Rotary Log for June 16, 2022
Today, we celebrated our annual Vocational Award ceremony hosted by Caitlyn Hassett.
But first, President-elect Joannie, filling in for an absent President Finn, got the ball rolling with the Pledge of Allegiance. Our greeter, John St. Pierre, led us in the Four-Way Test. Yvonne helped us sing America the Beautiful. John Rice gave the invocation.
Following lunch, guests and visiting Rotarians were introduced. Cleo brought her firm’s summer intern, Reed Signet. James Petersen presented Anne Weidman and Steve Jones from Portsmouth High School. Don Chick and Priscilla MacInnis introduced Joanne Moore and Tricia Donohue, respectively. Lastly, Lenore Sciuto was Billie Tooley’s guest. Both are affiliated with One Sky Community Services.
Up next, announcements. Marie Brownell thanked all that participated in the golf tournament. The next tournament is June 9, 2023. This year’s take—about $32k. Mark Perkins managed the silent auction and spoke reverently about the many who contributed to it—too many to list. Thank you to all!
Before we continue, a bit of trivia. How many Rotary Golf tournaments have been won by the presiding club president? One. And who might that president be? Well, Justin, of course.
And how many Rotary Club presidents have presided over two golf tournaments in their presidential year? Well, there has only been one. In fact, he was so stoked about bringing in twice the bacon as any other president, he took the day off to smoke a celebratory cigar. Yes, you Justin—who else could it be? Sorry, Triple P, it was not meant to be!
Happy dollars took center stage. Ben Wheeler is in a bad mood with general disdain for the world. His daughter was attending her last day of elementary school. Cleo chipped in $5 dollars for now having a high-school-age child.
Egged on by Yvonne, Marie gave $5 dollars for a great golf tournament. Yes, it was!
James Petersen reminded us how he is always generally unhappy. But, on the bright side, his family is hosting an exchange student, Alessandra, from Italy for several months. It’s been a fabulous experience, but, sadly, she goes home next week.
President-elect Joanie reminded us that next week is our much-heralded changing-of-the-guard ceremony. But before she could finish, Aileen reminded her about a check presentation. Aileen and Cleo presented a $10,000 gift from State Farm. Congratulations once again to our club and many thanks to State Farm. How the money will be used? That will be decided later. Whatever is decided, Aileen assured us it will be fun.
Caitlyn hosted the main event, acknowledging Vocational Service which is one of Rotary’s five avenues of service. The others are club service, community service, youth service and international service.
Today, we honored those non-Rotarians in our community that provide their version of service about self. Each year, nominees are recognized for their service in four vocational categories: public service, education, health and human services and general service. Each award recipient receives a plaque and a $500 check to give to their charity of choice.
Each nominating Rotarian presented the winners. Up first, Priscilla introduced the recipient of the Public Service award, Tricia Donohue. Tricia received this award for producing the idea and plan to have a city community garden. Through her exhaustive work and coordination with various people and entities, including our club, the garden came to fruition this spring.
Tricia thanked the club for the award. “This means a lot to me,” she said. “I have never received anything like this before.”
The whole project launched when Betsy Scott and Priscilla read a newspaper article about her idea. Both contacted Tricia, expressed their interest, and explained how the Rotary Club could help. Rotary gave the largest monetary donation and brought a bunch of volunteers to make the garden a reality. Doug Macdonald gave his time to prepare and file the entity papers.
Thirty-five vegetable/flower beds are now up and running with much more planned for the future. Congratulations, Tricia.
Following that presentation, Don Chick introduced the winner of the General Services category, Joanne Moore. Don met Joanne through interactions he had with her real estate office and later saw her volunteering at the local soup kitchen. Along with this, she runs the Stafford Country Community Service Committee.
Last year, she purchased a run-down thrift store at 585 Calef Highway in Barrington. She renovated the store and renamed it the New and Again Thrift Store for Charity. She next turned the store into a non-profit that donates proceeds to charitable causes.
Joanne thanked the club and Don for nominating her. She is still a realtor but spends much of her time at the thrift store. Donations have gone to the Shriners, the N.H. Special Olympics and Team Barrington. She is especially proud of donations in the form of three scholarships to summer day camps for children in Rochester, Barrington, and Milton. She gave thanks to all their customers and donors. All donations find a home. Very little goes to waste.
Congratulations, Joanne.
James Petersen presented the award for Education Service to Anne Weidman and Steve Jones. Karen Conard also nominated them, but could not be present. Anne, Director of Business Development and Community Engagement, is someone James met through the city’s Covid task force. He met Steve Jones through Zoom.
Steve is the Architecture Design/Build Instructor for Portsmouth High’s CTE (Computer and Technology Education) program. He is a strong advocate for trades education. Anne and James were instrumental in the beautification of the Jersey barriers used for outdoor dining in downtown Portsmouth. The planters that adorn the barriers were their brainchild.
Steve accepted the award on behalf of all his design/build program students, advocating for more trade courses at PHS. Anne reinforced Steve’s plea and encouraged us to get involved. They will donate their $500 to the Chase Home.
Our last presenter, Billie Tooley, introduced Health and Human Services Award winner Lenore Sciuto. Lenore has devoted more than 30 years of community service to One Sky Community Services, assisting those with developmental disabilities. She has been instrumental in the creation and implementation of training and professional development for all service coordinators who work directly with One Sky clients.
 Lenore is always there to help whoever is in need. That includes driving clients in distress to appointments and hospitals at all hours. She thanked Billie for her kind words and explained the multiple needs of people with developmental disabilities including things as simple as dental hygiene. She then thanked our club for all the support we have given the organization. Congratulations. Lenore.
Caitlyn concluded the program by thanking all those who submitted nominations and asked us to please send in more next year.
Questions and answers followed. Asked if immigrants and foreign nationals are considered for his program, Steve said they take all comers. He also spoke about the feelings and satisfaction students had when they finished this year’s project and got to see the planters in use.
Tricia was asked if any of the community garden had been set aside for low-income individuals. When someone cannot pay, she explained, the organization will let them use the garden for free and cover costs. Anyone in New Hampshire can apply. A plot costs just $45 dollars a year.
Steve was asked about the history of the community’s trades education program and how do you grow it. He replied that  staffing issues are a big reason more courses are not offered.  One initiative was to build accessory dwelling units for purchase. The constructions trade component of education was lost over time and now is hard to get back. Career technical education requires community voices to champion the cause.
And with that, our presentation was complete. Joannie addressed the last order of business, the 50/50 raffle for $32. And the winner is------------------Ann Bliss. There was no match.
Until next time.
Respectfully submitted, Mark Lorusso
Photos by Dennis Moulton