Meeting of December 17, 2020

Thanks to the magic of Zoom meetings, it seemed like a great idea to hear from Mike Lassel's cousin Wolfgang Lassel, who lives just outside of Salzburg, Austria, to talk to us about what life is like under the influence of COVID19 out there in Austria.  We had hoped to hear all sorts of encouraging news about how disciplined citizens can keep the virus under control, but were dismayed to find that many of the issues we face in America they have also been facing in Austria.  Although a self-proclaimed "master of life" who enjoys boating in the summer, Wolfgang described life once COVID hit Europe.  There were massive shutdowns in February, hard lockdowns in March, but by the summer the numbers had decreased substantially so life improved somewhat.  Unfortunately, the next spike arrived in mid-November and their cases rose to 9200 vs. the 1300 they had during the summer.  So the country went into "lockdown lite", with only stores and markets opens.  However, since the 17th of November, they have been in a hard lockdown.  Just like here, people are experiencing pandemic fatigue.  The country's leadership wanted testing to increase, but only 22% of the population took them.  Sadly, people have lost faith and trust in their government in the handling of this crisis.  Germany, too, is in hard lockdown now.  If one travels between countries, the person needs to quarantine for 10 days.  People are working from home, kids are learning from home, but, unlike us, the average size of most homes/apartments is about 650 square feet.  Imagine a family with working parents and kids trying to learn, all squeezed into such tight quarters.  One repercussion of this is an increase in domestic violence.  People must wear masks everywhere, even at home.  About 10-15% of the population refuse to wear masks.  Austria has a population of 8.5 million people, and with no restaurants, no hotels, no businesses running normally, the economy is in crisis, too.  There have been limited government subsidies, with people receiving at the most 70% of what they need.  They, too, suffer from mixed messaging coming from the government about this.  It's very discouraging.  So if, like me, you expected to hear some encouraging news and great ideas for dealing with this, the talk was definitely a downer.
Token of our Appreciation to First Responders
What better way to cheer people up than to thank them and give them chocolates and gifts?  That's the plan for our club activity during the week between Christmas and New Year's.  We have already gotten the chocolates, the baggies, the ribbons, Brenda is preparing the thank you inserts, and Lena has created some artwork expressing our thanks to each of the departments we will be honoring.  We envision having a little parade, ringing bells, and then dropping off our gifts to first responders and others.  Stay tuned.
Not sure who our next speaker is, but it's always pleasant to get together at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday mornings when Deb organizes a Zoom meeting.  
Meeting of December 17, 2020  Helen Goransson 2020-12-22 05:00:00Z 0

Meeting of December 3rd and Board Meeting

Rotattler for Meeting of December 3rd and Board Meeting
It had been awhile since we gathered on Zoom, but when we did meet on Thursday, December 3rd, we used the time to catch up with one another and brainstorm ways we could serve the community during this holiday season.  We came up with a plan to provide gift bags of chocolates for service providers and first responders in our towns.  We hope to have a meaningful message inside each bag and perhaps Lena Ugren can create a piece of art that expresses our thanks for each of the service organizations to present as well.  
We will also ask Sharon at the Community Service Department is there are other needs where we can help.
We were reminded that we need to present a slate of officers for the next Rotary year.  We are working on that.  Any volunteers?  Please let President Deb and Wes Kennedy know if you are interested in a leadership role.
We will be inviting our latest Rotary Scholarship recipient to tell us how life has been in college during the pandemic.  
We are lining up speakers for the coming meetings.
We will be issuing checks to Katie Taran ($2500) and to last year's scholarship recipient for the second tranche of that scholarship ($500).
We continued to plan and assign tasks for members to complete the "Candy for First Responders" project/  We estimate up to 250 people may be receiving these bags of sweets and we hope that Brenda can come up with tasteful tags to include in the baggies.  Because of the work involved to do this right, we will plan to distribute these during the week between Xmas and New Year's Day.  
We have 3 speakers on tap to join our upcoming Zoom meetings:
Katie Taran will be joining us this coming Thursday to talk about college life at the University of South Carolina this past fall.
Mike Lassel is trying to get his friend Wolfgang from Salzburg to tell us about the situation in Europe nowadays, hopefully on December 17th.
There will be no meetings during Xmas and New Year's weeks.
The following meeting, the first meeting in January, looks like one where Najee Brown of the Sol Project and the Seacoast Rep will be sharing with us his vision for raising cultural awareness in our region.
Hope to see you all on Thursday!  Cheers!
Meeting of December 3rd and Board Meeting Helen Goransson 2020-12-08 05:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for October 29, 2020

Zoom Meeting of October 29, 2020
This well-attended Zoom meeting  began with announcements that Michele Meyer picked up our supply of 3000 masks for distribution around our towns.  Richard Donhauser, Skip Cousens, Mike Lassel, Carolann Gagne and others have busily delivered these to town offices, elderly housing, police and fire departments, schools and other community areas.  President Deb and Richard delivered them to the town of Eliot via the Select Board meeting and our club received the praise and thanks of the Select Board and town manager, as well as asked to hear more about the projects we do and have done.  The deliveries were still ongoing as of the Zoom meeting, but it looked like all the masks will have been distributed in short order.  Assistant District Governor Malcolm also gave President Deb a bunch more, so we will be busy spreading good cheer with these.
Bill Widi was the guest speaker and he talked to us about agribusiness and the creative ways he has made a go of it in Eliot.  Bill described himself as a first generation farmer.  He grew up on a horse farm, went on to study business management, was a property manager for a while, and at the age of 23 had to deal with the news that he had cancer.  Experiences like that makes one rethink the direction they are going and it was then that he realized what meant most to him was growing things.  Since farming is not the type of work where you can make a living around here, he was also a limo driver for 4 years while farming his grandmother's land, known as Sandy Hill Farm nowadays.  This little endeavor has grown to 7 greenhouses and 2 more to come.  He has learned all he can and also realizes that success in farming needs the added push of agritourism.  For this to succeed, you need a population close to the farm from which to draw your tourists, and Eliot is well-positioned for that, being so close to seacoast NH, Massachusetts and a region that is being swallowed up by development where Eliot is a little oasis of rural life.  Just to be sure he could efficiently do what he wanted to do, Bill got an ordinance passed defining what agritourism would look like in town.    His first idea was to have a sunflower maze, but that didn't work.  Then he decided to combine his love of farming with his love of history and created "Folklore Fall", an experience on his farm highlighting folklore from around the world.  This included Mexico (masks and Dia de los Muertos), northern Europe (fairy houses), Greece (floating items in his creek), and Polynesia (tikis).  Turns out this attraction became an overnight delight and sells out most nights.  This certainly made up for the horrendous drought that ravaged his crop yield this year.  He has kept the farm stand open and during the worst of COVID times his farm was a source of fresh produce that people could drive up and purchase.   What he enjoys most is that this has become a place where kids can see each other (socially distanced, of course) and he can hear laughter.  It's a bear to manage but people have really enjoyed it.  It runs through November 8th.  After that, Bill will be busily tearing down this attraction and building winter wonderland of lights as the next big thing.  Reservations are required, so if you'd like to go before it ends, you need to call Sandy Hill Farm.
Next Speakers
On November 12th, we have Conor Guptill talking about raising buffalo in Berwick (at the Hackmatack Playhouse farm?).
November 19th, we hope to hear from Najee Brown and his Sol Project to raise cultural awareness.
Rotattler for October 29, 2020 Helen Goransson 2020-11-04 05:00:00Z 0

Zoom Meeting of 9/24 and Board Meeting

Rotattler for the Meeting of September 24th and Board Meeting Notes
Our guest speaker was Jeri Weiss of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who talked about Project RAINE (www.EPA.Gov/RAINE).  In late 2013 the EPA hosted a climate summit and resulting from it was Project RAINE (Resilience and Adaptation in New England).  Visit the website for a fuller understanding of the information that this provides.  Resilience is like bouncing forward so that the next time something happens we can respond better with what we've learned the previous time(s).  We have seen that there are changing patterns in weather and climate, where events are bigger, storms are stormier, etc.  So the EPA has created this database so people can look up information that has been gathered before about what has been done and what worked and what did not, e.g., and respond accordingly when something like this happens again.  The website is updated twice a year.  Check it out.  
Jeri has been with the EPA since 1989 and has worked on such projects as the Superfund project, air toxins (such as mercury), solid waste, lead in drinking water, and other environmental concerns.  She mentioned her work when Mattapoiset in Massachusetts experienced a flooding event due to a hurricane in 1991 when private wells that provided drinking water got flooded with salt water because of the coastal flooding.  Leaders met and addressed the problems, but, with global warming leading to rises in sea levels, this will happen again.  Hopefully, by keeping track of strategies that have been used people can make the most informed decisions about how to address this type of problem.
On October 6th we will pick up 3000 masks as our allotment for distribution to worthy and needy groups under our district's Million Mask Challenge.  Once we have them, we will mobilize to get them out to the communities we serve, all the while demonstrating how Rotary serves our region.
We are trying to pin down how we can help with Halloween in Eliot and South Berwick.  We hear that there may be a scarecrow making event in Eliot.  We are checking with both towns to see what we can do.
The Eliot Recreation Department has asked us to help fund "Rec in a Box", to supply kids with activity boxes to take home should they have to return to virtual at-home learning again if COVID causes them to shut down activities for kids at the Elementary School.    
On Monday the Board met at Skip Cousens' lovely deck for a sunset meeting (thank you for hosting this, Skip).  Here's a summary:
-- Treasurer Richard reported that there are still 14 people who have not paid their dues.  We have sent our payment to Rotary for all our members.
--  We talked about possibly having our meetings at the Flynns' meeting facility in downtown South Berwick, which is close to ready.  We probably would not have any in-person meetings for at least a few months, though, unless there is some miracle.
--  We will distribute our 3000 masks to first responders, hospitals, doctors' offices, nursing homes, and other places according to the goal of making a local impact.
--  We will accept Robin Wheeler's gracious invitation to have our October 8th meeting at her house in her lovely yard and patio.  She'll provide the beverages, but we need to bring our own food that we would eat personally, like a picnic, but not to share, in the interest of safety.  This would take place from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
--  We will prepare press releases about our button project at the elementary schools.  We have some nice photos.  Jeremy Fogg's family is putting together the posters that will hang at each school.  Thank you for the graphic designers, Jeremy.
--  The electronics fundraiser is still in our plans, most likely in the spring.  That company is back in business.
--  We voted to fund the "Rec in a Box" proposal for the Eliot Community Service Department.  It will cost about $280, it seems.
--  We'd still like to organize a Halloween costume contest where kids and their families can get into costumes and send us photos to be entered for prizes, the categories being most original, best costume, and best group costumes.  We will try to use our Facebook page (did you know we have a FB page?) and towns' FB pages to publicize this.  Without actually asking them yet, we are hopeful that Lena Ugren and Brandon Elsemore will keep our FB page updated for such activities.
Zoom Meeting of 9/24 and Board Meeting Helen Goransson 2020-09-29 04:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for March 5, 2020 and Beyond

Rotattler for March 5th and Beyond
Meeting of March 5, 2020
President Jeremy was away, but future president Deb saved the day.
A small but lively group welcomed our guest speaker, Regan (sp?) Russell from Berwick Academy (brought to you and introduced by Michael from BA).  She has participated in BA trips to Thailand, Italy, China, etc. and she and Michael are class advisors of the current senior class.  She is a member of the art faculty and had the opportunity to travel to Aomori, Japan.  Aomori has a sister relationship with Maine ever since the ship Cheeseborough was wrecked off the coast of Japan and villagers in Aomori took care of the survivors.  So they established the Friends of Aomori and Maine, a group which includes members of their Rotary club in Aomori and which organizes cultural exchanges.  Russell's experience when she visited was to study Aomori's famous wood-block art.  She was there one week in 2018.  Aomori is located in the northernmost region of Japan, outside of Hokaido and is amazingly similar to Maine in weather and landscape.  It is also a bed of artistic creativity.  They have lots of snow, apples, rugged scenery and are famed for their parade floats and artwork.  During the visit, she saw area schools and was most interested in how they delivered arts education.  Their project of cultural exchange is called Hashi, which means "bridges" and this project helped build bridges between the countries.  She enjoyed the Munakata Memorial Museum and observed and worked with the most famous block print makers in the country.  In Aomori, every student makes one block print each year and then they put it all on display.  BA students and Aomori students are now making and sharing their block prints and sending them to each other and displaying them in their exhibits.  This year's prints from Aomori will be displayed at Greeley in Cumberland, ME. Last year's was on display at BA.   
It's a busy week ahead and your club secretary won't be around to hound you about them, so here goes, in case you're interested:
Next Thursday our speaker will be Gary DeColfmacker.  Maybe he'll tell some "Deb Stories"...
March 14th is the Community Supper at which we have volunteered to help, at the Eliot Methodist Church on Route 236 in Eliot, and the event is from 4-6 p.m. but come early to help if you can.  
March 16th there is a Maine Bicentennial Celebration at the Eliot Elementary School at 2 p.m.  This includes the dedication of the mural of the clipper ship Nightingale built in Eliot at the Hanscom Shipyard, and school staff and children have prepared a big birthday celebration and presentation.  They suggest you come and "dress like a Mainer" (whatever that means).
March 16th at 5 p.m. is also the Rotary board meeting at the offices of Civil Consultants.
Now off to Ixtapa, Mexico (fingers crossed we make it back as planned).
Rotattler for March 5, 2020 and Beyond Helen Goransson 2020-03-06 05:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for February 27, 2020

Meeting of February 27, 2020
Next service activity (after Food Pantry duties this Thursday) is helping at the community bean supper on March 14th at the Eliot Methodist Church.  They need helpers to serve and clean up and bake pies.  The event is from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. but they could probably use help beforehand.  If you wish to help by attending, the event is free if you 1) bring 3 items to donate to Footprints Food Pantry or 2) bring a pot of beans to share or 3) contribute some cash in the donations jar there.  But no one is required to!  While there, you can take part in the raffles, door prizes, bean tasting competition, and other activities.  The goal is to raise money to bring back fireworks for Eliot's Festival Days in September in commemoration of the bicentennial of the state.  Hope you can come and/or help out!
The planning for the Geography Quiz Night on April 3rd is moving along.  Still looking for raffle items and team members, students and non-students, to populate the 16-20 teams we anticipate competing.  Please plan to come to help and spectate this event and invite lots of friends.  The more people the better for so many reasons.
How fortunate we are to have Vicki Stewart as a Rotary member and how fortunate is the Interact club to have her as one of the chaperones of their service trip to Tanzania, because we got to see her wonderful presentation about this trip.  They traveled to a region outside of Arusha, Tanzania, just south of the Kenyan border and experienced authentic and real Tanzanian life and beauty.  After an 18 hour set of flights they found themselves settled at an altitude of 5000 feet and they felt it.  They knew to bring crisp $100 bills for border transactions and this group of 9th through 12th graders from 3 different high schools with a variety of interests became instant friends and remained so throughout the trip and beyond.  Their service project addressed educational and water needs.  Every day, the women who live there must walk 6 hours per day just to fetch water for their daily needs.    The region is experiencing water shortages so the local project leaders, all college graduates, showed the group the best ways to conserve water and they adapted well.  There is no electricity there to speak of.  The project is through Education Foundation (EF) and Me to We (a Canadian group whose motto is "no hand-outs, just hand-ups").  The education project focused on school rooms and teacher housing and this group experienced carrying water for miles and hours like the natives do, applying "boma" (fresh cow manure, dirt and ashes) to the walls of the building to seal the cracks, digging a foundation of a new room, interacting with the children at the school and village, and learning beading and Swahili and African history, particularly from the Masai people there.  Upon their return, the students hope and plan to teach OUR community what they learned about Tanzania and to encourage more African studies in our Maine high school curriculum. 
Rotattler for February 27, 2020 Helen Goransson 2020-03-03 05:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for February 20, 2020

Rotattler for the Meeting of February 20, 2020
President Jeremy welcomed the room full of members and guests and announced the activities which will make this a busy late-winter/early-spring, including 1) the Food Pantry on March 5th (please come and help - we are a bit short-handed this month), the Eliot Bicentennial Bean Supper where we will be helping out in many ways (serving, cleaning, set-up, baking pies), the dictionaries project happening sometime during March where we will be delivering these books to students at Central School, Eliot Elementary School and the Seacoast Christian School, the Geography Quiz Night on April 3rd to raise funds for Haiti's Life and Hope School's global grant, the electronics fundraiser on May 2nd at the Eliot Commons, the Eliot seniors dinner on May 13th at the Congregational Church, and the lobster rolls sales at Strawberry Festival in the end of June.  Kind of takes your breath away how much we have in store with all the good works we are doing.  Of course, there is also the fun gathering on April 30th at our Rotary After Hours meeting at the home of Wes and Pat Kennedy (thanks soooo much!).
We were grateful to hear from Mike Eunice (sp?), the Executive Director of Options in Dover, a faith-based non-profit which supports women in crisis, the only such center in our area.  This wonderful organization also has a medical facility and provides help at no cost to patients and clients.  It has a new location in Rochester, NH and offers 1) pregnancy tests, 2) ultrasounds from 5-27 weeks of pregnancy, and 3) STD testing. It's shocking to learn that in the 15-24 year old age group over half of them experience STDs which can lead to life-threatening conditions.  Their place offers breathing room and space for women to make the best decisions for themselves when dealing with a crisis.  In January they moved to Rochester and are doing business as Together Family Services.  Their Baby Steps program helps women to learn about life and children so that all can thrive.  They offer 161 classes that people can take, and those who participate earn points which they can accumulate and redeem for items in their boutique (clothing and other supplies).  In addition they learn life skills and can participate in counseling programs, including programs dealing with loss.  They are funded through their own fundraising efforts. 
Rotattler for February 20, 2020 Helen Goransson 2020-02-25 05:00:00Z 0

Meeting of January 23, 2020

Rotattler for January 23, 2020
President Jeremy summarized the last board meeting as follows:
  • We voted to maintain the scholarship amounts at the same levels as last year ($2500 first year and $500 the next year of college).
  • We approved presenting for club vote the new membership of state representative Michele Meyer.  She knows that being a part of this club will afford her opportunities to help the community in even more ways.  Members have 2 weeks to raise any concerns before voting.
  • The Red Cross blood drive is February 1.  We need people to sign up to cover the various shifts.  Not many, but a couple of people each shift.
  • Instead of always expecting Jeremy and Brenda to cover food pantry duties, we decided to establish a sign-up for the year, much like speaker assignments, and if someone cannot make his/her date, then he/she will be responsible for finding a substitute to cover the Food Pantry.
  • The Eliot Historical Society has asked for help with their state Bicentennial fundraiser.  It will be a bean supper in March and they have asked for volunteers for set up, clean-up, and pie-making.  We agreed that we could help out with that.  Funds raised by them will pay for fireworks and other special items in celebration of the Bicentennial of Maine in our region.
  • Interact and/or we are mulling over a dodgeball event.
  • March is the Interact regional conference and our club will pay for the registrations of those students who wish to attend.
  • Geography Quiz Night of April 3rd is proceeding.  Looks like we could have 18 teams.  Sponsors are welcome, as well as donations of raffle items.  We will try to optimize funds raised from the  raffles and from concessions.
  • The electronics fundraiser is DEFINITELY scheduled for May 2nd at Eliot Commons, so start collecting your items to be tossed (for a nice donation to our club’s scholarship fund) and we’ll also spread the word through the schools and other outlets.
  • In May will be that senior turkey dinner in Eliot.  More info to come.
  • Strawberry Festival will be the last thing on the agenda in June.  Still moving ahead as planned.
We then had our election of officers.  Our group unanimously elected Jeremy Fogg as Past President, Deb DeColfmacker as Incoming President, Brenda Gagne as President-Elect for the following year, Brian Beeler as Treasurer (with a lot of help from Stan Shapleigh), Helen Goransson as Secretary, Hap Moore as Sargent-at-Arms, and Robin Wheeler and Tom Harmon as Directors-at-Large. 
Next meeting will be a club assembly.  We have a lot going on so it should be a worthwhile meeting to attend to get all the details.
Speakers of the Day
Amy Miller started off with a report on the most recent trip to Haiti to check out the progress of Life and Hope School and their hospitality project for which we are submitting a global grant.  What started out years ago as a little school of about 30 students now serves 500+ students.  Amy is working tirelessly to obtain donations from outside the district of $20K and she is confident we will raise the rest within the district in order to optimize the matching available for the project.  While there she was able to further cement the relationships with Rotarians and others in Haiti that are necessary to make this project work.
Mary Onken then explained the ins and outs of being a track official.  She started while working in a high school in New York state when she wanted to learn more about the rules and regulations of all the track and field sports and events.  She became a full-fledged official and must constantly keep updating her knowledge of all the rules and regulations which are ever-changing.  Each sports organization has its own set of rules.  The Federation headquarters are in Indianapolis.  Then there are the NCAA and the USATF.  World Athletics tries to call all the shots (also known as the IAAF).  After being certified at the high school level, Mary became the state officer for New York, which included 14 years as President and she is still on their board.  Some of the officiating for which she has been responsible include the USATF Empire Games and the Army-Navy competitions.  Mary started out officiating for the throwing contests, then became a timer, a starter, a clerk, a referee, all the way up to combined events chief, which include heptathlons, pentathlons, decathlons, etc.  She needs to ensure that the right people are officiating, particularly very alert and agile ones for the throws!  The goal is always that the event be fair and provides equal opportunity for all competing.  Mary is currently on a rules committee for the USATF.  She is delighted that even though she is not as young as most, she is still selected to officiate at even the most important athletic events.  In June she will be officiating at the Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon, which is quite an honor.
Meeting of January 23, 2020 Helen Goransson 2020-01-28 05:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for January 9, 2020



Dear Members of the South Berwick- Eliot Rotary,

We are thrilled to host a winter gathering at our home on January 16, 2020 from 5:30 to 7:30pm.  There will be cocktails and hearty hors d’oeuvres for all to enjoy. The address is 31A Academy Street.

Parking is available in our circular driveway as well as in the parking lot adjacent to the house.

The driveway of 31A Academy Street is the first driveway on your left AFTER the Fogg Memorial & Athletic Fields entrance.

Proceed to the right as you drive in and park as space permits. If you find that the spaces are taken, there is an entrance to a parking lot ahead on the

Handicap Accessibility: Please park in the upper driveway and enter through the garage.

We look forward to seeing  you on the 16th. Should you have any questions please contact or call 207-384-6398.


Jim and Lucy Hamilton


It should be a wonderful time for all!


Other announcements:  1) the next speaker will be the new head of adult education for Marshwood, compliments of soon-to-be-retired Brenda Gagne, 2) we have a board meeting on Monday, January 20th at the offices of Civil Consultants, 3) there will be a blood drive sometime in February, 4) the Geography Quiz Night will be on April 3rd and we are currently accepting sponsorships and donations to the raffles, 5) there will be an electronics drive for scholarship fundraising in early May.




We welcomed Jim Pope AKA "the Pope of Eliot" AKA "Curley".  We learned where the nickname Curley came from.  Just picture a long-haired young man with a long-lasting perm.  Jim doesn't trouble himself with matters of the hair nowadays, for obvious reasons.   He has led a colorful life and regaled us with stories of his experiences as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard, a lighthouse keeper at Whaleback Lighthouse (24 days on, 6 days off per month - what a life!) and described how lighthouses work, and the trials and tribulations of being in the Portsmouth area and running the tugboat E.F. Moran for years.  As "Blondie" from our club observed, "What a pip he is!"  You had to be there...

Rotattler for January 9, 2020 Helen Goransson 2020-01-10 05:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for December 12th and Beyond

Rotattler for December 12th and Beyond
Meeting of December 12th
President Jeremy began with announcements, including:
-- There were about 5 members who made sure we lit up the streets for Home for the Holidays.
-- The Yankee Swap holiday meeting on Thursday will be at the tavern at Outlook Golf Course.  DON'T FORGET!  Bring an anonymous gift (funny or nice or regift, etc.) to add to the Yankee Swap pile.  This is always fun.  
-- Our speaker at the next meeting will be Jim Pope of Eliot, a fascinating person who has been a lighthouse keeper, a tugboat captain, and more).  He was invited by Richard Donhauser.
-- We have switched around our Rotary After Hours week in January.  ROTARY AFTER HOURS WILL BE JANUARY 16TH AT THE HEADMASTER'S BUILDING AT BERWICK ACADEMY.  Many thanks to Jim Hamilton for hosting this.
-- January 23rd's meeting will have Linda Greer as its speaker.  She is the new Marshwood Adult Education director.
-- So January 30th will be a normal meeting day.
-- We have a blood drive planned in February.
-- Robin Wheeler mentioned that St. Christopher's Church in York needed help with their Toys for Tots campaign.  She passed around a sign up sheet for December 16-19.  This schurch is across from Foster's in York on Route 1A.
-- We will be helping 2 families, one from Eliot and one from South Berwick, with gift cards and monetary gifts.  
-- We received a check from Pumpkinman for our volunteer work, and it was over $200!
-- We have put into place Rotary members alert system which will provide texts to members when we have inclement weather that requires notifications to members.
-- Carol Chapman mentioned that the Portsmouth Music Hall can use volunteers.  It's a good opportunity to see their great shows and also be helpful.
-- The board meeting was to be on Monday.
State Representative Michele Meyer was our guest speaker.  She presented her impressions of being a first-year representative.  She represents Eliot, some of South Berwick and some of Kittery.  She welcomes the opportunity to serve the public and never would have imagined she would be working in politics.   But this career nurse has her own mantra in the way she serves:  She is doing the people's work and she refuses to judge based on political affiliations.  This current legislature in Augusta is not ugly and members enjoy a wonderful collegiality.  Having been a registered nurse, she found herself on the Health and Human Services Committee.  All work in Augusta is done by committees.  She mentioned recent legislation pertaining to immunization and another about death with dignity.  She is proud of the budget they produced, which involved compromises by all but that's the way they work up there now.  Most pressing needs include the state's workforce shortage and workforce housing shortage.  These are tough ones and the economic health of the state depends on creative approaches to these issues.  We are very fortunate to have articulate, intelligent and dedicated people like Michele working in government on our behalf.
Board Meeting
Although President Jeremy was out of state, he provided us with notes and we soldiered on.
We discussed our meal service, helping the 2 needy families, passing the hat for our cook, potential new members, our upcoming Yankee Swap meeting plans, the after-hours meeting planned at Berwick Academy on January 16th, fundraising ideas, food pantry coverage, our next elections, the speakers list for 2020, our global grants, and Strawberry Festival.
So, to reiterate:
Merry Christmas and/or Happy Chanukah or whatever holiday you celebrate, Happy New Year.  Blessings to all.
-- April 3rd is the Geography Quiz Night, so please start to submit your sponsorship payments to Skip Cousens. 
Rotattler for December 12th and Beyond Helen Goransson 2019-12-16 05:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for Thanksgiving Week and Beyond

Rotattler for Thanksgiving Week and Beyond
Your club secretary was NOT there when the club members served Thanksgiving dinner to the seniors (busy with live turkeys and turkey customers).
Your club secretary was NOT there when we have a board meeting that Monday evening (still driving all over creation delivering turkeys to her customers).
Your club secretary will NOT be there this coming Thursday (off to see a Broadway show and then babysitting in Virginia).
But that doesn't mean YOU should not come to this coming Thursday morning meeting, since it's been a while and it's always good to get caught up with all that our busy club is doing.  So please come and find out about the activities planned in December.
Be sure to look at the reminders in the left-hand column of the Rotattler to know what events are imminent. 
This coming Friday is Home for the Holidays which is always fun, as Rotarians light up the town and enjoy each other's company before taking the lights away.  Come to the meeting for more details.
Meanwhile, the following Thursday we are honored to have State Representative Michelle Meyer come to our meeting to tell us what is happening in Augusta and the State of Maine.  She is a most interesting woman, too.  Mark your calendars for that meeting.
The Thursday after that is our Yankee swap and holiday party so start combing your attics for a gift that is naughty or funny or nice.  Always fun.
Thanks a million to all those who helped with the Thanksgiving dinner we hosted at the Community Center for the senior citizens.  It was nice having the Berwick Academy Interact members around for that as well.  
This coming Thursday evening is Food Pantry.  We welcome your help (6-7:30 p.m.).
See you next week, but have fun at this Thursday's meeting.
Rotattler for Thanksgiving Week and Beyond Helen Goransson 2019-12-03 05:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for the Meeting of November 14, 2019

Meeting of November 14, 2019
Before your club secretary shuffles off to Buffalo (actually, Antigua and Montserrat), here is the news as of today...
BOARD MEETING THIS COMING MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18 at the offices of Civil Consultants.  Feel free to attend if interested.
Thanksgiving for Seniors is all set, thanks to Kim Brooker's organizational skills and dedication.  The First Federated Church will do the cooking, York Hospital will provide the pies, we'll do the set up and serving and clean-up and bring some cider, too.  Thanks to all.
Wouldn't you love to be a club officer?  All positions are open for nominations, so please see Wes Kennedy if you are inspired or have suggestions.
We were heartbroken to hear that Kim Brooker is being kicked upstairs, i.e. being promoted to a leadership position with the Kennebunk Savings Bank, and will be leaving us to work in York.  What'll we do without her?  Best of luck, Kim, in all your endeavors.  
Anyone interested in becoming club treasurer?
Next week's speaker will be Karen Brown from Footprints Food Pantry.
We are looking into sponsoring a needy family for the holidays.  Sounds like a lovely idea!
If you are interested in having a holiday party after hours for the club, please tell President Jeremy.  Or perhaps you have other ideas?
We welcomed two new members today:  Vicki Stewart and Chris Chidester.  Yippee!
Mike Lassel spoke a bit about Rotary Foundation and then we watched an excellent video reminding us what great work RF does worldwide.  Then we collected donations.  Thank you to all the members who have donated or plan to.  FYI, you may do this on-line at .
The date is set for Geography Quiz Night.  MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR FRIDAY, APRIL 3, 2020.
Speaker of the Day
Bob Quinn from Berwick Academy introduced our speaker, Kim Kryder, an Eliot resident who is the Director of Wellness and the Upper School Counselor at Berwick Academy.  She is also a coach on a couple of athletic teams.  This is her ninth year in that position, and how lucky are those students to have her there!  A mother of three who are also students at BA, she also coaches Eliot Rec Soccer in her spare time.
When studying psychology and counseling she zeroed in on school counseling, recalling her own experiences as a high schooler with friends who struggled and the lack of adequate school counseling.  She graduated in 1998 and lives by the credo that counselors can change lives.  After completing her studies at George Washington University, she was a high school counselor in Arizona (she is originally from Wisconsin).  But her heart's desire was to impact the lives of kids of all ages, so BA was a perfect fit.  She appreciates their holistic approach to helping students and reassures us that even though they may act aloof of stand-offish, they DO want to talk to you.  BA has academic support, nursing support, faculty and counselors who help students develop the skills they need to follow a lifelong pursuit of healthy living.  So many challenges face students nowadays, especially stress, social media, technology, not enough down time, the echo chambers of peers and social media bombardments, and the need to understand all opinions.  She strives to give kids the skills to navigate life, manage stress, and reduce anxiety, establishing a foundation of skills from a very young age.  In short, it is important for people to identify their core beliefs and turn the negatives around each day and then they will find that life goes on and they can cope.  
Rotattler for the Meeting of November 14, 2019 Helen Goransson 2019-11-14 05:00:00Z 0
More New Members! Helen Goransson 2019-11-14 05:00:00Z 0
Food Pantry Service After Hours Helen Goransson 2019-11-14 05:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for November 24, 2019

Meeting of November 24, 2019
President Jeremy summarized the discussions at the Board meeting the prior Monday, i.e. 1) Chris Chidester and Vicki Stewart were approved to present to the club for new membership (one week waiting period), 2) we would celebrate World Polio Day on October 24th, 3) November 8th will be our Rotary Foundation day, 4) Rotary After Hours this coming week will consist of a service project at the Food Pantry followed by socializing, 5) our Thanksgiving feast for seniors may be prepared with the help of the First Federated Church, 6) electronics recycling fundraiser may be back on soon, 7) December 19th will be our Yankee Swap at Spring Hill, 8) we may soon have a display case at the town hall to show off our Rotary achievements, 9) the 2 grants are moving along; and we also briefly covered the topics of citizen of the year, our Interact club's trick or treating for cans (we will help with trucking), and possibly supporting an exchange student.  We also agreed to commemorate the bicentennial of the state of Maine at our Geography Quiz Night, especially if that happens in March, the month of the true bicentennial.
So, mark your calendars for:
Halloween (help with trucks, those who signed up)
November 7 - Club Assembly
November 14 - Rotary Foundation Presentation
November 21 - Speaker provided by Stan Shapleigh
November 24 - Serve meals for Seniors for Thanksgiving
November 28 - NO MEETING
December 5 and December 12 - speakers provided by Jeremy and Carol Chapman
December 6 - Home for the Holidays
December 19 - Yankee Swap
We were privileged to have Katherine Kolios address our club about the program for which she is executive director, Rain for the Sahel and Sahara.  The organization is headquartered in Portsmouth and provides assistance to the country of Niger in Africa.  Niger is 50 times the size of the state of NH and has only 20 million people despite the expansive desert there.  For those who didn't know, Sahel means "the shore" and Sahara means "the void".  They work with mostly nomadic people and the country is impoverished by most world standards.  The main ethnic groups they serve are the Tuareg and the Wadabe, and the country has enormous needs and happens to have the highest fertility rate in the world.  Last year alone, her organization helped over 14000 people in the following ways:  1) accessing food and water (mortality from water-borne illnesses is very high) by drilling wells with solar-powered pumps which provide not only drinking and clean water but the means to irrigate gardens and increase harvests, 2) providing opportunities for women entrepreneurs by helping them to form savings and loan groups to help them finance their business ideas, 3) education beyond just primary level plus practical skills through mentors, and support for children to attend schools for higher education, which at this point is middle school and beyond.  Obviously the work is challenging for the small group that works there, but extremely rewarding.
For more information, see
Rotattler for November 24, 2019 Helen Goransson 2019-10-29 04:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for October 10, 2019

Meeting of October 10, 2019
President Jeremy was not able to be here so Deb DeColfmacker presided over the meeting.
Those who worked at the Food Pantry this month noticed a shortage of toilet paper, paper towels and instant coffee, so if you feel so inclined please donate those types of items.  
Our club was well represented at Rotary Rocks, the District Conference the prior Saturday, with 6 members there.  It was worth going to "recharge our Rotary batteries".  
The next board meeting will be on Monday evening, October 21st.
We may be helping the Marshwood interact club with their food drive during Halloween trick or treating.  The usually need trucks to haul away the fruits of their labors.
World Polio Day is October 24th, so plan to donate extra that day in commemoration of that.  Our guest speaker that day will be Katherine Kolios, the executive  director of Rain for the Sahel and Sahara (RAIN) and has lived, worked, and studied in Francophone communities throughout Africa, South America, and Europe. She has served as RAIN's Executive Director since May 2018. Katherine has experience working in the field and in headquarters of organizations large and small. Currently, she leads RAIN’s strategic planning, serves as the liaison between Niger and U.S. operations, and ensures RAIN has the resources needed to implement programs effectively in tandem with community partners. She is a graduate of Brandeis University’s Health: Science, Society and Policy program.
This coming Thursday our speaker will be the director of Footprints Food Pantry.
The next big assignment for us in November will be the Thanksgiving Dinner for seniors on the Monday preceding Thanksgiving.  We give thanks to Kim Brooker for taking on the leadership of that activity!
Program for the Day
We heard from Lisa Twombly and Carolyn Delaney who were featured recently at Kennebunk Savings Bank's forum on opioid recovery.  They have produced a newly-popular publication called Journey which is available free to whoever wants to share it with those who are in recovery or who know people who are dealing with substance abuse recovery.  It is a wonderful resource, filled with inspirational articles and valuable and useful information not readily available elsewhere.  Employers and hospitals and medical offices and others request bunches of them to share and raise awareness.  As we all know, opioid abuse is a problem with tragic results.  The purpose of their publication is to amplify hope and celebrate freedom from addiction.  Life goes on when in recovery and the stories show what recovery looks like.  It is based in Portland, but people everywhere can identify with it.  Its message is to be your best self in the world and the publication shines a light on the growth aspect of recovery.  Recovering people make good employees and employment is key to success, so employers are encouraged to hire them.  In fact, millions of people are in recovery, they just are not very visible.  Carolyn Delaney is the editor of the magazine where work began last November and their first issue published in March.  People are hungry for information and hope and positive stories, which is what you find here in this successful magazine which is solutions-focused.
Rotattler for October 10, 2019 Helen Goransson 2019-10-15 04:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for October 3, 2019

Meeting of October 4, 2019
What a day!  It was truly win-win-win.
Our club officially welcomed 2 new members, Mary Onken and Amy Miller.  Here's proof:
So our club won two great new members!
Our new members won the opportunity to have fun with us!
Other news:
We had food pantry on Thursday, October 24th is World Polio Day and we will do something special for that, Eliot Festival Day went well, and this coming Saturday is Rotary Rocks and we have several members going.  
Upcoming speakers:
Lisa Twombly (sp?) will be our speaker next Thursday.  She will talk about opioids (she was a speaker at a recent Kennebunk Savings Bank event and she is associated with Journey Magazine.
The following week, Karen Brown, the director of Footprints food pantry will speak to us.
Meanwhile, at this Thursday's meeting, Amy Miller was our designated presenter and she gave her classification talk.  Being a writer and very clever, she summarized her life and self by giving 1) reasons why she shouldn't live in South Berwick, and 2) reasons why she loves living in South Berwick.  Although Amy's entire family lives in cities, this city-girl writer took her earliest writing job in the early 80's in Exeter.  She had a friend who lived in South Berwick, which was her introduction to this lovely town.  She worked for Rod Doherty as a cub reporter and when he went to Foster's he asked her to come along.  She has been a true asset to the community, having opened SoBo Books and Coffee for those who enjoyed reading and music and other activities that happen in a coffee house.  It wasn't lucrative but it was good and has led to the rise of SoBo Central which is a group of involved citizens who help all over the place.  She has been one of the members of the Tuskegee Sister City Project and that has been a great experience for all involved.  And she maintains her great passion for Haiti and Life and Hope activities there.  She is one of their biggest promoters.  She personally has lived in the Dominican Republic with her family (she and her husband have one daughter who is exploring the world right now and a son who is in high school).  And we enjoy reading her stories in the newspapers.
In case you're wondering about some of the reasons why this New York transplant shouldn't be in South Berwick (according to Amy): 1) she drives and parks likes a city girl, 2) she works in Boston in the Environmental Protection Agency's public affairs office, 3) her husband is a cartoonist and was somewhat fearful of rural places, 4) she doesn't garden, 5) she doesn't decorate for the holidays, 6) she has no down-home skills, 7) she talks too fast and is argumentative, 8) she dreams of being an international journalist, and 9) she has an affinity for the Latin-American and other cultures (she was married in the Caribbean). But the things she loves about being in South Berwick keep her here, including 1) she loves living near a ski hill, 2) she loves darkness so the long nights don't bother her, 3) she loves Xmas lights, 4) she loves downtowns, especially South Berwick's, and, most importantly, 5) she has the most wonderful neighbors whom she loves dearly.
And we love having you as a member of our club, Amy!
Rotattler for October 3, 2019 Helen Goransson 2019-10-04 04:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for September 12, 2019 and Board Meeting

Rotattler for September 12th and Board Meeting
The next service project for us is hosting a booth at Eliot Festival Day on September 29th.  We’ll have a corn-hole game and popcorn, with raffles and prizes.  We need people from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.  A sign-up sheet is circulating if you wish to do a shift.
We received 2 more checks for the Molly Banville Fund.
October 5th is the District Conference at University of Southern Maine.  We will have a booth there and mostly highlight our 2 international grant projects that are in the works.  It’s only from 8:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. and not too far away, so consider attending.
Our recently appointed Superintendent of School, John Calverley, was our guest speaker.   He and his family moved to the region in 2004, leaving Massachusetts to simplify his life and just teach.  That lasted a year and then he was thrust into management in our school district.  He states that being here has been life-changing for him and his family.  He started out here as a physical education teacher and coach, then became a school principal and then moved up to the central office with Dr. Nash.  He has replaced the retired Nash and has been on the job for 2 months.  His priorities are 1) safety, including everything from trash and trees and signage to curriculum and staff training with police and fire departments, 2) alternative pathways for students, e.g. literacy programs, adult education, vocational programs, career exploratory sessions, 3) giving students more of a voice, making them part of the process wherever they can and allowing them to be ambassadors for newcomers, including the latest arrival, Rob Scully as the high school principal, 4) making the district more user-friendly, and 5) celebrating staff.  They have tackled the issue of later start times for school and decided against changing the current schedule.  FYI, enrollments are down in the high school, even when including the students from Rollinsford, but there is a little bubble of increased enrollment in the elementary schools.  He hopes to increase cooperation with the vocational training in Sanford, Dover and Somersworth, as our workforce is in dire need of skilled labor.
Board Meeting
We have received and the board approved the nomination of 2 potential members:  Mary Onken and Amy Miller.  Both have already proven their commitment to community service in numerous ways, including becoming involved in our club’s projects.  Barring any protests to their membership, we will welcome them with open arms in two weeks’ time.
Perry Ellsworth attended the board meeting.  He updated us on his involvement in his pet project, which is fostering civility everywhere we can, including addressing gender equality and bullying issues, among others.  He also wanted us to know that the catastrophic explosion in Farmington was near where he lives and he personally knows all who were injured or killed.  He asks for thoughts and prayers and anything else that our Rotary club can do to help them.
The Community Center has replaced their coffee maker and we would like to propose that our club pay for that as a token of our thanks for being able to use the place.
We ran down the list for upcoming activities and, besides those already mentioned, we will next be providing Thanksgiving dinner to the seniors (Who is leading that effort?  Who is cooking? Are the pies coming from York Hospital?  So many questions.).  After that, it’s Home for the Holidays where we put up the luminaries along the streets of South Berwick. 
Don’t forget the Interact kids may need help on Halloween with trucks to haul their cans during that Trick or Treat can drive.
Rotattler for September 12, 2019 and Board Meeting Helen Goransson 2019-09-17 04:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for September 5, 2019 (and beyond)

Rotattler for September 7, 2019 and Beyond
Welcome to September and we had a pretty full house for our first meeting of the last month of summer.  This is a busy club, so it’s great to see all those helpful faces!
The Pumpkinman volunteers were reminded that their work was set for the following Saturday and Sunday.  Each volunteer stint (some members were doing more than one assignment) will earn us $25 towards the scholarship fund.  We can sure use anything we get for replenishing our scholarship funds!
Early October is the Rotary district conference, a switch from waiting until the following spring to have this district-wide celebration.  We will have a booth/table showing off what we do, and Richard Donhauser has agreed to pull together a Jeopardy game for our display, as we have done before at one of our past meetings.  Hope you can go. 
All local organizations have been asked to do something at the Eliot Festival Days in commemoration of the state of Maine’s 200th anniversary celebration.  So we will be there with a corn-hole game.  There will be a sign-up sheet for help manning the game and prizes and popcorn and such.  That will be on the last Saturday in September in beautiful downtown Eliot.
The Friday before the Eliot Festival Day is the William Fogg Library’s dance and auction to raise funds for their organization.  It will be at the Regatta.  See Kim Brooker for more details if you wish.
The Sunshine Boys at Kittery’s Star Theatre was a fun event for all those who attended.  It was a laugh a minute.  It ran until September 8th, so we hope you got to see it.
Food Pantry was on Thursday and we hoped to see lots of helpers there.
As promised last year, the family of the late David Burke made another annual donation of $1000 in his memory.  We do miss him.
Speaking of donations, the Molly Banville fundraising has gone well and their latest event earned over $30000 to go towards Molly’s family’s expenses while enduring her medical struggles in Cleveland.  Our prayers go out to them all.
Speaker for the Day
We welcomed Brad Paige, CEO and President of Kennebunk Savings Bank and Liz Torrence, Social Responsibility Officer.  It was truly inspirational to hear about KSB’s community contributions.  This is the 25th year of donating 10% of their profits to non-profits.  To date, about $13 million has gone back to the communities served by the bank – helping countless non-profits and providing over 140,000 volunteer hours.  We have witnessed this with all of our KSB employee Rotarians who have been members of our club, and thank our lucky stars for Kim Brooker, our current KSB “angel”.  In the past, there were ballots and people voted for organizations and each vote translated into dollars to them.  Most recently, they decided to focus on a Spotlight Fund and identified issues of greatest concern.  In 2018 the focus was on food insecurity.  This year, with $125K to spend and cognizant of the overdoses and problems associated with opioids and deadlier drugs, they took on this issue with a multi-faceted approach:  1) capacity building, 2) youth (education and prevention), 3) safe disposal (they have bags you can get to dispose of drugs), 4) increasing involvement by people in solving the problems, and 5) ending the stigma.  Recipients this year include Northeast Passage which includes Recovery in Action, SOS Recovery in NH for recovery coaching programs, Portland Recovery in Maine, York county shelter programs, Hope on Haven Hill for pregnant and parenting women in Somersworth and Rochester, Triangle Club which provides meeting places, Choose to Be Healthy and others that works with schools, Dover Youth to Youth, and more. 
On September 25th they will host a Business Alliance forum and conference around this topic, called “Shining a Light” and you may sign up on-line to attend.
Brad and Liz brought with them Deterra Paks which they are distributing so folks can deactivate their medicines at home and just throw them in the trash when done.  These can be obtained at any Kennebunk Savings Bank.
Later this week…
There were lots of club members at the Pumpkinman Races this past weekend.  We are grateful for your volunteer spirit and generosity of time and energy.
Rotattler for September 5, 2019 (and beyond) 2019-09-09 04:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for August 22, 2019

Meeting of August 22, 2019
Other Meeting Announcements
The board voted to have our club take part in Eliot Festival Day (it's the state's bicentennial and the historical society wanted to see a good showing from community organizations at EFD) and we decided to have a corn hole copetition with prizes to raise money towards Molly Banville's fund.
Looks like we will have not one but TWO global grants happening this year: 1) the Zambia project and 2) the Haiti project led by future Rotarian Amy Miller.  Other clubs will be sharing the commitments associated with these.
Because it doesn't seem to be the same format, we voted to not fund the NYC trip for Interact students.
The District Conference is imminent - October 5th - and we are responsible for having a booth.  Some of our club members have ideas for our booth.  Thank you for that!
Speaker of the Day
What a privilege it was to meet and hear B. J. White, an Amtrak employee, share his inspirational story.  BJ (Bill Junior) came from a long line of railroaders and is the 5th generation in his family working on the railroad.  He grew up near the turntable and engine house and witnessed his father and grandfather doing their jobs for the railroad, particularly Maine Central RR.  His grandfather was a coal shoveler and his home was like a railroad museum.  BJ got into sports, not trains, as a young lad and went right into employment after high school to help out his family which was struggling financially.  In 2001 the Downeaster service started and they needed mechanics and hired his father.  His father recommended him for a job as a laborer in 2002.  He rose through the ranks and obtained certification as a mechanic, both passenger and freight, and then conductor.  Conduction school is like Amtrak University and very involved.  Then he advanced to become an engineer completing studies at their engineer school.  He drove trains for years, had a harrowing experience with his thumb in a door, and as a result created a safety feature on train doors to modify the way they closed and then received that year the President's Award for Safety and Innovation, a tremendous honor.  He progressed to special duty manager to be able to train others in the trade, as well as manager's school.  By October 2011 he rose to Train Master and Road Foreman.  He is thrilled that the trains are now kept in the modern "barn" in Brunswick vs. the cold and difficult conditions he experienced when they were kept outdoors year round.  Unfortunately, he was seriously injured in an automobile accident caused by a distracted driver, which left him in a coma badly broken all over.  He has spent the last few years of his life being the miracle man who survived coma, paralysis, broken bones and other physical problems and worked hard to get to where he is today - the walking miracle who is back to work and a Road Foreman once again.  Surely, hard work, perseverance and divine intervention made this all possible.  We wish him well.
See you all Thursday evening at the Star Theatre in Kittery if you signed up for that event.  Show starts at 7:30 and claim your tickets at the door by telling them you are with the Rotary group.  Directions:  Go to the Kittery Traffic Circle and after the Dairy Queen take the right down Shapleigh Road, and about 1/2 mile on the left is the entrance to a former elementary school.  Parking is right there around the school and the theater entrance, if you're facing the building, is on the right of the building.  (I am not sure where Tributary Brewery is for that beverage before the show - ask someone who drinks beer...)
Rotattler for August 22, 2019 Helen Goransson 2019-08-23 04:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for August 15, 2019 and Beyond

Meeting of August 15, 2019
We had a number guests today, including District Governor Andy and his wife Pam, two Marshwood RYLA students (Ned Whitesell and Avery Waddell), and a prospective new member and mother of our Berwick Academy Interact Advisor (Mary Onken).  
There were lots of announcements, including 1) last chance for sign-up as a volunteer at the Pumpkinman Triathlons in early September, 2) the New Voices club had a district event on August 3rd, 3) there will be a Rotary Day at the Seadogs late in August, 3) Eliot Festival Day on the last Saturday in September would like our presence there, 4) Board meeting is on Monday, August 19th, 4) the Rockwell print was FINALLY presented at the South Berwick Police Department, 5) there was going to be a Lanternfest clean-up following the meeting, 6) there is a blood drive coming soon to Kittery, 6) Interact's Evita fundraiser still had some tickets left for Thursday and Friday, 7) we plan to have our Rotary After Hours this month as a night seeing The Sunshine Boys (free to us) at the Star Theatre in Kittery on August 29th and maybe go to that Kittery brewery beforehand, and 8) the annual district conference is going to be in EARLY OCTOBER this year and each club needs to have a display of what it does (Southern Maine University).  
Then Ned Whitesell and Avery Waddell, 2 of the 6 students we sent to RYLA, described briefly their experience there this summer.  
Finally, DG Andy talked about his Rotary journey to this point and what we can look forward to this year.  He is from the Kittery club.  His eyes were opened when he worked on a project in Guatemala.  This was followed by a Cuba trip to bring medical supplies and water purification systems.  He firmly believes that Rotary changes the world.  He touched upon the subjects of polio eradication, growing Rotary membership, the streamlined early (October 5th) district conference where Jeffrey Cadouret (sp?) will be the speaker, and he encouraged us to donate more to Rotary Foundation and to Polio Plus in particular since this is the last year of the Gates Foundation matching the donations.  He looks forward to everyone thinking outside the box and making Rotary as vibrant as it can be.
Board Meeting of August 19th
We discussed 2 global grants we wish to work on.  We brainstormed ideas for our participation at the Eliot Festival Day.  We decided that if the Interact NYC trip is not a UN trip that promotes Rotary then we wlll not be sending any Interact students to that this coming November.  We talked a little about other activities for the year, including a community fundraising event for a local cause, honoring another Citizen of the Year, how to improve our breakfast food service by helping the new cook better, and we voted to go ahead with the After Hours meeting being The Sunshine Boys at the Kittery Star Theatre.
See you all on Thursday!
Rotattler for August 15, 2019 and Beyond Helen Goransson 2019-08-20 04:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for July 25, 2019

Meeting of July 25, 2019
The ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new police station didn't go quite as planned and Rotary's participation in it was inadvertently overlooked.  There will be a do-over, we are told.
The Zambia global grant is officially happening and Thursday's speaker will talk with us about it.
Thursday is also Food Pantry (August 1), so if you are so inclined, please volunteer during the 6:00-7:30 p.m. time frame.
Wendy Shaw and Sarah Alice of the Great Works School were recipients of a Marshwood Educational Foundation grant to provide an after-school program called Cool A.I.D. (Academics in Disguise).  Wendy is a speech pathologist at the school and Sarah Alice is a teacher there.  Along with volunteer and educator Debbie Brickett, they created this after-school program to improve students' vocabularies, which is crucial to future success in school and life.  The program results in having these 4th and 5th graders who are participating in this pseudo-club feel more connected to the school community.  Students cannot express or understand as well if they have a poor vocabulary.  The after-school activities are experiential and community-based.  This past year they had units in cooking, visiting the elderly at Berwick Estates, NHSPCA, a can drive, working with flowers, a trip to Hannaford's, preparing a spaghetti supper, and ending the year with a trip to Hadlock Field in Portland.  The major expense is transportation costs.  Now that they know it works very well they wish to continue the program but they need to fund raise, which is what they are doing now.  They are fired up and ready do it again.  Eventually the transportation budget may end up on the school budget but for now it can continue only with their fundraising efforts.
Rotattler for July 25, 2019 Helen Goransson 2019-07-30 04:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for July 18, 2019

Meeting of July 18, 2019
On July 20th is the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new police station.  We will be there as part of the dedication presentation.
The global grant in Bulgaria has finally gotten off the ground.  We have committed to supporting this project, which will provide them with a much-needed neonatal clinic, and will be donating $1000 towards the project valued at almost $100,000.  Lots of other clubs are also helping.
The Healthy Children Brighter Futures project in Zambia for which we raised funds through our last Geography Quiz Night is turning into another global grant and we will be taking the lead in that one.   Lonny Hackett, the young man who was inspired to create this program, will be speaking to our club at the August 1 meeting to update us about this project which trains teachers to also be health service providers.
We are still trying to organize an electronics recycling fundraiser.  President Jeremy is determined to get one going this year.
We will be hosting a much-needed Red Cross blood drive in the September/October time frame.
Club members Lena Ugren and Brandon Elsemore have begun to plan increasing our social media presence.
We hope to improve signage about Rotary for those driving through town.
The new District Governor will be at our club August 15th.
We netted almost $1500 for scholarships from the lobster rolls sales at Strawberry Festival.
Robin Wheeler invited her sister, who is visiting from Arizona, to be our speaker of the day.  Kelly Emmet's professional journey began in the corporate world, but then kids came along and motherhood led her to refocus and consider where her passions and skills could be used best.  She worked part-time in a pre-school and discovered she wanted to become an elementary school teacher.  She went back to school while also raising a family where her husband worked in a career that required a lot of travel.  But super-mom Kelly, a mother of twins, learned of a scholarship available to mothers of twins and was granted that scholarship and graduated from a degree program in education at the top of her class.  She landed a position teaching 4th graders in a fantastic elementary school and has been a teacher for 6 years now.   She recounted the various challenges she has encountered in this school so close to the Mexican border.  The student population is extremely diverse and includes ELL's (English Language Learners), students with various special needs, families that are dysfunctional, and not enough communication about her students coming from school administration and/or family members.  Nevertheless, she connects with each and every student, showers them with attention and affection and encouragement, and the result is that her students surpass all expectations.  This past year her class of supposed underachievers earned the highest test scores in the region and maybe the state, and mainly because of having a teacher who truly cares about them.  In her view, in the long run, students will not remember the specific lessons a teacher taught them, but, rather, how that teacher made them feel.  We are so grateful for gifted teachers like Kelly who understand that the children are our future.
Rotattler for July 18, 2019 Helen Goransson 2019-07-23 04:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for June 20th and Beyond

Meeting of June 20th
After reviewing the details of the upcoming major events (District Conference, changeover gathering, Strawberry Festival), we were introduced to our guest speaker, Caitlin Morrison.
This Dover High School graduate who is currently studying at the University of Rhode Island recounted her journey through Rotary.  As a high schooler she was a leader in her Interact club, she had the privilege of attending RYLA as a sophomore entering junior year and it totally changed her life, she has since been a staff member of RYLA, and then she graduated and moved on to URI where she is studying cell and molecular biology.  Her assessment of Rotary is that whatever Rotary does has a ripple effect on change in the world, and Rotary's best attribute is that it has an impact on so many things and people.  As the motto goes, "Be the Change", and she sees that on a daily basis with her involvement in Rotary.  She decided she would help to bring about change one person at a time.  She is involved in the community service organization at school, and when brainstorming with Phil Giordano of our Youth Services branch of the district, they decided to start a virtual Rotary club for college students and young professionals who ordinarily would not be able to attend Rotary meetings.  It is called the New Voices Club and is a model for others to replicate.  They meet on-line, they produce weekly newsletters, they perform service with Rotary and other groups, they have chats, and periodically may plan a meeting for face-to-face time, but this is not a high priority.  Service is.  They were chartered this month and their first club project was the clean-up at Camp Hines for the next RYLA session.  Rotary International totally encourages them to do this and looks forward to their success.  Caitlin plans to continue to reach out to Interact, Rotaract and RYLA alumni with this great opportunity to continue what they have begun when involved with Rotary.  And if a Rotary club has a project that needs help, "Who ya gonna call?  New Voices!" FYI, Caitlin is president-elect.
Next week will be club assembly, but we have some important matters to discuss about the upcoming year, so please attend.
Speaking of which...
WHAT A LOVELY PARTY HOSTED BY THE HARMONS ON SUNDAY!    The changeover social was a delight thanks to the serene setting, great company, food provided by so many, and President Richard and now-President Jeremy, respectively, who recognized club members with certificates and President Richard with a world-famous Tilley hat in appreciation for his fine presidency.  THANK YOU TO ALL!  
Don't forget your commitments to the Strawberry Festival lobster rolls fundraiser.  
FYI, no meeting on July 4th week.
Rotattler for June 20th and Beyond Helen Goransson 2019-06-24 04:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for the Meeting of June 13, 2019 and beyond

Rotattler for the Meeting of June 13, 2019 and Beyond
Reminders included:
1) Remember to sign up for Strawberry Festival duties related to our lobster rolls sales that Saturday, June 29th.  We need people for the Friday evening beforehand through the clean-up time that Saturday.  This is a scholarships fundraiser.  
2) Don't forget to come and enjoy the family-friendly district conference in Portland on Saturday, June 22nd.  President Richard will be there.  See him if you'd like more details.
3) The changeover social is on Sunday, June 23rd at the home of Tom and Cheryl Harmon starting at 5 p.m.  This is always a nice time for members and their significant others.  There is a sign-up sheet going around to ensure we have enough appetizers, sides and desserts coming from membership.  Food on the grill will be provided by the Harmons and we are individually responsible for our beverages.  
We thank Derek Ahl for bringing us the speaker of the day, Linda Riddell from Health Economy, LLC and her assistant Joy who was there to take photos.  Linda's career began as an epidemiologist with a specialty in poverty, and this topic has interested her since graduate school.  She came to understand that one's socio-economic status was related to being healthy.  Research and observations reveal that the better one's socio-economic status, the healthier a person is.  Studies performed by the British in the 1960's of British civil servants revealed that even when people practice the same unhealthy behaviors, those who were poorer were more unhealthy than those with a higher income level, and the wealthier lived longer.  Autonomy makes a big difference in being healthy and what it all seems to boil down to is stress.  Those with lower incomes are more health hazardous and die younger.  Financial stress affects how the brain works and impairs judgment and executive functions and even IQ.  This even trickles down to one's children.  Linda quoted the adage, "If you are not a fish, how can you know if fish are happy?"  So, to help people better understand the struggles of those who are poor, she invented a game, which we played for a short while, that gives true life situations faced by people and allows the player to see how that impacts an individual's family, finances, spirit, stress, etc.  By playing the game we raised our awareness and empathy for those with such struggles.  Through this exercise with groups that deal with the public, such as teachers, police departments and other public servants, she hopes to achieve better behaviors towards the impoverished, through deeper understanding of what they are dealing with on a daily basis.   For more information, see
Board Meeting
The Board met on Monday and discussed the activities we will be undertaking in June.  They also touched on the year-end membership statistics that need to be transmitted to the district to calculate the club's next billing.  We are charged for every member we report, but there are members we haven't seen for quite some time.  We will try to reach out to them to encourage them to return or, if unable or unwilling, particularly institutional members, to suggest a replacement who would enjoy what our Rotary club does for the community and globally.
Rotattler for the Meeting of June 13, 2019 and beyond Helen Goransson 2019-06-18 04:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for June 6, 1019

Rotattler for June 6, 2019
We began our meeting with an activity that always puts a smile on our faces:  we welcomed a new member.  President Richard showered our newest member, Lena Ugren, with gifts and swag and the entire welcome package and then some.  Lena is an artist, graphic designer, Renaissance woman who does it all, and she also just passed her citizenship test to become a U.S. citizen the day before!  See the happy faces below:
We then had some quick reminders:  
June 22nd is the Rotary District Conference for the entire family and free of charge in Portland.  President Richard will be going and others might want to carpool with him or others to enjoy the festivities.  
June 23rd is the Pot Luck Changeover Social at the home of the Harmons, starting at 5 p.m.  Cheryl Harmon really needs to know what you are planning to bring to avoid duplication.  You may bring an appetizer, side dish, or dessert (plus your own beverages).  They will be grilling hamburgers and hot dogs and maybe more.  The sign-up sheet has been emailed to contact Cheryl directly, but we will also circulate one at the meeting on Thursday.  We appreciate the Harmons' hospitality in hosting this.
Because she needed to leave early, we then proceeded to the speaker of the day:  Diane Murphy, who told us about the BigFIsh Learning Community she helped establish in our region.  In a nutshell, it provides support for teens to leave conventional school and build an education of their own based on personal interests, skills and passions.  She calls it a resource center for the mind, body and soul.  They partner with schools and home schoolers.  Students can be 11-18 years old.  Diane drew from her experiences and observations as a public school teacher to create and embrace this system of education.  She knows that teachers love humans and this program tries to reach those who just don't thrive in a normal public education environment.  These are Liberated Learners, based on a model that started in Amherst for kids not doing well.  When she opened her BigFish in Dover, NH at the McConnell Center, they had 6 kids.  Now they have more than 25 with waiting lists.  They create partnerships with other "humanists" and strive to emancipate the kids, because in her view authoritarianism is not good for us, nor is the win-lose mentality.  Partnerships are key!  There are now 14 Liberated Learners centers.  It is definitely a paradigm shift.  For more information, email her at info
Next up for our edification on Thursday, Derek Ahl brings us Linda K. Riddell, MS, from Health Economy, LLC.  She has developed an experiential simulation to explore social determinants of health (for example, how does poverty or transportation affect health factors for individuals and communities).  We think she is going to run us through a short-hand version of the activity.  


Rotattler for June 6, 1019 Helen Goransson 2019-06-11 04:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for March 28, 2019

Meeting of March 28, 2019
We had a visitor who is a new South Berwick transplant, having lived a bit in Kennebunk and originally from Bosnia where she was involved with Rotaract.  Her name is Lena Ugren and she is a graphic designer, artist, bartender, and more.  We look forward to seeing her again.
Geography Quiz Night is closing in on us.  Next Friday the teams will compete for the bragging rights and custom trophies proclaiming them geography geniuses.  Thanks to team sponsors who make this all possible and the hard-working Rotarians and Interact-ers who help pull together the event.  Robin Wheeler has requested that folks bring in baked goods in baggies that we can sell for $1 apiece (you be the judge for how much to put in the baggie), to supplement the other foods that will be sold there.  Also, raffle items are still welcome.  See Stan Shapleigh, who is in need of lots of coffee cans if you can bring them to Thursday's meeting.  Please plan to come.
Keep up the ticket selling for the MEF/Rotary Dance for scholarships scheduled for April 27th.
Food Pantry is this Thursday from 6-7:30 p.m.
The Blood Drive is April 13th at the Town Hall.
There is a District Assembly this coming Saturday, I believe.  See President Richard for details and he will make sure your registration is paid for by the club.
The electronics fundraiser will take place at Eliot Commons on May 18th.  
Theresa Tozier was back to tell us about all the great progress Lydia's House of Hope has made.  For those unfamiliar with the project, it started out as Seeds of Faith and focused on homelessness.  The group involved decided it was best to buy a home in Somersworth that used to be a nursing home, in terrible disrepair but having lots of possibilities since it had 12 bedrooms, large kitchen, meeting areas, etc.  With help from kind and generous individuals and companies and organizations, they have established a transitional housing program for women and children that provides vocational and life skills, with the goal of breaking the cycle of homelessness that goes from generation to generation.  In August of 2016 they purchased the house and everything about its renovation was donated.  What this lovely place gives these women and children is a sense of self-respect and hope.   Their holistic program addresses their spiritual, emotional, vocational and physical needs.  Their latest addition is a fully-equipped gym in their renovated basement, all donated by Planet Fitness and recently inaugurated by PF and Governor Sununu - a mini-Planet Fitness.  Lydia's House of Hope is named after Lydia, a 9-year-old who passed away some years ago from cancer and whose family wanted to create something that would keep Lydia's memory alive.  There are now 10 employees, 24/7 coverage, places for residents to grow fresh produce, they cook for each other, they have over 30 programs in-house to improve themselves, and they set goals and keep setting them as they achieve goals, with the ultimate goal being to get off government assistance and be self-sufficient.  There are now a number of successful graduates of Lydia's House of Hope.  All donations are welcome, as they have an operational budget they need to sustain.  We are inspired by Theresa's enthusiasm and dedication to this wonderful program.
Rotattler for March 28, 2019 Helen Goransson 2019-04-02 04:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for March 21, 2019

Meeting of March 21, 2019
1.  Chef Mark Vogelmann announced that this would be his last breakfast for us.  After 20 or so years with Spring Hill he is going to another restaurant in Derry, NH effective immediately.  Rosalie will make sure we have some coverage for the next week or two but we need to figure out how to proceed.   Put on your thinking caps...
2.  Robin Wheeler reminded us to help her fill her Bucket of Brew and her Basket of Wine, items to be auctioned off at the MEF/Rotary dance on April 27th.
3.  Next on deck is the Geography Quiz Night on April 5th.  Be very very ready...  We need most hands on deck.  And raffle items, if you've got 'em.
4.  Got blood?  April 13th at the South Berwick town hall you can give yours.  Or you can help if help is still needed.
5.  Got junk?  If it's electronic, save yourself the transfer station fees and bring them to our tractor-trailer truck that will be parked at Eliot Commons on May 18th.  Free-will donations of cash to Rotary for this service will benefit our scholarship fund which is running on fumes.  Plus, you are doing the environment good because the folks who collect our stuff will recycle components and harvest useful materials from them.  Spread the word so we can fill the truck!
6.  The next board meeting was rescheduled to the following Monday.
7.  The speaker at our next meeting will be Theresa Tozier from Lydia's House of Hope, a fabulous program that is doing wonderful things.
We are grateful to Carol Chapman for inviting her friend and fellow pickle ball player (what is pickle ball - I was too embarrassed to ask - is it played with pickles or balls or both?), retired anesthesiologist Robert Andelman.  He retired after 34 years, having worked at Portsmouth Regional Hospital and Wentworth Douglas Hospital, but he still had plenty of interests and the energy to pursue them.  He volunteered at Families First out of Goodwin Health and also serves as a marine docent.  What piqued his interest was the suboxone treatment for substance abuse.  As a long-time Portsmouth resident he is well aware of the alarming rate of overdoses we are seeing.  He researched the suboxone program and wanted to get involved.  To do so, he needed his medical license, a federal narcotics license, and a waiver course, in order to be able to prescribe suboxone to patients.  The clients at Families First have many life problems and part of the program is to get to know the patients and then take part in team meetings to address their issues.  Suboxone is another narcotic, but it's weak and it is almost impossible to overdose on it.  However, it stops the craving for other narcotics.  It is administered as strips placed under the tongue.  Robert is impressed with the safety profile of it and its role as an inhibitor. Whereas methodone programs are 3 strikes and you're out, this one treats the addiction as a chronic illness.  He recounted stories of ways this program has restored people to being productive citizens again without the terrible stigma of being categorized as an addict.  And most of all, this program saves lives.
Rotattler for March 21, 2019 Helen Goransson 2019-03-26 04:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for March 14, 2019

Meeting of March 14, 2019
Jeremy Fogg's PETS (presidential) training last weekend made district history when he and his father Richard were both being trained since they will both be presidents in the 2019-20 Rotary year (not the same club, of course).  We are thankful for the Fogg-men's commitment to Rotary.
Robin Wheeler bade me to beg for brew bottles for the beer bucket (alliteration, anyone?), to be auctioned off at the upcoming MEF/Rotary dance in late April.  Thanks for bringing those in, along with your wine bottles to donate as well.
Speaking of the letter B, Monday is the Board meeting at 5 p.m. at the office of Civil Consultants.  Also Brandon Elsemore, who publishes a community newsletter every quarter, is putting together the information for his April-June issue, so if you have anything you would like him to include and announce, please get that information to him.
Continuing with the letter B, Bob Andelman, a retired anesthesiologist at our local hospitals, will be speaking to us next week about Suboxone treatment.  If you're curious about what that is, be sure to come to next week's meeting.  He is Carol Chapman's guest speaker.
And finally, concluding our b-alliteration, Sharon Beckwith was our guest presenter at our breakfast meeting.  She updated us on the progress Daisy's Children has made.  As you may recall, we supported this program in Honduras and most recently Sharon and local helpers worked side-by-side, setting aside religious differences and digging and building a new building for the expanding program.  Daisy's Children feeds children before and after school, prepares them for school, and is moving into vocational training for their families.  They are now feeding 200 children twice a day at a cost of about $2500/month.  We don't know how she manages it, but she says that good people keep supporting their efforts to keep these children from starving.  We so admire her and their efforts.
B well.  B happy.  B at the next meeting...
Rotattler for March 14, 2019 Helen Goransson 2019-03-15 04:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for March 7, 2019

Meeting of March 7, 2019
We welcomed a number of visitors, including Dave Wheeler, Vickie Stewart, Michael (who is no stranger to our meetings anymore and a past speaker at our club meeting) from Berwick Academy, and our guest speaker John Marshall.
Next week's presenter will be Sharon Beckwith who inspired us with the Daisy's Children project in Honduras, to give us an update of developments there.  You may recall that we supported them in the past with one of our Geography Quiz Nights.  It is always exciting to hear what Sharon is up to these days.
Speaking of Geography Quiz Nights, the next one is right around the corner and we are gathering lots of teams and sponsors and raffle and food items and workers for that event, which is on April 5th at the Great Works School.  Please consider sponsoring a team, even partially, and/or donating raffle items, food, and your time.  Since the project in Zambia is a global grant, every dollar we make towards it will be tripled!
We thank those who worked at the food pantry that evening.  Also, Stan Shapleigh reported that the most recent news coverage about Molly Banville helped us raise another $1000 to help her out as she continues her medical ordeal in Cleveland.  At our next meeting, for those who are so inclined we will be passing the hat for Molly as well.  
Coming up soon (April 27th) is the MEF/Rotary Scholarship Dance at Berwick Academy.  Robin Wheeler passed out 4 tickets to each Rotarian in hopes that each member will sell that many.  In addition to the dancing and the light food, there will also be a small live auction.  One item will be a basket of wine, so each Rotarian is requested to bring one to help fill that basket.  Proceeds will benefit both organizations.
Remember to set aside your electronics when we try to fill a truck with those in May.
And before we end the year with our Strawberry Festival lobster rolls sale, we will be feeding our Eliot senior citizens again at a special dinner at the Eliot Congregational Church sometime in May.
John Marshall had a wild and woolly trip through Colombia with his wife, daughter and daughter's boyfriend.  Their itinerary included the colorful and renowned cities of Medellin and Cartagena and an island off the coast of Colombia.  Colombia is bordered by 6 countries and although it has a frightening reputation, it has been fine since 2005 and the dollar exchange rate is very favorable.  John shared  his photos and funny stories about his adventures while there.  We are so happy he survived the plankton tour!
Rotattler for March 7, 2019 Helen Goransson 2019-03-12 04:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for February 28, 2019

Rotattler for February 28th and Beyond
President Richard began the meeting with a summary of the previous Monday's Board meeting.  Here's what's happening for our very busy club:
-- Comedy Night in support of the Marshwood Interact Club's service trip to Peru will be well attended by 14 of us Rotarians and spouses.
--  The Geography Quiz Night of April 5th is moving along nicely.
--  Next week incoming president Jeremy Fogg will be at PETS to learn about becoming a club president.
--  Our club will be supporting 6 students at RYLA (4 from Marshwood and 2 from Berwick Academy).
--  The Berwick Academy chartering ceremony took place last Friday.  Here is proof.
-- The Rotary/MEF dance is in the planning and we will be dancing up a storm at Berwick Academy on April 27th.
--  We will sponsor a blood drive at the Town Hall in South Berwic on April 13th from 8:00 a.m. to 1 p.m.
--  We have ordered the dictionaries for the third graders, including Berwick Academy students.
--  The date for the electronics drop-off fundraiser is May 18th, so start gathering yours to drop off that day.
Sue Repco (sp?), an Eliot resident and English teacher at Phillips Exeter Academy, spoke to us about the Be SMART program promoting gun safety organized by Mothers for Gun Safety in America.  It reminds us of the importance of keeping guns out of the hands of children and teens, because, if not, then something terrible could happen that would have been completely avoidable.  Sadly, the United States has the high gun fatality rate in young people among all the developed countries of the world.  SMART stands for 1) Secure all guns, 2) Model responsible behavior, 3) Ask about the presence of firearms where young people are, 4) Recognize risks of suicide and mental illness, and 5) Tell everyone to be SMART about guns.  
Rotattler for February 28, 2019 Helen Goransson 2019-03-04 05:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for February 7, 2019

Rotattler for February 7, 2019
Club Meeting
We welcomed Berwick Academy's Interact Club Advisor, Jen Onken, who took time out of her busy schedule to tell us about the great things her group of service-oriented students are doing.  At any given time there are about 100 students chipping helping out on a large number of projects, such as 1) providing towels at the Penguin Plunge, 2) meal preparation for families in Rochester, 3) supporting the Ebenezer School in Milot, Haiti with fundraisers for two students there, 4) a service trip to Haiti to bring supplies they have gathered, 5) tutoring in Dover, 6) packing items to be sent to soldiers, 6) picking apples to give to End 68 Hours of Hunger, 7) making blankets for the Linus Project, 8) baking and cooking for Table of Plenty, and much more.  Jen's personal history is full of service to others, having served on the Peace Corps in Lesotho, Egypt and Lebanon.  Since settling down with her family that international excitement has diminished in their lives, but she still hopes to enjoy international experiences like that in the future.  We are fortunate to have such a wonderful role model for the students at Berwick Academy.  We'll see them at the Geography Quiz Night and, before that, when President Richard and club liaison to that group, Skip Cousens, attend one of their meetings to present their charter to them.  They will be sending students to RYLA this summer, too.  Both they and Marshwood Interact would like to send more than the 4 we have budgeted for, so we need to think about that (good) problem.
Other News
Robin Wheeler reported that the mini-fundraising for the Coast Guard families provided more than $370 in food and supplies before the government shutdown ended.  Thank you for your generosity, everyone!
Skip Cousens reported that the global grant we will be supporting with the Geography Quiz Night proceeds is called "Healthy Kids - Bright Future" and provides school-based healthcare to families in Zambia.  That event is April 5th and we are putting the teams together now.   Both the Portsmouth and Kittery clubs also wish to send teams.
The MEF-Rotary dance is April 27.  Shine up those boogie shoes...
March 1st is the comedy night at Spring Hill organized by the Marshwood Interact Club to help defray the costs of their service trip to Peru.  We will be having a good group of Rotarians socializing that night.  See earlier emails to get your tickets from Grace Jacobs so you can join in the fun.
See you all on Thursday!   Stay safe during the snowstorm.
Rotattler for February 7, 2019 2019-02-11 05:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for January 24, 2019

Rotattler for January 24, 2019
President-elect Jeremy Fogg summarized the board meeting of January 21st, where they discussed the next events (Geography Quiz Night in early March, electronics fundraiser the second or third week in May, the MEF/Rotary scholarship dance at Berwick Academy in early May, the dictionaries project for third graders, and the district assembly in June which is a picnic in a park in Portland (the board voted to pay the $300 so any member can go there for free and even accompanied by family members).  
There is also a South Berwick website called "In the Loop" where community members may share information, so we will look into publicizing our activities there, too.  This site is often used by folks who work from home. 
Thanks to Robin Wheeler we all gathered food items and monetary donations, including auctioning off donated Girl Scout Cookies that raised over $120 (thank you, Deb DeColfmacker and auctioneer Hap Moore), to help our Coast Guard neighbors who have had to struggle to put food on the table due to the government shutdown.  Robin will be doing the shopping and bringing the items to the person organizing this at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. 
As for the morning program, it was another of those "3 minute drills" where club members  who haven't yet done so spoke for 3 minutes about anything.  Jeremy Fogg spoke about an exciting arts conservation project of the Richardson art collection and their building in Woburn, MA (it opens in March).  Derek Ahl talked about Tai Chi.  Jim Hamilton, the new Berwick Academy Head of School, spoke a bit about growing up in Hyde Park, Massachusetts, the son of a Vietnam War veteran, his education, family life, and professional journey.  Carolann Gagne talked about her family and especially her wonderful father in Indiana who has been a great role model for her and with whom she has been spending time when not with us at Rotary.  Helen Goransson went into a Hamilton rant that caused everyone's eyes to glaze over.  Last but certainly not least, Stan Shapleigh reminded us that this year's motto is "Be the Inspiration" and he told the inspirational story of Peter the Pirate that had us rolling in the aisles with laughter.  What a group!
Our next speaker will be Jen Onkin from Berwick Academy on February 7th.  
THERE IS NO MORNING MEETING ON THURSDAY.  This is the 5th Thursday of the month so we will be having our Rotary After Hours.  Warren Spencer has organized the gathering to take place at Tributary Brewing Company in Kittery.  According to Warren's message:
Tributary Brewing Company is located at 10 Shapleigh Rd., Kittery, ME  03904  (207-703-0093).                                                        
The Motts who own and run the Brewing Company are South Berwick residents. 
Come and have a pint or two with some hors d'oeuvres and enjoy each other's company.   Time will be 5:00- 7:00 p.m.
Rotattler for January 24, 2019 Helen Goransson 2019-01-29 05:00:00Z 0

First Rotattler of 2019 - It's About Time!

So Much News to Report
The last time you heard from this reporter we had wrapped up 2018 with a shiny bow with a delightful Yankee Swap breakfast at Spring Hill.  
Then we were off for a couple of weeks, rang in the New Year, and on January 10th had our first meeting, but your club secretary was splashing in the Caribbean at that time.  Richard had another creative meeting where each Rotarian was put on the spot to talk about Rotary.  I heard it was great.  Many thanks to those who manned the Food Pantry on the first Thursday in January, too.
January 17th, thanks to Brandon Elsemore, we had the pleasure of meeting Cara DellaRusso (sp?) and her dog Mac aka Macaroni.  Cara is a South Berwick resident who runs two businesses, On-Demand Home Services, a cleaning company, and Cara's Pet Care and Training.  She possesses expertise in canine learning theory (yes, that's a thing) which uses classical conditioning and operant conditioning concepts to properly train a dog.  Once you understand their psychology (dogology?), it is possible to obtain the results you desire in a dog's behavior.  Just understand what they want and what they like and give them that when they do what they are supposed to.  Kind of goes with most everybody, doesn't it?
This coming Thursday, January 24th, Hap Moore has invited the folks from House of Hope in Somersworth to talk to us about the wonderful things they are doing there for homeless women and children.  Well worth attending.
On the business and service front, Rotary invoices are out for the semi-annual dues.  Please make payment soon to treasurer Kim Brooker.   Coming up are 1) the dictionary project to all 3rd graders in Eliot and South Berwick, 2) an electronics fundraiser to raise more scholarship dollars, 3) a dance sponsored by us and the Marshwood Education Foundation at Berwick Academy to raise more scholarship funds, 4) the Geography Quiz Night to benefit the project in Zambia, 5) selecting students from Marshwood High School and Berwick Academy to attend RYLA (2 apiece), 6) selecting our scholarship recipient, 7) a blood drive.  It's a shame how idle we are...
In case you haven't seen it, there was a good article in our local papers about Molly Banville's progress and her need for a second set of transplants.  Donations are being made through our Rotary Club:
A final announcement from Robin Wheeler:
The Coast Guard families are in great need of food due to the government shutdown and Robin requests that members bring in food items at the next meeting and/or money to donate and she will shop for what they need and bring everything to those she knows who are helping those families at this difficult time.
Thank you, dear Rotarians!
First Rotattler of 2019 - It's About Time! Helen Goransson 2019-01-23 05:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for November 1, 2018

Rotattler for November 1, 2018
Rotary shirts and hats are available.  See Brenda Gagne if you'd like to buy any.  Many thanks to Brenda for arranging this.
DON'T FORGET THE BIG CLEAN-UP OF ROUTE 236 ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10TH.  (Rain date will be Sunday the 11th.)  Meet at the Central School and wear clothing that will make you more visible (i.e. neon colors, not clown costumes or bikinis).
We seem to be pretty organized for the Thanksgiving dinner we will be providing to the South Berwick senior citizens on Monday, November 19th.  We just need to ascertain whether the pies will again be donated by York Hospital (Norma Marshall, do you know?)
Thank you to Mike Lassel for representing us at the upcoming district training session on membership and the Rotary Foundation.
We have a new potential member.  Brandon Elsemore has attended a couple of meetings and submitted his application for board approval.  Please introduce yourself to Brandon and give him a warm welcome if you see him.  
Our board meets on Monday, November 19th, at the offices of Civil Consultants.
On that note, coming up on Thursday is our Rotary Foundation presentation and Rotarian Larry Furbish will be there to regale us with RF stories.  Seriously, this is our opportunity to support RF as a club, so please bring your checkbooks or plan to make a donation on-line to RF.  Any amount is welcome, we just like to see 100% participation from our members, if possible.
November 15th's speaker will be provided by Derek Ahl.
No meeting Thanksgiving Thursday, of course.
After that, we'll be well into the eating and partying phase of our Rotary year...
At long last (he was unable to come last time we scheduled him), the famous Bruce Cultrera of Seacoast Helicopters was able to take us into the wild blue yonder via his NH Chronicles video and his stories about the helicopter and aeronautics business.  Bruce is a Marshwood graduate who then joined the Air Force and continued his studies at the University of New Hampshire and spent a few years in business, working mainly with aerospace defense companies.   Then he started his own business as a management consultant and dabbled in real estate, too.  It was during that time that he experienced the thrill of helicopters and has been hooked ever since.  He created Seacoast Helicopters and it has now grown to 5 helicopters, 3 planes, 14 pilots, FAA certification, licensing for various flight options, and he has expanded into Portland.  He operates basically under 5 business segments/profit centers:  1) flight training (by the way, there is a serious shortage of pilots right now, especially fixed wing pilots, so if you know people who are wondering what to do they might consider this career), 2) scenic touring (seasonal) which will hook you on helicopter flying (just ask President Richard) and Bruce promises you will not need an air bag, 3) air taxi services in case you'd like a unique and hassle-free mode of transport to your destination, 4) external load business for those who need to transport cargo to places, and 5) government contracting to very remote sites.  We ran out of time way too soon to hear more about his exciting business.  Perhaps we can invite him back?
Looking forward to seeing you soon!
Rotattler for November 1, 2018 Helen Goransson 2018-11-05 05:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for Meeting of October 11th and Board Meeting

Rotattler for October 11th and Board Meeting
Between the Thursday meeting and the board meeting on Monday we discussed the following:
-- Collaboration with the Marshwood Education Foundation to have a dance first Saturday in March at B.A. to help fund our scholarships
-- Progressive dinner on Saturday, October 20th, starting at 5 p.m. at the Wheeler's, then the Ahl's, and finishing at the Spencer's
-- Road clean-up project on November 10th starting at 9 a.m. at the Central School (bring gloves, boots, safety vests, picking up tools)
-- Food pantry collection at the polls on November 6th at the South Berwick Town Hall, if you wish to bring something
-- Any takers for a holiday house party like the ones we've had in the past?
-- We need to check with Spring Hill to ensure we can have our Yankee Swap holiday breakfast there as usual
-- No club meetings December 27th and January 3rd
-- We voted to approve Jim Howell returning to us as a member
-- Friday, November 30th, is Home for the Holidays and we are all set to light up the streets of South Berwick again that night
-- We approved giving the mysterious $1000 in our account to End 68 Hours of Hunger
-- We approved using the $1000 gift from David Burke's family for sending students to RYLA
-- We allocated funds to pay for 8 Interact students to attend the UN/NYC trip in early November
-- A number of members are planning to invite prospective new members to upcoming meetings - the more the merrier!
Town Manager Perry Ellsworth spoke about what is happening around town as he continues managing South Berwick now in his 8th year at this post.  Current highlights include the ahead-of-schedule and economical construction of the new town police station, the setting of a good bond rate for the town, police dispatch moving to Sanford, and continued debate about marijuana rules and regulations for the town.  Perry has enjoyed the diversity and civility program with sister city Tuskegee, Alabama.  Issues regarding employment and sustainability of our workforce are apparent all over the state.  In our case, we have employment opportunities in the town and cannot draw from our most nearby cities and towns because they are in NH and we must hire Mainers for municipal positions.  We are starting to see younger people filling government posts as older workers are leaving.  The goal is ultimately to have age and gender diversity.  Thank you, Perry, for all you do for South Berwick.  You run a calm and efficient ship, which we all appreciate.  Smooth sailing, mostly.
Rotattler for Meeting of October 11th and Board Meeting Helen Goransson 2018-10-17 04:00:00Z 0

Rotattler for September 6, 2018

Meeting of September 6th and Beyond
We welcomed back...wait for it...JIM HOWELL!  He came as a visitor but it sure would be nice to have him rejoin us, don't you agree?
Jen Wing from the Admissions Office of Berwick Academy was present as their designee at this meeting.  
For future planning, our speaker on Thursday will be Mike Lassel talking about projects around South Berwick.  
Get ready for our District Governor.  He will be visiting our club on September 27th.  Plan to be there so we can show off all our wonderful members.
Jeremy Fogg presided over the meeting, welcomed guests, and announced our various volunteer duties for the coming days.  Food Pantry was Thursday night and volunteers are welcome.  Saturday and Sunday we had volunteers for the Pumpkinman Festival of races.  (I can personally attest that this was a huge number of hours we provided at the events and made us wonder if the $25 per person donation we will receive for our time was worth it - except that the race really needs hundreds of volunteers so they were very appreciative.)
An upcoming fundraiser in the near future will be the electronics recycling fundraiser that Jeremy is organizing.  It looks like that could be in mid-November, so start stockpiling your defunct electronics to be dumped that day.
Volunteers will also be needed to welcome visitors to the new Story Walk at Douglas Woods during Eliot Festival Day on September 29th.  We will find out what that entails, but at the least we will share information about Rotary to visitors to the trail.  Our club, with our towns' librarians and the Great Works Regional Land Trust, helped make this possible, and that is why we will be there.
We received a check for $1800 from The KIttery Block Party!  We had no idea why, but were thrilled.  Later we learned that Grace Jacobs, the Marshwood Interact advisor, had applied for one of their grants to help fund the upcoming Interact service trip to Peru which will include some students from Traip Academy, too, so the mystery was solved.  The funds were to help defray the costs of that service trip.
If your feel like dancing, Something In the Water, one of our favorite local bands, will be featured at the fundraising dance for the William Fogg Library at the Regatta in Eliot Commons on Friday, September 28th.  So grab your partner and put on your boogie shoes...
Carolann Gagne will be walking to benefit Out of the Darkness, a suicide-prevention cause that we learned about a couple of weeks ago.  If you wish to support the walk, you may even donate on-line at
I am not 100% sure that this web pointer will work, so see Carolann for more details if it doesn't get you to the donations area.  Her walk is Saturday, September 15th.
See you all on Thursday!
Rotattler for September 6, 2018 Helen Goransson 2018-09-12 04:00:00Z 0

Meeting of October 26, 2017

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

Rotattler for September 14th and Board Meeting

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

Rotattler for August 24, 2017

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

Meeting of August 17th and Board Meeting

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

Molly's Condition

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

Meeting of August 10th

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

Last Meeting Notes July 27

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

Richard Currier Service

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

South Berwick - Eliot Rotarians Looking for New Members

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

Citizen of the Year Banquet to Honor Wesley E. Kennedy - June 4, 2016

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