Service Above Self
We meet Tuesdays at 11:30 AM
For the Summer we meet at American Legion Post #197
300 Conant Street
Westbrook, ME 04092
Posted by Christine Johnson on Aug 26, 2014
Michael D. Harmon, known to Press Herald readers as M.D. Harmon, retired assistant managing editor, editorial writer and columnist, provided his perspective on climate change. As he explained, he speaks to scientific topics in laymen’s terms.
The term global warming is still used, but the use of “climate change” has become more prevalent in recent years. In addition, a new term has entered the discussion: climate weirding. No one denies that there is climate change, but there has always been climate change. The debate is around what is causing that change now.
Posted by Christine Johnson on Aug 19, 2014
Donna Dwyer, Executive Director, spoke to our club about the teen center located at 755 Main St in Westbrook.
My Place Teen Center provides a safe haven for youth, ages 10 – 18, sustaining them with comfort, meals, resources and hope. Their vision: All youth will have the academic, job readiness, and life skills necessary to lead independent adult lives filled with stewardship, courage, passion and joy. The center is open afternoon hours Monday-Friday with programs that include help with homework, health & fitness, STEM programming, life skills development and creative expression.
MPTC is in the process of upgrading their kitchen and has recently received a grant from Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation and the Maine Sunday Telegram. However, there is still more to do to complete improvements to this "teaching kitchen". Donna is already working on a written proposal to be submitted to our Charitable Projects and Contribution Committee. The committee will review and make a recommendation to the Club as a whole, so we can determine how we might be able to help. If approved by club, Paul Emery will write a Rotary Foundation Community Grant request to add to what we can raise.
For more information about the center, visit: http://myplaceteencenter.org/
Posted by Christine Johnson on Aug 12, 2014
Mike Koza – Regulatory Protection Advisor, Chad Thompson – Source Protection Coordinator and Sarah Plummer – Education Coordinator
Mike, Chad and Sarah each spoke to current happenings at the Portland Water District.
Posted by Christine Johnson on Aug 05, 2014
On Tuesday August 5, a small group attended our weekly meeting. Several topics were discussed, with most of the time dedicated to discussion of meeting format and member recruitment.
Posted by Christine Johnson
Dana Humphrey, Dean of the University of Maine College of Engineering, described the current state of the engineering work force in Maine. He discussed the role of engineers in our economy, our aging workforce, demand in the STEM fields, the current production rate of engineers, and the role of research and development.
Posted by Christine Johnson on Jul 22, 2014
Peter Crichton, County Manager of Cumberland County, grew up in Mars Hill and is a former Rotarian. He has worked in municipal and county government for about 30 years and has been County Manager in Cumberland County since 1999. He shared with us some of his successes and his vision for the future.
Posted by Christine Johnson on Jul 16, 2014
The rain clouds cleared and the sun came out on Wednesday July 16, just in time for the Annual Lobster Bake, held again this year at the Saunders home on beautiful Sebago Lake. This popular event was attended by over 50 Rotarians, family, and friends. The crowd enjoyed a wonderful meal of lobster or steak that included delicious side dishes and desserts provided by several of the attendees.
At the end of the meal, most of the group moved indoors for the sing-a-long. Pianist Eric Peppi led us through many old favorites from the Rotary Songbook. Everyone had a great time singing and enjoying the view across the lake to Mount Washington.
Thanks to all the volunteers who contributed to the success this year. Special thanks to Nelson Harm, Dan Willett, and Walt Stinson. Finally, our sincerest thanks to Henry and Marjorie Saunders who opened their lovely home to us again this year.
Posted by John Kivus on Jul 08, 2014
Roland Rancourt (Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Outdoor Recreation Instructor) gave an excellent informative talk on "Managing the bear population in Maine". Discussion ensued on the November referendum which we will all be voting on. Facts and statistics were discussed based on 40 years of scientific study by IF&W. Questions followed the talk and members added to the lively presentation.
Read more at: http://savemainesbearhunt.com/
Posted by Christine Johnson on Jul 01, 2014
Steve Rand, of Desmond Rand PA, Westbrook, was inducted as President of the Rotary Club of Westbrook-Gorham on July 1.
We also thanked outgoing President Patty Kenney, Branch Manager of Casco Federal Credit Union, for her service during 2013-2014.
Posted by Carolyn Watkins on Jun 24, 2014
Westbrook-Gorham Rotarian Wayne Lopez DDS spoke to us about Rotary Dental Missions. Things are at a standstill in Azerbaijan at this time due to the local government officials taking their time to provide licenses. However, the dental clinics in Guatemala are providing care to many children and adults that need dental care. Until recently, the only work they could do was extractions. However, they have recently acquired a piece of portable equipment that lets them offer dental care that can save teeth. This small, but powerful piece of equipment costs $5000.
In some villages, they use a folding table and carry all their instruments in a back pack. In one village they set up on a front porch with no electricity, and another in a medical clinic. Some of the children have abscessed teeth, while others have bad cavities probably due to chewing on sugar cane. They often have 50 or more families seek help. They went to Honduras to a village 50 miles out from the biggest town in the area. Rotary presence can be seen in many places in this area. There is a bridge that makes the trip shorter, clean water and other improvements made by Rotary over the years. A clinic with electricity would be most helpful, as would funding for more specialized dental equipment.
Posted by Christine Johnson on Jun 17, 2014
Eric Dudley, PE, Westbrook City Engineer spoke about several projects planned or underway in Westbrook. He had several drawings with him showing the upcoming plans.
Posted by Christine Johnson on Jun 10, 2014
Mike Foley, Westbrook City Councilor and fellow Rotarian, was our speaker at of meeting on June 10. Mike was part of a small delegation from the greater Portland area that recently traveled to sister city Archangel, Russia. At the invitation of Archangel Vice Mayor Vladimir Garmashov, the delegation, representing the 14 communities involved in the agreement, visited during America Week and during the April 4th anniversary of the sister-city relationship. Joining Mike on the trip was Phil Spiller Jr, son of former Mayor Phil Spiller who was instrumental in forming the sister-city relationship 25 years ago.
Posted by Carolyn Watkins on May 27, 2014
Kristina Sabasteanski, Army Vet and two- time Olympian spoke to us about Veterans Adaptive Sports & Training - VAST.
The goal of VAST is to promote lifelong health and well-being of veterans with disabilities through regular participation in a VAST array of physical activities and sports. Any and all veterans are encouraged to volunteer and enjoy some outdoor activities and a sense of camaraderie with fellow veterans.
This program provides physical activity for wounded veterans to get them out in the open and strengthen their muscles. It is a fun form of therapy. The center of operations for VAST is at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester ME, but there is skiing and other winter sports at nearby ski slopes. There is also horseback riding, cycling, and archery, while eliminating any barriers and getting vets active and making friends with other vets with similar problems.
The participants come from all over Maine. There are sleeping accommodations at Pineland and vets can bring family members. The program has proven to be very successful.
Posted by Christine Johnson
Plan to join us at our annual golf tournament which will be held Tuesday September 23, 2014. Shot gun start at noon. More details to follow shortly.
Posted by Christine Johnson on May 20, 2014
Sheila Rollins, DG Nominee 2015-2016 was our guest and speaker on May 20, 2014. Youth Exchange, or Next Generations, is one of the Rotary five avenues of service and part of Rotary's strategic plan. Rotary Youth programs include:
- Interact - for kids 12-18. This is oftern school based, but can be community based.
- Rotaract - for your adults 18-30. Must be sponsored by a Rotary club and are often University based.
- Rotary Youth Exchange - youth and young adults travel and live in different cultures
- RYLA - Rotary Youth Leadership Academy
Westbrook High School currently has an Interact group lead by Bruce Dyer. It has about 15 members and has been active with projects in the local community. Unfortunately, there is no current group at Gorham High School. The only local Rotaract group is affilicated with the University of New England.
Pictured President-Elect Steve Rand and Sheila Rollins
Posted by Christine Johnson on May 06, 2014
Susan Rowen, York County Community Development Director at Big Brothers & Big Sisters joined us for our luncheon meeting on May 6, 2014. Big Brothers Big Sisters is the nation's premiere donor and volunteer-supported youth mentoring organization with over 360 agencies across the US. Susan’s group supports kids in York and Cumberland Counties. Since 1995, they have matched adult and high school-aged volunteers with children to foster nurturing, professionally supported, one-to-one mentor relationships.
Posted by Christine Johnson
On Monday April 21, over 80 runners from local high schools joined us at Riverbank Park in downtown Westbrook for our annual Patriots' Day Road race. Under sunny skies and with cool temperatures and a light breeze, the race was kicked off at 10AM by Dave Rolfe. The first runner, xxxx from Deering, crossed the finish line with a time of xxx.
Thanks are due to the Westbrook Police Dept and Resuce Unit, who continue to support us each year. Also, thanks to all runners, coaches and volunteers. Special thanks to Dave Rolfe who meticulously leads this effort for our Club and the kids eadch year.
See you next year!!
Posted by Christine Johnson on Apr 15, 2014
Jim Brennan, COO & Co-Founder of PS It Matter, was our guest on April 15. This is a socially focused for-profit company that seeks to create sustainable funding sources for non-profit organizations with a focus on hunger.
There are 292 food banks/pantries in Maine. Leveraging donations of food and money, one dollar can provide 4 meals at food banks, and food pantries can often do more.
The business for PS It Matters model offers over 500 gifts and gift-food items that business often buy now; and at attractive prices. The difference is that 15% of the purchase goes to the food-relief cause of the buyer’s choice. Businesses can buy gifts and spend the same amount while providing money to help the 40% of Mainers who are food insecure.
He also spoke about plans for a new venture to be launched in the June time frame. My Shopping 4 My Cause will allow groups like ours to register on the site and allow customers to designate our organization to receive donations from purchases. The group present expressed a lot of interest in this new funding raising idea. Stay tuned for more information as this site is launched.
We encourage you to check them out at : http://meals4others.com/
Posted by Christine Johnson on Apr 08, 2014
On September 27, 1957, a groundbreaking was held at the corner of Woodlawn and Libby Ave in Westbrook. This groundbreaking inaugurated more than 56 years of partnership among the City of Westbrook, the Vocational Center, and the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club.
The first house was funded by a group of local businessmen with the objective of developing a self-sustaining learning tool for the Vocational Center. It is interesting to note the first house pre-dates the founding of the WRVC. Over the intervening years, 44 houses have been built, with house 45 under construction now on Dale Ave in Westbrook.
Proceeds from the home sales provide funding for annual scholarships and toolships for WRVC students. Proceeds are also turned around into construction of the next house.
Posted by Christine Johnson on Apr 01, 2014
Program April 1, 2014
Eric Dribner, Founder Echo Land Trust and Stefan Jackson, Director Presumpscot Regional Land Trust were our guests and speakers on April 1. Both trusts work in communities in the Sebago Lake watershed. It’s very important to protect this watershed because it is the source of water for the Portland Water District, some of the purest water in the country.
Land Trusts are designed to buy and protect land for future and traditional activities, although sometimes easements are obtained from landowners for protection purposes. Both groups work with local communities to identify and preserve land. Sustaining land for traditional uses preserves quality of place for the future. Most areas of Maine have a local land trust.
Posted by Christine Johnson on Mar 25, 2014
Program March 25, 2014
Risa Bridges-Hall, Development Director for the Animal Refuge League, spoke about the new facility they are planning to build. The ARL was established in 1911. The original shelter on India Street in Portland was funded by Maine Governor Percival Baxter who was an animal lover. The location on Stroudwater St was built in 1957 and named after Governor Baxter. It was originally situated on 73 acres of land, but later, 40 acres were sold to provide funds for the Future Fund ( http://www.futurefund.me/ ).