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June 16, 2014

Pictured are: Jacquie Morse and Lori Weston June 16, 2014
Jacquie spoke us today about a rapidly growing concern. Most of you know that autism is rapidly on the rise. Almost everyone knows someone who has an autistic child or an adult. Just 5 years ago the statistic was 1 in 110 children were on the Autism Spectrum Disorder. But today that number has jumped to 1 in 68 children. Of those students with ASD only 56% will graduate from high school. Currently we have 1 to 1.5 million Americans living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The cost of autism over the lifespan is 3.2 million dollars per person with 60% of the cost in adult care alone. In 10 years time it is projected that autism will cost our nation $200 – $300 BILLION a year. According to a current Population Survey from December 2010 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the unemployment rate for people with disabilities was at 14%, compared with 9% for people without a disability. Additionally, during the same period, only 21% of all adults with disabilities participated in the labor force as compared with 69% of the non-disabled population That is where we hope to change lives. Starting May 31st of 2014 Autism Love and Bee Morse Farm presents Farming 2 Shine, an up and coming farm where handicap individuals come to learn how to farm. Our goals are to provide an education into a industry that the world relies on and to teach them a vocation that they can depend on for a livelihood. We want to teach each of our Handi-Farmers that they can depend on themselves and give them the confidence, knowledge and a sense of contributing to their communities. While we have a structured curriculum planned out, everything is taught in a fun, hands on way. Each day we meet, brings a new lesson and activity like: *Learning about our tools and how to use them safely *Learning how worms help our garden by releasing worms into the garden and studying the benefits they provide. *Learning to eat from our garden and fun, healthy recipes *How do bees help our garden and across pollination

First Wind

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DSC_0001First photo is our newest member Paul Gentle with Club President Lori Weston. Paul has been an active member of the community for years with the Elks Club, Shriners, American Legion post 47 and of course the Linneus Sno Sports Inc. So what better place to continue to serve our wonderful community then Rotary. We are excited to have him join our club! Paul enjoys camping, volunteer catering, Hound Guard and organizing events. He is ready to give us his time and talent.DSC_0004

The Houlton Rotary Club hosted Matt Kearns, VP Business Development for First Wind, as the guest speaker of the day. The Houlton Rotary meets every Monday noon and hears from speakers representing topics of interest to the area. Mr. Kearns summarized the history of First Wind as a national, private energy- producing firm that began operating its first wind farm in Mars Hill, Maine in 2007. Since then, First Wind has grown to include wind farms and solar energy sites in four eastern states, three western states, and Hawaii.
First Wind’s newest project is Oakfield Wind in Oakfield, Maine, approximately 15 miles from Houlton. Oakfield Wind is designed for 48, 3MW turbines and is will bring 300 jobs to the area during construction. First Wind and its partners expect to employ up to twelve operational employees connected to Oakfield Wind. This site is expected to generate power equivalent to what would power 50,000 homes.
Mr. Kearns concluded his presentation by taking questions from the audience. Many of the questions centered around Maine’s power connections to the New England power grid, NB Power, and the efforts to keep local power at competitive rates. Mr. Kearns invited more local input and may be reached at

Student Recognition Lunch 2014

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May 19th was our Annual Student Recognition luncheon for local students. Houlton Rotary Clubs awards a school each year for their outstanding community service, this years recipients were the students shown here from East Grand School, with their  principal Dawn Matthews.

This years guest speaker was our very own Margaret York Scott, with a guest of her own Rebecca Waite. Both speakers were very inspirational and encouraging. They spoke on believing in yourself and perseverance, that at times you may think you are headed in one direction and then you are taken down another and that it is ok to know where you are planning on going or not either way it takes a lot of hard work and determination! Right now most of the students are probably thinking I cant wait to get out of this town, there is nothing to do here…right? Well that may be true in some senses, but you can take these two ladies advice when they “went away” but found them self back here, you make the life you have by choices and again a lot of hard work. Some may go away and only come back to visit and be content with that and it is perfectly fine, how ever there will be some coming back or maybe never leaving that can make an extremely wonderful life for themselves right here in the County. There are more options here than what many may see up front, but with a little creativity and searching you find the “hidden” treasures that we have here at home.

Rotary Bingo

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Rotary Meeting 03/31/2014 we played Bingo, practicing up for our annual fundraising event that took place the following  Thursday. Everyone had a great time and are now much more familiar with how to play and the rules.

Tim Horton’s Camp Day Program

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Lori Weston Rotary President, Dave Rowe guest speaker of Steve Bither

Lori Weston Rotary President, Dave Rowe guest speaker of Steve Bither

Dave spoke to us today about the Tim Horton’s Camp Day program, with great passion. It is clear that this is a great program, as Dave says its not one of those programs that just say they do ….. they really do it!! There are six camps through out Canada and the United States, with camping year around.

The Tim Horton Children’s Foundation was established in 1974 by Ron Joyce, Co-Founder of the Tim Horton’s chain, to honour Tim Horton’s love for children and his desire to help those less fortunate. The Foundation is a non-profit, charitable organization committed to providing a fun-filled camp environment for children from economically disadvantaged homes.

Making a Difference in Your Community

Research shows that children growing up in an economically disadvantaged home are at an increased risk of a wide range of negative outcomes that can impact a person’s physical, emotional, and mental health. For these children, access to the types of opportunities that develop lifelong skills that help them grow into positive, contributing members of their communities are often lacking. A Foundation camp experience exposes economically disadvantaged children to new growth opportunities and challenges with the goal being each participant leaving camp a more caring, responsible and motivated person.

While at camp we ask our campers to tell us how camp has made them feel. Below are some of their responses which show how, together we are making a true difference in the lives of children in all of our communities.

” Because of camp…I am not afraid to be myself.”

- THCF Camper Mattie

“Because of camp…I am more respectful, talkative, and a better leader. I’m also more confident in myself and others. I am so glad I got the experience to go to camp.”

- THCF Camper Carolyn

“Because of camp…I’ve learned to accept people’s differences.”

- THCF Camper Nastassja

“Because of camp…I feel strong, powerful, and less scared.”

- THCF Camper Zylana

“Because of camp…I faced my fears.”

- THCF Camper Sierra

So now that we have read what it can do to make a difference, what can we do? Well the easiest thing is to go buy a cup of Coffee on Wednesday June 4th. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to send children to a camp. You may think what can one cup of coffee do (or you could get more than one -hint, hint)?

This is what One Cup of Coffee Can Do:

Thanks to the generous support of Tim Horton’s Restaurant Owners and their loyal guests, Camp Day 2013 was a huge success, raising an incredible $11.8 million for the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation. The funds raised on Camp Day will positively impact over 16,000 economically disadvantaged who attend camp with the Foundation in 2013.

All children who attend one of the Foundation’s six camps are selected from within the communities where Tim Horton’s Restaurants are located. Tim Horton’s Restaurant Owners work closely with local youth organizations and schools to select children, between the ages of nine and 12, to attend a 10-day summer camp session or seven day winter camp session. And this is where our local Dave Rowe comes into play, well besides loving Tim Herten’s coffee, he is the local coordinator that selects the two children from the Houlton area to be able to attend one these great camps. Dave says that if you are looking for him and he is not at his office he will be at his other office aka Tim Horton’s.


Maine Bear Hunt Referendum at Houlton Rotary

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Houlton Rotary  guest speakers for Monday March 17, 2014 Al Cowperthwathite, Northern Maine Woods Don Kleiner, Executive Director Maine Guides Association Dale & Eleanor Goodman, North County Lodge

Houlton Rotary guest speakers for Monday March 17, 2014
Al Cowperthwathite, Northern Maine Woods
Don Kleiner, Executive Director Maine Guides Association
Dale & Eleanor Goodman, North County Lodge

Don and Al both spoke on the impact that the upcoming Bear Hunt referendum would have on the wildlife, community, and the economy. Houlton Rotary Club does not take a political stand on this issue. They warned us about some of the advertising that will be used to emotionally impact voters, and to please look past the ads and do your research. They not only spoke on the financial impact to Maine’s economy but also on the potential danger to allowing the bear population to grow even more than it currently is. For more information please contact either Al Cowperthwaite at Northern Maine Woods, or Don at Maine Guides Association. Both are willing are to come and speak to anyone.

Assistant Governor Terry Thomas speaks at Rotary

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President Lori Weston with the Rotary District 7810 Assistant Governor Terry Thomas

President Lori Weston with the Rotary District 7810 Assistant Governor Terry Thomas

The Assistant Governor spoke briefly on many of the events coming up in our District and the exciting things happening on both sides of the Border. Houlton Rotary Club is fortunate to be a part of an International Rotary District. Terry spoke on Rotary Leadership Institute, and Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a leadership development program run by Rotary. While participants can be any age, most events focus on secondary school students, university students, or young professionals. RYLA events are typically 3–10 days long and include presentations, activities, and workshops that cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Leadership fundamentals and ethics
  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving and conflict management
  • Community and global citizenship


Mike Hammer Speaks about SAD29

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Mike Hammer, RSU 29 Superintendent with President Lori Weston

Mike Hammer, RSU 29 Superintendent with President Lori Weston

Superintendent Mike Hammer gave us an update on the progress of the changes happening in our school district, they are very exciting! And some are already in place. Did you know that the Houlton School has a program called Story Boost where adults from the community come in and read to students. There is also Junior Achievement which works with 8th grade students to help them identify with local community members that live, work and succeed right here in our own community, there are classes that they learn what an employee is looking for, about finances, responsibilities and more. And of course the wonderful JMG class (Jobs for Maine Grads) which has been in place for many years. I believe that this is one step in the right direction to help our local children to believe in their community along with themselves.

Mike spoke on the Strategic Educational Plan: Roadmap for Results. He started by reviewing some of the Guiding Principles that have been formed. This is what we want our children/future employees/future business owners/future politicians to be:

  • An integrative and informed thinker
  • A self-directed and lifelong learner
  • A creative and practical problem solver
  • A clear and effective communicator
  • A responsible and involved citizen

Which then turns into the core beliefs, in an ever changing world, we believe:

  • All students can learn in different ways, in different settings, at different rates, for different futures
  • Student learning requires complex thinking and problem solving skills to meet student needs.
  • We value decision-making and actions guided by the principles of integrity, empathy, responsibility, and respect for self and others.
  • Clear learning targets and continuous reflection are essential to successful teaching and learning.
  • Challenging standards of performance are expected for all members of the learning community
  • Learning flourishes in a safe and caring environment
  • Educators require ongoing professional development in order to facilitate and model innovative education.
  • Positive relationships among parents, community, and schools promote shared responsibility for providing the tools for student success

Mike then discussed the overarching goals of Innovative Education and Community Collaboration, the Curriculum, the Instruction, Assessment, Intervention, Support, and Enrichment , Culture, Engagement, Partnerships, and Communication. This is a huge project that is involving many people both locally and through out the State to determine the best way to educate for the future. The above information was taken off a hand out the Mike provided us with. There is much more information that you can and should look into at


Aurora Mills Farm

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Aurora Mills Farm

Pictured here are Scott Dionne, past president with our guest speakers today Sara Williams, Matthew Williams and Linda Williams.


Matt and Linda live on their farm in Linneus. They grow organic wheat and oats. They mill not only their own products but other farms as well. For other Maine farms they will do Custom Cleaning and Custom Milling. Matt explained that they have been growing products and selling them mostly wholesale to bakery’s, Co-ops, and through the Crown of Maine Organic Cooperative. He stated that they specialize in Maine Organic Products, they are the only mill in Maine that produces only Maine products! Sarah their daughter moved back home this past year to help with the farm. Sarah is a wonderful addition to the business, and is looking at the farm/business from a different perspective. She has made connections to Bakery’s in New York and other large markets that want Quality Maine Organic Products, and they have them. Matt showed pictures of the milling process and explained that it is pretty much the same as it was in the old days, with slight improvement variations. Matt and Sarah discussed briefly the process of growing, selecting and milling their products, which is very interesting, but too much for me to recall, you can find that on there website in great detail.  You may ask just what do they grow and most importantly where can I buy it? They grow: Hard Red Winter wheat-variety- Maxine, Hard Red Spring wheat-variety- AC Berry, Oats- variety- Alymer. You can find locations to purchase their exceptional products on their website at and at the Houlton Community Market this spring and summer. In fact Matt made an amazing bread for our lunch and I would strongly suggest you try as soon as you can! Sarah discussed her ideas on expanding to more local and adding Bakery items to the local market and they will be introducing stone baked pizza which I am positive you will be pleased. Sarah plans on bringing some of these delicious baked goods to the Houlton Community Market and the County Coop and Farm Store when it opens. She also encouraged everyone to become  member of The County Coop and Farm Store in support of buying local. Last but not least I could not end with out talking about the Aurora Farm’s Organic Oatmeal Ale which is made by The Atlantic Brewing Company, they  have chose to use Aurora Mills  flavorful Alymer oats to create a deep ruby ale with a crisp, clean finish. True to the style, Aurora Farm’s Oatmeal Ale is moderate in alcohol with an ABV of 5%. This is currently available in Houlton at The Courtyard Café and at The Lounge Down under. The Williams are great supporters and promoter of Maine and in particular Aroostook County, so if you have a chance to try some of their products do not hesitate – You will not be disappointed!!

Let’s Talk Local

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“Let’s Talk Local” and Literacy at Rotary

At the weekly Rotary meeting on February 3rd , Rotarians were introduced to a new program for the area entitled “Let’s Talk Local”, a component of the Maine Humanities Council’s “What it Means to Be a Mainer”. This program encourages thoughtful, public conversations about our future as a community. Houlton’s public conversation is scheduled for April 9, 2014 at the Houlton Rec Center.

Rotarians were also updated on their local literacy project.  Houlton Rotary is partnering with other community organizations and schools forming a “Literacy for ME” Community Literacy Team.  Currently the team is focusing on the importance of vocabulary and number awareness from birth to school.

The “Let’s Talk Local” presentation was made by Linda Faucher of the Cary Library.  The literacy update was made by Sally Cole and Janet Murakami from RSU 29.




Pictured are Mike Hammer, Rotarian and RSU 29 Superintendent, Linda Faucher, Cary Library, and Otis Smith, Rotarian.  Sally Cole and Janet Murakami were unavailable for the picture.

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