Top of the Week March 18 2020
Top of the Week!
March 18, 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. 
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 446 438 035
One tap mobile: +16465588656,,446438035# US (New York)  
Portsmouth 100 Ramping Up
Less than three years to our club’s 100th Anniversary and the Committee is ramping up.  Click the link below for more information about this exciting event.
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:
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
Sorry We Missed You
If you have a makeup for a missed meeting, please email it to the following link:
The makeup policy has changed recently, so you can use makeups beyond the former two week limit.
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 Teams Up with Toastmasters
Anyone looking to hone their speaking skills should check out the link below to see how Rotary and Toastmasters is teaming up to foster the next generation of leaders.
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
District Corner
District 7780 Corona Virus, March 14, 2020 Update
Today’s news is all about…
Currently, we are still planning on holding our 2020 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program at Camp Hinds in Raymond, Maine. If we can pull this off, this will be our 30th annual RYLA program!
For our campers, RYLA begins on Sunday morning June 28th and runs to Wednesday, July 1st. This will be a week later than usual; it’s about four months away.
Of course, we will all be monitoring the Covid-19 Coronavirus situation. If or when holding this event appears to be untenable, we will promptly let you know.
In the meantime, clubs should continue to find, interview, and select student participants.
This highly lauded program is designed to enhance self confidence, communication skills, and leadership skills in the next generation of innovative leaders. It is for students who have completed their sophomore year of high school.
As you interview and select your potential campers, please be aware of the current need for social distancing.  Clubs may need to adjust to using methods other than face to face or group meetings - but that is a club decision. 
When you notify your student campers that they have been selected to attend RYLA, please advise them that they will soon receive a welcome package from RYLA via email. The welcome package will include the medical forms and other paperwork that is required to attend.
Then, (important step) register your selected students at the RYLA portal (
Kindly note that our RYLA staff does not find, interview, and accept students; you (clubs) do that!
Fyi, if you need assistance with raising the level of enthusiasm in your school(s) re RYLA, highly motivated RYLA alumni guest speakers are available.
Please keep your RYLA attendee selections’ registration information readily available, in case you need to notify them re any postponement or cancellation. The RYLA team and your District Governor Team will keep you (your club) posted.
Currently, Camp Hinds and our RYLA team have the infrastructure to accommodate up to 144 campers. Demand usually exceeds availability.
We will keep registration open until we have a full camp, however, the sooner you are able to register your students the better chance they have of being in the 140. Please push to have your campers identified and registered by mid-April, if possible.
District 7780 Corona Virus Update as of March 12, 2020
Key points:
  • Our New Generations (Interact) Conference is POSTPONED until fall (was scheduled for Saturday, March 21st)
  • Current feedback to me is that most clubs are cancelling public events.
  • Current feedback to me is that some clubs are cancelling club meetings.
Hello fellow Rotarians.
If you missed my email to you titled "District 7780 Coronavirus Update as of March 11, 2020" sent to you yesterday (Wednesday) at 5:00 AM, please locate it and read it.
This is an outstanding opportunity for us as Rotarians to reach out and be supportive of our neighbors and of our communities. Many of our extended community family, particularly those who are elderly and those with immunity issues or otherwise vulnerable, may find themselves isolated, alone, and perhaps frightened. Please do your best to assist as many others in need as you can.
Thank you very much,
for your concern, and for all you do!
Rotary Log for March 19, 2020
Rotary Log for March 19, 2020
Log for March 19, 2020, the abbreviated Zoom Coronavirus edition.  Many of us ignored the viral onslaught and braved attending our meeting using the electronic highway.  Flagg led us in song--some even sang the national anthem—with their camera video and audio feeds on.  You had to be there.  Rice gave the invocation. 
President Leo presided in what looked to be a remarkably familiar location.  Jon was there too—at least the top half of him—and for that we give thanks.  Yeah, Jon, you kind of looked fat on camera.
 It was a scene right out of Dr. Strangelove.  I wonder if they paid the full $20?  Who collected it?  What did they do with it?  What did you guys have for lunch?  Who won the raffle?  Questions for another meeting at a time and place far, far away.
Moving right along to announcements, Lindsey Hery reminded us about connecting on the club’s Facebook page.  For those who do not have Facebook accounts, you are forgiven.  Leo explained that committee meetings will happen online—no problem.  Sara Treacy says the Soup Kitchen will be take-out only until further notice.  She has a full slate of volunteers so thank you.
Up next, Flagg gave us his Rotary history moment.  The year was 1932.  The Great Depression was in full force and Rotary was there to take it on.  The 6th object of Rotary is to do away with war and sow friendly business and social relationships between citizens of the various nations.  Who said this?  It was Howard W. Selby. 
The message rings as true today as it did then.  I guess it is batten down the hatches and “give ’m Hell Harry!”  Yes, all you historians, the latter was said in 1948 and not ’32, but the sentiment was the same and remains the same now.
Onto the main event.  Jessica Parker from Cross Roads House gave us an update on their efforts to help those in need in these trying times.  The current count is 115 residents of which 21 are children.  The Crossroads main priority is the health and safety of their staff and residents. 
Meals are a logistical problem at Crossroads House. The preference is to have prepared food brought to campus.  Those that wish to assist with this can pick up ingredients from the in-house chef.  Non-perishables are also welcome and in much need.  Donations can be made also via their Amazon wish list.  Any items purchased are delivered directly to Crossroads.
And of course, any monetary donations will be most welcome.  Thirty percent of Cross Roads’ annual budget is derived from their annual Benefit by the Sea charity event.  Due to the pandemic, the event has been postponed indefinitely so any donations at this time will fill a critical need.  If you should have any questions, please visit
Next up was Portsmouth’s City Manager and newly minted Rotarian, Karen Conard.  Although not open to the general public, City Hall is up and running for all essential services.  There are daily meetings at 9:30 am to stay abreast of the latest developments. 
Turning to the pandemic, as of March 19, Karen says there are 39 reported cases in New Hampshire.  The virus is now extending its reach via community spread.  Members of the private sector, such as Operation Blessing, are still providing essential services.  Portsmouth is publishing a daily newsletter via email.  For those that wish to receive the emails, please go to and sign up.
The Public Library is currently closed.  There was a surge of books taken out the last day it was open.  In a typical day, about 600 books are signed out.  On the last open day, 6,000 were taken out.  All Public Library online services remain in effect.
Other odds and ends. The Portsmouth school system is serving free breakfast and lunch to all students.  Meals can be picked up at door 18 at the high school between 7:30 am and 12 noon…Curbside marriage licenses are available—no shotgun needed.  …Yard waste pickup will resume early—after all, it really is spring out there…  And the city’s hotline remains operational…. For any issues, please visit
On to questions.  The first one was when should one go to the hospital if you believe you may have contracted the virus.  The answer—not as a first resort.  Everyone should consult with their primary care physician via phone to screen whether further intervention is needed.  As a community-based response, those of us who are young and healthy should check in with neighbors, especially the elderly to ascertain whether any help is needed, e.g., run errands to obtain food, prescriptions, etc. 
In other news, Market Basket has established early morning hours, 5:30 to 7:00 am, to allow those over 60 to shop before everyone else.
Lastly, Fine-master Neal issued some fines.  Flagg was debited $5 dollars for his alleged mode of undress.  Dave Underhill paid $2 dollars for suggesting the National Anthem sounded better on mute.  He wasn’t the only one who thought that—you know who you are.  And Trish Cummings got wacked for $2 dollars for not muting her microphone.
Well, that’s a wrap for our first ever virtual meeting.  Until next time.
Respectfully submitted, Mark Lorusso.  
Photos by Francoise Meissner  
New Members Photos
To see photos of our new members click on the following link:
Mar 26, 2020
Polio Plus
Apr 02, 2020
Joke Day!
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Upcoming Events
New Members Orientation
Aileen Dugan State Farm Agency
Mar 26, 2020
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
New Members Orientation
Aileen Dugan State Farm Agency
Apr 07, 2020
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Basic Needs Committee Meeting
Infinite Imaging
Apr 08, 2020 8:00 AM –
Apr 29, 2021 9:00 AM
Communications Committee Meeting
Portsmouth Country Club
Apr 09, 2020
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
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
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Virtual Rotary Meeting 03-19-2020
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