Make ‘Toby’s Dream’ a reality

This is an open letter to everyone in the Lakes Region area who is a friend and supporter of the Windham veterans and our past president Toby Pennels.

While president of the Windham Veterans Association from June of 2012 until his death in September 2014, “Toby’s Dream” plan was to pave the Windham Veteran Center parking lot and access road to connect with the parking lot pavement behind the Windham Mall as a way to move the Windham Veteran Center “into a better position.”

One of Toby’s first acts for improvements of the center as a public rental hall in order to increase our rental income, was to establish an account within our WVA budget labeled “Paving.” We have been making deposits in this account when able and the balance today is $4,168. The goal to complete this project is $50,000.

The WVA has dedicated this fundraising project in honor and memory of Toby and we have obtained town approval to rename the paved entrance drive starting at the mall pavement, Toby Pennels Veterans Memorial Drive.

The WVA feels sure there are lots of people who will want to donate to this project to ensure Toby’s name will forever be remembered in connection with his beloved veterans center as people drive in and out of our driveway. We truly believe a veteran has not really died as long as his name continues to be said everlasting. In case we are fortunate enough to receive more money than is needed specifically for the paving, we hereby promise every penny received for this project will be used to further perpetuate Toby’s name.


For example, if received funds allow us to, we would like to expand and enhance the entrance to our drive with more robust and elaborate granite pillars and signage. Also, on the right side of the drive, going in, people have suggested a row of appropriately spaced evergreen trees to cover the unsightly brush. Also, on the left side of the drive, going in, people have suggested a paved sidewalk for people who often walk our driveway with their dogs.

The expected long-range outcome of this successful project will be a significant increase in rental income, Toby’s dream, which will allow the WVA to make significant improvements and upgrades on the inside/outside of the building and grounds, thereby creating additional rentals which will therein make the WVC financially self-sustaining.

For the record, all of WVA income is spent on the maintenance and betterment of the building and grounds. There is not ever even one penny paid to any veteran for all the hundreds of hours of volunteer work they do.

The community, the people of the Greater Windham area, have been physically and financially involved and supportive of the successful building of the building in 1999 and also in the creation and town dedication of Veterans Memorial Park in 2005 and Memorial Gardens in 2006. For those that helped us financially in the past, we thank you. We could not have what we have today without your help. However, in order to maintain and sustain what we have today, we need to find a way to increase our rental income. We believe in Toby’s business skills and his decision to choose paving as the answer to our financial income problems.

Based on current paving estimates in hand, our goal for this project is $50,000. Therefore, in memory of Toby, we are asking all who care and all who want to be part of this project to fulfill “Toby’s Dream” to mail a check to us for as much as you feel you can give. However, everyone who gives $1,000 or more will be given a 20 percent discount on all future rentals of the hall for the next 20 years.

This project will terminate on Memorial Day 2015 and hopefully we will be able to report results at some point during our annual Memorial Day Ceremony. If you plan to give, please have your check in our hands by May 25.


On the “pay to” line of your check, write WVA PAVING and on the lower left notation line, please write “Toby’s Dream.” Please mail the check to Windham Veterans Association, PO Box 1776, Windham, ME 04062.

If anyone has questions or comments, please mail them or call Don Swander at 838-1455. Thanks for your support.

Richard Small, president

Ken Murch, treasurer

Don Swander, past president

Calling all gardeners

Even though it is cold and snowy, wouldn’t it be nice to think about spring and the possibility of growing and eating your own fresh garden vegetables? Well you can, because the Windham Community Garden is now accepting applications for the upcoming growing season. 10-by-20 foot beds are available for a nominal fee of $30 per bed. The garden supplies tools, compost and organic pesticide.

Please visit our website at to read more about the garden and to download an application. If you have any questions you may call Marge Govoni at 892-7192.

The Windham Community Garden Committee

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