Robert Somerville elected to chair MMA trustees board

The Maine Maritime Academy board of trustees elected and installed a new slate of officers for the coming year at their annual meeting.

Those nominated to serve a one-year term include Robert Somerville as chair; Earle Cianchette as vice chair; Dugan Shipway as treasurer; and Rhonda Varney as secretary.

Somerville is a 1965 graduate of Maine Maritime Academy and was board of trustees vice chair for five years. Cianchette is a 1977 MMA graduate and has been a standing member of the board of trustees since 2011. Shipway continues as treasurer, having served in the position since 2010; and Varney continues as secretary, having served in the position since 2014.

Capt. Robert J. Peacock II of Eastport completed his term as chair, but will continue to serve as a trustee.


Vroom for more participants in benefit motorcycle ride

Registrations are being accepted for those wishing to participate in the eighth annual Herb Noble Memorial Motorcycle Ride, set for Sept. 17 to benefit the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center.

The ride will begin at 10:30 a.m. at Bentley’s Saloon, on Route 1, Arundel.

Registration cost is $25 per person, which includes a ride T-shirt. Registration and sign-in begins at 8 a.m.

There will be a post-ride gathering at Bentley’s with a live band, dancing and raffles. For more details, go to Rain date is Sept. 18.


Bike club donates $500 from ride to hunger cause

The Red Knights Maine Chapter 13 has donated $500 to the Winslow Community Federal Credit Union’s Ending Hunger Campaign.

The funds were raised during the group’s recent 100-mile Ride to End Hunger in Maine.


Hire-A-Vet campaign starts with job fair, workshops

The 2016 Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign will take place over a 100-day period, starting with a kickoff event at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at the Augusta Armory, 179 Western Ave.

The goal of the statewide campaign is to commit at least 100 employers to recruit veterans, and see at least 100 veterans hired.

The campaign provides support for employers to expand the hiring of veterans, education on military language and culture; assistance with recruiting, hiring, assimilation and retention; a Veteran Hiring Toolkit and recognition for the hiring and advancement of veterans.

The event will include opening remarks by Gov. Paul LePage and others. Some 80 employers will be onsite to recruit veterans and nonveterans at a hiring fair from 9 a.m. to noon.

Employers can take part in “Military Culture 101” from 1 to 2:30 p.m. (registration required) and veterans can learn what employers are looking for at the “HR Panel for Veterans” from 1 to 2:30 p.m. (registration required).

Employers interested in exhibiting at the hiring fair and those interested in the workshops may register with Steven Roy, campaign coordinator, at 624-5116 or [email protected] TTY users call Maine Relay 711.

The campaign will focus on jobs paying at least $12 per hour, but all employers with jobs at all pay levels are welcome. Participating employers are not required to hire veterans they interview in order to participate in the campaign.


Race raises more than $10,000 for cancer research

The recent Amazing Place Adventure Race has raised more than $10,000 benefiting the American Cancer Society of Maine, to support cancer research and people battling cancer.

For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call 800-227-2345 or visit


Bicycle coalition awards challenge grant to Gardiner

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is awarding the city of Gardiner a $12,300 challenge grant to support the community’s bicycle and pedestrian projects, including the extension of the Cobbossee Trail.

This is the first of a series of annual grants funded by proceeds from the coalition’s weeklong BikeMaine ride, to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety in past BikeMaine host communities.

Over the past three years, BikeMaine has generated more than $1 million in direct economic impact to the state through rider spending and sourcing of local products and services for the ride.

Grant sends 6 PHS students to environmental programs

Six students from Portland High School were selected to attend environmental science programs this summer at the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership, thanks to a special grant from a Portland couple, Gene Gardner and JoAnn Ramsey.

The two boys and four girls, who are all part of Portland’s immigrant community and hail from countries in Africa and the Middle East, have participated in the school’s Mentoring Alliance program that matches adult volunteers with students.

The programs offer hands-on field research experience and training in marine ecology, sustainability engineering and Maine island ecology.

Gardner and Ramsey developed the mentorship grant idea based on Gardner’s personal experience as a young person of color who benefited from scholarships and went on to a long and successful career with Proctor & Gamble.


Donation to help Rotary Club assist homeless veterans

The South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club recently received a $500 donation from the Hobbs Funeral Homes to help the club’s efforts to assist Maine’s homeless veterans in cooperation with Maine Veteran’s Affairs.

The veterans’ services include transportation to medical appointments and job interviews, beds and bedding, food and gasoline gift cards, and numerous household items to start homes for veterans in transition. The general aim is to raise awareness of the issues and needs of Maine’s homeless veterans.


Twenty kids graduate with skills to go to kindergarten

Fraser-Ford Child Development Center recently held graduation ceremonies for 20 5- and 6-year-old students who have been learning the skills they’ll need to move on to kindergarten.

The children donned caps and gowns for the ceremony at Waban’s Wormwood Banquet and Conference Center, as parents, grandparents, family and friends looked on.

Waban’s Fraser-Ford Child Development Center addresses the needs of preschool children with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities, severe medical issues, Down syndrome, and other developmental delays with the goal of transitioning to public school systems.

Parent Christa Silva expressed her thanks and congratulations: “When our Jackson first started at Waban he made minimal to no eye contact, he would not respond to his name, wouldn’t dream of wearing a backpack and was making no attempt at mimicking words. Jackson now enjoys spelling his name with blocks and playing with numbers. He will try very hard to mimic sounds and has started to make his needs known with a special communication device. To say we will miss Waban is an understatement, but the skills we are taking away from our time here will never be measured.”

For more information about the Fraser-Ford Child Development Center, visit


DAR donates to living history center’s steeple project

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution has donated $2,310 to the Washburn-Norlands Living History Center’s Meeting House Steeple Preservation Project.

Funding for this project was made possible through the sponsorship of Mary Dillingham-Burnt Meadow Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution of Lewiston.

The funding will be used to fix and re-flash the roof at the steeple tower base of the meeting house. Estimated cost of the project is $4,910.

Once the tower base roof is repaired, Norlands will be able to move forward with a complete restoration of the steeple.

For more information about Norlands and the Steeple Preservation Project, call Sheri Leahan at 897-4366 or email [email protected]


Look for collection boxes for school supplies drive

Speaking Up for Us of Maine, a statewide self-advocacy organization for people living with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, is holding a statewide school supplies drive as its annual community service project.

Donation boxes will be located at various locations throughout the state to collect items such as pencils, pens, 2-inch binders, filler paper, erasers, multicolored pocket folders, pencil boxes or pouches. Donations will be accepted until Thursday.

For more details, call Monique Stairs at 458-5791 or email [email protected] The organization’s website is


Charity group to distribute $547,000 to 58 nonprofits

United Mid-Coast Charities will distribute $547,000 to 58 nonprofit organizations in Knox and Waldo counties this September. Grant allocations were approved by UMCC’s directors during the organization’s recent annual meeting.

Those recipients include the American Red Cross Mid-Coast Chapter, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine, Maine Family Planning, Make-A-Wish® Maine, Saint Bernard Soup Kitchen, and Wayfinder Schools: Passages Program and Youth Arts.

For a full list of recipients, visit

In other business, John Viehman of Rockport was elected to serve as president. Former president Steve Crane is stepping down and will continue to serve on the board.

Also chosen to serve on UMCC’s executive committee were Peter Horch, first vice president; John Burgess, second vice president; Jill Lang, secretary, and Tom Rodman, treasurer. The remaining board members are Eric Belléy, Steve Crane, Lucile Hanscom, Tyler Jones, Elinor Klivans, Allen Mitchell, Debbie Mitchell, Peter Palermo, Joan Phaup, Betsy Saltonstall and Eric Waters.


College accepts $100,000 toward building project

Saco & Biddeford Savings CEO Kevin Savage and Chairman of the Board Robert Wade presented York County Community College President, Dr. Barbara Finkelstein and York County Community College Foundation Chair Kathy Baker with a $100,000 donation in support of YCCC’s Capital Campaign for its new academic building.

The college has outgrown its current 78,000-square-foot building that opened in 1995.

The new building will have eight classrooms, independent and group study areas and a developmental mathematics and English Lab. The building will house a 140-seat lecture/performance hall and attached flexible classroom/backstage area allowing the college to hold larger classes as well as host community events.

The YCCC campaign is now in its public fundraising phase. For more information about the campaign or to make a donation, visit


Seven nonprofits receive grants from York County Fund

The York County Committee of the Maine Community Foundation recently awarded $40,540 in grants to seven nonprofits, including the Center for Grieving Children, to reach volunteers and provide grief support to York County families.

Other grant recipients include HomeHealth Visiting Nurses, to support pediatric palliative care in York County, and the Old Berwick Historical Society, for an exhibit that explores cultural upheaval on the New England frontier.

The York County Fund is a permanent endowment that supports projects that strengthen communities in the county with a special focus on programs that support children. The next proposal deadline is Feb. 15. The application and guidelines can be found at

Land trust among recipients of $67,560 in grants

The Cumberland County Committee of the Maine Community Foundation recently awarded $67,560 in grants to 11 nonprofits, including Presumpscot Regional Land Trust, for planning to complete the Sebago to the Sea Trail.

Other grant recipients are Mayo Street Arts, to expand summer and after-school learning opportunities for under-served youth, and Speak Clearly Accent Reduction, to support a program for women and children to learn English pronunciation together.

The Cumberland County Fund is a permanent endowment that supports projects that strengthen communities in the county. The next proposal deadline is Feb. 15. The application and guidelines can be found at


Water plants’ workers collect tons of food for pantries

Poland Spring facilities employees at Hollis, Kingfield and Poland recently collected more than 7,000 pounds of food to benefit community food pantry programs during a “Better Lives Food Drive.”

The Poland plant collected 2,003 pounds of food for the Poland Community Foodbank; donated $1,000 to the MANNAFEED Backpack Program that provides nutritious food on weekends to children who may not have enough to eat when they are not receiving school lunch; and also sponsored exterior painting renovations at the Poland Community Food Bank.

The Hollis plant collected 4,906 pounds of food for the United Methodist Economic Ministry Food Bank.

Workers at the Kingfield plant collected 200 pounds donated to the Salem Food Pantry.


Club donates $1,000 to cover local canine officer’s needs

Vacationland Dog Club Inc., located in Cumberland County, has donated $1,000 to the Westbrook Police Department’s canine Brooke.

The funds were allocated for the dog’s maintenance and extra training that aren’t included as part of her regular training.

Officer Ben Hall oversees Brooke’s handling.