Rotarians look to raise the roof funds for Catholic Charities

14 years ago

Rotarians look to raise the roof funds

for Catholic Charities

By Natalie Bazinet

Staff Writer

CARIBOU — Catholic Charities of Maine Food Bank supports 24 food pantries in Aroostook County from St. Francis to Sherman meeting the nutritional needs of over 33,000, many of whom are children and senior citizens. So when members of the Presque Isle Rotary Club found out that the organization’s roof — under which all the organization’s food is kept — was in serious jeopardy, it was unanimously approved that the Catholic Charities roof replacement be adopted as this year’s Presque Isle Rotary Club annual Special Project.

BU-auction-dcx-shar-47-clrContributed photo
THE ROOF SHELTERING the food resources at Catholic Charities of Maine’s Caribou facility is warped and many of the gaskets holding the roof in place have rusted while others have simply disintegrated. The Presque Isle Rotary Club has chosen to replace the roof as their annual Special Project and hope to raise the $20,000 necessary to complete the project.


The 50-by-100-foot roof is so old that the metal screws and the gaskets holding the roof together are in various stages of deterioration, according to Catholic Charities of Maine in Caribou Project Director Dixie Shaw.
“When this facility was being used as a lumber warehouse for many years, apparently forklifts punched stuff through the tops and sides of the building,” explained Shaw. “When we moved into the building we were able to patch over the holes in the roof and replace the siding but the contractor told us then that we’d have to replace the roof.”
According to P.I Rotarians, Catholic Charities would be required to use operating funds to pay for the repairs which will mean less food on the table throughout The County.
“Twenty thousand dollars is a substantial amount of money to raise, particularly in these tough economic times,” explained Special Project Tri-Chair Brian Hamel. “Each year our special project is of the same financial magnitude, and year in and year out we witness the generosity of Aroostook County citizens that support our special projects. We are a community that cares about each other and the success of the Presque Isle Rotary Club’s Special Projects in perfect evidence of this.”
The new roof, purchased and installed with funds specifically donated to the P.I. Rotary Club’s Special Project, will be built over the existing roof and any remaining funds will be utilized by Catholic Charities to purchase more food, which will help combat the seemingly ever-rising cost of food.
“The Catholic Charities of Maine has an excellent facility but must make a major repair to the roof or face the food being exposed to the elements which would cause spoilage and decrease the amount of food that actually reaches the table,” Tri-Chairs Gretchen Morse, Timothy Poitras and Hamel expressed in a letter that was included in the Rotary Auction booklet.
The special project is held in conjunction with the club’s annual auction but general proceeds from the auction do not benefit the project.
This year’s P.I. Rotary auction will be held nightly from Tuesday, Nov. 30 to Thursday, Dec. 2 and will be televised live; all donations made to the Special Project will be announced on-air during the auction but the Special Project’s worthy nature is reason enough for many to generously contribute to the cause.
“For me this is much more than a roof project, rather it is about the impact this operation has on thousands of County residents that are in dire need of food,” Hamel explained. “We all sometimes take it for granted that food will be on our tables on a daily basis, but there are people just like us who don’t have that same certainty and we are committed to assisting these less fortunate fellow citizens.”
“The Rotarian motto of ‘Is is the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? And will it be beneficial to all concerned?’ rings true with this Special Project,” he added. “We strive to make a difference in our community and we are very pleased to be reaching out to all corners of Aroostook County in supporting the Catholic Charities of Maine Food Bank.”