Richard Duncan, Aroostook Hospice Foundation BOD, Chairman, was the speaker at the club’s regularly scheduled weekly meeting, noting that the foundation is the Aroostook House of Comfort’s non-profit arm. Rick provided overviews with respect to the initiative’s genesis, operations, and admission, as well as financial information. He also provided an architectural drawing that showed the facility’s care units, kitchen/dining area, chapel, planned spa, children’s playroom, nursing staff area, and other necessary spaces. Detailed information may be found by visiting . In above photos Rick displays an artist's facility rendition (left), and explains initative's genesis with architechural drawing in the background.

The club recently honored the Fort Fairfield High School (FFHS) Rotary Spirit Student Award (RSSA) recipients for the 2013-2014 school-year second quarter (Nov/Dec 2013). Gemimar Babin, eleventh grade, was selected from amongst the girl nominees, while Dalton Cassidy, tenth grade, was selected from the boy nominees. The honorees, nominated by teachers Kelly Koziol, Julio Morin, and Robert Osterblom, were accompanied by their families at the club’s breakfast meeting. The RSSA Program, in its third year, seeks to recognize students across grades nine through twelve displaying exemplary characteristics in academics, citizenship, and personal development both at FFHS and in the community.



Dalton with RSSA recognition certificate

Gemimar with RSSA recognition certificate

Dalton with proud family and (back row left-to-right) Kelly Koziol, nominator, FFHS: Tracy Copeland, RSSA Program Chair: Bob Osterblom, nominator, FFHS: Julio Morin, nominator, FFHS.

Gemimar with proud family and [back row left and left-center (respectively)] Kelly Koziol, nominator, FFHS: Tracy Copeland, RSSA Program Chair.

Tracy reads citations


Steve Eyler, Executive Director, Homeless Services of Aroostook, is welcomed by Rotarian Mike Bosse, Program Host, in left photo, and enjoys a lighter moment in right photo.

Steve visited the club’s regular Wednesday meeting and brought the members up to date with respect to services provided by the homeless shelter in Presque Isle as well as the statistics concerning shelter usage.

It turns out to be a somewhat good news/bad news situation. The good news, the shelter exists and provides services to as many of those who are in need as capacity allows. The bad news, with the shelter being the only one of its kind in the county (providing an alcohol/drug-free environment), the shelter is full to capacity most of the time. Although, Steve emphasized that anyone in need should not hesitate to contact the shelter as at any given time there may a bed(s) available.

All support, whether monetary or physical assets, is welcomed and received most thankfully by the shelter.

Proud new Rotarian displays membership certificate, and Tony Sullivan, proud dad and long-time Rotarian, affixes the Rotary International membership pin as Floyd Rockholt, District 7810, Assistant District Governor, looks on.

Lauren Sullivan became the club’s newest Rotarian at this morning’s meeting. Floyd Rockholt, Rotary District 7810, Area 1, Assistant District Governor, was present to read the induction citation, and thanked Rotarian Kerri Watson-Blaisdell, Lauren’s sponsor, for recommending Lauren for membership. Tony Sullivan, Lauren’s father and long-time Rotarian, was present to pin Lauren with her Rotary International membership pin. Carl Young, club president, welcomed Lauren and presented her membership certificate. Lauren lives in Fort Fairfield and is a Staff Accountant with the Chester M. Kearney, CPAs firm in Presque Isle. 


Floyd Rockholt, ADG, reads induction citation and Carl Young, President, welcomes

Rotary International pin is a perfect accessary 





The club selected the Rotary Spirit Student Award (RSSA) recipients for Fort Fairfield High School’s 2013-2014 school-year’s first quarter. Logan Bubar, Senior, was selected from amongst the girl nominees, while Noah Bernard, Senior, was selected from the boy nominees. Both recipients were nominated by their teacher Kerrie Alley. The RSSA program, in its third year, seeks to recognize students across grades 9 through 12 displaying exemplary characteristics in academics, citizenship, and personal development.

The club held its annual “Christmas with the Students” program at the local high school this week. The program, a time for Rotarians, school staff, and students to get together during the holiday season has been ongoing for over 15 years. Club members collecting “happy dollars” which are then presented to the school staff to purchase warm clothing such as gloves, mittens, caps, and the like for elementary school students who may have need for these warm wintertime items highlights the program.


The Fort Fairfield Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus, Fish and Game Club, and VFW came together with local businesses once again to provide a free Seniors & Community Thanksgiving Day dinner. A holiday tradition in Fort Fairfield for close to 30 years the event provided a free turkey dinner with all the fixings to Fort Fairfield senior citizens, residents who were homebound, and citizens who otherwise might not have had a holiday dinner to enjoy.

With the Fort Fairfield High School girls’ basketball team and other volunteers acting as servers, more than 75 citizens attended the dinner and enjoyed the fellowship and holiday music at the local VFW Hall, while close to 90 who are homebound and cannot come out had dinner delivered to their homes by volunteer drivers, many of whom have been volunteering for most of their lives. Leftover prepared-dinners were donated and delivered to the Homeless Services of Aroostook shelter in Presque Isle.

Click here to see photos

Dr. Michael E. Sonntag, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs, UMPI, (left) is welcomed by Carl Young, President, FFRC, as Floyd Rockholt, Assistant District Governor, Rotary District 7810, looks on.


Five bond issues appear on the November 5, 2013 Referendum Ballot. Question 2 (Bond Issue) states, “Do you favor a $15,500,000 bond issue to enhance educational and employment opportunities for Maine citizens and students by updating and improving existing laboratory and classroom facilities of the University of Maine System statewide?

Dr. Michael E. Sonntag, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Maine Presque Isle (UMPI), spoke at the club’s weekly meeting and discussed the bond issue and its implications as it relates to the UMPI classroom facilities available to students. Michael showed, using a visual aid presentation, and discussed numerous upgrades that will be made in the UMPI classrooms should the ballot initiative be successful.

Mike Eisensmith, Director of Regional Planning, Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC), spoke at a recent club meeting. Mike noted that NMDC’s effort to promote northern Maine manufacturing will get a boost from a federal government program, Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP).

The NMDC is scheduled to receive a $275,000 grant from the IMCP program. The grant money is to be used to help create a northern Maine biomass heating appliances manufacturing facility. Additional information on this program may be found at NMDC’s website at:

Winning 2013 Cash Draw ticket numbers were drawn at Saturday evening's dinner and dance.

Click here for winners and amounts list.

Congratulations! - The club wants to thank all our dedicated supporters. It is your continuing suppopan>rt that makes it possible for your local Rotarians to serve in the community, region, and around the world. Also, is it possible that what your local Rotary Club is doing is the same as what you want to do to serve? Please come by and visit with us at one of our regularly scheduled meetings. You may be surprised to find your friends and neighbors there having a great time networking, keeping up on local initiatives, and planning where and how they can best serve. Welcome!!!

Want to give a big SHOUT OUT to all our faithful supporters. Our 27th Annual Cash Draw fundraiser was a success thanks to our many friends of Rotary. When we speak about the various community projects and organizations the club supports, we know that it would not be possible without you. Please accept our heartfelt thank you for allowing us to serve in the community, throughout the region, and internationally.

Claudia Stevens (left), Executive Director, and Wanda Guiggey, Campaign Chair, United Way of Aroostook (UWA), accept a contribution from the Fort Fairfield Rotary Club presented by Carl Young, President. The donated moneys will be used to help fund various UWA-supported programs throughout The County, including the UWA’s newest program Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a reading program that promotes early childhood literacy by providing children free age-appropriate books from birth to age 5.

So, could tell you how many shopping days left until Christmas, but a more visible reminder that the seasons are changing and the holidays will soon be upon us is that the “Welcome to Friendly Fort Fairfield” banners no longer adorn the lamp poles on Maine Street. During the recent fair-weather days Rotarian Wayne Troicke with a big assist from the town’s Public Works Department once again took down the banners. Soon enough holiday decorations will replace the banners and a nippiness will fill the air, reminding us…

Claudia Stevens, Executive Director, United Way of Aroostook, is shown with Carl Young, President, Fort Fairfield Rotary Club, and speaks about United Way operations

Claudia Stevens, Executive Director, United Way of Aroostook (UWA) spoke at the club’s weekly meeting. Claudia provided information concerning long standing UWA operations as well as new initiatives being undertaken to provide much needed services throughout The County.

Of special interest is the UWA-supported Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program. This program provides the means by which parents can help their child develop an early interest in reading as well as developing the reading skills so essential during their educational years and for follow-on life experiences. The program supplies Aroostook County preschool children (birth to fifth birthday) a new, carefully selected book each month mailed directly to the child’s home address in their name.

“This program is one of the most important ways I know to improve the educational opportunities for children in your community.” – Dolly Parton

Christine Helstrom (center), Rehabilitation Services – Lead, and Aaron Tomlinson (left),
Athletic Trainer and Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA), Cary Medical Center, shown with Larry Plant, Rotarian and program host, spoke at the club’s weekly meeting. Aaron, using pictures in a slide presentation, described the rehabilitation facility at the new Fort Fairfield Kimball Community Health Center. In addition to onsite rehab treatments Aaron described, and demonstrated through Rotarians participation, personalized regimens that patients may fit within their daily schedule. Additionally, Aaron and Christine noted the importance of monitoring area youth as they participate in local school athletic programs.

Tim Crowley (left) and Jim Thibodeau (center), LifeFlight Foundation Board of Trustees members, spoke at this week’s club meeting and are thanked by Rotarian Carl Young, Program Host. Tim and Jim shared LifeFlight of Maine’s mission and the critical service provided here in The County as well as throughout the state. It was stated that over the past ten years the service has provided, on average, two flights per week from county locations to medical facilities down state located in Bangor, Portland, and Boston, MA, with this number increasing each year.

While it is semi-general knowledge that flights are carried out from the medical facilities in the county, e.g., the Houlton Regional Hospital, the Northern Maine Medical Center, The Aroostook Medical Center, and the Cary Medical Center, it was not known to this writer that there are several locations along trails in The County, maintained by local snowmobile clubs, where medevac flights may originate during the winter months to evacuate those injured in snowmobile accidents. LifeFlight of Maine and the LifeFlight Foundation are non-profit organizations.

Tim Crowley presents information about LifeFlight of Maine and the services provided, while Jim Thibodeau explains logistical issues associated with flights from The County to down state and beyond with helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

Two early bird winners in the club’s fundraiser, 27th Annual Cash Draw
2013, were drawn at this week’s meeting. The winners are Tom Bubar, and Paul
and Sandy Cormier. The winners won $200 and are additionally eligible to win
prizes at the Cash Draw festivities that take place on October 19, 2013.

Art Mraz (left), Frontier Heritage Historical Society, is thanked by Rotarian Wayne Troicke, Program Host.

Art Mraz, Frontier Heritage Historical Society, spoke about the Friends Church history from its beginnings, when build by the Haines family and their Quaker friends in 1859-1860, to its present day status as the oldest still-standing church in Fort Fairfield and its listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Art also noted that there is ample physical evidence as well as oral history to substantiate the church’s use as the last Underground Railroad way station used by slaves, prior to and during the Civil War, when escaping to freedom in Canada.

Aaron Giberson (left), Giberson-Dorsey Funeral Home, with program host Rotarian, Kevin Murchie. Aaron takes a question from a member in right photo.

Aaron Giberson was the guest speaker at the club's regular weekly meeting. Aaron spoke about how the dynamics concerning the end-of-life experience for the family have changed over the last decade or so.

The most notable change is that in the past the family had few choices with respect to the funeral arrangements and the service conduct, while today there are many choices beginning with early planning availability and a host of service variables. Aaron stressed that today it is very important for the family to enter into an early planning process so that very personal decisions are not being made during an extremely stressful period. Given that parents are living longer and many children become long-term caregivers the presentation was very insightful and thought provoking.


The club wrapped up its annual Vidalia Onion Sales fundraiser activities with a club supper honoring the winning sales team, Vidalia Stallions, led by Rotarian Paul Towle. However, considering that the club had a banner sales year, it was agreed that there were no “losers” so everyone, including those on the Sprouts team, enjoyed a steak grilled to perfection by chef Rotarian Kenny Hensler. In addition to the steaks, members of the Spouts team provided potluck salad and dessert dishes that were enjoyed by all members and their guests.

A whimsical Top Salesman Certificate was presented to Kenny Hensler recognizing that he was able to “…cajole, coax, or otherwise sweet-talk an extraordinary amount of buyers into…”.

The club would like to thank all those who purchased the sweet Vidalia onions. As a result, the club is able to support many organizations and projects both in our community and around the world. A big SHOUT OUT to all our supporters!

Buffet looking good...................................................Catching up

Rotarians enjoying

Chef Kenny working his magic at the grill

Good friends, good times

                                                                                 KP duty!

More KP........................................................Nah, let's talk Red Sox

Kenny receives Top Salesman Certificate