Club Information

Small club. Big aspirations.

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 6:00 PM
Elks Lodge (Zoom meetings until further notice - contact us if you would like to attend!)
37 4th Street
Old Town, ME 04468
United States of America
Home Page Stories
If this isn't a Rotary Moment, I don't know what is...
Thank you, Dave & Sherrie Wight for delivering the meal that were packed with some of the funds the Old Town Rotary gave for the Maine Day Meal Packout planned by the UMaine Honors College students for this May.   Though the packout in Orono was cancelled due to CoVid19, you and the students found a way to coordinate and deliver meals to our area.  THANK YOU!
     --Pat Cummings
        Senior Director of Philanthropy, University of Maine Foundation
        Old Town Rotarian

Old Town Rotarian Sherrie Wight has written an account of the 2020 Meal Packout, accompanied by photos.  

The Vermont team, Wolfie, the Maine Team, and the Disaster Relief trailer.
Hi Melissa,
     We were very happy to be able to help out with retrieving the food and bringing it home to Maine. The coordination alone was quite interesting as it wasn’t just us meeting the trailer.  The people bringing the food up from Massachusetts were Wolfie (who you know as Craig) and Susan.  After some talk on the phone and a number of emails, we had come up with a general area that would be fairly easy to get into safely and they then narrowed it down and made the decision to meet at the Hampton New Hampshire Park and Ride just off exit 2 of I95 in southern New Hampshire on Saturday April 11th.   There were eight people there all together:  Susan and Wolfie from Massachusetts, a two person team from New Hampshire, two from Vermont, and Dave and I from Maine.  Amazingly even with the many hours of drive time for all of us we all managed to arrive within 20 minutes of the meeting time.  Susan and Wolfie had a pickup truck full of boxes plus a Disaster Aid enclosed trailer from Rotary filled with boxes.  When the trailer pulled in everyone masked up and put on gloves.  The boxes were marked with a VT, NH, or M so we could easily tell which went where.  We all helped load each other’s vehicles one state at a time.    
     Lauren supplied me with the contact information for Nancy Perry at Good Shepherd Food bank in Auburn and she was able to put me in touch with Lyndon Hopkins at the Hampden location.  Once he was able to insure a warehouse staff would be available, we set up a delivery time on the morning of Tuesday April 14th.   We were met by a nice young man and Dave and he, wearing masks, unloaded the 46 boxes (10,000 meals!) from our truck onto two pallets for the fork lift.  There was a variety of nutritious meals including at least Macaroni and Cheese, Red Beans and Rice, and Spanish Rice, and I think also some Oatmeal.  
     Why did we take the risk and do it?  Since the first time we met you and some of your students a few years ago at an Old Town Rotary meeting talking about the meal pack out, Dave and I were hooked.  It is true that it is a very good cause and that alone is enough of a reason.  As a police officer here in our county, Dave has seen the horrific poverty and hunger first hand all too many times.  And he was proud to be able to carry a few meals in his patrol car to give someone when he ran across a particularly trying situation.  But that fact aside, the professionalism, enthusiasm and maturity of the “kids” and their earnest desire to give back to the community and help those in need was, and still is, unbelievably amazing and inspiring to us. 
After last year when we saw the difficulty you had trying to get meals delivered to some of the farther counties, it occurred to us that the Blue Knights, of which Dave is a member, were perfectly poised to be of help with distribution as they have members in many counties throughout Maine.   The Blue Knights are an international Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club that was founded right here in Bangor Maine in 1974 and subsequently spread around the world.  As law enforcement officers, they are men and women who have dedicated their lives in service to the safety and well being of others, even at the risk of their own lives.  It was a perfect match of good intentions.  So when we suggested to the president of Blue Knights Chapter One of Bangor, Jay Durost, that our chapter assist in the deliveries for the meal pack out this year, the Knights jumped at the chance to help and were looking forward to being able to do so. 
And then of course the virus took over our lives.  When Lauren asked for help, we contacted President Jay and he was all in for us to help.  Of course things had changed as to logistics and the number of people that we could actively expose had to be severely limited.   Since Dave and I are most familiar with the process, we immediately became the obvious choice to execute this mission.  It wasn’t a hard choice….in fact it wasn’t a choice at all.   It was the only thing to do because it had to be done.  We feel so blessed and fortunate.   We have a roof over our heads and food on our table.  Others do not and in this especially trying time their struggle just to survive is magnified. 
     Your amazing students worked hard to raise the money to make the meal pack out happen.  I can’t imagine how disappointing it was for them to be forced to call it off.  But they still didn’t give up!!!   It wasn’t the meal pack out they had envisioned but they figured out a way to get some meals here at this incredibly difficult time when they are needed more than ever.  They never gave up, never stopped dreaming of what was possible.  When our young people show that kind of determination and perseverance in the face of extreme adversity, they have become our teachers.  As we go through life, we find ourselves in places and times where things can seem dire and frightening.  Many people become fearful, hunker down, and seek shelter.  Others such as your students dream of ways to help and then find a way to make those dreams come true.  Law enforcement officers such as the Blue Knights simply see people in need and a new opportunity to serve and help others…even if it risks their own lives because that is what they have always done.  This is where we found ourselves…this place, this time…and we are thrilled that you offered us the chance to help and that we were able to fill that final gap for you and all your amazing students to bring food to the people of Maine.    
Maine meals loaded for home, with Dave.
Dave and man from Good Shepherd unloading
Delivery at Good Shepherd
Nurse Jana with Rotarian President Lisa Gallant!
Old Town Rotary's 69th Annual Hunter's Breakfast was held on on Saturday, November. 1, 2019 from 4:00 to 8:00 AM. Rotarians served the usual Hunters Breakfast fare--ham, eggs, Golden Beauty pancakes, and home fries with or without onions--to hunters and non-hunters alike.  
The Old Town Rotary Club is assisting the Old Town Elementary School in implementing a pilot project to place children's books on the school buses used to take students to and from OTES.  The "Books on the Bus" program uses seat covers to hold the books, which children are allowed to read while on the bus.  The Rotary Club provided funds for OTES to purchase six seat covers at $40 each.  "Books on the Bus" started with separate programs in Topsham and Bath.  Last fall, RSU 22 started developing a similar program at the Cyr Bus operation in Hampden.

The Old Town Rotary Club’s annual charity auction will be held Thursday May 2nd, 2019 from 5-9 p.m.

Proceeds will benefit the club's philanthropic projects and local organizations supported by OTR including Sarah's House, The Animal Orphanage, Maine’s Youth Fish & Game Association, and other Rotary charities.

The evening will start with a dinner from 5 to 6 p.m. The live auction will begin at 6:30 p.m. and end by 8:30 p.m.  In addition to the live auction, there will be a silent auction, a variety of door prizes, and a bingo-type

card game.



The Old Town Rotary Club and members gave $1,028 to the annual Maine Day Meal Pack-Out, which equals 4,000+ meals!  Campus and community volunteers pack as many meals as they can that are then donated to local food banks, community organizations, that feed hungry, schools, etc.  The goal of the event is to contribute as many meals as possible to Maine’s food-insecure community while raising awareness about food insecurity and promoting volunteerism.  This year the Meal Pack-Out will be held on May 1st at the Memorial Gym starting at 9 am.  We hope to see you there! 
Pictured above from L to R:  Lisa Gallant (Rotarian and President-Elect), Sarah Marcotte (student), Dr. Melissa Ladenheim, Emma Hutchinson (student), Becca Wollstadt (Rotary friend), Pat Cummings (Rotarian)
Welcome to our newest corporate members, the Old Town/Orono YMCA!  Accepting the New Corporate/Organization Membership package is Deb Boyd, Executive Director, along with Shawn Fournier, one of the YMCA's alternates.  Presenting is the club's President - DJ Whitmore, and Foundation Chair - Ben Smith.
What is a corporate member you may be thinking???  Corporate/organization members are companies that want to be involved in Rotary, but not one employee necessarily has all the time they would like to commit to a service organization.  The Corporate/Organization Membership allows companies to become involved with one active member and up to three alternate members.  The active member becomes an actual Rotarian (with all rights and privileges as other active members), while the alternates do not hold voting rights, but are welcome to participate in all other activities of the club.  If the active member is unable to attend a meeting, an alternate can step in, and so forth.  All corporate members are welcome at any meeting/event/fundraiser at any time. 

Christmas Party!

Children of all ages enjoyed the Old Town Rotary Club's annual Christmas Party at the Elks Lodge on Thursday, December 13.  Santa and Mrs. Claus distributed presents to children of Rotarians and friends of Rotary.
A special treat was gingerbread cookies supplied by LaBree's Bakery, which were decorated with lots of frosting in holiday colors.

Stocking Stuffers

The week before the Christmas party, Rotarians and friends spent Thursday evening stuffing Christmas stockings to be distributed to students at Old Town Elementary School.  There were tables full of mittens, books, toys, and other gifts, and each Rotarian stuffed them into three to five stockings.
On Friday, President DJ (center) delivered the stockings to Old Town Elementary School, where they were accepted by Principal Jeanna Tuell (left).

Keri Denis and Don Sturgeon sample all four entries in the club's Chili Cook-Off.


Linda Bryant wins Old Town Rotary Chili Cook-Off by 1 vote margin

     Linda Bryant won the club's Chili Cook-Off  by a single vote at the October 4th meeting.  Rotarians were invited to prepare a batch of their favorite chile recipe, and club members received a cup from each of the four crock pots.  After sampling the four entries, club members cast their ballots and were able to take seconds of their favorite chili (and their second or third favorites as well).
In addition to Linda, chili crock pots were entered by Tamara Saarinen, Deanie Greenleaf, and DJ Whitmore.
     Linda's chili received one more vote than Tamara's chili, which was made with chicken and chicken sausage.  
     In addition to receiving bragging rights, Linda was allowed to donate the proceeds to her preferred charity, was was the club's "Birthday Bags" project.  The cook-off proceeds totaled $226, which was augmented by $223 that was donated by club members to help fill the Birthday Bags.
Scooping free ice cream Friday night at Riverfest.
Old Town Rotarians participated in the city's Riverfest celebration September 28 and 29 with several different activities.  First, on Friday night (Sept. 28), club members scooped free ice cream into several hundred cones for Riverfest participants.  Second, on Saturday morning, a team of Rotarians marched in the parade and tossed candy to children along Stillwater Avenue and Main Street.  Third, after the parade, club members served chicken barbecue, selling out early in the afternoon.  Linda Bryant organized the chicken barbecue with the assistance of a crew that gathered at the Bryant homestead Friday night to parboil the chicken.

Free Ice Cream on Friday night

Chicken Barbecue on Saturday


From left: Past President Doug, Linda and Buggsy Bryant, Mischelle Adams, Steve Russell, Ben Smith, Robin Merchant, and President DJ.
Five Old Town Rotarians have been recognized as Paul Harris Fellows.  They were presented with their Paul Harris pins and medallions at the club's Thursday night meeting on July 26.  The Paul Harris Fellows are Mischelle Adams, club treasurer; Steve Russell, House committee chair; Robin Merchant, Assistant District Governor; and Linda and Buggsy Bryant--two club members who don't hold a formal office but get lots of different things done.  The fellows were nominated by Past President Doug Marchio.  Assisting in the presentation were President DJ Whitmore and Foundation Chair Ben Smith.

Old Town Rotarians enjoy dinner, camaraderie at Sarah's House

CHECK PRESENTATION--After dinner, the club presented a check  for $13,500 to Delores Landry, Executive Director of Sarah's House.  From left, Old Town Rotary Club President Doug Marchio, Sarah's House Campaign Chair Judy Collier, Delores, and Rev. James Haddix, President of the Board of Directors for Sarah's House.  In the foreground is Ian Whitmore, son of incoming President DJ Whitmore, who brought in a sack full of money (about $50) that he requested in lieu of birthday presents so he could donate it to Sarah's House.

Old Town Rotarians cook hot dogs, serve lunch to veterans and others celebrating Memorial Day

The Rotary cooking/serving crew--Jane and Chuck Veeder, Corina Larsen, Steve Russell, Steve Johnston, Tamara Saarinen, Izzy Larsen, and Josh Hamilton. Not present for photo: Lisa Gallant and her sister Terri and Frank Greenleaf. Photo by Dave Wollstadt.

The 4 Way Test

Past President
Vice President
Foundation Chair
Club Administration Chair
Public Relations Chair
Membership Chair
Service Projects Chair
House Committee Chair
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