If you enjoyed the exciting speaker we had on October 26th, then don't miss this Thursday's meeting, when international adventurer and author Raymond Greenlaw will tell us about the trials and tribulations of being the first to complete the newest hiking trail established through the Balkan countries of Europe.  Sort of an Appalachian Trail, Balkan-style...
We are delighted to announce that Derek Ahl has officially fulfilled the requirements to become a member of the club.  His initiation ceremony is imminent.
All the rooms at the Mount Washington Hotel have been reserved for the multi-district conference, but there are still other places to select for your lodging if you intend to go.  It's certainly not too late to register.
The first meeting in December will be our club elections.  If you care to serve as an officer, please see Wes Kennedy.
Be prepared to help serve Thanksgiving dinner to the senior citizens on Monday, November 20th, at the Community Center.
The Marshwood High School blood drive in which Interact is very involved will be on November 7th at the school from 1:00-6:00 p.m.  They need donors.
Also, please plan to go out to eat at Johnson's Restaurant in Berwick on Wednesday, November 8th, from 4-8 p.m.  Tell them you are there for the MHS Interact service trip and 10% of the cost of your meal(s) will go towards their fundraiser.   Interact members will be traveling to the Dominican Republic in April to replant coral reefs.  How exciting is that?  Please support them.
Interact is also collecting canned goods on Halloween which they will bring to the food pantry on the Thursday after Halloween.  They also had a successful Purple Pinky drive for Polio Plus and, on October 27th, prepared and served 60 meals at Crossroads House.
Molly Bannon update:  She is in Cleveland awaiting another transplant/procedure for her ailments.  She has had a rough time of it since the stomach transplant but keeps her spirits up.
We have received $275 in donations in honor of Steve Sanborn.  This will be used for RYLA students, a favorite program of Steve's.
Donations in memory of Richard Currier will go towards the scholarship fund established for Matt Kenney's children, following the untimely passing of this pharmacist who had worked with Richard at the South Berwick Pharmacy.
The Rotary Club holiday party on December 17th at the Harmons' home will begin at 3 p.m. and friends and members past and present and potential are invited to come, along with significant adult others.  There will be fine food (which we all will contribute) and special entertainment provided by Skip Cousens' sister, the singing duo "Boogie Two Shoes".  It would be great if everyone brought $10 to help defray some expenses of the party.
Richard Donhauser invited our guest, Lauren Cultrera, to be our mystery speaker.  We had to guess her unique profession.  Although she appeared to be a normal 31-year-old Marshwood High School graduate who is getting married in less than two weeks, she is extraordinary.  After a number of pointed questions we guessed her "line" - she is a serious dragster who spends at least half of her free time competing in drag races.  Although she works in her father's business taking care of racing vehicles, she competes often, reaching speeds of over 160 m.p.h. in her racer.  Her family and fiance support her every step of the way and she is a competitive racer who sometimes finds herself in the winner's circle.  Her brother also competes.  It is not a matter of sitting in a car, turning the key in the ignition and driving away.  She must withstand the heat and vibrations and make calculations so she precisely crosses the finish line at the predicted time, down to the last millisecond.  She has been doing this for years and absolutely loves it.
Meeting of October 26, 2017 2017-11-01 04:00:00Z 0
This was a club assembly and we discussed the Geography Quiz Night, the Citizens of the Year event, our Out of the Shadows fundraiser this past spring, the Crutches for Africa project, our by-laws, the October Polio Plus walk across the Memorial Bridge, the dictionaries project, the Thanksgiving dinner we will host in November, the trees we will be planting in April, a clean water project in Guatemala, our holiday party at the Harmons' home, our Yankee Swap holiday meeting at Spring Hill, and reminded folks that the board would be meeting the following Monday to take up these items and all were welcome to attend.  The club voted to help fund the 4 Marshwood Interact students attending the United Nations/NYC trip in early November.  At our October 5th meeting the 4 Interact students who participated in RYLA will be our speakers.
At this meeting our generous club members also donated to the two Rotary Foundation (RF) Hurricane Relief Funds and these donations will be matched by the club and will be applied to our club's annual RF commitment.
Pretty impressive club doing so much good locally and globally...
Board Meeting of 9/18/17
President Skip Cousens reviewed the by-laws that needed to be addressed due to some slight inconsistencies with the way we have been managing the club, and after discussion the board approved the changes.  A new set of by-laws will be provided to club members soon.
The Out of the Shadows fundraiser netted $14,677.76, according to Treasurer Kim Brooker.  After deducting the 10% that goes back to the club for other projects, that leaves $13,209.94.  Robin Wheeler asked to reimburse Pastor Beth $1000 now for expenses she paid out of pocket for Out of the Shadows, and the remainder will be presented at the October 5th club meeting where we will invite folks from that organization and reporters to cover this.  We will prepare a press release that will also mention the other community fundraisers we have had in the past and how they have helped our communities (AED's, feeding our neighbors, scholarships, etc.).
So far $710 has been raised for the Hurricane Relief fundraisers.
We will be hearing from the folks organizing the clean water project in Guatemala (Bill Chadwick and the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club) to see if that is what we want to support for the Geography Quiz Night which we hope to have in March.
We made a decision on whom we wish to honor at the Citizens Appreciation Dinner in April.  We will present this to the club for their feedback.
We will reinstitute the Buddies List to make sure we take good care of our fellow members.  We hope to have a presentation about club membership sometime soon to help clarify what it takes to add new members to the club.
We will gather more details on the Polio Plus Bridge Walk to present to the club.
Rotattler for September 14th and Board Meeting Helen Goransson 2017-09-20 04:00:00Z 0
Before I hop on the back of a motorcycle on its way to the top of Newfoundland, here is the latest and greatest from today's meeting:
Next Thursday is Rotary After Hours, tentatively at the tavern at the Links at Outlook in South Berwick starting at 5:30 p.m.  Come for the fun.  Bring someone to meet the great people.  DON'T GO TO THE COMMUNITY CENTER THAT THURSDAY, of course.
September 14th is Club Assembly.  Should be a busy one.
Not sure what is going on September 7th, but will surely be worth attending...
We are making a goal for each member to bring at least one guest to a club meeting or event once this year.
There will be a Bridge Walk to support Polio Plus again in October.  If you can't do it, then support one of the members who will be.
We are working on cleaning up the by-laws.   Stay tuned and be ready to discuss and vote on this.
Our speaker today, brought to you by Jeremy Fogg, was his friend George Beland.  George is a woodworker who started this endeavor in 2002 when he made anything with wood.  He cooperated with a wood shop at the Button Factory in Portsmouth, sharing tools and expertise.  He most prefers being a furniture maker but does mass production of all sorts of items made of wood.  He has mastered the technology to be able to produce items in bulk according to custom specifications.  He has some employees and now owns a small shop in Eliot, Maine.  Although he can hand-tool, he prefers to use machines to make his products and is an expert in CNC (computer numerical control) machines.  We saw some of his furniture and novelty items he has produced.  His biggest challenge is marketing his work.
Be back in a couple of weeks.  
Vroom, vroom...
Rotattler for August 24, 2017 Helen Goransson 2017-08-24 04:00:00Z 0
Rotarians, take note:
  • Our next meeting will feature a speaker provided by Jeremy Fogg. It may have an underwater theme, or perhaps I misheard...
  • August 31st will be our After Hours Thursday.  So far, that means that we will not be meeting on that Thursday morning.  We will be discussing the venue at our Thursday meeting.
  • The following week will be another exciting speaker for September 7th.
  • September 14th will be Club Assembly and we have many important matters to discuss.
  • We can use Berwick Academy on April 20th for our Citizens Appreciation activity - whatever we decide to do for that - if we'd like.
Other Announcements
The fireside chat that took place on August 16th at President Skip's house was great, and more people need to experience this, so there will be a mini-fireside chat sometime soon during a club meeting (perhaps even at the next club assembly).  Thanks to Warren Spencer and Skip for pulling that together.
The Safe Passage Grant in Weymouth, MA is still trying to complete the process which will allow us to send out the funds we raised at the Geography Quiz Night and from the Interact club.  
Since we are looking for a project that addresses the issue of clean water in order to complete our Pyramid of Peace, we might consider a project out of the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club to provide clean water to a village in Guatemala.  Other ideas, anyone?
We now have a supply of Rotary banners which you are free to take whenever you travel and wish to bring them when/if you attend a club meeting at a new club to present to that club.  (I still cannot look at one of those Rotary banners without thinking of my husband.)
Following the club meeting of August 17th a number of members helped clean up after the previous evening's Lanternfest at Spring Hill.  Thank you to all those volunteers.  That was good work provided by the Rotary Club!
District Governor Visit
Dave Underhill, our District Governor, gave us an overview of what we have in store for this Rotary year.  It includes 1) continuing the fight to eradicate polio, 2) dealing with substance abuse recovery, 3) undertaking clean water projects, 4) addressing issues in education, 5) helping our local communities, and 5) using the Pyramid of Peace as a guideline for what we undertake this year.  There are now 40 clubs in our district.  Lots of us being "people of action".  Perhaps our biggest weakness is not telling our own story.  We need to take credit for what we do so people will want to join us.  Membership drives are important to be able to do more and more good work.  We will also be planting trees, with seedlings arriving sometime in the spring.  This year's motto is "Making a Difference", which is what each of us does.
Coming up later is the Multi-District Conference at the Mt. Washington Hotel on May 4-6.  Five districts will be there and there will be a youth services conference then, too.  And the president of all of Rotary will be there!  A great opportunity for fellowship and fun.  We should try to make this a major club activity for fellowship, too.
We should also plan on doing a polio-awareness-raising project in October.  The Bridge Walk in Portsmouth is a good way to do that.  By the way, if you make a donation of $25 or more to Polio Plus via the district's recent promotion, you earn a chance to go to Seattle, all expenses paid, for the Polio Plus Conference.  Check out the district website for details.
Board Meeting of 8/21/17
At the Board meeting we discussed the need to review our by-laws so they are more in line with how we actually do things in the club.
We also were asked by the Pumpkinman Triathlon director to provide volunteers for their events during September 9-10.  They are in great need of people to help.  We brainstormed ideas for our Citizens Appreciation event and decided we need to open this to discussion by our club members.  We reviewed the upcoming club activities including a request to have another blood drive during the December-January time frame.  We hope to be able to distribute the funds for Safe Passage and Out of the Shadows once we have reviewed the financial reports that our new treasurer is working on with the help of Steve Sanborn.  Lastly, we discussed how we might meet our membership goals to increase the size of the club.  We are down to 26 members and would like to have 35 by the end of this Rotary year.  Lofty goals, but nothing is impossible if we try hard.
Meeting of August 17th and Board Meeting Helen Goransson 2017-08-21 04:00:00Z 0
Hi, there!
I am happy to update Molly's story - I may forget things as it is quite a story.  Hopefully, my writing is delicate!
Molly was transplanted with small bowel and colon on November 6, 2015.  The transplant was completed over two 15 hour surgery days. She was slated to leave the hospital after an incredibly fast recovery two weeks from the second surgery, but things took a turn for the worse quickly.  Molly had increasing pain and dangerously high fevers.  It wasn't rejection even though she had issues with that, too.  After suffering for a few weeks, the team operated, again, and found she had a devastating cavity infection.  They noticed that the donor lymph nodes had become quite enlarged and very hard - they feared a transplant induced Lymphoma but it was not- which the doctors had never seen before.  She has since lost all of those lymph nodes as they have almost completely disappeared. Another uncommon complication she had is something called Mesenteric Sclerosis.  This is a cast like scar tissue that forms over the mesentery, which is the blood and nutrient supply to the small bowel. It can happen from trauma or is sometimes seen in patients from countries where the staple meal is rice. 
I have these thoughts and no one challenges them as Molly's complications are very rare and she is the first of her health issues to be transplanted, so I am lucky the team listens to my theories/questions. Now I realize I am playing "arm chair doctor" but in my defense, I have a lot of experience and knowledge regarding these issues and my girl.  I believe the trauma of transplant sparked the sclerosis as Molly does not scar due to the Ehlers - Danlos Syndrome. Mesenteric Sclerosis is a chronic, very painful issue that can only be removed surgically...but, in Molly,  grows back within a few weeks.  It has been removed only twice and only because surgery was required for other issues.  The last time it was removed, the doctor said it had become so hard, he removed bone from the mesentery.  Image your intestines being encased in a plaster shell...  Molly has had over 30 gut surgeries so she will have to wait until transplant to have it removed as surgery is proven harder to heal. In the meantime, she is in increasing pain.  Hopefully, this will not occur with the next transplant!
After this third surgery in 5 weeks, Molly's kidneys suffered.  She gained over 40 pounds of fluid weight resulting in significant skin damage. She has always had stones, but now has Chronic Kidney Disease.  Luckily, it is stage three so no need for dialysis yet.  Unfortunately, this is the nature of the beast for some intestinal transplant patients and we figured this might happen.  I am quite vigilent in giving her IV fluids which helps in between kidney injury episodes.
Molly also still suffers with chronic nausea and vomiting.  The team had hoped that by transplanting the small bowel and giving her a colon, this would "jump start" her digestive tract and these symptoms would get better.  Even though it was discussed she would receive more organs the first time around, the protocol is to transplant the fewest organs for the best results.  One of the surgeries she had here in Cleveland was to reroute stomach contents bypassing the duodenum in hopes of relieving symptoms.  This has not helped.  It doesn't matter if she eats or not, the nausea and vomiting literally occur day and night.  She is even awakened in the night dealing with this...
The doctor has a thought or two regarding Molly suffering since transplant.  He is thinking that she may be in a different type of rejection. No one has had an intestinal transplant having suffered with Indeterminate Colitis and EDS Type III so we do not have any history to compare cases.  She is also only the third patient to receive the rectal pull through.  There is probably permanent nerve damage due to the very bad cavity infection immediately post transplant that went on for a few weeks.  Hindsight being 20/20, Dr. Kareem thinks he should have replaced Molly's stomach, duodenum, both intestines and pancreas the first time. 
My sweet girl may also be listed for a liver.  She has fatty liver probably due to the years of IV nutrition and meds.  She has Encephalopathy which causes confusion, memory loss, lack of concentration, extreme lethargy and dementia like symptoms.  It is most likely due to a high manganese level that the liver is not filtering.  The deposits settle in the brain and may or may not dissipate.  
We are very hopeful that this 5 or 6 organ transplant will allow Molly a better quality of life even if it's just for a short time.  We are very realistic in regards to the outcome but our hope and belief in the doctors keeps us positive about her future.   I had an interview at The Cleveland Clinic and it looked very promising, but the job was given to someone already working on that floor.  When the team heard I was looking for work, I was nicely told Molly is too sick for me to work.  She has declined greatly the last three weeks :( and now weighs about 100 pounds.
In the meantime, Molly -when she feels up to it- and I keep busy volunteering here at The Transplant House of Cleveland and mentoring patients and caregivers.  I am also one of a small group working on a caregiver's handbook for all the transplant teams at the clinic.  I was very honored to be asked to help write this important handbook!  
I know I continue to thank you and the Rotary members for helping my family but we really do appreciate any and all help. We are also tremendously thankful for our community and The Transplant House.  I am not sure how we will financially get through this next transplant but I must believe we will land on our feet somehow.  Please feel free to reach out to me anytime, read my blog on and check out The Transplant House of Cleveland's website.  I may even be able to send a picture or two of Molly if you like!  If anyone from the Rotary would like to ask questions, I am happy to respond!  I hope you enjoy the rest of Maine's summer...we sure do miss our little slice of happiness called home in Eliot!
All my best,
Molly's Condition Stan Shapleigh 2017-08-21 04:00:00Z 0
We hope you are enjoying your summer!
At the last meeting, President Skip reminded us that the District Governor will be visiting our club on August 17th and he hoped all could attend to give Dave Underhill a fine welcome.
One of the projects to be undertaken this year will be planting a tree for every Rotarian, so we hope to have around 30 this year, so that means deciding where and how we will do this.  We will contact the towns' conservation commissions and land trusts and hope to involve the Marshwood Interact Club, too.
August 16th is South Berwick's Lanternfest at the grounds of Spring Hill Lodge.  This is the evening before our Thursday club meeting, so, like last year, we will be helping with the clean-up the morning after.  So, after our Rotary meeting we hope to have many volunteers drive over to Spring Hill to make quick work of the clean-up.  
We have received donations in memory of Richard Currier.  Rotary was an important part of his community life and he was always the first to volunteer.
Our speaker was Warren Spencer, due in part to a mix-up caused by your club secretary, but it was most interesting hearing about Warren's hobby.  Since he was introduced to it by a Navy chief from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Warren has been an avid wood carver.   He generally finds a good piece of wood, mostly from old barns and with no knots, and, with his trusty kit of tools, carves works of art.  These can be eagles, faces, items from nature, or whatever strikes him as worth carving at the time.  Some of his works are on display in prominent places, including the State House.  We got to see the carvings that he happened to still have at home, which meant they did not meet his standards for gifting or displaying, but they were still demonstrative of the detail and beauty he creates from wood.  Just when you thought you knew someone, you discover talents he had you were unaware of!  Thanks for sharing, Warren.
Meeting of August 10th 2017-08-14 04:00:00Z 0
Posted on Jul 27, 2017
The Passing of Our Dear Member, Richard Currier
South Berwick-Richard J Currier passed away unexpectedly at his home on Friday July 21st 2017. 
Richard was an important part of our community both as an active Rotarian and former proprietor of South Berwick Pharmacy. He was an avid runner and his waves hello will be missed. He was a devoted father, grandfather, brother, son, and friend. 
Richard leaves behind two children Lorne Currier, Brooke Frank, and son in law Lee Frank, grandchildren Addison and Annabelle Frank, sisters Cynthia Nickerson and Linda Nadeau, parents Richard and Jean Currier, as well as his nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Friday July 28th at 6:00 pm at the First Parrish Federated Church in South Berwick ME, with the Rev. Linda Hìrst officiating. Care for the Currier family has been entrusted to the JS Pelkey Funeral Home .
Announcements from today's meeting
On August 17th, plan to attend the club meeting as our District Governor, Dave Underhill, will be making his annual club visit.  
The Rotary and Boston Red Sox will have a game honoring our organization on September 13th at Fenway Park.  If you are interested in attending, check out the district website for further details.
We have tentatively set August 16th at Warren Spencer's house for a fireside chat for new-ish members and those who want a refresher course on what we are all doing in Rotary and why.
This year our district's goal is to increase membership by around 150 members.  We encourage each member to invite one guest to a club meeting this coming year and see what develops.  We are so lovable that this is bound to increase membership!
It was a very subdued meeting today as we dealt with the passing of Richard Currier.  Next week we will definitely have a real speaker for the morning program.
If you can, please plan to attend the memorial service tomorrow, Friday, at 6 p.m. at the First Federated Church in South Berwick.
Last Meeting Notes July 27 Helen Goransson 2017-07-27 04:00:00Z 0
South Berwick - Richard J Currier passed away unexpectedly at his home on Friday July 21st 2017. 
Richard was an important part of our community both as an active Rotarian and former proprietor of South Berwick Pharmacy. He was an avid runner and his waves hello will be missed. He was a devoted father, grandfather, brother, son, and friend. 

Richard leaves behind two children Lorne Currier, Brooke Frank, and son in law Lee Frank, grandchildren Addison and Annabelle Frank, sisters Cynthia Nickerson and Linda Nadeau, parents Richard and Jean Currier, as well as his nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Friday July 28th at 6:00 pm at the First Parrish Federated Church in South Berwick ME, with the Rev. Linda Hìrst officiating. Care for the Currier family has been entrusted to the JS Pelkey Funeral Home .
Richard Currier Service Helen Goransson 2017-07-26 04:00:00Z 0
July 20 Reg Club Meeting Helen Goransson 2017-07-26 04:00:00Z 0
Cinco de Mayo Gala for Out of the Shadows Helen Goransson 2017-04-01 04:00:00Z 0
Rotary Meetings are Fun Helen Goransson 2016-08-31 00:00:00Z 0
Have you ever thought about giving back to the community and the world?
The South Berwick - Eliot Rotary Club is your ONE STOP SHOP for finding opportunities to serve.  Over the course of the year this Rotary Club:
  • Feeds senior citizens at a Thanksgiving dinner that we host
  • Helps with community events such as the Lanternfest and Home for the Holidays
  • Runs a blood drive for the Red Cross
  • Supports Polio Plus - a worldwide program to eradicate polio once and for all
  • Organizes a Geography Quiz Night that raises money for an international project while teaching us all about world and local geography
  • Raises money through its Citizen Appreciation Dinner for high school scholarships
  • Supports high school students in their volunteer and service projects
  • Plans activities that help worthy causes everywhere
and more...
South Berwick - Eliot Rotarians Looking for New Members Helen Goransson 2016-08-17 00:00:00Z 0
With a large and exuberant crowd in attendance we honored Wesley E. Kennedy as our 2016 Citizen of the Year on Saturday, June 4th, at Spring Hill Lodge in South Berwick, ME.
This outstanding person has been instrumental in improving our communities in so many ways.  From serving as Superintendent of Schools for MSAD #35 and receiving the title of Superintendent of the Year in 2000 to serving on numerous boards and citizen groups, his legacy includes bringing about the building of the new Marshwood High School, the South Berwick Public Library, capital projects at Wentworth Douglas Hospital, and providing guidance and manpower to numerous community projects.  So many fans of Wesley Kennedy came to this testimonial dinner and both lauded and roasted him.
Proceeds from the event went to the Clifford Ham Rotary Scholarship Fund.  Many thanks to all those who attended and spoke and donated.  It was a wonderful evening!
Citizen of the Year Banquet to Honor Wesley E. Kennedy - June 4, 2016 Helen Goransson 2016-05-13 00:00:00Z 0