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Welcome to The Dover Rotary

The Rotary Club of Dover, NH, offers opportunities for our members — and those interested in making a difference — to get involved. Through meetings, social events, and volunteer projects, our members learn about the issues facing our community and communities all over the world, partnering with local, national, and global experts to exchange ideas about potential solutions and to draw up action plans to respond. Along with these opportunities to serve, members also are able to regularly network, resulting in lifelong friendships and business connections.

Our club is a proud part of this community and of Rotary International. Rotary is a global network of more than 1.2 million members who believe that great things happen when dedicated minds come together. We are community and business leaders representing different professions, experiences, and perspectives but with a shared desire to connect with others to address the challenges affecting our community and communities around the world.

Home Page Stories

1. How long have you been in Rotary?  

I became a Rotarian in 1984, so I've been a member for thirty-six years. Apparently, the club accepted children as members at the time.


2. My favorite Rotary moments. 

Over the years our hands-on projects were especially fulfilling for me. We cleared brush on Garrison Hill, cut down trees along the river on Central Avenue, painted structures at the Woodman Museum, assembled playground equipment on Park Street, and planted flowers in Rotary Park, in addition to a host of other undertakings. All of these activities combined innumerable opportunities for fellowship along with the satisfaction of seeing the tangible results of our work.


3. Where I currently live and where I grew up.

I grew up in Bristol, Connecticut, before ESPN made the city its home. In 1975 I moved with my family to New Hampshire and have lived in Dover for over thirty years.


4. My Hobbies.

Activities during the pandemic are limited, but my wife, Trish, and I enjoy golf, and we manage to walk our golden retriever for over a mile every day. I also enjoy reading, especially local authors like

Brendan Dubois, Paul Doiron, or Elizabeth Strout.


5. My Business Profession or Current Working or Non-Working Environment. 

I moved from Connecticut to become principal of Oyster River High School in Durham. After eight years I became the Superintendent of Schools for Dover, a position I held for sixteen years. After retiring from the superintendency I taught for a few years in the Education Department at UNH and at Antioch New England. At the same time I became involved with the board at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital and with a couple of state legal system boards in Concord as a volunteer. For the past few years I've been pretty much fully retired.


6. Something my fellow Rotarians don’t know about me.

For several years in the sixties I was a hospital chaplain in a relatively large Catholic hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. That experience, dealing with life and death situations on a daily basis, has helped me over the years to keep things in perspective throughout my personal and professional life.


7. Final words. 

In 1961 John F. Kennedy famously challenged Americans to ask not what their country could do for them but what they could do for their country. Rotarians challenge themselves to do for their community, their country, their world. It's a rewarding, fulfilling objective. And it's fun. We need more women and men willing to commit to spending a bit of their time in service to others. If you're interested and would like more information check us out on Facebook.


It’s great to get to know our Rotarians!


1. How long have you been in Rotary?  

I had to check my files and was surprised to realize that in October I will have been in Rotary for 10 years.  The time has flown!

2. My favorite Rotary moments. 

My favorite Rotary moments are connected to service and fellowship.  In 2012 I went on a medical mission to Guatemala and had the opportunity to work with Rotarians from all over the world.  We were there for 14 days doing cleft palate surgeries.  It was amazing to see all the lives being changed by a small group of people.  I also enjoy any time our club members get together.  Whether for a meeting, to run Bingo or just to share in a social time – it’s always fun and lots of laughs.

3. Where I currently live and where I grew up.

I was born, raised and educated in NH.  My husband and I have lived in Dover for the last 27 years.

4. My Hobbies.

I like running, walking and hiking. I’ll bike and kayak – anything to get me moving outdoors.  If I have to sit still, I love reading and knitting.

5. My Business Profession or Current Working or Non-Working Environment. 

Eleven years ago I started my consulting business and have worked as a leadership consultant.  I provide Leadership and Management training and Executive Coaching.  Before March 2020, I traveled the globe to do my work.  Now I travel to my office and do it all virtually. 

6. Something my fellow Rotarians don’t know about me. 

Some people think this is crazy but my husband and I got engaged after knowing each other for just 6 weeks.  I guess sometimes you just know when it’s right.  We’ve been married for 33 years.  So far so great!

7. Final words. 

If anyone is considering joining Rotary, try it!   Go to a meeting or contact your local group.  It has been a wonderfully positive experience for me to be part of a group dedicated to helping others and I’m confident it would be for others.


It’s great to get to know our Rotarians!

Rotary Club of Dover Rotarian Spotlight
Meet our Past President and Assistant Governor Melissa Lesniak
How long have you been in Rotary?
I have been in Rotary and a Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Dover since August of 2007.
My favorite Rotary moments:
That is hard as there have been so many great moments in Rotary.  I love when we read to the students and give away the dictionaries in the local elementary schools.  One moment during last year's reading at Horne Street School, I was with another Rotarian and she introduced me as the President of the Rotary Club of Dover.  One little boy raised his hand and said, "How can you be President, you are a girl".  Another moment was when we hand out the dictionaries to the 3rd graders in the Dover schools and as our Rotarians know, I am the Rotarian that always asks the kids if they know what the "longest" word in the dictionary is.  It just goes on from there.  They love it!
Where do I live and where did I grow up:
I live in Dover.  I have lived in Dover for the the past 3 years and for the past 46 years before, I lived in my hometown of Rollinsford.  I currently own 3 rental properties and recently bought my "forever condo" in South Dover, where I can enjoy time with family & friends and enjoy tending to my fabulous plants and flowers.
My Hobbies:
I love so many things, yet my favorite 3 are looking for sea-glass by the ocean, whether it be local or while vacationing, fitness training and competing against other women in local body-building contests and spending time with my little sister, Kristen.
My Business Profession:
For the past 15 years, I have helped families in New Hampshire and Maine buy, sell or rent their homes.  Real estate is my job, yet it is a passion of mine to help others in answering questions or hand-holding them through the process of real estate.
Something my fellow Rotarians don’t know about me:
I have been a BIG sister with Big Brother Big Sister for the past 22 years and have mentored and helped 4 young girls turn into beautiful and successful women.  Currently, I am a BIG sister to 12 year old Kristen.
Final words:
I love where I live, work and play!

I had the pleasure of interviewing another of our Rotary Club of Dover Rotarian, and our Rotary Club Sergeant of Arms, Kathy Thurrott Lijoi.

1. How long have you been in Rotary?

1 and 1/2 years

2. My favorite Rotary moments:

The Guatemala trip with Kevin and the students, it was a life changing experience for myself and it was amazing to see through the eyes of 10 very special young ladies

3. Where I currently live and where I grew up:

I was born in Brooklyn, raised in northern New Jersey, raised my family in Vermont and moved to NH 7 years ago

4. My Hobbies:

I love to travel - there are so many places to see and I really need Covid to take a hike

My true love is being Nonnie to my 4 grandchildren - I absolutely love being a Mom but this part of life is so so much better. I am fortunate that they are right here in Dover.

I am a ski bum at heart and as I get older, I find the thrill of the easier trails is enough for me! I enjoy being on the mountain with my grand kids.

5. My Business Profession or Current Working or Non-Working Environment

I am a Information Technology expert with almost 37 years in the industry - I started as a software developer and have worked in many industries. For the past 20+ years I have been working in the call center business with a concentration on work from home.

I am currently consulting for a company out of south Florida (remotely) and I am a stakeholder in a start up a remote call center that will be doing Covid Tracing

6. Something my fellow Rotarians don’t know about me:

I am an avid walker and participate with my friends in major Breast Cancer walks throughout the USA. We have completed four Susan G. Komen 60 mile events, six Avon 39.3 events and countless 5k's. If you include the training miles and the actual walks, each of us has walked over a thousand miles to raise awareness and money to help find a cure.

The reason ...I am a breast cancer survivor and thriver and on July 17th I will celebrate my 23rd anniversary with no sign of disease.

7. Final words:

I am really happy that I joined the Dover Rotary, it has been a fabulous experience in many ways - new friendships, being able to give back to the community, and so much more. Joining helped me find a group of hard working, caring and fun people!

The Rotary Club of Dover NH annually award scholarships to local graduating high school seniors despite the many challenges of this year’s pandemic, our club will distribute $13,000. 
Students were required to complete an application. Finalists were then selected and chosen from 18 applications by our scholarship committee. 

According to the scholarship committee, they were particularly impressed with the students optimism and expressions of hope during such a uncertain time. They reiterated all applicants were more than deserving, half in balancing school, sports,, volunteerism and part-time work with grace. 

Congratulations to the selected winners, Sarah Craft - $1,000, Kylie Nelson-Marcia - $1,000, Joshua Keiman $1,000 and Emily Fraser - $10,000 Megan DeColfmacker Rotary Scholarship. All were from the senior class at Dover High School. 

The students were invited last week to attend our Rotary Virtual Zoom meeting so that they could except their awards and share of their future endeavors.
Through the Rotary Club of Dover NH’s Community Giving, our Club’made a $500.00 donation to June Pinkham to support the Ukulele Kids Club Inc., a national non-profit group that provides music thera- py and instruments to hospitalized patients. Their Southern NH Chapter has performed for WDH patients and other hospital patients in the region, reducing blood pressure, anxiety and helping them to be more receptive to their treatments. This chapter meets every other week at the Rotary Arts Pavilion at Henry Law Park and is open to anyone, any age interested in joining.
They bring so many smiles to the kids.
At this week's Rotary Club of Dover Club meeting, our Rotarians and guests had the opportunity to hear about their recent Dover High School student's International travels to Guatemala.
DHS Interact students, Aubrey, Kelsey, Emily, Katelynn, Maya, Elly ,Audrey, Sarah and Emilia reviewed their “awesome” trip as they each described one aspect of the trip from where they stayed at the Opal House, what they learned and how they appreciated their chance to see a different educational system and a different culture.
The students left their mark with their hand prints in a concrete walkway that they poured around a school. One of the most eye-opening activities as one student mentioned was bringing water filters to the homes and teaching the natives how to use them. It was appreciated as one of the moms gave the young women hugs in thanks for clean water. 
They also visited schools, the medical clinic, planted a garden with local students, played with bubbles, attended a cooking & beading class and learned how to pick coffee beans.
One of the events that took place happened after the students had left and were heading home.  A pregnant goat waited until they left to deliver her babies despite their vigils, but the farm named them RO and TARY in honor of their special visitors.
The students ended Wednesday's program with a video they produced, highlighting the students, the local children and the immense beauty of the volcanic region on a trip that changed their lives in many ways.
One of the Rotary advisors that accompanied the students, Kevin R. said that he had lead 7-8 mission trips and noted, “This is the best group I’ve ever had.”
Final words from the DHS Interact advisors Sue Stegman and Candice Hall were that they thanked Rotary for its “amazing” opportunity for the students the and ongoing support of the Dover Rotary support of Interact at DHS - including events, fundraisers, RYLA, the United Nations trip and the recent trip to Guatemala. Advisor, Sue, said “It’s an awesome thing,”
Through the Rotary Club of Dover NH’s Community Giving, our Club’s $500.00 donation along with help from others were able to help and support over 300 women and their babies through this year’s United Way of the Greater Seacoast Baby Shower. It wasn’t in person like in past years, yet through gift cards these families were able to get the baby showers that they may not have been able to have. 

Many stopped and others honked as they drove by while our Rotary Club of Dover NH was in downtown Dover at our annual Rotary Gardens Planting Day. Every Fall, we take out the old flowers and plants and know that the gardens will look fabulous again in the Spring.

Thank you to our Rotarians who joined us as we planted and mulched the gardens so those that live, work and play in Dover can enjoy this year. It is a project that our club looks forward to and cannot wait to see the gardens as they begin to grow.

We hope that you will love the gardens as much as we do!

Rotary District 7780 connected with 32 Rotarians as we were able to come together on Zoom. with updates from our committee chairs through our Club Assembly, sharing our success of our first Rotary Story Time with local kids in our community, and giving Happy Stories instead of Happy Bucks as we move through the change in our lives and in our community.

We are grateful for our Rotary Club of Dover and look forward to next week’s Club Zoom meeting.

We would like to thank those that have joined the Rotary Club of Dover as we host Rotary Story Time. Recently, our Rotarians were excited to read one of our favorite books “In my Heart” by Jo Witek to kids of all ages.

Click on this link to join in on our Zoom Story Time Meetings: https://zoom.us/j/5097735825, and to join in via phone only call 646-558-8656

Please share with your family, friends and other organizations on Tuesday & Thursday afternoons from 4:30pm-5:00pm so we can get the word out about this great way to interact with the kids while they are at home. Everyone is invited to sit back and relax during this time on our Story Time Zoom meetings and enjoy a fun story.

The Rotary Club of Dover is reaching out to others and organizations in our community online through Rotary Story Time for kids of all ages on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30pm-5:00pm while we are all staying at home at this time.

Everyone is invited and welcome to enjoy a story. Join us by clicking this Zoom link. https://zoom.us/j/5097735825.

If you were not able to attend the The Children's Museum of New Hampshire 21+ mini-golf last evening, you can attend with your kids and grandkids from 12:00pm-5:00pm today and have fun whiling getting the opportunity to see what the Children’s Museum has to offer!

Be sure to checkout Hole# 4 that the Rotary Club of Dover NH decorated to share our Rotary Garden project

On Friday afternoon, the Rotary Club of Dover NH visited with the residents of The Residence at Silver Square - Dover, NH to share stories Who we are and where we came from. It was great to hear the journeys and adventures many of the residents had during their lifetime and how they arrived here in Dover. We played trivia from the 1950’s and 1960’s and Learned that they knew the answers much more quickly than we did. As you can see, they loved our gift of warmth with the Rotary fleece blankets.

The Rotary Club of Dover was honored to attend the Rotary District 7780 with our Rotary Club of Dover NH World Understanding And Peace Dinner with so many of our fellow Rotarians.

Each year, the Rotary Foundation awards a number of Peace Fellows. These are full scholarship Masters Degree programs that are awarded to young people around the world to attain their degrees in a field of study that will help bring peace to the world. The degree programs are offered at different universities around the world that have been designated as Rotary Peace Centers.

In 2010 Rachel Davidson was a Peace Fellow in Argentina. She has since become an attorney focusing on immigration law and specifically defending and supporting the rights of youthful immigrants. At this week’s dinner, Rachel shared her story of defending young immigrants in NYC and at the southern border. She told of the horrors that motivate people to immigrate and worse, she told of the horrors they are experiencing under our current administration. She told us of how laws passed by our congress to protect youthful immigrants have either been ignored or convoluted by ICE, CBP and the immigration courts. She also told of the abuse she dealt with personally from agents of our government for merely representing her clients at the southern border.

This is not just news from CNN or FOX. This is a first person account from a brilliant young woman who deals with the problem on a daily basis. This needs to stop, as we are tired of hearing people say, "I don't mind immigrants as long as they come here legally." These people are trying to come here legally and our government has made it nearly impossible.

”We are not Republicans or Democrats. We are Humans”

Congratulations to Rotarian, Betsey Andrews Parker as she was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow Award for consistently exemplifying the club’s Service Above Self ideals and always working with a smile and laugh. Betsey is the CEO of Community Action Partnership of Strafford County and is there for those in our community that need help and assistance everyday.

The Dover Middle School was where we were celebrating 7th grader, Sana Kahn as she was selected as the Rotary Club of Dover NH - February Student of the Month. This award is given to a DMS student who shows love, kindness and compassion to others in school and our community.

Sana Khan’s presence at Dover Middle School is a joy as she embodies so much of what we educators strive to instill in our students. She is a commitment to academic excellence, a dedication to the cultivation of high personal values and the conviction that they can make a difference in their community.

Her desire to assist others is evident both at school and in the long-term goals she has set for herself. In the classroom she can be seen time and time again acting as a gentle guide and support to students struggling with a concept or assignment. With regard to the future, Sana hopes to work in some capacity within the medical field, a choice that would be a natural extension of her personal gifts.

Sana Khan truly radiates love and goodness in a way that is seldom encountered in one so young. In her own unique way and with a lighthearted shining spirit that endears her to everyone she interacts with, she serves as a positive role model for her peers and a source of pride for her teachers.

Congratulations Sana as you show “service above self” in so many ways.

The Rotary Club of Dover had the opportunity to attend our District Mid-Year Rotary dinner with our Rotary Leaders, including District Governor & Past District Governors, Assistant & Past Assistant Governors, District Committee Chairs, Club Presidents, incoming President-Elects and Vice Presidents for our 2020/2021 Rotary year. We look forward to continuing to learn from our Club members wants and needs, along from others that have served in past years along with other Rotarians through our Club and District.

Our Club was also recognized for our Club donations to the Rotary Foundation. These donations from our members helps to support and fund projects within our local, national and international efforts.

Congratulations to Braydon Morton a 6th grader at Dover Middle School as he was awarded the Rotary Club of Dover’s - Student of the Month.

Braydon epitomizes how we want our students to relate with others by empathy and compassion. He recently witnessed a bullying situation on the bus. When he heard the taunting, he stood up and addressed the situation by telling his peers to stop. Many students may have recognized the distress the victim was experiencing, but he was the only one to take action. Braydon’s ability to put himself in someone else’s shoes is commendable. His modesty when his actions were shared shows a truly selfless young man.

This award is given to a DMS student that goes above and beyond to be kind and compassionate to others while focusing on projects within school or in the community. We love that we are able to recognize these students each month as we move forward in sharing “service above self”.

Congratulations to Sydney Lane, a 6th grader at Dover Middle School as she was awarded the Rotary Club of Dover’s November - Student of the Month.

Sydney is years above her age when it comes to and compassion. She is a strong and quiet leader. Sydney will befriend all and speak supportively to any person she comes in contact with. Sydney is always willing to go above and beyond and wears a smile 24/7. She has nothing but kind words to speak of someone and can always find the positive in a situation. Her compassion for animals and those less fortunate is unwavering. She always strives to do better and be a better person, which makes others want to as well. In past summers, Sydney has held bake sales and done lemonade stands to raise money to donate to the Cocheco Valley Humane Society.

This award is given to a DMS student that goes above and beyond to be kind and compassionate to others while focusing on projects within school or in the community. We love that we are able to recognize these students each month as we move forward in sharing “service above self”.