HOULTON, Maine — The Houlton Rotary Club met for its Annual Dinner on June 17, at the Shiretown Motor Inn Conference room. Paul LaPointe provided music for the social and dinner hour. Dana Delano introduced Riley Faulkner who is going to Germany for the club’s Youth Exchange Program. She will be a senior at Houlton High School next year. The other exchange student, Jamie Brown, is already in Italy.
Perfect attendance awards went to Frank Thompson, Nancy Ketch and Deb Clark. Outgoing President Nate Bodenstab thanked everyone on his Board of Directors and committee chairmen for their work helping him as the 2018-2019 President. He gave his Presidential Award to Andy Mooers and Meg York for their work in drawing membership and advertising events with photos on Facebook. Rotarian Fred Grant installed the upcoming year officers. Tracy Rockwell is the President for the anniversary of the club as it celebrates 100 years.
Rotarian Marguerite Lawlor introduced the presenters of the Community Service Award and the Paul Harris Fellow awards. Delano prefaced the 2019 Community Service Award with a story beginning 20 years ago that led to the current phase of the Riverfront Park.
Rotarians Robert Anderson, Lori Weston, Jane Torres, Nancy Ketch, Otis Smith as well as Marie Carmichael from the Department of Recreation in Houlton received a standing ovation as they accepted the award. Former board member Brian Stewart was also acknowledged. There will be a dedication of Phase 3 on July 18.
Presenting the Paul Harris Fellow Award to a non-Rotarian was Rotarian Otis Smith. Smith described the recipient as a strong family man with an excellent mind and spirit as a true humanitarian as he has spent his retirement so far organizing Friends of Aroostook that provides food to area charities. Dale Flewelling was presented the award as a person with a knack for finding and solving problems with a golden heart.
Mooers presented the Paul Harris Award, Rotary’s top honor. He described the code of conduct that all Rotarians follow. This year’s recipient moved to the area in 1985 from Pennsylvania with his growing family. He has been a dedicated Rotarian and given a lot of time to the growth of the Soap Box Derby effort in Houlton. Frank Thompson was pleasantly surprised to receive the award, but admitted that he was suspicious when members of his family showed up for the event. Thompson spoke to the joy in the faces of the competitors of the Soap Box Derby and the good feelings everyone maintains and that he has never seen a bad moment in his years of involvement.
Rockwell then spoke about her attraction to the Rotary Club and its activities and fund-raising events. Her focus in the coming year as an educator will be on literacy and on forming a “Rotaract Club” for 18-30 years old residents in the area. She is also very excited to be club president during the 100 year celebration.