Rotary Log for January 6, 2022
 
President Finn began the second half of his year in great form! I it was a wonderful sunny day at the Portsmouth Country Club and on Zoom. About 21 Rotarians were on hand while another 27 joined via Zoom. Justin led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and Al guided everyone through Auld Lang Syne. Rev. John provided a prayer from Zoom.

Lots of announcements today. The Portsmouth High School kids are collecting hats, gloves, and scarves (all new) to make available for other youngsters who need them. Please send your donations of cash, if you would like, to Portsmouth Rotary Club at PO Box 905, Portsmouth, or by Venmo, but make sure you reference “PHS. “
 
Barb announced that the William Cash committee voted to spend $2500 on Traip Academy ‘s Project Graduation. We have done the same thing with Portsmouth High School for years and it is a great cause.
 
Justin (and advisors) have proposed that the club make a major financial and labor commitment to the Portsmouth Women’s Club. This organization supports women who need just a little bit of help. Barb announced that the William Cash committee approved Justin’s request for $17,500. Your Board of Directors unanimously approved it as well.  Former presidents Neal and Ted will oversee the hands-on project. More later.

But that’s not all! There were announcements about the Salvation Army getting back to live dinners at the new location on Rockland Street. Sara Treacy is the boss. She is set for January but can use some help for February and future months. Please email her at Saratreacy@comcast.net
 
Golf??? Did somebody say golf? Yup, the Golf Committee, led by Marie Brownell, meets January 20 after our regular meeting.

Former President Aileen, Nominating Committee chair, announced the slate of officers nominated for President Joanie‘s year starting July 1. Joe Bove moved that the slate be cast as a single ballot, and all voted unanimously in favor of the following to serve our club:

2022/2023
Portsmouth Rotary Board of Directors


President:                                   Joanie Dickinson
President Elect:                          Yvonne Legge
Vice President:                           John. St. Pierre 
 Immediate Past Pres:                Justin Finn
Treasurer:                                   Steve Wood
Asst Treasurer:                          Joe Bove
Secretary:                                  Lindsey Reid
Asst Secretary:                          Caitlin Burke
Sargent at Arms:                        Nicole Clark
Asst Sargent at Arms:                Don Chick
Director Club Service:                Jessica Hamilton
Director Community Service:     Midge Nelson
Director Vocational Service:      Caitlin Hassett
Director:                                     Tristan Shanley
Director:                                     Karen Conard
Senior Director:                         Jon Flagg
Senior Director:                         Neal Ouellett
Senior Director:                         Ted Alex

Chair - William Cash:                Barb Miller
Chair - Youth Services:             Steve Polhemus
Chair - Communication:            Nancy Notis
Chair - Jeremy Alex:                 Ted Alex
Chair - Thanksgiving:                Betsy Scott & Ann Bliss


The finemaster—yours truly-- was up next. All, except our song leader Al, were fined for not knowing the words to Auld Lang Syne…Ken and Barb made the mistake of sitting next to each other which caused President Finn to note to the finemaster that “Ken and Barbie are sitting next to each other.”
 
The spirit of Christmas was clearly over because members were fined for wearing Christmas gifts to the meeting. Others were dinged for still having their tree up and continuing to wish people “Happy New Year” even though it is 6 January. (Editor’s note: Christmas is a 12-day season so the Christmas Tree should stay up until January 6. Oh well.)  The entire club voted to fine former President Aileen a hefty five dollars for purchasing her office Christmas tree someplace besides the Rotary Club of Portsmouth.

OUR PROGRAM.

Former President and former District Governor Dave Underhill introduced Chief Bob McKenzie from the Kennebunk Police Department, Bob is also a Kennebunk Rotarian. The Chief graciously joined us again to talk about the opioid crisis in the Seacoast.
 
 
He began his career as a medic in the fire department before going into law-enforcement. In both departments he witnessed heavy drug abuse throughout the community. He has been a police officer for 33 years, and chief of police for 13 years.
 
Bob’s observations of drug abuse motivated him to learn more about the opioid crisis, and to act. He put together a movie called “Point of No Return” that runs about 30 minutes long and has been viewed in 35 states. Bob also helped start the ACES program, with assistance from our own district governor Dave. That initiative has brought drug training and awareness to many people. He has even testified before Congress.

The chief spoke from personal experience. One day his daughter, an academically high achiever and Dean’s List student, just didn’t seem right. Bob questioned her. She denied any drug use, but he recognized the signs. He continued to press, and she continued to deny.
Eventually, Bob’s daughter was arrested for possession in Lowell, Mass. She was admitted to a drug rehabilitation program but didn’t want anybody to know about her circumstances. She successfully completed rehabilitation, but that was partly because she was so bright.
 
 
The young woman ended up getting arrested again and this time made her drug addiction public. She has since been an outspoken supporter of drug programs and wants people to know that the stigma must be faced head on. She is a public speaker and writer helping people to address drug addiction.

The chief noted that drug abuse has become worse because of Covid isolation.
 
There were a lot of questions for the chief. One was whether marijuana is a gateway drug. He responded that if he was asked that question years ago, he would say yes. Now he sees a lot of people using marijuana that do not take the next step. He would have a preference that people use marijuana, rather than going straight into all the dangerous drugs that are out there (not just the opioids.)

He wanted to leave us with four points:

1. Get training on meloxin;

2. Reduce the stigma

3. Take somebody under your wing

 4. Continue to support ACES.

A very inspirational program as always.

Nicole Clark won the raffle of a whopping $12!
 
Respectfully submitted, Jon Flagg.
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