At the Fort Fairfield High School graduation ceremonies, Class of 2016, the club was pleased to present $1000 scholarships to graduating seniors Taylor Churchill and Dalton Cassidy. In photos, Taylor and Dalton accept scholarships from club President, Carl Young. 

 

(left) Chelsea Ouellette, Rotary Spirit Student of the Year (SOY),
accepts the SOY plaque from 
Rotary club VP Stephanie Beaulieu
as Rotary Spirit Program Chair Tracy Copeland looks on. 

During the Fort Fairfield High School Honors Program for the school-year 2015-2016, the Fort Fairfield Rotary Club (FFRC), for the fifth year, had the privilege and honor to recognize its Rotary Spirit Student Award (RSSA) recipients and announce its Rotary Spirit Student of the Year (SOY). Congratulations to all the RSSA recipients and Student of the Year, Chelsea Ouellette. Chelsea received a recognition certificate, a monetary award, and her name engraved and picture posted on the club’s SOY perpetual plaque that is displayed at the school. 

(left to right) Rotary Spirit Program Chair-Tracy Copeland, RSSA recipients Dylan Jandreau, Yoni Mejia-Rodriguez, Julian McKenney, Meghan Everitt, Chelsea Ouellette (SOY), Grace Reynolds, Kaitlyn Parady, FFRC VP-Stephanie Beaulieu. Not in photo, RSSA recipient Jacob Bynion-Cullins. 

Jane Pinette, Aroostook Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), Caribou Area Volunteer Coordinator with Jim Risner, Rotarian Program Host. 

Jane Pinette, Aroostook Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), Caribou Area Volunteer Coordinator was the guest speaker at a recent weekly meeting.  Aroostook RSVP, initiated in 1974, has partnered with over 100 nonprofit agencies and public organizations throughout The County to place volunteers, who are 55 and older, in over 160 rewarding and fulfilling volunteer service opportunities.  Jane and Aroostook RSVP are seeking volunteers for the Fort Fairfield area.  There is a need for volunteers in providing medical transportation, "friendly visiting" (visiting home-bound individuals in Fort Fairfield), a substitute Bone Builders teacher, and knitting/crocheting volunteers (yarn provided).  Some of the great benefits of being an Aroostook RSVP volunteer are the feelings of self pride and community involvement!!  Accident, liability, and car insurance are provided while on assignment. The Aroostook RSVP operates under the auspices of the Aroostook Agency on Aging. Additional information on RSVP and other agency activities may be found on the agency website: http://www.aroostookaging.org/index.html, and you’ll want to contact Jane at her home office to discuss RSVP possibilities: 207-492-2146. 

 

Rotary Spirit Student Award (RSSA) recipients for the fourth Fort Fairfield Middle/High School (FFMHS) school-year quarter (Apr/May 2016) were recently honored at a club breakfast. Chelsea Ouellette and Julian McKenney were chosen from nominees submitted by the FFMHS faculty. Chelsea and Julian, freshman and sophomore respectively, received their recognition certificates as their academic achievements along with their citizenship and personal development accomplishments were highlighted. Chelsea and Julian 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. 

A big shout out to our fundraiser supporters!  THANK YOU for making this year’s Vidalia Onion Sales fundraiser an over-the-top success. Once again your generous support makes it possible to support service projects that benefit those in our community as well as at the international level. Many may not know that while your local Rotary club is a Rotary International family member, the support funds you provide are for the most part 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 Elementary and Middle/High School programs are but a few activities that top the club’s service programs list. So again, thank you for your generous support.

So the calendar says it is spring season. What does that mean in The County? Mud season! No – time to break out the barbecue! And that can only mean sweet Vidalia onions!!!! That’s right, time to order your Vidalia onions to enjoy with your favorite dish, and support the club spring fundraiser. Order your onions now for an early May delivery. We’ll know an exact delivery date as soon as the growers in Georgia determine the best harvesting time. Remember, these Vidalia’s are harvested and delivered practically overnight. Sweet!!!! As always you may contact any Fort Fairfield Rotary Club Rotarian to order. Or call this writer, Rotarian, Carl Young, at 551-1495. 

Rotary Spirit Student Award (RSSA) recipients for the third Fort Fairfield Middle/High School (FFMHS) school-year quarter (Jan/Feb 2016) were honored at a recent club breakfast. Grace Reynolds and Yoni Mejia-Rodriguez were chosen from nominees submitted by the FFMHS faculty. Grace and Yoni received their recognition certificates as they were commended for their academic achievements along with their citizenship and personal development accomplishments. Grace and Yoni 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. 

Jason Parent accepts a club tote from Carl Young, President

Jason Parent, Executive Director and CEO, Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP), addressed the club outlining the many ACAP service areas. Jason stressed that there are programs/services in workforce development (Provides job seekers or employers with resources and information on training and education), energy and housing (Programs to assist renters and homeowners with safe and energy-efficient housing needs), community services (Financial assistance, emergency services, case management, and health related programs), family services (Provides families with education, child development, health, and nutrition programs), senior programs (Includes financial assistance, emergency, home repair, and energy services for individuals over the age of 65), and youth employment and training (Programs provided for youth between the ages of 14-24 looking for education and training opportunities). Additional information may be obtained by visiting the ACAP website: http://acap-me.org/ 

(left photo) Paul Towle, Rotarian host, introduces Bob Dorsey, President and CEO, Aroostook Partnership (AP) (right photo) Bob explains the AP concept

Bob Dorsey, President & CEO, Aroostook Partnership (AP) recently visited the club and spoke concerning “Aroostook County Workforce & Economic Trends”. Bob stated that the AP concept is to have “One Focused Economic Development Team” having a private sector segment, business administration segment, and a singular investment structure with one collaborative voice. The “One Private/Public Team” concept currently involves “Investors, Developers & Educators Committed To Economic Growth in Northern Maine”. This three-pronged approach features local, state, regional, and national private equity investment partners, an education segment that includes UMPI, UMFK (University of Maine Presque Isle and Fort Kent respectively), NMCC (Northern Maine Community College), and Husson University together with NMDC (Northern Maine Development Commission). Bob also addressed activity in forestry, manufacturing, energy/renewable energy, diversified agriculture, and the need for countywide broadband service. For additional program information and contact information you may visit the AP website:http://www.appme.org/ 

Bob speaks to the AP initatives                  Bob addresses challenges 

Paul presents club tote to Bob 

It has been a busy time at the club and also for this writer. So, time to catch up with this and a number of articles that will be forthcoming. 

(left photo) Jim Risner, Rotarian host (standing), introduces Dr. Dan Fowler 
(right) Dr. Dan in his usual casual bedside manner explains ACO finer points 

Dr. Daniel Fowler, TAMC, Fort Fairfield Health Center, accompanied by Dr. James McKenney, TAMC, Vice President, Diagnostic and Support Services, visited and provided information concerning Accountable Care Organizations (ACO). Dr. Dan explained many benefits provided by ACO’s and how the ACO model is designed for healthcare organizations and providers that are experienced in coordinating care for patients across the various care settings. It is designed to work in coordination with private payers by aligning provider incentives, which improves quality and health outcomes, as well as cost savings. Additional information relating to ACO’s may be found on the following EMHS website: http://www.emhs.org/Beacon/Becoming-an-Accountable-Care-Organization.aspx 

  

What do the following towns in northern Maine have in common? Caribou, Fort Kent, Fort Fairfield, Hodgdon, Easton, St. Agatha, Washburn, Dyer Brook, Mars Hill, Houlton, Presque Isle, and Stacyville. Wait for it….wait for it…awe; the picture probably gave it away. They all have a boys, or girls, or both, basketball team competing in the 2016 Maine Principals Association Basketball Tournament, quarterfinals round, in Bangor. Each will of course be hoping to be vying at tournament's end for a Gold Ball trophy, emblematic of a state championship in their class.

CONGRATULATIONS to one and all on your excellent season, and best of luck in the tournament! 

The club honored the Rotary Spirit Student Award (RSSA) recipients for the second Fort Fairfield Middle/High School (FFMHS) school-year quarter (Nov/Dec 2015). Meghan Everitt and Jacob Bynion-Cullins, both seniors, were chosen from nominees submitted by the FFMHS faculty. Meghan and Jacob received their recognition certificates at a club breakfast meeting where they were commended for their academic achievements as well as their citizenship and personal development accomplishments. Meghan and Jacob 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. 

Rotary District 7810 encompasses the province of New Brunswick, Canada, and Aroostook and Washington Counties in eastern Maine, USA. Area 1 within the district is made up of the Caribou, Fort Fairfield, Fort Kent, Limestone, Mars Hill, Presque Isle, and Washburn Rotary clubs in Aroostook County.

These Area 1 clubs have joined together to launch Project GIIVE 2017 (Guatemalan Infrastructure Improvement Venture). To date, the Perth-Andover, and Woodstock, NB, Canada, and Houlton, Maine, USA Rotary Clubs have also joined in this venture.

January is Rotary Awareness Month so thought it appropriate to jot down some information about Rotary International and your local Fort Fairfield Rotary Club.

Did you know that there are over 34,000 Rotary Clubs worldwide with over 1.2 million Rotarians? Here in Aroostook County; Caribou, Fort Fairfield, Fort Kent, Houlton, Limestone, Mars Hill, Presque Isle, and Washburn all have local Rotary clubs with over 350 Rotarians serving these communities, the region, and internationally.

The Fort Fairfield Rotary Club was chartered in 1978. The club currently has 23 members and serves/supports over two dozen organizations/projects annually along with several supplemental project support requests each year.

The club places a heavy emphasis on our youth community. We support the Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp (ATLC), annual bike rodeo and princesses’ float during the Maine Potato Blossom Festival, the annual TAMC Survivor Camp, and Fort Fairfield High School’s Project Graduation, Rotary Spirit Student Award Program, Athletic Booster Club, “Tiger” Hoops Tournament and Camp, yearbook support, graduating senior scholarships, and literacy programs to mention but a few.

Additionally, the Special Olympics Snowdogs basketball team, Friends Helping Friends, United Way of Aroostook, and the annual Fort Fairfield Community/Seniors Thanksgiving Day Dinner are some other supported programs/projects.

On an international level, in addition to supporting Rotary International’s End Polio Now PolioPlus campaign through donations and Purple Pinkie projects, the club is active in the Guatemalan Infrastructure Improvement Venture (GIIVE). Project GIIVE is an Aroostook County area clubs-initiative that is gaining support and involvement from regional clubs such as the Rotary Clubs of Perth-Andover and Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada. This project seeks to improve the sanitation, cooking, and water infrastructure in villages in the Monterrico, Santa Rosa, Guatemala region.

Does this sound exciting to you? Or perhaps you know about other projects and programs that we might work on, together. Come join us Wednesday mornings 7-8AM, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church annex, 170 Main Street, Fort Fairfield, Maine and see if we can all work together and “Be a Gift to the World”. Oh, while a motel chain promises to “leave the light on for ya”, we promise to get you out by eight so that you can be to work on time. Have a great day.

The club recently sponsored Tim Caverly, Allagash Tails author, reading at the Fort Fairfield Elementary School fourth grade class and provided a book for each pupil. The class had a very enjoyable time and worked hard on a thank you card for the club. Our thanks to the class for this beautifully designed and prepared thank you card.

Sue Parks, Rotarian and Elementary School Principal, accepts Happy Dollars from club president, Carl Young

This week’s annual Christmas/New Year’s season meeting was held at the Fort Fairfield Middle/High School. During this season Rotarians are extremely “happy” for a great cause. “Happy Dollars” raised at this meeting are donated to the local school system to purchase winter clothing articles for those students who may not have mittens, gloves, caps, jackets or the like. The program is administered by school staff-Rotarians who are well aware of existing needs. This year happy Rotarians raised over $365 for this annual program. The high school’s Baking-4-A-Living class provided egg-sausage pizza, sticky buns, strawberry yogurt, orange juice and coffee for breakfast. Also, a Middle/High School coral group provided several seasonal songs that were enjoyed by all. 

Rotarians enjoy seasonal pieces provided by the Middle/High School coral group

 

Ken Hensler (left), Membership Committee, accepts the District 7810 Membership Retention Plaque for club-year 2014-2015 from Floyd Rockholt, Assistant District Governor, as Carl Young, President, looks on. This is the second consecutive year that the Fort Fairfield Rotary Club has achieved the District’s highest retention rate having received similar recognition for Rotary-year 2013-2014. Members are thanked for “Service Above Self”.

Kaitlyn Parady, a senior, and Dylan Jandreau, a sophomore, were recognized as the September/October 2015 Rotary Spirit Student Award (RSSA) Program recipients at a recent club weekly meeting. Kaitlyn and Dylan received recognition certificates and iTunes download cards helping kick off a five year-partnership between the club and Fort Fairfield High School (FFHS) for the RSSA Program. Kaitlyn and Dylan were nominated by FFHS teachers Jacquie Martin and Kelly Koziol, respectively, and are now eligible for Rotary Spirit Student of the Year consideration at school-year’s end. 

We’re friends. We’re neighbors. We’re Rotarians, Rotary makes a difference in the community, the region, and around the world. You can make a difference. Come visit with us. Get meeting information at: http://www.fortfairfieldrotary.org/club-info/meeting-information.html

Gary Sayers, President/CEO, Our Ladakhi Sisters and Pam Sayers, Rotary Club Program Hostess.

Gary Sayers, President/CEO, Our Ladakhi Sisters (OLS), recently spoke about the OLS outreach to assist local organizations in their initiatives to improve the well-being of the women, children, and families of Ladakh, India by promoting self-sufficiency through education and training, creating job opportunities, and providing emergency assistance and temporary crisis housing. Detailed information concerning OLS’ work may be found on the organization’s website: http://www.olscharity.org/