By: Bob MacKenzie,
Chair, District Rotary Recovery Committee
RC of Kennebunk
Nearly five years ago, District 7780 launched our Rotary Recovery Committee to focus on substance use disorder and ways Rotarians could combat the stigma, education gap and lack of resources evidenced by the opioid crisis.  Among the things we learned: Adverse Childhood Experiences are indicators and precursors to substance misuse.  Ground-breaking research over twenty years ago established the clear links between ACEs and a variety of health issues.   For More Details click Here
Thirty trainers were selected and participated in curriculum developed by Dr. Robert Anda and Ms. Laura Porter, pioneers of ACEs/community initiatives around the country.  These thirty local leaders (six of them Rotary Club members) have now fanned out in their areas of discipline with a target of training nearly one thousand people during the course of the project.
In York ME, Strafford and Rockingham Counties NH, our team set a goal of raising sixty thousand dollars over two years.  The money helped Pinetree Institute of Eliot ME launch a master-trainer program to educate communities about ACEs and positive actions at the local level. 
Who is paying the bill?  Rotary has led the way, partnered with Pinetree Institute, the Kennebunk Savings Spotlight Fund, the Maine Community Foundation and other charitable organizations.  Rotary Clubs raised thirty thousand dollars each year over two pandemic-riddled years to meet this challenge with a total of sixty-thousand dollars of Club charitable contributions – an impressive achievement in a tough time for fundraising.
Most Rotary Clubs in the three counties took part.  Our District team congratulates and thanks the Rotarians in these Clubs for stepping up and helping to fund the initiative. 
Thank you to the members of: Biddeford-Saco, Dover, Exeter, Hampton, Kennebunk, Kennebunk Portside, Kittery, Kittery After-Hours, Ogunquit, Portsmouth, Rochester, Saco Bay, Wells, and York Rotary Clubs!
Pinetree Institute executive director Larry McCullough said it best: “It is Rotary’s leadership that’s given many other organizations the confidence to support this effort, and we are tremendously grateful both for the funding and for Rotary’s community support across our region.”