Christine Helstrom (center), Rehabilitation Services – Lead, and Aaron Tomlinson (left),
Athletic Trainer and Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA), Cary Medical Center, shown with Larry Plant, Rotarian and program host, spoke at the club’s weekly meeting. Aaron, using pictures in a slide presentation, described the rehabilitation facility at the new Fort Fairfield Kimball Community Health Center. In addition to onsite rehab treatments Aaron described, and demonstrated through Rotarians participation, personalized regimens that patients may fit within their daily schedule. Additionally, Aaron and Christine noted the importance of monitoring area youth as they participate in local school athletic programs.

Tim Crowley (left) and Jim Thibodeau (center), LifeFlight Foundation Board of Trustees members, spoke at this week’s club meeting and are thanked by Rotarian Carl Young, Program Host. Tim and Jim shared LifeFlight of Maine’s mission and the critical service provided here in The County as well as throughout the state. It was stated that over the past ten years the service has provided, on average, two flights per week from county locations to medical facilities down state located in Bangor, Portland, and Boston, MA, with this number increasing each year.

While it is semi-general knowledge that flights are carried out from the medical facilities in the county, e.g., the Houlton Regional Hospital, the Northern Maine Medical Center, The Aroostook Medical Center, and the Cary Medical Center, it was not known to this writer that there are several locations along trails in The County, maintained by local snowmobile clubs, where medevac flights may originate during the winter months to evacuate those injured in snowmobile accidents. LifeFlight of Maine and the LifeFlight Foundation are non-profit organizations.

Tim Crowley presents information about LifeFlight of Maine and the services provided, while Jim Thibodeau explains logistical issues associated with flights from The County to down state and beyond with helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

Two early bird winners in the club’s fundraiser, 27th Annual Cash Draw
2013, were drawn at this week’s meeting. The winners are Tom Bubar, and Paul
and Sandy Cormier. The winners won $200 and are additionally eligible to win
prizes at the Cash Draw festivities that take place on October 19, 2013.

Art Mraz (left), Frontier Heritage Historical Society, is thanked by Rotarian Wayne Troicke, Program Host.

Art Mraz, Frontier Heritage Historical Society, spoke about the Friends Church history from its beginnings, when build by the Haines family and their Quaker friends in 1859-1860, to its present day status as the oldest still-standing church in Fort Fairfield and its listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Art also noted that there is ample physical evidence as well as oral history to substantiate the church’s use as the last Underground Railroad way station used by slaves, prior to and during the Civil War, when escaping to freedom in Canada.

Aaron Giberson (left), Giberson-Dorsey Funeral Home, with program host Rotarian, Kevin Murchie. Aaron takes a question from a member in right photo.

Aaron Giberson was the guest speaker at the club's regular weekly meeting. Aaron spoke about how the dynamics concerning the end-of-life experience for the family have changed over the last decade or so.

The most notable change is that in the past the family had few choices with respect to the funeral arrangements and the service conduct, while today there are many choices beginning with early planning availability and a host of service variables. Aaron stressed that today it is very important for the family to enter into an early planning process so that very personal decisions are not being made during an extremely stressful period. Given that parents are living longer and many children become long-term caregivers the presentation was very insightful and thought provoking.


The club wrapped up its annual Vidalia Onion Sales fundraiser activities with a club supper honoring the winning sales team, Vidalia Stallions, led by Rotarian Paul Towle. However, considering that the club had a banner sales year, it was agreed that there were no “losers” so everyone, including those on the Sprouts team, enjoyed a steak grilled to perfection by chef Rotarian Kenny Hensler. In addition to the steaks, members of the Spouts team provided potluck salad and dessert dishes that were enjoyed by all members and their guests.

A whimsical Top Salesman Certificate was presented to Kenny Hensler recognizing that he was able to “…cajole, coax, or otherwise sweet-talk an extraordinary amount of buyers into…”.

The club would like to thank all those who purchased the sweet Vidalia onions. As a result, the club is able to support many organizations and projects both in our community and around the world. A big SHOUT OUT to all our supporters!

Buffet looking good...................................................Catching up

Rotarians enjoying

Chef Kenny working his magic at the grill

Good friends, good times

                                                                                 KP duty!

More KP........................................................Nah, let's talk Red Sox

Kenny receives Top Salesman Certificate

I attended the Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp (ATLC) at Limestone Community School, on the club’s behalf. It was VIP day for supporters. I went, not knowing much about the camp so didn’t know what to expect. What I found was a very positive, inclusive, high-energy environment where teens receive positive reinforcement against drugs while learning leadership skills that will benefit them as they progress through school and ultimately throughout their adult lives.

The day in brief featured, orientation and breakfast, a scholarship presentation by the camp cafeteria staff, then a high-energy motivational presentation by Harriet Turk, Power Choices, Memphis, Tennessee that included camper participation. That was followed by six workshops, 1) Leadership Skills: “What Got You Going?”, 2) “What to Do, What to Do! (Decision Making), 3) “Friendships” (is this a healthy friendship?), 4) “Generation Rx: Prescription for Prevention”, 5) “Dancing in the Rain” (dealing with peer pressure), and 6) “Communication Skills”, that made me wish I could be in six places at the same time.

I finally decided on Communications Skills. There, a sophomore from U Maine Farmington and a junior from PI High School, both who are camp alumnus, lead the campers through how to verbally be a good “sender”, how to be a good “receiver”, and the importance of written communication.

The day wrapped up with an open forum where the camp Co-Directors, Program Coordinators, and VIP’s exchanged thoughts about the current camp, and ideas for the future, followed by lunch.

All-in-all it was a very enlightening day. I came away feeling good, with the thought that if only half the campers remembered and applied only half of what they experienced at the camp then the camp is well worth the time and effort invested by the leaders and the community on the campers behalf. Well done.


Breakfast                                                                    Leader outlines the day

Leaders prepare for Communication Skills workshop..........and the group is ready

Motivational speaker Harriet Turk, Power Choices, Memphis, Tennessee....WOW!

High-energy                                                               Leaders Mandy and Jared

Scholarship awarded by the cafeteria staff

Campers prepare for session                       Staff listen and discuss camp with VIPs


Thanks to a work party’s recent efforts visitors and residents alike are now able to know, as they enter town from all four compass points, where and when the local Fort Fairfield Rotary Club meets. The signs, placed on the Presque Isle, South Caribou, Limestone, and Boundary Line Roads display the familiar Rotary wheel emblem as well as the club’s meeting location and time. Rotarians Gary Sirios, Dale Ames, Paul Cormier, Ken Hensler, and Carl Young made up the work party. Click here for meeting information.


Ken Hensler (left), Rotarian program host, with Steve Agius, Assistant Manager, Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Steve details ANWR activities, right.

Ever wonder where the only place in The County might be that you’ll see the upland sandpiper? Steve Agius, Assistant Manager, Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), in Limestone on the former Loring Air Force Base, stopped by a recent club meeting and said the ANWR is the place.

Steve also talked about the 13.5 miles of hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing trails that are available on the refuge as well as an ongoing project that is using a former munitions bunker to study why the little brown bat population in the northeastern U.S. has been decimated by white-nosed syndrome (WNS), an insidious fungal infection that attacks bats during hibernation and saps their energy reserves.

As can be seen from the above, which mentions but a few, there is a wide range of interesting, ongoing activities, and facilities available at the ANWR. In order that you may explore the many opportunities available at the ANWR the following link is provided where additional information may be found.


Dear Friend of the Rotary,

It is once again time for our annual Fort Fairfield Rotary Club fundraiser. This year we would like to bring to your attention that it will be a Cash draw and not a Travel draw as in years past.

On behalf of the Fort Fairfield Rotary Club and its many supported-programs recipients, let me take this opportunity to thank you for your generous support. It is only through support from Rotary’s friends like yourself that this event can be successful and we congratulate past drawings winners. Over the years our Annual Fund Raising has allowed the Fort Fairfield Rotary Club to support Community Projects, College Scholarships, Aroostook County Youth Camps, Maine Veteran’s Projects, and support programs for the County’s needy to name but a few, as well as International Service Projects.

For the 2013 Cash Draw, prizes include 1st prize $3,000; 2nd prize $2,500; 3rd prize $2,000; 4th prize $1,000; 5th prize $500; 10 prizes of $200; 18 prizes of $100; andtwo early bird prize drawings of $200 each, from amongst all tickets that are paid by September 4, 2013. (Early bird winning tickets are returned to the paid-tickets pool for an opportunity to win additional cash prizes.)

This year’s 27th Annual fund raising event is on October 19th at the Fort Fairfield Community Center, 18 Community Center Drive in Fort Fairfield. Festivities include a social hour (5:00 p.m.), a buffet-style dinner (6:00 p.m.), and dancing to live entertainment during the cash drawings.

With only 350 tickets being sold and 35 prizes it gives our supporters a 1 in 10 chance of winning a prize, that’s great odds! You may want to join with friends or coworkers to collectively purchase tickets and share winnings. (Do not need to be present to win.)

To take part in this year’s 27th Annual Cash Draw and Social Event:

  • Purchase your ticket(s) today ($100 per ticket)
    • Each ticket allows admittance for two individuals to attend the evening events
    • All tickets must be paid in full on or before October 19, 2013.
  • Please make checks payable to – Fort Fairfield Rotary Club.
  • Contact a Fort Fairfield Rotary Club Rotarian to purchase your ticket(s)
  • Or, call 551-1495

Once again, thank you for your generous support and best of luck in the 2013 Cash Draw.



                                                                 Fort Fairfield Rotary Club


Fort Fairfield’s reigning Misses dodged the rain drops riding in the Maine Potato Blossom Festival parade. The young ladies displayed their best royal waves as the crowds lining the parade route showed their appreciation, many calling to “the royals” by name. Pictured on the float from front to back are:

Little Miss Fort Fairfield – Emma Rae Crouse

Miss Pre-Teen Fort Fairfield – Cammi King

Junior Miss Fort Fairfield – Alyssa Poitras

Teen Miss Fort Fairfield – Marisa Clark

Miss Fort Fairfield – Janaé Elyse Libby


Click here for more photos

What do you have when you have eighteen smiley-faced youngsters, brightly-colored bike helmets, three new bikes to give away, six volunteer Rotarians, and pouring rain? A Bike Rodeo of course!!!

Hoping for a break in the weather everyone gathers at the bike safety riding course on Main Street. It’s not raining but the skies are threatening. Helmets are displayed, registration begins, and alas, so does the rain. Not to worry, Rotarian Carl leads the bicycle version of follow-the-leader as the bikers and parents move up the street to the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church annex.

A free, properly sized, very brightly-colored bicycle helmet is provided for each youngster. Oh, did I mention the smiling faces? Officer Jim Cerrato provides bike safety instruction including proper helmet positioning, and hand signals for turns and stopping while maintaining control of one’s bicycle.

With faces aglow with anticipation, the moment all are waiting for arrives. The raffles for the three giveaway bikes are at hand. One-by-one Rotarian Kevin draws the winner’s name for each age group.

Age group 2-5, Jack Helstrom


Age group 6-8, Macy York


Age group 9-12, Alex Oakes

And what better way to end the festivities than lunch. Each rodeo participant is given a ticket for a free hotdog lunch and it’s off to the KoC Hall to enjoy hotdog, fries, and a soda. Rain, what rain? Everyone knows that it never rains on the Bike Rodeo!

A big SHOUT OUT to the parents who braved the rain to bring their youngsters out, and Rotarians Effie and Kevin Murchie, Stephanie Beaulieu, Larry Plant, Dale Ames, and Carl Young. Let’s do it again next year. J

Click here for more photos.


Fort Fairfield Rotary Cl_b: What’s missing? Of course it’s “u”.

The local club is the cornerstone of Rotary, where the most meaningful work is carried out. Rotary clubs need people from all vocations, ages and backgrounds to undertake varied and exciting projects. You are the person needed by the local club. “U” are the missing piece. Volunteering in our community, or the international community, is one of the most rewarding things you can do.  Friendship, community connection, confidence and making a positive difference are what you can expect when you work with other Rotarians. “U” are invited to attend a club meeting to learn more about our projects and community impact,

(left to right) Floyd Rockholt, District 7810, Area 1, Assistant District Governor, Pat Perry, District 7810, Governor, Carl Young, Fort Fairfield Rotary Club, President

Pat Perry, District 7810, Governor visited the club. Pat was introduced by Floyd Rockholt, District 7810, Area 1, Assistant District Governor. Pat talked about her passion the Rotary Polio Plus Program. 

Briefly, this Rotary initiative has been and is active in the effort to eliminate polio, worldwide. To this end, Rotary’s many local clubs around the world have been joined by the Bill Gates Foundation in funding vaccination efforts in one country at a time, and as of 2012 has succeeded in eliminating polio in every country around the world except Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria. In 2012 India was the most recent country to be removed from the list of countries reporting polio cases. The effort continues, and if you subscribe to Rotary’s motto, “Service Above Self”, you can be part of this and other international efforts as well as numerous community service projects by visiting your local Rotary club meetings and becoming a member of a premier service organization right where you live or work. “Welcome to our club.”


The Fort Fairfield Rotary Club was re-established after a break in service in June 1978. Not long after, in January 1982, it sponsored the Perth-Andover Rotary Club establishment. Over the years the clubs have supported each other’s service efforts both locally and internationally.

I don’t know how long the two clubs have held their annual meetings as a joint venture, alternating between venues on both sides of the border. What I do know is that this year they held their joint annual meeting at The Castle Inn, Perth-Andover, NB, Canada. The castle-like inn high on the hillside proved to be the perfect venue for social hour, dinner, and member recognitions that are part of the evening’s festivities.

Ron Cummings, President, Perth-Andover (P-A) Rotary Club welcomed its Rotarians, Rotarians from the Fort Fairfield (FF) Rotary Club, and guests in singing both county’s National Anthems, and reciting the clubs universal Rotary Grace. Dinner was served by the ever efficient Inn staff, and the sudden quietness in the conversation being an indicator, the Inn’s chef provided an excellent meal.

Ron and FF Rotary Club President, Carl Young, took turns introducing honored guests and presenting recognitions for Rotarian’s exemplary service. This article concentrates on the FF Rotary Club recognitions, leaving this task to Ron for the P-A Rotary Club.

Carl first introduced himself and wife, Becky, and then the Rotary District 7810, Area 1, outgoing Assistant District Governor (ADG), Nancy Fletcher, and incoming ADG, Floyd Rockholt, both of the Presque Isle Rotary Club. Then, 100% Attendance Award pins were presented to FF Rotarians Dale Ames, Effie Murchie, Josie Lopez, Ken Hensler, Kevin Murchie, Larry Plant, Paul Cormier, Paul Towle, Tracy Copeland, and Carl Young.

Outstanding Service recognition pins were awarded to FF Rotarians Effie Murchie, Ken Hensler, and Paul Towle. Carl noted that he wished he had a pin for all FF Rotarians as they all may be counted on to support service activities taken on by the club during the year ever mindful of Rotary’s motto, “Service Above Self”.

Ken Hensler was recognized as the club’s Paul Harris Fellow recipient. This was Ken’s second such recognition and the citation was presented by Larry Plant, himself a Paul Harris Fellow recipient, and Nancy Fletcher, ADG, took part in the pinning ceremonies.

Briefly, the Paul Harris Fellow recognition is named after Rotary’s founder, and is presented to individuals who meet the high professional and personal standards set forth by Paul Harris. This recognition is not limited to Rotarians but also may recognize citizens within the community whom local clubs feel have met these standards. Multiple-time Paul Harris Fellows, such as Ken, are recognized as they continue to contribute and meet the Paul Harris Fellow standards.

Carl then provided remarks concerning the past club-year and thanked club members and Board of Directors for their outstanding support. Also understanding that behind every successful man, there is a strong, wise and hardworking woman; Carl thanked his wife, Becky, for her unconditional support.

Installation of club-year 2013-2014 officers took place. The FF Rotary Club officer slate was introduced and includes Kevin Murchie – Director, Paul Towle – Director, Dale Ames – Director, Gary Sirios – Sargent at Arms, Tracy Copeland – Treasurer, Stephanie Beaulieu – Secretary, Ken Hensler – Vice Presisent, and Carl Young – President.

Carl then reviewed the 2012-2013 FF Rotary Club-year accomplishments, mentioning but a few of the many.

  • Hosted the club’s annual Bike Rodeo for children ages 2 through 12, held during the Maine Potato Blossom Festival. Features biking riding safety instructions, riding course safe riding demonstration, new U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission-approved bike helmets for all participants, and three new bikes for free raffle winners in three age categories.
  • Supported the Aroostook Valley Country Club recovery effort following high winds storm that uprooted over 200 trees.
  • Hosted the annual free Thanksgiving Day Community Dinner for community senior citizens. Annual event for about 30 years.
  • Club meeting that is held annually at the local high school, just prior to Christmas, where through its “Happy Dollars” program the club raises funds that are administered by the elementary/middle school staff to purchase warm winter clothing for those students who may be in need.
  • During Rotary’s Literacy Month, March, supported a Maine-native author, Tim Caverly, coming to the elementary school to present readings from his books about experiences on the Allagash Waterway and providing books for the elementary school library.
  • Provided support for a Group Study Exchange Team from India with a vegetarian dinner, and supported the Presque Isle and Caribou Rotary Club’s combined vegetarian potluck dinner held at the Nordic Heritage Center.
  • Administered the club’s Rotary Spirit Student Award Program’s second successful year at the Fort Fairfield High School. A male and female outstanding student from across grades 9 through 12 are recognized for academics, citizenship, and personal development each school-year quarter and a Rotary Spirit Student of the Year (SOY) is chosen from these quarterly recipients. This year’s quarterly recipients Hannah Holbrook, Thomas Krause, Robbie Martin, Victoria Plourde, Kyle Doody, Josh Ricker, Sarah Owens and SOY Melissa Hotham were recognized during the high school’s Honors Night program.
  • Supported, and participated in, the high school’s Project Graduation All-nighter that provides a safe and sane environment in which to celebrate high school graduation.
  • Supported high school graduating seniors with two $1000 scholarships.
  • Mentioning but a few, GREAT YEAR!

Click here to see photos





Okay, so now that one has graduated, how does one celebrate? The obvious answer to have an AWESOME time is the Project Graduation all-nighter at Fort Fairfield High School. We went over to help chaperone and by the time daylight arrived we were tired but absolutely thrilled that we were there. Twenty-three graduates having food and fun, and generating enough energy to power the town. And oh, did I mention going home with prizes, prizes, and more prizes? Trust me, it doesn’t get any better on graduation night!!!



During the 2013 Fort Fairfield High School Honors Program the Fort Fairfield Rotary Club had the privilege and honor to recognize its 2012-2013 school-year Rotary Spirit Student Award recipients and announce its Rotary Spirit Student of the Year. Congratulations to all the recipients and Student of the Year, Melissa Hotham.

2012-2013 school-year Rotary Spirit Student Award recipients and Student of the Year. (front row) Hannah Holbrook, Victoria Plourde, Melissa Hotham – Student of the Year, Sarah Owens: (back row) Tracy Copeland – Rotary Spirit Student Award Committee, Thomas Krause, Robbie Watson, Kyle Doody, Josh Ricker, Carl Young – Rotary Club President.


Melissa accepts the perpetual Rotary Student of the Year plaque that is displayed in the Fort Fairfield High School lobby. Her name is engraved on the plaque and her photo will remain on the plaque throughout the next school year. Melissa also received a $300 award. Carl Young – Rotary Club President presents.

(left to right) Nathan Hotham, father, Barbara Hotham and Catherine Kilcollins, grandmothers, Melissa Hotham, Tracy Copeland, RSSA Chairman, Beth Hotham, mother, James Smith, nominating teacher, Amanda Hotham, sister.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent/Acting Resident Agent in Charge, Shawn Serra (left photo), stopped by a regular weekly breakfast meeting recently and provided a very informative presentation concerning ICE’s overall operations, and specifically northern Maine actions. Shawn noted that bulk cash smuggling, contraband smuggling both inbound and outbound, and document fraud are, interestingly enough, primary concerns in the area. A handout placard was provided that describes many common Immigration and Customs felonies together with methods for reporting suspicious activities. In right-hand image Shawn is shown with program host Rotarian Kevin Murchie.

Click here for the ICE placard


Spencer Campbell (left) and Brandon Clark hold a check presented by the Fort Fairfield Rotary Club to support the Fort Fairfield High School Class of 2013 Project Graduation. Others gathered for the presentation are: (left to right): second row: Veronica Plourde, Victoria Plourde: third row: Sydney Churchill, Kellyn McGillan, Sarah Holbrook, Camille Huffman, Erica Thompson, Mrs. Anna Watt, faculty: fourth row: Carl Young, FF Rotary Club, President, Isaac Wortman, Andrew Tuck, Collin Cassidy, River Bourgoine, Kyle Doody, Nathan Guimond, Mr. Scott Clark, coordinator.

During Project Graduation graduating seniors pull an “all-nighter” on graduation night, but instead of studying for finals they are afforded the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities at the school in a safe environment. During the night activities such as a magic show, foose ball, pool, ping pong, X-box, Zumba, G-Force laser tag, gyro scope, and jousting ring are available, to name but a few. The night concludes, in the morning, with breakfast and numerous prize drawings.

Mr. Scott Clark, coordinator, (front right) and Fort Fairfield High School graduating seniors Tyler Churchill, Spencer Campbell, and Brandon Clark (back row, left to right) are thanked by Carl Young, Club President, for stopping by at a recent Rotary Club breakfast meeting to inform the membership about Project Graduation.

The Fort Fairfield Rotary Club has selected the fourth school year-quarter Rotary Spirit Student Award (RSSA) Program recipients. Melissa Hotham and Robbie Watson, both tenth graders at Fort Fairfield High School, were honored at a recent Rotary Club breakfast. Each recipient received a certificate recognizing their academic achievement, citizenship, and personal development during the award period March-April 2013. Melissa was accompanied by her parents Beth and Nathan Hotham, grandmothers Barbara Hotham and Catherine Kilcollins, sister Amanda Hotham, and nominating teacher James Smith, while Robbie was accompanied by his mother Cindy Watson and nominating teacher Kelly Koziol.

The RSSA Program recognizes student achievement in academics, citizenship, and personal development across grades nine through twelve. Melissa and Robbie are eligible to receive the Rotary Spirit Student of the Year award from amongst eight period recipients. The Student of the Year is recognized at a club breakfast, receives an achievement certificate, has their photo displayed on a perpetual plaque at the school for the following school year, and receives a $300 award at the school’s annual Awards Program.

(left to right) Nathan Hotham, father, Barbara Hotham and Catherine Kilcollins, grandmothers, Melissa Hotham, Tracy Copeland, RSSA Chairman, Beth Hotham, mother, James Smith, nominating teacher, Amanda Hotham, sister.

(left to right) Kelly Koziol, nominating teacher, Tracy Copeland, RSSA Chairman, Robbie Watson, Cindy Watson, mother.