Russell Hampton
Apr 19, 2019
Efforts to Support New Mainers
Apr 26, 2019
Building a Lobster Restaurant Business
May 03, 2019
May 10, 2019
Development Along Downtown Waterfront
May 17, 2019
Program Presented by Members Joined July 1, 2018-Current
May 24, 2019
May 31, 2019
Finding Health After Cancer
Jun 07, 2019
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Executives & Directors
First Vice President
Second Vice President
Immediate Past President
Director Term End 2019
Director Term End 2019
Director Term End 2020
Director Term End 2020
Community Service Chair
International Service Chair
Vocational Service Co-Chair
Vocational Service Co-Chair
Youth Service Chair
Rotary Foundation Chair
Club Protection Officer
Communications-WJ Bulletin Ed
Communications-PR External
Constitution/ByLaws Chair
Fund Raising Chair
Good Cheer Co-Chair
Invocation Chair
Meeting Day Chair
Program Chair
Membership Chair
Web Administrator
Administrative Coordinator
New Mainers Initiative
Opioid Task Force Co-Chair
Opioid Task Force Co-Chair
Friday, April 19, 2019
Welcome to the
Rotary Club of Portland, Maine!
Portland Rotary
Service Above Self
We meet Fridays at 12:15 PM
The Clarion Hotel
1230 Congress Street
Portland, ME  04102
United States of America
DistrictSiteIcon District Site
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Rotary This Week
Portland Rotary
will meet April 19, 2019
at the Clarion Hotel
1230 Congress Street, Portland
*04/19/19 Zoe Sahloul, President New England Arab American Organization

Zoe Sahloul is a passionate advocate for inclusion and social integration of Arabs and other Muslims living in Maine. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Zoe immigrated to Canada in 1992 to escape the civil war and to find peace and safety. She is the founder and president of the New England Arab American Organization (NEAAO), a group whose mission is to help ease the integration of Arab immigrants into American society and bridge the gaps between cultures.

In addition to serving as a board member for several organizations, Zoe currently partners with a variety of groups including 'Through These Doors,' Westbrook Police Department, Westbrook Community Center, 'Portland Empowered,' and Westbrook School Department to support marginalized Arab communities. Zoe is also focused on creating avenues for new Arab immigrants to engage in their communities by establishing collaborative connections to create more opportunities in the workforce. She is a strong and passionate advocate for women’s rights and justice, children’s rights and protection, education, and a leading voice for immigrant social integration and racial equity in Maine. Zoe also served as the founding board chair of the Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition.

Zoe will be focusing her talk at Portland Rotary on the work of NEAOO and their efforts to support New Mainers.

04/12/19 Gordon Smith, Maine Director of Opioid Response

Gordon Smith is Maine’s new Director of Opioid Response and he spoke with the Club on Friday about the position, and the status of the opioid crisis in Maine. The Director of Opioid Response is a newly created position in Governor Mills’s Administration, and the Director is responsible for the opioid response and outreach in the state. Mr. Smith was qualified for the position, not only by experience, being the Executive Vice President with the Maine Medical Association, but by helping the Governor’s team develop the 10-point Opioid Response Plan during the campaign.     

Currently Mr. Smith reports directly to the Governor’s office, has no employees, and he has the privilege to deliver the message of hope and recovery across the state. According to the Director, there is so much to be done on this complex problem in regards to prevention and to help people recover. If we are going to make headway towards helping people recover, he believes everyone in society needs to lend a hand. 

As the Director, Gordan has to communicate with police forces, medical organizations, the US Surgeon general, governmental agencies, other state agencies, and the public to increase awareness and help implement life-saving programs and policies.   

Part of his job is to also focus on the primary causes of addiction, which are hard to understand and address in the general public. The consensus is that the more or diverse trauma people have in their lives or childhood, they become, statistically speaking, exponentially more likely to abuse drugs. One approach is that if we can teach young people about the hazards of drugs, this may help them later in life. 

According to the Director, while the opioid related deaths per year were down last year, this statistic does not mean we should start thinking the end to the opioid crisis is near. Rather, this could mean the product on the street was just not as deadly as it was the year(s) before. In Maine, there is still more than one person a day dying from overdose, and 3 babies a day being born with drug dependencies. 

Some of the actions being implemented throughout the state to help reduce these statistics and include expanding syringe exchanges, implementing harm reduction strategies, making Narcan available in more locations, changing the stigma associated with drug addiction, and having people with addiction communicate with health care professionals and caregivers. The concept is that when people are addicted and more readily in contact with caregivers, they are more likely to ask or search for help. 

Mr.  Smith discussed the positive effects of more strictly regulating prescription opioid pain medicines. He also discussed how many physicians and surgeons are routinely contacting his office to determine how they can help reduce the use of pain medication or reduce the dosages provided. One recent development in surgical procedures is to apply localized anesthetic with longer lasting pain medications during or after surgery, and this approach may makes it less likely for a patients to need opioid pills or higher dosages of opioids following surgery. Mr. Smith noted that drug give-back programs are useful in removing readily abused drugs from society.

(L-R: President John Curran, Gordon Smith, Rusty Atwood and Lisa Hallee, Waterville Rotarian and member of the Governor’s Recovery Cabinet.)
04/12/19 Bits & Pieces

President John Curran opened the meeting by welcoming 53 members and 11 guests, along with 3 visiting Rotarians. He then invited PP Russ Burleigh to do the invocation. Russ talked about recently deceased member, Earle Leavitt, as well as recognizing PP Jim Willey’s continued support for Earle. He ended with the Frank Loesser song, ‘Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.’ Jesse Harvey led us in the pledge and PP Laura Young led us in singing ‘The Star Spangled Banner.’

Guests included Deering High School student, Lauren Cassanguis, her father, sister and two children; Youth Service Award recipient, Josylynn Rodriguez, her mother, father and interpreter, and a visitor from Word Lab. We had visiting Rotarians from Waterville, South Portland and Portland Sunrise.

Bruce Moore informed us that his wife, Jan Chapman, was doing well after her heart surgery and hopes to come home Saturday.

President John reported that Earle Leavitt’s memorial service will be in early June with details in this week's Windjammer.

2nd VP Ellen Niewoehner introduced Sue Stein, Student Advisor at Waynflete Academy, to introduced this month's recipient for the Youth Service Award, Josylynn Rodriguez. Sue told us about Josylynn's extensive commitment to service and her work founding the 'Planting Compassion Program,' which includes weekly volunteer time at the schools trying to teach students to learn to be an ally. The program encourages embracing and valuing differences. Josylynn’s selected charity for part of her award is the Salvadorian American Mission.

(Photo L-R: Josylynn Rodriguez, 2nd VP Ellen Niewoehner, and Sue Stein.)

We were treated to Lauren Cassanguis’s (photo at right with President John) capstone project for her senior year at Deering High. The project is titled ‘Our Skills Matter.’ She immediately caught our attention with the statistic that 63% of Portland immigrants have college or advanced degrees, but less than 5% have jobs which make use of the training and skills. She did a great job showing this waste and made suggestions on how to reverse the trend. With slides in the background, Lauren did a great job presenting, ending with a request that those in the room try to help make use of these wasted resources.

PP Ben Lowry
(photo at right) announced that the next meeting of the Opioid Task Force will be May 1, 5:30-7:00 pm at Jewett Auditorium, Southern Maine Community College, 77 Fort Road, South Portland. For questions or more information, please contact Ben at: or call 207-228-5653.


Joe Reagan (right in photo at left) advised that we still need teams for the Maine Outdoor Challenge (MOC) that will take place on June 10-12. We have 15 teams so far, but openings for 45. Patty Erickson (left in photo at left) said she is looking for live and silent auction items for the lobster bake that culminates the MOC event on the 12th. She suggested gently-used sporting equipment, the use of ski houses, lake houses, or the donation of a personal skill. Charlie Frair jumped up to tell us of a donation from Barney Clay Sports facility of clay shooting adventures.

Mitch Rosengarten (photo at right), from the Portland Sunrise Rotary Club, invited all Portland Rotarians to the ‘2019 Party with a Purpose’ in aid and support of the Maine Children’s Cancer Program, which will take place Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at DiMillo’s Restaurant in Portland.

Matt Tassey (photo back to) led the raffle and PP Paul T. Gore’s (right in photo at left) name was selected, but Paul was not lucky enough to find the Queen of Hearts. Better luck next time, Paul.

President John presented Jesse Harvey with a check for all the club donations made in honor of our speaker programs throughout the year (plus $500) allocated to go to Journey House. Jesse invited all those working on the Opioid Task Force to meet with speaker Gordon Smith after the regular meeting.

(Photo at right: President John Curran and Jesse Harvey.) 

Gracie Johnston is looking for volunteers for our Club's volunteer night at the Preble Street Soup Kitchen on Wednesday, April 24. Only 3 people have signed up so far. Please contact Gracie at: or 207-939-0315.

Rotarian Magazine - Opioid Use Disorder
An excellent article appeared in the May issue of The Rotarian magazine about the opioid use disorder epidemic happening across the country and how the issues are being addressed in Maine.
Please click HERE to read the attached informative article that appeared. For an e-copy of the article, you may also click on the following link to R.I.'s website of The Rotarian magazine:

Volunteer Opportunities

Following is a list of our Club's volunteer projects. If you know of other opportunities, please contact Loretta:

Who to Contact
Preble Street
Resource Center
Soup Kitchen
4th Wednesday ea month
3:30-6:30 pm
Contact Gracie Johnston
Game Night
Long Creek
Youth Center
3rd Tuesday ea month
Mike Fortunato
or Jim Willey
This Week's Duty Assignments
Invocation:  Charlie Frair
Program Reporter:  Ben Lowry
Bits & Pieces Reporter:  Bob Martin
Registration/Greeter:  Jerry Angier
Sell Meal Tickets:  Terri St Angelo
Raffle:  Rusty Atwood

Collect Meal Tickets:  Bruce Moore
Sgt-at-Arms:  Mac Collins
Rotary Meeting Locations

If you would like to mark your calendars,
we are scheduled at the following locations
June 2019:

Apr  19 - The Clarion
Apr  26 - Jewish Community Alliance

May   3 - Italian Heritage Center
May 10 - The Clarion
May 17 - The Clarion
May 31 - The Clarion

Jun   7 - The Clarion
Jun 14 - The Clarion
Jun 21 - The Clarion
Jun 28 - The Clarion

Blue BOLD dates are scheduled Board meeting days.

Any questions, please contact Loretta at:

RotaryFest 2019

Registration for RotaryFest 2019 is officially open! 

To register, go to As you hopefully know by now, this is Governor John LoBosco's one-day, free, District Conference to be held on June 22nd at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. Even though it will cost you nothing, we need to know if you will attend so we know how much free food to plan for and how many children will be there for the many activities we have planned for them. And we do have an alternate location lined up in the unlikely case of bad weather.

So please, register early and we look forward to seeing you at what will be a distinctive and very fun District Conference.

Ongoing Item Donations Needed
The following items are needed on an on-going basis. Please feel free to bring them to a meeting where we will collect and distribute them to the appropriate projects.
Crutches4Africa - Crutches, canes, folding walkers and wheelchairs to be shipped to Africa. Contact: Roger Fagan,
Toiletries for the Shelters - Collect those tiny bottles of toiletries you are paying for during your next hotel visit and bring them home for members of our society who find themselves staying at a shelter and in need of personal hygiene products.