60th Rotary Auction Training, August 17, 2015

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Pictured here are Nancy Ketch and Bob Blanchette just after their training session for the upcoming 60th Rotary Auction to be on TV and Radio the week of Thanksgiving on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. They have a fine tuned process preparing for the big fund raising event that has become a tradition in the area. Members will be canvasing for items to be donated by local businesses in the next few weeks. Matthew Nightingale is having committee meetings preparing for all aspects of the fund raising event. He can be reached at 521-3200, ext. 11011. Nancy is also available for questions in the donor card process and collection and storage of donated items at 521-7250 or email at nketch64@gmail.com.

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.


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.


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.


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.


Angie Wotton introduces her work at Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District

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DSC03224In the photo are Amy Hocking, President of Houlton Rotary Club and Angie Wotton, Director of Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District. Angie began her talk with some history of the “Worst Hard Time” in 1935 when the dust storms took over Oklahoma and Hugh Bennet influence federal policy. It was determined that the government could not rule over the entire nation on soil and water conservation so each state was allowed to set up districts and govern usage that way. Maine has 16 districts. Aroostook County has 3 because of the size of the county and variations. The Southern Aroostook District was organized in 1942. The organization has a local board of directors comprised of different kinds of farmers, i.e. potato, dairy, hay or beef farmers. SASWCD partners well with the local University of Maine Extention Agency and the local Native American Band the Maliseets which has a department that focuses on water health. Soil health and soil erosion and rebuilding the soils are areas of focus for SASWCD. Currently some local farmers are interplanting nitrogen fixing crops with their potato planting. Angie’s work includes conservation education, a winter agriculture school, field days, and other workshops such as gravel roads with DEP and logging workshops. The district also has student education ongoing and an Envirothon and and other education in the classrooms such as worm boxes and composting classes. Angie answered questions from the audience about the financial support of the organization, soil banks, watershed projects and pesticide use. Angie can be reached at 207-532-2204 or at email angela.wotton@me.nacdnet.net.


Bob Dorsey, Houlton Rotary Club guest speaker, Aroostook Partnership for Progress

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bobdorsey1On Monday June 1, 2015 in this photo are Dana Delano, Rotarian, Bob Dorsey, of Aroostook Partnership for Progress, and Amy Hocking, President of Houlton Rotary Club. The club heard what Bob (a native of Fort Fairfield and currently involved with opportunities in Aroostook County) had to say about the focus and efforts of this initiative. One focus has been on LD-836 to increase rural broad band to the County. Also the group has supported LD-750 to develop mining rules in Maine. They are involved with Northern Forest Products Industry Cluster, manufacturing growth, Norinco rail car manufacturing as well as planning the 2015-2016 Teacher Awareness summit and are promoting diversified agriculture awareness. Bob gave the website of http://opportunitiesaroostook.com.

Some goals Bob addressed are new jobs in the wind farm industry. Economic forecasts predict 413 new jobs as a result of 315 millions dollars being invested. Many jobs are coming from First Wind. The group is hoping to increase collaboration with County groups, increase business participation and looks at economic development clusters. the website is http://www.appme.org.


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.

Rotarians Practice their Bingo skills, April 6, 2015 meeting

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IMG_0131In this photo practicing their Bingo skills in preparation for the Annual Bingo evening which will take place this Thursday, April 9, 2015, are clockwise from the left,  Rotarian Julie Delano,  youth exchange student Keegan Fitzpatrick,  Rotarians Becky Day, Richard Hammond, Chris Anderson, guest Nate Bodenstab, and  Rotarian Paul Callnan.  In the background doing the calling is Rotarian Jock Gentle. The club is ready for and looking forward to Thursday’s event.


New Rotarian, Kelley Fitzpatrick

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20150302_130114In the photo here are Amy Hocking, Rotary club of Houlton President, Kelley Fitzpatrick, new member and Lori Weston, past president. Kelley was just accepted as a Houlton Rotarian.


The Carleton Project

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In the photo here are Amy Hocking, Houlton Rotary president, Alan Morris, president of the Carleton Project and Robyn Crone, Houlton Rotarian.

Robyn’s guest recently at Rotary was Al Morris. Al founded the Carleton Project after 20 years of teaching in public schools and seeing a need to match his vision. He opened his first private school in 1999 in the town of Presque Isle with 12 students. Today he has added 5 locations and has an enrollment of over 100 students. Al’s job is 1/3 education, 1/3 politics, 1/3 social work. He had a social worker on staff as well as educators. The Project’s mission is student success. A safe environment is created for learning to achieve the students’ goals. The schools run year round to keep the students engaged and successful and accountable. Students who could fall through the cracks are educated through exploration and habit formation to thrive. This is not a special needs facility as those needs are met elsewhere. Individuals are guided and supportive of each other through shared editing of their work to assisted learning in an alternative education format. Goals are set and students are held accountable. Al make sure that graduates have a one year plan before they graduate. 75% of the student body go onto higher education.

Al can be reached at alamo@carletonproject.com. His Houlton location is housed in the Higher Education Center on Bangor Road. For more information visit or email Al.

Department of Health and Human Services and Estela Lane

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In the photo here are Estela Lane of Adult Protective Services and Ann Torres Savage, Rotarian and DHHS employee. Estela spoke to Houlton Rotary recently about “elder abuse”. In 1981 the State of Maine’s legislature enacted legislation to protect our senior citizens. There is an intake unit available for people who suffer from abuse, neglect and or exploitation. Maine has the oldest population in the country and nearly 5500 cases are reported each year, not including unreported cases of abuse, neglect or exploitation. 70% of caregivers are family members. Estela stressed that the hot line number be used for any concerns about elderly citizens who need protection. Please call 1-800-624-8404.

Dolly’s Library

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Shown here are James Matilla, Rotarian and Board Member of United Way, Claudia Stevens, of the United Way of Aroostook and Amy Hocking, President of Houlton Rotary. Claudia educated the Houlton Rotarians about Dolly’s Imagination Library during the February 9th lunch meeting. Books are free to children under the age of 5 and Dolly Parton only expects the shipping to be covered. A child can receive a book once a month. This program is to encourage parents to read to their children and so that when they enter school their imaginations are sparked and studies have proven improved learning skills. Claudia handed out applications and is more than willing to answer any more questions. Her phone number is 764-5197 and the office is at 480 Main Street in Presque Isle.

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