Main Street, Downtown Old Town. Join us Thursdays at the Elks lodge (inset picture).
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Small club. Big aspirations.

We meet Thursdays at 6:15 PM
Elks Lodge
37 4th Street
Old Town, ME  04468
United States
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If you missed Tamara's talk, you're going to want to hear her amazing story of overcoming adversity and trusting in humanity to achieve her goals... despite the incredible odds!

From NBC News, 12/20/2017


Could the world be about to eradicate polio? Only 17 cases were diagnosed last year and they were all in two countries with the last hard-to-reach corners: Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The public health groups trying to put the squeeze on polio have started to get more creative in their last push. The latest: turning vaccination into a circus.

The circus enables the children who join, often from internally displaced communities around Kabul, to learn new skills while continuing their education. Nadia, seen here, is 14 years old, and one of the best girl-performers in the country. Ashley Hamer / UNICEF

“We are trying to build trust and momentum around why we need to vaccinate our kids,” said Melissa Corkum, UNICEF team leader on polio eradication.

Santa and Mrs. Claus visited the Elks Lodge in Old Town on December 7 to help Rotarians, children, and grandchildren get into the holiday spirit.
The evening started off with a Gingerbread House decorating contest.  Six teams of children and grandchildren, assisted by parents and grandparents, applied copius amounts of frosting to gingerbread houses that had been constructed by President Doug and his grandson, an engineering major at UMaine.  The frosting served a dual purpose--as a decorating material in and of itself, and as something that other, more colorful confections--jelly beans, gum drops, sparkles, sprinkles, etc.--would attach to.
While the decorating teams did their thing, the rest of the club enjoyed an extended happy hour and time for fellowship until the dinner bell sounded.  After dinner, Santa and Mrs. Claus came through the door and gave presents to all the children and grandchildren present.
Rotarians also brought several dozen extra presents which are being donated to the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots campaign.
Click more to see photos of the gingerbread house decorating contest!
Ben Smith (third from left) poses for a photo after giving his Rotary Foundation Month presention, which included a progress report on Rotary's participation in the drive to eradicate polio worldwide.  Sherrie Wight (left) and David Wight (standing next to Ben) traveled to Old Town from Frankfort to make sure that Ben would have an audience.  Also in photo: Robin Merchant, Steve Russell, and President Doug. 
November is the month every year when Rotarians remember--and celebrate--the Rotary Foundation, which was started 100 years ago.
In the last three decades, Rotary International and our foundation have been particularly prominent in the worldwide effort to eradicate polio.  The Global Polio Eradication Iniative (GPEI) started in 1988 as a joint effort of UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Rotary International. In that year, WHO estimated there were 350,000 new cases of polio worldwide--but few, if any, in the U.S.
But Rotary was more than just a partner.  The GPEI was inspired by Rotary's 1985 pledge to raise $120 million to immunize the world's children against polio.
*  *  *

Some of you here probably remember Jonas Salk, who discovered the polio vaccine. I remember lining up in 1954, with all the other children in my school, to get my first polio shot. What you may not know is that Salk refused to patent the vaccine because he wanted it to be widely available. 
When Salk died in 1995, his obituary in the New York Times reported an opinion poll which ranked him between Churchill and Gandhi as one of the most revered figures in modern history. 
Salk once said, "There is hope in dreams, imagination, and in the courage of those who wish to make those dreams a reality." Sounds like he might have been a Rotarian!
*   *   *

From 350,000 new cases of polio in 1988, the number has dropped more than 99%--to 74 new cases in 2015, 37 new cases in 2016, and through Nov. 7, a total of only 14 cases this year--five in Pakistan and nine in Afghanistan.
WHO estimates that more than 16 million people have been saved from paralysis during the last 30 years. 
We are getting very close to eradicating polio in the world. Doing so would represent only the second time in history that we've done that.  The first was smallpox.
A few numbers about Rotary and the effort to eradicate polio:
•  Since 1988, the GPEI has spent more than $15 through June 30, 2017.
•  Rotary has spent $1.8 billion, and by the end of next year, that number will increase to $2.2 billion.
•  In 2000, the Gates Foundation launched its Global Health division. So far, they have contributed $685 million to eradicate polio, and within two years, that number will exceed $1 billion.
•  The Gates Foundation has also agreed to match every dollar donated by Rotarians with two dollars from their foundation.
*   *   *

Some of you know that part of the reason I feel so strongly about polio is that my grandfather contracted the disease when he was 2 years old. He lived to be 97, but he walked with a limp his whole life because of polio.
As I said at the beginning, November is Foundation Month for Rotary. The first gift to the Foundation was from the Rotary Club of Kansas City--$26.50 in 1917.
My first ask of you tonight is that you consider writing a check to the Rotary Foundation for $26.50, for Rotary's Polio Plus Campaign, before the end of the Holiday Season.
The world really is really close to eradicating polio, and we are all part of an organization that's been instrumental in getting there. Please help make polio a thing of the past.
My second ask is that each Rotarian consider becoming a regular Foundation supporter. Rotary does a lot of good things in the world, and the Foundation is the vehicle that supports many of those efforts.
About 20% of our members support the Foundation each year. But I think it's significant that 75% of our members have donated to the Foundation at some point in their Rotary careers. That suggest to me that, as a group, we appreciate the Foundation's value.
The two simplest ways to support the Foundation are EREY (Every Rotarian Every Year) and Rotary Direct, a program that is growing in popularity and that five of our members already use.  Rotary Direct allows Rotarians to donate directly to the Founcdation via bank draft or credit card. Donations may be one-time or recurring (e.g., an automatic monthly donation from your credit card).

EDITOR'S NOTE:  A belated Thank You Dollar for Ben's presentation on the Rotary Foundation.  He took what could have been a really boring topic and presented his report with passion and conviction--and made it interesting for all of us.  Thank you, Ben!

On Thursday, Nov. 16, club members went on a road trip to the Wicked Good Gourmet shop at 1168 Main Street, Old Town (between St. Joseph's Cemetary and the Orono town line), where we heard Mark Kent, the proprietor of Wicked Good Gourmet, talk about his business and his background.

Wicked Good Gourmet provides an easy way for shoppers to order high-quality food items from Maine and elsewhere in New England and have them shipped to friends or relatives, particularly in states outside of New England. Mark says a number of his customers who want to purchase food items that they used to buy in Maine--either when they lived here or were on vacation--but can't find the items at their local Whole Foods store.

He describes his business as follows on his website (
     "Wicked Good Gourmet was founded by Mark Kent to bring the finest artisanal specialty foods made by farmers and chefs around New England to your door.  These products are usually sold in Farmers Markets and local stores across New England. When you subscribe to the Taste of New England Box you are not only receiving the best specialty food products that New England has to offer, you are also supporting the farmers and chefs that are striving to grow their small businesses.  We champion the small businesses and artisanal producers across New England.  We connect with small businesses that are growing and supporting local jobs and small towns.  We find the best products from the best people and deliver them to your door so that you can enjoy celebrating the best of what New England has to offer." 

Mark currently offers two subscription plans--one for $19.95 a month plus shipping and one for $39.95 a month plus shipping (only the $19.95 plan was offered when I checked the website on the morning of Nov. 17), where he selects a variety of Maine and New England gourmet items with a different theme each month and ships them to the address you selects.  However, he's in the process of offering shoppers the option of filling their own basket on line and then shipping it.

Shoppers can also visit his store and either purchase items to take with them or fill a box for shipment.  The store is currently open on Fridays and Saturdays, but will be open additional days during holiday periods.
     A team of volunteers from the Rotary Club of Old Town have installed a wheelchair ramp at the home of Jim Martin of Orono, who has ALS.
     Rotarians who worked on the ramp construction were Stan Peterson, Buggsy Bryant, Steve Russell, Don Sturgeon, Doug Marchio, and Pat Cummings. They were joined by Dr. John Gaetani, and Joe Cyr stopped by to lend a hand (immediately after his surgery).
     Rotary got involved last month after Jane Veeder saw an item about Jim's GoFundMe page that had been posted by a friend of hers on Facebook.  She asked Robin Merchant if this was something the club could help with, and Robin, in turn, contacted Stan. Stan called Jim, took some measurements at his house, and got the crew together to install the ramp on November 11.
     Rotarians (and others) who are interested in Jim's battle with ALS can follow this link to his GoFundMe page:  Jim said he wanted to thank Stan and his crew for installing the wheelchair ramp, but before he could get outside, they had left.


President Doug with Payden Stanton and Laurel Cookson.

Payden Stanton and Laurel Cookson, who traveled abroad through programs sponsored  Office of International Programs at UMaine, talked about their experiences at our Thursday night meeting November 9.


The following appeared in USA Today on World Polio Day, October 24:

Bill Gates: Polio will be eradicated this year

Ray Sipherd, CNBCPublished 3:39 p.m. ET Oct. 24, 2017

Tuesday marks Rotary International's fifth annual World Polio Day, co-hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and there is much cause for celebration: It is very possible that 2017 may see the end of the wild poliovirus — nearly two years earlier than Bill Gates predicted.

"What we're looking at now is sort of the endgame of polio eradication," says Dr. Jay Wenger, who leads the Gates Foundation's polio eradication efforts. "We are closer than ever, and we're optimistic that we can see the end of wild poliovirus disease by as early as this year," he said.

Rotarians, guests, and friends sit down for dinner at the "Dough Raiser" at Uno Pizzeria & Grill in Bangor/
Old Town Rotarians, guests, and friends traveled to Bangor Thursday night for a "Dough Raiser" at Uno Pizzeria & Grill opposite the Bangor Mall in Bangor.  The club will receive up to 20% of the proceeds from club members and others presenting Dough Raiser coupons at Pizzeria Uno that day, depending on the total dollar amount from the coupons.
Club members, guests, and friends ordered from the Uno menu. About 45 members, guests, and friends attended that evening.
Two more views from the "Dough Raiser" at Pizzeria Uno.
The Hunters Breakfast tent at 3:50 a.m. Saturday.
The dining area in the back of the tent was full around 6:45 a.m.
The Old Town Rotary Club held its 67th annual Hunters Breakfast from 4 to 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Waterfront Park in Old Town.  Rotarians served the usual Hunters Breakfast fare--ham, eggs, Golden Beauty pancakes, and home fries with or without onions--along with home-cooked beans from the Alton Methodist Church, Tim Hortons coffee and hot chocolate, and LaBree's donuts. 
Joe Cyr, Jack Larsen, Stan Peterson, Linda Bryant, Don Sturgeon, and Steve Russell (not in photo) did most of the cooking.
Everything went well, and attendance totaled 470, or about the same as last year.  The biggest difference was there were a lot fewer politicians--just State Senator Jim Dill from Old Town, who isn't running this fall.  Two Rotarians are on the Old Town municipal ballot this November--Stan Peterson running for re-election to the City Council and Dave Wollstadt running for re-election to the RSU 34 School Board--but they weren't handing out any campaign flyers.
Kudos to DJ Whitmore for getting everything organized and making sure all the i's were dotted and the t's were crossed.  Outstanding job--and he'll be a wealth of knowledge to help next year's President-Elect.
About 25 club members cooked, served, cleaned, and did all the other chores required for a successful breakfast, and for the 4th or 5th year in a row, Corina Larsen's son Jack joined the cooking crew.  Also assisting were five Interact members from Bangor (students at Bangor and John Bapst high schools), who helped serve, and Dave Wollstadt's daughter Rachael and her friend Erica, visiting from Connecticut, who cleaned tables.
Interact students on the serving line with Clair Shirley (center), the club's oldest member.
Frank Greenleaf, Steve Johnston, and President Doug Marchio.
People of all ages enjoyed our breakfast!

A group of 11 Old Town Rotarians assisted at the Juniper Ridge Landfill Open House on Saturday, Oct. 7.  Rotarian Wayne Boyd is general manager of Casella Waste Systems, which operates the landfill.

The Rotarians had two primary tasks--assisting the caterer, Steve's Stagecoach Express, by cooking french fries, and greet incoming visitors, including directing traffic, telling people where to park, and handing out raffle tickets for drawings that were held during the open house.
In addition, we set up a Purple Pinkie table, where people attending the open house could donate $1 to support Rotary International's Polio Plus program, which seeks to eradicate polio worldwide.  A total of $115 was raised for Polio Plus by people who had their pinkies painted purple.
Buggsy serves french fries as Linda and Stan cook more to feed happy customers.
Above: Stan loads a basket with french fries so Linda can cook them. 
Right photo: Rachael Peterson displays the cupcakes, which were provided by Stan's sister.
The french fry team included Linda Bryant, who cooked the french fries; Buggsy Bryant, who served them; Stan Peterson, who prepared baskets of fries for Linda to put in the deep fryer; Joe Cyr and Dave Wollstadt, who put the raw potatoes through a machine that sliced them into fries; and Peter Bosse, who helped direct traffic around the serving area.
The greeters included Doug Marchio, Pat Cummings, Steve Johnston, and (later in the day) Peter Bosse.
The Purple Pinkie crew included Ben Smith, Steve Russell, and Tamara Saarinen, along with Mike Timpson, a member of the Bangor Rotary Club (noontime).
In addition, Rachael Peterson and some of her OTHS art students did face painting for children (and adults, too) who attended the open house.
Tamara and Ben with Purple Pinkie donors.
Steve, Tamara, Mike Timpson, and Ben display their purple pinkies.
It was a beautiful day.  Above, the open house area as seen from the top of the landfill, which was also a good place to view the fall foliage.

Tim Hudson, superintendent of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, speaks to the Old Town Rotary Club at the River Drivers Restaurant in Millinocket.
Instead of meeting at the Elks Lodge, Old Town Rotarians and guests boarded a Cyr bus for a road trip to the River Drivers Restaurant in Millinocket, near the entrance to Baxter State Park, on Thursday, Oct. 5.  
Our speaker was Tim Hudson, superintendent of the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, which was created by order of President Obama to encompass 87,000 acres that were purchased by Roxanne Quinby in the area east of Baxter State Park and donated to the federal government.  Before dinner, while we still had daylight, club members gathered by the fireplace outside the restaurant to induct our first corporate member, Tim Magoon, general manager of the Old Town Canoe facility in Old Town.  Tim is a full-fledged member of Rotary International, but several other Old Town Canoe employees will assist him in fulfilling his attendance and participation responsibilities.  We are anxious to meet Tim's associates at Old Town Canoe and welcome them into the fellowship of our club.
Club President Doug Marchio (left) inducts Tim Magoon (center) as a member of the Old Town Rotary Club.  Looking on are David Mahan (second from left), membership chair for corporate/organizational members; Clair Shirley, former member Amos Orcutt, and official greeter Becca Wollstadt.
Tim Hudson with a map showing the lands of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The monument includes both the light green parcels (on the map) west of the East Branch of the Penobscot River and the dark green parcels east of the river.  Hunting and snowmobiling are generally prohibited on the light green parcels.  On the dark green parcels, hunting will be allowed, except for bear hunting using bait or dogs. 
Pat Cummings took photos and created a Smilebox photo album, which can be linked to below.  NOTE: you have to click on the link below the image.  Clicking on the arrow in the Smilebox image won't get you anywhere.  Thanks, Pat, and happy viewing.

The Old Town Rotary Club participated in Old Town's annual Riverfest celebration by entering a float in the parade, cooking BBQ chicken during the day, and serving free ice cream on Friday night.  Unfortunately, we don't have any photos from Friday night.


Rotarians in the parade

Above:  DJ, Mischelle and their children marched (or rode) in the parade and handed out candy.

Chicken BBQ

Tamara, Linda, and Doug
Bruce, Buggsy, and Steve Russell
Steve Johnston and Frank Greenleaf do what they do best.

Lisa Frazell, manager of community events for The Maine Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, spoke to us Thursday night (Sept. 28) about various aspects of Alzheimer's, a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking, and reasoning skills. She urged Rotarians to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer's Disease, which will be held in Bangor on Saturday, October 21. Funds raised through the walk will be used to support Alzheimer's research. 

Lisa also emphasized the importance of knowing the 10 early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's.  (To see the 10 early signs, click on "Read more" after the item about Keri's mom.)

Happy Birthday, Becca! and Happy Anniversary, Linda and Buggsy

Becca, who has been telling us for the past six (eight? nine? eleven?) months that she will be 39 on September 29, was honored a day early with a pre-birthday celebration, including a stirring rendition of the HappyBirthday song and a chocolate cake with pink and white frosting--her favorite!
The club also wished Happy Anniversary (No. 44) to Linda and Buggsy Bryant, also on September 29.



Rotarians help move Keri's mom into her new home

A number of Rotary Club members responded to DJ Whitmore's email request to help Keri move her mom into new quarters.  Keri's response was emailed to all club members via ClubRunner, but in case you missed it, here's what she said:

I wanted to take a moment and say thank you!  I was going to give a big "thank you" dollar this week at the meeting to all of you, but am unable to attend.  It really meant a lot to myself and my family that so many showed up to help!  Originally, it was us and four ladies and one husband from Mom's work (which many more of them showed up too).  It was quite a surprise too...I heard rumor of some email that went around that I did not see!  Packing, driving, and unpacking in two hours has to be some kind of moving record!  That night, my mother looked at me  and said, "Wow, that was the longest and most tiresome day I have experienced so far since I have been sick, but it was by far one of the best".  She was overwhelmed that so many others took time out of their lives to help.  She told me that I belong to a great organization full of wonderful people.  Again, I can't thank you all enough!  If I have forgotten anyone on this email (it was a hectic day!), please forward this to them.
Much love,
Making a difference through Community Service!
Riverfest starts this Friday night! By serving free ice cream, walking-driving in the parade, and hosting a chicken BBQ, we can make a difference for the whole community.  A volunteer sign-up list has been emailed, so please click in the email or on the event name on the home page or in this bulletin, then click on the Riverfest Volunteers button to SIGN UP! 
Old Town Rotarians went on a ROAD TRIP to Old Town Elementary School September 21 to get a first-hand look at the OTES gardens and to hear about the RSU 34 food pantry and resource center project, which includes the school gardens at OTES, Leonard Middle School, and the elementary schools in Alton and Bradley. 
RSU 34 has entered into a partnership with the Old Town United Methodist Church which will help the school district get $7 worth of food from the Good Shepherd Food Bank for every dollar raised by the school food pantry.  The Old Town Rotary Club could have a similar arrangement with RSU 34 to provide financial and volunteer support for the school district's effort to help students and families who are in need.
Details are being worked out, and the club's Board of Directors will be looking at various ways of supporting the RSU 34 food pantry and resource center.  Possibilities include:
   •   Recurring contributions to the Good Shepherd Food Bank in support of the RSU 34 food pantry (and possibly Crossroads Ministries, as well).
   •   Recruiting one or two volunteers per week to support RSU 34/Old Town Elementary School garden and food pantry projects
   •   Construction of a greenhouse to support the OTES garden project
   •   Assistance with construction of a garden fence if needed
   •   Other projects that may come up in the future.
Any comments or suggestions should be directed to President Doug Marchio or Immediate Past President Dave Wollstadt.
Upcoming Events

The 4 Way Test

Past President
Vice President
Foundation chair
Club Administration chair
Public Relations chair
Membership chair
Service Projects chair
Michael Crowley or Mike Seile
Feb 22, 2018
Allison Kanoti, Forest Entomologist
Mar 01, 2018
Brown Tailed Moth Infestation
Membership Seminar
Mar 03, 2018
Rotary Membership recruiting & retention
Jack Brown, University of Maine student
Mar 08, 2018
Maine Day Meal Pack Out
Video Library
Meeting Responsibilities
February 15, 2018
Door Duty
Russell, Stephen
Door Duty
Saarinen, Tamara
Door Prize
Small, Shawn
February 22, 2018
Door Duty
Shirland, Bruce
Door Duty
Adams, Mischelle
Door Prize
Shirley, Clair
March 1, 2018
Door Duty
Whitmore, DJ
Door Duty
Wollstadt, David
Door Prize
Walker, David
March 8, 2018
Door Duty
Adams, Mischelle
Door Duty
Barb, Phil
Door Prize
Bosse, Sr., Peter
March 15, 2018
Door Duty
Boyd, Wayne
Door Duty
Denis, Keri
Door Prize
Cummings, Patricia
March 22, 2018
Door Duty
Gallant, Lisa
Door Duty
Lane, Steve
Door Prize
Johnston, Steve
March 29, 2018
Door Duty
Larsen, Corina
Door Duty
Mahan, David
Door Prize
Magoon, Tim

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