The Club thanks the host families for this year's Youth Exchange and says goodbye to Zhazgul.

AJ Lane greeted the following guests this morning:  Jen, Hannah, Molly and Noah Shoer, Tobi, Dorian & Soleil Gagne, Allison Madeira Rivers, TJ Scott, Joseph Mittica and Zhazgul.  AJ also greeted a visiting Rotarian from Boothbay Harbor, District Governor Nominee,  Marty Helman.

Some of the fines and happy dollars collected by Tom Grella this morning included;  Chris McMahon  happy to hear the news about Whitey Bulger!.  Martha happy so many in attendance  to say goodbye to Zhazgul.  Midge was both happy and not so happy.  She had front row seats at the Red Sox game  last Friday night; however, was on TV the whole time – couldn’t even eat a hot dog without being watched!.  We were happy to hear, Marty Helman’s comment on the Seacoast Rotary Club as  the Club to watch and emulate!.   To which Steve Scott questioned, “If we are the club to watch, does that mean we need supervision?”

Announcements from Midge:                                                           

·         This week the Portsmouth Herald had an article in the newspaper regarding the club’s speaker gift program.  Instead of providing our speakers with a gift, we donate a book in which the speaker signs to local elementary schools.  See the following link for more information:

·         Midge asked the Club if there was interest in supporting the Seacoast Science Center by providing volunteers to assist with their concert series on July 14th.

·         Midge thanked a few people who didn’t make the annual dinner.  First Debbie Rodier  for her involvement with the Group Study Exchange and to Steve Scott for his dedication and commitment to serving on the Club’s Board.

Today’s program was a heartfelt goodbye to Zhazgul as she is going home on Sunday.   Martha indicated the Youth Exchange program takes a lot of planning and coordination to be successful. The Host Family is the biggest link and is vital to the success of the program.  One of the biggest challenges in the program is assisting with the language barrier.  Today, the  families had an opportunity to describe briefly what being a host family meant to them.  The following were Zhazgul’s host families;.  Tobi Darian & Soleil Gagne, Allison & Madeira River’s, Jack & Midge Nelson, and Jen Hannah, Molly & Noah Shoer.

Zhazgul gave us a recap of her year in the United States along with a pictorial presentation that didn’t leave a dry eye in the room.  She indicated it was a dream of hers to come to America.  That she loves everything about America and has made many friends and had the opportunity to meet other exchange student who will now be her ”friends around the world”.    Zhazgul indicated that the experience gave her more than she ever expected.  She is stronger and more confident and thanked the Club for “this life changing experience”.  Zhazgul ended her remarks by saying she feels like she is leaving part of her heart behind……”Don’t forget you have a sister, a friend in Kurdistan….come visit.