Rotary Club President Jessica Putnam and Speaker Mike Jewell of Kismet Rock Foundation
After nearly two years exclusively on Zoom, the Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club is adapting well to the hybrid option when the majority of members are meeting in person.  “Each meeting the Hybrid Option is working better and better,” exclaimed Jessica Putnam, President for the Club.  “This past week we had three speakers, two in person and one virtual. About 12 Rotarians and guests attended the meeting in person at Stella’s on the Square.  Another six attended virtually.  We are making it work, even with slide shows and speakers both in person and virtually.  The benefit of hybrid is that members who are out of town, checking in from work, or not yet comfortable meeting with others indoors, are able to participate.  And those choosing the fellowship that in person gatherings affords are able to do that as well. We are excited that it is working so well.”

This past Thursday, representatives from Kismet Rock Foundation, a 20 plus year old organization which nourishes the physical, intellectual and emotional development of rural and urban children throughout New England before they enter their perilous teen years, spoke before the Club.  

Founder Mike Jewell shared about the impact this type of program has on the children they serve over a four-year period. The Foundation’s success in redirecting the path and supporting the potential of children is accomplished by providing scholarships for a comprehensive education in technical rock climbing within the context of a stable and loving family-like atmosphere. Twelve and 13-year-olds come into the program for a one-week intense learning and loving family-like setting.  They then return with the same youngsters for the next three years.  They become a family. 

 Ara Morton, Program Manager, spoke to the work they are planning under his leadership.  Krissy Fraser, recently appointed as Executive Director, shared how they will bring more effort to fundraising by developing relationships with foundations committed to youth. 

“A huge thank you to all those who are helping to make this work, especially George Szok, our King of Zoom, and Skip Sullivan, who makes all things technical work.  Nick Orgo purchased a large screen television for us to hook into.  New mics and speakers are making it work better every week”, remarked President Jessica.  “We couldn’t be happier!” 

For more information about the Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club, go to or check out our Facebook Page. To reach Jessica directly, email her at