Portsmouth Rotary Special Meeting Notes
Virtual Meeting This Week
President Jon and his Minions continue to work on making live meetings happen, but we will need to meet virtually again this week.  In the interim...
We may be socially distancing, but that doesn't mean we can't be social.  Join the live meeting and enjoy some much needed fellowship.
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Password: 092666
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(Try logging on early (at 12:00) so if you do have trouble you can contact our very own IT guru Craig Taylor for assistance at 603 793-1382,
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 Jon and Justin - 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.
Top of the Week October 27, 2020
Top of the Week!
Making a Difference A World Away
Bob Herold forward the following report and pictures.
In 2015 the Portsmouth RC was the International partner on a Rotary Global Grant that brought 13 Ugandans to the Seacoast to participate in leadership and conflict resolution training through a program administered by Friends Forever. One of the participants, Abraham (the young man who gave a moving speech to the club of fulfilling a dream of visiting the U.S. and flying "above the clouds"), after returning to Uganda, started his own NGO, Peace Works Initiative (PWI). He is helping to train young women a vocation, seamstress, to make it possible for them to provide for their families and our club just supported the organization by buying equipment to help. Our club used money from our Uganda Project line item in the budget which is money raised previously for projects in Uganda around the time of this grant. He also continues to work with the organization that provided the participants for our GG., now called Kuza. This organization continued to support street kids, many just left at their doorstep. Two of the participants in the GG continue to live at the organization's base (which is seen in the pictures with many of the children). The one characteristic used by this organization to bring the children together is to teach them music and traditional tribal dances. As the children progress, they are then able to perform at weddings and other events that makes it possible to sustain and take care of the children. I have kept in touch with all of these individuals since their training here. Recently, they explained to me that due to the virus they have been locked down and have had no means to provide the basics of food, water, and other basic necessities for the children and things have become dire. There are no social services in Uganda. Through PWI, our club from the same Uganda Project line item, sent $1200. This money will provide the basic needs of the children for an entire year! Please take a look at the pictures and the thank you they have sent. Rotary and our club does great work around the world.
Thanks Bob for all that you do.
And thank you Portsmouth Rotarians for the difference YOU make.
Virtual Fundraising
An article by PDG Marty Helman is now on the home page of the District web site, and seems worthy of sharing widely within our club.  We’ve been exploring different ways to manage virtual fundraising and there are some examples here.  
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:
The City of Portsmouth's website is also a great source for local COVID-19 information.
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
Yes, even in these trying times, Rotary continues to serve...
Dinner, that is, at the Salvation Army's food truck.
Rotary participation is being limited to two people per service.  
If you would like to participate please contact Sara Treacy at 603-661-8588.
New Scholarship Fund Honoring Dr. Clayburgh
Nancy Clayburgh whose husband Jim passed away on Friday, May 1st  would like to establish a Rotary scholarship fund in his name.
Dr. James B Clayburgh Scholarship Fund. Anyone wishing to support this fund may do so by mailing contribution to Rotary Club of Portsmouth, PO Box 905, Portsmouth NH 03802-0905.
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.
Project: Volunteer Surge
Looking to help out in these trying times but don’t know how or where?  Check out this opportunity from the Global Impact Group.
Rotarians and their supporters have the opportunity to lead recruitment of the first one million citizens to participate in Volunteer Surge. Together, we can reduce suffering and save lives.
Rotary Log for October 22, 2020
Rotary Log for October 22, 2020
There is something to be said about calm.  In these trying times, it is not a metaphor for something better, it is simply a way forward.  Today’s meeting was about a way forward. 
But first, the reality.  Self-proclaimed Pandemic President Flagg presided and began the meeting precisely on time. 
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Al Lantinen led us in God Bless America.  Rice gave the invocation which included a prayer for the safe return of Chris Cassidy.
Janice Cassidy informed us the Christmas tree ornaments are ready.  This year’s ornament features Gilley’s.  That led to an impromptu fine--$20 for anyone whose child returned from outer space.  Hmmm, I wonder who they could be?
We had one visiting guest, Billy Rothney from Bangor Savings Bank.  Hello Billy from the Club.
Marie Brownell summarized the golf outing which raised $23k net.  Included in this amount are donations from Rotarians who did not participate.  Thank you to all the donors!
All went well despite the intermittent rain.  Team Wheeler won the Cup.  Team Flagg proudly finished dead last—typical of any presidential team playing by the rules.
The monies raised are being used primarily for the Basic Needs initiative.  The Community Toolbox, One Sky, Seacoast Community Lunch, Seacoast Community School and the Share Fund among others will receive some the proceeds.  If next year’s traditional June date holds, Flagg will be the first Portsmouth Rotary Club president to hold two golf tournaments.  Who would expect less from the self-proclaimed greatest presidency in the history of our Club?
Next up, our history moment concerned a truly momentous occasion for all clubs in the Rotary International family.  World Polio Day was held October 24.  Rotary’s involvement began all the way back in 1979 when the first immunization project was started.  Polio Plus officially began in 1985.  $120 million was raised that year.
In 1988, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was instituted in 125 countries.  By 1994, the Americas were certified polio-free.  Remarkably, in 1995, one hundred sixty-five million children were immunized in China and India in a single week.  By 2009, eight hundred million children had been immunized.  India was certified polio-free in 2014.
All told, more than three billion children have been immunized under the program.  The only remaining cases of polio are in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  There are 85 confirmed cases left in the world.  The end is in sight!
Towards that finale, Dave Underhill came up with the idea of donating our $20 lunch money to Polio Plus.  Flagg wants to up the ante to $20.20, thus making something positive come out of 2020.  Quite a commendable gesture as we all thought his presidency was the one positive development of 2020. 
All kidding aside, if every member donates $20.20, with matching grants, etc., the total contribution will be raised to $13,500.  As our illustrious President likes to say, “shoot that lock off your pocket and ante up!”  Can there possibly be a better way to spend $20 and get that much benefit?  Not likely.  Please donate.
Moving right along to announcements, Betsy Scott reminded us about this year’s modified Thanksgiving event.  Portsmouth Regional Hospital has once again generously donated all the food, including 65 Turkey breasts and pies.  Eileen Duggan generously volunteered Flagg and son to make deliveries.  Murphy is joining the Thanksgiving team.
Thirty volunteers are needed to package the meals and to deliver them.  Please sign up.
Through Priscilla Macinnis, the First Seacoast Bank is sponsoring this year’s Thanksgiving Dinner.  Thank you, Priscilla and First Seacoast Bank!
Turning to the main event, Karen Conard introduced the speaker, our own Steve Zadravec, Superintendent of Schools.  Described as being perpetually calm and Zen-like, Steve has led our school system through the chaos of our COVID world.
With his calm hand on the rudder, Steve has captained over the legions of Portsmouth’s school administrators, teachers and school staff. His leadership has helped to provide the best free appropriate public education possible.  From preschool through high school, Steve’s administration has developed a hybrid plan to provide both remote and in-school learning.
Remarkably, as of our meeting, not a single teacher or student has tested positive for COVID.  The $100,000 spent on PPE, tents and other essential items has made this possible.  The protocols put in place after much deliberation over the spring and summer have made it possible for our students to continue their learning journeys with the least amount of interruption.
Sports and after school clubs continue unabated.  Through a system of prioritization, students attend in-school classes anywhere from one to four days a week.  The efforts of our school district have not gone unnoticed, as the district is currently ranked second in New Hampshire. New Franklin School has received a national blue-ribbon award for outstanding academic achievement.
The Portsmouth School Department has created a set of goals to guide it through this process.  Equity, Opportunity, Community and Student Wellness are the goals.  These standards provide a way to measure progress, particularly with respect to the neediest and most vulnerable members of the population.  Typically, children from lower socioeconomic families have a higher dropout rate and do not participate in AP-level courses. This same demographic rarely enters early college experiences and international student-exchange programs.
Regarding the Equity goal, one component is the Futures Program founded by our late club member, Joe Sawtelle.  It began with a child doing yardwork for Joe.  When Joe asked the child about college, the child said he was not going.  Astounded, Joe inquired of the child’s parents and was told there was no money for college.  Joe did something about this and the Futures Program was born.  The endowment funds post-secondary education opportunities for children in financial need.
An outgrowth of this is the Opportunity Fund that provides funds for children in need while in the school system.  This money is used to support participation in school-sponsored activities.  An example is maple-tree tapping events coordinated between students at the Lister Academy and third-grade students.
As Steve tells it, life was moving along swimmingly and then March 13, 2020 hit—another one of those days that will live in infamy.  By March 16, Governor Sununu issued his order to close all schools—wise move.  Virtually overnight, the school system went completely virtual.  Zoom became a colloquial term for schools in session.
Knowing certain hardships would result from this sudden shutdown, the school system prioritized and addressed certain basic needs.  Even with the complete shutdown, school meals were still offered to all students all spring and summer.
A reopening task force was assembled in the spring and worked through the summer to devise a reopening plan.  The plan consists of four phases ranging from complete remote to fully open and hybrid combinations in between.  The plan is designed to be adaptable to the current circumstances.
Ultimately, a hybrid model was adopted that varied depending upon the grade level.  Remote staff meetings, staggered arrival times, outdoor space utilization, masks and social distancing are a part of this. Also included are travel patterns within the buildings. These are just some of the measures taken to provide a safe education to each student.
As stated, in-class sessions are prioritized based upon need so each student attends anywhere from one to four days a week.  Other local buildings are being used to accommodate certain situations such as students that can’t be left home alone and cannot attend in-class.  The Senior Center is one such building being repurposed.
Efforts are being made to increase the number of in-class days for all students.  It’s a situation that is being reassessed each term.  The school system consults with the Portsmouth Health Department to adjust the plan.  A return to full closure is not expected.  Standardized testing continues.  Assessments are being made to address any gaps in the curriculum being taught which is currently focused on the essentials.  A return to full in-class sessions is the ultimate goal.
Thank you, Steve, for your stewardship and very informative presentation.
And with that, we ended our meeting with the Four-Way Test—another one for the history books. Until next time….
Respectfully submitted, Mark Lorusso
Photo Captures by Don Chick
New Members Photos
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Oct 29, 2020
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Oct 14, 2020 8:00 AM -
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Basic Needs Committee Meeting
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Communications Committee Meeting
Portsmouth Country Club
Nov 12, 2020
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Salvation Army Soup Kitchen
Salvation Army
Nov 30, 2020
4:00 PM – 6:15 PM
Basic Needs Committee Meeting
Infinite Imaging
Dec 09, 2020 8:00 AM -
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Communications Committee Meeting
Portsmouth Country Club
Dec 10, 2020
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
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