AUBURN — Joanne Shea Bollinger will be guest speaker at the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Lunch Club meeting at noon Thursday, Feb. 1, at the Village Inn, 165 High St.

Bollinger was sponsored as a new member to the L-A Rotary Club by President Monica Millhime, and was inducted into the club on Oct. 19. She is a board member of WISE-Women’s Initiatives that Strengthen and Empower, a nonprofit in Maine since 2005, to move vulnerable women and children in western Zambia to self-sustaining lives.

Her first trip in 2013, intended as a one-time immersion experience in a small African town, inspired her to become involved in a deeper way. Bollinger now travels to Zambia at least once a year to advise, collaborate and learn from the local women who do the actual work on the ground.

Much of her time in the U.S. is focused on fundraising and sharing the WISE story around the country. Her passion is WISE’s scholarship program, which supports 150 secondary students who would have no options for school beyond seventh grade, especially young girls at risk of early marriage. A special connection has been forged with the Nkwazi Rotary Club in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital: a trip to Zambia must include a visit with them.

Bollinger grew up in Auburn, graduating from Edward Little High School in 1963. Following a career in music, teaching in Camden, Woolwich, Brunswick and singing throughout New England, she spent 12 years in Illinois with her second husband. Returning to Maine with her husband and following his death from Alzheimer’s disease, the circle to Auburn was closed in 2014, when Bollinger returned to be near her son and his wife.

Reservations are not required at the luncheon. For more information on future Rotary speakers, contact President and Program Chairwoman Monica Millhime, 207-713-7045 or email [email protected] Events and other club information are posted at www.lewistonauburnrotary.org and www.facebook.com/lewistonmainerotary/.

Joanne Shea Bollinger


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