February 26, 2010

Go Red and help Maine women

— They say laughter is the best medicine. Add a little health and fitness to your dosage and you may be able to keep pace with comedienne Kelly MacFarland, former contestant on ''The Biggest Loser'' and keynote speaker for the Feb. 4 Go Red For Women Luncheon at the Holiday Inn by the Bay.

MacFarland, a Maine native, is currently touring nationally with the Loretta LaRoche Women in Comedy Tour, and will make a stop in Portland to join event emcees Kim Block of WGME 13 and Matty Jeff of WPOR FM.

''Go Red For Women celebrates the energy, passion and power we have as women to band together to wipe out heart disease and stroke,'' Amy Morse, CEO of New England Rehabilitation Hospital and luncheon chair, said in a press release. ''The color red and the red dress now stand for the ability all women have to improve their heart health and live stronger, longer lives.''

This year's local honoree will be Meg Baxter, president of the United Way of Greater Portland since 1989. She will be presented with the AHA's Crystal Heart Award for her many accomplishments with United Way and her commitment to the community.

Event tickets are $100 per person and can be purchased by calling 523-3009. The goal is to raise $200,000 in support of the American Heart Association.

Members of the executive leadership team for the event include: Jeanine S. Chesley, CFO at HealthSouth and auction chair; April Donovan, CAO at Cardiovascular Consultants of Maine; Betsy Greenstein, president of Bank of America, Maine; Katie Fullam Harris, senior director of government and employer relations at MaineHealth; John Marr, senior VP claims at MEMIC; Peggy McGehee, of Perkins Thompson; Carol Mitchell, executive vice president of shared services at TD Bank; Elise Plummer, marketing coordinator at Cardiovascular Consultants of Maine and logistics chair; and Marjorie S. Wiggins, vice presidnt for nursing and chief nursing officer at Maine Medical Center and medical chair.

$4,500 FOR FLORENCE HOUSE

Every year, Portland's Downtown District hosts Shop for a Cause as a way to raise money for local charities. This year's event took place Dec. 5 and roughly 50 retailers participated. Shops taking part in the event donated a portion of their profits from that day, raising a total of $4,500.

This year the money was donated to Florence House, which is scheduled to open this month at 190 Valley St. and provide a permanent residence for 60 chronically homeless women. The home will be managed by Preble Street, a local nonprofit providing social services for homeless Mainers.

ANGUS KING TO SPEAK AT EDUCATION GALA

Former Gov. Angus King will speak at a gala celebrating the accomplishments of the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel school system. The event is called Ignite the Spark: A Night to Celebrate Educational Excellence and takes place Jan. 28 at the Coastal House in Wells. The party begins at 6 p.m. with a cash bar and dinner will follow at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased by called 985-1100 by Jan. 22. The gala is hosted by the Education Foundation of the Kennebunks and Arundel and the RSU No. 21 School Board.

CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATION

Feb. 14, 2010, is a significant date for romantics and those who have a sweet spot for hearts filled with candy. It's also the first day of the Year of the Tiger for those who observe the Chinese New Year.

In advance of the big day, the Chinese and American Friendship Association of Maine will host its 22nd annual Chinese New Year Festival on Saturday, Feb. 6, at McAuley High School in Portland. The festivities will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include a Dragon Dance, arts and crafts for children, lectures and demonstrations for adults, Chinese food, music, crafts and books for sale and a Chinese dance program performed by the students of CAFAM's Chinese School.

Admission to the fest is $5 for adults, $3 for children.

— Compiled by Avery Yale Kamila

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