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Rotary Club of Oxford Hills, ME
 
A Brief History of the Beginnings of the Rotary Club of Oxford Hills
 
The concept of a Rotary club in the Oxford Hills was the brainchild of Christopher Hascall, a banker and former member of the Rotary Club of Bethel, after being transferred to the South Paris branch of Casco Bank and Trust.  Chris had the support of the Bethel Club and PP John Head was named Special Representative for Club Extension by District 779 Governor Orville “Tex” Ranger.  John and fellow Rotarian Roger Conant (a South Paris native and brother of Historian Ben Conant) made the trip weekly to our Provisional Club meetings and our early “Chartered Club” meetings to lend us help and advice.  At the time, of course women were not admitted into Rotary and John would come to our meetings to invite us to an event at the Bethel Club and say “Come on up and bring your wife or girlfriend –BUT NOT BOTH!!!
 
Due to the efforts of the Rotary Club of Bethel and after approximately 6 months of informal and “Provisional Club” meetings, the Rotary Club of Oxford Hills was chartered on November 11, 1983 with 22 Charter Members.  Our Charter Night celebration was held at Positively Main Street on February 4, 1984, with guests from all over the then District 779.  The first Annual Dinner was held on February 14, 1985 at Maurice Restaurant and the tradition of naming our Immediate Past President a Paul Harris Fellow began.  It has been traditional to hold our Annual Dinner around February 14 since.
 
Our first Community Service projects were hands on as we did not have funds available to financially assist recipients in the Community.  We manned water stations for the YMCA Triathalon and later that fall installed insulation at the YMCA building at Pennessewassee Park.  A few years later, we insulated, paneled walls and sheetrocked ceilings in an activity room for the YMCA.  We were asked to serve Bean Hole Bean Dinners for the Chamber of Commerce for a fee of $100 which turned into cooking them and serving the next year as many Chamber veterans and Beanmaster Larry Farmer were members of our Rotary Club. For this expanded responsibility we  were rewarded with $500.  After a couple years with that arrangement we took over the Bean Hole Bean Festival and added other activities – Cow Chip Casino, 300 Booster Club Drawing, Face Painting and other children’s activities and a small auction with items primarily donated by members.  With this format, we enjoyed a $7500 fundraiser.  Bean Hole Beans ran their course and President Paul Thornfeldt conceived the idea to sponsor a Free Bean Hole Bean dinner on the 50th anniversary in 2002 of the famous event started by Doc Hall, Courtney Nason, Ray Harris and other Chamber members.
 
Our first Lobster and Clam Dinner was an idea set forth by PP Dick DeCato and Doug Edwards and was held in 1987 at Oxford Hills High School and has been held there every year since. Toys for Tots was first organized by PP Dave Paine, and members were simply asked to donate toys that our kids had out grown or were no longer needed.  We repaired them if necessary, cleaned them up and donated them through organizations as we do now.  In 1987, when the Supreme Court ruled that it was not illegal for women to become members of Rotary Clubs, we inducted 4 female members, Grace Emmerton, Gayla Pulkkkinen, Marjorie Howe and Valerie Weston, who also became our first female President.  Meeting places have included Bean’s Restaurant, Positively Maine Street, Maurice Restaurant, and Goldstreet Restaurant and in 1996, we had to find a place for “a month or two” while Goldstreet was to be renovated.  The ladies Circle of the First Congregational Church of South Paris were gracious to serve us breakfast for the duration and we have been happy and grateful to meet there since.
 
History provided by PDG George Rice. May 25, 2017.
 
We have had one District Governor from our Club as of May 2017.
 
District Governor:
1995-1996  George W. Rice
 
Club Presidents - *Deceased
 
 1983-1984      
Christopher Hascall
1984-1985
David Hamilton
1985-1986
Charles Frost
1986-1987
Edward Whittier
1987-1988
David Paine
1988-1989
William Mann
1989-1990
George Rice֎
1990-1991
Richard Decato
1991-1992
Frank Shorey
1992-1993
David Whittier
1993-1994
Thomas Kennison
1994-1995
Valerie Weston֎
1995-1996
David Sutton
1996-1997
Matt Gurney
1997-1998
Perry Palmer
1998-1999
David Hoisington
1999-2000
Curtis Cole֎
2000-2001
John Kendrick
2001-2002
Alfred Snow
2002-2003
Paul Thornfeldt֎
2003-2004
Jack Richardson* February 12, 2015
2004-2005
Patricia Rice֎
2005-2006
Royal Earle
2006-2007
Steve Galvin
2007-2008
Donna Martin
2008-2009
John Griffith֎
2009-2010
Larry Jordan
2010-2011
Joelle Corey
2011-2012
Beth Abbott֎
2012-2013
Robert Schott֎
2013-2014
David Preble֎
2014-2015
Christina Twitchell֎
2015-2016
Chris Summers֎
2016-2017
Joel Speakman֎
2017-2018
Chris Weston֎
2018-2019
George Rice֎
2019-2020
Patricia Cook֎
2020-2021         
Lynne Shott֎
2021-2022