History of District Conferences for the Clubs in District 7780

The Rotary Clubs of District 7780 have experienced District Conferences in many locations and many in repeat in locations.  They have been in the fall and in the spring, mainly in the spring.  They have been with other districts and they have been solo.  They have been anywhere from two to four days long – more three day ones overall.  No matter where they have been held, there has always been great speakers about Rotary, fabulous entertainment, wonderful FELLOWSHIP and FUN!

When we were part of District 779 the district conference was alternated between the Fairmont LeChâteau Frontenac, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada and The Balsams in Dixville Notch, NH.  District 779 Governor Joseph Hahn, 1986-1987 had his Conference at The Balsams on June 18-21, 1987. 

District Governor James Labrie, 1989-1990 held his District 779 Conference at The Balsams in Dixville Notch, NH on June 14-17, 1990.

When we became District 778, our first conference was combined with District 779 and held at The Hilton Hotel, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada on June 13-16, 1991.  The 1990-1991 District 779 Governor Roland Cloutier and District 778 Governor Daniel Mooers were co-host of this Conference.  When the split was agreed upon, part of the agreement was that the two districts would hold their first Conference after the split together.  District Governor Mooers asked then Rotarian Michael McGovern and Club President Marie Williams to do registration check-in for the Rotarians from District 778.  Unfortunately, Michael and Marie could not speak French and they got a lot of Canadians that came to them to check in.  A lot of hand signals were used to send them to the Canadian check in table.  We only used this venue once.

The following year District 7780 Governor Robert Patten, 1991-1992, held our first fall Conference in the center of the district at Verrillo’s Conference Center in Portland, ME held on October 25-27, 1991.  Being centrally located there were a lot of commuters.  It was promoted to be for all Rotarians and not just for club leaders.  In addition, family activities were planned. This was our only Conference at Verrillo’s.

In 1992-1993, District Governor Mort Schmidt move south and held the Conference in the spring at The Cliff House in Ogunquit, ME on June 17-20, 1993.  He stressed that the District Conference at the District level has the same purpose to stimulate, inspire and inform Rotarians, as the R.I. Convention does on the international level.  This was a new venue for us and the only time we went to The Colony for a District Conference. 

In 1993-1994, District Governor Richard Clark moved even further south and held the Conference at a new venue, The Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Portsmouth, NH from June 23-26, 1994.  Rotarians were encouraged to “come and share Rotary information, ideas and friendship.”  A commuter plan was offered for those who lived close or couldn’t give the time to attend the whole event.  This is another new venue which we would return to many years later.

In 1994-1995, District Governor George Cashman (known as George the first) headed north and out of District 7780.  We were once again back at The Balsams in Dixville Notch, NH for the Conference.  It was held from May 25-28, 1995. 

In 1995-1996, District Governor George Rice (known as George the second) brought us back into the District for Conference ’96!  We were at a new venue – The Grand Summit Hotel and Conference Center at Sunday River in Newry, Maine.  It was held on May 30 – June 2, 1996.  The theme was “Enthusiasm is Contagious, Catch It!”.  We were once again able to have commuters.

In 1996-1997, District Governor Craig Wellman brought us back to the southern part of the district.  We were at another new venue, The Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport, ME.  We met there for the Conference from June 26-29, 1997.  This was a good place for commuters and we would return here soon for another Conference.

In 1997-1998, District Governor Marie Williams took us back to The Grand Summit Hotel and Conference Center at Sunday River in Newry, Maine.  The Conference was held from May 28-31, 1998.  Everyone was encouraged to come the 1998 Summit Conference and “Enjoy the Celebration of a year of accomplishments”.  We had many commuters from the area clubs.

In 1998-1999, District Governor William Skinner took us back to The Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport, ME overlooking the ocean.  The Conference was held from June 3-5, 1999.  There were a number of commuters at this Conference.

In 1999-2000, District Governor Michael McGovern took us back to the center of the District.  The District Conference was at a new venue, The Portland Marriot Hotel in South Portland, ME.  It was held from May 18-21, 2000.  It was the 10th Anniversary of District 7780!  We also were  “Celebrating the Last Decade of One Millennium and the Beginning of the Next!”  The theme at Conference 2000 was “I see the Light!” and you will too!  It was another great venue for commuters.

In 2000-2001, District Governor Elias Thomas III took us to the most eastern part of the District, The Spruce Point Inn in Boothbay Harbor, ME.  Our first time there!   The Conference was held from May 17-21, 2001.  This Conference was promoted as “The First District Conference of the New Millennium.” 

In 2001-2002, District Governor Peter Johnson brought us back to the center of the District.  The Conference was held at The Eastland Park Hotel in Portland, ME from May 17-18, 2002.  It was our first two day Conference.  There were a lot of commuters for this Conference.  The individual Clubs were promoted this Rotary year.

In 2002-2003, District Governor Tim Placey took us back to The Grand Summit Hotel and Conference Center at Sunday River in Newry, Maine for the third time.  The Conference was held on May 22-25, 2003.  The theme for the conference was – “It’s a Small World, Friends are Forever!”

In 2003-2004, District Governor Trisha Hunter took us out of the country to a new venue.  It was our first Conference with another District since the split of the District in 1990.  District Governor Trisha Hunter and District 7930 Governor Paul Nader from the Greater Boston Area hosted the joint Conference held at the Montreal Marriott Hotel Chateau Champlain in Montreal Canada from October 31 – November 2, 2003.  It was our first fall Conference since 1991.

In 2004-2005, District Governor Robert Jacobson took us once again to the eastern part of the District.  This Conference was the only one held at the MBNA Conference Facilities in Northport, ME on October 14-17, 2004.  It was our second fall Conference in a row.  It was promoted as District 7780 Centennial Conference.  This facility is now known as Point Lookout Resort and Conference Center.

In 2005-2006, District Governor Robert Laux took us back to The Balsams Resort in Dixville Notch, NH.  We were out of the District once again.  It was our third Conference held here.  The Conference was on September 22-25, 2005.  It was our third fall Conference in a row.  The theme of this Conference was “Onward To A New Century Of Service”.

In 2006-2007, District Governor Marie Williams took us back to The Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport, ME and wonderful ocean views.  It was the third time our Conference was held at this venue.  Everyone was encouraged to join us all at “THE COLONY for FELLOWSHIP and FUN!” Conference on June 3-5, 2007.  We were once again back to the spring Conference.  There were many commuters to this southern Maine Conference.

In 2007-2008, District Governor Elizabeth Cullen took us north out of the District to The Grand Hotel in North Conway, NH.  The Conference was held on May 2-4, 2008.  The theme of this Conference was “Celebrate with the Rotary Stars!!”  This was a new venue for the District and had a good turnout!

In 2008-2009, District Governor Brad Jett took us east and out of the District.  We went to a new venue at The Samoset Resort on the ocean in Rockport, ME from June 5-7, 2009.  Rotarians were asked to “come for a weekend of amazing fun, fellowship, Rotary education and even more fun!!!”  This was a highly attended Conference.

In 2009-2010, District Governor Jeffrey Pelkey brought us back to the southern part of the District and the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Portsmouth, NH.  It was our second time at the Sheraton.  The Conference was May 14-16, 2010 and a big commuter conference.  Many of the clubs “Unsung Heroes” were recognized at this Conference.

In 2010-2011, District Governor Ann Lee Hussey took us back to the center of the District.  We were once again at The Portland Marriott Sable Oaks Hotel in South Portland, ME.  We were there from May13-14, 2011.  We had our second two day Conference.  The theme was “Bigger, Better, Bolder”.    We had many commuters at this conference.

In 2011-2012, District Governor Gary Speers kept us pretty centrally located in the District.  We went to a new venue, The Harraseeket Inn in Freeport, ME from May 18-20, 2012.  The “Moose will be on the Loose” was the theme for this Conference.  They were everywhere!  Everyone was asked to “Join for a fun celebration of YOUR Rotary Year!”  This was also a good commuter conference.

In 2012-2013, District Governor Marty Peak Helman took us back to the eastern part of the district once again.  We returned to The Spruce Point Inn in Boothbay Harbor, ME on May 17-18, 2013.  This was our third two day conference.  The theme for this Conference was “Multiple the Magic!”

In 2013-2014, District Governor Carolyn Johnson took us back to what used to be The Eastland Park Hotel but is newly renovated and called the Westin Portland Harborview in Portland, ME on May 16-18, 2014.  The theme for this Conference was “Shared Stories – Changed Lives!”
In 2014-2015, District Governor Lawrence Furbish took us to southern New Hampshire to The Wentworth by the Sea in Newcastle, NH on April 24-26, 2015.  The theme for this year’s conference was “Light up Rotary”.  DG Lawrence told us how “The magic of Rotary for him was how the small actions of one or two Rotarians can blossom into something so much bigger and more powerful.”  This was a commuter conference for many Rotarians.
In 2015-2016, District Governor Sheila Rollins took us the western hills of Maine to Tarry-A-While-Resort, 17 Tarry-A-While Road, Bridgton, ME on June 10-12, 2016.  This Resort is a magical place that is laid back, yet fun packed.  It's a place where dreams fo summer come alive and fond memories are forged for a life time.  It truly is an oddity, "one hour from everywhere" - the ocean and lighthouses, the White Mountains and Mount Washington's Cog Railway and Auto Road, antique shops, L L Bean and Freeport shopping.  This was a much more relaxed and laid back conference from previous ones.
In 2016-2017, District Governor Marge Barker took us back to The Samoset Resort on the ocean in Rockport, ME from May 19-21, 2017.  Rotarians were asked to “Help celebrate The Rotary Foundation's 100th Anniversary."  It was another fun conference!
In 2017-2018, District Governor David Underhill took us to the Mount Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods, NH from May 4-6, 2018.  We have had a multi-district conference before but never a 5 District Multi-District Conference.  This was a conference with Districts 7780, 7790, 7850, 7910 & 7930.  Which are all three districts in Maine, parts of Canada, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts.   The theme was Creating Positive Impact Through Caring Services, Powered by You!  The 4 Goals were - Inspire - Empower - Motivate - Act.
Not only was 2018 the first 5 District Conference we have ever had but District Governor Dave had 14 (15 if you count Marie Williams having served twice but only in the picture once) Past District Governors from District 7780 in attendance along with the next three incoming Governors.  The Past Governors were in order of senority and the year(s) they served District 7780 - Joseph Hahn 1986-1987; Morton Schmidt 1992-1993 wearing his official Governor red jacket; George Rice 1995-1996; Marie Williams 1997-1998; Michael McGovern 1999-2000; Peter Johnson 2001-2002; Bob Laux 2005-2006; Marie Williams 2006-2007; Brad Jett 2008-2009; Jeff Pelkey 2009-2010; Marty Peak Helman 2012-2013; Carolyn Johnson Sheila Rollins 20015-2016; Marge Barker 2016-2017; and sitting Governor David Underhill 2017-2018.  Also there was DGE John LoBosco 2018-2019; DGN Andrew Glazier 2019-2020 and DGND Peggy Belanger 2020-2021.  
Below is the Historical picture of the PDGs and DG Dave Underhill taken at The Mount Washington Summit on May 5, 2018.
As you can see thus far, District 7780 has had Conferences in the following venues –
The Grand Summit Hotel and Conference Center – 1996, 1998, 2003
The Colony Hotel – 1997, 1999, 2007
The Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center – 1994, 2010
The Balsams Resort – 1995, 2005
The Portland Marriott Hotel – 2000, 2011
Spruce Point Inn – 2001, 2013
The Hilton Hotel, Canada - 1991
Verrillo’s - 1991
The Cliff House - 1993
The Eastland Park Hotel - 2001
The Montreal Marriott, Canada - 2003
MBNA Conference Facilities - 2004
The Grand Hotel - 2008
The Samoset - 2009, 2017
The Harraseeket Inn – 2012
The Westin Portland Harborview (formerly The Eastland Park Hotel) 2014
The Wentworth by the Sea - 2015
Tarry-A-While- Resort - 2016
Mount Washington Hotel- 2018
In 2018-2019, District Governor John LoBosco held the very first summer one day conference, a family affair and it was all outside!  RotaryFest 2019 was held on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at Fort Williams Park, Cape Elizabeth, ME.  The weather cooperated with a beautiful sunny day.  It was our first summer conference and was a casual dress event.  There were guided tours of the park, children's activities, multiple presentations on Rotary and Rotary Projects, a Rotary Business meeting, Memorial Service honoring our deceased Rotarians, entertainment from different musical groups and the Pihcintu Choir was fabulous!  Of course, there was lots of food - doughnuts & pastries in the AM, hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, ice cream, etc. at noon, lots of water, coffee and soft drinks.  It was another fun event!
We have had four conferences in the fall, twenty-four in the spring and one in the summer, so the spring seems to be the most popular time to hold a District Conference thus far.  The fall Conferences have been held in October 1991, October–November 2003, October 2004 and September 2005.  We have had two joint District Conferences - one in 1991 and one in October – November 2003.  We have had one multi-District (5 Districts).  We have had seven Conference locations outside the District, two of which were outside the United States - The Balsams, The Grand Hotel, The Samoset and Mount Washington Hotel were in the United States but outside the District and The Hilton Hotel and The Montreal Marriott Hotel were both in Canada.
To see pictures of the venues and learn who the Conference Chairs were, you need to check out the Conference Locations page.
Let’s see what the next 29 years bring!
Updated 1/27/2020