An overview of Thursday's meeting includes an inspiring talk by Susy Sanders, PhD, Certified Trauma Specialist and member of the Farmington Club.  Susy shared a poignant perspective on the life of victims and disaster responders as well as the work of the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists who respond to the needs of disaster victims worldwide.

What a great way to wake up!  The club was jovial and energetic this morning...perhaps because of the bottomless cups of coffee all around..... Or perhaps because it is just a great club.  

Today's percentage attendance was over 71%.  The Sunshine Committee reported seeing Phil Hines out and about but other than that there was no news. 

Rotary Minute: Verne Byers had the Rotary minute.  He stated he joined Rotary 50 years ago and has been in the Farmington Club for 30 years.  Despite his longevity, he told us he learns something new about Rotary each time he opens the Rotarian magazine.  He reported on efforts of RI to link with the United Nations to address such world issues as HIV/AIDS, education, scientific and cultural issues, economic and environmental challenges as well as social and world bank.  He reminded us that there was an article in that magazine on the Rockland Club who sent members to Shrilanka with Habitat for Humanity.  Mike Mansir won the honor of the Rotary minute for next week.  Stay tuned!

Happy Dollars:  Walter Gooley gave a happy dollar to thank all who contributed their $5 checks to his campaign which will allow his access to the clean election process.  He will be attending an upcoming training with Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins soon and would be happy to convey your questions or thoughts to them.  Al gave his dollar to recognize 2 Red Sox wins and 2 NYY loses!  Bill announced that ice was out at Clearwater and he will be swimming this weekend...brrrr.  Fred O praised the Sandy River Players on a recent production.  Fred H raised a point about the automatic doors in the new Saddleback base lodge that was operated by a local dog while under construction and wondered when a friendly moose or deer will figure out how to access the building! 

Events:  The final figures are still out on the Price is Right Game as there is still ticket money to collect and some bills coming in....more to come.............

The Community Service Awards will be coming up in late May and the committee is established and planned to meet briefly after the meeting.

Our own Susy Sanders, PhD CTS was our speaker today and gave us all such insight into the world of providing support and training to those responding to major disasters. At the same time we learned more about Susy and her background.  Susy grew up in the state of Washington and lived on the grounds of a mental health hospital.  Her Father was Chief Psychologist and her Uncle was a Psychiatrist.  She became familiar at an early age with a "broad range of the concept of normal" but her life allowed her to meet many interesting people. 

When she graduated from high school in '71 it was the time of the hippies and the idea of commune living appealed to her.  Determined not to follow in her Father's footsteps, she moved to an Island off Alaska where she lived the commune life for 5 years with no electricity or running water.  The male members of the commune were Vietnam Vets who had been in the special forces such as the Rangers and the Green Berets.  Post Traumatic Stress was the term that was just being recognized.  The experience of living with them effected the way she lived and reacted to everyday life.  She aptly used that experience to convey the "ripple effect" of traumatic stress and bridged that understanding to the way other disasters such as plane crashes, 9-11 and other events effect those who directly experience the event as well as families, emergency responders and the general population.  Her experience brought her into the field of mental health and ultimately to leadership in the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists which is now based from her Phillips office and directed by her husband David.  She praised Maine people for their resilience and stated that people are resilient and go on after disaster.  The Association is a multidisciplinary group of police, fire, emergency medical staff as well as victim advocates, disaster responders, social workers and lay people who teach others and respond to disasters wherever they occur.  Certification of responders requires 2 years and 2000 hours of education.  A group for this association responded to the recent bus accident in S. Africa while she was in N. Carolina recently.  Those calls for help now come to Phillips Maine.  She stated that people who share fare better.  She sited communities which had experienced disasters showed a decline in divorce, domestic violence and crime a year later.  Her talk was interesting and inspiring and I noticed the silence in the room while she spoke; we were all respectfully intent on her next word.  Thanks Susy for sharing such a touch of the reality of our world and the wonderful people who help those victims of disaster to make it to another day.