District Governor, Claudia Frost
The One Rotarian
These past few weeks, I have been astounded by the number of events, projects, services, and social activities our forty clubs have championed. I have often thought about my original presentation in September and October called “Official District Governor Meeting.” I felt like a Baptist preacher as I espoused the good news that a single Rotarian can start an avalanche of goodness. That single voice needs the support of the club to carry its suggestions to fruition. I warned against using the old adage, “We tried that back in '06 and it didn’t work.” I stick by my original thesis, all the important work of Rotary happens at the club level and usually with one or two Rotarians. 
Most recently, I witnessed this goodness manifested in my own club in Brunswick. Ed Nolde transferred into the club and found members who supported his passion, Buffalo Bicycles. Built for the rough roads of Africa, Ed found financial support outside and in Rotary. The buffalo on a bicycle was very popular at the Bike Rodeo held in Brunswick on May 20. Thank you, Ed.
Moving to earlier in May, I received a phone call asking for support for a pair of pilots flying around the world to draw attention to the eradication of Polio. Just imagine: “Hey honey, my friend and I are planning a trip around the world in my single-engine Cessna.” Luckily, the two pilots carefully planned, and are now executing a trip around the world.
PDG and RI Cadre Carolyn Johnson stepped up and pulled together a reception at Pease Airfare Base for the two pilots. On May 6, district Rotarians gathered for a look at the plane, and the pilots and to listen to the plans for the around-the-world tour. Carolyn found an ally in the Portsmouth Club as the venue was in their neighborhood. Rotarian Merrill Rollins provided music and there was a barbecue that appeared like magic. Two pilots and one Yarmouth Rotarian make a celebration and as it turns out, a large contribution to Polio Plus. Thank you, Carolyn. 
April was a full month of activities, but none as unique as the Open World visit from engineers from Ukraine. With the help of the Biddeford-Saco Club, President Brenda Pollock worked magic to plan a visit around Renewable Energy that was extraordinary. From a Sea Dogs game to a visit to MIT, the Ukrainian delegates were entertained, educated, and warmly introduced to the joys of Rotary. Brenda engaged Senator Angus King as well as a group of New England renewable energy entrepreneurs, found venues for round tables, set up a reception at Thornton Academy, and located a bus with drivers. Thank you, Brenda. 
March boasted the first in-person PETS since 2020. With the work of DGE Marion Cheney, a full program of instruction and inspiring speakers ensued from March 10 - 12. Marion worked with the other DGEs from New England to make this a weekend to remember. Thank you, Marion. 
In the last week of February, a delegation of seven District 7780 Rotarians traveled to Zambia with the purpose of finding international projects as well as visiting Healthy Learners, a project that began in 2014 and scaled up during the pandemic. I had the privilege of traveling with this group of Rotarians. It was a jam-packed trip with club visits, club projects, hospitals, schools, an orphanage for disabled children, a factory for Rotary shirts, and another factory for reusable sanitary pads. We all came back with promises to ourselves and each other that we would do something to help. Exeter President Marilyn Kellogg quickly prepared a District Grant which paves the way for neonatal care in several hospitals. Helen Goransson, with the help of RC South Berwick-Eliot, is preparing another District Grant for a school for the deaf that we visited. I am working with Bath Sunrise Rotarian Bob Gravino, to start a Global Grant to support a refurbished school and orphanage for disabled children. The entire Zambian Team is helping with this project.
Here is an incomplete list of what gets done with one Rotarian: thank you Fred Horch for meeting with club Environmental Ambassadors, Carol Marcotte for her Rotary Disaster Relief grant to Ukraine, Chris Hamilton for GG for street children in Amani, Tanzania, Bath Rotarian Rich Cromwell for work in Cambodia, Rotarian and DGND Emma Bodwell who with the support of Bridgton Lake RC replaced a refrigerator in Columbia, Dover RC President Megan Keil for sharing the club’s lucrative Bingo franchise, Tom Wilbur for starting a program to help community elders, Hampton RC president Larry Marsolais, Hampton and Kittery RC President Pam Gray for involving youth in so many of your programs, and RT and Chief Russell Osgood for his help with the Stars of Our Nation in Ogunquit. 
Indeed, this list is incomplete but a good sample of what our Rotarians and our Clubs do all the time. Please come and celebrate all we do in District 7780 on June 10 on Bailey Island. Register if you haven't already.
See you on the island! Cross over the bridge!