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.

New Member Induction June 29, 2015

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Jane Torres, incoming President, Dana Boardman, new member and Amy Hocking, outgoing president pose after the June 29, 2015 luncheon meeting.  Leigh Cummings performed the induction with Amy’s assistance.

Jane also announced perfect attendance awards and presented to those who were not at the Annual Meeting. Leigh Cummings, Amy Hocking, Dana Delano, Frank Thompson (5 years), Deb Clark, Mike Clark, Forrest Barnes and Paul Callnan received perfect attendance awards.

Amy appealed to those present for ideas to go forward this year in Rotary. There is a committee for speakers comprised of Julie Delano, Scott Dionne and Matt Nightingale. Quality speakers are being sought. Andy Mooers suggested changing tables more often and not getting stuck sitting in the same old place. Someone mentioned Classification which means that the speaker is a member of the Houlton Rotary and will inform Rotary more about themselves and their work, a kind of “get to know you” approach. Fred Grant mentioned the new growth with the Houlton Club and some of its effects and the sharing of skill sets in the group. Leigh Cummings spoke to the re-wording of some Rotary songs to incorporate women. Dana Delano suggested bringing your children to Rotary meetings to expose the next generation. Sponsor lists will be coming out soon. Frank Thompson suggested an annual art show as a community wide effort partnering with Southern Aroostook Community Arts Program, or otherwise known as SACAP.

Upcoming Rotary events, opportunities to wear the Rotary tee shirt and volunteer are July 16 in Monument Park handing out balloons during the Band Concert. Wings and Wheels is coming up and Jane will sign volunteers for this event. Also, July 3, 2015 between 6:30 and 7:00 p.m. in Monument Park Rotarians are needed to hand out 500 flags for the support the veterans effort during the 4th of July celebrations.

Annual Dinner and Awards June 22, 2015

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Nancy Ketch received a special award this year as the embodiment of the “Spirit of Rotary” for everything that she does for the Houlton Rotary Club, working tirelessly to advance Houlton Rotary’s efforts in the Auction, Bingo, general programing and for perfect attendance for 8 years time. Nancy is shown in this photo with outgoing President Amy Hocking who gave the award and a lovely gift, shown in the photo.

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In this photo from the Annual Dinner and Awards ceremony are Amy Hocking, outgoing President, Lauren Peabody Fitzpatrick, Nancy Ketch, Houlton Rotarian and fellow recipient of the award and new President Jane Torres. Lauren was honored for her brainchild The Houlton High School Alumni Association and Nancy for her work in the Association. Lauren served as the Alumni President for 7 years and Nancy is now on year 11. This is a new award titled Community “Service Above Self” Award.

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In this photo are Amy Hocking, outgoing President, Chris Fitzpatrick recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award and Chris Anderson, Rotarian who presented the award.Chris is honored for his work in the community and the embodiment of the ideals of a Paul Harris Fellow as a non Rotarian. Chris serves on many boards in the area and gives selflessly to his community.

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In this photo are Amy Hocking, President of Houlton Rotary , Darrell Malone, this year’s recipient of the Rotarian Paul Harris Fellow Award and Nancy Ketch who presented the award. Darrell is being honored for his years of service to  his church, his community and to law enforcement of the State of Maine. Darrell gave tirelessly to his career and to the greater good of law enforcement.

DSC03307In this photo are incoming Sargent of Arms, Julie Delano, incoming Vice President Matthew Nightingale, incoming President Jane Torres and outgoing President Amy Hocking, the officers for the year 2015-2016.

 

Student Appreciation Luncheon

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In this photo are Houlton High School Principal Marty Bouchard, Houlton Rotary Vice President Jane Torres, Houlton High School senior and class officer Danielle Provost, Rotary President Amy Hocking presenting The High School Volunteer Award to Houlton High School, and Houlton High School senior and class officer Jill Howland.DSC_0041

In the photo here are two students from Southern Aroostook High School, Cassidy Lyons and Marissa Boulier, and Amy Hocking, president of Houlton’s Rotary. Marissa was reading the name of the students attending from her school.

The Annual Student Recognition Luncheon was a huge success serving 240 people, including Rotarians and students. East Grand High School, The Greater Houlton Christian Academy, Southern Aroostook High School, Hodgdon High School and Houlton High School students were honored and served a terrific lunch provided by Madigan Estates and the Rotary kitchen crew. The program featured guest speaker Houlton High School student Keegan Fitzpatrick who spoke along with Amy Hocking about the Rotary trip to the Dominican Republic and the service provided to a very impoverished population of Haitian sugar plantation workers. Keegan was impressed with how the poor people there value whatever they have and are proud to show and share what they have. Amy stressed the problem with hunger and how any contribution would help, even just enough to provide a bowl of cereal per day. The Houlton Rotary group assisted with water filtration systems this past February. Keegan and his sister Danica traveled with their grandmother  Rotarian Becky Day. They all had a life changing experience in their volunteer work.

Houlton High School is repeating Volunteer Day on Friday, May 29, 2015 this year if anyone needs a volunteer crew, please call 532-6551 for details.

Community Park Playground

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In the photo are Marie Carmichael of Houlton Parks and Recreation Program, Rotarian Jon Harbison and Vice President of Houlton Rotary Jane Torres. Marie spoke to the group’s luncheon meeting on May 11, 2015 about the New Playground at Community Park for which Houlton Rotary was a large contributor, giving a total of $42,000.00 over the years of fund raising. The fund raising effort began in earnest in 2008 when a new renovation was considered but gave way to a total new plan when the old playground was found not to be up to code. 30 businesses, 20 families and 6 other organizations have donated over the years. Now the total raised is $108,000 enough to pay the best bidder for the equipment and perhaps have a contingency fund for maintenance. On June 6th Rotarians are invited to help with the assembly of the new playground in Community Park. Marie hopes everything can be done that day and not spill over into Sunday the 7th of June. Members are welcome to join in the fun . Don’t forget to wear your Rotarian At Work teeshirt!

Downtown Restoration

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DSC03198In this photo are left to right, Michael Lyne of JHR Development of Maine, Nancy Ketch, Houlton Rotarian, Lorain Francis, Senior Program Director of the Maine Downtown Center and Greg Paxton , Executive Director of Maine Preservation.

Rotarians were educated on what the different organizations are doing around the State of Maine to preserve and enhance downtowns. Lorain spoke first on her work with MDC which has been charged by the State Legislature  and National Trust for Historic Preservation to stimulate vibrant and healthy downtowns. Currently there are 10 nationally-designated MainStreet Maine and 20 Maine Downtown Network communities in Maine.  The 4 points of the Maine Street approach are 1. Organization, 2. Promotion, 3. Design (Heritage and Aesthetics), and 4. Economic Development. Houlton joined the Network Communities in 2011.

Greg informed the group of the work of the nonprofit organization titled Maine Preservation. They deal with real estate that is historic. They assist with getting started in building revitalization, the basics in development, Historic Tax Credits, energy efficiency, 2nd and 3rd floor usage and successful partnerships in downtown settings. The work that is done improves the tax base for the community and can be a catalyst towards economic revitalization. Greg showed examples that the organization has completed in Yarmouth, Biddeford, Lewiston and  a current development in Dover Foxcroft.

 

Breaking Ground at Houlton High School

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DSC03183In the photo are Amy Hocking, President of Houlton Rotary, Shelly Bouchard, educator at Houlton High School and Julie Delano, Houlton Rotarian at the April 27, 2015 meeting.

Julie Delano invited Shelly Bouchard to speak about “Breaking Ground” , a course that she originated and teaches at Houlton High School. Shelly explained the outline of the course which has nine sections. First, the students learn to maintain and harvest crops for sustainability. Second, they learn to recognize and collect wild plant species. Thirdly, they learn to recycle and repurpose common household items such as milk cartons. Next, they have established a school-wide composting program. Fifth comes fundraising, promoting and attending public events. Sixth, the course uses student ideas and initiatives such as the name and logo of the class. Seventh, the students participate in community service programs. Eighth, the class researches commonly used farming practices such as crop rotation. And ninth, the students sample new recipes when using the harvest of their efforts. Shelly showed photos of the 22 students in action in their various jobs and activities.  More information is available by googling Breaking Ground and finding their website under Kitchen Gardeners International.

 

Aroostook Aspirations Initiative

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In this photo are Houlton Rotary President Amy Hocking, Aroostook Aspirations Initiative’s April Flagg and Kristin Wells, and Rotarian Nancy Ketch after April’s presentation at the April 13, 2015 luncheon meeting.

April had spoken to Houlton Rotary one year ago but had new information for Rotarians on Monday April13, 2015. She laid out the philosophy of Aroostook Aspirations and the mission and goals of the organization. Sponsored primarily by Ray and Sandy Gauvin, the initiative helps one student per high school in Aroostook County to obtain a college degree. The concept is to keep talent in the County and to enrich the County by keeping our youth here to work and lead their lives. Students selected for a Gauvin Scholarship are first generation college students and come from under privileged backgrounds economically. The new goal is to aid 20 students  and to increase the number each year. It is found that 97% of AAI students do earn their degrees and 75% stay in the County. Because the population of Aroostook is declining, only 16% of Aroostook’ s population have college degrees and the average earnings per household is $10,000.00 less that the average of the entire state, the Aroostook Aspiration Initiative is committed to improving these numbers. Volunteers are welcome to mentor the students. Retirees from different professions can advise and encourage students. A monthly funding plan is available or fixed donations are welcome. For more information and contact information call 760-0558, visit 754 Main Street, Presque Isle, Maine or email info@gauvinfund.org and check  the website at www.gauvinfund.org. Remember Aroostook Aspiration Initiative’s mission is to reduce outward migration, increase degree attainment and grow Aroostook County’s economy.

 

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