April 2015 - Issue 10

Upcoming Events
2015 District Conference
Wentworth by the Sea
Apr 24, 2015 7:30 AM –
Apr 26, 2015
Grants Management Seminar -Westbrook
Westbrook High School
May 09, 2015
8:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Grants Management Seminar - Topsham
Red Cross Chapter
May 13, 2015
5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
District Foundation Spending Assembly
University of Southern Maine
Sep 19, 2015
8:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.


Maternal and Child Health
April is Maternal and Child Health month, and it gives us a chance to reflect on one of Rotary’s Six Areas of Focus. The statistics are sobering and troubling. Each year, 7 million children die from malnutrition, inadequate health care, and poor sanitation. Over 80% of maternal deaths could be prevented with access to reproductive health services and trained health care workers. In sub-Saharan Africa, 1 in 39 women die due to pregnancy or childbirth-related complications. Finally, it is estimated that 215 million women would prefer to delay or avoid childbearing but lack access to safe and effective contraception. Rotarians around the world are working to improve this situation, and there are many things clubs can do through projects and grants both large and small. Some provide immunizations and antibiotics to fight measles, malaria, pneumonia, and AIDS. Others work on encouraging breast feeding which can lead to stronger children who are less vulnerable to disease. Education about the use of contraceptives and access to them is part of many maternal health projects. It is estimated that contraception alone could reduce the number of maternal deaths by one-third. Finally, Rotary-supported programs in some areas are providing birthing kits and accredited training programs for health care professionals. Our District has been less active in the Maternal and Clild Health Area of Focus than in the other Areas. I was able to identify only two Maternal and Child Health Global Grants or projects we participated in over the last few years: the Jargalan project which provided maternity suites tor rural clinics in Mongolia and the Freeport RC project in Haiti to train health care workers about family planning to help women in the sugar cane batays. Perhaps this is an Area of Focus where we as a District and our clubs can look to become more active. Certainly the mothers and children of the world could use our help.
District History Trivia
This month’s District History question
As this newsletter comes out on April 1st or April Fool’s Day, this month the History question is a little different.  It is about your knowledge of Rotary’s start and the connection to the State of Maine.
Who are these men?  Which one has a connection with the State of Maine?
This month the answer is not currently on the District Website’s History pages but this information and more about it will be there in the near future.  So let’s test your knowledge about the start of Rotary!  Send your answer 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.
It's the Heartblood of Rotary -- Get Involved in a Grant!
A Rotary Foundation grant -- either a small District Grant or a much larger Global Grant -- puts to good use the funds that we have previously donated to The Rotary Foundation, and makes a difference here in our own communities and also halfway across the world.
To take advantage of a Rotary Foundation grant in 2015-16, your club MUST send a minimum of two members to a District Grant Seminar this spring! 
Already, one-half the clubs in the District have fulfilled this requirement -- Congratulations! For the rest of us, there are two Grants Seminars remaining:  
  • Saturday morning, May 9, at Westbrook High School, Westbrook
  • Wednesday evening, May 13, at the MidCoast Maine Red Cross Chapter in Topsham
More information, registration, and details are available on the "calendar" section of this website! Sign up now.
Marty Helman and Peter Johnson
2015 District Conference
I hope that many of you are already signed up for the District Conference or soon will be. The setting is the beautiful and historic Wentworth by the Sea Resort in New Castle, New Hampshire. The dates are April 24th to 26th. We will actually begin on Thursday, April 23rd with a service opportunity: preparing and serving lunch and cleaning up at "The Common Table," a community meal at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Portsmouth. That evening, there will be a Governor’s Council meeting for Past District Governors followed by dinner. Our RI President’s Representative, Rotary Foundation Trustee Young Suk "Y.S." Yoon and his wife will be joining us for this event and the rest of the Conference. We will have a jam-packed agenda for Friday and Saturday through lunch each day, but we have left the afternoons free so that you will have a chance to enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of Portsmouth. We will have a speaker and later a panel on how to attract Millennials to Rotary. Taylor Chace, a member of the U.S. Paralympic team and Keith Harris, a Rotarian who rode across the United States to raise money for the Foundation will talk about their experiences. You will hear what I know will be a moving talk from polio survivor, Ramesh Ferris. Ramesh was born in India, contracted polio as a child, and was placed in an orphanage at a very young age. He was later adopted by a Canadian family and proceeded to devote his life to the eradication of polio. You will hear from our Bulgarian Cultural Exchange team back from their trip and we will feature a panel on religion and conflict resolution. For fun, you can expect a performance by a magician and a rousing round of Rotary Jeopardy. We have planned a scavenger hunt (Looking for Lawrence) around Portsmouth with your DG as the prey. There will be other service opportunities including "Bicycling the District" to raise money for Polio Plus, collecting children’s books for a District literacy project, and a blood drive. Best of all, you will get a chance to connect with long-time Rotary friends from around the District and make new ones. A District Conference is the time to celebrate all that we have accomplished this year and to rededicate our commitment to Rotary and doing good in the world. I sincerely hope you will join us.
I am extremely pleased to announce that the District 7780 Nominating Committee has met and nominated David Underhill of the Rotary Club of Portsmouth, New Hampshire to be our Governor-Nominee. After he is elected at the Rotary International Convention in 2016, he will serve a one-year term as our District Governor-Elect and then, as our District Governor in 2017-18. David has been a Rotarian for nearly 20 years. He is the immediate Past President of the Portsmouth Rotary Club and previously served as President of the Brattleboro, Vermont Rotary Club. He lives in Portsmouth with his wife, Linda. 
The Committee also selected Ron Bennett of the Rotary Club of Portland, Maine for a three-year term on the Finance Committee, commencing July 1, 2015. Ron is a long-time CPA and past-treasurer of the Portland Rotary Club.  
I know you will all join me in congratulating David and Ron and in expressing our gratitude to them for stepping up to accept leadership roles in our District.
Basic education and literacy—What can you do?
Join us April 24 & 25 as we come together for District Conference, and bring your new and gently-used children's books to the House of Friendship.
Why? Wouldn't it be fun to see how many books we can get into local children's hands. Over the next two years, let's make an impact in each of your communities with a district-wide library program. How can you be a part of this event? Each club will receive a free library box full of books and supplies. We'll track the numbers...share the results each month and see Where we can make a difference.
Hope to see you and your books there!
"Sixty-seven million children worldwide have no access to education and more than 775 million people over the age of 15 are illiterate."1
Ten clubs came together the evening of March 18 to learn about Rotary Foundation grants, and left with lots of how-tos and a binder chock-full of information to help them apply for $$$ this coming Rotary year.  Maybe your club wants to do a new service project in your own backyard, or maybe on the other side of the world.  District and Global Grants are funded by the monies Rotarians in this District have donated to The Rotary Foundation, and that money is available to help make your club "Be a Gift to the World."
But before you can apply, it's necessary for at least two Rotarians from your club to come to a Grants Management Seminar such as the one held March 18. Three more seminars will be held in coming weeks.  They are:
Wednesday, April 8: Portsmouth Country Club, Greenland, NH, 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 9:  Westbrook Middle School, Westbrook, ME:  8:00 a.m.
Wednesday, May 13: MidCoast RedCross, Topsham, ME  5:30 p.m.
Register on the District website for the seminar of your choice.  Cost is $10 pp in advance/$12 at the door.
Refreshments will be served.
But don't wait! Deadline to apply for a District grant is coming up fast:  June 1. So plan to come to a seminar, and join the following clubs that are already well on their way to apply for a grant:

Bath Sunrise
Bridgton-Lake Region
Portland Sunrise
Saco Bay
South Portland-Cape Elizabeth
Let's put Foundation dollars to work on the project of our choice!
--Marty Peak Helman and Peter Johnson
The Portland Rotary Club welcomed a re-connection of a former member on Friday, March 13, 2015. Gracie Johnston, who was a member of the club from 2001-2007 was welcomed back with open arms. Gracie works for WCSH6 as a Multi-Media Account Executive. She whole-heartedly supports the efforts of Rotary involvement, both internationally and locally.
The Exeter Rotary Rotary Club has announced that Tressa Northrup joined March 9th (She is from Unitil) and Scott Beattie joined March 9th (He is with Provident Bank).
The Hampton Rotary Club is pleased to announce the induction of Jacob Kallgren into our club during the month of March.  Jacob is a Mortgage Loan Originator at Optima Bank.   At the age of 23 years old, we believe he is the youngest person ever to join our club.  Congratulations and welcome, Jacob!
At a recent weekly meeting, Kennebunk Portside Rotary Club President Cornelia Stockman welcomed three new members: Carol Laboissonniere who owns CL Design and Landscape LLC in Kennebunkport; Kyle Garret, a Financial Solutions Specialist with Norway Savings Bank, Kennebunk; and Ted Baker, a retired educator and resident of Kennebunkport who recently returned to the club.
Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club
Hampton Rotary Club
March was a very busy month for members of the Hampton Rotary Club . . .
Starting on March 9th, when Hampton Rotarians cooked and served at the local soup kitchen, and upward of 60 people came in to enjoy a delicious, hot meal.
Next, members of our club manned the registration table as well as served water, juice, hotdogs and snacks to donors at a Blood Drive on Thursday, March 19th.  And that same evening, a Rotary social was held at the Victoria Inn in Hampton, where Hampton Rotarians and family members could sit, relax and enjoy some good conversation, while enjoying delicious hors d' oeuvres and drinks.  It was especially nice, because our three newest members attended, and it was great to have a chance to chat and get to know them.
Two days later at 8:00 am on a Saturday morning, Market Basket was taken over by 50+ Rotarians, Interactors, family and friends, who went on a shopping spree to benefit several local food pantries. With $5,000 to spend, which was generously donated by LOCO Sports, we were able to deliver several bags of food and personal hygiene products to each organization and help stock their shelves. And while everyone was shopping, Hampton Rotarian and Past President, Geoff Merrill, coordinated a Rotary Day table, and handed out information to anyone interested in finding out more about Rotary . . . all while making balloon hats!
Kittery Rotary Club

The Rotary Club of Kittery and the Kittery Lions Club held a joint meeting on St. Patrick’s Day on Tuesday evening at the Lions Club.  The two clubs have worked together for about 8+ years hosting alternating months of the Red Cross Blood Drive at the Lions Club.  We both support many of the same things in our community – End 68 Hours of Hunger, Kittery Holiday Baskets, and Footprints, just to name just a few.  Our meetings are very similar – pledge, song and prayer.  Their conference happens to be at the same time as ours this year – April 24, 25, 26.  We have held many of our events in their building.  We had a wonderful Irish dinner of corned beef and cabbage, great conversation and enjoyed a presentation of historic pictures of Kittery.
It was an enjoyable evening!
Portsmouth Rotary Club
Establishes Officer Stephen Arkell Memorial Scholarship Fund

In close cooperation with the Brentwood Police Benevolent Association, the Rotary Club of Portsmouth’s Charitable Division has established a new memorial scholarship fund to honor fallen Brentwood police officer, Stephen Arkell.
Arkell, who died in the line of duty last year, was an alumnus and strong supporter of the Exeter High School.  The new fund will underwrite a scholarship for Exeter High students.
Funding of the scholarship will begin with the net proceeds, after designated donations and expenses of the April 4th,  5k run/walk race in Brentwood, which was organized by community members to honor the slain officer.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to create this new scholarship ” stated Rotary President Patricia Cummings.  “Our club has a strong history of managing and granting scholarship funds, and this past year we gave $35,000 to area students.”
Race organizers Curtis Grace, Ptl. Joshua Turner and Sgt. Denny Wood have worked for months to bring the community together for next month’s race event.   As of this week, over 700 runners have registered and community business sponsors are helping to build the scholarship fund.  “We’re going to have a great day April 4,” said Grace.  “We still have openings for anyone who would like to take part.”  Race registration is online at
The administration of the new memorial fund will be guided by an advisory committee consisting of Brentwood area residents and members of the Portsmouth Rotary Club.
River Valley Rotary Club
Our guest speakers at the River Valley Rotary Club fellowship meeting, held on March 3, 2015 at HOPE Association, was Donna Towle, nurse and President of the Dixfield Historical Society, as well as technician Nick Waugh, who helped put together a grant request for $5000+/- for their Western Foothills Region Project.
Their presentation was on the Maine Memory Network, which is comprised of 5 towns:  Byron, Dixfield, Mexico, Peru, and Rumford!
They are constantly looking for old photos and information on the past, as well as donations.  They are currently promoting a community wide book called, "One Story, One Community" about local & legendary Maine in the Civil War.   
Seen in the photo are Donna Towle, Nick Waugh and Charlie LeDuc, acting River Valley Rotary Club President, who presented them with a gift for their presentation!
GUEST SPEAKER - March 10, 2015
The sponsor of this week’s guest speaker, Mike Breau, was fellow Rotarian, Ed Paterson. 
Mike Breau, is an artist from Peru, Maine and associated with Pennacook Arts, which is located at the Tech Center, 30 Lowell Street, Rumford, Maine.
Mike offered and auctioned a couple of his artworks, and then donated the proceeds to ROTOPLAST, which is a charitable organization that provides free constructive surgery to children and is sponsored by International Rotary Clubs.
The winner of his artwork called “Love, FAITH, HOPE” was Tim Placey, with a $50.00 winning bid.
Seen here is current River Valley Rotary Club President, Jerry Cohen, presenting a gift to artist Mike Breau and his sponsor Fellow Rotarian, Ed Paterson.
Saco Bay Rotary Club
Sebago Lake Rotary Club
Rotary members and friends helped over 200 children enjoy the winter recreation of ice fishing March 7th, on Range Pond in Poland, ME. The event was hosted by the Sebago Lake Rotary Club and sponsored by Kittery Trading Post, who provided ice fishing traps for each child. Dag’s Bait Shop provided free bait, and the Maine Warden Service had trout stocked into Range Pond, where nearly 50 children were able to successfully catch fish. This event is so exciting for local children to get outdoors and enjoy a beautiful day of ice fishing!
Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Life
A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way
Effective collaboration is an action of working with individuals or organizations to achieve shared goals. In Rotary, collaboration happens at the international level, although teamwork starts at local level. Now, you most likely consider we should leave it up to champions. However, even the smallest collaboration of Rotary Clubs can make a significant change in a person’s life, and it just happened a couple of weeks ago.
The Rotary Club of Westbrook-Gorham sponsors the Gift of Life, a Rotarian based organization that over the past 40 years has helped more than 17,000 children from developing countries receive heart surgery. 
Recently, Rotarians of the Dominican Republic and many others helped two children and their mothers to arrive safely in Maine at the beginning of February. Christal, who is 5 years old, and Yeremy, who is 12 years old, had their heart surgery at Maine Medical Center a couple days after their arrival. 
Exeter Rotary Club
Portland Sunrise Rotary Club
The Portland Sunrise Club will be hosting another pizza night, this time at Otto Pizza on Monjoy Hill in Portland on April 7th.  Stop in between 5pm and 9pm, for some amazing pizza and support Rotary while getting a great meal. 
We look forward to seeing you there!
In Memoriam
It is with sadness that the Brunswick Rotary Club reports the passing of John Bibber, former BRC president (1971-72) and present honorary BRC member.  John died Monday, March 16th, of an unexpected illness. 
The Club extends condolences to his wife, Betty and the entire Bibber family.
Past-District Governor and Portland Rotary Club long-time member Bob Patten passed away on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015.  Rotary meant a great deal to Bob and his family wanted to let everyone know the details of his memorial service:  Memorial, with reception to follow, will be held on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at the First Congregational Church, South Portland, ME on Meeting House Hill.   All who knew Bob are welcome to attend.
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 May 2015 Newsletter Submissions: April 23rd
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