Posted by Julie L'Heureux
President John recounted that during the recent Rotary International Convention in Germany, Past District 7780 Governor, Carolyn Johnson, who was a panelist at a breakout session, shared information about the work of our club on the Opioid Epidemic .....set as an example of how strong service projects can help tackle big issues and be used to energize the club and district. (See slide at right that was displayed during the session.) There were roughly 300 Rotarians from around the world that attended the session and heard about our work. President John was one of those in attendance and spoke with multiple Rotarians in the audience, from Norway to Oklahoma, interested in implementing our model in their communities.
Treasurer Scott Blakeslee presented the fiscal year financial and budget reports to the Club. Two reports were presented: the Operating financials and the Charitable revenues and expenses. The overview showed the Club has overcome the operations deficits from the previous year. Credit for this success is because of last year's fund raising and the move to a new meeting location. Fund raising for the Veterans Luncheon, the Maine Outdoor Challenge and the Children's Hunger and Education programs were the major sources of charitable revenues. Looking ahead, the Cornhole Challenge fund raiser, scheduled for August 1st, beginning at 5 PM, at the North Yarmouth Academy ice arena, will help to continue the fund raising successes. Other fund raising ideas are in the works.
President John thanked all committee chairs who supported the club's programs and activities during his leadership term. Special appreciations were extended to the Meeting Day Committee (Chair Jennifer Frederick), and the Program Committee (Chair Matt Wolcott), for setting up and presenting 48 interesting themes at each weekly meeting. Particularly notable were the meetings where PP Ben Lowry spoke about the opioid crisis as published in The Rotarian Magazine and his dedication to being a recovery coach; the New Mainers programs were important; the Sweetheart Auction was fun and successful; and the New Members' Program was an excellent club activity. 
In the International Service Report, President John recognized the humanitarian work being done in the Dominican Republic and supporting the work in Kosovo, for the purpose of supporting hearing rehabilitation and clean water. Portland Rotary is also exploring a new partnership with a club in India, as well as applying for Global Grants in Africa and Latin America. The next Dominican Republic 3H humanitarian trip (Hearing, H2O and Hands) is scheduled for March 7-14, 2020. If you have an interest in being involved, please contact Chair Erik Greven at
The Community Service Committee is the "life blood" of Rotary, as reported by Chair Gracie Johnston (photo at right). Volunteer work with the Maine Immigrants Rights Coalition and Preble Street Resource Center are continuing, but there are urgent needs for more volunteers. The volunteer work to support the Opioid Task Force received a $5,000 Rotary District 7780 Grant. Thank you to Doreen Rockstrom, who was instrumental in completing the extensive paperwork required to apply for the District Grant. A donation of 100 units of Narcan from Kaleo Pharma in Virginia, was obtained to distribute to the 85 people who attended two community public health trainings. The purpose of the trainings was to teach the public how to recognize an opioid overdose and how to use Narcan (also known as Naloxone).
Youth Services Committee Chair Jan Chapman (photo at left) presented the progress this committee has made during the past year. Another successful North Deering Reading program is scheduled during the summer. Check with PP Laura Young for more information at Thanks to Bill Ross who is the RYLA Rotary Youth Leadership adviser. 
PP and DGN Dick Hall with Meghan Peabody reported that three students will be involved in the Rotary Youth Exchange - the students will go to France, Italy and Spain.
PP Jim Willey recognized the Club's Honorary Membership new honoree - PP Robert (Bob) Traill.
Thanks and appreciation were extended to Dave Small and PP Don Zillman for their service on the Club's Board of Directors.
Special thanks were presented to Elise Hodgkin (photo at right with President John) for the superb administrative support she provides to Portland Rotary.
President-elect Amy Chipman, incoming 2019-2020 President, thanked outgoing President John for his leadership and presented him with a Past President's Rotary Pin.
(A slide show of this program is available by clicking here or going to the following web address: