ROTARY LOG for May 10. 2018
Photos By SaraTreacy
Spring has Sprung! Portsmouth Rotarians responded by attending this week’s meeting in droves. It was a full house.
President Ben corralled us to order and then led with the Pledge. Al Lantinen intoned “God Bless America.” Greeter Jess Kellogg inquired, “Is it the Truth?” John Rice invoked the blessing.
Fourteen guests and visiting Rotarians enjoyed our company. Guests and their hosts were:
Ginna MacDonald, Griffin Miller and John Ahlgren (Ann Arnold)
Kyrie Stevens (Justin Finn)
Russ Grazier (Diane Lavigne)
Eddie Edwards (Tom Decker/Stella Scamman)
Ann and Steve Demeranville (Dave Underhill)
Visiting Rotarians included:
Joan Nickels and Nell Ann Hiatt (Seacoast Rotary)
Suzanne Ilsley of Wells, ME
Rotary District Conference.
President Ben reported that the recent District Conference was highly successful. More than 650 Rotarians attended including 25 from our club. Kudos to Governor Dave for pulling it off in such high style!
At the Conference, President Ben accepted the Pyramid of Peace Award. In turn, he complimented our club for doing the activities that earned the award.
On the conference’s last day, a memorial service was held to recognize Rotarians who passed away during the previous year. Club Presidents were asked to mention those whose passing was so recent that they weren’t on the official list. President Ben mentioned Midge Nelson’s name. He quickly realized his error in mixing up Midge with Mickey Allen. Upon notification, the Master of Ceremonies announced Midge’s resurrection!
Joan Nickels brought a defibrillator kit donated by the Seacoast Rotary Club. It will be taken on our Bangladesh RotaPlast trip…Sara Treacy is looking for two additional volunteers for the June 19 Salvation Army dinner…Lexie Leddy is still taking nominations for the Vocational Awards…Help is needed for silent auction items at our Golf Tournament…. Donations of clothing will be accepted again at next week’s meeting.
Special Announcement.
The Rotary “Wrap A Smile” program organizes volunteers to make quilts. Each child helped by RotaPlast is given one of these handmade quilts. They are an intimate expression of love and care for these young recipients.
Terry Hodskins founded “Wrap A Smile” 17 years ago. Under her leadership more than 24,000 quilts have been made and distributed!
Terry attended our meeting to do three things. First, she brought quilts specially made for our upcoming RotaPlast project. Next, she gave a quick demonstration on how to efficiently pack these quilts. It somehow involved a plastic bag and a vacuum cleaner. Lastly, Terry announced her retirement. She will be passing her baton to Ann Demeranville.
Aileen Dugan officially thanked Terry for years of service. On behalf of our club, Aileen presented an additional Paul Harris Fellow Award to the much deserving Terry. Heartfelt applause ensued.
The program: Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra
Ann Arnold introduced our guest speaker, Ginna MacDonald, Executive Director of the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra (“PSO”).
The PSO was born as the Seacoast Community Chamber Orchestra in 1997. It was transformed into the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra in 2007, growing substantially over the last few years. It is largely a member-based orchestra. The PSO’s mission is to Entertain, Educate and Encourage through the medium of classical music.
Breaking the three E’s down: Entertain. There are three major programs to entertain audiences. Main Stage at the Music Hall provides two major performances annually (March and June). “Get Cozy with the PSO” is a chamber music series. Summer Performances round out the list.
Educate. “My PSO” targets youth for audiences and performances. At our meeting, 17-year-old Griffin Miller, the Youth Ambassador for PSO, delivered an outstanding cello performance prior to Ginna’s talk. “Inside the Music” is a one-hour preview of each musical program. Music Director John Page explains the composer’s thoughts and the musical context of the pieces to be performed.
Encourage. An “Artist In Residence” program is now in its second year. A “Young Artist Competition” highlights eight young artists competing to perform with the full orchestra at the June 10 concert.
Challenges faced by PSO include rising costs. Ticket sales cover only one third of total costs. A new effort is underway to expand corporate and individual sponsorships.
PSO’s recent growth is certainly adding to the cultural vibrancy of Portsmouth!
50-50 Raffle.
Russ Grazier won the $64 raffle. No match ensued.
Respectfully Submitted, Richard Greulich