Posted by Jake Bourdeau
President Amy Chipman, though on vacation, opened our meeting by welcoming 39 members, two guests and 2 visiting Rotarians (though we call these two visiting Rotarians our summertime Portland Rotarians). Gracie Johnston (photo at right) led us in the invocation, with four prayers that had a slant towards beer and complimented the speaker’s topic for the day. PP Alan Nye led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. PP Bill Blount, back from a trip out west, led us in the patriotic song ‘God Bless America.’

President Amy read a thank you letter from the Williston Immanuel United Church for our Club’s $500 donation. They plan to use the funds to help the immigrants with bus and phone services, finding housing, helping with job interview skills, and working their way through our complex systems.

Liliana France wrote a thank you to the Club for sending her to RYLA in Raymond, Maine. Liliana appreciates the hard work needed to make the RYLA camp happen.

Gracie Johnston, Community Service Chair, pointed out that nine (9) volunteers helped last week at Preble Street Soup Kitchen. The Club is also reaching out to the Portland Sunrise Club for volunteers to start in August.

Mike Reed has retired as the Fund Raising Chair, due to family obligations. Patty Erickson and Kris Rosado have stepped in to co-chair the committee. President Amy said because we're losing the Maine Outdoor Challenge as a major fundraiser event, the committee is trying to figure out other ways to make up for the loss of that event's revenue to the Club. PP Jim Willey pointed out that we have the “Flags for Heroes” and the “Cornhole Tournament” fundraisers, at a minimum, but they will be slow at picking up momentum. Feel free to reach out to Patty ( or Kris (, if you have any ideas.

PP Bill Blount gave a spontaneous “Rotary Minute.” Bill joined Rotary in 1988, with Portland as his second club. PP Jim Willey sponsored Bill into the Club, and he was not sure if he belonged until he started the Rotary tennis league.

Brian McDonough ran the weekly raffle that was up to $717, and PP Jim Willey was selected for the Kodak moment. Jim selected a red card, but not the Queen of Hearts, allowing the pot to grow another week. (Photo L-R: PP Jim Willey and Brian McDonough.)

Dave Putnam provided the Club a summary of the various activities and services Club members are involved with at the Long Creek Youth Development Center. Many of the club members’ activities revolve around monthly visits of sharing time, food, cheer, playing games, and mentoring the kids in the Cedars Unit, which Dave said is the high risk unit. Some of the volunteers from the Club include Kirk Duffy, Katie Brown, Joe Reagan, Erik Greven and his wife, PP John Marr, PP Don Lowry, PP John Curran, PP Jim Willey and his wife Barbara, 2nd VP Ellen Niewoehner, Dick Giles, George Crockett, and John Thompson, among others. Sometimes the monthly visit is as basic as pizza and bingo, but it can be a welcome change from the pretty tough experiences these kids are coming from. One hope is that with some mentoring and examples of normal life and consistency, the kids may stay out of trouble with the law once outside the Center’s gates. Dave also told us about a new concept for Long Creek, which is to set up a nearby transitional facility with 4-5 young men at a time. The intent is to better transition them from the facility into society at large. 

The Friends of Long Creek Youth Community Development Center is a 503(c) organization. PP Jim Willey and several other Club members are on the board. While each individual’s needs are different when they leave the center, donations to the organization help with introducing the youth back into society and may include assistance with work clothing, tools, life needs, and general living/housing.    

At the end of his presentation, Dave told us about the once-per-week mentoring services that several of the members (such as PP Jim and Barbara Willey, PP Tom Talbott, Mike Fortunato, Dave Putnam, and PP John Marr) provide to the kids at Long Creek. Not only does Jim and Barbara Willey mentor, but they also make an effort to stay in touch with the young men once they leave the center. Mike Fortunato has been helping a youth that was recently released from Long Creek to find and settle into a home and a new job. Dave said the help Mike Fortunato provides is inspiring to him.

Patty Erickson spoke about the highlights and plans for this year’s "Cornhole Tournament" and BBQ, scheduled to start on Thursday August 1, 2019 at 5 pm at North Yarmouth Academy (Hockey Rink Field). Join the recreational league (teams of 2 for $100) or the competitive league (teams of 2 for $200) for chances to win various prize packages worth up to $500. Beer will be sold, and the BBQ cost is only $5 perperson. You can donate, play, eat, and/or volunteer for the event. Please contact Terry St. Angelo ( Patty ( for more information. The funds raised will go to the Portland Rotary local service projects, and the Boys and Girls Club Scholarship Fund at North Yarmouth Academy. For more information, click HERE.
Gracie Johnston said that WPOR radio station is promoting the event on the air and gave us a listen to a spot on a recorder. 

PP Bill Blount and PP Dick Hall (Photo at right) selected the Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) award winners for the year from the unselected members in each of the eight "Circles of Five." The selected Rotarians to receive a PHF include the following:  
Circle 1 – Dick Giles 
Circle 2 – Peggy Westcott
Circle 4 – Charlie Frair
Circle 5 – Nan Heald
Circle 6 – Tom Nickerson
Circle 7 – Matt Tassey
Circle 8 – Ellen Neiwoehner
Following the selection, Bill and Dick talked about the various memberships in the "Circles of Five," and how one can join or start a team. By making a $200 donation each year to the Rotary Foundation for a 5-year time span (total $1000), members of a circle will earn a PHF. There are many ways to join, so please contact Dick ( or Bill ( for more information.

(Editor's note: PP Jim Willey gets the gold star for having his name mentioned the most times (EIGHT) in this edition of the WJ in connection with his providing 'Service Above Self!'