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Rotary Memories or Special Moments
All of us at sometime or other during our Rotary Life has experienced a special Rotary Moment or have a special Rotary Memory.  Please take the time to share these moments or memories with the rest of us in District 7780.  It just adds to District 7780 and Rotary' history.
Mine was during the Ice Storm of 1998.  This came back to mind during the Ice storm of 2018 which both happened in the month of January!  It brought back all the memories of how Rotarians are special people all over the world whether it is hands on or through donations of money, food or labor.  This encouraged me to write about one of my special Rotary Memories that I want to share with you.  I hope you will share your Rotary Memories or Special Moments with District 7780 through this page.  All these Rotary Memories or Special Moments are part of our great District's history and should be shared.   In addition, what a great way to tell prospective members about what Rotary and Rotarians do!  
January 2018 Ice Storm
This past week’s ice storm reminded me of one of my most memorable experiences I have had in Rotary. It was the outpouring of help and caring we got from all over the Rotary world to District 7780 during the ice storm of 1998.  I was District Governor when this unbelievable ice storm hit us.  The northern part of our District suffered some severe ice damage and lengthy power outages.  We had at least 14 clubs in the state that were affected by this storm and then we had we had a second one at the end of January.  PRID Daniel Mooers suggested we apply for a Disaster Relief Grant from The Rotary Foundation, so with Dan’s help, I did and we received a $2,500 grant.  The one and only time this District ever received such a grant.  RI sent a Disaster Relief Notice out to the then 521 District Governors around the world.  We received donations from all over the world as far away as Siberia and even from 1997-1998 RI President Glenn Kinross from Australia!  We received $28,270.93 in donations including the $2,500 Disaster Relief Grant (much higher than $15,000).  I received numerous calls from Rotarians from all over the country.  It was very heartwarming to see how much Rotarians care!
We received monetary donations plus donations of canned goods, water and non-perishable goods.   Then on top of all of this we had a group of Rotarians from The Rotary Club of Stafford, CT drove up to Kennebunk, ME where then Kennebunk Club President Steve Adams, plus several members from his club and others, plus Bruce and I met them.  They had a truck load of water, food and other supplies which we then drove to a shelter in Newfield, ME which was very hard hit to deliver these much needed supplies.  When we arrived at the fire station, they opened the doors and cheered when we started to unload the truck.  This trip received TV coverage from channels 6, 8 and 13.  The following weekend, they came back and went to shelters in Limerick and Bridgton, ME.  Channel 8 TV covered them in Bridgton. 
We were able to assist individuals, families, local food pantries, churches and fired departments.
Rotarians throughout the District took in neighbors without power, provided food to shelters and food pantries and helped clean up debris afterwards for the elderly that could not do it. The disaster relief money we received was distributed throughout our district.  PRID Daniel Mooers, then DGN Michael McGovern, then District Treasurer Dick Thompson and myself spent time figuring out who was most in need.  We hand delivered personally many of the checks to these area organizations.  It was the most heart-warming and one of the most memorable experiences of my Rotary life.  It still makes me very proud to be part of this organization and to have the opportunity to work with such generous and dedicated people!  THANK YOU, Rotary District 7780.  You really believed and lived Rotary’s theme in 1997-98 and still do - “Show Rotary Cares, for your community, for our world, for its people!”  Marie A. Williams, February 20, 2018