Rotary Meeting 11-29-12


President Nancy began the meeting with several announcements and a heartfelt moment of silence for the recent loss of individuals dear to the Portsmouth Rotary family.

As the meeting proceeded, the following guests were announced: Joan Nickell (Leonard Seagren), Barbara Miller (Janice Reams), Craig Welsch (John Lyons) and Jim Rolston, a visiting Rotarian from the Exeter Club.

John St. Pierre followed with the two-minute tidbit and a quiz that reminded all that Santa Claus will be returning to the Senior Holiday Lunch from the North Pole, as he does each year.   Kay Levinson’s dedication in developing the Senior Holiday Lunch was noted, as was Rotary’s appreciation of luncheon sponsors, The Salvation Army and Portsmouth Regional Hospital. 


However, Rotary attendance at the Senior Holiday Lunch has been lacking over the past few years and Rotarians are strongly encouraged to attend the lunch as it is an important connection to the community.   The Senior Holiday Lunch is next week, December 6th at the Portsmouth Country Club, please attend.

Happy dollars followed with Mort generously donating $100 in remembrance of his close friend, Joe Shanley.   Ben Wheeler followed (decked out in holiday argyle) with recognition of the new top-notch Christmas Tree tracking chart.   Donna Lewallen donated for Charlie Griffin Day, a noted his significant volunteer commitment to the community.  Dave Holden followed planting a seed dollar for the Judy Ringer Defense Fund – which fortunately Judy later informed the meeting she would not need.


Jim Rolston of the Exeter Club announced a Texas Hold’em event on December 27, at 6pm and invited all to attend.   For more information go to


General announcements began with Basil reminding all of the sign up forms for Poinsettias were on each table.  He requested that all members indicate on the form the number of flower orders that they wanted, or if none, then to write “I don’t need your stinkin’ flowers.” 


Priscilla MacInnis thanked all who contributed to the Thanksgiving Day dinner efforts.  Portsmouth Hospital, the Flower Kiosk and Infinite Imaging were given special thanks as sponsors of the event.

Jim Rini announced an upcoming Program Meeting, and Dave Underhill reported that tree sales were on track and that a tracking chart would be used to inform all of ongoing sales progress.  TREE SALES NOTE:  The unloading scheduled for Saturday has been moved to Tuesday at 8am.

Finally, President Nancy announced that Rotary was selected as the Grand Marshall of the Portsmouth Holiday Parade and the details associated with that honor.


The meeting program on Rotaplast began with Leonard Seagren leading a group of Rotarians in informing the crowd of the worldwide importance of the Rotaplast effort.

Joan Nickell, of the Seacoast Rotary, provided a review of the history of Rotaplast, which began in 1991 in San Francisco.   The San Fran club had a connection with a town in Chile, and worked to organize sending medical supplies and personnel there to assist the people of that City.  The effort grew and in 1995 Connie Chung ran a story of the Club’s efforts in a CBS new story.   From there, interest grew and Rotoplast was established as a separate charity.   Rotoplast has helped people of all ages in over 20 countries by performing surgery to address primarily cleft lip and palate anomalies, but also a range of oher procedures requiring plastic surgery. 

A short video emphasized the importance of the program and the positive impact these surgeries have on the kids receiving treatment, and their parents.   Unfortunately, in some countries the social stigma attached to these issues renders a child an outcast, so by performing the surgery these children are able to gain a whole new outlook on life.

Dr. Larry Gray, who has been involved in Rotaplast since reading about it in 1990, has been on several missions.  He is an extremely dedicated member of our club and his efforts in assisting those in other countries was recognized and applauded.   He provided insights and stories about the surgeries, the missions, and noted that education and diet may substantially reduce the cleft lip condition.  


Ted Alex reminded all that you need not have medical training to attend a mission.   His role on missions has ranged from sterilizer to mouse catcher to cast saw engineer.  


Joan, Larry, Leonard and Ted all offered details on the Rotaplast program, but it was clear from each that they found the missions and their contributions to the health of others to be an extremely rewarding experience.  


For more information on Rotaplast visit


The meeting closed with Dr. Dick Yeaton winning the $69.00 raffle, but failing to secure the match jackpot of $125.  


A sunny, slightly crisp November day awaited departing Rotarians.