October 4, 2013
Pictured are Lori Weston and Amy Hocking
Amy was the speaker today. She spoke about Bridge to Hope. Which is a wonderful organization that assist people and their families that have cancer. They give out money in different forms depending on the individuals needs. Just last week they gave out $1,00.00 dollars to local community members. Amy did a demonstration that I would suggest each of us try at some meeting or gathering in the near future. She first asked for anyone in the room that has had cancer to stand, (and remain standing) there were three, then she asked for anyone that had an immediate family member that had cancer – about half of the room stood up, next was anyone with a close friend or distant relative and well most everyone in the room was standing by that point! It is a terrible disease and obviously most of us are affected by it one way or another. Bridge to Hope give most all of its money to your neighbors, family, and friends. They do give a small percentage to research, but most stays right here, and obviously there is a need all around us! This past Saturday there was a walk which is their largest fundraising, along with sales of jewelry that Amy makes and sells at home and at all of the local craft fairs. It is not too late to donate, you can contact Amy anytime, she and the recipients will be very thankful! So in advance thank you to all of you that are going to reach out to this terrific organization and help your neighbor, friend, or family member. The following was taking off the Facebook page.
Local People raising money to help individuals in our communities fighting all types of cancer!
Our mission is to not only raise money for treatment and research but also to raise awareness of the amazing number of people in our own back yard putting up a fight against the toughest foe they will ever face.
In October of 2005 Cathy Kennedy organized the first “Bridge To Hope Breast Cancer Awareness Walk” though down-town Houlton. That year there were approximately 50 participants who raised over $800 which was donated to the American Cancer Society. In 2006 Cathy was joined by Kim Folsom, Dee Henderson and Marie Carmichael. Each year since then the participation has grown and the benefits to our area have been amazing. Money raised has been divided between the American Cancer Society and The Maine Cancer Foundation as well as a scholarship given to a local student. They have also been able to help local people struggling with the expenses of cancer treatment by presenting them with cash raised by the walk.
To contact them feel free to log on to Facebook page or send Amy and email: Hocking, AHocking@NorthCountryAssociates.com
August 26, 2013
pictured here are Lori Weston and Kristen Wells our guest speaker from the Houlton Community Arts Center.
Kristen gave us a history of where she comes from (right down the road) and where she has been, then how and why she came back to the area. Kristen went High School in Hodgdon, then moved to Southern Maine for College, she said USM was a great place to start her college years. While in Portland she met her husband. She moved on from there to Boston to obtain her Graduate, while actually living in New Hampshire. He was traveling for his job in Portland and she was traveling to school and a job in Boston. She made lots of connections in the Art world, great people and learned a lot. Her and her husband started their family and while visit her family in Hodgdon the decided to see if this may just be where they would like to raise their family. Thankfully for us they decided it was a great idea! Kristen has worked for a few Agency’s that really helped her expand her experience and connections. She worked at Frannie Peabody Center in Portland, mostly doing fundraising. If you have not heard of them they assist people that have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, of course this interested me since where I work at CHCS we also do this but on a much smaller scale. She also worked for Catholic Charities of Maine and really helped them during a time of stillness, she gave them the idea’s and energy to get rolling again. Some of the questions they asked each other prior to making the decision to move back is – can we find work? Is there a coffee shop? Well what you know we have both! Maybe not same as where they were living but in our own Houlton/County way!
Kristen then spoke of the wonderful facility that the community has, yes I am talking about The Houlton Community Arts Center. Just this year they have had comedy shows, plays, musicals and more! If you have not experienced any of these then I say it is time to! Occasionally I will hear a person saying there is nothing to do around here…I say REALLY???? You may want to look a little closer. The Houlton Community Arts Center is located at the Houlton High School, however this NOT just for the high school, hence the name Community Arts Center. Kristen would like to know what it is that the community would like to have take place, or maybe what you think is missing or would be a good event. She will listen to any and all idea’s and greatly appreciates the community’s input and support! She mentioned the loss that we will all be feeling as Joe leaves, but is looking forward to what is coming next! Kristen mentioned that they are looking into having more free children’s programs and possibly The Nite Show with Danny Cashman, which airs on Bangor Television station. The Center holds 600 people, 300 regular seats with 300 more available. Speaking of available, there are still Balcony seats available to purchase and get your name on, or in honor of a family, friend or even a business or pet – why not? You can visit the website at www.houltonarts.org or like them on face book, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org,, or give her a call at 207-619-1996. Kristen would love to hear from you so don’t be shy.
July 8, 2013
Lori Weston, Dave Harbison guest speaker, Nancy Ketch
Dave spoke to us about Bison Pumps, which all started as a result of the 1998 ice storms. They had an inquiry for a hand pump and they found one but it would take too long to get in order to help the customer, so Dave thought lets see if we can build one and low in behold after trips to Bangor for fittings and fine tuning they are building some of the Best in the world! Bison Pump currently produces 14 models, but that is not it they will also custom make a pump just for you. All the pumps are made of Stainless Steel, there is only one other company in the US that uses Stainless Steel for their pumps. They sell their pumps all around the world and mostly over the internet. Currently they have 13 full time employees that work for Bison Pumps with 5 of those graduating from NMCC, and people say there are no jobs for the “kids” graduating college in the County, Bison Pump is just one of many that prove that wrong! So who needs a hand pump? Well do you drink water, bathe, wash dishes, of course you do, do you have your own well? Then YOU need a hand pump and why get one some where else when the best is right here in your back yard! Visit Bison Pump on Bangor Rd and see what they have to offer. They even have these really cool Camouflage ones, they have started using Hydro graphics which is water transfer painting. All pumps have a 100% warrantee on their work, they also come with a anti theft adapter. They have earned a safety award from OSHA. They recently received the award from LEAD for Entrepreneur of the year. If you are one of many that are trying to be self sustainable or just simply like that you can have your water anytime (even in a storm) stop in and see the crew at Bison Pump and put your order in today!
July 1, 2013
Lori Weston, Darlene MacLeod, our Executive Director, Deandra Briggs Manager of Advancement Services
The Ronald McDonald House of Bangor has helped numerous families of children that have medical needs that keep them at or near a Hospital in the Bangor area. All Ronald McDonald House’s are run solely on donations, the Global Organization is an Administrative entity only, and even though it serves a good purpose it does not provide funding to any of the houses including the one that most of may have to use. The house has a few paid staff and the rest are all volunteers, and wonderful volunteers at that! They give of time and money to help the families feel at home while they stay there. Some families have the need to just stay a day or two and others need an extended stay. They can stay as long as the child is receiving treatments. In 2012 they served 314 families, 42% of families are they due to prenatal care. You may wonder how many people from Aroostook? Well 40% of all families served are from Aroostook County, 14% from Penobscot County, 15% from Washington County and 31% from other Counties. So if you were wondering how does this effect me, you may have a friend, neighbor or even family member that has needed to use the house at 40% from Aroostook it is a pretty sure bet you know some one that has need their service. Because it is all funded by donations they need your help, you could make a donation yourself or have a fundraising event to help, for more information please call, visit their website, or send a check to: 207-942-9003, rmhbangor.org/make-donation, Ronald McDonald House 654 State St. Bangor Maine, 04401. They have an ongoing wish list on their website for possible donations that are needed for the House like cleaning items etc. so check them out on facebook or their website.
May 28, 2013
Community Service, Program
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
May 28, 2013
Mike Hammer Rae Bates Ryan Bushey
Very exciting meeting! Some of us do not like change or have difficulty adjusting to. Well if you have children or in the education system at all you better hold on! There are many changes coming our way, and they due. The last major change to the education system was in the late 1800’s early 1900’s, so yeah it is time. Mike and Rae both spoke about how the technology that we have today are great tools to help educate our youth, but they are not what we are educating on. The focus is Student centered, as most of us know we all learn differently some learn faster or slower or just simply in different ways and ages. Now they will be looking at whether they are learning not when, that may sound like some do not learn, No that is not the case learning is a constant and time is the variable – All will learn but does that youth need at this time? The education system really needs to reach more students in a specialized way. Another way to look at what is planned for teaching our students is that it is not about how much you learn (today) but what matters is how long you retain and use the information that you learned. This is a collaboration currently among 40 states, a core state of standards.
CRITICAL THINKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING, COLLABORATION ACROSS NETWORKS AND LEADING BY INFLUENCE, AGILITY AND ADAPTABILITY, INITIATIVE AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP, EFFECTIVE ORAL AND WRITTEN COMMUNICATION, ACCESSING AND ANALYZING INFORMATION, CURIOSITY AND IMAGINATION are all part of Tony Wagner’s Seven Survival Skills as defined by business leaders in their own words. This is where we are headed, not that “we” are taking one mans beliefs and changing the entire education system. It is where Employers and our community’s need students to be in order to be more valuable employee’s. Some of the above listed things sound like common sense to many of us, but it is sad to say that currently in todays society many or our youth do not have many of these or they have one or two that they really shine in but can’t seem to figure out the rest. It is critical that your students get the chance to do better, TOO many are failing through the cracks!! It is not ok, and even for those that are excelling in the current system are lacking many daily “work” skills that Employers are looking. So hold on and get ready for the exciting changes that are going to taken place, it almost makes me wish I was back in High School. This is still always out so for more information speak to your local school board, and be on the look out for town meetings. You can also visit www.maine.gov/edu for more information, one bill that is being looked also is LD1422 to prepare Maine people for the future economy.
April 22, 2013
Community Service, Program
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.
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
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