Posted by Jake Bourdeau
President Amy Chipman welcomed our club members, along with two visiting guests; PP Cyrus Hagge gave the invocation, reading a poem about fall leaves by Shell Silverstein; Julie L’Heureux led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Dave Putnam started us singing ‘God Bless America.’   

Our 10/25/19 meeting with be held at the Cultivating Community office at 62 Elm Street in Portland. Cultivating Community has a conference room with a large table, a kitchen area, and they are located right next to a parking garage. Adrian Espinoza will be cooking all types of empanadas, including a vegetarian option. After eating, we will walk to the Boyd Street Garden, where Rotarian volunteers will help close up the garden for the winter. (See current "This Week at Rotary" this issue for more details.)

Gracie Johnson (photo at right) has a help wanted sign up for Preble Street this coming Wednesday (10/23) from 3:30-6:30 pm.  Please come and have a good time, knowing that the people being served appreciate the help. Even if you do not sign up in advance, feel free to show up.
Gracie also let us know about the Wrap-a-Smile Program that the Boothbay Rotary Club supports. They make little quilts that are big enough for a child, and the quilts are donated to kids undergoing clef pallet surgery. There was a $100 donation, and Community Service group also donated $200. President Amy noted that she sat next to the person who ran the program at the District Conference.

David Clough ran a smooth raffle on Friday with a shot at over $1,050. The speaker selected “The Prez!” and President Amy Chipman got to pick a card from those remaining in the deck (21 were left?). President Amy picked a black jack out of the deck, thereby leaving the Queen of Hearts alone for another week.

The reading program at Lyseth School will be ending soon…..please contact Jan Chapman, if interested in volunteering, at

Bruce Jones updated the Club on the upcoming Veterans’ Lunch scheduled for Nov 8th, roughly 3 weeks away, at the Seasons Conference Center (formerly Verrillo’s) on 155 Riverside Street in Portland near exit 48. Bruce said that 17 members signed up for helping at the veterans lunch, and all veterans and their spouse get a free lunch. 
Please sign up to help in advance. Even as a volunteer, you will need to pre-register. Charlie and Paul need Club members to help out…..some of the event’s prepping will start on Thursday late afternoon and pick up as early as 9:00 AM on that Friday morning for setup. Please get ahead of the action and contact them.

Mike Fortunato reminded us to sign you and your friends up for the Oct 26th, "Harvest Moon Square Dance." 21 couples are already signed up. It is a potluck hors d’hoeuvres format, so please bring something to share….for instance, Mike is making sausage bread. The tickets are $20 each and $30 a couple. Mike has secured a keg of Halloween Ale from Gritty’s, which sounds festive and tasty. There is still room for more people, so please send Mike an email if you are interested, or if you have questions, at  
Mike also let know about the great time they had at the Long Creek Youth Center with the kids in the Cedar Group. The group who met recently included Jon Young, PP John Marr, PP Jim and Barbara Willey, Katie Brown, and Dave Putnam. They spent the evening decorating pumpkins with magic markers and stickers, and they had a contest to judge the best ones. They also had pies and root beer floats.
Katie Brown took the pumpkins to school the next day and that provided the kids at Long Creek some incentive for creativity, knowing their pumpkins would be enjoyed by others. For anyone who would like to join in the fun each month, you will need to pass a background check, and it will take about an hour and a half at Long Creek each month.

Tom Ranello auctioned off 2 tickets to a Kingdoms’ Choir concert that were donated to the Club by our speaker, Aimee Petrin. The bidding started at $25 for two tickets, went to $60, then $75: and then out of a strange turn of events, Tom Ranello, himself, outbid everyone at $100, thereby winning the tickets for he and his wife. The proceeds will be added to a benefit at a later date. 

Kamal Kumar, the president of the Coimbatore Texcity, India, Rotary Club was visiting with PP John Curran and Portland Rotary on Friday to talk about building bridges between our two clubs and implementing some of our international projects in Ciombatore. Before talking about the partnership, Kamal and Amy (photo at left) exchanged club banners, and Kamal was generous to bring a gift of a picture of a white elephant, which he presented to her. Kamal never dreamed he would be crossing oceans to visit Maine in search of a partnership and friendship, but he stood there bringing good will and to build trust. Before becoming his club’s president, he came across the prosthesis project PP John Curran was involved with and emailed PP Loretta Rowe, and she informed John about it. John and Kamal started talking 10 days later, and it seems like a partnership for hands, water, and hearing aids is taking form. 
Kamal discussed the many paradoxes of India and noted the wealth next to poverty, the literacy next to illiteracy. He said that his city of 1.5 million is just a fraction of the 1.2 billion people living in India and many people that visit India never regret it. Kamal spoke about his club being 30 years old, has 66 members, two past district governors, 30 past presidents, 10 major donors, and everyone earned a Paul Harris Fellow. Last year they counted over 600 projects, noting that many of them were small projects. He said that each month outside of routine meetings, the club members get together and celebrate. He talked about their flagship project, which is run by an ophthalmologist and the local hospital. For the project, they have screened over 30,000 people for cataracts, and have fitted thousands of people with glasses. Kamal put out his hands inviting us to make the trip, and start a partnership in friendship.