Nominations sought for senior volunteer award

The search is on for Maine’s Outstanding Senior Volunteer, a distinction to be awarded through the Salute to Senior Service program.

The Home Instead Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network, is seeking to recognize the contributions of adults age 65 and older who volunteer at least 15 hours a month to their favorite causes.

One winner will be selected from each state to receive $500 and one national winner will receive $5,000 to donate to the charity of their choice.

The deadline to nominate an individual is March 1.


State winners will be determined by popular vote.

A panel of senior care experts will then select a national Salute to Senior Service winner from among the state honorees.

To complete and submit an online nomination form, go to

Completed nomination forms can alternatively be mailed to: Salute to Senior Service, P.O. Box 285, Bellevue, NE 68005.

To learn about the 2013 outstanding senior volunteer from Maine, go to



Deadline nears for young composers competition

The deadline for submitting an entry to the Annual Young Composers’ Competition is by Feb. 10.

All Maine students of high school age and younger who have an interest in composing original music are eligible to submit their work for consideration in the competition.

The Bagaduce Music Lending Library has held the competition since 1996.

All musical styles are welcome. Entries are grouped by age – 13 and younger; and 14 through high school.

Cash prizes of $200, $125 and $75 will be awarded to the top three winners in each age group.


All participants receive a Certificate of Award and a written critique of their composition from a panel of expert judges.

Complete guidelines and entry forms are available at

Mail submissions to Bagaduce Music Lending Library, Attn: Young Composers, P.O. Box 829, Blue Hill, ME 04614.

For more details, call 374-5454 or e-mail

The final event of the competition is a Young Composers’ Festival set for April 26 at Blue Hill.



Spay-neuter grant aims to thwart ‘kitten season’

The Community Spay-Neuter Clinic has received a PetSmart Charities grant to run a “Beat the Heat” campaign during February.

“Beat the Heat” will provide spaying of 250 cats for just $20 each.

The timing is meant to pre-empt what is known as kitten season, a time when the state is typically inundated with unwanted kittens from unspayed and unneutered cats.

Free transport of pets is available in several convenient locations.

Visit or call the clinic at 865-0772 for more scheduling. 



St. Thomas students working to help others

St. Thomas Catholic School students will cap Maine Catholic Schools Week by completing multiple community service projects they have been working on.

Students and staff are collecting sample sizes of personal hygiene items, such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes and powder, throughout the week and will assemble those in gift packages Thursday to be distributed to individuals at the York County Emergency Shelter in Alfred.

The shelter provides care for individuals who are awaiting placement in an appropriate transitional or independent living programs. It also offers counseling, case management and other necessary services.

The students also will create Valentine’s Day cards, decorate pens and make packets of stationery to be distributed to residents at four area nursing homes and assisted living facilities including Greenwood Center, Mayflower Place and Newton Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing Care, all of Sanford, and The Lodges Care Center in Springvale.


In addition, a weeklong collection will be held at the school for donations to the Sanford Food Pantry.


Students collecting items by the hundreds for food pantry

Massabesic Middle School students will celebrate 100 days in school with a community outreach effort.

Students are holding a food drive through Feb. 11, pledging to collect 100 of each item that the pantry requests.

Some of the needed items include peanut butter, powdered milk, canned vegetables, canned fruit, canned meat (chicken/tuna) and beans.


On the morning of Feb. 12, students will form a human chain that passes along the food items to be boxed and then delivered to the York County Shelter/Pantry. If the students meet their challenge, there will be some teachers that will have to follow through with their promises to participate in some unique activities.

For more details, call adviser Ruth Miller at 247-6121, ext 2228.


Elks Hoop Shoot contest winners announced

The winners of the annual Elks Hoop Shoot contest have been announced. The first-, second- and third-place winners, respectively) are: 8-9 Division: Girls – Lydia Desjardins; and Boys – Braden Camire, Colin Binette and Zach Taranko; 10-11 Division: Girls – Mia Taranko and Hayley Desjardins; and Boys – Alec McAlary and Mitchell Labbe; 12-13 Division: Girls: Lauren Desjardins and Amanda Bogardus; and Boys – Adam Lovejoy, Tyler Nagel and Calvin Christoforo.

Eighth-grader Falardeau wins school spelling bee


Saco Middle School eighth-grader Vincent Falardeau is the winner of the school’s annual spelling bee, held recently in the school’s cafeteria

Student runners-up were Sara McInnis-Misenor, Grade 8, who placed second and Caden Falardeau, Grade 6, placing third.

Vincent will advance to the York County Spelling Bee, to be held Feb. 4 at Sanford Junior High School.

Ruth’s Reusable Resources receives grants for upgrades

Tom’s of Maine and Hannaford Supermarkets have made donations totaling $25,000 to Ruth’s Reusable Resources (3R’s), a Portland nonprofit organization that for 20 years has transferred supplies from businesses to classrooms.

A $15,000 gift from Tom’s of Maine is being used to upgrade Ruth’s phone system, improve shipping methods and purchase an electric pallet jack. A $10,000 Hannaford donation will help purchase new computers and hard-wire Ruth’s distribution center.


Ruth’s transfers furniture, paper, books, office/school supplies, computers, and much more to schools and nonprofit agencies.

When individual schools or districts buy annual memberships to 3R’s (for as little as $3 per student), their teachers can shop at the store for free all year long. Founder Ruth Libby estimates that on each shopping trip, most teachers bring at least $600 worth of supplies back to their classrooms.

For more details, go to

Pre-crisis center gets $35,000 to expand services

Counseling Services Inc., a local community mental health agency, has received two grants totaling $35,000 from the Davis Family Foundation and the Sam L. Cohen Foundation to expand services at the agency’s new peer support center in Saco.

The New Directions Peer Support Center was created to provide an alternative resource to crisis services (managed by CSI in York County) and hospital emergency rooms for people suffering from emotional or psychological distress.


The Davis Family Foundation gave CSI $10,000; the Sam L. Cohen Foundation made a $25,000 donation.

New Directions is a walk-in pre-crisis center located on the city bus line.

The center has its own entrance, a reception area, a small kitchen and several private rooms for one-on-one conversation or quiet time alone.

The space is designed to resemble a large living room with calming elements and comfortable furniture. CSI’s Crisis Stabilization Unit is in the same building, if needed.

The center’s phone number is 294-3716.

The Intentional Warm Line is (866) 771-9276 and the statewide Crisis Line is (888) 568-1112.



Voters pick Camp Sunshine to receive mobility van

Berlin City Toyota recently donated a new Toyota Sienna mobility van to Camp Sunshine of Casco.

Camp Sunshine, a Casco-based, one-of-a-kind national retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families, received the van as result of a nationwide vote in Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good contest.

The online contest showcased five nonprofit organizations each day for 50 days on the Toyota Facebook page and asked visitors to vote for which organizations they believed were most deserving.

Two new vehicles were awarded each day.


Camp Sunshine will use the van to transport families to and from local airports, train and bus stations and area hospitals.


Fuel-aid program seeks donations for Casco residents

Casco Cares is asking for the community’s help to provide emergency fuel assistance to residents.

The goal of the local group’s 2014 Fund Drive is to raise money, through donations, to cover costs of its fuel assistance program in this current heating season and to provide a buffer for 2015.

The nonprofit Casco Cares provides one-time fuel assistance in each year to Casco residents who do not qualify for town, state, PROP and/or other sources of aid and find themselves in an emergency situation.


Fundraising jars are in various public locations throughout Casco.

Checks may also be made out to Casco Cares and mailed to: Casco Cares, P.O. Box 22, Casco ME 04015.


Donation funds scholarship to Fiddlehead Center

Patient Advocates donated $500 to their long-time neighbor Fiddlehead Art & Science Center to fund an annual scholarship for a student from Gray or New Gloucester.

Families with economic or situational challenges can apply for assistance with tuition at Fiddlehead Center, which provides after-school arts and science programming.


Fiddlehead Center’s programs are aimed to complement and deepen school learning at roughly the same or lower cost than conventional day-care programs for children in pre-kindergarten through Grade 12.

The scholarship will be awarded to students from Gray or New Gloucester based on need.

Families can apply by contacting Fiddlehead Center.

For more details, go to or call 657-2244.


Resource center offers help for veterans, families


The Mid-Coast Veterans Resource Center at Brunswick Landing will host two special opportunities for veterans and their families this week to meet with representatives from the VA and other veterans service organizations.

Patrick Crowley, with the Togus Veterans Administration, will help with veterans compensation, filing disability claims and disability upgrades beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday. Wendy Moody, with the Maine National Guard, will help with transition from active duty to civilian life and offer assistance with financial, work and job opportunities from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Additionally, Paul Loveless, a veterans services officer, is on hand to provide assistance with survivor’s benefits, assistance for families of recently deceased veterans and general veterans benefits from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

The center is located at 66 Pegasus Drive, Brunswick Landing.

To schedule an appointment with a representative, call Read Rich at 406-4103.

Teens to Trails ends fundraising campaign


Teens To Trails recently wrapped up its Founding Members Campaign, transitioning from an organization founded and run by volunteers to a membership organization funded by the commitment of dedicated supporters.

More than $30,000 was raised during the campaign.

The fundraising effort will enable the expansion of outreach to new high schools and existing Outing Clubs, increased programming, and allow Teens To Trails to launch its Association of Maine Outing Clubs while retaining staff positions.

Teens To Trails is a nonprofit organization founded to engage Maine teens in the outdoors. Its goal is to establish an Outing Club in every Maine high school community, promote outdoor adventure, healthy lifestyles and environmental stewardship.

For more details, go to



Bank helps the hungry

In recognition of the grand opening celebration of its new branch at 32 Central Ave., SIS Bank recently made a $1,000 donation to St. Matthew’s Food Pantry, also of Limerick.

St. Matthew’s Food Pantry, located directly across the street from the new branch, sees a high demand for food assistance during the holiday and winter season.


Lighted skating rink open

Skating enthusiasts are welcome to come lace up.


West Brook Skating Rink, on Pool Road, is open for the season, offering an outdoor, lighted rink and a fully stocked snack bar and warming hut.

The rink is open from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, 3 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and 3 to 9 p.m. Fridays for a $3 admission fee, and from noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays for a $4 fee; the venue also is open for fundraising events from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturdays with costs varying.

The rink is a joint project between the Knights of Columbus and the Masons in cooperation with the city of Biddeford and is open as weather permits.

For more details, call Dave Gagnon at 468-0148.


Genealogy webinar on tap


Kennebunk Free Library will host a live Webinar by “Armchair Genealogist” Lynn Palermo at 10 a.m. Saturday with the library’s Genealogy Group at 112 Main St.

Palermo’s presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer period.

Palermo, a freelance writer and family historian, is an Ontario native who has authored her own family history book and has written articles for several genealogy magazines, including Internet Genealogy and Discovering Family History.

Palermo says she wants to provide the tools to not only discover your ancestors but to write their stories.

Lynn is also the originator of the Family History Writing Challenge, a 28-day commitment to writing your family history, which takes place Feb. 1-28.

For more details about the presentation or the Family History Writing Challenge, call the library at 985-2173, email or go to

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