Posted by Tom Talbott

President John Curran (photo at left) opened the meeting by asking David Small to provide the invocation: quoting Rabindranath Tagore: “I slept and dreamt that life was a joy; I awoke and saw that life was service; I acted and behold, service was joy!” Megan Peabody led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and PP Laura Young started us off on the right note of ‘The Star Spangled Banner.’

John welcomed 42 club members, and then introduced us to 6 visiting guests.

President John noted Jesse Harvey was featured on a special NBC News feature on substance abuse, specifically in his role as a “harm reduction advocate.” Jesse has been a true leader in this field, and has raised our Club’s awareness and participation in this arena. (See separate article in this issue.) John also noted Bruce Moore and Jan Chapman are busy helping to build houses in Texas. 

DGN Dick Hall did the honors of presenting Erik Greven with his Paul Harris Fellow +2 award. Congratulations, Erik!

Dick also informed us that a Cultural Exchange Trip for 4 Rotarians is being planned in April/May, and more information will be forthcoming. 

(Photo at right: L-R - Erik Greven and DGN Dick Hall.)

PP Loretta Rowe conducted the raffle, and none other than Paul “I never met a card I didn’t like” Gore, tried his hand at the selection. $282 eluded him....this time.

Loretta gave an update on PP Russ Burleigh, who was hospitalized with symptoms that the doctors are trying to sort out and determine his prognosis. (He came home from the hospital over the weekend.) He would love to hear and see visitors, but please call ahead (222-0222), as he tires easily. For cards, etc., he is at home: 4 Sweetbrier Lane, Scarborough, ME 04074. 

Loretta asked for a moment to express her heartfelt thanks for the love and support she received from her Rotary family while she was fighting the big “C” over the past year. The fantastic news is that she has successfully overcome the disease, treatments are behind her, and she’s feeling stronger every day. It was an emotional moment for us all, one that we will always remember. Well done, LoRo!

Perfect timing for a song, with Music Chair PP Bill Blount (photo at left) at the helm, in a splendid green shirt in honor of St. Patricks Day. The easy choice - “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” rang out, and for a moment or two we were in tune. (Bill's ring tone on his phone is “Super Freak” by Rick James. We know this because it went off quite loudly during the meeting. Cries of a fine were heard, but believed not to have been carried out.)

President John announced our continuing partnership with Learning Works in Portland. Plenty of volunteer opportunities, particularly to help new Mainers who have immigrated here. English language literacy, financial literacy, after-school programs, and youth building. We are looking for industry experts to help on a regular basis, or if you can come once and share, that is more than welcomed.

PP Laura Young (photo at right) talked about our Reading Program with Lyseth Elementary School, Portland, which starts up again this month. While that program focuses on grades K-3, Portland Rotary was able to make a donation to purchase 95 books for 5th graders.

Laura brought a handful of thank-you letters (in photo at left) written by that group of youngsters, and they were appreciative and often humorous. “Thanks” said one, “I looked on the back, and the books aren’t cheap!



1st VP Amy Chipman (photo at right) has just returned from PETS -  Rotary’s version of boot camp for incoming club Presidents. The ensemble was holed up in a Framingham, MA hotel for some serious study and planning for the next Rotary year. Amy expressed her great appreciation, noting she was proud, honored and humbled to be our next President. We know you’ll do a great job, Amy! 


There will be a District Training Assembly on Sat April 6, 8:00am-1:00pm at York Community College. Everyone is invited, and you can sign up at the District 7780 website. The $20 fee will be reimbursed by the Club. A request has been made for photographs of Rotarians in action, working on projects. If you have anything, please get them to President John ASAP!  

Sat June 22 will be the RotaryFest District Conference at Fort Williams Park, Cape Elizabeth.  9:00am-5:30pm. Free and lots of fun. Bring the entire family. On the 21st, instead of our regular Club meeting, plan that we will be at the site helping to set up. More to come! 

Joe Reagan touted the Maine Outdoor Challenge, June 10-12th, at the L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery School, Freeport. We’re looking for 100% Club participation. You can help in many ways: help us sell sponsorships, sell 5-person teams, work on getting items for the auction, or volunteer to work during the event. The impact that this event has on our club is huge! It is our key source of funding for many of the organizations we support. We need everyone on board!