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 

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.

A big SHOUT OUT to our many Annual Cash Draw fundraiser supporters. The function was very successful with many enjoying dinner, and dancing to the Common Crossing band. Not to mention the happy winners of the 35 cash prizes offered. Also, a thank you to the many who “shared” our message with friends to help make this function a success. As you know, the proceeds go to supporting numerous programs and projects right here in the community (see FMI) and others around the world. Without your continuing support there are many activities that would not be possible and individuals who would not be able to participate in what are often life-changing programs. Again, thank you, and mark your calendar now to come out and enjoy next year’s festivities and win one of the cash prizes.

To view the prizes winners list click here.

All is ready and the Rotary Four-Way-Test

Table decorations

Accross the room

Enjoying some dancing

Common Crossing Band

Family good times


Jim McKenney (center) and Barb Ireland (right) are shown with Kerri Watson-Blaisdell, Rotary Program Host

Jim McKenney, VP of Support Services, TAMC, and Barb Ireland, RN, Director of Therapy Services, TAMC, visited the club and spoke about TAMC’s Community Health Advisory Group. This group is currently comprised of 20+ members with the following goals: 1) Meet regularly to hear about and provide input on the healthcare services offered to community residents, 2) Help identify area health needs and how TAMC can best meet these needs moving forward, 3) Advise TAMC leadership concerning the services provided in the community, 4) Keep TAMC leadership informed of areas of opportunity and ways that TAMC can provide better service to the people of the surrounding areas, and 5) Continue to be representative of a cross section of community members, including retirees, small business owners, community leaders, etc. Jim also provided an update on activity taking place at the Fort Fairfield Health Center noting that demolition work is essentially completed. Efforts now are directed at landscaping the old building grounds and providing beautification and visibility improvements along High Street in front of the Center.

Contributing Authors - Kerri Watson-Blaisdell/Carl Young - Rotarians

“Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though. He will not see me stopping here to watch his woods fill up with snow.” Those words from Robert Frost’s poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” may serve to remind many that winter will soon be upon them. However, we in Fort Fairfield are reminded as we drive down Main Street and notice that the town’s banners have been removed from the lamp posts. Yes, local Rotarians have once again taken down the banners to make room for holiday decorations that will soon appear. Only … shopping days left ‘till Christmas. 

Autumn Grimm and the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. were the recent Early Bird drawing winners. Each winner received $200 and their ticket stubs were returned to the ticket pool as they are eligible to win additional prizes at the upcoming October 18th event.

You too can be a winner come October. All you need to do is purchase a Cash Draw ticket before the event date. Contact your local Fort Fairfield Rotarian or call 551-1495.

Want to get super energized? Put sixty plus middle school young people from all over the County, teen staffers who have attended the camp in prior years, and motivational speaker Ed Gerety from Portsmouth, NH all at the week-long Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp (ATLC). Now there’s a recipe for energy. Had the opportunity to visit the ATLC during VIP Day and saw “the future of The County” gaining the knowledge and developing the skills to become the drug prevention leaders in their peer environments now and into the future.

Welcoming and check-in

Day planning....................and....................theme for the day for campers

Motivational speaker Ed Gerety..........................interaction

Learning goal setting

Leaders enjoy lunch and talking about ATLC

Wayne Troicke, President, Frontier Heritage Historical Society spoke at the club’s meeting. Wayne, also a Rotarian, brought the members up to date concerning Maine Potato Blossom Festival activities and future planning for the Society’s Blockhouse Museum, McIntosh One-Room School House, Railroad Museum, and Friends Church which was likely a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Fort Fairfield’s Misses had picture perfect weather to enjoy their royal ride in the Maine Potato Blossom Festival parade. As the Misses offered regal waves many spectators could be heard calling to them by name as family and friends enjoyed the event.

Riding on the float:

Little Miss FF – Brianna Osterblom

Pre-Teen Miss – Camryn Ala

Teen Miss FF – Sarah Watt

Miss FF – Kalena Pearce

Anticipation, excitement, boisterousness, and eagerness are but a few adjectives that may be used to describe the 2-12 aged youngsters arriving for the Rotary-sponsored bike rodeo held annually during the Maine Potato Blossom Festival. The list is almost endless. It all starts with registration and getting bike raffle and hotdog lunch tickets. Make sure mom or dad holds tight to those. Then pick out that perfect new bike helmet and have a friendly Rotarian make sure the size/fit is just right. Officer Jim Cerrato provides important biking rules-of-the-road and safety tips, and then everyone gets to navigate the riding-safety training course. Next, a new bike is raffled off to a lucky rider in each of three age groupings, and then it’s the police-escorted ride down Main Street before enjoying that hotdog in a roll, French fries, and soda lunch. Wow, what a great couple of hours! Oh yes, for the children for sure but also for the Rotarian volunteers who experienced many of those same adjectives as the young people. Bike winners: Ages 2-5, Trey Zetterman; Ages 6-8, Madyson Doody; Ages 9-12, Cassidy Gorneault.

Larry Gardner (left), FFHS Coach and Inductee, and Keith Mahaney, Inductee, accept a support check from Carl Young, FFRC President.

The Fort Fairfield Athletic Boosters Club (FFABC) and Hall of Fame (HOF) Committee recently held the 2014 Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony. The Fort Fairfield Rotary Club (FFRC) wants to take this opportunity to congratulate all the HOF inductees and their families, and the FFABC and HOF Committee for a superb function. The FFRC was pleased to support this community effort, and honored to be recognized on the associated Founders Wall with a perpetual plaque: “In Memory of All Past Rotarian Athletes and Coaches ‘Service Above Self’ from Fort Fairfield Rotary Club”.

Carl Young, President, presents mementos. 

Mike Walsh, Rotary District 7810 Governor and his wife Francine visited the club recently. Mike was introduced by Floyd Rockholt a Presque Isle Rotarian and Assistant District Governor for District 7810, Area 1, which includes Rotary clubs in Mars Hill, Presque Isle, Caribou, Washburn, Limestone, and Fort Fairfield. Mike updated the membership on The Rotary Foundation (TRF) and Rotary’s Polio Plus efforts, providing a short video featuring Bill Gates stressing the importance of Rotary’s polio eradication program, and noting that polio has been eradicated in all but three countries around the world.

There have been some reports of bad onions from this year’s Vidalia Onions Sales fundraiser. Did some research and it turns out that growing onions in Georgia is as tricky as growing potatoes in Maine. During this past-year’s onion growing season Georgia experienced two weather phenomena that impacted the onions. First, in December they experienced several days of below freezing temperatures which tends to confuse the onions and when it gets warm again they want to “bolt” and go to seed. This is usually handled by a replanting if not too late in the season. The second, and what is causing what we are seeing, was severe and prolonged rain part way into the growing season. This causes the onions to turn partially brown and soft on the inside. Unfortunately this is not discovered until the onions are used. For us this appears to be causing several onions per bag to be lost. This is the first season that we have experienced this and we want to assure our supporters that this is not due to bad handling during harvesting, shipping, or delivery. The club wants to thank all our fundraiser supporters and we look forward to a better harvest next year. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we will not experience this year’s loses.

The Fort Fairfield, Maine, USA and Perth-Andover, New Brunswick, Canada Rotary Clubs Combined Annual Dinner was recently held at the Aroostook Valley Country Club. Rotarians and guests from both sides of the border enjoyed an evening that included an excellent surf and turf dinner, awards and recognition ceremonies, and great Rotarian fellowship. Highlight of the evening was the Paul Harris Fellow recognition ceremony as Carl Young, President, Fort Fairfield Rotary Club was honored.

(left) Carl Young, President, Fort Fairfield Rotary Club welcomes Rotarians and guests. (right) Kevin and Effie Murchie accept Perfect Attendance pins. 

Larry Plant (left) and Paul Cormier (right) presented Perfect Attendance pins. 

Paul Towle (left) and Tracy Copeland (right) presented Perfect Attendance pins.

(left) Larry prepares for Paul Harris Fellowship recognition presentation, and reads citation (right).

(left) Larry congratulates Carl on receiving the Paul Harris Fellowship recognition and (right) displays Carl's certificate.

(left) Pat Perry, Governor, Rotary District 7810 prepares to "pin" Carl with the Paul Harris Fellowship recognition pin. (right) Part of Carl's family on hand for the function. That's Carl's wife Becky right beside him, as always.

(left) Carl presents Pat with a gift for all her dedicated support during the 2013-2014 club-year. (right) Margie Brooks, President, Perth-Andover Rotary Club, New Brunswick, Canada presents member-award.

Margie presents awards.

Perth-Andover Rotary Club incoming club-year Board of Directors.

(left) Pat prepares to present club-awards to the Fort Fairfield and Perth-Andover Rotary Clubs, and Floyd Rockholt, Assistant District Governor, District 7810.

Pat presents awards.

(left) Pat and Carl shares a moment during awards. (right) Pat congratulates Margie as she presents Margie an award.

Margie accepts and appreciates her award, and thanks her club members for their continuing support.


In Fort Fairfield, Maine winters can be cold…this past one was. Winters can be long…this past one was. As winter morphed into spring the hope of warmer temps, crocuses, and mouse-ear leaf buds did its best to warm the spirit, if not the body. “When is summer ever going to arrive?” could be heard at the gas pumps, the market, and around kitchen tables. The answer to that question has now been answered. Summer arrived this morning between 6:05am and 7:26am. How do I know?...because Rotarians Wayne and Carl, with a huge assist from the Public Works Department, hung the summertime banners on the lampposts up and down Main Street. So cue the Maine Potato Blossom Festival with its bike rodeo, parade, and other activities, but most of all…the warm summertime temps. Enjoy our Main Street friends, it’s looking pretty good.