Olympian gold medalist Ian Crocker speaks at school

Three-time Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Ian Crocker recently visited students at Wells Elementary School at the request of a third-grader who’d invited him to fulfill an assignment.

Isabella Bazata’s social studies assignment was to detail the life of a famous Maine person; Crocker had attended Cheverus High School in Portland.

The multi-phased project had to include a visual component, and. Bazata, of Ogunquit, concluded that the best visual would be Crocker in person.

After four weeks of trying to contact Crocker, Bazata received a call from him along with a promise to give a talk at the school.

At the resulting schoolwide assembly, Crocker detailed his 10-year quest to become an Olympian, and spoke of his future plans to train swimmers who have similar Olympic dreams.

Crocker, who now lives in Texas, brought along his medals to show students the reward for his effort.

“I am still a kid at heart anyway so it’s a lot of fun for me to be able to talk to them and share my experiences,” said Crocker after the assembly.

Wells High bands win array of awards at competition

The Wells High School bands took top honors at the Music in the Parks band competition, held in Williamsburg, Va., recently.

The WHS Parade Band placed first in competition, while WHS Concert and Jazz bands placed fourth and second, respectively.

And, for the third time, the WHS Band received the prestigious Esprit de Corps trophy, an award given to just one of the attending bands determined to have displayed the best behavior, attitude, cooperation and sportsmanship during performances and down time.

The 61 student musicians and 13 adults (staff and chaperones) arrived back at WHS to a congratulatory crowd of parents.


2014 grad in Alabama to compete for title in finals

Resident Cassidy Dangler will participate in the 57th Annual Distinguished Young Women National Finals, to be held Thursday through Saturday at the Mobile Civic Center Theater at Mobile, Ala.

Dangler is representing Maine and competing with contestants from each state for a share of more than $150,000 in cash scholarships and the opportunity to represent the program as the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2014.

Dangler, the Distinguished Young Woman of Maine, will be judged in five categories, including scholastics, interview, fitness, talent and self-expression. Dangler has been in Mobile since June 15, participating in team building activities, community service projects, interacting with the Gulf Coast community through various events and rehearsing for the three-night scholarship competition.

Dangler is a 2014 graduate of Waterville Senior High School and the daughter of Melissa and Vernon Dangler.

To view the live webcast of the Distinguished Young Women National Finals, visit www.DistinguishedYW.org at 8 p.m. Saturday.


United Way campaign to be led by North Berwick man

Dave Derro, North Berwick site services manager at Pratt & Whitney and secretary of the United Way of York County Board of Directors, has accepted the role of campaign chair for UWYC’s 2014 Community Campaign.

In his new role, Derro will lead UWYC in raising the financial resources necessary to help achieve its mission.

Supporting him in those efforts are community volunteer and campaign committee members Patsy Aprile of Southern Maine Health Care, Jennifer Johnson of Kennebunk Savings, community volunteer and development consultants John Carpenter and Maryanna Arsenault and Karen Pierce-Stewart of the Cancer Care Center of York County. To learn more, go to www.buildcommunity.org or call 985-3359.


Teen’s poem takes first in Junior Authors contest

A 13-year-old Buxton girl is the winner of the 2013 International Junior Authors Poetry Contest based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Alyssa Patterson’s poem “Young Winter” was the highest-scoring entry in a field of 298 poems submitted by young writers from more than 50 countries in the age 12 to 14 category.

Canadian author, contest organizer and lead judge Laura Michelle Thomas said, “Alyssa’s poem was a top scorer on all the elements we were looking for: a harmony of form and subject, specific imagery, the creative use of poetic devices and sound, and overall unity. In this poem, every word matters. That’s why it won.”

To read Patterson’s poem, go to www.juniorauthorspoetrycontest.com.


Dozens of volunteers help at Waban on Day of Caring

Some 120 volunteers recently converged at Waban residences and programs all over Sanford, Springvale, North Berwick and Kennebunk to lend a helping hand as part of the annual United Way Day of Caring.

Companies sent volunteers to weed and mulch landscaping, plant flowers, clean camp cottages, paint buildings, and insulate for the Commons renovation at Waban’s TREE Center, soon to open as the new Experiential Education Center.

The Commons will serve as a four-season hub for the TREE Program for team building, recreation and environmental education.

It will house the meeting and lab space for environmental education, rental space for recreational equipment, the “Commons Café” and staff offices, as well as display areas for program activities.

The center will be ready for use this summer and a grand opening is planned for the fall, when all construction is finished.


South Portland volunteer earns Cancer Society honor

Britney Morton, 16, of South Portland, was recognized with the 2014 Sandra C. Labaree Volunteer Values Award during the Relay For Life of Greater Portland event June 21.

The award, the New England Division of the American Cancer Society’s highest, was given to Morton in honor of her service and dedication to the American Cancer Society work to find a cure for cancer.

Morton has been actively involved in the effort to support her dance teacher’s third battle with cancer.

In 2010, Morton gathered with friends and family to form “Team Tom” in memory of her father, who died of kidney cancer when she was 11.

Since that time, Morton and the team have raised nearly $40,000 to support the American Cancer Society.

For more details, go to www.relayforlife.org or call (800) 227-2345.


Teams clean up islands, Goose Rocks Beach

More than 60 volunteers came together to participate in a community coastal clean-up event along Goose Rocks Beach and the islands of Cape Porpoise Harbor.

The event brought together volunteers from the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust, Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation, Maine Island Trails Association and local lobstermen.

Teams scoured Goat Island, Trott’s Island, Green Island, Stage Island, Vaughn’s Island and the shores of Goose Rocks Beach for derelict fishing gear, winter storm debris and other rubbish. Skiffs, lobster boats and pickup trucks were loaded and brought to the pier in Cape Porpoise, where a dumpster was waiting.

After hours at sea and working on the beach, volunteers were treated to bagged lunches and cold drinks from Cape Porpoise Kitchen.

The Kennebunkport Conservation Trust holdings include 12 harbor islands and they maintain them with the help of KCT Island Stewards, a crew of volunteers.

The islands vary in size, topography and use including four with primitive campsites, Goat Island Lighthouse, historic forts, important flora and fauna, and wildlife habitat.


Brick Store Museum gets grant to support programs

The Maine Community Foundation has awarded the Brick Store Museum $2,530 through its Saxifrage Opportunity Grants Fund at the recommendation of the York County Committee advisers.

The museum received the funds to support gardening and nutrition education programs for families throughout the year.

These programs are in conjunction with the newest exhibition, “Vitamin V: How Food Fought the Second World War,” which runs through Jan. 15, 2015.

Programs will include cooking and nutrition demonstrations, a pickling workshop, gardening how-to’s and an interactive display on how to eat healthy.

The museum has also planted its own Victory Garden in its rear courtyard to grow fresh vegetables for local food pantries.

All program dates and times are continually updated on the museum’s website, www.brickstoremuseum.org.