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Autumn Parady and Antonio Gracia were honored as Rotary Spirit Student Award recipients for the school-year quarter April/May 2015 at the club’s weekly meeting. Family, friends, and nominating faculty joined Autumn and Antonio as they received recognition certificates and iTunes awards for their academic achievements, citizenship, and personal development. Both, together with the six other quarterly award recipients, are now eligible to be selected as the Rotary Spirit Student of the Year (SOY). The SOY will be announced at the Fort Fairfield Middle High School Honors Night and receives a $500 cash award, has their name engraved on a perpetual plaque at the school, and has their photo posted on the plaque for the coming school year.

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(Left-to-right, front row) Claudette Babin – Project Coordinator, class members Kasidie Chapman, Marisa Clark, Kimberly Gill, Megan Kennedy, Gem Babin: (second row) Rebecca Theriault, Ashley Levesque, Kendra Ireland, Paige Worcester, Dylan Fox, Jose Garcia, Dyllan Love: (back row) Melissa Hotham, Megan Jellison, Griffin Robles, Robbie Watson, Brandon Nichols, Caleb Daigle.

Senior class members, Fort Fairfield High School (FFHS), accept a check to support Project Graduation 2015. Following graduation exercises class members will celebrate with various activities for the remainder of the day and then pull an all-nighter in a safe and sane environment. When previously asked why the class chose to have this all-night event instead of some other activity, they replied, “What better way to spend our last night as a class than to spend it together?”

My goodness! I cannot think of a better way to say thank you to our loyal Vidalia Onion Sales fundraiser supporters than to say, Thank You!!!! Once again because of your generous support the club will be able to support service projects that benefit those in our community as well as at the international level. Did you know that while your local Rotary Club is indeed a part of the Rotary International family the majority of your support funds are expended on service projects right here in Fort Fairfield and the immediate central Aroostook area? Graduating senior’s scholarships, Thanksgiving Day Community Dinner, Special Olympics, Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp, Library equipment, and many Fort Fairfield school system programs are but a few activities that top the club’s service programs list. So again, thank you for your generous support.

Great news, your ordered Vidalia onions are here!!! As noted in the previous post, they are available for pick up at the Old Graphics Utilities Building on Cheney Grove Road, Fort Fairfield. There will be Rotarians there to assist you Thursday, May 14, 2015 from 5:30PM -7:00PM. As they say, "Come and get 'em!!!!"

With the “sweet” Vadalia Onions having been ordered, it will soon be pick-up time. The pick-up location is again the Old Graphics Utilities Building on Cheney Grove Road, Fort Fairfield. We’ll be posting the pick-up times in the very near future as soon as we know when the farmers in Vadalia, GA are going to be harvesting these beauties. Yum, can hardly wait!

 

From left-to-right, Parent Project Coordinator Elaine Jellison, Class of 2015 members Megan Jellison, Marisa Clark, and Caleb Daigle accept club tote bags from Carl Young, Club President.

Members from the Class of 2015, Fort Fairfield High School (FFHS), joined us at our weekly meeting to present plans for the upcoming Project Graduation 2015 event. Class members Megan Jellison, Marisa Clark, and Caleb Daigle spoke about their activities at FFHS and plans for post-graduation life including their continuing education. When asked why the class chose to have this all-night event instead of some other activity, they replied, “What better way to spend our last night as a class than to spend it together?” Parent Project Coordinator Elaine Jellison spoke about Project Graduation 2015 which has some very exciting activities planned for this all-night event that include bonfire and fireworks, magic act, and laser tag to mention but a few. Rotary club members are making plans to support this activity as it is always an exciting and enjoyable time for them as well.

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.