Top of the Week April 14, 2020
Top of the Week!
April 14, 2020
Virtual Meetings Are the New Normal (at least for now)
Please join Rotary's Weekly Fellowship Meeting by ZOOM on your Computer with or without video OR join by mobile or home phone.  
1. Join on Mute and stay on Mute until you need to ask a question.
2.  Stay on MUTE for the National Anthem - except for the person called on to sing (no pressure).
3. Leave all stupid jokes to Leo and Jon - they've proven their adeptness to this task.
4.  Register a VENMO account. The Rotary Fine Master WILL be making an appearance.  No VENMO, No Problem, fines will be doubled for non-VENMO offenders.
5.  Keep the CHAT civilized.  Anything you say is recorded and stored for history... if you wouldn't publish it in a Newspaper, don't publish it in the Chat window.
6.  ENJOY and have FUN.  Rotary is all about Fellowship.  We're rapidly isolating to a point that some among us will need our fellowship for a strong boost of morale.
7. People have embarrassed themselves mightily on Zoom conferences since self-isolation started.  Google search "ZOOM Video mistakes" to learn from the mistakes of others. 
Check your email for the meeting links.
Keep Up to Date on the COVID-19 Pandemic
For up to date information and available resources in New Hampshire visit the State's web page:
Helping Cross Roads House in These Trying Times
Some of the ways you can still help at Crossroads:
• Meal Preparation - Prepare food in your home and drop it off at the shelter. This includes both dinner entrees and bagged lunches. Whether we provide the ingredients and pans, or you do, this will help us to continue serving residents three meals a day when volunteers are unable to come into the shelter. Please contact our volunteer coordinator, Kristina Siegenthaler, at,  or 603.436.2218 ext. 107, for more information.
• Donations of Food and Supplies - Donations of food items and supplies from our “Wish List” are greatly appreciated at this time. You can view our “Wish List” online at Donations can be dropped off at the shelter at any time, or you can shop our Wish List ( from the comfort of your home and have items delivered to the shelter.
• Monetary Support - Our annual “Benefit by the Sea” fundraiser has been posted to August 29, 2020. This event provides funding for nearly 30% of our shelter operating budget. Now more than ever we need your help to ensure we can continue serving some of our most vulnerable neighbors. If you are able, click the link below to make a donation today. The gift you give today will make a tremendous difference for the families and individuals who rely on Cross Roads House to make it through this difficult period.
Rotary Dinner Service the Salvation Army
At this time, dinner service at the Salvation Army is ongoing as takeout only, but someone needs to prep and package the food!  Rotary dinner services at the Salvation Army is a great way to support the community and enjoy some fellowship outside of our regular meetings.
If you want get in on the fun (while maintaining appropriate social distancing), contact Sara Treacy at 603-661-8588.
Volunteers are asked to be at the kitchen at 4:15 to prepare for the dinner service.
She has moved away but you can still Make Peg’s Day!
Dear Fellow Rotarians:
Especially in these challenging times, it is time to up our communications game.
Our dear Peg Millar has moved (at least temporarily) to be closer to her son, but would still like to keep in touch with all of her Rotary friends.  Peg would love to receive cards or other correspondence.  Her address is:  Peg Millar, Harbor Chase, 4150 Indian River Blvd Vero Beach, FL 32967.
Thank you from Rotary Connections Committee
Rotary Connections is back!!!
Now more than ever Rotary Connections let’s our members know that their Rotary club is thinking of them.  Members facing a health issue, death in the family or a life celebration, we are here!  
If you know of any of our members who may need a Rotary Connection, please reach out to the Cathy Nickerson.
Rotary Log for April 9, 2020
Rotary Log for April 9, 2020
We are three weeks into our Zoom meetings and it seems like a virtual Thursday luncheon. Albeit without good food. Arrive 10 minutes before and our Greeter-at-Large President Leo is there with other early arrivals. Members lightly banter as they enter the room, err’ Zoom, sharing mostly good-natured stories of hunkering down.
I’ve been around 30 years as a Portsmouth Rotarian. There have been many times when our leader has had to step up to an unanticipated or unwelcome challenge. Typically, they are “First-World” problems. President Leo has faced an unprecedented crisis of Biblical proportions. What? No Rotary? He has risen to the task of keeping our wonderful club going with great energy and compassion. Thank you, Leo!
Of course, this effort has taken technological know-how. For that, Craig Taylor has earned well-deserved praise, helping the Luddites among us meet tech challenges. Thank you, Craig! (Keep your eye out to a Zoom training by Craig for all interested Rotarians. Wonder if he will use Zoom?)
12:15 PM: The meeting
Forty-three of us were logged on as the Prez hit the gong. Fifty-three were there at meeting’s end. Among us were several Interactors, their presence delayed a week. That in deference to the unpredictable Joke Show and the irreverent (emotionally unstable?) Jimmy Jones.
Leo led the Pledge, while the 43 did an admirable lip synch. Judy sang some seldom-heard verses of America the Beautiful. Her voice is lovely, too! John Rice’s invocation was a testimony to health care workers and service employees courageously doing their jobs on the front lines.
Marie has secured a new date for the annual Golf Tournament: October 16, same time and venue.
Our Salvation Army food service is still in play but in a different way, according to Sara Treacy. Three Rotarians are needed to pick up food at the Edgewood Center, package it in boxes and drop off at the Salvation Army. No cooking or serving for the time being.
The BOD suspended William M. Cash and Basic Needs donations until essential needs are more readily apparent. Such was the case when Jessica Parker, Basic Needs Chair, subsequently presented the Board with a request from Gather. The Board voted unanimously to give $2500 dollars to the Meals for Kids program, forced by circumstances to start 11 weeks early. Executive Director Deb Anthony thanked us on behalf of 135 eligible children who will enjoy healthy meals for the next 20 weeks. It wakes us up to the importance of what the club does to enable donations, so common in normal times, does it not?
New Portsmouth City Manager Karen Conard encouraged members to sign up for daily Covid19 updates at She disclosed that our children have not been forgotten this Easter. A firetruck will escort a special furry, long-eared celebrity on a tour of every neighborhood Saturday from 11 to 1.  Isn’t Portsmouth a great town to bring up children? Perhaps their numbers will tick up in late fall…
Steve Wood and Rick Wallis were recognized for establishing a club Venmo account. Leo suggested this will be a way to keep up our charitable giving at a time of great need. Stay tuned for more information on that.
Finally, it is always a happy occasion to bring a new member into the club. Perhaps, fifty years from now a future Jon Flagg will reminisce in a Portsmouth Rotary Club Historical Minute about today’s induction of John Sullivan. John, brought aboard by Lexi, gave the Club’s first virtual acceptance speech. A warm Rotary welcome, John!
Rotary Historical Minute and assorted streams of conscience
Jon looked back at another tough time in history- the Great Depression. On March 27, 1930, the Mississauga Rotary Club of New Ontario, Canada, met the challenge. The club assisted children with polio as well as folks who were unemployed. They distributed food and milk and created a playground called Rotary Park. Rotarians stood on street corners selling raffle tickets a 25 cents each/five for a dollar. Service Above Self.
Jon segued right into a pitch for a new idea he calls Clever Quarantine. He  wants to hear what you are doing while hunkering down at home. He will share your stories during our weekly meetings. Anything to commandeer the microphone for our President-elect. Ha!
Leo chimed in to announce another idea for coping with our new, and hopefully temporary, way of life. You will be receiving an invitation to Quarantine and Coffee, a Zoom “chat fest” on Mondays at 9AM. It’s a unique, free-flowing, non- judgmental form of Club fellowship. Seems like a terrific option for people feeling the effects of isolation.
The Speaker
Program Chair James introduced the guest speaker Megan Marini, a consultant with Cornerstone Group. Ms. Marini has worked with companies large and small to unlock employee potential. She is a graduate of Naropa University, a school in the Buddhist tradition. This sensibility was evident in a timely presentation: Steady Leadership through Crisis.
Although too extensive to do justice in this Weekly Log, she will make the PowerPoint available to us. According to Megan, there are three requirements of a strong leader in time of crisis. They are Self-Awareness, Improved Communication and Maintenance of Culture Remotely.
On Self-Awareness, Megan quoted a Zen proverb, “If your compassion doesn’t include yourself, it is incomplete.” She presented a methodology for discovering strengths and weakness as a leader. It uses a tool which places leaders on a scale for traits of Dominance, Extraversion, Patience and Formality.
Communication with clarity and professional empathy is the second critical trait of effective leaders. Megan addressed the need to share the feelings of others by asking employees, “How are you coping?” Attending to what your employees are experiencing builds trust and helps to align values. She further advises employers to ask what their people need to get their jobs done. In these stressful times, she cautions about overworking employees who have family obligations as well attending to their own well-being.
Finally, she discussed Maintenance of Culture.  Now is the time for listening and engagement, Megan says. Build team cohesion remotely, perhaps by playing a group game or sharing pictures. This a time to help employees keep their career path going with coaching and the use of remote tools such as
Ms. Marini ended with a brief exercise. She asked members to offer single words (through the chat function) describing their biggest challenge. The results aptly captured our shared experiences and feelings at this difficult time. Perhaps it reminds us how lucky we are to have our Rotary friends and a common purpose in service for others.
For more information regarding this topic, the presenter has shared this link:
The President’s finale
Before the prompt to “Leave Meeting, “Leo asked that we contact members who may appreciate connection to the Club. As an example, he will contact two Rotarians each week, mentioning Ellen and Walter as his calls this day. The Four-Way Test and ring of the “bell” brought another successful meeting to a close. If you haven’t yet, please join us next week!
Respectfully submitted, Neal Ouellett
Photos by Don Chick
New Members Photos
To see photos of our new members click on the following link:
Apr 16, 2020
Crossroads House
Apr 23, 2020
View entire list
Upcoming Events
New Members Orientation
Aileen Dugan State Farm Agency
Apr 23, 2020
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Salvation Army Soup Kitchen
Salvation Army
Apr 29, 2020
4:00 PM – 6:15 PM
New Members Orientation
Aileen Dugan State Farm Agency
May 08, 2020
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Basic Needs Committee Meeting
Infinite Imaging
May 13, 2020 8:00 AM -
Jun 03, 2021 9:00 AM
Communications Committee Meeting
Portsmouth Country Club
May 14, 2020
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
New Members Orientation
Aileen Dugan State Farm Agency
May 21, 2020
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
View entire list
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Russell Hampton
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C. 2020 Rotary Club of Portsmouth, PO Box 905 Portsmouth NH 03801
eBulletin Editor: John Rice