June 2015 - Issue 12

Upcoming Events
District International Committee
Biddeford Chamber of Commerce
Sep 17, 2015 1:00 PM
District Foundation Spending Assembly
University of Southern Maine
Sep 19, 2015
8:00 AM – 2:00 PM
District Vision/Planning Workshop #7
Portland Area
Oct 29, 2015 6:00 PM
Mid Year District Dinner
Feb 01, 2016
World Peace & Understanding Dinner
Feb 23, 2016
District Assembly 2016
University of Southern Maine
Apr 02, 2016
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.


It’s Been Great!
As the days of my tenure as District Governor dwindle, I am finding myself contemplating the year and what we have accomplished (and what still remains to be done). People always ask me, "How is your year going?" My response is usually, "Great, as far as I am concerned, but perhaps you should ask Rotarians around the District what they think." I didn’t meet every one of the goals I set, but I think we managed to do a great deal to advance Rotary and the good work we are all so committed to. I’d like to list a few of the things of which I am most proud.
  • Our monthly Newsletter highlighted all of the great club projects and fundraisers and encouraged clubs to work together and support each other.
  • Inspired by the Sebago Rotary Club’s fabulous food packaging event at the Maine Mall, almost every club in the District did some type of food insecurity and hunger-related project.
  • The Bridge the Gap to End Polio walk initiated by the Seacoast Portsmouth Rotary Club became a District-wide event and raised $13,928 for Polio Plus.
  • Our District Membership/Foundation Seminar in October featured some excellent speakers and it was very effective as our District membership is up 50 members as of April 30.
  • The World Understanding and Peace dinner was a great success as Rotarians enjoyed a moving and inspirational speech from Past RI President Rick King. We also used this occasion to recognized new Rotarians who are making a significant contribution to their clubs.
  • For me personally, the highlight of the year was our District Conference at the end of April. It was everything I hoped it would be with fabulous speakers and panels and some terrific Rotary fellowship and fun.
But, the year isn’t quite over. We have five Bulgarian Rotarians arriving for a visit on June 2 (see article below) and we have just finished a Public Service Announcement promoting Rotary that will shortly air on TV (see article below). On June 20, our District Changeover celebration will be in Raymond, Maine at Camp Hinds, the site of RYLA, one of our best Rotary youth programs. And come July 1, we will welcome our new District Governor, Sheila Rollins. I know we will extend our warm wishes and support as she begins her term, and just having experienced that warm District 7780 welcome myself,myself, I can’t tell you how much it means.
As for me, I was warned when I interviewed to be District Governor that my obligations would not end at the completion of my term. On July 1, I will begin a term on the Foundation Committee with Polio Plus responsibilities, become chair of the District Finance Committee, serve as a Regional Vice Chair for Rotary Leadership Institute, and take on the role of general chair of Northeast PETS. I guess that will keep me busy next year. Finally, I want to thank all of you for your help, your support, your suggestions (even when I didn’t ask for them), and for all that you do for your clubs, the District, and, most importantly, all those people around the world that need our help. It has been a wonderful experience being your District Governor and I am extremely grateful for having had that opportunity. Thank you!
District History Trivia
This month’s District History question
Rotary International no longer has Group Study Exchange Teams. However, District 7780 has replaced them with Cultural Exchange Teams.  How many Cultural Exchange teams have we had?  Where and when did they go?  How many were on each team?  Were they all Rotarians or were they a mix of Rotarians and non-Rotarians?
Check out the District History pages for the answers.  Send your answers to me at along with your name and the name of your Rotary Club.  The answer will be in next month’s newsletter along with the name of the person(s) to give me the correct answer along with their club name.
Marie A. Williams
District Historian
Click "Read More" for the answer to last month's trivia question.
On June 30, PDG Peter Johnson of the Rotary Club of Yarmouth will finish his three-year term as chair of the Foundation Committee, and everyone in the District needs to know how extremely fortunate we are to have had his excellent stewardship. He has presided over the committee with patience, skill, and excellent judgment at a time of great change in terms of the way the Foundation does business and how our whole grant process works. 
District Awards
At the District Conference a number of Club awards were handed out. These awards are a recognition of the hours and hours of hard work on the part of many many Rotarians. Congratulations!
The 2014-15 Presidential Citation:
            The Rotary Club of Dover
            The Rotary Club of Hampton
            The Rotary Club of Kittery
            The Rotary Club of Rochester
The 2014-15 Interact Club Presidential Citation:
            The Dover High School Interact Club
            The Fryeburg Academy Interact Club
            The Marshwood High School Interact Club (South Berwick-Eliot RC)
            The Morse High School Interact Club (Bath and Bath Sunrise RCs)
            The Oxford Hills High School Interact Club
            The Real School Interact Club (Sebago Lake RC)
            The Winnacunnet High School Interact Club (Hampton RC)
            The York High School Interact Club
The 2014-15 District Governor’s Light Up Rotary Award:
            The Rotary Club of Bridgton-Lake Region
            The Rotary Club of Brunswick Coastal
            The Rotary Club of Fryeburg
            The Rotary Club of Hampton
            The Rotary Club of Kennebunk Portside
            The Rotary Club of Kittery
            The Rotary Club of Oxford Hills
            The Rotary Club of Portland
            The Rotary Club of Rochester
            The Rotary Club of Saco Bay
            The Rotary Club of Seacoast Portsmouth
            The Rotary Club of Sebago Lake
            The Rotary Club of South Portland-Cape Elizabeth
            The Rotary Club of Wells
            The Rotary Club of Yarmouth
And singled out for special recognition because they received the highest number of points in the District Governor’s Award is the Rotary Club of Saco Bay. Congratulations!
Also, at the Conference, a "District Governor’s Special Award" was presented to the Rotary Club of Durham Great Bay for their significant achievement and improvement during the 2014-15 Rotary year.
There were many clubs that just missed qualifying for one or more of these awards and all should feel proud of the work that they did during the year and all that they accomplished.
District Conference Follow-up
At the District Conference we raised the following amounts for the Rotary Foundation:

1. Silent Auction - $4,318
2. Ransom for Lawrence’s return - $1,440
3. Pedaling to End Polio - $870, and with the Gates match it becomes $2,610

For a grand total of $8,368.

Congratulations and thanks to all!
District 7780 Changeover
Don’t miss out! Register now for this year’s Change-over Dinner.  It all happens Saturday, June 20th from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM in Raymond, Maine, in the beautiful Sebago Lake Region.
Why attend?
Unlike previous Change-Over dinners, this year’s event will be held at a camp. Not just any camp, but at Camp Hinds. Camp Hinds, as most of you know, is where the District conducts its annual Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, more commonly known as RYLA. As a matter of fact, this year’s RYLA will begin the day after our Change-Over dinner. Accordingly, all of the RYLA staff will be in attendance already and you will have the opportunity not only to meet them but to experience some of the typical activities that the campers have. RYLA is one of the most effective tools that we have to engage youths and some of our clubs might not take advantage of this program. You have a great opportunity here to get jazzed about RYLA and take that excitement back to your club and your community.
But more than that, this will be a time to celebrate the end of a great year and to get behind your incoming leadership in an informal and beautiful lakeside setting with lots of fun activities, GREAT food, and music!
We’ve worked really hard this year and accomplished so much…now this will be our chance to relax with our fellow Rotarians. We’ve tried to keep the price down to make it more feasible for families to attend, too. At $20.00, it’s probably the best deal you’ll get all year! Children under 10 will be admitted free.
So let’s all get behind this and make it the best-attended Change-over Dinner ever!
See you there!
The Bulgarian Cultural Exchange visited Bulgaria in early April.  During the thirteen days the team visited Sofia, Blagoevgrad, Bansko, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, Veliko Tarnovo, Russe, Varna and Belchik, before returning to Sofia. We made presentations to ten clubs and met for meals with others. We had numerous conversations regarding possible joint service projects and RI Grant venture opportunities.  Among the numerous projects the Bulgarian Clubs have invested in is the installation of one or more public spring water fountains. They have tapped into the natural underground resource and are providing everyone in the community a free and clean water source.  We discussed possible service projects that included: working to establish Headstart programs, creating an anti-childhood obesity project, training the disadvantaged Roma minority to work in service-related industries, and replacing inadequate and unsanitary bathroom facilities in elementary schools, to name a few. That is just the beginning of the numerous projects that we discussed with our gracious hosts.
Our Team was treated with utmost hospitality and a generous welcome throughout our tour from the Host Families, Rotary Clubs, Rotoractors, and Interactors. We made many heartfelt connections with our hosts and the host families, who arranged a full blitz of sight-seeing excursions (and there are a plethora of fascinating historical sites to see), as well as beautiful bucolic countryside between the cities.  The highlight of our trip was an evening Easter dinner with District Governor, Ilario Astinov, and his lovely parents.  It was such an enjoyable and charming evening.  We can’t overstate the importance of the impact that our District’s cultural exchanges have on our participants.  The connections that are formed directly result in the design and implementation of real projects and grants that greatly impact so many lives. This process will continue when the reciprocal team arrives from Bulgaria on June 2nd. Please make an effort to meet their team and invest a few hours in creating your own relationship with fellow Rotarians.
“Why Rotary” Hits the Air and Web
A new series of public service TV/web spots created by the District 7780 public image team hits the air in June.
Those who attended either our district assembly or district conference may have seen TV producer Shay Willard, of the Dover Rotary Club, hard at work conducting interviews and capturing Rotarians at work.  The result is a smooth, professional one-minute public service announcement that tells the story of why local club members do what they do.  There are also 30- and 15-second versions available.  Special thanks to Shay for making his talents available to Rotary!
The “Why Rotary” campaign is being distributed to TV stations in our district footprint (Portland and Manchester) and will soon be available for local club websites, Facebook sites, and local cable TV channels too.
You can screen the spots at the links below.  If your club would like a custom version for use on local cable or on your own website, please email DGND Dave Underhill (  We encourage you to use your local-cable relationships to get visibility for our efforts.  We will have a limited number of “custom” versions available, first come first served.   In addition, any district 7780 club is free to use these spots on their own website, Facebook page or local channels, and we encourage you to play them to your members and to embed them in your weekly eBulletin.
With a Little Bit of Team Work
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a program that originates with Rotary International, and has been specifically designed by District 7780 for High School Sophomores living in our local communities. Rotarians in our district believe RYLA empowers young people to become aware of their potential, and then implement this in their life and their communities. Students come together to exchange ideas, strategies, and approaches with energetic people like themselves in a reassuring atmosphere, free from pressure and distraction.
RYLA needed new benches at Camp Hinds, and Bob O'Connell, a Rotarian of the Dover Rotary Club and Past Director of RYLA, had a simple solution - RYLA Get Benched!  Dru Laduke, a Rotarian of Saco Bay Rotary liked the idea and challenged his club members to build 40 benches to benefit the program.  Individuals who paid $50, could receive one bench for personal use and donate the second bench to RYLA, or donate both benches to RYLA. The club members of RC Saco Bay built 70 benches with the help of the RC Scarborough, RC Fryeburg, and RC South Portland-Cape Elizabeth. Thirty benches were built on a nice Saturday morning in May, and 40 bench parts were delivered and assembled at Camp Hinds the next day. This service project was not only hard work, but turned into an exceptional fellowship opportunity nobody wanted to miss. You can learn a lot about your fellow Rotarians on such a day; for example, how you sell a house and convince the buyer to become a Rotarian.
If you'd like to know more about RYLA or the bench project join your Incoming President at the Changeover Dinner on June 20th at Camp Hinds.  
Brunswick Rotary Club
Falmouth Rotary Club
Ten Falmouth [Maine] High School students recently journeyed South to Hurricane Katrina-ravaged Waveland, MS, to assist Habitat for Humanity with building new homes for residents, as a community service project supported by the Rotary Club of Falmouth.
Each year, the Maine club helps support the school’s ongoing community service program by providing funds to help defray costs associated with travel to coastal Gulf of Mexico communities that suffered heavy damage in the wake of the 2005 hurricane.
Work performed by the students varies each year, ranging from carpentry to painting interior.
Last year, the participating Juniors and Seniors helped build the foundation for a new home. This year, the kids installed insulation in the Mississippi community’s damaged homes.
Upon their return, the students – accompanied by one of their two chaperones, Falmouth School's Service Learning Coordinator, Holly MacEwan, – appeared at a regular Falmouth Rotary meeting to report in-depth on their experience and life-lessons learned while on the Gulf Coast. (The other chaperone was Falmouth High School Assistant Principal Jon Radtke.)
Club members were also treated to a slide-show of photos, demonstrating how the upper-classmen and women helped out during their southern stay.
Seen in Photo Above:  Falmouth High School students gather around a plaque commemorating Hurricane Katrina’s destructive 2005 ‘visit’ to the Waveland, MS area. (Back row, from left): Max Brautigam, Meghan Charest, Marie Baker, Julia Brogan, Casey Ryan, Hannah Marr; and (Front row, from left): Cayman Bickerstaff, Hannah Donovan, Bryce Kuhn, and Emma Walsh.
Hampton Rotary Club
The Hampton Academy Interact Club held its primary fundraiser of the year at Second Lunch on May 15th.   All money raised will be going to a girl’s school in Ethiopia to purchase much needed school supplies. The Club was newly formed this year, and this is their first International project.
Seven well-known adults from around our community and school were humorously “sentenced” to Lunch Detention and were seated on stage. The “detainees” were Larry Marsolais, President of the Hampton Rotary Club, which sponsored this Interact club, Jeanette McDonald, Rotary Interact Chair (Hampton sponsors THREE Interact Clubs!), and members, Shane Pine, and Paula Rappolt, mother of the Interactor MC of the event, Allie Rappolt.  Additional “detainees” were Superintendent of SAU90. Kathleen Murphy, (dressed in prison garb for the event!!), School Psychologist, Dr. Les Masterman, and Detective Anthony Anzalone, the Hampton Police Officer assigned to our school. Allie Rappolt had come up with a humorous transgression for each, which caused their detention.
Students had been asked to bring in pocket change to help to get them released by contributing money into the buckets in front of each “detainee”. In addition, “detainees” could use the phone to call family, co-workers, or friends to solicit donations to get them released. When a “detainee” reached $50 in donations, he or she could be released.
This fundraiser was the brainchild of Interact President, eighth grader, Lidet O’Connor, (who was born in Ethiopia and visits with her parents occasionally). The event was also fully supported by Principal and Rotarian, David O’Connor (not related to Lidet), Faculty Advisor, Angela Bowen, Rotary Advisor, Rick Considine, and Officers and Board of the Interact Club. The original goal was to raise between $350 and $500, but the final number will be close to $2,000!! The Interactors were absolutely delighted with the result, and the School in Ethiopia will benefit greatly from this event!
Seen in photo from left to right:  Interactors Allie Rappolt and Jacob Sakelarias, Kathleen Murphy, Superintendent of SAU 90, and Interact President Lidet O'Connor.
Kennebunk Portside Rotary
Kennebunk Portside Rotary began a new program this academic year for the 5th graders (all 35 of them) in our local elementary school called "Know Your Community."

Every other month, beginning in October the Club members escorted the students and their teachers to a business within the corporate confines of the Town for them to learn how it operates and what it does to enhance the functioning of the community.  This year the students went to a summer resort hotel, a souvenir shop and a restaurant in Dock Square, a lobster processing plant and a summer rental agency.  They are ending the year with a trip and picnic to the Seashore Trolley Museum.

The program has been a great success, with the students returning to class, integrating their experiences into their social studies program, and writing up paragraphs about what they learned, some of which have been read at Club meetings to let the members know the success of the program.  

Next year the new 5th grade class will be taken to different Town government facilities so they can gain new insight into how, for instance, the fire and police departments function. or what is involved in keeping our roads open in the winter.  The following year, we will return to having the next class visit local businesses once more.  With different students each year, this program can go on for years and continue to be the success it has proven to be.
Portland Rotary Club
Portsmouth Rotary Club
Rotarian Dan Marston reports that Interact had a great turn out on Saturday with 54 young men and women from PHS, York and Dover Interact and other clubs. They did a great job and the park manager was very happy. The food and drink provided by Rotary was greatly appreciated and voraciously consumed.
Sebago Lake Rotary Club
Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club
Portsmouth Rotary Club
The Portsmouth Rotary is excited to announce their 22nd annual Basic Human Survival Needs Golf Tournament. The tournament will be held on June 19, 2015 at the Breakfast Hill Golf Club in Greenland, NH with a 9 am scramble.
We invite you to represent your club with teams of four in this charity event. The tournament supports basic human survival needs in the community.
The winning team will take the Rotary Cup back to their club for bragging rights, as well as a $500 donation to the charity of their choice.
Please note all team players must be Rotarians to take home the cup, however the event welcomes all to participate in this fundraiser to support basic needs.
Contact Andy Chace at or James Petersen at to sign up!
Wells Rotary Club
The Wells Rotary Club is excited to announce their inaugural Mini Golf Tournament scheduled for Sunday, June 7, 2015. 
The event will be held at Wonder Mountain Fun Park, 270 Post Road, Route One, in Wells.  Registration starts at 2:00 pm with a Shotgun Start at 3:00 pm.  The event will conclude with a Cookout at 5:00 pm. 
The format will be 5-player teams at a cost of $20 per person.  The cost includes golf, free entrance to the Treasure Trap Maze, a coupon for a future round of golf, cookout and prizes. 
Hole Sponsorships are also available at $75.  For more information contact Rick Coyne at 207-646-8333 or
The proceeds from the event will benefit Wells Rotary Club charities.
From the Editor . . .
I would like to thank everyone who contributed articles and information to be published in the District Newsletter this past year.  Because of YOU, it made my “job” all that much easier!
I have been asked by Sheila (and agreed) to continue as the Newsletter Editor for next year, so as I did last year, each month I will be reaching out to Club Presidents, or whoever will be in charge of your club’s public relations, to provide me with an update of your club’s activities.
In the next week or two I’ll be sending out an email to the incoming Presidents asking them to provide me with contact information for their club.
Again, thank you for all the help this past year!
Yours in Rotary,
Deb Marsolais, Newsletter Editor
District 7780
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 or opportunities of service.
Deadline for July 2015 Newsletter Submissions: June 25th
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 friend us on Facebook!