Two new members of the MDI Rotary Club recently shared with the club some of their personal and professional experiences, taking Rotarians to the world of international diplomacy and giving an inside look at what it was like to survive Hurricane Katrina.
Buck Jardine, a semi-retired foreign service diplomat, provided insight into diplomacy before and after World War II, through the Cold War and beyond. He explained how technology impacts the way global strife is handled now.
Mike Mahan, administrator at Birch Bay Village, was managing a retirement facility in Biloxi, Miss., when Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. While others evacuated the facility, Mr. Mahan stayed with 52 residents who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, leave. Although the six-story building that sheltered them sustained damage, no one was injured. Mr. Mahan revealed his skills as a storyteller, tracing his route from his childhood in Memphis to Arkansas, Mississippi and then to Maine.
In another recent talk to the club, Susan Patton described the opportunities for students at the New England School of Communication in Bangor. Many club members were surprised to learn that Maine has a jewel of a communications school that is nationally rated, has all of the up-to-date technology, and is very affordable – right in our backyard.
Local Rotarians benefit from interesting, inspirational and often entertaining programs at weekly club meetings at Birch Bay Village, in addition to the fine cuisine prepared by chef Chris Pasha and his staff. Rotary also offers opportunities for community and international service, as well as a forum for networking with other local business people.
Successful Fourth of July
MDI Rotarians had a successful Fourth of July Seafood Festival and Blueberry Pancake Breakfast, which grossed more than $34,000. Proceeds from the event support the club’s community and international service activities. Coordinated by Rotary, other nonprofits conducted activities on the town ballfield that raised another $41,000.
Rotarians recently honored two people with the Paul Harris Fellowship, the highest award given by Rotarians internationally. Jan Varnum, a non-Rotarian who exemplifies the Rotary principle of service above self, was presented with the award by past president James Collier at the Aug. 3 meeting. Immediately thereafter, Mr. Collier was surprised to receive the fellowship, presented by current president Anne Krieg. The fellowship includes a $1,000 donation from the club to the Rotary Foundation in the name of the honoree. Rotarians also honored Rick Barter, teacher and technology coordinator of the Connors-Emerson School in Bar Harbor, with the annual Golden Apple Award for excellence in education.
Anyone interested in learning more about Rotary is welcome to attend the club’s Wednesday lunch meetings at noon at Birch Bay Village in Hulls Cove. For information, contact membership chairman Marc Perry at 288-3320 or visit the club website at mdirotary.org.
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