Today's Program:  Catholic Charities Maine (Steve Letourneau, CEO)
Rotary Meeting for Monday, January 26th held at the Alfond Youth Center - Here is a recap in case you missed our meeting!

Sergeant at Arms
Tim Beals did a great job as Sergeant of Arms.

Tom McGowan welcomed us into the meeting today!

50/50 Tickets
Prelgovisk sold $115 worth of 50/50 tickets. Jerry Tipper won $57.50 in the raffle.  In his absence, Barbara Woodlee will sell tickets next week.  Chris Gaunce won 10 free tickets to the next 50/50 drawing.  Cam McKay will be the greeter for meeting on February 2nd..

Fined for pictures in the Paper
Roger Knauff had his picture in the paper last week and was fined accordingly.
World Service Cups
The World Service cups will support the African Orphan Project.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests
Ally welcomed Cliff Hannon, President of the Sunrise Club.

Tom Longstaff introduced and Mary Ann Beale from MSB, an educational software company.

Tom McGowan introduced Kelly Winslow, from Kennebec Savings Bank.

Seth Sherwood introduced Ken Walsh from the Sunrise Club.

Charlie Giguere welcomed Hector Fuentes, who is being proposed for membership in the Club.

Chris Gaunce introduced Raffi DerSimonian, who will be representing the Club in Germany later this spring as part of the Ambassadorial Scholarship program.

David Geller introduced Catherine Lewis, President-elect of the Hallowell Club.

Ally announced that we will be having some guests in the area from Germany from May 20th through the 23rd and asked for volunteers to be guest hosts.  Peter Garrett, Tom Longstaff, and Jenny Merritt volunteered to host the families.

Elizabeth Vanderweide, Director of the Harold Alfond College Challenge Program at FAME, was indicted into the Club by Seth Sherwood, Membership Chair.   Elizabeth thanked Seth, Ally, and the Club for the opportunity to become a member, and shared information about her background and journey back to Central Maine with those in attendance.  

Waterville Rotary Club Web Site

Today's Program:  Catholic Charities Maine (Steve Letourneau, CEO)
Ryan Liberty introduced Stephen P. Letourneau, CEO of Catholic Charities Maine.

Steve, a local resident, shared that he is honored to have been affiliated with Catholic Charities Maine for the past 12 years.  Discussing the scope of programs,  he noted that the organization serves the residents of Maine from Biddeford to the south to Madawaska in the north at 12 sites.  Catholic Charities employs over 500 staff, is supported by an additional 12 volunteers, and has a budget of $125M.  Most of its funding is through direct contracts with the State of Maine.  He noted that they are in a position to deliver services much less expensively than the State and that their administrative costs are less than 10% of the total budget.    He then discussed a number of the programs they offer:

The Caribou Food Bank - Provides food to more than 20,000 people in Aroostook County through a network of food banks in the region.  This is supported through the efforts of local transportation companies, such as McCain's Foods, which transports food to the County on their return trips from making deliveries to the southern reaches of the state.
Mental Health Services - Catholic Charities also provides mental health services to over 1,000 individuals state-wide. For many the focus is to try and keep them out of the correctional system.  Primary sites are in Portland and Fairfield.
Independent Support Services - Through this program, they hire homemakers to go into the homes of the elderly, up to 6 hours/day, to assist with activities of daily living.  This vital program often allows an individual to remain at home and out of long term care.
Dental Services - Their primary dental site is in Bath and is designed to help address the dental needs of the poor.  This is a most important program, in particular for the children who it serves.
Educational Services for Blind and Visually Impaired Children- This program is staffed by a team of specially trained individuals who assist children with visual impairments to adapt to their disabilities.
Refugee Immigration Program - Steve discussed the Refugee Immigration Program that it has supported for the past 30 years.  He noted that annually, the worldwide, there are 55M refugees in 97 countries.  Last year, Maine received 200 of the 80,000 refugees who came into the US legally.  Most immigrants seek to come to Maine because of its reputation for quality of life and low crime.  Secondary immigrants, coming from another location in the US, also cite this as a reason to come here.    He stressed that all who come to Maine are here legally.


1.    Do you have to be Catholic to receive services?  No.. nor does one need to be Catholic to work for Catholic Charities.  Employees do need, however, to support the organization's mission and philosophy.
2.    How are refugees selected?  There are 35M currently in refugee camps worldwide and those who are perceived to at the most risk for being threatened are most likely to emigrate to the west.
3.    Do you charge for your services?  Most of their programs are paid for through state and federal grants.  In some cases they do charge for services on a sliding scale.  Dental services were cited as an example.  In this way consumers of the services are in part accountable for the care they receive.
4.    Who is served by the Job Coaching Program?  Individuals who are in the Aspire Program receive training and education as well as networking with employers.
5.    How are you and other non-profits weathering the financial crisis?  It's effecting Catholic Charities as well as others through increases in call for services.  Steve noted that he has a great Board of Directors which has a wide variety of talents represented and who he calls upon for input and help.  Over the last 2 years the organization lost $3M and experienced a disproportionate increase in services delivered.  Other benchmark indicators are:  more people going to food banks;  more requests for rent support; and more  support for security deposits. Fortunately, they have experienced an increase in the donations they have received.
6.    Do you exclude people who are not legally in the US?  Steve noted that people who are on MaineCare are presumed to have had their immigration status verified and therefore legal.  In the residence programs, they likewise need to provide proof of their immigration status.

There being no further questions, Ally presented Steve with a Four Way Test token of the Club's appreciation for sharing his remarks with us.