November 25, 2012

Society Notebook: It's a win-win situation

Town & Country Credit Union awards grants to nonprofits, which in turn help Mainers in need.


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Representing Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine are Sue Rowan, director of community development in York County; Mitch Thomas, communications director; Casey Hartford, director of community development; and Tanya Iverson, communications and marketing intern. Big Brothers Big Sisters received a $5,000 grant.

Amy Paradysz photos

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Megan Dunn and Beatrice Dahlen, co-directors of education at The Long Barn Education Initiative at Broadturn Farm, and baby Otto Dahlen, enjoying reception hors d’oeuvres. Their program received a $5,000 grant for its “farm to school” partnership with the Scarborough Public Schools.

Additional Photos Below


Recipients of $5,000 Better Neighbor Fund Grants:

Long Barn Educational Initiative at Broadturn Farm

Frannie Peabody Center

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine

Recipients of $2,000 Better Neighbor Fund Grants:

Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine

CASA Maine

Wayside Food Program

Junior Achievement of Maine

Birth Roots

Birth Roots, which provides pre-and postnatal information, resources, and support, received a $2,000 grant for its "Blossoming Newborns" weekend co-educational classes.

Birth Roots co-founder Leah Deragon, with her 9-day-old daughter Greta sleeping on her chest, said the grant will expand Birth Roots programming beyond weekday business hours so that working parents – especially fathers – can participate. "Blossoming Newborns" will help new parents reduce stress, improve social supports and build a foundation of early parenting skills.

Another $2,000 grant goes to Wayside Food Programs, which brought in and redistributed 2 million pounds of food last year, serving 48 food pantries and soup kitchens in Cumberland County. The grant will support the Wayside's "Under One Roof" project, consolidating all Wayside operations in one location, including a new kitchen and warehouse facility.

"Bringing all our operations under one roof creates efficiency," said Mary Zwolinski, director of Wayside Food Programs. "When we save more money, we can put more into our programs."

Junior Achievement of Maine received a $2,000 grant, which representative Michelle Anderson said would help fund financial literacy education programs in the Greater Portland area. Junior Achievement reaches about 9,100 students in grades K-12 throughout Maine.

Casa Maine received a $2,000 grant to help purchase a handicapped accessible van to transport adults and children in the Great Portland area who receive services from CASA.

"We have so many people who are so incredibly committed to building our community and making it strong," said Bob Leger, chief financial officer of Town & Country Federal Credit Union.


Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer who lives in Scarborough. She can be contacted at:


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Additional Photos

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Lynn McGhee and Risa Bridges-Hall, representing Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, and Devin Dukes, representing A Company of Girls, which uses visual and performing arts to boost self-esteem in girls in the greater Portland area.

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Rooting for Birth Roots are office manager Jodi Phinney and co-founder Leah Deragon, with her 9-day-old daughter, Greta, and her mother, Pam Leo of Portland.

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Bob Leger, CFO of Town & Country Federal Credit Union, and John Michalowski, director of 19th-century village Willowbrook, which received a Better Neighbor Fund grant last year.

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Amy Thomas, representing Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine, and Michelle Anderson, representing Junior Achievement of Maine. Both organizations received $2,000 grants.

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Wayside Food Programs employees Carly Milkowski, resource director, and Mary Zwolinski, director. Wayside received a $2,000 grant for its “Under One Roof” project.

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Kevin Powell, vice chairman of the Town & Country board of directors, and Will Couture, board member.

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