“Wings and Wheels—Fly In/Cruise In” first annual event of the Houlton Chamber of Commerce was held at Houlton International Airport on July 27,2013. This was a free event for community members to enjoy. There was an antique car show, many planes on display; and unexpectedly, a Jetliner flew in to refuel. The Forest Rangers and Border Patrol had their helicopters there for people to check out…a big hit! The Border Patrol also had one of their dogs there. Great music, food and lots of great vendors were enjoyed by all!! Rotarians helped kids make airplanes and check the wind with pinwheels before sending their craft out into the wind. Other Rotarians helped with parking, setting up and tearing down, and helping those unlucky few who got stuck in the wet field. Our Rotarians aren’t afraid of a little mud!! It was great to see “Rotarians At Work” helping out with a community event!! This is definitely an event that will continue with the Houlton Rotary Club’s support!
In reading the applications for this year’s Service Above Self Award, I was ever so impressed by your commitments to each of your communities. Each one of you has, in some way, contributed to making a positive change in the community around you and in turn, I am sure it has changed each of you too. Recognizing the needs of those around you and realizing that just the tiniest effort on your part can and does have such an incredible positive impact, is remarkable. Finding the time and energy beyond excelling at academics, athletics or extra-curricular acitivites, is simply inspiring. Each of you is leaving a mark on your school and communities that will long be remembered. Your applications prove that our future, in the broad picture, is going to be just fine, in fact it is going to be great. With such acts of goodness as: community wide clean up days, volunteering at after-school programs and other community events, mentoring programs that foster relationships between upper and lower classman, raising monies for Cancer Awareness and for the Sandy Hook Elementary School Community, participating in single events that brings communities together….the list is long awe inspiring and certainly represents what Rotary is all about …” Service Above Self”.
This year’s winner of the Service Above Self Award fully embodies the meaning of community service in so many ways. This school contributed over 170 hours to community service. They looked deeply into the needs of their community saw that two families within their community needed to have a winter’s worth of wood stacked and piled. Imagine the grateful hearts of those families! This school helped to harvest vegetables that were then distributed to the elderly and to needy families in their district. They grew their own corn and pumpkins in their school garden and then harvested those crops which benefited their own hot lunch program. Students knit hats that were then donated to people with emotional and development disabilities, assuring that they would be warm in the coldest of weather. Through a school grant, the students are building a greenhouse and planting a perennial bed for their school to better provide both healthy food choices and to beautify their school. It is the greater need of those around them that they are serving.
This year’s winner of the Houlton Rotary Service Above Self Award is:
Hodgdon High School
Shown in the picture (by Mike Clark) is Ryan Bushey and Moose Karnes from Backpacks for Kids
2013 has seen our program increase from serving 35-40 children to serving 40-46 children. We have had an increased interest for our program this year due to hard times with our economy. If we had the monies, we could serve up to 30-35 families. The cost to run our program, due to food cost increases, has gone up from last year by thirteen percent.
Our program is a 36 week project helping 40-46 children from 17 families with backpacks filled with food for the weekends. This is our third year for the program. With financial help from County Yankee, Houlton Rotary Club, Houlton United Methodist Church, and many single donation, we will be able to continue this needed program.
All the monies we collect go directly to the cost of the food. During the year 2012, the Backpacks for Kids program spent $10,500.
We would like to give a special thanks to Houlton Rotary and County Yankee for helping to make this program possible.
Lori Weston, incoming Rotary President is shown here presenting Francis Fitzpatrick, President of Southern Aroostook Agriculture Museum with a check for a computer to start the digitalization of the Museum. When this project is completed they will be online with Museum’s around the world! It will also be very beneficial for tracking items. If you haven’t been out to visit the Museum recently you really should they have an amazing amount of items and a wealth of information, especially about this wonderful area that we all live in. Hope to see you there some day!
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.
In the photo: Jim Brown, Moosestompers Organizer and Rotarian; and Scott Dionne, Houlton Rotary President
Houlton Rotary donated $500 to this year’s annual Moosestompers celebration taking place February 17th-19th. These funds will go toward sponsoring community dogsled rides on Saturday and Sunday from 11am-3pm. This year’s mushers are Linda Howe and Kevin Quist of Heywood Kennels.
The Houlton Rotary Club presented Dale Flewelling of Friends of Aroostook with a check to help them buy seed for their spring planting. The money will be matched, so much will be reaped from this contribution. The Friends of Aroostook’s vegetable-growing program was a huge success last year and Rotary is proud to be involved with the program again this year.
At a recent meeting of the Houlton Rotary Club, Rotarian Moose Karnes presented the club with the Rotary Little League 9-10 year-old trophy for the year 2010. This is the first time that Moose has been a coach for Little League since he played in the league, it is the first time that the team went 16-0, and it is the first year on the new Rotary field. Moose was on the Rotary team that won back in 1956 & 1957. Several Rotarians have played on the Rotary team.
Rotarian, Dale Flewelling, has started a fantastic project to help feed our area’s hungry, especially the elderly in our community with locally raised vegetables! His idea was this: let’s use land that isn’t being used and grow food for those who need to be fed! We’ve got ample land in Northern Maine and we have many people who are hungry and can’t afford fresh vegetables.
This year Dale and his group, Friends of Aroostook, have planted close to 2 acres of land to support our hungry neighbors and the gardens are BOOMING!! Take a look at these pictures:
So, it’s time to harvest and we need pickers! This Saturday, July 17th we will be picking from 9am to 5pm at the Linneus garden which is located just after you pass the Ruth Road and just before you get to Grammy’s Country Kitchen. You’ll know it’s the field because there is a HUGE Friends of Aroostook sign in front of the field.
- What are we picking? – Peas and Beans!
What do I bring? - A container to collect what you pick (Tupperware box, basket, plastic dish pan, etc)
- Who Can Pick? Anyone including kids!
- Will someone be there to show us what to do? YES! Dale will be there all day!
- Can we take some home with us? YES, please do!
- How long should I plan for? How about an hour! Stay longer if you would like!
- Where are we picking? The Linneus field which is on the Bangor Rd. just past the Ruth Rd. and right before you get to Grammy’s Country Kitchen!
The Houlton Community Arts Center received a donation recently from the Houlton Rotary Club toward its seat campaign. The Rotary Club was instrumental in helping with the seed money for the Arts Center and has continued on in its support of the Center through several years of fund raising. The seats are now all in place in the beautiful new facility, but there is still payment due on some of them. The campaign is coming along nicely and many people have purchased seats in honor or memory of loved ones, school class, etc. They are going fast now, so don’t miss out on an opportunity to have your designation on one of them! Seats may be purchased by contacting Mike or Deb Clark at 532-7148.
Pictured left to right: Steve Fitzpatrick, Superintendent; Marty Bouchard, Principal; Joe Fagnant, HCAC President; John Tribou, Rotary Club President and Michael Clark, Seat Campaign Chair.
Photo courtesy of Deb Clark