Top of the Week November 11 2019
Top of the Week!
November 11, 2019
Happy Veterans Day! Thank you to all who served our country. 
A Spook-tacular Halloween at the Rotary Meeting!
Operation Warm is a non profit started by a Rotarian in the Philadelphia area about 15 years ago. He had observed children without coats waiting for the school bus in the middle of winter, and decided to buy a few with his own money to hand out.  He then did some research with the school system and learned that many kids, especially in the intercities, don’t even go to school in the winter because they don’t havea coat OR in some cases don’t have a respectablecoat so prefer to be cold, ornot go to school because they are embarrassed. 
This is Portsmouth Rotary’s 10thyear to participate in the Program and now that non-profit in PA has sold & distributed over 3 million coats---in the beginning to Rotary clubs and now other community organizations too. We started with $1,000 in 2009, granted through the Wm Cash Committee and now we are now under the Basic Needs Committee who has advocated regularly for more funding.  This year the Board approved $3,000. A little more than $2,400 has been spent on 120 coats and we will use the additional $600 or so to buy accessories like mittens and gloves, hats, warm socks and maybe some snow pants or boots for the kids.  
We added one more local organization to our recipients partnership this year and that is Seacoast Pathways---the others are Head StartSC Community SchoolFamilies First, Cross RoadsThe Chase HomeSC Family Promiseand Salvation Army. See photo album at the bottom of the ebulletin for more images. 
Portsmouth Holiday Parade
The Portsmouth Holiday parade is on December 7th. Join your Rotary friends and come bring your holiday cheer to the annual parade this year! 
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
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.  Upcoming dates for dinner service at the Salvation Army is November 25.  Volunteers are asked to be at the kitchen at 4:15 to prepare for the dinner service.  If you are interested, contact Sara Treacy.
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 October 31, 2019
Rotary Log for October 31, 2019
Portsmouth Rotary Log—Environmental Disaster Edition.  Today we learned some sobering facts about Portsmouth’s water supply as admirably conveyed to us by our guest speaker, Andrea Amico.  Before that discussion, the preliminaries.  President Leo presided.  Past-President Cleo made an appearance.  So did Past-President Butch Ricci.  And how long has it been since Butch made an appearance?  Let’s just say he gave his $20 bill to pay for the meal and waited for his change.  To his dismay, no change was forthcoming!  Butch, you can remove your red dot now—yeah, it’s a Rotary thing these days.
The words of America the Beautiful thundered through our banquet setting followed by a novel, lyrical invocation by Josiah Babcock.  The club warmly welcomed back Mort Schmidt who had to deal with significant health issues in his absence.  He informed us he was the first patient at Portsmouth Regional Hospital to receive treatment for an aneurism with a newly-introduced surgical technique. Mort, our well wishes have always been with you.  Welcome back! 
Guests and visiting Rotarians next were introduced.  If you were there, you know who they were--maybe.  Yours truly does not know because nobody provided the guest sign-in sheet.  Leo?
The monthly birthday list was up next.  Walter Liff, Joe Cunningham, Rich Ryzman, Deborah Rourke, Betsy Scott and Madeline Warren are on it for October. So are Paris Khavari, Bill Mortimer and Deb Grabowski. Happy Birthday to all! 
 Rotarians celebrating anniversaries as club members, with Leo St. Martin leading the way (48 years of service), include Steve Wood (43), Jon Flagg (29-slouch!) and Deb Anthony (3). Also recognized were Dick Seery (36), Rich Ryzman (5), Charlie Bourdages (23), Keith Eveland (38), Deborah Rourke (12), Justin Gamester (16), James Petersen (16) and David Holden (35). But wait—there’s more! Judy Loto (2), Stan Cross (25), Tom Decker (43) and Ramona Dow (17) are on the list, too, for a total of 391 years of service!
Two new members joined today.  Kaitlin Burke introduced Gina Fulginito.  Gina was born and raised in Miami and lived 11 years in New York City. She has been in Portsmouth for a year and lives downtown with her husband, William O’Malley. Gina has donated her time to Cross Roads House and looks forward to further her charitable acts with our club.
Ian Onla introduced Don Chick.  Don grew up in Rochester and has taught photography in 27 states and the Caribbean. He currently owns a photography business and informed us his grandfather was the 34thpresident of our club way back in ’56-’57.  Welcome Gina and Don to our club!     
On behalf of the Board of Directors, Nancy Notis reminded us about basic etiquette when it comes to cell phone use.  As we are each the face of Rotary, it is expected that we will all put our phones away and not be caught looking at them.  This is especially important during this election season. That’s a time when people from all parts of the country including individuals running for public office attend our meetings.  It is simply a matter of basic courtesy to speakers and our guests. Your compliance is much appreciated.
Up next, Justin Finn began general announcements with a reminder to sign up for the Christmas tree sale at the back of the room. That’s especially true if you wish to stay on the good list.  Betsy Scott reminded us about our Rotary Thanksgiving event and requested that we put up posters to advertise it.  Ann informed us about sign-up sheets on our tables for anyone that wishes to help with the Thanksgiving dinner.  Any help will be appreciated.  Marie Brownell asked for assistance with the 2020 golf tournament.  Lastly, Joanie Dickinson thanked Jean Dougherty, Cleo and others for turning in beverage can tops.
Rich Wallace won the 50/50 raffle for $65 AND won the match!  The rest of us can compete for scraps next week.
On to the main event.  Sara Treacy introduced Andrea Amica, one of the founding members of Testing for Pease. Testing is an organization that advocates blood tests for individuals who may have been exposed to toxic environmental contaminants at Pease International Tradeport. These contaminants are known as PFAS (perfluoroalkyl substances.)
 PFAS’s are a subset of a much larger group of manmade chemical compounds. These compounds exhibit both hydrophobic and oleophobic characteristics (water repellent and oil repellent).  The chemical is a key ingredient in fire-suppression foams and has been used in such foams since at least 1970.  It was used on Pease AFB from 1970 until the base’s closure in 1990.  Unfortunately, the chemical does not break down easily in the environment and is subject to bioaccumulation. It is not metabolized by the human body and accumulates in the tissues due to a very long half-life.
There are no long-term studies about the impact of this family of chemicals on human health. But short-term studies have linked the chemicals to several conditions such as various types of cancers. These afflictions include immune system suppression, elevated cholesterol, kidney malfunction and disease to name a few.  Perhaps most ominously, the chemical can pass the placental barrier into growing fetuses.  Indeed, adverse health effects may prove to be generational, irrespective of personal exposure.
As a mother and wife, Andrea became aware of the chemical and its status as a water contaminant. She knew it was in the three wells that supply water to the Pease community.  To her horror, she learned about the contamination through a newspaper article in 2014.  At the time, her husband had worked on Pease for several years and her two young children attended daycare there as well.
In 2015, she joined forces with two other mothers to form Testing for Pease. Through this grassroots organization, Andrea and company have advocated for blood testing. They seek remediation and elimination of PFAS’s and other related chemical compounds from our drinking water sources.  To date, two of the three functioning wells on Pease have filtering systems in place to remove the chemical.  The current readings have shown a demonstrable reduction of the chemical.  
The organization has received support and funding from local, state and federal governments.  A $20 million federal grant spearheaded by Senator Shaheen is being used to conduct a long-term study via blood testing.  The U.S. Air Force has undertaken significant remediation efforts for all three wells as a direct result of Andrea’s advocacy. 
Testing for Pease continues its advocacy mission. It has coordinated with the CDC, NHDHHS and others to seek lower contamination standards as well as testing on a national level. The prevalence of PFAS’s in the environment remains large on a national and even a global scal. This is due to the pervasive use of the chemical in many consumer products and industries.
Thus, as we pondered our own personal exposures to these toxic chemical brews, it was time to leave. We concluded with a solemn rendition of the 4-Way Test as a collective commitment to better days ahead.  
Until next time. . .. 
Respectfully submitted, Mark Lorusso    
New Members Photos
To see photos of our new members click on the following link:
Nov 14, 2019
Plymouth State University
Nov 21, 2019
Northeast Passage
Nov 28, 2019
Dec 05, 2019
History of the Music Hall
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Upcoming Events
New Members Orientation
Aileen Dugan State Farm Agency
Nov 08, 2019
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Basic Needs Committee Meeting
Infinite Imaging
Nov 13, 2019
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Communications Committee Meeting
Portsmouth Country Club
Nov 14, 2019
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
New Members Orientation
Aileen Dugan State Farm Agency
Nov 18, 2019
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Cash Committee Meeting
Petersen Engineering
Nov 21, 2019
8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Salvation Army Soup Kitchen
Salvation Army
Nov 25, 2019
4:00 PM – 6:15 PM
View entire list
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C. 2019 Rotary Club of Portsmouth, PO Box 905 Portsmouth NH 03801
eBulletin Editor: John Rice