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The new and improved Thunder XC 5K Race is this Saturday and we still need volunteers. We know you want to help make this a fun event so come on out for what promises to be a beautiful summer morning.
This year the “road” race has morphed into a cross-country race utilizing the Portsmouth High School cross-country course and has been re-branded the Portsmouth Rotary Thunder XC 5K Race. The road race committee and especially Committee Chairman Justin Finn has been very busy getting the various pieces and parts of the race in place and now it is time to get into high gear.
The race is being held on Saturday, August 1st and will start at 9:45 AM and the committee is reaching out for volunteers to help out with this exciting new venue. If you would like to be a part of this fun event, please contact Tristan Shanley for information on how you can help at 941-306-8815 or email at tshanley@theprovidentbank.com.
We need as many volunteers as possible!
A couple of stories from our fellow Rotarians.
Gene Doherty and Ramona Dow delivered a check on July 16 for $1000 from our Rotary Club to Crossroads House.  Shown in the picture are Martha Stone, Executive Director of Crossroads (left) with Ramona and Gene.  We were fortunate to have had the opportunity to tour the facility.  How fortunate we are to have place like Crossroads House as part of our seacoast community!
Not to be outdone, Bob Lewis (Basic Needs Committee) presented a $1000 check to Byron Grant, Executive Director of Operation Blessing, for this organization's food pantry.  This gift was greatly appreciated and well timed as the summer months are a particularly difficult time for the food pantries.  

Rotary Log for the meeting of July 23
by Miranda Butson
​Photos by Tube Loch
The July 23rd meeting of the Portsmouth Rotary Club took place on a perfect New England summer day.  Rotarians and their guests, who resisted the lure of the beach, came for lunch and met the newest Paul Harris Fellow. They also learned that there are times when chocolate milk really is good for you.
Several members offered up Happy Dollars for a variety of reasons. The most intriguing of was John St. Pierre’s dollar for the fact that his dog did NOT have rabies.  He assured the crowd it was a very long story, luckily with a happy ending.
Jay Gibson had the pleasure of re-introducing to the club his daughter, Caroline Gibson. Caroline was later recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow.  Jay and many of the Rotarians in attendance reminisced about Caroline’s early involvement in Rotary.  She got started in the Portsmouth Club while she was still in high school. She volunteered for the Thanksgiving dinner and Rotary auctions.  After high school, Caroline earned a degree in Business Administration and Marketing from Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont.
These days, Caroline lives in Colorado, where she’s a member of the Snowmass Village Rotary Club.  She’s the Administrative Director of Snowmass Chapel and is on the Boards of Directors for the Snowmass Rodeo and Little Red Schoolhouse.  Congratulations to Caroline and her proud parents!
After Caroline’s presentation, the club welcomed Jim Belanger to the podium.  Coach B is in his 33rd season as head coach in UNH’s men’s cross country and track and field. He also coordinates both the men’s and women’s cross country and track and field programs.  In his intro, Justin Finn let the crowd know that we were in the presence of a New Hampshire sports institution.  Coach B has led his Wildcats to 15 first-place finishes. Not to mention 15 second places and eight thirds in the America East Championships.
Coach B has actually been coaching for 41 years. He started at Oyster River HS when he wasn’t much older than his student athletes.  He boasted not only about his students’ athletic achievements, but their academic ones as well.  Throughout his talk, Coach B was able to rattle off times, PRs, and GPAs with amazing ease.  He says his students poke fun at him for his memory for stats, calling him an “idiot savant.”
Coach B was pleased to hear that Rotary’s Thunder Chicken was relocating and becoming a cross country race.  He talked about distance running’s popularity in the US. He also pointed out that cross country is the largest participation sport in our high schools. 
Coach B bragged on local running superstar Eric Jenkins, who ran at University of Oregon. He then shared words of wisdom that anyone in the crowd could apply, runner or not.  When his athletes have an off day, Coach B is honest but uplifting.  He tells them that “no matter what happens in a race, the sun’s going to shine somewhere tomorrow.”  He doesn’t let them get down on themselves for temporary setbacks and keeps them focused on their goals. 
In response to a question, Coach B opined that “in all things, recovery is training.”  One of the most important aspects of an athlete’s training is actually nutrition.  Even for those of us who are weekend warriors or amateur athletes, he advised refueling after exercise.  So after you hop off the treadmill, you get to drink some chocolate milk!
The meeting adjourned after Dick Yeaton won the raffle, although he didn’t get a match.  The sun’s going to shine somewhere tomorrow though, Dick!
-Karen Pollard and Kathy Nickerson went on seven-day notice.
-Rotary members are looking into doing a trivia night, similar to what some other local clubs have done.
-Saturday August 1st, the Music Hall is doing a “Fill the Hall” Food Drive.  They’re accepting donations from 9-5 and are hoping to pack every single seat in the theater with a box or bag of food to help feed hungry kids. 
-Thunder Cross Country Race still needs volunteers for the 8/1 race.  It will be, in Bill’s words,   “short and sweet” event, so sign up if you’re available!
-Leonard Seagren shared that there are currently 30 Friends Forever kids in the greater seacoast area. There are 20 from Israel and 10 from Northern Ireland.
Respectfully submitted, Miranda Butson


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Rotary Club of Portsmouth, Box 905, Portsmouth NH 03801.  You may email club directors from the links on our home page.  For general information, please contact us at portsmouthnhrotary@yahoo.com.  Content on this site is copyright 2015 by Rotary Club of Portsmouth, or is copyright to individual content authors and used by permission.  Banner photograph courtesy Fred Pettigrew.