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Notes from November 18, 2020
Today we welcomed back Javiera Orellena, a past Rotary exchange student who came to Plymouth from Chile....
Members: Denise, Sharon, Bill, Omer, Mike, Paul, Ben, Lisa, Steve, Sara, Braden, Alex, and Ken. 
Guests: Brenna Lynn: PSU student Civic Club project; Isabel Thorne
Speaker: Javiera Orellena - Past Rotary exchange student to Plymouth from Chile
 
Ben opened the meeting with the pledge, prayer and song. 
Happy Birthday to Bill and Happy Rotary anniversary to Gail.
 
Sharon introduced Javi as an Interact student from Chili who traveled here as our Plymouth rotary exchange student in 2014-2015.  
 
Javi thanked us all for hosting her then as it was her first trip away from home and a huge positive experience. She feels the friends she made here are family forever. She returned to finish an extra year of school in Chile and is now in her 3rd year of law school. She feels her connection to Rotary has impacted her decision to major in Humanitarian Law. She started a Rotaract Club in college and was pleased that her brother also became a Rotary exchange student to Germany. She stays connected with her American and RI friends and had a visit from Isabel in Chile. Chile is currently in partial shutdown due to COVID, the health minister was forced to resign over his lack of performance. Nearly all education is done remotely now.
 
The biggest news from Chile is that for the past 18 months the country has been focused on protest to fight for a new constitution. Over 2 million people gathered for their largest demonstration. Areas of most concern are the rights of the Mapache, a native indigenous population, equality for women, LGBTQ, and the disabled. The fight to change laws that discriminate women's legal status after marriage, and provide an end to violence against women is driving a lot of the direction in this protest. Parliament has created a Peace Agreement with guidelines on how to craft the new Constitution. A public vote was held as to who would make up the writers of the new constitution and was overwhelmingly won by the decision that 100% of the "writers" would be citizens and not parliamentary members. 50% of the writers will be women with representation for all minority groups. This long process will result in a referendum that all citizens will vote on to ratify. 
  • Steve asked about her law focus and Javi stated her time in the US influenced her decision to target human rights.
  • Lisa commented on how pleased she was to see the country's progress.
  • Steve asked about the large numbers of women involved  and how it began. Javi explained that previously, women had been involved in Feminist protest and strikes to reduce the brutality, abuse and discrimination.
  • Sharon asked about her connections to other RI students, and Javi told us she had traveled to Spain to visit RI friends. 
     
Ben spoke about the District Leadership seminar on Saturday that he, Mike, and Denise attended. The guest speakers topic was improving diversity within Rotary.  Ben also spoke about the Presidents meeting and invited members to join today's noon meeting on Polio and a meeting next Tuesday where the new RI president will be the guest speaker. All information and sign ups are on the 7850.org site.
 
Ken gave a PGT wrap up with huge thanks to Sara for making it all happen and Lisa for the idea. $20,000 has been generated and checks are being mailed out to the category winners. 
  • Alex asked if the format would be easy to reuse next year and Sara felt it would. 
  • Denise asked if PGT could be repeated but not as a primary fund raising event if the Penny Sale was to be held to avoid double dipping from our Sponsors. Sharon commented on the virtual platform promoting inclusion. 
  • Paul asked if we could recruit an assistant to support the hours Sara contributed next year.
Ben reminded us that we are meeting on the Common on Saturday the 28th at 9am to decorate. Alex and Steve asked to present information and request support for a Drive- thru- Holiday event December 19th. They will present their ideas at Friday's board meeting. 
 
Respectfully submitted,
Denise 
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Notes from November 11, 2020
Our guest this week was Michael Capone, Town Administrator of Holderness.....
In attendance: Ken, Denise, Lisa, Ben, Omer, Paul, Mike, Sharon, Steve, Alex
Guest: Michael Capone- Holderness town Administrator
 
We opened with the pledge, prayer and a song.
Ken introduced Mike. Mike went on to talk about all the changes in procedures at the town hall. All services are now by appointment something that residents and employees all seem to like much more than walk-ins. The staff have been hard at work for several weeks gearing up for the election and the large number of absentee ballots. 500 absentee ballots were processed with a turnout of 1,800 votes, representing an 80% voter turnout.  Holderness Central school shared their space as the town hall was too small to safely accommodate everyone.  The impact COVId has had on town services has been minimal, some workers are working remotely, but since services need to be on-site, most are there daily. The transfer station has had to make modifications in traffic flow. A grant from GOEFFER has su[plied them with plastic barriers, UV treatment, laptops and supported emergency workers salaries. Special permission was granted to host public meetings remotely. the possibility of moving to a hybrid model is in the future to be explored. The large influx of seasonal residents has impacted everyone, with an increase of 40 students at HCS. The increase in real estate activity has dramatically impacted housing prices and availability. This will require the town to complete a statistical update on reevaluations. There is work in progress on Rt 175 on a 13 lot subdivision and plans for another one on Mt Prospect Rd. A third might be in the planning stages by the Hutchins Farm. Development at Curry palace has increased retail space which has increased the need for  available dedicated parking. With an anticipated shortfall in gas, meals, and tolls taxes, and increases to the town's responsibility for retirement funds.
  • Ken asked if  plans were in place to host the town meeting and was told they are still exploring options. The school has been offered again and various rooms could be utilized with the conversation broadcast throughout. 
  • Lisa asked about the real estate sales impacting low income housing, and was told there is no current plan in place to increase that at the time.
  • Steve asked how the census had impacted town and wondered about any proposed changes and was told, not data has been shared yet.
Ben told us Cheryl did take the Grant class, and reminded us that the leadership class was this Saturday. Ben informed us there could be some extra district masks available too. 
 
Ken provided information on PGT. $19,000 in sponsors, $4,000 in votes, $300 in registrations.The Youtube channel had over 300 viewers. Noyes insurance has donated extra gift certificates that can go to every talent registration. A reminder for all Rotarians to continue promoting PGT until the weekend.  Ben also sent a huge thank you to Sara for all her expertise and time devoted to PGT. 
 
Ben read a letter from Kate Donahue with a donation that she normally would have made to The Penny Sale.
 
A discussion followed on the decorations for the town common and the lack of hands available this year. Lisa suggested a two day project to lighten the chores. A suggestion was made to possibly pay someone to do the lighting in the trees if a volunteer can not be found. 
 
Paul reminded us that the Bristol rotary was exploring options for their Penny Sale next August. 
 
A reminder of the Veterans Celebration today at Plymouth Town Hall.
 
Respectfully submitted by,
Denise Castonguay
   
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Notes from November 4, 2020
Today the club hosted Melanie Luce, of the White Mountain Trails Collective....
11/4/2020
In attendance: Bill, Denise, Sharon, Lisa, Alex, Ben, Steve, Ken, Mike, Peggy, and Paul.
Guest Speaker: Melanie Luce, Executive Director of the White Mountains Trail Collective.
 
Lisa introduced Melanie and gave a brief background. Melanie spoke about how WMTC originated as a collective impact model organization in 2011 by Mike Stonebreaker at the age of 67 after after learning there was no umbrella organization for trail maintenance. Their mission is to repair, protect, expand, and turn trails into sustainable access points for humans. No motorized or animal access. Less than 1/2 a % of all fees to the National Forest go to trail maintenance. AMC only works on trails surrounding their huts. Mike chose to find a way to support the 1,200 miles of trails in the White Mountains National Forest. There are more miles than this, but many are not legitimate trails, have been created by hikers and mountain bikers and are not sustainable.
 
Due to COVID, the huge overuse of the trails this summer highlighted new areas of concern. The other organizations involved have few paid trained workers and rely on volunteers. The model of WMTC is to partner these clubs with like clubs to share skills and membership. They supply training on how to do this in a responsible way. The Crawford Pass Project actually moved rocks from the top of Mt Washington that were endangering plant life to correct problems lower on the mountain. They also cultivated surviving plants and replanted areas where the plants were endangered. Professional trail workers helped train new workers on the oldest system in NH. 15038 hours of work on 8 and 1/2 miles of trail. The National Forest Service is now using the Crawford Project on a national level to showcase positive outcomes. The 2022-2023 projects will include PemiValley District, Rumney Rocks, Smarts Brook. they will be building new mountain bike trails to alleviate the damage done by bikers currently. 
  • Steve asked if the Oxbow project had a plan yet and was told it is under review with Fish and Game. 
  • Ben asked about land acquisition and data collection to support changes and any partnership with Granite Outdoor Alliance, a new tourism based outdoor economy group focused on growing this economy to support the lifestyle expectations.
  • Steve asked about a Livermore Falls connection and was told that yes it has been included as one of the top 5 projects where overuse and non sustainable funding needs to be addressed. 
Ken next reported on PGT, voting live and reminded everyone to block off Saturday at 6pm for the live show along with reminders to continue and solicit sponsors. Rotary is very close to meeting the goal normally reached via the Penny Sale. 
 
Ben reported on the distribution of masks provided by the District to 3 area youth programs (Circle, Mayhew, PYC) and the Senior Center.
 
Steve and Peggy reported additional garland has been ordered and we are seeking a new contact to help re-string the trees on the common with lights. The proposed date for decorating is November 28-29th. Talks are still ongoing over a possible drive-by Santa event. 
 
Paul shared contact info from PSU's Angel Tree project as they expect a shortfall this year of $3,000 to $4,000. His hope is that Rotary can help in some way. A reminder that PACC will need help delivering holiday baskets this year too.
 
Mike reminded us of the leadership training on the 14th and this weekend's certification training for grant submissions. Cheryl will be contacted to see if willing to take this on.
 
Respectfully submitted by,
Denise
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Notes from October 28, 2020
Today was a club forum, with many interesting topics....
In attendance: Mike, Denise, Steve, Ben, Paul, Omer, Braden, Ken, Sharon, Alex, Walter, Sue.
 
Ben opened the meeting with the pledge, prayer and a song.
 
Ken reported out on PGT:
  • 26 acts, several more expected from PRHS.
  • 60 sponsors with $15,000.
  • FB and radio ads to start next week.
  • Working on script to introduce and segue between acts, Rotary history and an invitation to join.
  • All questions about viewing should be directed to the website plymouthsgottalent.com, as there will be multiple links to the platforms showing the event.
  • Acts will be available for viewing and voting on starting Nov 1, but the grand premier showing is the 7th.
  • The committee is meeting Thursday am to regroup on acts and editing them down in size where necessary.
  • EVERYONE please recheck your responsibilities to connect with possible sponsors. 
 
The update on the district masks is that we will give them to area youth groups and the senior center.
 
Speech contest will be active in February and March, Mike will need to hand over to another Rotarian. It will run for less time as there will only be two rounds. 
 
A texting app in addition to email is being investigated to see if it improves responses. Since several Rotarians do not work with their email on a daily basis, we miss getting information to them. Steve found an app on RI, can be used with non-smart phones too.
 
The board is looking at adding a temporary increase to dues, to cover lost revenue due to no card games or 50/50 at weekly meetings. The message will be balanced with why the club needs the income and at Walter's suggestion, an accounting of how our dues support the club will be included in the request. 
 
With the rise in community transmission and reported cases, Alex has donated another 1,500 smaller youth masks, that were gifted to him from Honduras. They will go to PRHS and Holderness Central School. 
 
Alex started a conversation on options for a responsible community holiday event, possibly at the Barn with Santa, candy and cocoa. We will also need to set a date soon for decorating the common, and Ben will check with Peggy on anticipated expenses as some garland etc needs to be replaced. Steve reminded us that we have $4,000 in unallocated funds on hand that could be used for this and adding lights to the rooftops on Main Street. 
 
respectfully submitted,
Denise
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Notes from October 21, 2020
Today's guest was Talley Diggs, of the UN's World Food Programme.....
In attendance: Steve, Denise, Francesca, Ken, Sharon, Ben, Bill, Mike, Lisa, Braden, Omer, Sara, Alex.
Guest: Talley Diggs with The UN's World Food Programme
 
Ben opened the meeting with the pledge, prayer and a song.
 
Francesca introduced her daughter Talley.
 
The WFP recently won a Nobel Peace Prize for their humanitarian efforts to maintain the largest refugee camp in the world. They are the leaders in food and nutrition insecurity. The program was originated in 1961 by President Eisenhower for the UN. In 2019 they fed 97 million people in 88 countries. The organization is led by an executive director from the US, with the US committing 40% of the cost. Due to the rise in conflict throughout the world, because conflict drives food shortages. The largest camp in the world borders Bangladesh and Myanmar. The refugees were forced out of their homes into a wetlands area that borders the sea that is prone to floods, typhoons and monsoons. The exodus began 3 years ago with 740,000 women, children and elderly fleeing Myanmar with no solution in sight. Right now 860,000 people are totally dependent on WFP with no hope of repatriation or citizenship. There are several camps in the area, with the Mega camp holding 600,000 people housed in an area the size of LAX airport. Every person is giving enough food via vouchers allowing them choices for most items and some dignity. Rice is the only commodity with limits as it is often bartered as currency. The cost per person is about $12.00  a month. They are also provided with skill training in farming, sewing, repairing solar panels. They are never allowed to leave as Bangladesh has created physical barriers. They also work on infrastructure like roads, drainage, and have access to engineering classes. This provides them with extra income. School is not allowed by Bangladesh, so learning centers were created with high nutrition meals. The WFP has created their own communication systems after Bangladesh turned off all 3 and 4G cell towers.   During COVID, the WFP limited everyone's footprint and exposure by setting up Joint Distribution centers, clinics, and distributing PPE and training along with sanitizing stations.  At this time the camp has recorded 287 cases of COVID 19 and 9 deaths. Scanning codes for vehicles entering were established and mothers were trained to record arm measurements on children to avoid slipping into malnutrition. The WFP also feeds about 500,000 in Bangladesh.   
  • Steve asked about the start of the conflict and was told that it is an ethnic religious conflict between the Buddhist population in Myanmar and  Muslims expected to flee to Bangladesh. 
  • Mike asked about cooperation between refugees and was told that fear is a great motivator as returning means death. The men who stayed to defend their homes were slaughtered in what could be called ethnic genocide.  
  • Lisa spoke about a connection she has and the conditions they were driven to as refugees are sometimes an improvement over staying.   
  • Bill asked about Shelter Box and was told that they only deal with food, but that housing is ad hoc and some housing boxes do exist.   
  • Ben asked about the big picture to end this and was told it would have to be a political mediation with regime changes.
  • Steve questioned citizenship rights if born in the camps, but it does not exist.    
  • Mike reminded us of the 7 areas of focus for Rotary and how the WFP supports them. 
Ben brought new business to the conversation with communications from  Assistant Governor Maureen about disposable mask distribution to Plymouth Rotary for area nonprofits.  Also an update from Central NH Chamber on $300,000 grants for PPE for area chamber members.
 
The Presidents meeting reviewed the Coleman presentation with a reminder that we all have 100 days to maintain engagement to enlist customers and members. November 7th will be Grant training, and leadership training to follow.
 
October 24th is World Polio day.
 
Ken updated us on $11,000 in sponsorships and 19 talent acts. We are running FB ads and finalizing radio ads.  A decision on radio will be made after investigating getting stations to become sponsors and make an in kind donation of air time. 
 
Ben thanked the PGT team for progress. Members were reminded to SHARE the  event on FB. 
 
Respectfully submitted by,
Denise     
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Notes from October 7, 2020
Today's guest was Rob Rodler, Director of Adolescent Services for DCYF. Minutes below...
10/7/2020
In attendance:
Ben, Denise, Bill, Sharon, Ken, Mike, Lisa, Paul, Omer, Steve, Braden, Sarah, Alex, Sue.
Guest :  Rob Rodler- Director of Adolescent Services NH DCYF
 
Ben opened the meeting with the pledge, prayer and a song.
He thanked the crew who put up Talent Show banners this weekend.
 
Denise Introduced Rob Rodler. Rob explained the problem NH youth in Foster or residential care have faced, with services being dropped at 18 or high school graduation. Few youth are ready at that time to manage the world on their own, let alone those with complex trauma in their past. He explained that for 10 years, DCYF has worked to create a package with federal and state funds but could not get approval from the NH legislature. Last April the bill passed to include the option to extend or come back into care in several ways for youth between 18 and 21 and in some cases 26.
Participating youth must meet one of the 4 categories: Working at least 20 hours a month, college or academic enrollment, Job Corp, or disabilities. When back in care, they will have an assigned CPSW worker to help navigate insurance, school, housing, family reunification etc. The push to establish extended care was born out of the consistently poor outcomes for NH youth who aged out. The option to opt in or out, helps support them in various independent living situations. Historically NH youth stay at home with parental support until 25- 27 years old. Those youth without are at risk of failure over and over. Extended care allows them to establish a solid foundation for school, work, and independent living arrangements. 
  • Ben asked about host family buy-in and was told there is support from current foster families, but there is a critical shortage of homes for older youth. 
  • Mike asked how communities could support these youth. Rob explained if you can not become a foster parent or landlord, you could connect with a youth and obtain court permission to become their PCA, a unique NH role as a Primary Caring Adult. This role allows you to be the person who takes an emergency call in the middle of the night, problem solve and help with school applications, share your home / time  for birthdays or holidays.
  • Steve asked about the opting back in for services and was told that even if this option did not exist when a youth aged out, they can now ask to opt back in. 
  • Sharon asked about the affects COVID had on youth in care. Rob explained the incredible challenges for youth in care in college, who lost their dorm housing but had no homes to return to. Also youth who lost their jobs and did not have secure housing were in constant risk of homelessness. 
  •  Denise asked about the process to become a Primary Caring Adult, and was told that the application and a background check will set you up to be court approved.
  •  Steve asked for the link to this information, and Rob said he would provide it to Denise to share.
Ben started the business meeting with a question as to members receiving the District newsletter and seeing the MASKUP NH article. It also has available training posted.
  • Mike explained about the upcoming virtual training on " Never Lose Another Customer"  and our option to bring non rotary members for a fee.
  • Steve remarked on a surprise as he balanced the Rotary books and found an extra $2,000. from the GOFundMe startup that the Bridge House initiated for the Mask Up program. We now have $9,000. in total from masks sales. 
  • Ken updated us on banners and posters and asked for help getting more out into the community. Denise took care of Rumney today. We need more staked flyers or window postings in Campton and Plymouth. 
     
We also discussed that we need to be more aggressive in soliciting for sponsors. Denise offered to share sponsor lists as her list is pretty small. We discussed that if someone you solicit says yes, and wants to mail in a check, the Rotarian should go on the website and enter their sponsorship info if they have not already done that.  This will generate follow up emails requesting a logo.
 
Steve asked for clarification on how / who / and when to green line a sponsor. Sarah replied that when they are registered via the website, and their information added to the spread sheet, they get green highlights when the monies are received. If a sponsor has any issues with their submission via the website, please notify Sarah immediately. The incentive to pay promptly gets them immediately on the site and for the duration of the event. Completing the sponsor page on the website is critical, as it triggers all the remaining steps.
     
Ken reminded us he needs a production crew to review videos for content asap.
 
Denise suggested we consider making personalized "requests" for talent to friends. 
 
Bill told us his guest next week would be talking about nearly losing his business during the COVID crisis.
 
respectfully submitted:
Denise Castonguay 
 
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Notes from October 14, 2020
Today's guest was Tim Corbett, of MegaPrint...
In attendance: Denise, Bill, Ken, Paul, Alex, Steve, Ben, Sharon, Mike, Brandon, Omer and Sue F.
Guest Tim Corbitt from Mega Print
Happy birthday to Lisa and Steve
Glenda is celebrating 8 years of Rotary membership 
 
Ben opened the meeting with the Pledge, prayer and a song
 
Bill introduced Tim who then shared his experiences of the impact COVID had on Mega Print.
 
Tim purchased the company 3 years ago and the immediate impact of the health crisis was losing 90% of his business as it left the state. As large format printers rely on providing materials for trade shows, seminars, tournaments and  large presentations, their business disappeared. Tim began to retool the plant to make PPE with new products using similar materials. Staff were cross trained in new techniques . They developed different ways for schools, banks, and shops to install barriers , encouraging them to add their logo and slogans to the shields. they started to utilize equipment that was normally only in use 10% of the time to full time. They also invested in supporting local charities like The United Way during their work day. As prices of materials drastically increased due to the overwhelming demand they continued to source as locally as possible until the market stabilized. 
  • Paul asked about equipment to retool and Tim explained their CNC router was now being used to cut different qualities of acrylic and design standing or hanging devices to suit each installation. 
  • Braden asked about the possibility of these new products becoming the norm. Tim explained that the ability to respond quickly locally was key to success and that they did not anticipate a return to business as usual any time soon. He explained that when trade shows return, they will be better prepared for the printing and PPE needs required.
  • Ben asked about the supply and economic changes and Tim explained that Mega Print does not compete with big box stores who source materials overseas, but use quality materials that are not as competitive price wise, but are safe and reliable.  Tim explained that Mega Print was able to maintain their staff and created training between employees of 30 years with new younger staff  for growth. All staff are employed to start at salaries way over state requirements to provide a living wage with full benefits. Paul invited Tim to return to Rotary soon
Ben reminded us of the Joel Coleman presentation this week and to recruit non Rotary members to attend as well. He thanked Sharon for managing the post box and shared information on Pints for Peace on October 24th from Forever Friends.
 
Ken and Bill gave an update on PGT with $7,000 in sponsorships. They encouraged everyone to make call backs and follow up with their list. Everyone should also work to recruit more acts. Members were asked to step up or be recruited to help review acts as well.
 
A discussion followed on various ways to increase our visibility, adding stickers to the banners, activity members standing at various locations holding the flyers, a direct mail campaign and handing out the cards that Steve printed. Social media should also be pushed and Denise will connect with Sarah and Ken tomorrow. 
 
Respectfully submitted,
Denise 
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Notes from September 30, 2020
Today's guest was Benoit Lamontagne, of the the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development. Minutes below:
Wednesday 9/30/2020
In attendance:
Denise, Omer, Mike, Ken, Lisa, Sharon, Ben, Bill, Steve, Sara, Alex, Walter
Guest Benoit Lamontagne
 
Ben opened the meeting with the pledge, prayer and a song.
Happy birthday to Braden!
Alex reported out on his trip out west in a travel van with his family. In 24 days they covered 6,500 miles and visited multiple National Parks. Steve and Sue flew out to join them in the adventure and they caravaned to several amazing spots.
 
Alex brought Beno as his guest to discuss the possibility of Plymouth moving forward during the current economic climate with a technology or industrial park. With the changing economic landscape and several companies and businesses redesigning how they navigate business as usual, the lure of living and working in the White Mountains has dramatically increased. Using the example of how Littleton used grants and federal funds to research and bring new businesses to the area, Plymouth has formed a committee of interested parties to try and see how the same process could happen here. With the possibility of CARES act funds and other sources available, Alex and Beno made the point that we are sitting on the cusp of change. Plymouth has a real opportunity to create a more divers, healthy economic business community. 
  •      Ben asked if this opportunity was related to COVID's effects on business and the answer was yes. 
  •      Steve and Beno discussed the spin offs that new business creates with a domino affect.
  •      Ben spoke about the possibility of real broadband improvements with the use of CARES act monies. 
  •      Alex spoke about the positivity to the COVID experience and the work migration out of large cities as an opportunity for Plymouth to grow. He also spoke about the possibility of Rotary creating a civic project for people looking to relocate.
  •      Bill asked if Plymouth was well positioned to make this move, and both Alex and Beno stated that the time is now and Plymouth is ripe for change. 
  •      Ben asked about obstacles to the idea and the availability of a workforce was discussed with examples of how a similar project was completed in Vermont. New business will attract people and offer secure lifestyles and workplaces. Running job fairs to seek out the pockets of unemployment was suggested. 
  •      Steve spoke about the balance needed to create jobs and housing simultaneously. 
  •      Alex reminded us that now was the time to use the market to tell our story and encourage an era of positive growth.
     Ken reported out on Plymouths' Got Talent and the need for help with posting the banners this weekend. He also called for volunteers to sit on the talent review committee. 
 
A reminder that you can join the Rotary live now at Fosters on Wednesday or the Zoom link. 
 
Respectfully submitted,
Denise
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Notes from September 23, 2020
Today was a club forum, with focus on the upcoming Plymouth's Got Talent event that's currently underway. Minutes below:
Minutes:
In attendance: Sarah, Denise, Paul, Mike, Ken, Ben, Steve, Peggy, Walter, Omer, Sharon, Bill.
Ben opened with the Pledge, prayer and a song.
 
Club forum format:
  • Ken reported on all PR releases to print paper, radio, tv have been submitted. He is now focusing on banners and posters.
  • Bill reported on his meeting with all SAU 48 principals going very well, tons of support.
  • Ken asked for volunteers to review talent show submissions. Actual editing and production will be completed by local TV staff. He will send Ben an outline of expectations for this role.
  • Sarah ran through the website so we could all experience it live. An amazing accomplishment by Sarah. Peggy expressed difficulty with one part of sponsorship via the web site, Sarah will correct.
  • Ben will broadcast email to the club aa short version of the press release for members to use on their social media pages. It is critical that we start using this platform to help spread the word both for sponsorships and recruiting acts.
Discussion on how to handle a sponsorship donation offline - specifically what to do should your contact want to give you or mail in money. The Rotarian will enter the donors information on the website using their paperwork. Inform them that they will receive follow up emails asking for a logo etc. We will also need to make sure we try and mark them as paid on the excel sheet. There is no cut off for sponsorship, as even last minute additions to the website will be immediately live.
 
Ken will send out his script to use in an email as an intro to including the sponsorship request. Denise will send out the shortened PR blast for social media.
 
Ken reminded us not to leave out a sponsor because you may anticipate they are struggling during the COVID crisis. They may want to contribute in a smaller way, but also want to maintain the relationship for the future. We also confirmed that donations and sponsorships are not posted on the website by a $$ amount, or level. All sponsorships appear equal when posted. Anonymous donations can still be accepted and posted as so. 
 
Ben reminded us that as a club, we are searching for easy ways to add to our treasury with some kind of online game to help replace lost funds from in person card games, 50/50 / Super Bowl etc. 
 
Respectfully submitted by,
Denise
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Notes from September 16, 2020
Today our guests were District Governor Jamie Milne and Assistant District Governor Maureen Polimeno. Minutes below:
In attendance:
Ben, Mike, Denise, Ken, Sara, Braden, Omer, Sharon, Sue, Bill
Guest: District Governor Jamie Milne and Assistant District Governor Maureen Polimeno
 
Brought to order by Ben with the Pledge, prayer and song.
 
Jamie introduced himself with his family history in Rotary. He reported on his struggles at times to remain active, and his desire to join to meet new people and support the community. Jamie stated that the Covid crisis made it easier to visit all 41 clubs as visits are virtual and eliminate travel, but misses direct contacts in forming new friendships. He asked about changes we had experienced and Ben stated we had lost some long time members, possibly due to the virtual platform. Jamie spoke about his club taking a 3 week break to transition to virtual, and complemented our seamless transition. He went on to explore the RI challenge, " What would Rotary look like if it was starting today" how would we redesign? As a club, he asked us to reconsider how we function and recruit. 
 
2022- 2023 will see the first RI female president, long overdue. With the constant push to increase membership and start new clubs we need to consider four objectives: 1) stronger Interact clubs with no age limits. 2) Strategic planning yearly. 3) Using growing Rotary as a goal, with a focus on new members who understand the goal and responsibilities. 4) Support the Polio eradication efforts via the foundation. With the 2 to 1 match from the Gates foundation, every $$ counts. A reminder to use the new branding logo and explore the foundation's new 7th area of focus: The Environment.
 
Jamie shared one club's transition from a traditional pancake breakfast fundraiser, to pre-packed pancake breakfasts with a video of the packaging and sales event. He shared there will be no live training in Nov, but several virtual training for board positions. He also informed us there will be several events with a non-rotarian focus for both speakers and attendees. Oct 17th, " Never Lose Another Customer", with a cost of $50. Jamie reminded us they are seeking a District Treasure to start in June, and Maureen spoke about the various responsibilities. Ben questioned what new clubs might look like and Jamie spoke about clubs that only meet virtually with the goal of one service project a month.  
 
Ken reported on the progress of Plymouths' Got Talent and The Mask Up program. All members were encouraged to explore the website and register as donors. Jamie and Maureen will help spread the word. Everyone was asked by Sara to provide feedback on their website experience. Bill extended our thanks to Sara and Ken for their strong leadership with the talent show. 
     
Ben reminded us the board will meet Friday and Sue expressed how glad she is to be back now that she has a new employee to support her. She asked about adding judges for comments only to the talent show?
 
Respectfully submitted by:
Denise 
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Notes from July 29, 2020
This week we were pleased to hear from Roger LaRochelle of the Squam Lakes Conservation Society. Meeting minutes below:
In attendance:
Denise, Ben, Steve, Omer, Bill, Ken, Mike, Alex, Braden, Lisa, Sara, Sharon, Harry
 
Guest: Roger Larochelle, Squam Lakes, Conservation Society
Meeting brought together with The Pledge, Prayer and Song.
 
Ben acknowledged Steve's 35 years of service with Rotary and Sharon's birthday
 
Ken introduced his guest, Roger.
 
Roger spoke about the SLCS's efforts to reorganize in the face of COVID, and that they were pretty much back to basics with masks and an outside tented meeting area.
A powerful statement of " The outdoors is for everyone" documenting the sharp uptick in outdoor trail and lake activities since COVID. As a land trust, they have crafted two new parking lots and several new trails. They have not had any staffing cutbacks and currently have two Americorps volunteers. SLCS chose not to utilize the paycheck protection package and relied on their donor base of members.
Roger shared a map showing a new area in the North East watershed area of 2,000 acres, with little development. They manage 154 properties in their care and have fewer donations of land and rely more on purchase power. The Thompkins project was purchased in June and has a new nature trail, over 82 acres to Lost lake. It has the largest Black Ash tree and the trails are off limits to dogs. There is a new parking lot at Milbridge Rd for the Dot Bank's Nature Trail, and the second is at Eastern Brook Reserve. SLCS is currently working with Hubbard Brook on a climate change project measuring carbon and its effects. The Citizens Science Project and climate change information documents the need to protect as much as possible. Currently 30% of the watershed is protected.  Roger reminded us about their upcoming "event" celebrating 60 years of service with  A Night With The Stars, calling for a black out of lights from 9to 10pm on August 15th. He told us they have an increase in young volunteers as many older ones are still social isolating. 
     Steve voiced concerns and asked about the damage of WakeBoard boats on Squam, and their impact on normal lake activities due to the huge wakes they create. Roger stated that a study has stalled and that the youth and financially stable have redirected how we recreate on the lake, with boats that run up to 6 figures. 
     Ben asked if the increased activity affects property purchases on the lake, and the response was that there is little land available for development.
     Harry asked about lot development vs housing and Roger said there is really none available. Roger stated there are no more working farms and that the Trust seeks out even the less desirable land for protection.
     Lisa asked about the cost of purchasing land for protection being too expensive and Roger stated that of the 154 properties, 120 were donated.
     Ben asked about the Societies biggest concern for the watershed, and Ken spoke to the obvious changes that limited management caused if you compared Squam to the Meredith/ Lakeport area of over development. The character of the community is the concern that SLCS works to preserve during evolving values.
     Ben asked about The Dollars for Scholars committee and Bill was reminded that volunteers would sign in with him for the various committees. 
     Ken reminded us of the Lakes Region Rotary's virtual Car show and it's entry fee and voting mechanism.
     Ben spoke about the last minute change back to virtual meetings until the board has time to discuss the liability issues.
     Steve reported on a follow up thank you card from Midstate on their Feed The Need Grant.
     Harry said good bye for now, but asked to remain on the mailing list as they are selling their NH home and moving to Florida permanently. His 43 years of service has been a gift to all of us.
Respectfully submitted,
Denise
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Notes from July 22, 2020
 
This week's meeting was a club forum, held in a blended format that included the regular Zoom meeting and an optional in-person gathering following proper protocol.
 
This week's meeting was a club forum, held in a blended format that included the regular Zoom meeting and an optional in-person gathering following proper protocol. Here are the minutes: 
 
Wednesday 7/22/2020
Attendance live @ the Italian Farmhouse - Greenhouse: Tony, Denise, Joanie, Sarah, Ken, Sharon, Paul, Alex, Susan, Lisa.
Via Zoom: Ben, Bill, Omer, Mike
 
The zoom link was not stable enough to prevent buffering. Relocating to the patio by the Barn or using a HOtPOt was suggested next time.
 
The meeting was called to order by Tony with the Pledge, prayer and a song followed by NH trivia.
 
Guest was John Randlett
 
Club forum followed.
Tony handed out the new speaker assignments and also posted to the website.
Lisa brought us up to date with her vision for an alternative to the Penny Sale, based on a European talent show called Euro Vision.
 
Her suggestion was previously presented to, and approved by, the board. A call for participants in a virtual talent show would be made inviting individual and group participation. The show would air at a TBD date on several platforms for viewing and voting. Contestants would bring sponsorships to the event and viewers would be able to vote via " Donor Box " which is being used for the MaskUp NH program, phone calls, or snail mail. Sponsors for the event would be solicited for both prizes and funds from our normal donor base. Matching funds could be made for donations made during the initial broadcast of the event, with continued donations over a week of viewing at a set time. Discussion followed about the date of the event being linked to the original  Penny Sale, and utilizing the Penny Sale ( The Un-Penny Sale)  Title with a tagline of Dollars for Scholars. Incorporating "pennies" as part of the donation vocabulary would also reinforce the vision and history.
 
A request was made asking for volunteers to contact Ben to join a committee that will separate into sub committees to cover all aspects.
Further discussion covered adding testimonials from past scholarship recipients, partnering with PRHS and PSU.
 
Sarah reported that Loon Mountain Ministries has asked for support and volunteers with their next Pizza for The People event to be held from 6 to 8pm at their Farm House in Woodstock. Contact Sarah to lend a hand.
 
Alex gave an update on the Mask program. We have 7,000 masks on hand, and two scheduled events for Hanover and Lebanon. If enough remain, we could offer a last event in Plymouth. There seems to be some promise of the state picking up the program  as we end our portion. 
 
Denise reported on the Anti Mask event slated for this Sunday on the Plymouth Common. Sue showed a prototype sticker in development for childrens masks. 
 
Tony sent out a thanks to Alex for use of the Greenhouse and reminded us to "carry in carry out"
 
Alex reported on a new possible followup event similar to his drive-in concert that would have a goal of 1,000 cars and some serious headliners as talent to be held at The Benton's Sugar Shack. 
 
The next meeting will be blended, with a Zoom link and an optional gathering held on the patio next to the Barn ( PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN CHAIR ) for better proximity to the Wifi so that Zoom can be added again for members who choose to attend in a virtual format. 
 
Respectfully submitted by:
Denise Castonguay 
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Notes from July 15, 2020
 
Today the club was fortunate to get an update from Suzan Gannett, of Artistic Roots co-op.
 
Here are Denise's minutes:
 
Wednesday 7/15/2020
 
In attendance: Denise, Omer, Ben, Mike, Peggy, Steve, Paul, Ken, Braden, Sharon, Lisa, Walter.
Guest: Suzan Gannett- Artistic Roots
 
Called to order with the Pledge, prayer and song
Denise Introduced her guest, Suzan Gannett , president of the co-op at Artistic Roots in Plymouth.
 
Suzan explained how the co-op operated during the COVID crisis. As a Co-op and non profit, they did not qualify for most grants, but are hopeful they CARES grant money will help reimburse them for losses. Board members and co-op members stepped up and donated extra funds to maintain the gallery, the landlord discounted the rent as well.
 
The impact to the store was being closed for 2 months, all visiting artists and classes cancelled.
Together they redefined how they operated and created an ECommewrce online shopping experience that can be reached via their website. 
They recently started ZOOM online classes and have had good success with those. They offer free online classes for children. Adult classes start at $40 for a 4 hour class.
The store has reopened this month with limited days and hours to allow for cleaning and staffing. no members were forced to return to work for sales.
     Ben asked how the closing had impacted the artist. Suzan explained that the gallery collects only 10% of sales, 90% goes to the artist, leaving many without income if art is their only source of revenue.
     Sharon asked about fees for classes and was told they also offer free scholarships to adults if the price prohibits enrollment, especially during COVID.
     Lisa asked how they promote the classes, Artistic Roots advertises in the paper, in front of the store , on their website and via social media.
     Steve reminded us that in Plymouth's Master plan, support for the arts was deemed a critical component to a vibrant community. He compared them to Rotary as a non profit that provided service above self and created a community of artists.
     A discussion on how the NH Music Festival affected sales followed and Mike reminded us that the festival is streaming live Chamber music every Tuesday from the Congregational Church featuring the organ and averages over 1,000 views per night.
     Susan explained that a large percentage of sales are to out of state visitors, and their store mandated face masks at the door.
     Lisa asked if the new business plan was sustainable, and Suzan replied that no one has left the co-op yet, they can maintain inventory in the store or post online. their dues are $50.00 a month.
     Denise asked her to explain how memberships worked and supported the gallery. Information is available online at their website.
     Ken updated us on the magazine article, has been submitted and shared with other Rotary International Sites and is being considered for the magazine. Mike told us it has also been submitted for next month's news district letter.
     Ben let us know that CADY had approached us with an offer to build a picnic table with the Rotary logo for the amphitheater as a community service project from their Restorative Justice program.  Steve suggested we encourage them to also consider beautification projects with plantings and landscaping at the SkatePark.
     Denise reported on progress for in person meetings and they are to resume next week on a trial basis, 7am at The Green House next to The Italian FarmHouse. This will be a carry in carry out meeting. Bring your own chair, coffee etc. We will ask Alex to assist us with adjusting the windows and fans.  
     Lisa informed us that when school returns, she will only be available for virtual meetings as she will self isolate due to possible exposure in the classroom. With this in mind we will also test our capability to Zoom from the in person meeting.
     Ben reminded us to find and support speakers each week, the current Blue Book and the website should have that information listed.
     Ben informed us the district grant had arrived. He also shared that a thank you had arrived from the Grafton County Senior Center thanking us for supporting their efforts. they have provided over 9,000 meals, supported seniors with over 1,000 safety check calls, and provided assistance with projects at homes.
     Ken reported that Friends of the Pemi would be hosting their initial virtual meeting for Livermore Falls.
     Steve reported on Mask UP  NH , another successful event in Peterborough, bringing in $900 and dispensing 2,000 masks. He had a promising meeting with NHL officials regarding the state taking on the Mask Up program.
 
Respectfully submitted by
Denise Castonguay
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Notes on our January 15th Meeting
Moe, Steve and Tony induct Francesca as the newest member of our Club!
 
Here are Martha's Minutes:

It was good to see everyone this morning at the meeting. I thoroughly enjoyed being the Sgt at Arms as it gave me the opportunity to say hello to you all!

  • Keep the Heat On event is TONIGHT!  It is a SOLD OUT event so hopefully you have your tickets already.
  • Congratulations and Welcome to Francesca! Although she has been coming to several meetings already, she was officially inducted today. If you haven’t had a conversation with her yet, say HI! We are lucky to have her on our Plymouth Rotary Team!

Enjoy the snow and have a great week!!

Speakers
Dec 02, 2020
Knights of Columbus update
Dec 09, 2020
Allagash Ghost Train adventure
Dec 16, 2020
Dec 23, 2020
View entire list
Russell Hampton
ClubRunner
ClubRunner Mobile
Plymouth Rotary Club. PO Box 393 Plymouth, NH 03264.
www.plymouthnhrotary.org
Weekly meeting, every Wednesday morning at 7AM
The Common Man Inn in Plymouth, NH