February 27, 2013
In the picture are the Houlton Rotarians and family members that will be going to the Dominican Republic to install Bio-sand Water Filtration Systems, back row left to right: Ryan Bushey, Scott White, Craig Bean, Mac Randolph, Steve Nelson, & Dr. Bob Chagrasulis (guest speaker), front row: Tammie Mulvey, Amy Hocking, Franki White, & Nancy West
Dr. Bob has been a guest to our club on several occasions. He is a member of the Calais rotary club and has been an active Rotarian for 20 years. Dr. Robert w. Chagrasulis, a general surgeon from Calais, Maine has worked on many health projects in the Dominican Republic since 1995 and returns frequently each year. He has been responsible for assembling and directing medical teams for the good samaritan hospital in La Romana including holding medical clinics in the bateys that house sugarcane workers and their families. His teams also provide medical care to jail inmates who are denied basic and needed care. He is dedicated to bringing cleaner water to Dominicans and Haitians through Rotary’s international water filtration projects. He is chairman of district 7810 water management programs consisting of 39 clubs in both the USA and Canada. He will lead 25 members including 9 local Rotarians and guests from January 30th to February 6th.
January 29, 2013
Pictured are Dean Clark, Jack Foster with Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp, Ryan Bushey picture taken by Mike Clark
Jack Foster was our guest speaker on 01/28/2013. Jack is with the Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp, a program of AMHC. Jack was and educator, and then began with AMHC to assist in prevention work. The camp ATLC was formed in 1987 it is a leadership development and drug prevention program serving Aroostook County teens in grades 6-9 in northern Maine. Teens attend a five day camp in Limestone at the Limestone Community School also known as Maine School of Science and Mathematics. There are also several follow up meetings through out the year.
ATLC vision is: Aroostook County will be ranked as the lowest county in Maine for substance use among students in grades 6-9, as measured by Maine’s Youth Drug and Alcohol Use Survey (MYDAUS).
Core Beliefs: We believe that teens are effective substance abuse prevention leaders when given the necessary knowledge, tools, training, and support. We also believe teens listen and talk more to other teens than to adults.
Program Need: The 2008 Maine Youth Drug and Alcohol Use Survey shows Aroostook County teens in grades 6-9 as having a drug use problem, with 15.3% reporting use by grade 6. By grade 9 alcohol use increased 20.8%, tobacco use 12.4%, and marijuana use 5.4%. Early drug/alcohol use increases risk of mental health problems, drug/alcohol dependence, educational underachievement, physical health problems, and social difficulties during later adolescence and early adulthood.
to prevent or delay early use of alcohol and other illegal drugs by Aroostook County teens; to increase favorable teen attitudes about not using alcohol and other illegal drugs; to develop teen drug prevention leaders; and to provide a teen support network for a drug-free lifestyle.
The camp generally has between 55 and 65 teens attend annually, 67% of attendees are girls. Families pay 200.00 for camp, but there are scholarships available for families in need, no one has ever been turned down. Open enrollment starts in January, at each school there is a contact person to assist with the application process. Currently they have a volunteer staff of 32 people, with 27 of them having attended the camp in their teens. Now that is impressive, for any of us involved in anything that you need volunteers for you know how difficult it is to get any. All campers make a commitment to be drug free, and in doing so many of them move on to becoming volunteers as stated above. Sara Harbison was one of these and has now moved on to be one of the Directors, thank you Sara way to lead! Some of the follow up includes: monthly outings, 5 different committees, advisory board ,and entry level staff for camp. Each person is required in writing to agree to be drug free, if they are not then they are out of the program for one year, their parents are informed and giving resources to assist them becoming drug free. It should be noted that his has not happened. Parents attend the last day of camp as part of the follow up they are walked through many of the things that their teens participated in and given a video to take home as well. This is a great opportunity for our teens to become involved and become the leaders that we need for their future and ours. For more information on the Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp visit their website www.atlc-camp.org
December 14, 2012
Captain Steve Pearl was our guest speaker on 12/03/2012. The Houlton Salvation Army first started in 1889. The Salvation Army is an international Church currently in 126 country’s. As most people have heard it is the annual Kettle drive, which for the Houlton Salvation Army brings in 15 – 20% of their annual budget. Salvation Army is a mission based church that preaches and practices Christ’s word to help meet peoples needs without prejudice. They assist people with food, clothing, utilities and other needs that arise. Major Erma Pearl sits with each individual and goes over a budget with them to assist as needed and hold them accountable for their own budget. The local store has all kinds of good items to be purchased! Clothing is their top seller here in Houlton which is 70-75% of all store sales. They accept any item in GOOD condition. It is very important for people to know that what they can not sell they do have to pay to have taken away to the dump so please donate, but remember it needs to be in good condition. The Salvation Army is always looking for furniture and larger items, they do not have a way to pick up items but will gladly take them if you can bring them to the store. When you give locally it stays locally other than 10% that is given to the main office. Currently the food bank is in good shape, however after the holidays are over many tend to forget that there is still a need so their shelves get low in January. So please remember them not just during the holidays but throughout the year. Many of us at one time maybe even right now know the feeling of not being sure where the next meal is coming from or how we are going to heat our home next week. So please if you are currently not in that position, than you have a little extra to give to someone that is. The local Salvation Army is a wonderful organization that supports any and all that are in need. The Houlton Rotary Club will be ringing the bells on Friday December 14th and Saturday December 15th. Hope to see you there!
November 27, 2012
The Houlton Rotary Club has declared this year’s Radio & TV Auction a huge success. The 57th annual auction brought in a gross of over $57,000 which is a 14% increase over last year. According to club president Ryan Bushey, “This is the biggest auction we’ve experienced in recent years. Our thanks go out to all of the donors for their items and the public who called in and bid. They are the people that truly make the auction the success that it has been for these 57 years.”
After expenses are paid, the funds will be disbursed to a variety of charities and causes selected by the club with the major recipient being the Just For Kids Playground. The playground project will receive $12,500.00 towards new equipment. This is the 3rd time in recent years that the playground has been a recipient of auction funds.
The Dominican Water Project will receive $5,000 while $2,000 will go to Backpacks for Kids project and the Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum will get $1,500 toward their computerized cataloging system. Other beneficiaries of the auction include the Salvation Army, Dollars For Scholars at Houlton, Hodgdon, Southern Aroostook, East Grand and GHCA, Cary Library, Student Recognition Project, Rotary Youth Exchange and paint for the Boy and the Boot statue.
In addition to the bidding on the items, the Rotary Club raises money through the auction from selling ads in the supplement, sponsorships and from selling tickets for $500 in fuel from Dead River Company. The winner of the fuel this year is Paul Graham. In addition, three Boy & the Boot Statues were sold for the Houlton Regional Health Services Foundation with each representing a $1,000 donation to the foundation.
The auction attracts listeners and bidders from near and far with many people tuning in from all around the country on the Internet. And, those coming home for the holidays tune in or stop by the auction to visit family and friends. Lori Weston, Auction Chair, said, “I heard comments from many in the community who recognize the tradition of the Houlton Rotary Auction. They enjoy the excitement and want to be a part of it while helping out a good cause.”
The Radio & TV Auction is the major fundraiser for the Houlton Rotary Club and the success of the auction allows the club to fund many worthwhile projects. The club extends its thanks to all who helped in the success of the event. Bushey concluded by saying, “This auction would not be possible each year without the continued support of our local businesses and artisans and our generous bidders. Please remember to shop locally to support the businesses that support our community.”
October 29, 2012
Don’t miss your chance to win $500 of #2 Fuel Oil donated by Dead River Company. Raffle tickets are $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00. The drawing will be held on air Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, during the last night of Houlton Rotary’s 3-night 57th annual auction. Go to http://www.houltonrotary.org/current-members for a list of Houlton Rotary members from whom you can purchase raffle tickets. Proceeds from this year’s auction will go towards the Just For Kids Playground project to upgrade the playground equipment at Community Park, the Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum, Dollars For Scholars (Houlton, Hodgdon, Southern Aroostook, East Grand & GHCA), Cary Library, Salvation Army, Houlton Little League, Student Recognition Day and the Rotary Youth Exchange Program. Some funds will also be used in the Dominican Water Project where local Rotarians will travel to the Dominican Republic to install water filters in early 2013. Items are still being accepted for the Auction as add-ons. To make an “add-on” donation or for further information contact Auction Chair Lori Weston at email@example.com or Houlton Rotary President Ryan Bushey firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 29, 2012
It’s a holiday tradition in southern Aroostook – shopping in the Rotary Auction before Thanksgiving. This year’s items range from pickles to a log cabin. There is sure to be something in the auction that someone in your home would like to receive as a gift. This year’s cabin from Ward Log Homes is the Matagamon Model valued at $12,300. It has a 20’x18’ floor plan with an 8/12-roof pitch, a 20’x6’ front port and features a convenient sleeping loft. The cabin has become an exciting feature of the annual auction as people from near and far tune in to be the successful bidder of this special item. Other major items to be featured will include an aluminum boat doc, quarry tile & vinyl tile, cedar fencing, a snow blower, an entertainment center, a 50” TV, fire wood, an E-reader, a Dyson vacuum, a Gator ride-on toy, etc.
The proceeds of this year’s auction will benefit the club’s major project, the Just For Kids Playground project to upgrade the playground equipment at Community Park. Other projects that will benefit from the Auction proceeds include the Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum, Dollars For Scholars (Houlton, Hodgdon, Southern Aroostook, East Grand & GHCA), Cary Library, Salvation Army, Houlton Little League, Student Recognition Day and the Rotary Youth Exchange Program. Some funds will also be used in the Dominican Water Project where local Rotarians will travel to the Dominican Republic to install water filters in early 2013.
Items are still being accepted for the auction as add-ons. To make an “add-on item” donation or for further information contact Auction Chair Lori Weston at email@example.com or Houlton Rotary President Ryan Bushey firstname.lastname@example.org .
October 22, 2012
Picture is Lori Weston with guest speaker Melissa Arndt and Ryan Bushey
Guest speaker at 10/22/2012 Rotary meeting was Melissa Arndt from Life Flight. Melissa has been the Marketing and Educational Outreach Manager for LifeFlight for five years. In this position, Melissa directs all public relations and communications efforts, develops and designs the organization’s publications and coordinates the clinical and aviation safety outreach. Before LifeFlight, Melissa worked as a graphic designer at Northeast Publishing, and as the Marketing Coordinator for TAMC. She also served as the Cultural Programming Chair on the organizing committee for the
2006 Biathlon Junior World Championships. Originally from Presque Isle, she and her family left the area in 2006 to work in Wisconsin, but they quickly realized the error of their ways. In 2007, Melissa was offered the position with LifeFlight and the family happily returned to the great state of Maine, albeit a little further south than their hometown. When she’s not meeting with patients and writing stories, Melissa and her family are usually on a river or in the woods.
In 2011 Life Flight served 136 Maine towns with a total of 1,451 transports. Services that Life Flight offer are: Critical Care Transport, Human Patient Simulator, Aviation Infrastructure, Landing Zone Development, and Clinical Education. Life Flight services are only used at the request of emergency medical services providers or physicians. 92% of services are used in area with populations less than 10,000. Last year Houlton used 36 air flights and 4 ground. Life flight makes a transport every 6 hours. For more information on this wonderful organization please visit their website at www.lifeflightmaine.org
October 1, 2012
Our guest speakers for Monday October 1st, was Cathy Forest, Kim Folsom, Dee Henderson, Pam Hocking and Amy Hocking speaking on Bridge to Hope. It began in 2005 and they are on their 7th annual walk. Which is to be held this Saturday starting at the Rec. Center and going to the Bridge at Riverfront Park. They will also have items for sale at the Community Market and Harvest Festival. You can see the beautiful quilt that is being raffled off at Daniel’s Florist and yes you can but tickets for it as well. They have raised just over $18,000 over the years, with the majority of the money staying locally to assist individuals dealing with cancer. they also send money to the American Cancer Society to assist in research. Amy and the ladies are very passionate about Bridge to hope and are in hope that someday they will not need to make this walk anymore.
September 10, 2012
Our guest speaker for this past Monday September 10 was John Rogers, Director of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. The Academy is located in Vassalboro Me. Through out the United States there are 648 Academy’s, with one in Maine. All Law enforcement are trained together. The cost for the Maine Criminal Justice Academy is about half of most other states, one reason for that is they do not pay the instructors, the students become the teachers. The Flagship training is 4.5 months and is broken into three categories first is the Education which covers the laws, second hands on: driving, shooting, fingerprints etc. third is scenario based: putting it all together. They do go through a lot of stress training which helps prevent less injuries and deaths. They learn how to be a leader, many officers in Maine are out their on their own and need to know how to take the lead. So if you want to be in Law Enforcement how difficult or easy is it to get in the door? Harder than most would think, in the most recently graduated class 94 had applied and 61 were accepted. During the training it is typical to loose 5 – 10% for various reasons. Maine is the only state that you can loose your Certification for Conduct, most states you must be convicted of a Felony. Maine has very high standards for its Law Enforcement Agents. The most common areas seen in Maine for Agents to loose their certification is for Domestic Violence and Alcohol use like OUI.
August 17, 2012
Our guest speaker for 09/17/2012 was Dr. Jack Stokes Ballard Ph.D., seen here with Leigh Cummings and Ryan Bushey. He spoke to us about an Aroostook County Native, but not just any native the only Medal of Honor recipient from Aroostook County. He wrote the book Commander and Builder of Western Forts: The Life and Times of Major General Henry C. Merriam, 1862-1901.
Henry grew up in Houlton, 2 miles up on the North Rd., His parent were Lewis and Mary (Foss) Merriam. He attended Colby College in Waterville but left school in 1862 to join the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and was elected as a captain. Henry had many skills and character such as he was good with farm tools, expert Horseman, very self disciplined, he enjoyed playing the violin. He was an excellent writer and speaker, many of his letters helped form the book. He found himself commander of African American Troops, which had to be interesting due to growing up in Rural Maine he may not have had much previous contact never mind the fact that he was going from here to New Orleans what a culture change. He embraced each step in his Military Career. He played a role in aspects of the American-Civil War and beyond. For example the Indian War, Spanish American War and the Philippine-American War. The most prominent one being when he earned the Medal of Honor for his actions as a Union officer in commanding his troops at the Battle of Antietam. His official Medal of Honor citation reads: “Volunteered to attack the enemy’s works in advance of orders and, upon permission being given, made a most gallant assault.” He retired November 12, 1901 and settled in Portland Me. Dr. Ballard gave us many more interesting facts about Henry, but I do not want to give too much away, the book can be purchased locally. Dr. Ballard also visited the Cary Library while he was in town.
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