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!
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.
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.
July 2, 2012
General Information, Program
In the photo: Don Collins, Paul Adams, and Jonathan French
Houlton Rotary celebrated an exceptional year of service during its annual dinner on June 18th. The club has covered lots of ground in the past twelve months, having hosted a district conference for 200 Rotarians from across the region, donated more than $30,000 to causes both local and across the globe, and added nearly a dozen new members to the organization.
As part of the annual dinner, Houlton Rotary celebrated the work and commitment to service of two individuals in our community who make a positive impact wherever they go. Both Paul Adams and Don Collins were recognized by the club as Paul Harris fellows, which is the highest recognition within Rotary.
Paul Adams, having been a Rotarian for several years, is no stranger to the motto of “service above self.” Even in high school while on student council, working on fundraisers, and serving as class president, Paul knew the importance of reaching out beyond one’s own interests for the greater good. Whether its supporting Aroostook County, Houlton Regional Hospital, the chamber of commerce, or Houlton High School, he never waivers in his willingness to help. And perhaps his most significant avenue of service comes in being a friend to many people, always cordial, polite, and willing to listen.
Paul Harris Fellow, Don Collins, is certainly a friend to many people. His innate warmth toward others separates him as someone who appreciates every person as a neighbor. He has the ability to capture and intensify the goodness of people and situations and move beyond the unimportant details or hindrances that many often focus on. Don has worked hard for our community by cleaning up the Meduxnekeag River through Vital Pathways, volunteering to judge science fairs, helping children learn to ski, and serving as an example of what a community leader and role model should be. His unwavering positive attitude gives many people a handhold on reality. Don reminds us all that life is meant to be lived, not planned and never lamented.
For the first time in the history of Houlton Rotary, the club applauded the service contributions of a business by awarding Ward Log Homes with a Paul Harris Recognition. In 1999, Ward Cabin Company was purchased by Jonathan French and renamed Ward Log Homes. For well over a decade, Ward Log Homes has been an exceptional corporate citizen, supporting many local projects with free or discounted materials. In addition since 2004, the company has donated a log camp package each year to the Houlton Rotary auction, resulting in a total donation to the club in excess of $100,000.
Many people believe the times in which we live are filled with fear and uncertainty. The accomplishments of Houlton Rotary and people such as Paul Adams, Don Collins, and Jonathan French offer proof that kindness and hope are eternal. When it comes down to the bedrock reality of life in Northern Maine, the personal willingness to support neighbors and communities is as fundamental as survival itself.
February 4, 2012
In the photo: Rotary President, Scott Dionne; WHOU Morning Show Host, Jason Hill; Fred Grant, Rotarian and WHOU Owner and General Manager.
Fred Grant, the new owner and general manager of WHOU, featured his business plan during a presentation to Houlton Rotary at the January 30th meeting. Grant, who is a Rotarian and past president of the Houlton service organization, has a strong background in internet marketing and web design. He is leveraging this skillset with the power of radio to grow WHOU not only as a station on the dial, but as a marketing firm. Grant realizes that in rural Maine small businesses can’t afford a diverse advertising portfolio, so he offers cost effective opportunities to access numerous advertising options by bringing together internet and radio. Though a business may pay for his services to establish a website and facebook page, Grant credits back the fee to the customer in the form of radio advertising. Essentially, he is making it less costly for businesses to develop both a web and radio presence.
Since he has taken over the station only a few months ago, he has established morning and evening radio shows, a source for current news and weather, designed unique advertising solutions through giveaways and contests, and brought the ability to listen to music and live high school basketball games to the WHOU website: whoufm.com. Grant looks forward to adding more radio hosts and advertising opportunities in the near future.
January 15, 2012
In the photo left to right: Lori Weston, Houlton Rotarian; Peter Gore, Maine State Chamber of Commerce; Houlton Rotary President, Scott Dionne.
Peter Gore of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce spoke to Houlton Rotarians Monday, January 9th. As Vice President for Advocacy and Government Relations, Peter chose to highlight how he thinks State Governor Paul LePage will help position our state for economic growth and financial stability in the future. Reducing Maine’s dependence on fossil fuels will be a primary focus going forward. Improving energy self-sufficiency in our state means creating more jobs and preventing money from flowing out of Maine. Moreover, developing localized and renewable sources of energy can reduce costs for businesses, making the state more attractive to companies considering moving into our region. Workforce development is another priority that will help bring new employers to our state. There is a lack of skilled workers ready to step into professional and technical jobs as they open up. The governor will help address this need.
Peter is optimistic that Maine has opportunities on the horizon, and he is impressed by the development that has taken place in our community over the past few years.
September 29, 2011
In the photo courtesy of Mike Clark: Lisa Surran, Adopt-A-Block Event Coordinator; Tammy Goetsch, Program Coordinator; Scott Dionne, Houlton Rotary President.
Tammy Goetsch and Lisa Surran joined Houlton Rotary on September 26th to promote Adopt-A-Block of Aroostook. Adopt-A-Block originated in California and has spread across the country, focusing on creating personal connections by reaching out to support individuals in specific community blocks.
Members of local churches, town government, businesses, the police department, and area residents collaborate to restore a community block by walking the streets, knocking on doors, and offering goods and volunteer services to those living in the area. The program also organizes special events that target needs in an entire community.
The Annual Thanksgiving Box Project is one particular event Houlton’s Adopt-A-Block program carries out to help eliminate hunger in our community. This year’s 3rd Annual Thanksgiving Box Project will provide 200 local families with the full fixings to prepare a hot Thanksgiving meal. With funds from Houlton Rotary and additional support from local farmers, food banks, and supermarkets, Adopt-A-Block will reach out to our neighbors this fall to establish connections that are often lost in the urgency of daily life.
July 7, 2011
In the photo left to right: Scott Dionne Houlton Rotary President and Mark Drew from Shakaree Red Deer Farm.
Mark Drew from Shakaree Red Deer Farm visited Houlton Rotary this past Monday, July 11th. Before educating Rotarians about red deer, Mark gave the crowd a lesson in the languages of Star Trek. Did you know ‘Shakaree’ means ‘Land of Paradise’ in Vulcan?
Also, did you know this 600-acre deer farm in Northern Maine is acclaimed internationally and was the first red deer farm in the eastern United States? After learning how the antler velvet of deer was being used to treat arthritis, Gary Dwyer, realizing the business opportunity, imported 105 red deer from New Zealand in 1990.
With the help of Mark Drew, Mr. Dwyer has expanded the farm tenfold. The Shakaree Red Deer Farm now consists of over 1,000 deer and four separate properties in New Limerick. The antlers of these deer are still a prized commodity, but the expert breeding and care put into the herd has made the deer a commodity in themselves. Hundreds of live deer are exported from New Limerick to larger ranches throughout the United States every year.
« Previous Entries