On March 23, I was honored to receive the Rotary Youth Service Award from the Portland Rotary Club. I was instructed to be at the Holiday Inn by the Bay with my parents at 12:00pm. I did not know what to expect, but upon arrival we were greeted with such kindness and generosity that I soon saw what great people the members are.
We were treated to a quick lunch, then an opening group song God Bless America with one of the senior members on the keys (killing it I might add). The president of the Portland chapter, Don Zillman, started the meeting and called Lydia and me up to the podium. After a very warm introduction, I was given the mic for an impromptu speech, which allowed me to give a formal thanks to the club. I was presented with a certificate and a $1000 scholarship plus $100 to donate to any organization of my choosing. I knew that I wanted to help Puerto Rico since it is no longer talked about in the news, yet many are still without power. We then got to hear presentations by members about various non-profits focused on supporting Maine veterans and participate in a members vote on which would receive a large donation on behalf of the club. It was a fun afternoon and it was nice to learn more about how this great organization works.