If this isn't a Rotary Moment, I don't know what is...
Thank you, Dave & Sherrie Wight for delivering the meal that were packed with some of the funds the Old Town Rotary gave for the Maine Day Meal Packout planned by the UMaine Honors College students for this May.   Though the packout in Orono was cancelled due to CoVid19, you and the students found a way to coordinate and deliver meals to our area.  THANK YOU!
     --Pat Cummings
        Senior Director of Philanthropy, University of Maine Foundation
        Old Town Rotarian

Old Town Rotarian Sherrie Wight has written an account of the 2020 Meal Packout, accompanied by photos.  

The Vermont team, Wolfie, the Maine Team, and the Disaster Relief trailer.
Hi Melissa,
     We were very happy to be able to help out with retrieving the food and bringing it home to Maine. The coordination alone was quite interesting as it wasn’t just us meeting the trailer.  The people bringing the food up from Massachusetts were Wolfie (who you know as Craig) and Susan.  After some talk on the phone and a number of emails, we had come up with a general area that would be fairly easy to get into safely and they then narrowed it down and made the decision to meet at the Hampton New Hampshire Park and Ride just off exit 2 of I95 in southern New Hampshire on Saturday April 11th.   There were eight people there all together:  Susan and Wolfie from Massachusetts, a two person team from New Hampshire, two from Vermont, and Dave and I from Maine.  Amazingly even with the many hours of drive time for all of us we all managed to arrive within 20 minutes of the meeting time.  Susan and Wolfie had a pickup truck full of boxes plus a Disaster Aid enclosed trailer from Rotary filled with boxes.  When the trailer pulled in everyone masked up and put on gloves.  The boxes were marked with a VT, NH, or M so we could easily tell which went where.  We all helped load each other’s vehicles one state at a time.    
     Lauren supplied me with the contact information for Nancy Perry at Good Shepherd Food bank in Auburn and she was able to put me in touch with Lyndon Hopkins at the Hampden location.  Once he was able to insure a warehouse staff would be available, we set up a delivery time on the morning of Tuesday April 14th.   We were met by a nice young man and Dave and he, wearing masks, unloaded the 46 boxes (10,000 meals!) from our truck onto two pallets for the fork lift.  There was a variety of nutritious meals including at least Macaroni and Cheese, Red Beans and Rice, and Spanish Rice, and I think also some Oatmeal.  
     Why did we take the risk and do it?  Since the first time we met you and some of your students a few years ago at an Old Town Rotary meeting talking about the meal pack out, Dave and I were hooked.  It is true that it is a very good cause and that alone is enough of a reason.  As a police officer here in our county, Dave has seen the horrific poverty and hunger first hand all too many times.  And he was proud to be able to carry a few meals in his patrol car to give someone when he ran across a particularly trying situation.  But that fact aside, the professionalism, enthusiasm and maturity of the “kids” and their earnest desire to give back to the community and help those in need was, and still is, unbelievably amazing and inspiring to us. 
After last year when we saw the difficulty you had trying to get meals delivered to some of the farther counties, it occurred to us that the Blue Knights, of which Dave is a member, were perfectly poised to be of help with distribution as they have members in many counties throughout Maine.   The Blue Knights are an international Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club that was founded right here in Bangor Maine in 1974 and subsequently spread around the world.  As law enforcement officers, they are men and women who have dedicated their lives in service to the safety and well being of others, even at the risk of their own lives.  It was a perfect match of good intentions.  So when we suggested to the president of Blue Knights Chapter One of Bangor, Jay Durost, that our chapter assist in the deliveries for the meal pack out this year, the Knights jumped at the chance to help and were looking forward to being able to do so. 
And then of course the virus took over our lives.  When Lauren asked for help, we contacted President Jay and he was all in for us to help.  Of course things had changed as to logistics and the number of people that we could actively expose had to be severely limited.   Since Dave and I are most familiar with the process, we immediately became the obvious choice to execute this mission.  It wasn’t a hard choice….in fact it wasn’t a choice at all.   It was the only thing to do because it had to be done.  We feel so blessed and fortunate.   We have a roof over our heads and food on our table.  Others do not and in this especially trying time their struggle just to survive is magnified. 
     Your amazing students worked hard to raise the money to make the meal pack out happen.  I can’t imagine how disappointing it was for them to be forced to call it off.  But they still didn’t give up!!!   It wasn’t the meal pack out they had envisioned but they figured out a way to get some meals here at this incredibly difficult time when they are needed more than ever.  They never gave up, never stopped dreaming of what was possible.  When our young people show that kind of determination and perseverance in the face of extreme adversity, they have become our teachers.  As we go through life, we find ourselves in places and times where things can seem dire and frightening.  Many people become fearful, hunker down, and seek shelter.  Others such as your students dream of ways to help and then find a way to make those dreams come true.  Law enforcement officers such as the Blue Knights simply see people in need and a new opportunity to serve and help others…even if it risks their own lives because that is what they have always done.  This is where we found ourselves…this place, this time…and we are thrilled that you offered us the chance to help and that we were able to fill that final gap for you and all your amazing students to bring food to the people of Maine.    
Maine meals loaded for home, with Dave.
Dave and man from Good Shepherd unloading
Delivery at Good Shepherd