Top of the Week December 25, 2019
Top of the Week!
December 15, 2019
A Holiday Message
Warm greetings to all in this holiday season.  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or in your own special way, we wish everyone health and happiness and look forward to a wonderful new year.
Remember, no meeting on Dec. 26 or on Jan. 2.  See you in 2020
Tree Sales Completed
Another successful year of tree sales has filled the coffers and allows our club to fund the many wonderful causes that serve the seacoast.  Many thanks to all of the volunteers from Rotarians and their families and from the Portsmouth High Interact Group (especially during tree unloadings). And of course a big shout out to Justin (the Grinch) Finn and Jon Flagg for making it all happen.
To see more great pictures from the tree sales, click on the link below:
Portsmouth Interact Update
Our Portsmouth High School Interact Club continue their commitment to service by preparing 64 stockings for Cross Roads House and for the Chase Home.  Making us proud as always.
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 December 12, 2019
Rotary Log for December 12, 2019 
Another Thursday is upon us…
President Leo struck the bell at 12:15pm and welcome guests and fellow Rotarians. John Rice led us in a song fitting for the holidays, “White Christmas.” Reverend Rob Stevens, Rector of St. John’s Episcopal church provided the invocation.
As we peaked around the room, we noticed attendance was a bit lower than usual since some Rotarians were slinging trees.  Leo started the meeting a bit early as we had a jam- packed schedule full of surprises. 
The club continues to grow, and we welcomed two new members today!  Aileen Dugan introduced Ken Murphy, a local attorney with lots of community volunteer history. He is familiar to many in our club and makes a great addition. In fact, he has already served Christmas Tree shifts. Ken’s new motto; #serviceaboveself.
Jenn Madden introduced Joann Neumann.  Joann is the Director of Development at Families First, an organization we have supported over the years. 
As tradition would have it, PDG Dr. Mort bought the first ornament of the year for $100. It will be gifted, as always, to Ray Jones’ widow, Marlene.
For those that were present at the last meeting, you heard we lost an amazing Rotarian, community leader and friend, Bill Mortimer.  Bill was so grateful for Rotary and the good work we do every day.  Before he passed, Bill prepared a bag of all the tree ornaments our club has created. Bill wanted it to be auctioned and that’s just what Steve Bennett did, starting at $1000. PDG Dr. Mort stepped up and won with a bid of $ 1600!  Congratulations, Mort!
Who doesn’t like a little extra cash during the holiday season?  Charlie Bourdages was the lucky 50/50 winner, but it was not a match for the bigger prize. 
Next up was Past President Ben Wheeler to introduce our speaker, Meme Wheeler. Meme is the Executive Director of the Chase Home for Children. Founded in 1877 as an orphanage, the Chase Home in Portsmouth is one of New Hampshire’s oldest nonprofit entities. For more than 140 years, the home has been committed to helping at-risk children in dire circumstances live happier and healthier lives
Chase Home helped more than 300 families last year. Ben shared a story about the Chase Home that is very dear to him.  He recalled that the Chase Home helped his cousins during a difficult time. He remembered how fortunate they were that the Chase Home was there, and the fond memories created.
There are currently three programs at the Chase Home.  The first is the residential program, which offers youth a place to live. At the same time, skills are developed so that youngsters experience stability across multiple areas of their lives. Areas that include social, academic, emotional and family environments. The second is the In-Home program. This program focuses on family preservation. The opioid epidemic affecting our state has impacted the Chase Home significantly, according to Meme. Families are struggling to stay together under the pressures of addiction.
The third and newest program is the Youth Diversion program.  An evidence-based program, it attempts to divert youth from re-offending and entering the Juvenile Justice System. The strategy here involves addressing underlying issues behind shoplifting, drug/alcohol abuse, bullying, and anger-management. Therapeutic groups are provided for individual and substance abuse counseling. This is an invaluable program because it can keep youths out of the court system. It also saves tax payers thousands while helping children make better life decisions as they grow into young adults.
Meme closed by expressing her gratitude to Rotary, recounting all our hands-on projects completed at the Chase Home.
PDG Dr. Mort came back to the podium, explaining that part of what we do is recognize community leaders. Folks who work behind the scenes, much like Santa’s elves. He discussed Paul Harris and how the Rotary Foundation raised $1.2 million the day Paul Harris passed in 1947.  Part of this money was used for Ambassadorial Scholarships.
The Ambassadorial program ended in 2013, replaced by the Rotary Global Grant Scholarship, which expands on the Ambassadorial mission. Now every Rotary Scholar advances Rotary's International mission to "promote service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace."
Meme presented a Paul Harris Fellow to Ralph Woodman Jr.  Ralph has been on the Chase Home board of trustees since 1982. A second Paul Harris Award went to another member of the Board of Trustees, W. Peter Torrey.  While we can’t pinpoint the exact year, Peter served the Chase Home as a board member since about 2001.Thank you both for your dedication and your service!
If you want to get more involved with the Chase Home, please visit
 Leo closed the meeting with the Four Way Test.
Respectfully Submitted with a Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year!
Cleo Villaflores
New Members Photos
To see photos of our new members click on the following link:
Dec 26, 2019
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Upcoming Events
Basic Needs Committee Meeting
Infinite Imaging
Jan 08, 2020
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Basic Needs Committee Meeting
Infinite Imaging
Feb 12, 2020
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
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C. 2019 Rotary Club of Portsmouth, PO Box 905 Portsmouth NH 03801
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