Posted by Tom Talbott

With a busy agenda slated for the meeting, President John Curran began the proceedings by welcoming 46 members, along with 5 guests, then inviting PP Cyrus Hagge (Photo at right) to provide the Invocation. With our Veterans' Appreciation Lunch planned for next Friday, Cyrus read a solemn poem by Arlo Guthrie, “When A Soldier Makes It Home.” It was followed with a moment of silence and reflection, and the Pledge of Allegiance. Meredith Small led us in “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee.

Three bites into lunch and President John was back at the podium! He welcomed 5 guests, recognized 5 birthdays, and 12 Portland Rotarians who “joined in November” anniversaries. Hats off to PP Bob Traill who has notched the longest run, serving Portland Rotary for the past 38 years. 

Rusty Atwood introduced Victoria Caron, Dir. Of Guidance at Cheverus HS, to tell us about our Youth Service Award recipient, Nina Lee. Described as “driven, gregarious, strong, a leader,” Nina was twice Class president, a varsity athlete in soccer and swimming, a Key Club member, and a very active community volunteer, including 264 hours alone at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. Nina’s goal is to someday be a cardio-vascular surgeon.

Terri St. Angelo (Photo at right L-R: Amy Chipman and Terri St. Angelo) conducted the weekly raffle with $1222 on the line. 1st VP Amy Chipman had the honors of having her name drawn, but the 7 of Clubs offers no pay day, so the pursuit of the Queen of Hearts continues. 

Charlie Frair is in countdown mode for next Friday's Veterans lunch. Plenty of good news to rally around – over $15k raised so far, 72 volunteers ready to serve – both new records. We could use some more early set-up volunteers. If you are helping – be on time!  With the event at the Holiday Inn By-The-Bay, parking will be an issue due to another large event at the venue at the same time, so try to carpool if possible. Bring $25 cash or check, limit the need to make change. Ceremonies start at 12noon. 283 registered so far, and we’ll stop at 330. 

Gracie Johnston reminded us of the several important upcoming events. On Nov 15th 5:00-6:30 pm, there will be an “Overdose Recognition and Response” class at York Community College. On Nov 21st we will supply, cook, and serve a Thanksgiving lunch at St. Vincent dePaul Church, Portland. Always a meaningful event, we had over 50 Rotarians involved last year. Sign up sheets are out on the tables. Set up starts 8:00 am, lunch at 10:30am.

Gracie then introduced Leslie Smart, Exec. Dir. at Portland Recovery Community Center, and presented her with a $500 check to help keep the center open on Thanksgiving Day. (Photo at right L-R: Leslie Smart and Gracie Johnston.) The center opened in 2012, an independent non-profit. It does not provide treatment; its purpose is to provide peer support. 24-100 people per day visit and participate in a wide range of activities. There are meetings with recovery coaches, all volunteers. Many volunteers have personally been in recovery, imparting what they’ve learned in their journey. Leslie shared that she has been in recovery since 1989, and that nationally 23 million are on that same path, with another 22 million estimated who need help. Everything is free, and though there is a state contract, there is a strong reliance on donations. She thanked Rotary for their increasing support and recruitment of new coaches. (See separate article regarding this subject.)

Final items came from President John, including news from Gus Karlson that Portland Rotary has again won the Club Service Trophy at the MS Regatta!

Ralph Hendrix donated courtside seats to our raffle to help World Polio Day. $510 raised from raffle, triple matched by the Gates Foundation for a total of $1530. 

We finished by all sending “Best Wishes!” to our David Smith, who is rehabbing at home after surgery. Speedy recovery David!