Posted by Dick Hall
We all arrived to tables decorated with heart-shaped candies and a box or chocolates on each table.
President Amy Chipman called the meeting to order, and Julie L’Heureux brought tears to some eyes as she read excerpts from love letters between Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine, who were married for 56 years.
PP Peter Goffin led the pledge and returning member Nannette Duncanson led us in the Star Spangled Banner.

We had two Rotarian visitors:  PDG Peter Johnson, Yarmouth Club and Paul Smith, Saco Bay Sunset Club.

Prez. Amy reminded us to sign up for the World Peace and Understanding Dinner, Thursday Feb 20, which will be focused on Emigration, Migration, Immigration, Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Work Visas, Green Cards, and Citizenship.  Several from the club have already registered.

Prez. Amy reported that the Portland Rotary Club is halfway to its Rotary Foundation goal of $16,000. She advised us to be prepared for an email request to donate.

The weekly raffle pot was up to $1372. PP Paul Gore was asked if he bought a ticket, and he responded, “Paul Gore not buying a ticket is like rain that is not wet.” Matt Tassey held the raffle can and Prez. Amy’s name was called. With PP Jim Willy questioning emoluments, Amy was not able to pull the queen of hearts.

We were treated to the introduction of two “new” members. President Amy introduced Patty Byers, who was formerly a member of the Farmington, ME Club. Patty is a past president of that club. Welcome to the club, Patty!
(Photo L-R:  President Amy Chipman, Patty Byers, Nannette Duncanson and PP Peter Gofin.)

PP Peter Goffin introduced Nannette Duncanson, a former member of Portland Rotary, who has rejoined after a hiatus since 2005.  Now with a new job and graduating son, she felt it was time to return. Welcome back, Nannette!

PP Bill Blount then popped up and asked Patty Byers to stay at the front of the room, so he could award her a Paul Harris + 4 pin, signifying she has donated $5,000 to the Rotary Foundation. Thanks, Patty!

Prez. Amy gave us the news that departed member George Crockett left $15,000 in his will to the Portland Rotary Charitable account to be used for International Service. We will never forget you, George!

PP John Curran gave a wonderful overview of the work during the last trip to the Dominican Republic to fit prosthetic hands. John was assisted by his son and Rotarian Bill Dunn of Yarmouth. John explained that the process has been improved by casting the recipient and then making a socket from fiberglass, which gives a much better fit. Then the 3D printed hand is attached to this socket. Patients included those who lost the limb from spousal abuse, electrical accident, auto accident, sepsis, and other violence. The new process gives the team the ability to better help those with above the elbow amputations. The new fitting process on site takes 2 hours start to finish. John also told us of the great support by Enable and the USM engineering college. He presented an award to the Club from Centro de Protesis & Terapia Fisica in Appreciation & Partnership.

Gracie Johnston gave us a reminder to bring mittens, gloves, hats, etc. to support our NEW Community Service Project that she originally introduced on 1/24/20: providing “Winter Survival Kits” to the kids at Preble Street Teen Center. Kits will include: mittens, gloves, hats, scarves, hand & foot warmers, hand lotion, lip balm and refillable water bottles. We plan on filling the “kits” within a couple of weeks, so please bring your donated items to us at the next meeting. Thank you!