Top of the Week!
October 11, 2018
Crutches 4 Africa- A Combined Rotary Activity 
It was a sunny & warm Fall Saturday morning (October 6th) when 31 volunteers (Rotarians, spouses, friends and children) were all headed to Biddeford, Maine to help load donated crutches and mobility devises onto a container headed to the Republic of Ghana, West Africa.
It was “Rotary At Work” at its finest as volunteer Rotarians from 9 different Rotary Clubs within District 7780 collectively matching pairs of crutches, sorting, packaging, packing and stuffing them into a 10ft x 10ft x 40ft shipping container.
The represented Rotary Clubs were:  Maine:  So. Portland/Cape Elizabeth, Sebago, Yarmouth, Saco Bay Sunset, Saco Bay, Kittery
New Hampshire: Hampton, Portsmouth, Westbrook/Gorham
Members of the Portsmouth Rotary Club who participated were:  Yvonne Legge, Joseph, Kirsten & Cheryl Cunningham,  Cleo, Ruel & Elaina  Villaflores, Frank Firicano, Bill Hurley, Sara Treacy, Joe Hill & Richard Lyons.
During the October 6th packaging & loading, there were a total of 3236 devices consisting of: 1456 pairs of crutches, 58 wheelchairs, 686 canes, 60 rollators, 103 braces, 1 prosthetic leg, 197 boots,,8 shoes, 5 back boards, 1 bicycle trailer, & 661 walkers.
According to Portsmouth Rotary Past President Bill Hurley, “This is the kind of project you bring your significant other, brother, sister or mature children too for a day out helping people (who) we will never meet but will be grateful to you for making their lives just a little bit easier. “
Crutches 4 Africa is the brainchild of David Talbot, a Polio survivor. Having survived the initial disease over 60 years ago, David went from wheelchair to braces on both legs with crutches, then just braces and on to just ugly shoes. Several surgeries during his growing years helped to stabilize his polio-affected left leg from injuries and controlled his growth so as to minimize his limp while walking and running.

Talbot recovered well enough that he was very active in sports through middle school, high school and college. Talbot spent a year traveling in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, a lot of the miles on a bicycle.  Then in 2005, while working with a non-profit organization assisting widows and orphans, David saw a woman who’s right leg was twisted up behind her back, her foot touching her shoulder. She was using a freshly-torn branch from a tree as a crutch. “That opened my eyes to see the people on the ground, trying to move about with great difficulty, in their environment” said Talbot. From there, inspiration took over and a soon rudimentary plan to collect surplus and no longer needed crutches here in the US, ship them to Africa, and distribute them there to people in desperate need, was born.
According to Talbot, “The missions of Crutches 4 Africa is to collect used and surplus mobility devices, ship them to developing countries, and distribute them “free” to people with physical challenges regardless of their race, gender, tribe, age, or religion.”
David lies with his wife Candice just west of Denver near Evergreen.   He is a member of the Rotary Club of Mountain Foothills in District 5450
While the mobility devises are all donated, there is a huge cost to ship these off to West Africa.  In this case, $6,000.00 was donated by the Portsmouth Rotary Club’s William Cash Fund to pay for the ocean container.
 For additional information on how YOU can donate unused mobility devices or make a financial contribution to this worthy cause, please click onto
Editor, Frank Firicano
AmeriCorps Seeks Rotary Volunteers 
Mary Kelliher is the Volunteer Coordinator for AmeriCorps working out of Portsmouth Housing's Greenleaf Recreation Center with the Resident Services team which assists low-income residents, senior residents, and residents with disabilities in finding resources for different needs, such as budgeting, financial literacy, transportation, etc. Mary and AmeriCorps is seeking volunteers who would be willing to volunteer. One example of a volunteer opportunity is assisting an older female resident who lives alone in moving heavy furniture (strong people needed!) into and from a UHaul during her planned move from her Feaster apartment to Connor's Cottage. If there are any volunteers intersted in lending a hand please contact Mary at
Portsmouth Rotary Greeted Alta Ellis from California 
Invitation from District Governor John LoBosco to join us at a Special District Assembly to discuss Foundation, Membership, and International Service Opportunities and Strategies!
WHO: All Rotarians are welcome! We are hoping, in particular, for a good turnout from club Foundation, Membership, and International Service chairs. WHEN: Saturday morning, November 3, 2018 from 8 a.m. until 12 noon.
WHERE: Husson University, 340 County Road, Westbrook, Maine.
REGISTRATION: We need you to register so we know how many to expect. The venue can seat up to 135 people, so we will have a waiting list after we reach that number. Please register ASAP at the link available on the District home page or here.
SPECIAL GUESTS: Julia Phelps, former Rotary International Director and current Foundation Trustee will share insights into current happenings in Evanston regarding the Foundation. Assistant Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator, Greg Roche, also will join us to connect with you and explain how he can be a valuable resource for us.
8:00 - 8:30 Social (coffee and muffins)
8:30 - 9:00 Julia Phelps, "A Week in the Life of a Foundation Trustee"
9:00 - 10:30 Joint Session
10:30 - 10:45 Break
10:45 - 12:00 Breakouts
The first half of the morning will be a joint session with presentations on the Foundation and Membership. After a break, we will have three concurrent breakouts: Foundation, Membership, and International Service. The International Service breakout will focus on opportunities for Rotarians to travel abroad to engage in hands-on service. On the Foundation side, we will be talking about District Grants, Global Grants, Polio Plus, the Peace Scholars Program, the Annual Fund, and Major Gifts. As for Membership, we’ll be discussing strategies to achieve our Governor’s challenge to increase membership throughout the district by at least 5% this year. We will have plenty of time for questions and dialogue among the participants.
This is a great opportunity to roll-up your sleeves and connect with your colleagues from around our district to learn and share. WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!
FOR MORE INFORMATION: For more information, contact the event chair, Lawrence Furbish (click the link below for contact info)
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