Top of the Week January 16, 2020
Top of the Week!
January 16, 2020
Rotary Club of Portsmouth Christmas Tree Sale 2019   
Merry Christmas Tree Sales!
It is a wrap! Another successful year of Rotarians selling trees. 
Christmas trees remain a central part of Christmas celebrations around the world. Families gather near them to exchange gifts. Cities put them in squares and town halls. In Portsmouth, very often that special tree comes courtesy of Rotarians.
For more than 40-years, Portsmouth Rotarians have been selling Christmas trees. The annual effort has become an integral part of local holiday tradition. Generations of moms, dads, kids and pets have visited and shopped the lot, looking for that elusive perfect tree.  Many folks pose for photos. 
But selling trees is not just another fundraiser for our club. It is an event. Those smiling Rotarians greeting people are also living their own individual traditions.  Year after year, in some cases decade after decade, Rotarians throw themselves into the work.  Many bring spouses, children, and friends to assist. One member’s introduction to Rotary was joining her dad for his tree shifts. He would bring her and her little brother to sing Christmas carols.
Not surprisingly, camaraderie is fostered here and the tree lot becomes a place where lifelong bonds are created. There are multiple shifts to fill; unloading from the massive delivery truck; untying and schlepping trees; restocking; tieing trees to cars; shoveling; cutting trees; sweeping; and keeping a tidy lot. And it’s not just trees we sell anymore. Wreaths (with or without a bow) have been added along with collectable ornaments of beautiful local places. 
From the day after Thanksgiving until the last tree is sold (usually a three-week span,) Rotarians, women and men, work hard through snow, drenching rain and howling winds. It is not glamourous. Volunteers end up exhausted with tired muscles and aching backs. Not to mention cold and soaked, depending on the elements. But more often than not, they leave with a smile.
The modest lot trailer, which provides fleeting shelter, has undergone several face lifts.  For many years, it rocked and rolled in the winter wind. Now it has some stability, heat, lights, electricity, a sharp saw, a credit card machine, sturdy chairs, music and snacks. Maybe a bathroom is next?
You could call the annual Christmas tree sale a don’t-miss annual fun-raiser.  The smiles, the laughs, the handshakes, the hugs keep it alive and thriving. Tall trees, small trees, fat trees, thin trees. Wreaths, ornaments, tree stands and more. The lot has had it all.  Ok, even a few Charlie Brown trees, too.
Everyone can feel good about the Portsmouth Rotary Christmas Tree sale—especially this year. We raised an impressive $45,000, once again making this event our major fundraiser. Of course, all the proceeds are given back to the community, supporting local charities, scholarships and service grants. 
It’s easy to see why this annual holiday event is more than a huge Rotary fundraiser. It’s an iconic part of the Portsmouth holiday tradition. 
Nancy Notis
Check Donation from Interact to the Clipper Family Fund!
Portsmouth High School Interact Club presents Superintendent (and Rotarian) Steve Zadravec and Principal Mary Lyons with a check for $330 (the proceeds are from the winter quilt raffle) to go to the PHS Clipper Family Fund. Family fund monies are used to help PHS students with financial needs pay for a variety of items to include but not limited to dual enrollment courses, AP exams and field trips..
Volunteer for Cross Roads
For a great fellowship experience, please consider volunteering at Cross Roads House:
Slots are generally on Wednesdays and Saturdays with Cooks working 3-5 pm and Servers 5-7 pm.
If you would like to volunteer please text or call Tiffany at 603-380-5872. That way she will know when she has enough volunteers and can coordinate other dates that need to be filled.
Or Volunteer At the Salvation Army
Another great fellowship opportunity. 
Volunteers are asked to be at the kitchen at 4:15 to prepare for the dinner service.  If you are interested, contact Sara Treacy.
Make Peg’s Day!
Dear Fellow Rotarians:
Our dear friend and Portsmouth Rotarian Peg Millar is looking for some Rotarian fellowship during the week.  Since Peg is unable to drive it leaves her feeling a bit lonely and isolated.   A half hour visit can go a long way in putting a smile on Peg’s face.  We have had a small circle of our Rotarian’s visiting Peg and helping with errands but with everyone’s busy schedule it would nice to get a few more folks over to spread a little cheer Peg’s way.  Please reach out to Peg for a visit at 603-501-0910.
Thank you from Rotary Connections Committee
PHA Volunteer Coordination
Mary Kelliher, Volunteer Coordinator at the Portsmouth Housing Authority forwarded the following:
“I'm reaching out regarding a recurring volunteer opportunity that has sprung at two of our resident building. We now hold a coffee hour at our Margeson building on Mondays at 10am and at Feaster on Thursdays at 10am. These are opportunities for residents to get out of their apartments and spend time in a communal space to have a treat together. We'd love to have volunteers sign up for a particular day or recurring days to bring donuts, pastries, and/or fruit (coffee is provided) if anyone would like to do so! This is an easy opportunity to also chat with our resident population, as well. Each building also has a piano, waiting for anyone with a passion for it to play during coffee hour as well!!
Let Mary know if anyone might be interested.
AmeriCorps Seeks Rotary Volunteers 
Mary Kelliher is the Volunteer Coordinator for AmeriCorps working out of Portsmouth Housing's Greenleaf Recreation Center with the Resident Services team which assists low-income residents, senior residents, and residents with disabilities in finding resources for different needs, such as budgeting, financial literacy, transportation, etc. Mary and AmeriCorps is seeking volunteers who would be willing to volunteer. One example of a volunteer opportunity is assisting an older female resident who lives alone in moving heavy furniture (strong people needed!) into and from a UHaul during her planned move from her Feaster apartment to Connor's Cottage. If there are any volunteers intersted in lending a hand please contact Mary at
Sorry We Missed You
If you have a makeup for a missed meeting, please email it to the following link:
Rotary Connections is back!!!
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 Connections, please reach out to the Cathy Nickerson or President Ben.
Rotary Log for January 9, 2020
Rotary Log for January 9, 2020
President Leo had warned us that the Portsmouth Country Club was undergoing renovation. What we didn’t know was that dining tables and chairs had been replaced. The new ones are rectangular in shape and situated in a different floor arrangement. These changes caused some consternation! Your scribe noticed several Rotarians wander about aimlessly while trying to re-connect with their habitual seating chart. Out with the old, in with the new!
Leo opened with the Pledge of Allegiance. Senor Rice led our singing. Guest Lori Waltz-Gagnon delivered the invocation.
Among the guests (and Rotarian hosts) were: Leona Beck (Leonard Seagren), Lori Waltz-Gagnon (Leo), and Judith Salisbury (son-in-law James Petersen).
Jon Flagg and Justin Finn (in absentia) thanked everyone for their hearty support during the Christmas tree sale. The project netted nearly $45,000. Jon recounted down the “Top Ten Lessons Learned” from this year’s sale. True to Jon’s form, each lesson was more hilarious than the prior one. Your scribe’s favorite was Lesson Number Five: “Don’t put the chainsaw’s chain on backwards and expect it to cut wood.” 
Past President Bud Watt passed away last month at the age of 91 years. Past President Mort spoke affectionately about Bud, who was his early Rotarian mentor. Separately, Mort will chair the committee to celebrate the 100thAnniversary of the Portsmouth Rotary Club in 2023.
Voting was held during the meeting to place three past presidents on the Nominating Committee. Elected were Ben Wheeler, Dave Underhill and James Petersen (Chairman). Exhibiting his political adroitness, James promptly announced his policy of having no meetings.
Jessica Parker introduced our newest member, inductee Elizabeth Buss. Elizabeth has been active in several Seacoast service organizations. These include Great Bay Services and Crossroads. She is now eager to participate in Rotary-sponsored projects. Welcome aboard, Elizabeth!
The $71 raffle was won by Bill Simpson. He followed up by winning the $150 match.
 Leo introduced our guest speaker, Jacey Chavez. Jacey’s Rotary involvement began after attending the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program. He joined Rotaract at Portsmouth High School and was awarded a Rotary scholarship upon graduation in 2017. Jacey is president of the UNH Rotaract Club and co-president-elect of the newly forged New Voices Rotary Club.
Jacey prefaced his talk by thanking the club for our past and present support of RYLA and Rotaract programs.
Last year, Jacey and 10 fellow UNH Rotaracts took part in the Rotaract 2019 Puerto Rico Project. Their efforts helped several families rebuild their homes and lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Jacey showed a video depicting the team’s work.
Another Rotaract team shown was from St. Joseph’s College. They performed similar home-rebuilding activities and helped operate a dog sanctuary.
It was a fine display of Rotaract in purposeful action. With young people like Jacey Chavez involved, the future of Rotary is auspicious indeed.
Respectfully Submitted, Richard Greulich
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C. 2020 Rotary Club of Portsmouth, PO Box 905 Portsmouth NH 03801
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