What's been happening since July 10th's Rotattler?
Haying and visitors have set me back a few Rotattlers, so here comes the summary.
On June 17th we were honored to have Dennis Robillard from Saco Bay Sunset Rotary Club join us at our Zoom meeting to talk about his pet project, Crutches for Africa.  Originally from South Hadley, MA, Dennis attended UMass-Amherst, married and moved to Maine.  After working for the Burger King organization he got into the insurance business, which became his career.  He helped start the Saco Sunset Club and, most notably perhaps, is the district chairperson of Crutches for Africa.  Most recently, this group has sent ten 40-foot containers of mobility devices all around the world.  In 2008, they started a medical loan closet for people to drop off and borrow medical devices.  In 2009 Dennis went to the Rotary Convention in Birmingham, England where he ran into Mike Nazemetz who introduced him to Crutches for Africa, which was founded by Dave Talbot, a Rotarian who lives in Colorado.  In 2005 Dave was in Uganda doing some videography and, being a polio survivor himself, he noticed a woman on the ground all twisted and moving herself along in a hopping motion using a gnarly stick to propel herself.  After that, Dave had a dream about 4 things which became the basis of his project: crutches, canes, walkers and wheelchairs.  And that's how it all began.  Now, though, CFA also provides boots, braces, baby joggers, and all sorts of other mobility devices to those who need them.  The last container went to Afghanistan.  This used to be a once/year event, but in 2019 they shipped out 2 containers.  There were none shipped in 2020 due to the pandemic, but the next container will be going out soon.   Having been raised by parents who survived the Depression, Dennis loves the idea of helping people without spending lots of money, and reusing items that still are useful.  Our Rotary district has done this more than any other Rotary district by far.  He considers this project a life-changer.  It gets people off the ground!  Dennis has been fortunate to have folks donate spaces for storage of the items they collect.   There was one in the South Portland Armory.  Later another came through in the Biddeford/Saco area.  Now another building is being used, but it is being sold so they are in search of another space, in case you hear of anything.  While items are there, they have created a Loan Closet for medical devices and receive 15-20 calls per week for handicap needs.  He allows people to borrow them for free, but he does have them leave a deposit just to be sure they come back.  Learn more by checking out www.Crutches4Africa.org.
The following week we had our board meeting where we talked about 1) beginning our in-person meetings at Berwick Academy, with Marcia from The Catered Event in South Berwick providing the food; 2) the Changeover gathering at Robin and Dave Wheeler's home on July 15th from 5-9 p.m.; 3) Eliot Festival Day the last Saturday of September where we plan to sell lemonade and have a 50/50; 4) postponing our road rally due to a number of members not being available to enjoy it; 5) our finances, where Richard Donhauser reported that we have about $15,000 in savings and he provided a summary of invoices paid and what we have in checking to pay the bills; 6) our next scholarship recipient, Ned Whitesell, and our our past scholarship recipient, Katie Taran, needing to be paid $2500 and $500, respectively, although the larger amount is not payable until Ned sends us his transcript from his first semester at college when he's done with that.  We also brainstormed some grant ideas, talked a bit about a fall fundraiser, and proposed having Vicki Stewart speak to the club about how the school year went and where it will be going due to COVID.  We might also have an evening out at the Seacoast Rep for club members soon.  Interested?
At our last Zoom meeting on July 8th we reviewed our plans to start attending meetings at 7:15 a.m. at Berwick Academy starting on July 22nd, as well as what needs to be done for the Changeover gathering at the Wheelers' (please let Brenda Gagne know what you plan to bring brendasgagne@gmail.com).
When you go to the meeting at Berwick Academy on July 22nd, you will use Entrance 1 and it will be in the dining hall.  More information will follow.
Treasurer Richard will be sending out invoices very soon.  If you wish to have the meals included in your invoice, please let him know.  That would mean adding $10 per meeting for the prepaid meals. 
Hoping to see everyone on Thursday, July 15th, starting at 5 p.m. to celebrate our outgoing and incoming presidents and enjoy each other's company!