Top of the Week December 15, 2019
Top of the Week!
December 15, 2019
Wrap A Smile Is Looking for Quilts
Comfort quilts, created by quilters from all 50 states and several foreign countries, are gathered in Maine and then packaged to ship with medical missions.
Boothbay Harbor Rotarian Dr. Ann Demeranville currently manages the project from Rotary District 7780 in Maine.  Wrap-A-Smile was started by Terry Hodskins of the Wells Maine Rotary Club and to date over 24,700 hand-made cotton quilts have been shared around the world. 
Click the link below to see the sizes they are looking for.
Portsmouth Interact Activities Abound
Last week we told you about the Halloween canned goods drive put on by the Interact Club.
So, you may ask, what other activities does the Portsmouth Interact Club get involved in?  Glad you asked…
Soup kitchens - Once a month, about four members of the Interact Club and two members of its executive board volunteer at a soup kitchen at the Salvation Army site downtown. Duties include preparing meals, serving the food, and clean-up afterwards. Each member of Interact is required to participate at a soup kitchen at least once a year.
Christmas stockings - Around Christmas time, Interact donates stockings filled with small gifts to the Chase Home for Children and the Cross Roads House. Members of the club are given a list of the ages and genders of the people they can fill a stocking for, and many members end up choosing to do multiple stockings. This is known as a fun event and about everyone in the club participates.
Christmas tree unloading - Every year, Interact Club assists Rotary with unloading the Christmas trees for the annual Christmas tree sales. Interact members are required to participate and if they are unable to attend the unloading, they must help out with the sales.
Bell ringing - Interact members participate in bell ringing for the Salvation Army for a day each year.
Quilt raffle - This year, the club raffled off a quilt at the craft fair held at Portsmouth High School in December. The quilt was made by a teacher at the school and the proceeds from the raffle were donated to hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.
Haven fundraiser - Interact helped out Haven, a domestic violence service and shelter, by donating gift cards to the shelter and setting up a table during lunch where students can donate money. A woman from Haven also came to a club meeting to talk about the organization.
Friday night dances - During this winter and spring, club member attended dances that were held at the Greenleaf Center every other Friday for people with disabilities. Besides dancing, there was also board games and basketball. This was known to be a fun event.
Chess - One Saturday a month, members of Interact volunteer at the Portsmouth Public Library to play or teach chess to the people there.
Beach Cleanup - Interact hosts a beach cleanup at Wallis Sands yearly, typically in May. Rotary members also help out. Duties at the beach cleanup include removing weeds, picking up trash and driftwood, and removing sand from the walkways.
These future leaders in our communities deserve a great big Rotary THANK YOU!  Keep up the good works.
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.
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 December 5th, 2019
Rotary Log for December 5, 2019
There was a great turnout for this meeting as the speaker was Democratic presidential candidate, Tulsi Gabbard.  In Leo’s absence, President-Elect, Jon, opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance. 
Trish Cummings then came to the podium to explain a special tribute.  Apparently, before he died on Thanksgiving Day, Rotarian Bill Mortimer had requested Auld Lang Syne be sung at the meeting.  John Rice led the singing of this traditional Scottish song of farewell, which was followed by a moment of silence. The invocation was pronounced by Mark Lorusso.
Several guests were introduced, followed by general announcements.  Joann Neumann and Kenneth Murphy are on 7-DayNotice… Jon pointed out baskets on the tables for tips for the Portsmouth Country Club luncheon staff… Christmas tree sales are on track, despite the heavy snowfall last Monday and Tuesday.
Trish read a heartfelt thank-you note from a community member who had attended the Rotary Thanksgiving luncheon. Trish also brought along a colorful bag which Bill Mortimer had prepared before his death.  It contained one each of every Christmas tree ornament that Portsmouth Rotary has ever produced.  Bill asked that they be auctioned, and the proceeds donated to Rotary.  That will happen at the next meeting.
Betsy Scott reported on the Thanksgiving luncheon, which was attended by about 90-100 people.  In addition, 190 meals were delivered to the community.  She and co-chair Ann Bliss thanked all the businesses that helped. The list is long. Portsmouth Hospital donated 28 turkeys and the Greek Orthodox Church donated its parish hall.  Hilltop Chevrolet, Me & Ollies, the Flower Kiosk, Scamman Farm, Ohana Kitchen all contributed. Others helping were Greenland Central School and Portsmouth Country Club.
Sara Treacy announced that Salvation Army dinners were over for 2019 and that she would be scheduling 2020 soon.  Also, she asked for one more volunteer to take photographs at Rotary meetings.  New member Don Chick immediately raised his hand.
James Petersen confessed that J. Dennis Robinson had originally been scheduled to speak.  His presentation has been moved to February.  However, his new book “The Music Hall, How A City Built a Theater and a Theater Shaped a City” is offered for sale at $35.  Mr. Robinson will generously donate $10 from every sale to Portsmouth Rotary.
Susan Gold announced that the Communications Committee would meet again in January…Steve Wood appealed for the donation of an old but usable iPad for Rotary’s use at the Christmas tree sales.
Joanie Dickinson praised the 17 Interact students from Portsmouth High School who helped unload Christmas trees.  She needs volunteers to stuff stockings for Crossroads House and the Chase Home.  She is also selling raffle tickets for a beautiful handmade “Snowman” quilt stitched by a Portsmouth High School teacher.  Additionally, she asked members to support UNH’s Rotaract students in their Chipotle fundraising.
Fine Master Neal Ouellett was greeted with the usual ‘boos’ as he leveled the first fines of the winter at certain members.  He dinged those who have already made plans to go skiing or escape to warmer climes!  He asked for a show of hands of all those who had benefited from the stewardship of retiring Portsmouth City Manager, John Bohenko.  When many shot up, he fined them all.  He then asked everyone to give John a standing ovation!
Dave Underhill spoke as co-chair of the Portsmouth Rotary Recovery Committee. He explained that Portsmouth Rotary has joined six other New Hampshire clubs in our district to launch community education forums. These gatherings will discuss the tough issues surrounding substance misuse and the opioid crisis.  
The Portsmouth Community Coordinated Response Steering Committee has partnered with the City of Portsmouth. The committee, which includes our own Moe Sullivan, has come up with five high-priority recommendations. 
Number One is to launch community education and training in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma-informed care. The curriculum includes professional training, community awareness building and school populations.
Rotary will partner in presenting a “Master Trainer Program” this spring. Thirty residents of the Seacoast and Southern Maine will be trained, and they, in turn, will train 30 more each That’s nearly 1,000 people educated on how to lead this community response to trauma and substance issues that come with it.
Dave thanked the Board of Directors for approving $10,000 to underwrite the training and materials in partnership with the Pinetree Institute.  Half of this money has come from a William Cash Committee grant. The board is working to fund the other half.  
With the partnership of other area Rotary Clubs, the goal is to raise $30,000 in Rotary dollars this year.  Portsmouth Rotary’s commitment is the anchor to get that effort launched. All our District Rotary Clubs will be part of the community education solution. They will be building on the solid successes this program has reported in Michigan, Washington and Virginia.
Heath Wilson was inducted into the Club after a short introduction from his sponsor, Nicole Scarneo. 
John Lyons won the 50/50 raffle but, sadly, did not have the matching number to win the extra cash!
Jon next introduced our speaker, Congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii.)  Elected to Congress in 2012, Ms. Gabbard has served on the Foreign Affairs, Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees.  She is a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard and has been deployed twice to the Middle East.
Tulsa greeted everyone with “Aloha” and praised the work of Rotarians. She especially likes the way Rotarians step in to crisis situations when governments are not moving fast enough.  She emphasized that her own overriding goal is to be of service to others. She wants to be the leader of everyone, regardless of party or background.  
Tulsa recounted her arrival in Congress when she was warned that, as a freshman, she wouldn’t be able to get bills or amendments passed.  Important issues were the province of more senior members of Congress.  In order to start building relationships, she turned to the universal appeal of food. She asked her mother back in Hawaii to prepare 434 boxes of macadamia toffee. 
She sent a box of toffee to every member of congress and their staffers, including a hand-written note.  As a result, she was approached and thanked by many members of Congress, including committee chairmen.  Her message was “Let us serve together.” She again emphasized the need to respect everyone and to serve the people and the country above everything else.  
In response to a question regarding NATO, she said that, as President, she would look at funding and ongoing relations with other members.  As a member of the Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees, she was familiar with these issues.  She is committed to ending regime-changing wars and would redirect dollars to domestic needs such as infrastructure and education.
She finds Hillary Clinton’s recent accusation that she is a Russian spy offensive and irresponsible.  Tulsa says the 9/11 attacks motivated her to join the armed forces.  She thinks Clinton’s remarks were perhaps an attempt to silence people like her who challenged the foreign relations policies of former regimes.  Clinton played an important role in the foreign policy of the Obama administration.
One Rotarian suggested that, if she wasn’t chosen as the Democratic candidate, that she run for Speaker of the House.  Gabbard replied  that she is not running again for her congressional seat.
Regarding gun control, Tulsi would uphold the Second Amendment, but feels that sensible gun safety legislation must be passed.  All agree that we want our kids to be safe in school, she maintains. We have a right to be safe in church or at the grocery store.  The goal should be to get to the root cause of violence.
Tulsi acknowledges that Climate Change is a very polarizing issue. Growing up in Hawaii, surrounded by natural beauty, it’s normal to be concerned about the environment.  When confronted by a man in Iowa about her climate views, she responded simply. She explained that everyone has a right to clean water and clean air.  The man saw her point and added that, as a farmer, he was also concerned about soil conservation so that he could grow the best crops.  
Jon thanked Congresswoman Gabbard for visiting Portsmouth Rotary.  The meeting ended with all joining in the 4-Way Test.
Respectfully submitted, Francoise Meissner  
New Members Photos
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Dec 19, 2019
Candidate for US President
Dec 26, 2019
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Upcoming Events
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
New Members Orientation
Aileen Dugan State Farm Agency
Dec 03, 2019
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Basic Needs Committee Meeting
Infinite Imaging
Dec 11, 2019
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Communications Committee Meeting
Portsmouth Country Club
Dec 12, 2019
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
New Members Orientation
Aileen Dugan State Farm Agency
Dec 16, 2019
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
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