President Amy Chipman welcomed Rotarians and guests. David Small presented the invocation by reading of the poem "The Dash" by Linda Ellis. This reflective invocation describes how the time between our birth and death are captured in a simple dash between the two dates…..the dash represents all the time that we have lived.

Jan Chapman presented the Youth Services Award to Portland High School student, Loyde Vumpa (At right in photo at left). She spoke about the six years she has enjoyed being a volunteer as a mentor for Portland High School students. She introduced the Portland High School guidance counselor Marissa Emerson, who described many of the achievements accomplished by the "amazing student," Loyde Vumpa, the student selected to receive the Youth Service Award. Loyde enrolled in Portland High School as a sophomore, after attending school in South American when her family first left their native country of Angola.  She has joined clubs, participated in sports and has risen to leadership positions while excelling in her school work. In fact, this year, Loyde increased her academic rigor while adding a daily after-school job with a law firm, to her packed schedule. Attending the presentation with Loyde were her parents Ester and Paulo Vumpa. In addition to the scholarship, Loyde requested for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee to receive the additional award of $100 charitable donation that is given to a charity of her choice. Please contact Jan if you are interested in participating with the youth mentoring program.

The weekly raffle drawing was led by Patty Erickson. Our guest speaker drew the name of Justin Lamontagne to try his luck for the jackpot, but the winning Queen of Hearts was not drawn from the dwindling number of cards left in the deck. Next week's drawing will be even more than $1,207! 

Past President John Curran reported on the Dominican Republic update and interesting international projects. In fact, the first phase of the Hearing, Hands and H2O (3-H) Dominican trip is planned for January 17-25, 2020. Traveling with the International Services Group will be John Curran, Bill Dunn from Yarmouth Rotary, and Ryan Curran, John's son who will be on his first Rotary International Service trip. Team members will also include the prosthetic hand designer Dean Rock; Dr. Natalya Jenny, an occupational therapist; and prosthetics professional Eric Hurt from Hanger Clinic, a technical consultant. A partnership has been budding with the University of Southern Maine School of Engineering. A goal is to improve follow up care for clients who are served. A new prosthesis design is going to improve how the hands will fit into the forearm socket. Also, the Committee has been partnering with a group of Dominican Republic citizens to launch the first prosthetics center on the island, called Centro de Protesis. Lots of progress has been made for this project, including fundraising and the January 20, ground-breaking event. Land for the clinic was donated from the mayor of Caleta, a town outside of La Romana. 

Another international service project is the India trip, scheduled for the last week in February. Five have signed on, plus a couple of non-Rotarians. This project will expand the 3-H program to Asia. Rotarians or anyone else who are interested in participating in this program can contact PP John Curran at  or 207-232-5478.

Mike Fortunato is arranging for a special fun Rotary meeting for networking and socializing on Thursday, Marcy 19th, to be held in place of the regular Friday meeting. This will be an evening meeting, beginning at 5 PM at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland. Hors d'oeuvres will be served and a cash bar will be available. Perhaps a Trivial Pursuit game will be organized. Cost will be about the same as the weekly lunch meeting. A show of hands indicated support for this special, one-time meeting to replace the March 20, regular Friday meeting.

Don't forget to volunteer for Preble Street Resource Kitchen on Wednesday, January 22, check with Gracie Johnston at

Our Portland Rotary colleague, Erik Jorgensen, shared information about his candidacy to run for Maine Secretary of State! "I am happy to be running for Secretary of State, a position that, along with the attorney general, is elected by the Maine legislature on the first day of the next session." Congratulations, Erik and thank you for your dedication to public service.