Posted by Julie L'Heureux

President John Curran opened the Rotary meeting at the Clarion by welcoming 45 members, 1 visiting Rotarian and 2 guests. Charlie Frair presented the invocation, recalling the wise words from his recently-deceased father, given when he was in need of inspiration. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” led Charlie to become a high school varsity athlete. “Our world is round, so what seems like the end, is really just a beginning,” are words that consoled Charlie at a time when he had experienced a personal loss. Our patriotic song, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” was led by PP Bill Blount.

President John introduced Rotary guests and described how our club is reaching out to collaborate with community organizations. He welcomed Alain J. Nahimana, the Executive Director​ of the Immigrant Welcome Center in Portland and Merissa Fortier, who is the associate director of the Michael Phelps Foundation, with a mission to improve education about children and water safety, located in Portland. Also, he reminded the club about the contact for Crutches4Africa being Roger Fagan. Long Creek Development Center's game night is on Tuesday, Sep. 18th.

PP Bill Blount and assisted chorus, led a singing of the “Grand State of Maine” song. (Photo at right: PP Bill, Gracie Johnston, Erik Jorgensen, Dave Putnam and Nan Heald.)


Visiting Rotarian from Tampa, Florida-  Larry Vickman exchanged Rotary banners with President John.

(Photo at left L-R: Larry Vickman and President John Curran.)


Thanks to Gracie Johnston (On left side of photo at right), the Community Service chair, for organizing the Preble Street Rotary volunteers. Ali Brauner (On right side of photo at right), volunteer manager at Preble Street was with us to tell how the program was going. She thanked the Rotarians for their volunteer services and described the essential volunteer work needed to help with the meal services for the hundreds of people who are served at the Preble Street Resource Center Soup Kitchen on Oxford Street. “The need for volunteers continues to grow.” she said, "The Resource Center is extending the services for all three meals served each day. Portland Rotary volunteers at the kitchen from 3:30-6:30, on the last Wednesday of the month. Every day, Preble Street serves 1,000 meals, seating 350 people at each meal. Over the past six years, Portland Rotary has provided 1, 500 hours of volunteer help. Volunteers should sign up in advance of the 4th Wednesday or any day when they can work, so the Preble Street staff can organize their schedules accordingly. Email: or check the logon at 

Paul Tully reported updates to the Second Annual Veterans' Appreciation Lunch to be held on  November 9, 2018, at the Holiday Inn on Spring Street, at 12 noon. A committee made contact with several military leaders and they have confirmed the speakers for this year’s program who are Major General John W. Libby, retired adjutant General of the Maine Army National Guard and Captain Jonathan D. Bratten, Command Historian, of the Maine Army National Guard. Captain Bratten will speak about World War I history. Publicity has been offered by Maine Today. The goal is to exceed 300 veteran guest participants.

1st  Vice President Amy Chipman introduced Francine Laporte (On right side in photo at right) as the newest Portland Rotarian. In fact, Amy and Francine first met at a Rotary social program hosted by Charlie Frair. Francine grew up in Brooklyn and has traveled across the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe, Central and South America, before finding her second home in Oaxaca, Mexico. She volunteers as an English language tutor, and is a fund raiser for economically disadvantaged students and an immigrant advocate. We cordially welcome Francine to the Rotary Club of Portland!

With Bruce Jones conducting the weekly raffle, that has reached $1,010, Meredith Small got an opportunity to try and find the Queen of Hearts, but the elusive queen just did not want to be found and the pot continues to grow.