Posted by John Marr
President Amy Chipman welcomed 43 members and 3 guests to our Friday meeting at the Clarion Hotel. We've enjoyed some excellent meetings while straying from our home base and President Amy pointed to last week’s community service project at Cultivating Community as a prime example of how a bit of travel and experimentation can be good for the soul and spirit.

Charlie Frair had the distinction of offering the words of inspiration to open our meeting and did so with customary aplomb, dignity and relevance. The Club has suffered the passing of a couple of members of late and while their persons may not be with us, their spirit as Rotarians will be with us forever. Charlie offered an expression that George Crockett personally chose for his recent celebration of life. George, through Charlie, reminded us that “Life is short and we don't have much time to gladden the hearts of those who make the journey with us. So be sure to love, make haste to be kind, and laugh as if there is no tomorrow.”

President Amy reached out to Tom Ranello to lead us in our Pledge of Allegiance, as we prepare for Veterans’ Day; Meredith Small brought us into tune and helped us through the singing of “America.”

Terri St Angelo was in charge of the weekly raffle and advised that the pot was a whopping $1080. The lucky person, whose name was drawn, merely had to find the Queen of Hearts hiding among 19 other cards. 2nd VP Bob Martin had the chance to dethrone the queen and take home the treasure, but, alas, Bob was only a little lucky on this day and extracted the 4 of Hearts, allowing the pot to continue to grow.

A new month is time to celebrate births and recognize Rotarians who have spent as many years following the Four-Way Test as some members have had births. Sadly, none of our 4 birthday celebrants were in the house to give us the chance to sing them a song. However, we did have many of the eleven members who joined Rotary in Novembers past. Statistics can be intriguing and telling and of the 11 November members, 6 have been with the Club for more than 25 years. When you stay with a club for that long, it tells a lot and should be a reason for more comers to join in the giving friendship of Rotary. PP Bob Traill, who was unable to be at this meeting since he is recovering from recent surgery, has made it to 39 years and is prepared to be a proud and healthy Leatherneck at our Veterans’ luncheon on November 8th.

Charlie Frair and Paul Tully have been coordinating the celebration of our national protectors with a gala luncheon the past four Novembers and we intend to keep it going. Not only do they throw one heck of a party, but funds raised are passed along to veteran related service programs. The event will be held at Seasons Event & Conference Center, 155 Riverside Street, Portland (off Exit 48) this Friday, November 8th at Noon. The number of volunteers needed to make this event come together are in the scores, since we will have 300+ people there. Despite the number of volunteer members, we still had to go outside the Club to come up with more volunteers. It’s not too late to get in touch and offer your services: Charlie at:   or   Paul T. at:

Service Above Self: Jan Chapman asked for volunteers to help read to the kids at the Lyseth School. Please contact her at:
This past weekend the Saco-Biddeford Club packed crutches for Africa and Roger Fagan is asking for your assistance to help load medical supplies onto a truck in a couple of week, so please contact him for more details:

Every month our club serves the needy at the Preble Street Kitchen and Gracie Johnston would love to see you there. To volunteer, contact her at:

We have our 3-H Project in the Dominican Republic and it’s being parlayed into another project headed by PP John Curran helping in India in early 2020.

Mike Fortunato spear headed a recent effort to have another fun night for fellowship – the Harvest Moon Square Dance, held on Oct. 25th. He came up with the idea and all that attended had plenty of food, some good suds from a Gritty’s keg and got to dance it off.

When you ask Roger Fagan (in photo at left) to do a “Rotary Minute,” it’s like asking Carl Sagan to explain how the world was created in just 60 seconds. Most every member knows how active Roger is; however, many of us don’t know the full story. Roger is a doctor of audiology and in that capacity, was collecting a large number of hearing aids that were turned in as patients upgraded their own devices. Roger couldn’t see functional devices go to waste, so with the help of our Club, he started “Listen Up,” traveled to India and fitted children/adults with the devices. Many of whom had never heard a word and it changed their lives. Due to the upheaval with politics in the Middle East, Roger was advised to move the project to another country and settled on the Dominican Republic. The project’s name changed to “Hearts For Hearing,” with a concentration on hearing devices, as well as speech therapy, which is a coincidental deficiency to hearing impairment. Along the way Roger and his volunteers recognized a need for water-purification devices, artificial hands and lately, solar lighting. Consequently, “Hearts for Hearing” has become the 3-H Project: Hearing, H2O, and Hands. 

Justin Lamontagne (on left in photo at right), with an amazing 6 years of involvement in our Club, brought us our newest member, Ray Ruby (on right in photo). Ray is in the employ of the non-profit Maine Cancer Foundation, located in Falmouth. Ray is a contemporary of Justin’s and will bring new energy and insight to the club. Please be sure to greet and welcome him to our Club.