Posted by Bob Martin

President John Curran welcomed 42 members and 1 guest to our Friday meeting. Following the Irish Blessing invocation by Gracie Johnston (photo at right), the Pledge of Allegiance led by Julie L’Heureux, and the singing of “God Bless America,” President John noted the birthdays and membership anniversaries of the month. He also gave special recognition to PP Bill Blount for repairing our ship’s bell, and to PP Roxane Cole for her work with the University of Southern Maine, teasing us for more news to come on this front.

Charlie Frair recognized our guest Katie Berthiaume (photo at left) from the Maine Veterans Home in Scarborough with a check for $1,000 as part of the fundraising proceeds of the Veterans’ Luncheon. Katie shared that the funds will be deposited in the Home’s general activity fund to assist residents who need money for haircuts, a pair of athletic shoes, or assistance with equipment or music as part of the memory care program. “We know that personalized music plays an important part with veterans who suffer from memory loss,” Katie said. “This donation will help those who need it to be able to purchase iPods, music from iTunes, so they can have a personalized music library to help them.” She also said that the fund was purchasing laptops and iPads for veterans of the Vietnam War who are more adept with technology.

President John noted that March 8th is also International Women’s Day, a time set aside to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political accomplishments of women. He highlighted the contributions and accomplishments of women in Rotary. (Not to put too fine a point on it, however, this club is still 75 percent male and could use many more women as members.)

Jan Chapman (photo at right) spoke to us about the Lyseth Elementary School reading program which starts again on March 25. There are a few openings. Please contact Jan to volunteer. She said that the Michael Phelps Foundation purchased copies of the book, Josh the Otter, a story about water safety, which will be one of the books shared this season. The story was created by a Rotarian Blake Collingsworth to highlight water safety for children. The story serves to honor his son, Joshua, who slipped out of sight for a few moments and drowned in a backyard pool. 

President John shared progress in the Club’s Greenhouse Project with the Immigrant Welcome Center. Members who wish to provide mentoring or serve as industry experts are urged to connect with President John ( or with Ben Millick (

Gracie Johnston reminded everyone of our upcoming commitment with Preble Street on March 27th. Volunteers are needed to help prepare, serve, and clean up the evening meal. If you can help or need ore information, contact Gracie at:

Conducting the weekly raffle, PP Loretta Rowe gave President John the opportunity to take home the pot of $257, but he failed to find the winning card. She then reminded us to complete and return the Committee Preference sheets that were emailed last week, selecting which committees we would like to help with for the next Rotary year (2019-20), which starts on July 1st.

2nd VP Ellen Niewoehner announced the Rotary Ski Days at Sunday River, March 14 and March 28. Snow conditions reported to be excellent. For more information, contact Ellen at: