Posted by Ben Lowry
Last Friday at The Clarion, our new Club President Amy Chipman welcomed 44 members, 3 guests, and 1 visiting Rotarian, notably the current Sunrise Club President and Past District 7780 Governor Ann-Lee Hussey.  Paul Tully's guest was his 11-year-old-birthday-boy Cooper Tully, his grandson.  

PP Alan Nye read a homespun poem entitled “Summertime” and Gracie Johnston led us in a rousing rendition of “God Bless America.” The July birthdays were acknowledged and the July anniversaries were applauded, including 40 years in the club for Alan Levenson.

We took a moment to bow our heads for the passing of Dave Snow, a longtime member, who had passed away on July 9 in the company of his family. (See separate article this issue.)
President Amy took a moment to welcome back member, Jon Young (photo at right), returning after some medical issues kept him from our meetings. Welcome back, Jon!

President Amy paid a special thanks to an anonymous gift from a club member of $5000, that was presented to help those immigrants and refugees seeking asylum in Portland.
Jake Bourdeau oversaw the raffle, offering a chance at $637, but PP Peter Goffin could not pull the Queen of Hearts, so the pot will grow for our next meeting. (Photo: PP Peter Goffin and Jake Bourdeau.)
Gracie Johnston asked for volunteers to help serve meals at the Preble Street Resource Center on Wednesday, July 24th. Please think about giving up a couple of hours of your time for this great cause. New and existing volunteers can go to the following site to either create an account or log into their existing account and sign up for meal shifts that fit their schedule: If you're unable to volunteer and wish to donate, please use the same link which will lead you to a secure link. If you have any issues signing up please let Gracie know at:

Michelle DiSotto and Mike Anderson (Photo at right) took to the podium to announce that the “Rotary Minute” segment of our meetings will be revamped. Please reach out to either of these folks, if you’d like a chance to share a little something about yourself at an upcoming meeting.
Our 8th annual Maine Outdoor Challenge (MOC) has come and gone, with the event providing gross revenues of $42,000, with half of that amount coming to our club. According to PP Kris Rosado, with slow and steady monetary decreases and with the event losing some steam after so many years of effort by us all, the time has come to say goodbye to the MOC. Instead, we will turn our focus on the upcoming “Maine Cornhole Tournament,” which is coming up at North Yarmouth Academy on Thursday, August 1st and provides our club with a fresh fund-raising event. (For more information, go to: With competitive, as well as recreational, league play, entry fees as low as $100 for a team of two, this fun event promises to become a “must attend” party/athletic endeavor (depending upon skill level and desire) and one that is sure to grow over the next few years, with the hope of having 50-70 teams this summer. Terri St. Angelo and Patty Erickson are looking for help with teams and providing volunteers, so please hop aboard and give us a hand! And thanks go out to Gracie Johnston, who has been able to obtain some marketing help from her employer, The Portland Radio Group.
And speaking of fund raising efforts and our plans to overcome the loss of the Maine Outdoor Challenge, Paul Tully and Charlie Frair (photo at right), with the help of Dick Giles, Paul Gore and many others, brought a new and novel idea to us for discussion: “Flags for Heroes.”  While we are used to seeing Paul and Charlie work hard on the annual Veteran’s Day luncheon, this event is unrelated, but one that brings out yet another side of our club’s patriotic pride. This week-long event will provide an opportunity for people to publically recognize and acknowledge an individual who has made a difference in our community and/or been a hero for them in their life or in the lives of it a nurse, first responder, veteran, fire fighter, business owner, volunteer, etc. A $50 donation will purchase a plaque that will be placed at the base of an American flag and flown in the rotunda of The Maine Mall for one week, beginning on September 11th of this year.  At the end of the week, during which 100 flags will be flown, the “hero” will receive their special plaque. Paul and Charlie have been researching this for about 6 months and our initial goal will be to raise $1000. In offering a second area of donation, folks can purchase a flag that can be re-used each year ($35 per flag or three for $100), so the profits should jump up quickly in year two. Rotarians quickly responded at the meeting to launch  this event and help it become a major focus of our club. Combining an effort to strengthen community with an ability to raise funds sounds like a winning proposition and one that we can all stand behind.

Before we adjourned the meeting, President Amy wanted us to pay special notice to just how relaxed Immediate Past President John Curran was, now that he was able to re-join the ranks of the audience. Good job, John, you deserve the time to relax!

We’ve got a lot to get done in the next 7 weeks, so please be open to pitching in when and where possible. Portland Rotarians never disappoint!!