John Curran, of the Portland, Maine, Rotary club, spoke to us about their 3-H project (Hearing aids, Hands, and H2O) in the Dominican Republic.
  • John Curran, guest speaker
  • Mark Sculler, RFK Children’s Action Corps
  • Parry Graham, Nashoba Regional High School
  • Recognition was given to Dana Gray for his service to our club, in helping to secure the load of dental equipment in the shipping container bound for the Dominican Republic.
  • Jim Stone presented the results of the nominating committee:
    • President for 2016-17: Chris Spear
    • Exxecutive secretary: Ron Bott
    • Secretary: Mary Garcia
    • Treasurer: Ron Bott
    • Board members: Mary Ann Fitzgerald, Nanci Bishop, Bob Johnson, Karin Gaffney
  • The top ten reasons to come to the holiday party were reviewed; the final one, “We’ll all be there.”
  • Birthdays: Nanci Bishop, December 31, Mary Garcia, December 24
  • Agents of Change: An event to explore the power of change to improve the lives of women. Promotional materials are now available. Val Callahan will represent Rotary in the panel discussion; others will be the local headof the White Ribbon campaign, inspiring young men fox to become men of integrity, and the founder of a school in Afghanistan. The meeting will be 7-8  on January 22, instead of a meeting. Dan Hnatio is donating his video expertise.
Happy/sad fines
  • Maryann Fitzgerald: happy to be here
  • Yvonne Addo-Piper: happy that Mark could attend
  • Bob Johnson: happy about the Nobel Peace Prizes
  • Laura Spear: happy to be leading a free event on using social media, at the Leominster Double Tree hotel
  • Carol Toomey: happy about the upcoming New Generations session
  • Karin Gaffney: her daughter turns 25 on Monday
  • Dana Gray: is glad to be back
  • John Curran: is glad to hear of all we’re doing, and happy to be at such an active club
  • Don McPherson: happy about a $750 donation to the club, as a final reckoning from Wings and Wheels; sad that he’ll miss the holiday party, as he’ll be at a  kickoff party for the airport; happy that, while visiting his granddaughter, he could attend a Texas A&M game; happy that he passed the “bus test” (could the business continue if you were hit by a bus); happy that the airport has such good relations with the town, to approve multiple permits to complete runway paving
  • Mary Garcia: happy to be here; happy  at the way Thanksgiving turned out, here at the restaurant
  • Rich Garcia: happy to have almost mastered the Clubruner program
  • Nancy McPherson: happy to work with Mary and Karin on the Agents of Change program; all PR materials are out
  • Richard Simon: it’s a privilege to lead this club; happy to learn that his daughter is expecting twins
  • Jim Stone: will be in Guatemala on January 7; happy to have met with students and faculty at WPI
  • Natascha Finnerty: happy to have been at the Tower Hill luncheon
  • Parry Graham: glad to be here, and too long since the last time
  • Mark Sculler: happy to see such commitment from the club; it’s inspiring to be here
The Portland Rotary club’s 3-H program was built on opportunities. This is a multi-club, multi-district program with the La Romana district in the Dominican Republic. The people in the area are mostly Haitian immigrants and very friendly, despite the extreme poverty. The Buen Samaritano hospital serves the Haitian population; the director is a Rotarian.
Their first project was to provide hearing aids and speech therapy. It began with two members of their club, an audiologist and speech therapist, who were working in the area. They now see 150 patients over a week; patients are seen for testing, and for fitting of ear molds to hold hearing aids. They range from kids to seniors. They’re now training local people to carry on the work. The joy of people who are hearing for the first time is amazing.
The second H in the 3-H project is to provide prosthetic hands. People lose hands mostly in machete violence and job accidents. After fitting, patients receive training in using them. The cost of a hand is just $50.
The third H is H2O. The hospital was most concerned about people drinking dirty water, so the club began providing inexpensive water filters. The hospital’s goal is to have one in every home, and in every bate. It takes 15 minutes to install, and lasts for 8 years; the hospital can recharge them easily with the sand and biological material needed. Another large part of the program is sanitation education, which hospital workers undertake.
Other projects (not beginning with H): school supplies, and a bus for handicapped students at a vocational school.
Next meeting
  • December 18: No meeting. Come to the holiday party instead!
  • December 25: No meeting on Christmas Day. Have a happy and blessed Christmas.
  • January 1: No meeting on New Year’s Day. Best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year.
  • January 8: Finally, a meeting!
    • Where: Nancy’s Airfield Café, Boxborough Road, Stow
    • Time: 5:45 to 7 pm
    • Speaker: Neil Gordon, Discovery Museums