Rotary Log for November 12, 2020
 
 
President Jon opened the meeting by thanking Rotarian veterans for their service to our country (more on this later.) Jim Rini led us with the Pledge. John Rice gave the invocation.
 
A trio of Rotarians represented all five of the Armed Forces service branches with solo performances of their official standards.
 
 
Al Lantinen delivered the Marine Corps Hymn.
 
 
John Rice belted out the Army and the Air Force songs. He probably did so from memory due to his 20 years in the Army Reserves and 14 more with the New Hampshire Air National Guard.
 
 
Judy Ringer provided nice renditions of the Coast Guard song and the Navy Hymn. Judy’s father and brother served in the Navy. Kudos to all for a stirring performance!
 
Recognition for our Vets
 
Jon led short interviews with all the known Rotarian veterans, eliciting their service branch and last held rank.
 
Frank Firicano, Army Reserve, Sargent 
Paul Lucy, Marines
Ken Riley, Air Force, Lt. Colonel
Joe Bove, Army Reserve, Corporal 
John Rice, Army Reserve, Captain
John Rice, Air National Guard, Lt. Colonel
Cliff Taylor 
Paul Famulari, Air National Guard
Stan Cross, Air Force, Sargent 
Art Oxner, Air Force, Chief Master Sargent 
Jim Rini, Air Force, Major
Nick Aeschliman,  Army Reserve, Captain
 
Announcements.
 
 
Lindsey Reid reported the election tally for this year’s Nominating Committee. The three past presidents who will serve are Cleo (Chair), Ben Wheeler and James Petersen.
 
 
Ann Bliss needs only three more volunteers for the Thanksgiving Day meal. She shared a poignant letter of gratitude from an elderly woman looking forward to this year’s event.
 
Jon issued a call for help with the Christmas ornaments. The Christmas Tree sale sign-up is going well. Members can sign up electronically.
 
 
James Petersen announced that a burial service for Peg Millar will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, November 20 in Rye. Details to follow.
 
Guest speaker.
 
Ramona Dow introduced our guest speaker, Michelle Talwani. Michelle is the Community Relations Director of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund (NHCLF). She was appointed to the post in February, 2020. Prior to that she served ten years with Families In Transition and ten years at the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority.
 
 
The NHCLF has a 37-year history as a non-profit provider of loans and technical assistance. It acts as a bridge between individuals and entities that have difficulty accessing funds and those that look to provide such funds.
 
NHCLF is focused in three areas. First, and predominantly, is making affordable housing available. It specializes in assisting manufactured home residents to form Resident Owned Communities. During the 1983-2020 time period, it has enabled affordable housing to 10,170 owners. Resident Owned Communities represented 8,000 of these units.
 
 
The second area of interest is community service. For example, NHCLF has helped childcare centers renovate and expand.
 
The third area of focus is small businesses where NHCLF provides flexible financing. A local example of this Throwback Brewery in Portsmouth.
 
 
While NHCLF operates throughout New Hampshire, it has a large impact on our area of the state. From 2015 to the present, it has provided more than $30 million dollars of local loans. Nearly $19 million of these loans were made to 15 manufactured housing cooperatives. This represented 378 unit owners. Loans to local non-profits totaled $1 million dollars, affecting 114 jobs. Small business loans totaled $6 million dollars, affecting 131 jobs.
 
NHCLF’s financial resources are derived from donations and investments. Its Loan Fund assets exceed $12 million dollars. Historically 97% of these loans have been fully repaid.
 
A current very local project is the Woodbury Cooperative. This small manufactured housing park is located off Woodbury Avenue in Portsmouth. It is now resident owned but suffers from crumbling infrastructure and limited access for safety vehicles.
 
 
NHCLF has initiated a $1.3 million-dollar fundraising campaign to help replace the water and sewage lines, remove abandoned buildings and adding four new housing units. The NHCLF is seeking both investors in the lending pool and outright donations. Rotarians interested in contributing may contact www.communityloanfund.org/woodbury
 
To close the meeting Frank Firicano delivered The 4-Way Test.
 
Respectfully submitted, Richard Greulich.
Photo captures by Don Chick
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