Banjo musician featured at Sebago library Aug. 16

Maine native banjo player Peter Mezoian performs for the whole family on Saturday, Aug. 16, at 7 p.m. at Spaulding Memorial Library in Sebago.

A dynamic and versatile musical artist, Mezoian plays the banjo with a smooth lush tone crossing over from its jazz roots to Broadway, pop, bluegrass and ragtime. His influences include Les Paul, Irving Berlin, Django Reinhardt, Harry Reser and Stevie Wonder to name a few.

Mezoian has toured the world for the last 20 years performing on cruise ships and in theaters and music festivals in the United States, Japan and England. He is a funny, charming and engaging performer who will keep you wondering what he will play next.

This free presentation is suitable for audiences of all ages. For more information, call 787-2321. Spaulding Memorial Library is located in Sebago on Route 114.

Part of Spaulding Memorial Library’s Push Back the Stacks performance series, this program is supported by the Cumberland County Fund of the Maine Community Foundation and individual contributions.

Historical society to explore food history

The Raymond-Casco Historical Society presents “A History of the Foods We Eat” by Raymond’s John Manoush on Monday, Aug. 11, at 6:30 p.m. at the Raymond-Casco Historical Museum on Route 302 in Casco.

Fresh, local food is the greatest, but mankind could not have survived without preserved foods. For most of history, fresh foods were not available during much of the year because there were no refrigerated trucks or planes to transport it from warmer climates. Today, we are accustomed to reaching into the freezer or opening a can or packet to access a wide variety of high-quality preserved foods, but most of these conveniences have only been available for a tiny percentage of the time man has walked on Earth.

Manoush will combine his interest in history with his training and experience in food science and technology to describe what our diets were like before the scientific and industrial revolutions of the 1800s, and how man has discovered clever ways to keep food from spoiling so that we may enjoy a varied and healthful diet all year long. He will also take a look at the newest methods and what we might expect for “future foods.” All are welcome and admission is free, but any donations are always appreciated.

For more information, check out or call Pam Grant at 655-2438.

Casco birth

Bennet Lee Meuser was born Thursday, July 17, at 3:51 p.m. to Pastor Garret Meuser of Casco Alliance Church and his wife Melinda Meuser. He was born at home in Casco. He weighed 8 pounds 13 ounces, and 21 1?4 inches long.

In attendance were Sarah Ackerly, of Northern Sun Family Health Care and the Birth Center at Northern Sun in Topsham, and assisting midwives Madeline Lott Cain, student, and Morgan Titus Rau. Also in attendance were sister Nora and brother Emerson Meuser and doula Elise Gliasson.

Cafe? donates $640,000 to Camp Sunshine

Camp Sunshine, a one-of-a-kind national retreat in Casco for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families, has received $640,000 from Tropical Smoothie Cafe? as proceeds from the national smoothie and sandwich chain’s National Flip Flop Day campaign.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe?, based in Atlanta, Ga., has now donated more than $2.5 million to Camp Sunshine through its National Flip Flop Day fundraising.

More than 250 family members, volunteers and staff looked on as Mike Rotondo, the company’s chief executive officer, presented the $640,000 check to Camp Sunshine Founder Anna Gould on Monday.

Rotondo was joined by members of the Tropical Smoothie Cafe? Support Center, along with several Tropical Smoothie Cafe? area developers, store owners and employees who are volunteering at Camp Sunshine this week as part of Tropical Smoothie Cafe? Week.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe? raised the funds during its eighth annual National Flip Flop Day, which took place in June at each of the more than 375 locations across the country. Stores gave away free smoothies to flip flop-wearing customers, who were also encouraged to make donations to Camp Sunshine.

In addition to the $2.5 million raised through National Flip Flop Day already, the company last year also pledged to provide $1 million for Camp Sunshine’s endowment – the largest corporate gift of its kind toward sustaining the Camp Sunshine program in perpetuity.

“What an incredible outpouring of support from the customers, employees, and franchisees of Tropical Smoothie Cafe?. We are once again humbled by their increased support,” said Anna Gould, founder of Camp Sunshine. “Tropical Smoothie Cafe?’s heartfelt commitment will have lasting impact on Camp Sunshine’s future. Ultimately it is the families of children with life-threatening illness that will truly feel the impact of their generosity.”

Camp Sunshine began its partnership with Tropical Smoothie Cafe? in 2008 when the national chain found Camp Sunshine listed as a top rated charity by Charity Navigator. Impressed by the camp’s fiscal responsibility, national reach, and compelling mission, the company chose Camp Sunshine to be its national charity partner – and beneficiary of its National Flip Flop Day fundraising and promotional campaign.

The money raised this year will be used primarily to provide sponsorships for more than 200 families to attend Camp Sunshine throughout the year, which includes supporting families’ travel costs.

“I’m so proud of the Tropical Smoothie Cafe? team, our dedicated franchisees and loyal customers and look forward to our continued support for many years,” Rotondo said.

Gov. LePage designates $10K for monument

Gov. Paul LePage has designated $10,000 from his contingency fund to support the building of the New Gloucester Veterans Monument.

According to a press release issued Thursday, the memorial is a joint project of the New Gloucester, Maine Historical Society and Lunn-Hunnewell AMVETS Post No. 6. The finished work will especially honor all New Gloucester veterans, those who served in times of war and those who served in times of peace.

“My wife and I cannot express enough our gratitude for our brave men and women who sacrificed for the sake of our freedom,” LePage said. “I commend the work of the community members, the engineers, the McCann family and the New Gloucester Veterans Committee for their cooperation in the construction of this very special memorial honoring New Gloucester residents.”

“We were overwhelmed, the whole committee, I mean,” said Bill Kiley of the New Gloucester Veterans Committee upon hearing the news of the funding. “We had a chicken barbeque to raise money; we fed 184. We told the crowd what the governor had done – $10,000 for the monument. Response was everything but a standing ovation. Well, actually there was a standing ovation. Without that [funding], we’d still be struggling.”

At this point, 1,142 names of New Gloucester veterans will be engraved on a set of granite tablets surrounding the centerpiece. Behind the arrangement of memorial stones will wave the American flag, the state of Maine flag, and the POW/MIA flag. Land for the memorial was donated by the McCann family on Route 100 in Upper Village.

“As the daughter and grand-daughter of Navy veterans, I am very pleased with the support Gov. LePage and first lady Ann LePage have shown to our military men and women, veterans and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our great country,” said Rep. Ellie Espling of New Gloucester. “Their support of the New Gloucester Veterans monument project is deeply appreciated. As a small town, we are humbled by this support for a project that means so much to us.”

Community volunteers have donated time, gravel, equipment and more. The New Gloucester Veterans Committee recently met with the engineers to get ready to prepare the ground.

To learn more about the project and how you can help, visit and click on “New Gloucester Veterans Monument.”

Motorcycle ride to benefit Riding to the Top

On Sunday, Aug. 17, motorcycle enthusiasts will come together for the sixth annual Reins of Hope Charity Ride to benefit Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center. To date, the event has raised more than $50,000 to benefit hundreds of children and adults with disabilities served by the center each year.

The group ride will begin with breakfast, registration, demonstrations and tours at 9 a.m. at Riding To The Top, 14 Lilac Drive, in Windham. A full day, the ride throughout southern Maine includes stops in Acton and Standish and ends at the Stockhouse in Westbrook. Riding to the Top supporters are invited to join riders at The Stockhouse Restaurant in Westbrook 4-6 p.m. for food, live music and a silent auction.

The suggested donation is $20 per rider and $10 per passenger. Special limited edition T-shirts will be on sale at registration. Participants are eligible for the grand prize drawing and other prizes. This year’s event sponsors include Big Moose Harley, Bob The Screen Printer, Dave Whitaker Farrier Services, Local 114, Maine Street Grill, Norway Savings Bank, Packmann Dave, Poland Springs, Stockhouse Restaurant and Willy’s Ale Room.

Peter MezoianNick and Kelly Villacci, a Gray couple who was married three years ago, renewed their wedding vows during a wedding scene at the Maine State Music Theatre’s “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” performance on Saturday, Aug. 2. The couple won the theater’s “Wedding Wishes Contest” and were given an overnight stay at the Daniel Inn in Brunswick. John Manoush

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