People’s United gives grants to several Maine nonprofits

The People’s United Community Foundation, the philanthropic arm of People’s United Bank, has awarded $47,500 in grants to several nonprofit organizations in Maine.

Coastal Enterprises Inc. of Wiscasset, a community development corporation and financial institution that provides financing and individual consulting and training to small and micro-businesses, community facilities and affordable housing organizations, will receive $7,500 to serve more than 600 Maine residents this year.

The Opportunity Alliance of Portland and York Community Service Association of York each will receive $5,000 to provide emergency heating assistance to individuals in need.

And the Island Institute in Rockland will receive $5,000 to help sustain Maine’s island and remote coastal communities.

Also receiving funding for their programs are: Easter Seal of Portland, $7,000; Penquis CAP Inc. of Bangor, $6,500; Maine Special Olympics of South Portland, $3,500; Maine Energy Education Program, Department of Economic & Community Development of Parsonsfield, $3,000; and Hardy Girls Healthy Women Inc. and Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, both of Waterville, each will receive $2,500.


Two high school seniors achieve Citizenship Award honors

Wells High School students Reilly Boyle and Charlie Durfee were selected by Principal Jim Daly to receive this year’s Western Maine Conference Citizenship Award.

Each year two senior athletes are selected by principals of schools in the conference area for this recognition. Students are selected based on performance in academics, school activities and community service.

Boyle has been a member of the basketball, soccer, cross country and indoor and outdoor track teams and has volunteered for several community service initiatives. She is the daughter of Michael and Colleen Boyle of Wells.

Durfee has been a member of the wrestling, soccer (captain) and baseball teams and also has performed community service through the Boy Scouts of America and at the Animal Welfare Society at Kennebunk. Durfee is the son of Jim and Tracy Durfee of Wells.

Boyle and Durfee will be honored by the Western Maine Conference on April 7 at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland.


Library association honors three members of faculty

Three Falmouth Middle School faculty members recently were presented with awards from the Maine Association of School Libraries during a ceremony in the school’s packed gymnasium.

Peggy Stevens-Becksvoort received the Walter J. Taranko Award for School Library Media Specialist of the Year for her significant contributions to the library media profession on the local and state levels.

Principal Janet Adams and Assistant Principal Rick Hogan both were given the Administrator of the Year Award for their roles in promoting librarians as teaching partners and advocating technology resources necessary to student learning.


Students raise funds to compete in We the People nationals

A group of Marshwood High School seniors are raising funds to travel to Washington, D.C., in April to represent Maine in the national We the People competition.

Some 34 South Berwick and Eliot students are hoping to make the four-day trip to the nation’s capital following their February win in the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution contest, which tested their understanding of the fundamental values and principles of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The team has set up a Go Fund Me site, where friends, family and community members can support their efforts (www.gofundme.com/marshwoodwtp15). So far, the students have raised $1,805 toward the $8,000 the group aims for.

Marshwood seniors last year went to the We the People national finals and finished first in the Northeast division.


Two students honored at Center of Technology

Students Jordan Stickles and Mariah Brady were recently voted the Students of the Month at the Biddeford Regional Center of Technology.

Stickles is a technology student in the engineering, architecture and drafting programs. Brady is a health assistant student selected from the business, education and health careers programs.

The Bank of Maine provided monetary awards to these students.

Also nominated for recognition were students Ashley Campbell, Mikayla Cloutier, Jessica Haskell, Kayleigh Henderson, Dustin Johnson, Ruo Mei Lin, Kyle Metcaff, Josh Moulton, Nick Peloquin, Maegan Perreault and Logan Reny.


Grant will help program educate to stop child abuse

Maine Kids Free to Grow, an empowerment and child abuse prevention program, has been awarded a one-year grant from United Way of York County totaling $22,022 to support programming that includes Break the Silence, Personal Body Safety and the Early Years Parenting Program.

Kids Free to Grow serves more than 6,000 children and families each year through school and community-based prevention and parenting education. To learn more, go to www.buildcommunity.org or call 985-3359.


Hidden Valley Nature Center constructs two new buildings

Thanks to the donations of more than 50 individuals, two new buildings have been constructed at the Hidden Valley Nature Center.

The first is a large education and community gathering space dubbed The Barn. The second is a new cabin on the shore of Little Dyer Pond to be used for gatherings and for overnight rentals. Both buildings are essentially complete, with some finishing touches needed.

The HVNC, a 1,000-acre nature preserve and recreation area, is open to the public daily, from dawn to dusk. The property features a diverse habitat and nearly 30 miles of multi-use trails. For more information: wwww.hvnc.org, [email protected] or 200-8840.


Main-E-Acts team chosen for Cherry Blossom Parade

The Main-E-Acts Baton Twirling Team will once again perform in the 2015 National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on April 11.

The team previously made the trip in 2009, when the team’s now three oldest members were among the youngest to take part.

Created in 2004 as the travel component squad of the Central Maine Twirling Corps, a larger baton program offered through the Augusta and Bangor parks and recreation departments, team members were selected for their outstanding abilities, as well as their teamwork, enthusiasm, commitment, dedication and passion for the sport of baton twirling.

The 2015 Main-E-Acts squad includes Mollie Berglund and Amanda Cameron, both of West Gardiner; Paige Blackwell, Jenna Cross and Helen Rebar, all of Bangor; Alexandra Clowes, Jessica Hymas and Makenzie Sayers, all of Brewer; Taylor Hickey of Whitefield; Morgan Mayhew and Megan McCormick, both of South Paris; Cassidy Fish, Ingrid Plant and Alanna Thomas, all of Hampden; and Lindsay Pitts and Carley Scanlon, both of Bucksport.

The Main-E-Acts are directed and coached by Andrea Fletcher of Portland and co-coach Meagan Sawyer of Brewer.

The team was chosen to participate in the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade through a competitive application process. Selection criteria included state, regional and national competitive achievements and recognitions, performance history and an audition video.

The Main-E-Acts are the 2014 Northeast Regional Dance Twirl and Halftime Show Team Champions. For more information, visit www.centralmainetwirling.com.

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