Jennifer Gaenzle and Ken Peters (right) are presented Fort Fairfield Rotary Club tote bags from Wayne Troicke, Rotarian and program host.

Jennifer Gaenzle and Ken Peters, Fort Fairfield Public Library, were at a recent weekly morning meeting to bring the club up to date concerning library activities. Ken spoke about facility upgrades and maintenance while Jennifer addressed computer assets, Wi-Fi access, books (hardcover and electronic) availability, programs and facilities availability, and more. For library hours and additional information please visit http://www.fortfairfield.org/departments/library.html

Lynn Turnbull (front left), Director of Education, and Camp Co-director – TAMC, Courtney Lovely (front right), Quality Manager – TAMC, Barb Turner (back left), Healthcare Recruiter - Eastern Maine Health Systems (EMHS), and Paul Barrett (back right), Manager, Change and Informatics, and Camp Co-director – TAMC, accept a Survivor Aroostook support check from Carl Young (back center), President – Fort Fairfield Rotary Club.

The Survivor Aroostook Health Careers Exploration Camp, held annually at The Aroostook Medical Center (TAMC), is designed to introduce local youth to a wide variety of careers available in healthcare. Campers explore first-hand possible careers in: Radiology, Dietitian, Nursing, Physician, Dentistry, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Respiratory Therapy, Pharmacy, Paramedic, Midwifery, Surgical Tech, Lab Tech, Mental Health, Physician Assistant, and Nurse Practitioner. Campers take part in a variety of exercises and challenges that allow them to understand what working within the healthcare industry is like. During the week campers are introduced to the various healthcare careers by way of hands-on investigation, such as learning how to suture a wound or cast a broken limb. Campers are also introduced to a number of healthcare experiences off campus as well, visiting local dental clinics and other private healthcare facilities. The camp is made possible through the continuing support of many sponsors and volunteers.

Can you believe it! Super cold winter in The County but in Vidalia, Georgia it has been great growing weather for the Vidalia® onions. The club’s annual Vidalia® Onions Sales Fundraiser is now in full swing. And some more great news – the price is still just $25 for a 25lb. bag!!! Orders must be in by April 30, 2015 with delivery tentatively set for the second or third weekend in May. The pick-up location is the old Graphics Utilities building on Cheney Grove Road, Fort Fairfield, right next to the ReEnergy bio-mass plant (same as last year). We’ll let you know the definite date and times as soon as they are finalized. You made this fundraiser a banner year for us last year and as a result this local Rotary club was able to provide support to many deserving organizations and projects both in the community and around the world. Will you help us to be able to make this same statement again this year following the sale? Please contact your Fort Fairfield Rotarian neighbor or co-worker to order, or contact Rotarian Carl Young, 472-3643 / 551-1495. Vidalia®, as it relates to Vidalia® onions, is a registered mark with the State of Georgia.

April Flagg, Executive Director, Aroostook Aspirations Initiative (AAI) accepts a Fort Fairfield Rotary Club tote bag from Carl Young, President, and speaks about the AAI sucess rate.

April Flagg, Executive Director, Aroostook Aspirations Initiative (AAI) spoke at a recent club meeting. April expressed that the AAI goal is to reverse youth outmigration from The County. To achieve this goal AAI has partnered with all four post-secondary institutions in The County and all county school districts to provide Gauvin Foundation scholarships to graduating seniors who are going to attend an in-county post-secondary institution. Additionally, many county businesses are supporting the AAI by providing student internships during the summer months. The AAI model currently enjoys a high success rate reflected in 97% of the Gauvin Scholars completing a college degree, and 75% of the past Gauvin Scholars having remained in or returned to Aroostook County.

The club recently honored the Rotary Spirit Student Award (RSSA) recipients for the third Fort Fairfield Middle/High School (FFMHS) school-year quarter (Jan/Feb 2015). Laura Woodman and Chris Giberson, both sophomores, were chosen from nominees submitted by the FFMHS faculty. Laura and Chris received their recognition certificates at a club breakfast meeting where they were lauded for their academic achievements as well as their citizenship and personal development accomplishments. Laura and Chris are eligible for Rotary Spirit Student of the Year (SOY) recognition as a single recipient is chosen from the eight school-year RSSA recipients. The SOY receives a recognition certificate, has their name and photo added to the SOY perpetual plaque posted at the school, and receives a $500 cash award that is presented during the school’s annual Honors Night program. Laura was nominated by faculty members Kelly Koziol while Chris was nominated by faculty member Kelly Koziol.

Josefina (Josie) Lopez (holding banner), Fort Fairfield Rotary Club member, recently traveled to Guatemala, Central America, to take part in a Rotary World Service Project (WSP). Lopez joined fellow Rotarians from Duluth, Minnesota, in building a multipurpose room and sports court at the La Curvina School in Monterrico, Guatemala. The Rotarians also provided the local population with over 450 toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes, a portion of which were donated by local dentist Dr. Donald Cassidy.

Rotarian Kevin Murchie (left) welcomes Sgt. Forrest Dudley, MDEA

Sgt. Forrest Dudley, Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office, currently assigned to the Maine Drug Enforcement Administration (MDEA) was the guest speaker at a recent weekly club meeting. Forrest, who started his Law Enforcement career in Fort Fairfield, spoke about the MDEA role and the current prescription drug and methamphetamine problem in Aroostook County. He also spoke about the interagency cooperation between the various local, county, and state law enforcement agencies. Following Forrest’s presentation Rotarians in attendance had many questions for which Forrest provided in-depth answers.

Dropped in on a Snowdogs basketball practice the other day at the PI Rec. Center. These players are so ready for the upcoming Maine State Special Olympics Basketball tournament to be held in early April. Coach Hamel and assistant coaches had them going through their practice routines. Each player, while intense, was thoroughly enjoying the sport and even more importantly the comradery of fellow players, coaches, and family members there to watch and encourage. It was a very special experience for this writer when after the team photo each player (read that every player) came by with a big smile to shake hands and thank the club for its support. Wow, what an uplifting experience!

CONGRATULATIONS Washburn Lady Beavers
MPA Basketball 2015 Class D State Champions!!!!!

5-peat!

 

CONGRATULATIONS Houlton Lady Shires
MPA Basketball 2015 Class C State Champions!!!!!

 

Kaley Norsworthy, FFMHS Class of ’18, joined the club at a recent weekly meeting to tell the members about a planned spring class trip. Class of ’18 students will be traveling to Washington, DC to enjoy the spring weather and the many sites available to be visited adjacent to the National Mall. The Washington Monument, Air and Space Museum, Holocaust Museum, and Natural History Museum are but a few of the many sites to be seen and visited during the trip.

Delayed but not dissuaded by untimely winter storms, recognition ceremonies for Sarah Watt and Tyler Emerson, FFMHS second quarter Rotary Spirit Student Award recipients were recently held during the club’s breakfast meeting. Sarah and Tyler were nominated by FFMHS faulty based upon their positive qualities within academics, citizenship, and personal development.

Rotarian Lauren Kenneson, Program Hostess, welcomes Tim Poitras, CPA, Chester M. Kearney CPAs.

Tim Poitras, CPA, Chester M. Kearney CPAs, spoke at the regular Wednesday morning meeting. Tim addressed federal tax code changes as related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Tim explained that there are several different circumstances whereby tax filers may be affected by the ACA, and if so affected several different new forms are likely to be involved. In response to other tax code questions Tim confirmed that heat pump installations do qualify as a tax credit item. To be certain that they have all/the correct information, preparers should contact the IRS or their individual tax preparation consultants.

The club held its annual “Christmas Program for the Kids” in conjunction with new member inductions at the Elementary School. This program is ongoing for close to twenty years and member-donated “happy dollars” are used by the school staff to purchase cold-weather clothing for those students who may not otherwise have such items. Even the inclement weather couldn’t dampen Rotarian’s spirits as members enjoyed some seasonal songs and were very happy with their Happy Dollars and approximately $270 being presented to Sue Parks, Elementary School Principal, who administers the program across the entire Fort Fairfield school system. Delicious breakfast fare for the combined functions was provided by the Elementary School Food Service staff and the Middle/High School Students Baking-a-Living program. Club President, Carl Young, made the presentation.

Marc Gendron, Superintendent, Sue Parks, Elementary School Principal, John Kaleta, Middle/High School Principal, and Pam Sayers, Special Education Director (clockwise from upper left) all of the Fort Fairfield School District (MSAD20), were inducted as the Fort Fairfield Rotary Club’s newest Rotarians during a breakfast meeting ceremony held at the local Elementary School. Floyd Rockholt, Rotary District 7810, Area 1, Assistant District Governor was on hand to read appropriate certifications and Carl Young, Club President, was honored to provide each new Rotarian with their Rotary International membership pin and certificate. Delicious and bountiful breakfast fare was provided by the Elementary School Food Service staff and the Middle/High School Students Baking-a-Living program.

Mari Cochran, former Fort Fairfield Rotarian, visited this morning and provided one of her great breakfast meals. Mari is now a Rotarian in the Rotary Club of Linden-Front Royal, VA (in the heart of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley). Mari presented us with her club’s banner and received a Fort Fairfield club banner in return. Club president Carl Young accepts flag from Mari.

Recognition ceremonies for Kaley Norsworthy and Nathan Boulier kicked off the Rotary Spirit Student Award (RSSA) program’s fourth-year partnership with Fort Fairfield High School as Kaley and Nathan were selected as the September/October 2014 RSSA recipients. Kaley, a freshman, and Nathan, a sophomore, were nominated by faculty members Sharon Daigle-Gerrish and Darlene Ouellettee, respectively.

The overnight snow storm did not deter many Fort Fairfield residents from coming out to the 30th annual Community/Seniors Thanksgiving Day dinner. The dinner was held at the local VFW Hall and in addition to Rotarians many volunteers from local service organizations such as the Knights of Columbus and Lions Club, as well as the Fort Fairfield High School Lady Tigers Basketball team, also braved the elements to arrive early and stay late to prepare and serve the full Thanksgiving Day meal. The menu included baked turkey, mashed potatoes and dressing, all smothered in gravy, with peas, squash, cranberry jelly, a bread roll and a choice of pumpkin or apple pie for dessert.

In addition to the volunteers serving tables, about a dozen volunteer drivers delivered over 100 meals to those who were home-bound and could not come out to enjoy the meal and neighborly fellowship. We would like to give a big “shout out” to the Fort Fairfield Public Works Department who were up early plowing the local roads which made it possible for the home-bound deliveries to be completed safely. All-in-all approximately 200 prepared meals were provided to the community.

Early preparations in the kitchen               Lady Tigers looking good and ready to serve

                                                               All smiles and ready to enjoy dinner

Lady Tigers serving                                      and enjoying dinner

Even WAGM-TV's Tyler Michalowski can't pass up a great dinner

During the 2014 Fort Fairfield High School (FFHS) National Honor Society Induction, Melissa Hotham, Fort Fairfield Rotary Club (FFRC) Rotary Spirit Student of the Year (SOY 2013) was inducted. Sarah Watt, FFRC Rotary Spirit Student Award (RSSA) recipient was also a new inductee. Other FFHS National Honor Society RSSA recipients include Sarah Owens, Megan Jellison, Caleb Daigle, Robbie Watson, Hanna Holbrook, Dalton Cassidy (SOY 2014), and Thomas Krause. The FFRC gives a hearty “well done” to these excelling students. 

TM - “National Honor Society and NHS are duly registered trademarks of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). Unauthorized copying or use of said trademarks is strictly prohibited.”

Stacy Ladner – Stepmother (left), and Connie Jarvis, Grandmother, accept a donation to Abby’s Angel Bags from Carl Young, President, Fort Fairfield Rotary Club.

Connie Jarvis, accompanied by Stacy Ladner, was the guest speaker at a recent weekly meeting. Connie and Stacy, together with Sare Giberson, represent the Abby’s Angel Bags organization that was formed in remembrance of Abby Ladner a young local resident who was killed in an auto accident in the recent past. Following the accident the Ladner family found themselves at the Eastern Maine Medical Center (EMMC) in Bangor not having had time to collect personal hygiene items needed to support their unanticipated extended stay.

Upon returning home the family decided that they would help others who might find themselves in similar situations at EMMC or the local hospitals in The County. Thus Abby’s Angel Bags was formed and now provides handmade bags containing personal hygiene and other time-occupying items that will help family members through what is a very traumatic time away from home.

To date Abby’s Angel Bags has supplied more than 100 personal-items bags to EMMC, The Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle, the Cary Memorial Hospital in Caribou, and the Northern Maine Medical Center in Fort Kent. FMI, including a list of items needed for the bags, please visit https://www.facebook.com/angelbags28?fref=ts 

Connie presents and takes questions from Rotarians as District 7810, Area 1, Assistant District Governor, Floyd Rockholt listens

Baskets full of personal hygiene items and reading materials

Connie prepares a lady's bag. Lady's and men's bags contain gender-appropriate personal hygiene items and reading materials

“Thank you” to those who supported the Purple Pinkie Table at our Annual Cash Draw fundraiser. All funds donated go towards Rotary’s continuing effort to eradicate polio worldwide. The table is part of a Central Aroostook County Rotary Club’s effort to raise awareness of Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign and funds for this much needed effort. Please click here to read a press release (partial) for this activity in the central Aroostook County area.