Posted by John Marr
Every Rotary meeting has a familiar format, but each is wonderfully unique. President John called us to order to leave adequate time to fit in the multitude of recognitions we so appropriately announce. Our invocations have been refashioned to become moments of inspiration, the intent and meaning are unchanged. Dave Small (photo at left) proved that point with words of introspection from Mother Teresa, which were attuned to our ‘Four-Way Test.’ Mother Teresa asked “that we be kind, be honest, be happy and do good any way because in the end its between you and God.”
President John called upon PP Laura Young to lead us in the singing of the National Anthem.  We sounded as fine as ever and the meaning was felt by all. How appropriate that our Pledge to the Flag was led by PP Bob Traill.

Our guest list was light in numbers, but weighty in terms of personality. Our one true guest will likely be a new member soon. Several snow birds were welcomed back: Meredith Small and PP Don Lowry, along with the return of our Savannah friend and summer guest of distinction, Kirk Duffy.

President John noted that Rotarians are always doing noteworthy deeds. Recently Justin Lamontagne (photo at right) was called to visit Congress in Washington, DC and testify on behalf of the Maine Commercial Realtors Association. His accomplishment of carrying the message for the Association was prominently noted in the local press.

The many generous deeds and gifts from the Portland Rotary Club are of significance within the community and given from the heart without expectations. We heard from the Betsy Ann Ross House, who attend to the ever-growing needs of homeless female veterans, thanking us for our donation to their cause. We also got thanks from the University of Southern Maine for our gift to the school's outreach program to assist recent émigrés to the state.

Another organization who was a recipient of our Veterans' gifting, was the K9 Service Project -member Mike Robinson presented Dustin Carson of the K9 Corp with a check from our Club. (photo at left L-R: Dustin Carson and Mike Robinson).

PP Jim Willey (photo at right) informed us that a number of our Club’s volunteers met with the kids in the Cedar Unit at Long Creek and gave them a service project to do…..planting seedling plants for Memorial Day and were fed some wholesome Burger King food that they loved.

PP Dick Hall (photo at left) reminded us that the Foundation is an integral part of Rotary and asked us to give and/or become sustaining members. If you have made a pledge, including ‘Circles of Five,’ please be sure to get your check in before the close of the Rotary year on 6/30/19!

President John reminded us that RotaryFest (District 7780 Conference) being held on June 22nd is soon coming and our Club meeting on Friday, June 21 is being supplanted with a club service day at Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth to help with the clean up and set up for the event. Please come with your work clothes, rakes and shovels and get into some good old-fashioned Maine hospitality.

(Photo at right L-R: Member Jan Chapman, Kate Gardoqui, Andrea Levinsky, and Naulissa Tuza.)
Our Club’s efforts to assist newcomers to our country, who move into Maine, has been well received. Proving that we put our money where our mouths and hearts are, we gave 2 scholarships to APHS students to attend the Racial Equity Institute. Kate Gardoqui, Senior Associate from Portland High School and teacher Andrea Levinsky, along with one of the students, Naulissa Tuza, told us about the program and how important it was to them.

The weekly raffle was conducted by PP Loretta Rowe and the speaker drew Erik Greven’s name to give him a chance to find the Queen of Hearts. Much to the delight of everyone else who had hopes of having their own name drawn, Erik found the Ace of Clubs, allowing the “pot” to continue to grow.