Posted by Tom Talbott
On another rainy November day, President Amy Chipman opened the meeting with Julie  L’Heureux offering the Invocation. In a delightful twist, this one broke into the singing of the traditional Thanksgiving Day song, “Over the River and Through the Wood.”  Erik Greven led us in the Pledge, and 1st VP Ellen Niewoehner chose the National Anthem for the assembly song. 

Amy took a final count of 33 members who will attend the Dec 13th meeting at the Merrill Auditorium for a “Magic of Christmas” performance. (REMEMBER: No regular meeting on Friday, Dec. 13th)

Amy noted some 25 or so responses to a letter addressing membership and recruitment that went out to the club a few weeks ago. Those thoughts and ideas will be at the heart of a club assembly on Feb 7th.

Nate Cermelj made his debut as our weekly Raffle Conductor, and our guest speaker Liz Leddy drew Joe Gray as the lucky contestant. With $1145 on the line, Joe sliced one into the woods with a 7 of clubs and returned to his seat no wealthier than when he left.

The return of ‘Happy Dollars’ will now be featured once per month. We heard $8 worth of happiness, and $1 of sad for the departure of club member PP Don Zillman. Don (photo at right) is heading to the warmer climates of Santa Fe, NM with his wife Linda. Don came up to share a moment, noting they had moved to Maine in 1991. When questioned “How long will you be saying?” he wished he had the knowledge to have replied, after the Red Sox win 4 World Series and the Patriots win 6 Super Bowls.

(Photo at left: President Amy, Nick Galeucia, Assistant Principal Cicy Po, and Rusty Atwood.)
Rusty Atwood did the honors of introducing Cheverus student Nick Galeucia as our Student of the Month. A senior this year, Nick has been a “leader among leaders” at the school. A long list of volunteer and community work, a student with high honor credentials, and athletic achievements was revealed by Cheverus Assistant Principal, Cicy Po. Nick graciously accepted the award of $1000 for his future studies, and $100 donation in his name to the Ronald McDonald House.  

In addition to the Kosovo trip led by PP John Curran that focused on the prosthetic hand program, Liz and Roger Fagan had been working parallel to that with a program for the hearing impaired. Liz (photo at right) spoke about how the projection was to see and administer to about 30 people, but it ended up being 100. She was offered a job at the clinic, but the commute was too long.  She also noted how she was busy developing Masters programs at Kosovo’s local college in speech pathology, while also working on ways to bring students to the U.S. for advanced studies and Masters in this field.

Gracie Johnston was recruiting for the upcoming St. Vincent DePaul Thanksgiving Dinner.  Wed 11/27 8am-1:30pm – Preparing, serving, clean up. In our 19th year, we expect 100 people, and we need as much help as possible. Dick Hall runs a disciplined kitchen, so you won’t be standing around looking for something to do. Gracie also touched on the “Stuff-A-Bus” food drive event for the Preble Street Soup Kitchen at the Maine Mall Hannaford on Tues 11/26 conducted by the Portland Radio Group.  ring a canned or non-perishable food item, if you can!

PP Bill Blount reminded us that November is Rotary Foundation month, and this is the time to really consider several avenues that you can donate. Always know that your dollar goes farther with Rotary. On 8/1/19, Charity Navigator rated The Rotary Foundation a perfect 100 out of 100 score. Bill sent an email out to the club this past week, looking to inspire and increase participation in contributing to the Foundation. Every dollar counts. Currently we have 26 members who have committed to $100 per year, known as Sustaining Members. We have 8 “Circles of Five” – each person contributing $200 per year. 3 members are in the Paul Harris Society, stepping up to $1000 per year. (Bill B. is one!) Another one is now Mike Reed (Photo at left: Mike Reed and PP Bill Blount), who came up to receive his recognition pin and a standing O from the audience. Those three groups account for $13,600, which moves us closer to our goal of $17,000 for the year. Let’s close the gap!

PP Jim Willey reported that the monthly visit to Long Creek Youth Development Center was well received by the young men of the Cedar unit. The time was spent making cards for the Veteran’s Center, while enjoying an immense sandwich from D’Angelo’s. If you are interested in participating, reach out to Mike Fortunato (