On Thursday evening July 1, 2021, several club members and friends met at 33 Elmwood in Westbrook to celebrate the end of the old Rotary year and to welcome in the new year. With the weather threatening, we moved inside to a beautiful large space between the bar and the bocce court.  Fortunately, no one was playing bocce that night! 
Outgoing President Kathi Perkins thanked the club for their work this year.  Despite the pandemic, we continued to meet most weeks via Zoom, bringing in speakers from other parts of the country and other parts of the world.
We also accomplished quite a bit through donations and projects.  These included: 
  • Most improved scholarships to Gorham and Westbrook High Schools
  • Interact scholarship to Gorham (Westbrook did not have any seniors) – Gorham’s Interact Scholarship has been named in honor of Bill Chadwick
  • 8 scholarships and 6 toolships to WRVC
  • Supported Interact clubs at both high schools
  • One Million Mask Challenge - distributed 11,500 adult masks, 1,000 kids’ masks, and 900 N-95 masks to nursing homes, day care centers, food distribution sites, housing agency Intercultural Center, adult education
  • Made extra donations to food pantries and to the Locker Project
  • Supported food pantries at WHS and WMS through food drives
  • Volunteered at (almost) year-round food distribution events with The Locker Project
  • Continued to provide children’s books to both libraries in honor of our speakers
  • Completed a District Grant in Romania and also began a Literacy Project in Romania
  • Donated Christmas to a few local families
How did we pay for all that, you might ask?  We had the most successful golf tournament ever thanks to our wonderful sponsors.  We had a successful tree and wreath sale, including the most wreaths ever sold!  Our District Grant helped pay for the project in Romania and we had donations from members to help us along the way.  Last but not least, we sold the house!!  Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the WRVC was shut down to in-person learning as the house was nearing completion.  A huge thanks to all members who stepped up in the spring and throughout the summer and fall to finish the house.  A job well done!
We thanked Kathi for her leadership with a token of our appreciation – a Rotary scarf featuring children in native costumes from around the world.   We also donated a beautiful hardcover picture book to the Baxter Library in her honor.
Kathi administered the oath of office to incoming President Andy Turcotte who then laid out some of his plans for the new year.  One major goal is membership growth and retention – net at least 10 new members this Rotary year. He’s also interested in the club developing a strategic plan and taking a look at how to improve our brand awareness in the community.  More to follow at our club assembly in August.
We presented Andy with a vintage Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club pen to thank him for stepping up to lead our club.  We also donated a hardcover picture book to the Walker Memorial Library in his honor.