Rotary Club of Brunswick Coastal
We meet Wednesdays at 6:00 PM
49 Topsham Fair Mall Rd #14Topsham, ME 04086United States
On Saturday May 11th BCR members John Dennen and Ken Brunsvold held an impromptu concert at the Tontine Mall to raise money to aid the victims of the recent apartment house fires in Lewiston. (more later)
BCR President Linda Collins was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship at our May 15th club meeting. Linda has elected to serve two concurrent terms as club president and has consistently showed what “Service Above Self” means. Linda has been instrumental in establishing a Rotary Interact Club at Mt. Ararat Middle School. The award was presented on behalf of the Club by our newest member Cassandra Atwood.
At our weekly meeting, District Governor Marty Helman presented Mary Tennant with the District Service Award for her work on the District Foundation Transition Committee that has lead the absorption of the myriad changes to Rotary’s Grants process.
Thanks to the BC Rotarians who showed up in the intermittent rain to make this year's Tedford Garden Day. On Saturday morning May 11th we again worked with Maine Master Gardeners to spruce up the Tedford Shelter properties in Brunswick. Thanks especially to John D for planting junipers and John W for sprucing up the flowerbeds, both at Cumberland St. Other master gardener members worked at Everett St and on Federal St. Master Gardener Joel Leak supplied the plantings and know how to help this year's work be a success.
BCR Members, Interactors and the community enjoyed our 2nd annual concert to relieve hunger locally and internationally on Friday April 12th. The concert featured local professional musicians including Dave Bullard, Ellen Tipper, Kate Schrocki, John Dennen and flutist Ken Brunsvold. Our Club partners were Mt. Ararat Middle School Interact students supporting Girl Effect www.girleffect.org. Concert was held at the Orion Performing Arts Center. Our thanks go to the Mt. Ararat students who provided fantastic intermission entertainment and to those providing intermission snacks including Heather and Cassandra Atwood. Special thanks to our sponsors including:
New BCR member Cassandra Atwood gave a presentation on her work with exploited children in Cambodia. She worked with the “Hope for the Silent Voices” organization as part of a team of medical, dental and social service personnel. Many children, some as young as 5, are sold by their families for labor and sexual exploitation. Cassandra's presentation is included as a download to your right (in 4 parts due to the limitation of 5 MB for storage).
At our Wednesday February 20, 2013 meeting, Coastal Rotary presented a Paul Harris Fellow award to well known mid-coast Maine musician Dave Bullard for his long and continuous support of our club’s local and international humanitarian efforts.
At this week’s meeting (August 29) BCR had the honor of hosting the new District 7780 Governor Marty Helman. Marty and her husband Frank both are in the Boothbay RC, which has been a steadfast supporter of our club over the years. Marty had the honor of assisting the club in recognizing Dr. Michael Saraydarian with the Paul Harris Fellow award for his work in Honduras (see http://www.sunjournal.com/news/city/2011/12/18/auburn-docs-help-honduran-patients/1126921).
Marty also got to welcome new member Ken Grandvold and present him with his Rotary pin.
BCR President Linda then presented the Boothbay RC with a Paul Harris award for its continuing unselfish support of Rotary international projects. BCR may be the only club to be able to bestow this award to another entire organization, rather than to a person.
Linda also presented a check for $2000 raised by BCR to Tedford Housing Director Craig Phillips. BCR has supported Tedford over the years as a community service project doing spring gardening. One year we repainted a Federal St apartment and supplied/installed shelving for storing household consumables.
Marty talked to the club about Rotary being recognized as one of the best run charities. She said that Rotary membership growth had leveled off at 1.2 million members. Rotary is growing in Asia, but membership is declining in the West. Rotary membership in our District has fallen from 2200 down to 1800. Marty said that we must make our clubs attractive to new members and that we should not be shy about trying new ideas.
BCR again manned a concession booth at the Great State of Maine Air Show on August 24, 25 and 26th. We sold drinks, hot sandwiches and nachos. As usual we always enjoy working together and have a great time, especially at noon when things get crazy. (The concessionaire supplies everything except the labor and enthusiasm.) BCR would like to thank the following friends who joined us in making this fundraiser a success: Paul Rossignol, Sabastian Dennen, Ivy Dennen, Chip Burns, Angela Minard, David Minard, Brittany Coyne and John Coyne.
Monday July 2, 2012
Today Brunswick Coastal Rotarian John Dennen was honored with a Service Above Self award presented by Rotary International’s new President, Sakuji Tanaka. President Tanaka chose District 7780 and new District Governor Marty Helman to perform the first official actions of his new term, swearing in new district officers and club presidents in Boothbay yesterday. This afternoon President Tanaka, Governor Helman and other Rotary dignitaries attended the expanded regular meeting of our sponsor club, the Brunswick RC, to present the award. Past District Governor Ann Lee Hussey gave a nice introduction on John’s achievements in helping the people of South Africa. Brunswick Coastal Rotarians attended in masse to cheer on our most honored club mate.
On Feb 29, Dr. Khassan Baiev, Surgeon, Humanitarian and Author gave a presentation to Brunswick Coastal Rotary (BCR) on Chechnya’s post war challenges to public health in a country that is recovering from many years of brutal civil war. BCR is collaborating with the new Grozny, Chechnya Rotary Club in the purchase of a portable ultrasound machine for Dr. Baiev's clinical work in Chechnya. The staff of the local hospital also needs operational training on modern equipment that is already installed. Dr. Baiev's book "The Oath" detailing his experiences is available on-line. FMI see http://www.theoathbook.com/author.php .BCR President Barry Rodrigue and Brunswick Rotary Club Past-President Susan Chadima each presented Dr. Baiev with a check for $1000 to help in his work of rebuilding the shattered bodies of Chechnya's children.
ROTARY Concert for Famine Relief in the Horn of Africa
Thanks to everyone who made our Friday Feb 10, 2012 concert such a success. The 7 pm event at the Orion Performing Arts Center in Topsham played to a full house who showed their appreciation by great applause. This concert was sponsored by Rotary Clubs of Brunswick Coastal, Brunswick and Topsham Expresso assisted by Interact Club and National Honor Society students at Mt Ararat High School.
Special thanks to Pat LaMarche (MC), John Dennen (muscian and organizer), Jenn Chesley (Marketing & Sales), Allen Graffam (Mt. Ararat HS), Emily Fox (Program) and our musicians who kindly donated their time to our cause and to SAD 75 for use of the Center. Mt. Ararat students who donated their time to help out wherever asked include Brianna Bishop, Tracey Tran, Ryan Smith, Syd Clark and Kristin Haines. Also thanks to Club Friends Mark Levesque (baked 5 dozen delicious tea cookies), Don Kniseley (donated the Little Dog coffee), Paul Harrison (lent coffee pots) and Ron Poulin. Artists:
Dave Bullard and the Sound Wavez
Thank you to our sponsors:
BCR has a long history of writing award-winning grants from the Rotary Foundation. We have successfully partnered with Rotary clubs in South Africa, Australia, and Uganda to fund projects that have combated the effects of HIV/AIDS, provided needed supplies to a hospital, nursing college, orphan homes, community self-help centers, and community water and sanitation. The secret of our success has always been direct and personal involvement with the Rotarians in the project host country. More than half of our members have been on site during some part of our projects. BCR is now aiming to collaborate with the new Grozny, Chechnya Rotary Club. BCR is currently planning the purchase of a portable ultrasound machine for Dr. Baiev's clinical work in Chechnya (see related story on Dr. Baiev below). The staff of the local hospital also needs operational training on modern equipment that is already installed. Club President Barry Rodrigue is traveling to Chechnya next February and will be our local feet on the ground to plan these projects.
BCR is raising money for Somali Famine Relief. This money will be sent to provide direct food aid to mitigate the effects of the current drought in the Horn of Africa. Rotary International’s Famine and Refugee Relief Fund #G10008 provides this aid directly via Rotarians in Kenya. BCR has been generously aided in this effort by contributions from the Rotary clubs of Falmouth, Brunswick, Freeport, Bath, Topsham, and Boothbay Harbor.
BCR has donated $500 to provide Christmas gifts to 33 disadvantaged children in the local area. The national recession has left many local families destitute and in some case homeless. In addition there are homeless teenagers attending our local high schools and striving to maintain dignity while receiving an education. The children range in age from 6-18 years. Younger children will receive an age appropriate toy while teenagers receive gift cards to local stores.
On December 21st Coastal and Brunswick Club Rotarians provided a dinnertime Christmas carol serenade to residents at Horizons Living, Brunswick. Good friend of BCR Joel Leek provided guitar accompaniment and helped keep us in tune. Carolers included Joel, Pat Forestell, Mary Tennet, Sally Le Blanc, Patty Biggs, Claudia Frost Mary Ellen Stypinski, and Tom Stypinski,
Coastal Rotary worked a food booth at the Great State of Maine AirShow on Friday and Saturday (August 26,27) at the Brunswick Executive Airport, formally the BNAS. The Blue Angels were as fantastic as usual. FMI http://www.greatstateofmaineairshow.us/home.html
UPDATE: BCR has received a $4000 grant from the Midcoast Charitable Foundation based on the profit from the Great State of Maine Air Show. The money will be used for BCR local projects benefiting the communities of Brunswick, Topsham and Harpswell. Past President John Dennen accepted the award on behalf of the club. The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, which is responsible for the redevelopment of the former Brunswick Naval Air Station and putting on the Air Show, gave $25,000 to the Midcoast Charitable Foundation. The foundation distributed the money to 10 local organizations including BCR. FMI see:
District 7780 Governor Gary Speers and Judy Speers joined us at our Wednesday August 31st club meeting. Gary spent his entire career in local Illinois law enforcement, much of it working with youth, and retired after 34 years of service.. He has conducted law enforcement training in the United Kingdom and Russia.
Governor Gary gave a short talk about our district activities and his “Moose on the Loose” challenge. He also related several anecdotes from the recent “Friends Forever” group of young Northern Irelanders. We at BCR have many fond memories of our meetings with these young people over the years. He also presented Appreciation Certificates to Sally and Tom S for our club efforts.
BCR Past President John Dennen was honored Saturday August 6th for his efforts over 40 years on behalf of those in South Africa affected by HIV and AIDS. The local organization PeaceWorks presents its annual Peace Maker Award to a community member for his or her contribution to “making the world we live in more just and compassionate” The award was presented during a ceremony at Saturday’s day-long Greater Brunswick Peace Fair on the Brunswick Mall.
For the past 4 years, Coastal Rotarians, under the tuteledge of Master Gardener Joel Leak have spruced up the Tedford Shelter properties. On Saturday May 21st Coastal Rotarians Donna, Sally, Pete, Tom, and President John installed a new stone walking path, pulled weeds and spread new mulch at the Cumberland Street shelter. Warm sunshine and volunteer enthusiasm made the 3 hours go by quickly.
Brunswick Coastal Rotary Club hosted the Group Study Exchange Team from Hong Kong, Macau, and Mongolia at their April 27th meeting held at the Brunswick Inn. After dinner, the Team individually told us about themselves and their work. Team members included surgeons, nurses and a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner. As a special district of the Peoples Republic of China, Hong Kong has an excellent publically funded health care system for its population.
On May 4, 2011, Dr. Khassan Baiev, Surgeon, Humanitarian and Author was Coastal Rotary’s Special Guest Speaker at the Brunswick Inn. He was joined by co-authors Nicholas & Ruth Daniloff to discuss Chechnya: Post War Challenges to Public Health. Nick and Dr. Baiev discussed the challanges of working in a country that is in the process of recovering from many years of brutal civil war. Among the guest were other district Rotarians and community members. Dr. Barry H. Rodrigue was the club sponsor of this event..
Brunswick-based group marks 20 years by renewing commitment to Africa aid
Brunswick Times Record by Erica Long, Times Record Contributor
Published: Monday, February 7, 2011 2:03 PM EST
BRUNSWICK — A few days before Christmas, a woman walked into Indrani’s, an exotic import shop in the Tontine Mall. Without picking up anything from the shelves, she handed co-owner John Dennen a check. “Every Christmas I give my grandchildren a check for $20 and not once have I received a thank you,” she said. “This year, I am giving their money to children in Africa.” Full article at
On Wednesday December 15th, Brunswick Coastal Rotary hosted a parliamentary delegation from the Chechen Republic visiting Maine. Delegates, Rotarians and friends enjoyed a buffet dinner at the Brunswick Inn, followed by three excellent speakers. Brunswick Rotary Club President Susan Chadima talked about her veterinary work with farmers in Afghanistan. BCR President John Dennen discussed our club’s projects in South Africa, Uganda and locally. District 7780 Governor Anne Lee Hussey explained Rotary’s polio eradication program’s progress in eliminating this disease including how this effort also paid dividends in fostering co-operation. Groups at odds with each other on other issues could unite in this effort. The Chechen parliamentary delegates asked questions and expressed their interest in Rotary. Deputy Isa Nazhadievich told a story about an abandoned injured dog that showed that he understood Rotary’s mission. Being afraid of dogs he was unwilling to aid the animal as others passed it by. Finally he realized if not he, who? Once he started to help others joined in on the effort.
On Saturday December 11th, Brunswick Coastal Rotary hosted a parliamentary delegation from the Chechen Republic visiting Maine. Rotarians John D, Barry, John W, Linda, Tom and friends showed the deputies the proper way to eat lobster while enjoying the quiet ambiance of the Brunswick Inn. BCR President and guitarist John entertained us with several original songs and poet Gary Lawless recited several poems remembering the history of the Maine sardine fishery.
Brunswick Coastal Rotarians and friends celebrated our Club’s 20th Anniversary on Friday November 19, 2010 with a dinner-dance party at the Brunswick Golf Club. Invited guests included District 7780 Governor Ann Lee Hussey, Governor-Elect Marty Peak Helman, Governor Nominee Gary Speers, Past Governor Trisha Hunter and their spouses. A dinner buffet featuring baked haddock, chicken and roasted prime rib was enjoyed after a cocktail hour. After dinner BCR President John Dennen and Governor Ann Lee Hussey made short presentations with Ann Lee presenting a Paul Harris Fellowship to our Past President Margaret Lonsdale for her dedication to Rotary’s ideals including working visits to our projects in South Africa and Uganda and on District Simplified Grants with Hospice Volunteers in Mid Coast Maine and the Merrymeeting AIDS project. The evening ended with dancing to a live band.
Sebastian Dennen traveled with his parents to the Marianhilll district of Durban, in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa where poverty and disease co-exist with a "normal" society and sees first hand what both Rotary and dedicated individuals are doing to help.