Posted by Dick Hall

President John Curran opened the meeting by welcoming 53 members and 11 guests, along with 3 visiting Rotarians. He then invited PP Russ Burleigh to do the invocation. Russ talked about recently deceased member, Earle Leavitt, as well as recognizing PP Jim Willey’s continued support for Earle. He ended with the Frank Loesser song, ‘Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.’ Jesse Harvey led us in the pledge and PP Laura Young led us in singing ‘The Star Spangled Banner.’

Guests included Deering High School student, Lauren Cassanguis, her father, sister and two children; Youth Service Award recipient, Josylynn Rodriguez, her mother, father and interpreter, and a visitor from Word Lab. We had visiting Rotarians from Waterville, South Portland and Portland Sunrise.

Bruce Moore informed us that his wife, Jan Chapman, was doing well after her heart surgery and hopes to come home Saturday.

President John reported that Earle Leavitt’s memorial service will be in early June with details in this week's Windjammer.

2nd VP Ellen Niewoehner introduced Sue Stein, Student Advisor at Waynflete Academy, to introduced this month's recipient for the Youth Service Award, Josylynn Rodriguez. Sue told us about Josylynn's extensive commitment to service and her work founding the 'Planting Compassion Program,' which includes weekly volunteer time at the schools trying to teach students to learn to be an ally. The program encourages embracing and valuing differences. Josylynn’s selected charity for part of her award is the Salvadorian American Mission.

(Photo L-R: Josylynn Rodriguez, 2nd VP Ellen Niewoehner, and Sue Stein.)

We were treated to Lauren Cassanguis’s (photo at right with President John) capstone project for her senior year at Deering High. The project is titled ‘Our Skills Matter.’ She immediately caught our attention with the statistic that 63% of Portland immigrants have college or advanced degrees, but less than 5% have jobs which make use of the training and skills. She did a great job showing this waste and made suggestions on how to reverse the trend. With slides in the background, Lauren did a great job presenting, ending with a request that those in the room try to help make use of these wasted resources.

PP Ben Lowry
(photo at right) announced that the next meeting of the Opioid Task Force will be May 1, 5:30-7:00 pm at Jewett Auditorium, Southern Maine Community College, 77 Fort Road, South Portland. For questions or more information, please contact Ben at: or call 207-228-5653.


Joe Reagan (right in photo at left) advised that we still need teams for the Maine Outdoor Challenge (MOC) that will take place on June 10-12. We have 15 teams so far, but openings for 45. Patty Erickson (left in photo at left) said she is looking for live and silent auction items for the lobster bake that culminates the MOC event on the 12th. She suggested gently-used sporting equipment, the use of ski houses, lake houses, or the donation of a personal skill. Charlie Frair jumped up to tell us of a donation from Barney Clay Sports facility of clay shooting adventures.

Mitch Rosengarten (photo at right), from the Portland Sunrise Rotary Club, invited all Portland Rotarians to the ‘2019 Party with a Purpose’ in aid and support of the Maine Children’s Cancer Program, which will take place Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at DiMillo’s Restaurant in Portland.

Matt Tassey (photo back to) led the raffle and PP Paul T. Gore’s (right in photo at left) name was selected, but Paul was not lucky enough to find the Queen of Hearts. Better luck next time, Paul.

President John presented Jesse Harvey with a check for all the club donations made in honor of our speaker programs throughout the year (plus $500) allocated to go to Journey House. Jesse invited all those working on the Opioid Task Force to meet with speaker Gordon Smith after the regular meeting.

(Photo at right: President John Curran and Jesse Harvey.) 

Gracie Johnston is looking for volunteers for our Club's volunteer night at the Preble Street Soup Kitchen on Wednesday, April 24. Only 3 people have signed up so far. Please contact Gracie at: or 207-939-0315.