Seniors to meet

Westbrook Senior Citizens will meet at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 7, in Westbrook Community Center, 426 Bridge St. Gloria Jean and Bobby Le will entertain. The seniors are planning a trip to Indian Head in Lincoln, N.H., on Sunday, Dec. 1. For more information, call 854-2705 or 883-5046.

Special dinner benefits teen center

For the second year in a row, the Frog & Turtle gastro pub on Bridge Street in Westbrook is raising money for My Place Teen Center. Restaurant owner James Tranchemontagne has set a goal to raise $5,100 for My Place Teen Center, formerly the Mission Possible Teen Center, by cooking a four-course dinner with wine pairings for four people.

Only 17 custom dinners are being offered the dinner, for a $300 price tag. Dinners in the past have included quail, lobster, duck and bison, but the restaurant will cook anything to fit an individual’s taste or dietary needs.

Tranchemontagne said he hopes to raise the money in time to present a check to the center on Oct. 8, the night of the My Place Teen Center gala. As of Wednesday, Oct. 2, five dinners were still available. For more information on the dinners, call the Frog and Turtle at 591-4185.

Faleh art on display

Paintings by Westbrook resident Rahim Faleh will be exhibited on the second floor at Walker Memorial Library, 800 Main St., through Thursday, Oct. 31.

Sad day for pen pal

Donna Conley of Westbrook Historical Society said on Tuesday that it received information last week that a British man’s long lost pen-pal, a Westbrook woman, is deceased.

The American Journal reported on Sept. 26 that Richard Budgen, 63, of Oxford, England, was trying to locate Sandra Brown, who once had lived on Brown Street in Westbrook. Budgen corresponded as a teenager with Brown, who had graduated from Westbrook High School in 1965, but they lost touch.

Conley said this week that the historical society on Sept. 27 received an email from Brown’s nephew. “Sad to say that she died a few years ago,” Conley said. “But at least the man in England now knows.”

Marine returns to Parris Island

Former long time Westbrook resident Leo Champagne, 87, was honored by the U.S. Marine Corp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island during September graduation ceremonies. As their guest of honor, Champagne served as the parade reviewing official. While there, Champagne dined with the base commander, met members of the graduating class, and shared his Marine memories.

It also marked Champagne’s 70th anniversary of his Marine basic training at Parris Island during the fall of 1943.

The son of Frank and Rose Champagne, he was born and raised in Westbrook and attended local schools.

“He was also a pretty good athlete, playing baseball, basketball, and football during his high school years,” his son-in-law, Tom Butterfield, wrote in an email to the American Journal. “Sensing his duty to his country, Leo, only 17 years old at the time, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp in the summer of 1943. During his three years in the Marines, Leo served as a howitzer gunner for the 13th Artillery Regiment of the 5th Marine Division.”

Butterfield said the 5th Marines were part of the invasion forces for the Battle of Iwo Jima. After the month-long Battle of Iwo Jima, Champagne returned with the 5th Marines to Camp Tarawa in Hawaii to train for the invasion of Japan. After the surrender of Japan, the 5th Marines sailed to the island of Kyushu, Japan to serve as part of the occupying forces.

When the 5th Marines left Japan in late 1945, he was transferred to the 2nd Marine Division for further duty during the occupation of Japan. Champagne was discharged as a corporal in May of 1946 and returned to Westbrook.

He returned to work for the S.D. Warren Co. in the pulp mill where he worked until retiring in 1985. Butterfield said Champagne now lives in the Villages in Florida and continues to enjoy life.

Westbrook Mayor Colleen Hilton and Portland City Councilor Edward Suslovic snip the ribbon on Friday off Hutchins Drive as the Stroudwater Trail extends into Westbrook from Portland.

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