Russell Hampton
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Jan 10, 2020
What is Assisted Living?
Jan 17, 2020
Role of the Port Authority in Maine's Growing Economy
Jan 24, 2020
Jan 31, 2020
Innovating New Construction Materials
Feb 07, 2020
Feb 14, 2020
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Rotary Foundation Chair
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Youth Service Chair
Friday, January 10, 2020
Welcome to the
Rotary Club of Portland, Maine!
Portland Rotary
Service Above Self
We meet Fridays at 12:15 PM
The Clarion Hotel
1230 Congress Street
Portland, ME  04102
United States of America
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Rotary This Week
Portland Rotary
will meet Friday, January 10, 2020
at the Clarion Hotel
1230 Congress Street, Portland
*01/10/2020 Lauren Webster,  Mktg/Admin Dir. 75 State Street
Lauren Webster's professional background is in non-profit marketing, communications, and administration with field experience in online and content marketing. She holds a BA in Women and Gender Studies and an MA in American and New England Studies from the University of Southern Maine; she has worked for organizations like the Maine Women's Fund, University Credit Union, and MarketingProfs. Lauren has been with 75 State Street since the autumn of 2017 and volunteers as a trustee at the Victoria Mansion and the Fifth of Maine Regiment Museum.
01/03/2020 Katie Spotz, Rotary Ambassadorial Schoar
Our guest speaker, Katie Spotz, is a true tour de force, who has turned physical endurance training into a quest to bring fresh water to the world. Originally from Cleveland, and a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar through the Chagrin Valley Rotary, Katie was an average, maybe less than average HS athlete, a perennial benchwarmer on her sports teams. Her senior year, she signed up for a Run/Walk class, with a lofty goal of making it 1 mile.

Painful as it was, 1 mile turned to 2, to 3, 4, and 5, each one producing a “Rocky (Balboa) Moment.” As the miles grew, so did the ambition. At age 18, she decided to go for her first marathon. She was discovering that it was more than muscles, it was the mind. Determination. Reaching this goal was an incredible moment, but it was just the beginning of much bigger things to come. After some research, Katie took up with 39 other cyclists for an American Lung Association bike ride, Seattle to Washington DC, that raised $250k for the cause. The challenges kept ramping up, including swimming the Alleghany River – 10 to 15 miles a day for a month.
While on a bus, talking with a stranger, the topic of endurance challenges came up. The fellow mentioned how he had read about a person rowing across the Atlantic. Hungry to learn more, Katie began her research and training. Preparation took several years, including – learning how to row! Sponsors, equipment, details, details. Everyone was nervous for her, and as she put it, it came down to a simple decision. Do I do this, or do I wonder the rest of my life why I didn’t? The route was established, starting in Senegal, West Africa. Storms delayed the start of the trip, and Katie found herself stranded for 3 weeks. Seeing first hand the lack of clean water, it would prove to be a turning point in her life.

Setting off in a 19’ rowboat, with no chaperone - no helicopters, no support boat – the journey began. Using the trade winds and currents, escorted by dolphins, and steering clear of huge freighters, the days ticked by. Halfway, she felt completely overwhelmed. Resetting herself, she vowed to row 1 mile. 3000 times. That is how she got through this experience, and applies the same theory to all of her ambitions.

With 100 miles remaining, fortunes shifted. Nearing the Continental Shelf with shallower waters, waves began to reach heights of 25’. Winds and currents were now working against her. She had not come this far to be towed in, so with her weatherman on radio, they plotted a new course 400 miles west. The rowing was easier, but it would add 8 days to the trip. She would reach shore on Day 70.
When she had left Senegal, she was solo. Now, she said, she was with millions. Thrust from obscurity into an international limelight, Katie was appearing on TV network news, being interviewed by countless media outlets, and meeting the 'who’s who' of celebrities and stars. The question that was most often asked – “Why?”

Now the answer was clear. It’s all about the water. Clean, safe drinkable water, that one billion people do not have. 4500 children die each day in this world due to contaminated water. There are areas in this world where over half the time each day is spent getting water, which isn’t that clean to begin with. It's truly an international crisis. 

Katie’s joy is participating in endurance events, but her passion is in helping people around the world. Within in one year after the row, Katie would participate in the “Race Across America” non-stop bike race. The plan was that she and her teammate would ride in 200-mile shifts until completed. What she had not counted on was falling and breaking her pelvis just a month before the event. What to do? Go upper body using a special handicapped bike with a hand crank shaft. Never give up! 
Katie spoke of the upcoming "Run4Water" event this September, in her home state of Ohio, that will raise money for clean water and sanitation in Uganda. 1 step at a time, 420,000 steps to go. A $30 donation will provide 1 person clean drinking water for life. 

Questions from the audience – how do you deal with the toll on your body of these events? Katie noted it was a matter of pacing, good form, and recovery time. She does not “over train,” something that many athletes do and end up injured before the event. Fueling on the go – a mix of freeze dried meals that she could boil up on a small jet stove, energy bars and gels, trail mix, and chocolate bars.  She was asked if being all alone for so long, did she have a “Wilson” friend, aka Tom Hanks in the movie “Cast Away?”  Turns out the Chagrin Valley Rotary Club in Cleveland gave her a Wilson Tennis Ball......same principal! 

FMI on Katie’s adventures and upcoming events, as well as how to donate, please visit her website at
(Photo L-R: PP Roxane Cole, Katie Spotz and President Amy Chipman.)
01/03/2020 Bits & Pieces
President Amy Chipman called the meeting to order a little early and invited Gracie Johnson to give the invocation. Grace told us a heart-warming story about losing her food money (cash) in the supermarket and how her faith in humanity was recharged when she learned that a child had found the money on the ground and gave it to the help desk for safe keeping, until it could be claimed by the owner. Gracie later "paid it forward" by giving the young child and her family some circus tickets.    

Joe Gray led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and then PP Bill Blount led us in “God Bless America.

Birthdays in January are being celebrated by the following Rotarians:
Abdulahi Ali, Tony Manhart, Steve Stromsky, Joe Reagan, Matt Tassey, PP Don Lowry, Judy Cavallero, David Smith, and Prez Amy Chipman.
Rotary Anniversaries were celebrated by the following in order of years with the club:
Mike Anderson (1), Michelle DiSotto (1), David Ertz (2), Jessie Harvey (2), Meagan Peabody (2), Ben Millick (3), Julie Chase (3), Steve Mortimer (3), Ogy Nikolic (3), Terri St. Angelo (3), Liz Fagen (16), Bowen Depke (17), Bruce Moore (19), Rich Campbell (20), Ellen Niewoehner (22), John Marr (25), Mark Millar (33), Tom Sukley (34), Alan Nye (36), and Mark Stimson (53).

Mike Anderson was busy filling out tickets this week with the raffle valued at over $1,200. The speaker pulled Jerry Angier’s name out of the can. Jerry picked a red 6 from the deck, letting the queen of hearts rest another week. 

Rusty Atwood read the club a thank you letter sent from the recent Cheverus High Youth Scholarship recipient Nick Galeucia. Nick wrote about how he plans to use the scholarship towards his college education, and how he is thankful the club donated money to the Ronald McDonald house. He was touched by the meeting presentations, noted that it’s nice to see a loving community group, and let us know that he hopes to embody those ideals in the future.

PP and Club Foundation Chair Bill Blount presented several of our members with their first or multiple Paul Harris Awards:
[Photo L-R: Christine Force (1); PP Tom Talbott (PHF +2);
Ron Bennett (PHF +5), along with PP Bill Blount.]
Volunteer Opportunities

Following is a list of our Club's volunteer projects. If you know of other opportunities, please contact Loretta:

Who to Contact


Preble Street
Resource Center
Soup Kitchen
4th Wednesday ea month
3:30-6:30 pm
Contact Gracie Johnston
Game Night
Long Creek
Youth Center
3rd Wednesday ea month (note change in DAY)
Mike Fortunato
or Jim Willey
This Week's Duty Assignments
Invocation:  David Small
Program Reporter:  Erik Jorgensen
Bits & Pieces Reporter:  Julie L'Heureux
Photographer:  Julie L'Heureux
Registration/Greeter:  Jake Bourdeau
Sell Meal Tickets: Rusty Atwood
Raffle:  Patty Erickson

Collect Meal Tickets:  Nate Cermelj
Sgt-at-Arms:  Mike Fortunato
Rotary Meeting Locations

If you would like to mark your calendars,
we are scheduled at the following locations
 March 2020:

2020 January
       10 - The Clarion
 17 - The Clarion
       24 - The Clarion
       31 - The Clarion

Feb  07 - TBD
        14 - The Clarion
21 - The Clarion
        28 - The Clarion

Mar  06 - The Clarion
         13 - The Clarion
20 - The Clarion
         27 - The Clarion

Blue BOLD dates are scheduled Board meeting days.

Any questions, please contact Loretta at:

Ongoing Item Donations Needed
The following items are needed on an on-going basis. Please feel free to bring them to a meeting where we will collect and distribute them to the appropriate projects.
Crutches4Africa - Crutches, canes, folding walkers and wheelchairs to be shipped to Africa. Contact: Erik Greven at:
Toiletries for the Shelters - Collect those tiny bottles of toiletries you are paying for during your next hotel visit and bring them home for members of our society who find themselves staying at a shelter and in need of personal hygiene products.