District Governor's Message: January 2023

Dear Rotarians,

District 7780 sponsors several District events each year. You may wonder who goes to these events, who is invited, and who pays for these occasions.  Please see the schedule below.

Event Schedule January 1, 2023 - June 30, 2023

February 14            Mid-Year Dinner

February 14            Peace Concert

April 15                   District Assembly

June 10                  District Conference/Celebration

June 25-28             Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA)

June TBD               District Changeover Event

Mid-Year Dinner Club presidents, presidents-elect, and vice presidents meet with each other and our current, past, and future district governors at the University of Southern Maine, 88 Bedford St., Portland. Partners/spouses welcome.  After dinner, these club and district leaders will join other district members at the Peace Concert (below). Dinner and venue: $35.00.

Peace Concert All Rotarians, family members, and friends are invited to a concert featuring music from around the world at Hannaford Hall, 88 Bedford St., Portland.  The USM Chamber Singers, under the direction of Nicholás Dosman, and the Brunswick High School Choir will perform. Plenty of onsite parking is available. While the event is free, donations will be gratefully accepted.

District Assembly All Rotarians are invited to meet at Westbrook High School, 125 Stroudwater St., Westbrook, ME, for this annual event.  There will be required training for club secretaries, treasurers, protection officers, and Foundation chairs, as well as tech training, membership, diversity, equity and inclusion, and much more.  This is an excellent opportunity to renew friendships. There will be something to learn for everyone — new and seasoned Rotarians alike! Food and venue: $30.00.

District Celebration Cook’s Lobster and Ale House, 68 Garrison Cove Rd, Bailey Island, ME All Rotarians, and their families are invited to join together for the annual district celebration.  Bowdoin graduate Lonnie Hackett will be traveling from Lusaka, Zambia, to speak to us about the thousands of Zambian children who are benefiting from the Healthy Learners initiative. This project has been supported by Rotary clubs and District 7780 since 2013. The event will also include a House of Friendship/Project Fair, bus rides to sites up and down the island, and lots of extras. Please register early - especially if you are planning on overnight accommodations. Lunch and venue: $45.00.

RYLA District 7780 Clubs will once again sponsor a leadership camp for high school students in the summer after their sophomore year at Camp Hinds in Raymond, ME.  Click here for more details.

District Changeover The district changeover will happen at Camp Hinds. After thanking our club presidents and other district leaders, the gavel will be turned over to Marion Cheney, who will welcome our new leaders. More information to follow.

Please know that the prices of these events may change as food supplies are an issue.  It is my intention to keep all District events affordable.

Thank you for all you do for Rotary and I wish you all the best as we enter 2023.


DG Claudia Frost

Many Thanks from Ukraine!
As many of you know, the Saco Bay Sunset Rotary Club was awarded a Disaster Relief Grant of $25,000 to replace a Convent Roof and make other improvements to house refugees from war-torn parts of Ukraine.  Here is a heartfelt expression of thanks from the Sister Superior of the Convent:
Dear American Friends,
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2023!
I am writing to you from Ukraine, from the Catechetical House of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Anne, which has now been named Peace Shelter through Rotary International. My name is Sister Veronika (Solomiya Yaniv) and I am the Sister Superior of this House.
In my first words, I want to thank you very much for the support you have given us in helping people suffering from the war that is going on in our country. A heartfelt "God bless you!" Since the beginning of the war, we have become a place of refuge for about 30 people (the number changes due to constant rotation), refugees in the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine where the heaviest fighting is taking place and where the destruction is unimaginably high. They are mainly single mothers with children. Their husbands and fathers are largely dead and their homes no longer exist.
Connecting the Dots - January 2023
By:  Sarah MacGillivray, Secretary and Public Image Coordinator,
District Foundation Committee, RC of Bath Sunrise
Happy New Year!  We hope everyone enjoyed a lovely holiday season, and we send best wishes for a bright and productive new year!
We have so much to cover for the District’s Foundation Committee, a number of thank yous, and some important information we hope you will all find helpful:
(1) A note of thanks from Ron Smith, our District’s Major Donor Chair:
(2) An uplifting message from Jeff Slaton, our District’s Annual Giving Chair:
(3) Important information from our District’s Fund Development Chair, Brenda Cressey, about a zoom training on The Rotary Foundation to be held in February.  Your input is needed!
(4) A note from David Taft, our District’s PolioPlus Chair, with an update on the growing membership of our District PolioPlus Society;
District International Services Committee Updates:  Cafes and More!
By:  Emma Bodwell, DISC Chair, DG Nominee, RC of Bridgton-Lake Region
International Cafés:
Over 25 Rotarians participated in the December 10th International Café hosted by the District International Service Committee (DISC).  The Café focused on the upcoming District Outreach Team’s trip to Zambia.  The Team members, introduced in last month’s Newsletter, described their backgrounds and reasons for volunteering for the trip.  DG Claudia, who will accompany the Team, introduced the Healthy Learners Project in Zambia, which will assist with introductions while the team is in-country, and then turned the meeting over to Lonnie Hackett from the Project.
Lonnie described the evolution of the Project, starting in 2011 when he was a student at Bowdoin and took a trip to Zambia.  There he was exposed to the problems associated with access to healthcare.  A person from the Zambia Ministry of Health joined the Project in 2013.  While most such programs emphasize help to children under the age of five, the Project saw that school-age children were often overlooked. Thus, the Project has been training teachers to respond to the needs of their students by helping them access healthcare.  Based on the success the Project has had in improving the health of students, it has been expanding, all with the help of Rotary, which has been involved since the beginning.
A recording of the Café has been posted on the DISC’s Facebook page.
The next International Café is Saturday, January 21 from 9:30-11:00 a.m. Do you have a project to share?  Do you need some financial assistance to reach your goal? The International Cafes are a great platform to help share the info with Rotarians around our district, and beyond. For more information, contact me.
Project Fairs: 
There is a Project Fair in Colombia in February 2023.  I will be going and other Rotarians are invited to join me.  Four Rotarians from District 7780 have already registered.  Interested?  Contact me. For more information about Project Fairs in general, see the article elsewhere in this newsletter by PDG Peter Johnson.
Rotary & Polio on Maine Calling:
District Rotarians Ann Lee Hussey and Mike McGovern were on the Maine Calling radio program on MPBN on December 13, 2022, talking about polio and Rotary’s role in its eradication. 
Biddeford-Saco RC Selected to Host Emerging Leaders
By:  Brenda Pollack, President, RC of Biddeford-Saco 
The Biddeford-Saco Rotary Club is proud to announce that it has been selected by the Open World Program to host a delegation from Ukraine arriving in April 2023.  The delegation will be looking at how American communities deal with Renewable Energy/Energy Independence issues.
The Open World Program provides an opportunity to build fellowship and friendship to strengthen international understanding by hosting emerging Eurasian leaders from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, and Ukraine in your community.
Organizations from around the United States were needed to host six-participant delegations for eight days and nights and prepare a professional program related to business, community, and civic life in the US. Biddeford-Saco answered that call and was selected to host the delegation from Ukraine.
WANNA GET AWAY?  Investigate Rotary Project Fairs! 
By: Peter Johnson, PDG
Member, District International Service Committee, RC of Yarmouth
What are Rotary Project Fairs?  Hosted locally by district committees, Project Fairs are designed to connect clubs that seek international service projects.  Fairs typically last two to three days.  Many, if not most, provide you with a chance to visit local service opportunities as well as an extension of your visit with a bit of tourism.
January 2023
Club News
Click HERE  for news about projects and fundraisers from around our district.
Bridgton-Lake Region
Oxford Hills
Saco Bay Sunset
South Berwick-Eliot
South Portland-Cape Elizabeth
If we missed your club, 
please know that your work is appreciated. Please send your stories next month to:
District 7780 Celebration
June 10, 2023
Click here to check out this year's location:  Bailey Island. 
See this month's DG message for more information.
District Calendar
Foundation Trustee Marty Helman Presentation
Zoom Link:
Jan 03, 2023
7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
District Track meeting
Jan 09, 2023
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Presidents' Monthly Meeting
Jan 09, 2023
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Nominating Committee (via Zoom) meeting
Jan 09, 2023
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
District Track Meeting
Jan 09, 2023
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Foundation Committee
Jan 10, 2023
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Jan 19, 2023
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
DISC International Cafe
Jan 21, 2023
9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Meeting
Jan 23, 2023
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
DISC Committee Meeting
Jan 26, 2023
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Presidents' Monthly Meeting
Feb 06, 2023
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Rotary Foundation Basics-101 for Clubs Zoom
Feb 07, 2023
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
District Track Meeting
Feb 13, 2023
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Midyear Dinner and Peace Concert
Feb 14, 2023
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Feb 16, 2023
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Meeting
Feb 27, 2023
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
View entire list
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