Posted by Ben Lowry
Last Friday at The Clarion, President Amy Chipman welcomed 32 members and 1 guest. PP Alan Nye (photo at right) started us out with a thoughtful and, at times, comical look at our culture’s use of the term “Indian Summer,” which was apropos on an 80-degree late September day; Ron Bennett led the pledge to the flag and PP Bill Blount led us in a rousing rendition of “America the Beautiful.”

President Amy (at left)  read a nice thank you note from Learning Works, thanking our club for our recent efforts in providing backpacks (stuffed with school supplies) for youngsters headed off to school.

PP Laura Young reminded us that the District-wide “RotaryRocks” Conference is coming up on Saturday, October 5th at USM from 9:00 to 4:00. This event should be fun and full of information. The Club will reimburse for the admission fee of $20, so plan to make an appearance and learn more about what Rotary can offer. For more information and to register, go to:
Justin Lamontagne (on left in photo) ran the weekly raffle. The speaker pulled Bruce Moore’s (on right in photo) name out of the holding vessel, but Bruce missed out on $924 when he chose the Jack of Diamonds, instead of the elusive Queen of Hearts.

With the scheduled member for the “Rotary Minute” a late scratch, PP Bowen Depke (photo at right) took to the podium after some good-natured prodding from Club members (it doesn't take much prodding to get a PP to take to the microphone). Bowen told his story of meeting PP Peter Goffin at Seadogs games and, after a number of Rotary luncheon meetings as Peter’s guest, Bowen capitulated and joined our cozy group, which was one of the best moves he’s made since arriving in Vacationland. Bowen, of course, ended up as our club president during our very important centennial anniversary year, handling the never-ending duties with the greatest of aplomb.

The Greenhouse Program” was discussed from the podium by Ben Millick, who has been working hard with our mentoring program thru the New Mainer Task Force within the Club. This initiative has brought about six months of mentoring to five immigrant Mainers who have been seeking guidance as they attempt to set up new businesses within our local community. 2nd VP Bob Martin, a vibrant and enthusiastic member of the task force, has seen his mentee already open his business and the other willing participants in the program are moving forward, led by Rotarian guidance and input. This sounds like a perfect opportunity to really make a difference, so contact Ben if you’d like to help at: (

Charlie Frair gave us an update and heartfelt thanks for our efforts with the “Flags for Heroes” project, which was recently showcased for one week in the rotunda of The Maine Mall. With very little lead-time, Charlie and Paul Tully, and so many others, pulled this project together. With the typical “what can I do” effort by so many within the club, we were able to get 100 full-sized American flags up on display and sponsored within just a few weeks. Although not seen as a “fundraiser,” but rather a unique opportunity to thank those in our lives we see as real heroes, the project nonetheless will pull in between 4 and 5 thousand dollars. We should all be very proud of what we accomplished with this simply amazing effort. Great job all! (See full story and photos on our Club home page website:

Now that the “Flags” project has been put to bed, so to speak, it’s time for Charlie and Paul to begin the hype for our one-of-a-kind Veteran’s Luncheon to be held on Friday, November 8th at Seasons Event & Conference Center, Ramada Plaza, 155 Riverside St, Portland. This event gets bigger and better every year and this year will feature a national music act and a humorist….so please hold the date and also plan on helping out the day before and the morning of the event, as we’ll need many hands to make easy work of the project. Please register on our website ( and know that this will sell-out very quickly. All volunteers must also register.
Gracie Johnston (in photo at left)once again asked for volunteers to help at The Preble Street Resource Center this Wednesday, Sep. 25th, from 3:30 to 6:30 pm for our prepping & serving of dinner to the people in need.
Bruce Moore spoke on behalf of the Club’s Opioid Task Force and let us know that the District is sponsoring an event on Wednesday, September 25th from 7:30 to 10:30 at Vinegar Hill Music Hall in Arundel. With 70% of the workforce in Maine touched by the Opioid crisis, this seminar should be eye-opening and allow for opportunities to join in with our club and the district in the ongoing efforts to make an impact.
Our “Harvest Moon Dance” will be on Saturday, October 26th in Cape Elizabeth. More details will follow from Mike Fortunato (photo at right) and his committee but, for now, please hold the date and plan on a great time that evening. Mike is also looking for more volunteers to help out at Long Creek Youth Development Center. For more information, contact Mike ( or PP Jim Willey (