his non-profit, Healthy Kids/Brighter Future, which helps the children in Lusaka, Zambia. The Rotary Club of Brunswick successfully sponsored a Global Grant in 2014, to begin the training of classroom teachers as front-line health workers. Working in the poorest sections of Lusaka, the teachers learn to recognize and treat common childhood illnesses and educate children for better health. District 7780 clubs and clubs from District 7930 joined together for a larger Global Grant in 2016. This continued the work in other compounds in Lusaka. 
The Presidential Peace Building Conference in Coventry highlights disease prevention and treatment as an avenue to peace. Lonnie will also facilitate break-out sessions during the conference. AG Claudia Frost from the Rotary Club of Brunswick will be a delegate to the Peace Building Conference. 
For more information on Lonnie, or HK/BF, go to:
The Rotary Leadership Institute
MARCH 24, 2018
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. 
I will be emailing all the individual club presidents shortly as a reminder for them to sign up and their club members.
Any questions, please contact me.  I hope to see many of you there on March 24th!   
Marie A. Williams
RLI District 7780 Chair
New Generations
Thank you Michele Bois-Gilbody, Freeport!!
Well, when you read this we will be in a new calendar year.  I told you I was going to try something new.  Well, here goes, tell me about the thing that has made the biggest impression on you or your favorite experience since joining Rotary.  It can be about someone you have met, a service project, a community or Rotary event, a fundraiser or anything else that has made an impression on you since joining Rotary.   I am hoping that our past, present and future leaders will do this as well. 
As no one responded, I will be the first.  This 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 and PRID Dan Mooers suggested we apply for a Disaster Relief Grant, so with Dan’s help, we did and 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 then all 521 Districts around the world.  We received donations from all over the world including from than RI President Glenn Kinross from Australia.  If memory serves me right, I believe we received around $15,000 in donations on top of the $2,500 Disaster Relief Grant.  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 and Bruce and I met them.  They had a truck load of water, food and other supplies which we then drove to a fire station in Limerick, 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.  Rotarians throughout the District took in neighbors without power, provided food to shelters and food pantries and helped clean up debris 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 for Showing Rotary Cares!  Marie A. Williams, DG 1997-1998 & 2006-2007
UPDATE on Past Club Presidents REQUEST
We now have THIRTY-THREE (33) Rotary Club pages with their club presidents’ names and dates of service from the start of the club, plus yours truly added any DGs from those clubs, their club charter dates and sponsoring clubs plus the dates of deceased club presidents that I have information on.  Out of these 33 clubs, we have clubs that were chartered in 1915, 1919, 1920, 2 in 1923, 1924, 2 in 1925, 1926, 1939, 1959, 2 in 1960, 1963, 1969, 1972, 1974, 1982, 2 in 1983, 2 in 1986, 1987, 1989, 2 in 1990, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2008, 2015 and 2016.  The oldest and the youngest clubs in the District who have responded!   I have had two more tell me they are working on their club’s list and hopefully they will come through as well.
Check them out – On the home page of the District Website CLICK on About Us; CLICK on District History; CLICK on Rotary Clubs of District 7780; CLICK on the Rotary Club name that is light blue and it will bring you to that club’s page and you can see the list of their club presidents.  THANK YOU to the 32 clubs for providing their information!
This month’s District History request:
Well, I have laid the groundwork for your most memorable or best experience since joining Rotary so now it is your turn.  It can be about someone you have met, a service project, a community or Rotary event, a fundraiser or anything else that has made an impression on you since joining Rotary.   I am hoping that our past, present and future leaders will do this as well. 
Send me your favorite experience or biggest impression of Rotary to me at along with your name and the name of your Rotary Club. 
Marie A. Williams
District Historian    207-439-3761
The Rotary Club of South Berwick-Eliot recently inducted Carolann Gagne and Carol Chapman as their two newest members during their meeting on January 11, 2018. 
Carolann Gagne and Carol Chapman are congratulated by Club President Skip Cousens
Congratulations and welcome to Michael Jackson, Executive Director of Cornerstone at Hampton, who was recently inducted into The Rotary Club of Hampton.
Seen in photo on right (left to right)  Membership Director Geoff Merrill, New Rotarian Michael Jackson, Sponsor John Nyhan, and President Elect Donna Abisi
Area 9

AG Chris Summers’ Area got together recently on Jan 13, for a 5-Club Winter Social in Harrison, ME.  There was attendance from four of the five clubs – Bethel, Oxford Hills, Fryeburg Area and Bridgton-Lake Region. 

Good food, great fellowship, and encouraging words from DG Dave – all makes for a wonderful evening!  We were able to enjoy each other’s company and all still able to make it home for the Pats game!


The Rotary Club of Bethel

Congratulations Steve Wight, from your fellow Bethel Rotarians! 

Steve was chosen to lead District 7780’s International Exchange to Kakamega, Kenya, scheduled for late March/early April.


The Rotary Club of Damariscotta-Newcastle
The Damariscotta-Newcastle Rotary was one of the sponsors for 2017 Twin Villages new event: Light Up the Villages.  Starting the Saturday after Thanksgiving through December 30th, businesses and individuals decorated and lit trees throughout both Newcastle and Damariscotta villages.  Rotary decorated with garlands and lit the bridge across the Damariscotta River connecting the villages.  Our towns were bright and festive all during the darkest and coldest nights of the season.
President Rick Hagen and PP Bob Topper braved the wind and sub-zero cold of an early morning on New Year’s Eve weekend to take down the decorations.  Ultimate Service Above Self---it was bitter cold out there!
Damariscotta-Newcastle Rotary cont'd
F. Stevenson (Steve) Burton has been a Rotarian for 56 years.  He has been a member of four clubs throughout his working career and in retirement, serving most recently as Sargent-at-Arms for Damariscotta-Newcastle, Maine.
Always a gentleman, Steve has also been our historian and cheerleader for all projects Rotary.  He and his wife Nancy recently sold their retirement home and moved into Schooner Cove, where our club honored his service at a special breakfast on December 12th.
Many past presidents, Rotary-Anns, and family attended this early morning celebration. While the Burton’s sons may have traveled the farthest (Connecticut) to honor their dad, the prize for most perilous journey went to DG Dave Underhill and Linda Underhill who drove up that morning in a snowstorm from Portsmouth.
We celebrate and honor Rotarians, their history and traditions; thank you Steve and Nancy Burton for your Service Above Self!
Damariscotta-Newcastle Rotary cont'd
PDG Marge Barker awarded a Rotary Foundation Achievement certificate to Marianne Pinkham, club foundation chairperson, and President Rick Hagen (representing PP Bob Topper 2016-2017).  Very timely, as it is now Every Rotarian, Every Year season again!
Damariscotta-Newcastle Rotary cont'd
Can you get there from Damariscotta Maine?  Can you get home?  PP and Club Secretary Lorraine Faherty entertained our club with colorful slides and tales of her recent journey.  3 weeks from Damariscotta to Boston to San Francisco to Bangkok to Paro (via Druk Air).
Her adventure traveling within this remote country included attending a meeting of the Rotary Club of Thimpu (capital of Bhutan.)
The Rotary Club of Portland

Join them on March 16, 2018 to learn more

For the past 15 years, Portland Rotarians have been working with the young men and women at Long Creek Youth Development Center to help them pass the time through two programs; one that involves one-on-one mentoring, and the other is a monthly activities night.

Portland Rotary adopted the Cedars Unit for a once-a-month activity night, generally on a Tuesday. The residents are treated to snacks and dinner, and engage with the Rotarians to play games or spend time on community-based projects. The most recent community project involved designing and writing 60 Valentine’s Day cards for area Meals on Wheels seniors, that drivers would deliver with the meals. This past Veterans Day they did the same for residents of area Veterans homes.

The Rotary volunteers who are mentors are assigned a youth resident who they work with once a week for an hour, staying connected with them through their release, and in many cases beyond. Time spent is highly valued, and includes talking, playing games, or working on activities.

If you are interested in learning more about Long Creek and how you can get involved, Portland Rotary will be hosting a meeting onsite at Long Creek in South Portland, Friday, March 16th at noon. Contact Mike Fortunato for more information –


Pictured left to right:  Portland Rotarians, Tom Talbot, Mike Fortunato, Katie Brown, George Crockett, and Jim Willey.  Other volunteers not pictured include: Barbara Willey, Dave Putnam, John Marr, and Ellen Niewoehner.


The Rotary Club of Portsmouth
Rotaplast Team pictured left to right:  President Ben Wheeler, President Elect Cleo Villaflores, Dr. Larry Gray, Ted Alex, Ellen Labrie, and Michael Labrie
Thanks to the blizzard of January 4, the club had an abbreviated January meeting schedule. When we finally did get together on the 11th, President Ben Wheeler announced an ambitious plan to fund an October Rotaplast trip to Bangladesh.  Rotaplast brings teams of doctors to poor countries world-wide, surgically repairing the cleft lips of children.
Our club will raise $95,000 between now and then to underwrite any club member who wants to join the traveling team. The effort honors the memory of the late Jim Labrie, a former club president and district governor. Labrie overcame his own cleft lip to become a successful businessman.
After his son died in a tragic accident, the Rye, N.H., resident committed to a life of service through Rotary. It was Labrie who discovered the California-based Rotaplast organization and introduced it to clubs throughout the northeast. The Labrie Family has offered a $25,000 matching gift to the club. They will also host a February 2nd  Fundraiser at the Atlantic Grill in Rye, NH.
The River Valley Rotary Club
Pictured left to right:  Randall Therrien -River Vally Rotary Club President, Roger Whitehouse – Rotarian of the day, Bill Wood, Peter Cox, and Father Nathan March
The guest speakers at the River Valley Rotary Club’s Fellowship meeting Monday, January 22nd held at HOPE Association were: Father Nathan March - Pastor, Parish of the Holy Savior, Peter Cox - Community Advocate, and Bill Wood - Catholic Charities Parish Social Ministry.
The 3 talked about a grant from the Catholic Charities of Maine!
This grant will provide a unique opportunity for the Catholic Church to become an active partner with members of the local government and civic groups in advocating for the economic future of the local community.
The mission, together with the Town of Rumford economic development, region 9 adult learning center, and the career center work would identify skills needed in the area and developing training to foster those girls locally.
They are looking for additional businesses and association partners that will become the contact point for communicating the program. 
Their conversation with The Rotary Club members was that Rotary International is an international service organization who stated purposes is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and advance goodwill in peace around the world. The Rotarian skill set of speaker development can assist this effort in taking their message to local businesses to enlist their aid.
Envision Rumford‘s stated purpose is to explore and implement ideas for increasing business on the island and strengthening it as a place to do business and be in business.
The overall premise is to help build the social fabric and transform the isolation within our communities into connectedness and caring for the whole.
To shift the conversations from the problems of community to the possibility of a community.
And finally to commit to create a future distinct from the past.
The Rotary Club of Saco Bay

Pictured from left to right:  Tony LeBlanc, President of the Rotary Club of Saco Bay; Wyatt LeBlanc from Thornton Academy; Fallon Descoteaux from Biddeford High School; Meghan LaPlante from Old Orchard Beach High School


The Rotary Club of South Portland-Cape Elizabeth
The United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps, from the US Coast Guard Group Portland Division, visited the SP-CE club to introduce members to the Cadet program and to extend thanks to the club for funding the flags for their new "Color Guard." U.S. Naval Sea Cadets is a national youth leadership development organization that promotes interest and skill in naval disciplines, while instilling strong moral character and life skills through leadership and technical programs modeled after the Navy's professional development system. Today's U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps continues to further the image of our maritime services by adhering to a standardized training program designed to: Develop an interest and ability in seamanship and seagoing skills; Instill virtues of good citizenship and strong moral principles in each cadet; Demonstrate the value of an alcohol-free, drug-free and gang-free lifestyle; Expose cadets to the prestige of public service and a variety of career paths through hands-on training with our nation's armed services. 
The Rotary Club of Sebago Lake - Windham Area
The Sebago Lake Rotary Club will be sponsoring their 17th Annual Ice Fishing Derby for Cumberland County and Sebago Lake on Feb 24th and 25th.
Register online at 
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 March Newsletter Submissions:  February 21st
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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.
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