It’s blustery and cold in Windham, a sneak preview of things to come. This winter promises to be a tough one for many in our town. Before we settle into our winter comfort zone, whether that be in Florida or a corner of our living room, take a break and attend one of the many community events planned by our active organizations. It’s what makes a community – something we’ve heard people are yearning for. And as we go about our busy days, shopping and planning, consider those who may face unimagined challenges this winter. Send a donation of any amount to the one group that people who are cold and without hope can turn to for help: Windham Neighbors Helping Neighbors, c/o Norma Rogers, treasurer, at 250 Windham Center Road, Windham, ME 04062. It’s a nonprofit and you can deduct donations on your tax return.

Poker on Dec. 11

A Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament sponsored by Windham Veterans Association will be held Dec. 11. Registration begins at noon, play begins at 1 p.m., with a $100 buy-in plus a $4 chair fee. Players are limited to the first 100 to register. The pot consists of 75 percent of the total buy-in registration. All players making the final eight table will share in the pot. Food, snacks and non-alcoholic drinks are available. Proceeds support the Windham Veterans Center.

Help the animals

Caring for up to 100 cats and kittens is a challenge! Paper towels, bleach, dryer sheets, hand soap, and more cleaning supplies as well as toys for the felines are always needed by Responsible Pet Care, a nonprofit animal shelter in Norway. They’re planning a Dec. 11 fund-raising bake sale at Shaw’s (from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) with all proceeds going to the shelter and from now through the week before Christmas, a special Giving Tree will be located at Shaw’s. Check it out and see what cats and kittens want from Santa!

What’s up with Medicare?

If you have questions about Medicare options, call Southern Maine Agency on Aging to make an appointment at one of its clinics held in major areas throughout Cumberland and York counties. Open enrollment runs until Dec. 31 and because of high interest in the program, appointments are required – call 1-800-427-7411, ext. 524.

Clinics are scheduled to be held on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 14, 21 and 28 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help on Roosevelt Trail in North Windham.

Christmas ?in the barn

Sunday, Dec. 12 (snow date Dec. 19) at 1 p.m. at Hartwell’s Shady Maple Farm, 443 Sebago Lake Road in Gorham, Faith Lutheran Church of North Windham presents “Christmas in the Barn” with live animals, caroling and refreshments. For more information, call Marcia at 892-3769.

Santa Claus visit

Santa Claus will visit the Candy Cane Games on Friday, Dec. 17, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Windham Town Hall gym. This is a family evening of games, crafts and a candy cane hunt outside. Limited to the first 50 kids who register, for ages 5-10 with an adult, $5 registration per family. Registration deadline is Dec. 15. Sponsored by Windham Parks and Recreation. For more information, call 892-1905.

Health council

The Windham Health Council asks that those who borrow wheelchairs and other medical equipment call one of the members when planning to return items. Recently, items have been left outside the building with no notice and when this happens, equipment can be damaged by weather or stolen. Please call 892-6619 or 892-4123 when returning items so someone can be there to unlock the building and take care of things. The Health Council provides for the free loan of all kinds of medical equipment, from canes to beds, and has been doing so for more than 50 years. This is a wonderful service to the citizens of Windham who otherwise would have to rent these products.

Christmas ?family event

On Sunday, Dec. 12, The Believe Tour will be at Windham High School Performing Arts Center at 6 p.m. Featured performers are Nashville recording artists Chris Lockwood and Jason Barton. For ticket information, call 622-1340 or 632-8147. The event is sponsored by Grace Fellowship, Windham and Worship-FM 95.3/107.9, Augusta.

For seniors only

The Windham Food Pantry is open on the first Monday each month for senior citizens from 10:30 a.m. until noon. Last year, senior hours were on Thursday. Madeline Roberts changed the day this year so seniors can receive fresh fruit and produce, which is available only on Mondays. If seniors cannot make it on Monday morning, they can continue to come in the evening.

The Parks and Recreation Department provides a weekly “Senior Shopping” trip to North Windham for senior citizens. The trip is on Wednesdays, for a $3 fee. Please call 24 hours ahead of time to reserve a seat. Call 892-1905 for reservations and more information.

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