Posted by Jake Bourdeau

President John Curran opened the meeting by welcoming 43 members and 9 guests. David Small offered us an invocation, we pledged our 'Allegiance to the American Flag' and sung a patriotic song, led by PP Bill Blount.

(Photo L-R: Breanne Lucy (Baxter), member Julie Chase, Rosalee Leonard, and President John Curran.)

Baxter Academy student, Rosalee Leonard, was honored by her principal and teacher on Friday for her exemplary choices and leadership. Her teacher, Breanne Lucy, spoke of Rosalee’s leadership roles in setting up a school-within-a-school type tutoring program where students tutor or teach other students with their coursework or even new subjects. Since this was a school run organization, Rosalee was responsible for making many of the on-the-spot decisions needed to manage the many mini-crisis, schedules, appointments, and content. Her teacher let us know that Rosalee makes great choices and helped shift the culture of the students at the school to more of an academic focus. In addition to receiving a scholarship from the club, Rosalee let us personally know that she selected the Preble Teen Center to receive her donations of $100.  

(Photo L-R: President John Curran, Dr. Peter Stickney and PP Bill Blount.)

Dr. Peter Stickney is the choral director at Deering High School and their chorus performed at our Club meeting last year. Some discussions of aging and broken pianos were discussed at the event, and Dr. Stickney ended up using our keyboard. After the event, Past President Bill Blount led an effort to help Deering High School by starting a fundraiser which raised enough funds to obtain a nicely pre-owned keyboard for the school. At Friday’s meeting, Bill presented Dr. Stickney with a check from the funds collected, to which Dr. Stickney shared his gratitude.

On a separate note, the Deering High School choral group, band and orchestra will be performing a concert soon, and all are welcome to attend. Of further interest, is that many of the members of the Deering High choral group are new Mainers, which have been a recent focus of our Club. 

While on the topic of New Mainers, President John briefly discussed the Portland Maine Immigrant Welcome Center’s Greenhouse business program, which helps new Mainers turn their entrepreneurial ideas into businesses with training, coaching and work space.  

1st VP Amy Chipman (in photo at left) spoke about the luncheon that was recently held for the furloughed Federal workers, and she discussed the out pouring of support and the donations that were raised. The event largely supported the TSA and Coast Guard Workers who were furloughed at the beginning of the year. Significant funds and food were raised for the event, and Channel 6 reporters stopped by to cover the event. The South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club, Portland Rotary, Hannaford, and the Italian Heritage Center all provided substantial assistance in sponsoring the luncheon. The proceeds from the event were all donated to the Good Shepherd Food Bank, who was instrumental in helping the families during their time of need. 

President John Curran discussed the tangential benefits from the luncheon, and member Katie Brown (in photo at right, who is with the Locker Project) spoke to the Club about how the Locker Project is helping distribute food to those in need down the coast of Maine, including Wayside, South Portland Food Cupboard, and Preble Street Resource Center. She also noted that a new Food Pantry was launched at the Old Orchard Beach Elementary School, and the next pantry is scheduled for launch in a Biddeford school. Please contact Katie Brown for more discussion on this topic:  

Matt Tassey (photo at left on the left) led the weekly raffle and prompted the speaker to select a ticket from the can. Erik Greven’s (photo at left on the right) name was selected, whereby he selected a red heart card, but it was not the Queen of Hearts. The pots grows for another week. 

President John and Fund-Raising Chair Mike Reed (in photo at right) spoke of two upcoming fund raising events for the Club: the Maine Outdoor Challenge (MOC) and the upcoming Wine Tasting. Both of these events are extremely important and we need everyone’s support in one or more of the following ways: volunteering, joining or sponsoring teams, selling raffle tickets, raising money or helping with auction items. The MOC will be hosted June 10-12th this year, and hopefully the weather will cooperate. 1st VP Amy Chipman spoke up that she had already pulled a team together for the event.  

Mike Reed and Linda Varrell have been working on setting up the wine tasting event at the Customs House on April 25th from 5:30-8:30 pm. The event will offer everyone the opportunity to sample and buy wine, plus check out the Custom House Building.   

President John asked us all to check for any red (or yellow) meal tickets that may have made their way into our pockets and traveled back to our car, business or home. If you find any, please return them to Loretta Rowe. Thank you.