PRESQUE ISLE – Two local civic organizations have chosen Going Places Network’s “The PI Loop” as their Annual Community Project, which means the new bus route that is scheduled to begin in October will receive a boost of support and publicity in the coming months leading up to the Rotary Auction in November.
Going Places Network is a collaborative group of multiple community representatives seeking solutions to challenges the community of Presque Isle faces. Collaborators in the network include Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP), MSAD #1, Northern Light Health, Public Health Nursing, Aroostook Council for Healthy Families, United Way of Aroostook, Aroostook Regional Transportation System (ARTS), Northern Maine Community College, Katahdin Trust Company, Presque Isle Housing Authority, City of Presque Isle, Aroostook Area Agency on Aging, Aroostook Band of Micmacs, and parents/grandparents/guardians of children under the age of 5.
 
Going Places Network selected transportation as the priority of their initial work and set a goal to develop and implement a fixed-route bus system in the City of Presque Isle called The PI Loop. The service will be operated by Aroostook Regional Transportation System (“ARTS”).
 
"Presque Isle Rotary is excited to have selected the Going Places Network that is leading a collaboration that will expand and improve transportation in area,” said Rotary President Clinton Deschene. “As part of this collaboration, Rotary and Kiwanis will fundraise for new bus shelters to be utilized by the Aroostook Regional Transportation System (ARTS) in the delivery of this service.”
 
Both Rotary Club of Presque Isle and Kiwanis Club of Presque Isle have chosen to support building bus shelters for the PI Loop that will begin service this fall. The shelters, in addition to being important to shield people waiting for the bus from the elements, will also serve as a potential income source with advertising options available on the walls of the shelter. The advertising, in turn, will add to the long-term sustainability of The PI Loop bus route that features multiple strategic stops throughout the community. The support from Rotary and Kiwanis will help with as many as 18 shelters that vary in size and cost to construct, from stop to stop.
The collaborative support from the two organizations will raise community awareness about the initiative in addition to funds. The fundraising efforts include some annual events that have quickly become community favorites. The Kiwanis Club of Presque Isle will be hosting the 2nd Annual Kiwanis Gala and Auction on October 12 in the UMPI Campus Center to help support this cause.  This formal event, organized to kick-start the 72nd Annual Presque Isle Rotary Auction, signifies the third year that the PI Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs have collaborated to raise funds for a jointly-selected Community Project.  The evening will offer dinner consisting of a variety of food stations, a cash bar, pop up auction items throughout the evening, an opportunity to bid on the Rotary Auction online items, a night of music and dancing, and a chance to win $5,000 in the 2nd Annual Super Draw.  For more information regarding the Kiwanis Gala, please email Jennifer Deschene at Jdeschene@ucu.maine.edu.
“For the third consecutive year, the Kiwanis Club of Presque Isle is extremely happy to be working with the Presque Isle Rotary Club on a much-needed Community Project. Kiwanis is an organization that attempts to make the community a better place, with an emphasis on the well-being of children.  With transportation being such a major issue for so many people in Presque Isle, we are ecstatic to work with Rotary and the Going Places Network to raise money for the new PI Loop,” said Kiwanis President Elect A.J. Cloukey.
Fundraising efforts culminate in November with the 72nd Annual Presque Isle Rotary Auction. In previous years, the fundraising efforts of both organizations have resulted in approximately $20,000 to $30,000 in support for the chosen Community Project.
The new PI Loop bus service will expand opportunities to all members of the community. The goal of the initiative is to offer access to businesses, services, education, and more. 
For more information on the 72nd Annual Rotary Auction, contact Clint Deschene at deschenec@sad1.org.  To inquire about the Community Project to support the new PI Loop or to donate to the project prior to, or after, the Rotary TV Auction broadcast, contact Jamie Chandler, Going Places Network co-chair, at 207-554-4102 or jchandler@acap-me.org.