OLD ORCHARD BEACH

Are you caring for feral cats? AWS offers free animal shelters

The Animal Welfare Society is offering free portable animal shelters for individuals who care for feral cats.

The structures are made of storage bins that have been retrofitted to include entry holes for the animals to enter and exit and can be filled with straw or other insulation to keep wild cats warm and out of inclement weather during winter months.

For more details, call Marie at 985-3244, ext. 127.

Residents who are in financial hardship and finding it difficult to provide food for their pets, or individuals who know of someone who is, are asked to call Beverly at 289-5002 for assistance.

AUGUSTA

Two groups join to provide toys to go under needy families’ trees

A relationship that has brought holiday joy by providing more than 150 Thanksgiving food baskets to area families in need will now extend the good will for Christmas.

St. Michael School and the Salvation Army will team up to distribute Christmas toys to nearly 200 local families from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday at the school’s gym, 56 Sewall St.

Nearly 60 students will volunteer in shifts to distribute the gifts.

For more details, call Dave Guthro at 321-7810 or email [email protected]

SACO

Donation puts 50+ Club over the top in effort to buy a bus

A $2,500 donation from the Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution has provided the final funds needed to buy a bus benefiting the Biddeford’s 50+ Club.

The donation was paired with community fundraisers and a grant from the city of Biddeford, totaling $80,000, to purchase the new bus that will provide transportation for the organization and give seniors access to more events throughout New England.

The club serves some 900 area seniors.

CAPE ELIZABETH

Beach to Beacon road race earns top sustainability certification

The TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race has earned the top-level Evergreen Certification for its sustainability efforts and achievements from an international social and environmental assessment organization.

The certification, from the Council for Responsible Sport, followed a rigorous review of the TD Beach to Beacon’s environmental and social sustainability programs at the 2016 race, ranging from comprehensive recycling to measuring and reducing carbon emissions to raising money for charities and leaving a positive legacy in the community.

“This is truly a shining achievement for the TD Beach to Beacon,” said race founder and running icon Joan Benoit Samuelson. “Achieving Evergreen status is a testament to the dedication of our race organizing committee plus the hard work of Bruce Rayner and his team at our sustainability consulting partner, Athletes for a Fit Planet.”

The annual race achieved Silver Certification in 2012 and Gold Certification in 2014 before reaching the Evergreen level this year by implementing 57 of 61 best practices.

For more details, go to beach2beacon.org/green.

BRUNSWICK

Used bookstore Twice-Told Tales will be closed for renovation

Twice-Told Tales, the used bookstore established in support of Curtis Memorial Library, will be closed for a monthlong renovation at Pleasant Street.

The bookstore will close at noon Saturday and is expected to reopen in February, following work to refresh and restock the space. There will be no donations accepted during the closure.

A reopening date will be announced later.

BIDDEFORD

Downtown group will benefit from Hannaford Helps in January

The Heart of Biddeford downtown revitalization organization has been selected as a beneficiary of the Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program for the month of January.

Heart of Biddeford will receive $1 for every blue Hannaford Helps reusable bag sold during January.

For more details, visit hannaford.bags4mycause.com or facebook.com/hhbagprogram.

PORTLAND

Credit unions renew funding for program to feed school kids

The Maine Credit Union’s Campaign for Ending Hunger recently renewed its support to end childhood hunger, pledging a new three-year $100,000 commitment to continue funding school backpack and school pantry programs in Maine.

The commitment follows on the heels of the organization’s first three-year pledge to donate $75,000 for the program. This new pledge came with an initial contribution of $34,000 to Good Shepherd Food Bank’s childhood hunger programs.

The Food Bank’s BackPack Program provides children who are suffering the effects of chronic hunger with nutritious, easy-to-prepare food to eat during weekends and school vacations. Additionally, the Food Bank has School Pantry sites in 50 schools. The School Pantry program gives school staff the opportunity to provide children in danger of hunger with nutritious food to take home to their families.

Since the first program launched in 2010, the Food Bank has grown from serving 40 children weekly at one site to serving over 5,000 families at 117 schools. Last year, both programs provided more than 600,000 meals.

For more details, go to feedingmaine.org or call 782-3554.

Foundation gives $300,000 to help MECA’s craft programs

A grant from the Windgate Charitable Foundation for $300,000 to invest in MECA’s four craft programs for ceramics, metalsmithing, jewelry, textile, fashion design, woodworking and furniture design will fund three key areas at the college: tools and equipment; visiting artists; and the endowed Belvedere Fund for alumni professional development.

The grant will allow MECA to focus attention on its craft programs through purchase of equipment to meet the changing needs of the field, expand use of visiting artists to provide varied perspectives on craft, and make strategic investments in the careers of recent graduates.

SCARBOROUGH

Local land trust completes first permanent trail at preserve

Scarborough Land Trust has completed the first permanent trail at Pleasant Hill Preserve, located at Pleasant Hill Road.

The new trail meets ADA standards for handicapped accessibility. It is named Eleanor’s Trail in honor of anonymous donors to the Capital Campaign who raised funds to purchase and steward the 135-acre property. Additional support for the trail was provided by Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust.

The trail runs from the kiosk to the old metal barn, and is approximately a third of a mile. It passes by the signature “Survivor Elm” at the front of the preserve and wetlands that contain headwaters of the Spurwink River. It continues near the woods of Beach Hill, and out to an overlook that offers sweeping views of the property. The compacted surface of fine crushed stone can accommodate wheelchairs, walkers and other assistive devices.The trail was built by OBP Trailworks of Turner.

Since last spring, SLT stewardship volunteers have worked weekly to remove debris and invasive plants to make way for the new trail.

For more information, visit scarboroughlandtrust.org.

TOPSHAM

Six honored for helping others battling cancer

The American Cancer Society recently honored six Maine residents with the Sandra C. Labaree Volunteer Values Award for their selflessness contributions in helping individuals battling cancer.

Maine’s 2016 recipients are: Bob Jean of Thomaston, Bud Striker of Yarmouth, Suzette McPherson of Saco, Leigh-Anne Fulda of Durham, Jeff Bennett of Portland and Becky Bryant of Cape Elizabeth.

ROCKLAND

Two businesses raise $600 to benefit humane societies

The Loyal Biscuit Co. and Becky Lowe Photography have raised nearly $600 benefiting humane societies.

Lowe offered a portion of all proceeds from the holiday pet photography sessions to be distributed between Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County, the P.A.W.S. Animal Adoption Center and the Humane Society Waterville Area.

PORTLAND

Catholic Charities Maine installs two board members

Catholic Charities Maine has installed two new board members at its November meeting.

Kathy Dyer of Houlton has more than three decades of volunteer and professional work in the field of faith formation at both the parish and diocesan levels. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maine and a master’s in religious education from Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island.

Since retiring, Dyer and her husband, Roger, are managers of Mildred’s Pantry, the ecumenical food pantry based at St. Mary of the Visitation in Houlton. Dyer is a minister of the Eucharist, a lector, lector trainer, a member of the Parish Council and meets with families for baptism preparation and conducts interviews for marriage annulments.

Kimberly Suttie of Waterville is the pastoral life coordinator for Corpus Christi Parish in Waterville, overseeing the liturgical and catechetical ministries of the parish as well as parish communications. She holds a bachelor’s degree from College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., and has taken graduate level courses at Boston College. Suttie has worked in Parish Ministry for over 23 years serving in many different roles. She is a member of Corpus Christi Parish, Waterville.