Chief of Houlton Police Department Speaks to Houlton Rotary Club

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IMG_20151116_115835In this photo are Chief Joe McKenna, a Houlton Rotarian with Houlton Rotary President Jane Torres. Joe spoke to the club at the November 16th, 2015 meeting about his work at the Houlton Police Department. Joe has been busy upgrading the department with a new look and attitude. His concept is that law enforcement officials are public servants and he is working on a more visible presence. New uniforms and caps and updated logo patches are in order. The police cars have a new look with a silver color over the old white. Hopefully, officers will soon have laptop computers in their vehicles so that when they are in the car on duty they can do their reports rather than spending that time in the office. Parking a cruiser in front of a “meth” house discourages business to an otherwise very profitable business. The cars have new radios allowing officers to contact each other and to be there for backup. Joe is working with other law enforcement agencies and planning on current training to happen closer to home. Joe welcomes residents to call the station with any concern. He says such interaction strengthens the HPD. Joe is working on cooperation with local clergy to assist with crisis situations. Another emphasis is the prevention of heroin importation and the HPD is on top of this before it becomes a problem. Joe welcomed questions from the group and was well received for his informational talk.


Polar Bear Capital of the World and the Aurora Borealis

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IMG_20151102_115545In this photo are Bob Ellis, Rotarian and guest speaker with Jane Torres, President of the Houlton Rotary Club.

Bob shared his personal photographs of the Aurora Borealis that he took a year ago when he traveled to the Polar Bear Capital of the World in Churchill, Manitoba. Bob set his incredible slide show to music. He talked about his experience with the extreme weather conditions and how to care for his photo equipment. Keeping the cameras and batteries warm and condensation free was a challenge. He achieved great photos inspite of this. Bob presented this at the November 2, 2015 meeting.


Big Rock Ski Area presented to Houlton Rotary Club

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Here in this photo are Bill Getman, director of Big Rock Ski Area, Houlton Rotary President Jane Torres and Jeff Clockidile of the Big Rock Ski Area rental program. Bill addressed the September 14, 2015 Houlton Rotary Club meeting with news of what is going on at Big Rock. Sharing a bit of history Bill referred to the transition from Maine Winter Sports to a community run ski area.  In the year 2000 Maine Winter Sports purchased the property from the Pearce family and ran it until 2013 when the Libra Foundation who controlled the program released the ski area and officially closed it. Maine Winter Sports had done many upgrades to the ski area with new chair lifts, building improvements, parking lot improvements, a new rental shop. They took a quarter million dollar loss. During the fall of 2013 a fund raising effort raised two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to keep Big Rock running with a free lease in place. Bill became the manager in 2012 taking over from Travis Kearney. The first year saw a fifty thousand dollar loss and the second year saw a twelve thousand dollar loss so steps have been taken to improve funding and lift prices increased as well as season passes. Bill has implemented fund raising events for the summer and fall seasons to help pay for a much needed groomer that was purchased this past year. The Top Mountain Challenge brought two hundred entries at sixty dollars each on August 15, 2015. Bill expects five hundred entries next summer.  And the area residents should look forward to Aroostook Brew Fest on October 17, 2015 at the mountain where fifteen brewers will offer forty-five taps from noon to five o’clock. Sponsorships are also available to fund the five dollar ski nights at a cost of one thousand dollars to the sponsor. Advertisement is available on chair lifts and chair towers. The ski area serves forty local schools and 2000 students. The Maine High School State Meet takes place each year at Big Rock drawing bus loads of competitors from around the state. On mountains ski schools and other programs such as races are very successful. For a life long sport during our long northern Maine winters, Big Rock is the place to support.

New member to Houlton Rotary Club, Kelly Ashley

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Pictured here are Kelly Ashley, new Houlton Rotarian and her sponsor Elizabeth Dulin, Houlton Rotarian. Kelly moved to Houlton with her husband Dennis Ashley, the minister of the Court Street Baptist Church. Kelly works with Elizabeth at the Houlton Regional Hospital Foundation raising funds for new equipment for the hospital. Kelly brings along great abilities to being a Rotarian. She was inducted by Leigh Cummings, President Jane Torres and Mike Clark at the September 14, 2015 meeting of the Houlton Rotary Club. Her husband is also a member.

August 31, 2015 Houlton Rotary Educated About Aroostook Opportunities by Rotarian Fred Grant

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In this photo are Rotarian Fred Grant, guest speaker for Jon McLaughlin, also a Houlton Rotarian. Fred spoke about his work with Aroostook Opportunities, a website that he created for Southern Aroostook Development. The site serves the area with job postings and resume and application postings. It is an interactive site for promoting over six hundred jobs currently available in the County. Fred showed the group footage taken by the new drone purchased by the AO to show the area and its beauty to attract people to the area. Full time jobs, part-time jobs and seasonal jobs are advertised on the website. This is a free service to employers and future employees. There are unlimited postings, an area to search resumes, a screening for questionnaires, photos and videos can be added and it is integrated with social media. Also , private messaging and notifications are available. Personal emails can be avoided by using this site.

Guests at this meeting were Quinn “Snow” White, guest and 12 year old daughter of Scott White, Kao Iamyang was a guest of Tammy Mulvey and is an exchange student from Thailand, and also, visiting Rotarian Walter Thompson. Future Rotarians attending were Kelly Ashley, Ellen Schneider, and Dominic Nicoll.

Houlton Regional Hospital’s Janene Moran

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DSC03386In this photo are Janene Moran of Houlton Regional Hospital and her husband Rotarian Rob Moran. Rob invited the HRH CEO, Tom Moakler to speak to the Houlton Rotary Club on August 24, 2015 and Tom deferred to Janene for her work over the past year to bring 11 new doctors to the hospital. Janene quipped that this was one way to get her husband to buy her lunch. Janene has been employed by HRH for 10 years and was asked by Tom Moakler to take on the job of recruiting doctors one year ago. Janene has taken on her work with great enthusiasm and conviction. Her work has paid off for the hospital.  Houlton Urology gained two urologists, Robert Bohus, MD and John Russell, MD to share one position, each working part-time. Houlton Ob-Gyn welcomes Doctor Kimberly Mays de Perez from Dover-Foxcroft. Houlton Family Practice has been enhanced by the addition of Allessandro Cavalcante, PA-C whose wife hails from Miramichi, New Brunswick and wanted to be closer to family with the arrival of their twins. A husband and wife team have joined the hospital. Grace Freier MD is with Houlton Pediatrics and Dale Freier MD is working in the emergency room. Houlton Internal Medicine was lucky to add Dr. “J” to their staff. James Jiansakul MD along with Solomon Olabiyi MD and Amir El Magbari MD are all serving the hospital in internal medicine. Two new doctors have been placed in the pediatrics area. Joe Fahey MD from Springfield, Massachusetts and Adwoa Manu-Boateng MD from Libya have joined Houlton Pediatrics. Janene spoke about each of these recruits and how she performs her job by even visiting a cow barn to sell one couple on the area. Houlton has a lot to offer to families and she enjoys sharing all that is in the area to ensure that these doctors will stay and feel at home. The hospital has an infrastructure that helps  the physicians to perform their job and not have to send their patients elsewhere for testing. The new doctors will be welcomed by the hospital community with a meet and greet within the next few weeks. One Rotary suggested a meet and greet with the public. Janene liked the suggestion and now knowing her “get it done” approach this will probably happen as well.




Degenhardts inform Rotary of their Charity Work

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In this photo are Joy Degenhardt, of Saigon, Vietnam, Dawn Degenhardt of Aid for Kids and Richard Hammond, Houlton Rotarian hosting his guest speakers. Dawn and Hunk (Ed, a Houlton Rotarian have adopted and raised 9 children over their years in Houlton. Joy is one of those children. Joy lives in Vietnam and manages their charity efforts there. She recently had a great experience using her network to aid in the distribution of 2137 soccer balls to disadvantaged children in her country. The Oakland Sunrise Rotary Club in California had 6 days to distribute to 7 provinces soccer balls provided by Interact 5170 who partnered with One World Play Project and Football for Vietnam to form Kickstart Change. Joy was vacationing in Maine when the appeal came to her from Susan McKinney in California. Joy made some calls and made the distribution happen. Dawn’s distribution center in Houlton has taken on a new project call the “Other Maine” Project. Working with about 117 organizations Aid for Kids distributes donated items to children around the state. And another effort named Rotary Books for the World is providing books to South African children to help with literacy and poverty. Books that would otherwise be destroyed are saved and sent to those disadvantaged children. The Houlton Rotary Club is invited to become involved with a donation to the cause to help pay for shipping and handling of the donated goods. Recently 19 pallets from Toys for Us showed up at the distribution center in Houlton. An upcoming event in Houlton will be on September 12, 2015 at the Millar Civic Center Arena, the “Fifth Annual Educational Fair”, a terrific time for Rotarians to volunteer to help with all of the activities provided to children from 10 am to 3 pm.

County Coop Presentation by Sarah Flewelling at July 20, 2015 Houlton Rotary Meeting

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Shown here in the photo are Sarah Flewelling, guest speaker representing the County Coop and Farm Store with Jane Torres, President of the Houlton Rotary Club. Sarah described the store and its contents as well as the mission statement and vision statement for the organization. With 136 members to date the co-op is member owned and controlled retail outlet store. Forty growers and ten bakers and orders from Associated Buyers all help to fill the space. Coffee is always available as well as cold beverages in the cooler. Products include meats, dairy items, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables as well as lunch specials and baked goods to eat in or take out. Members receive a discount and volunteers receive an even larger discount. The store is now managed by all volunteers who are on a rotating schedule. Sarah stressed that folks should think locally when grocery shopping. For every dollar spent on local products, sixty-seven cents stays here at home. The County Co-op and Farm Store was incorporated in July of 2013 and the store opened in July of 2014. Several fund raising occasions have been held in the store as well as a summer class schedule listed on the door. Learn about your soil, your health, back yard chickens and more. Be involved on the local level, Sarah urged the Rotary club.

District Governor Wayne Wornes and Sylvie Wornes, July 13, 2015 Meeting

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In this photo are President of Houlton Rotary Club, Jane Torres, Terry Thomas, Woodstock, New Brunswick Rotarian and the District Governor from Muncton, New Brunswick, Wayne Wornes with the Rotary International banner.

There were several guests at the July 13, 2015 Houlton meeting. Kelley Ashley was Elizabeth Dulin’s guest, Tom Donahue Junior, twin of Matthew Donahue was his brother’s guest and Terry Thomas joined the District Governor and Wayne’s wife Sylvie.

Scott Dionne and Matthew Nightingale gave a five minute presentation before Wayne’s talk. They are working on the speaker line up for the next year and are preparing guidelines for programs to help Rotarians with their guest speakers. They will create a data base for programs and a schedule. Emails will be forthcoming with their progress.

Wayne talked about his journey in Rotary, first joining in 2002 and now District Governor. He is visiting all of the Rotary clubs in District 7810. Houlton is the 6th of 44 that he will visit. The organization is in terrific shape and he just needs to keep steering. President Ravi from India is promoting the theme “Be a gift to the world” as shown on the banner above. Ravi promotes the idea of “pay it forward” in giving to the world. Ravi is encouraging clubs to think outside of the box as we go forward.

Wayne promoted the idea of working with Terry Thomas since he reports for the Houlton, Woodstock and Florenceville Rotary Clubs. Also, Floyd Rockell from Fort Kent is a good person to reach out to. Rotary is the first network organization founded in Chicago by Paul Harris as a way to be supportive of other service minded people. There is always a reason why people join Rotary. The question is why do they stay. That is a key question to keep membership active. There is a new position being promoted called “Public Image Chair”. Reaching out to other clubs is helpful if you can share programs and fund raising events. Wayne ended his talk by promoting the conference in Muncton this fall September 11th through the 13th. There will be a culinary theme, such as an Acadia Kitchen Pantry.

Meeting with the Board of Directors after the club meeting, Wayne stressed networking and gave the group names of folks who would be most helpful in our efforts such as Dawn Way. The site Club Runner on the internet is a good place to share stories and newspaper articles. Wayne suggested an Interact Club for Houlton and Amy Hocking is supposed to be working on this. Rotaract is for university students and RYLA is another way to involve youth.

July 6, 2015 Meeting with Dale Flewelling Presenting

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Left to right in the photo above are Becky Day, Houlton Rotarian with her guest speaker Dale Flewelling and Jane Torres, president of Houston Rotary Club. The meeting on Monday, July 6, 2015 was the first of the month and July birthdays were acknowledged and dollars collected. Guests were Karen and Walter Thompson, spending time at their camp on Drews Lake and currently living in Tennessee and also, from Sarasota, Florida, Frank Gouch. A more local guest was Frank Thompson’s grandson Caleb.

The Board of Directors will meet on Thursday, July 9th at noon at TDBank. Jane read a letter from Dollars for Scholars in which they acknowledged the students supported by the Rotary donation and their gratitude for Rotary’s contribution.

Dale’s talk centered on his organization “Friends of Aroostook”. He spoke of being a former Rotarian and that he might return. He addressed the concept of credibility and the long standing existence of his non-profit, Friends of Aroostook which provides fresh produce and other foods to the hungry people in Maine. When in 2007 the Power of Life Center opened its doors it became evident that better communication was needed when food was available. With Dale’s passion to help the outer man and his wife Lois’s passion to help the inner man Friends of Aroostook was founded. No other model was available so they created their own. Dale farms the Holland Taylor farm on the Ludlow Road to produce food for the hungry. He is able to use inmates who volunteer as farm hands thanks to efforts made by Darrell Crandall to organize this program from the jail to the farm. Dale has 60 tillable acres to manage. He does not like redundancy so he also has a farm to food panty program which serves 17 pantries  in Aroostook County alone and 5 food pantries in Washington County. There was no infrastructure to do what they are doing. He will be a state wide provider and probably the largest in Maine.

Also, Nature Trails are a passion for Dale. With funds from the Quinby Family he has hired Brian Stewart of Stewart Engineering to design a trail system on the Ivey farm which is 160 acres along the B Stream, now called the Captain Ambrose Bear Stream. The trail will be about 4 and 1/2 miles and will require hiking boots. Dale wants to create an open environment for people to use any time of day and for wildlife to live on unmolested. He would love to have a structure 16 feet by 21 feet on the property and would love Rotary’s assistance with this building. It would be a duo purpose building with an office and a center for information. He needs volunteers for trail work. His goal is to make the smallest footprint possible in this Nature Trail.

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