Community News
The South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club received its second truckload of Christmas trees and wreaths Saturday, Dec. 1and will continue to sell them at Mill Creek Park in South Portland. The club has ordered more than 2,200 balsam trees and almost 500 wreaths this year from G&S Nursies in Bangor.
This is the 56th consecutive year for the club’s annual fundraiser.
Each year since 1962, the South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club has sold Christmas trees to raise money for community charitable causes.
“We are continuing our Club’s 50-year tradition of raising money for charity, and with our biggest tree and wreath sale ever,” said tree sale Chairman David Lourie. “Come again to have the same fun as when your parents or grandparents brought you to pick out our quality trees and supported our efforts to improve the quality of life in our area by supporting our many charitable endeavors, and around the world by completing the eradication of polio, and promoting peace and understanding. If you are new to South Portland-Cape Elizabeth area, or if you missed us in the past, start a new family tradition by having fun and helping us to help others at the same time.”
Because of demand in past seasons, Rotary trees will continue to be primarily in the 6-8 foot range. There will also be more in the 5-6 foot and table top categories. Prices will be the same as last year at $25 to $65 and wreaths are $12 and $14.
Club officials note that trees sold out last year more than a week before Christmas Day. It is anticipated that a third truckload of smaller trees will arrive a week later and all trees will be on the lot by the South Portland Tree Lighting Friday, Dec. 7.
Protect South Portland honored 
The Conservation Law Foundation honored Protect South Portland as one of its “local heroes” at its annual gala in Boston Monday, Dec. 3.
Principal honoree will be Joseph P. Kennedy III, along with six “local heroes,” one from each of the New England states.
Protect South Portland is a grassroots organization that worked to help the city of South Portland pass the Clear Skies Ordinance in summer 2014. This ordinance bans the loading of crude oil on tankers from piers in South Portland’s harbor.
SnugHouse to perform at library
South Portland Public Library’s After Hours concert series welcomes SnugHouse for the next show at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Main Library. Snughouse, a Portland-based folk-inspired quartet, melds harmonies, lyrics and stage presence into a sincere and captivating performance.
SnugHouse is composed of Nikhil Dasgupta, Alex Millan, Rosie Borden and Laura Pauline. Since forming in fall 2017, the quartet has made headway in the local scene. To date, SnugHouse has made appearances on Portland’s two biggest televised music programs, and garnered regular radio airplay on all local stations.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. After Hours concerts are sponsored by Friends of the South Portland Public Library. For more information, call circulation at 767-7660, ext. 2.
Town & Country awards grants
The Town & Country Federal Credit Union’s annual Better Neighbor Fund grant winners were announced at a ceremony held on Thursday, Nov. 8, at the credit union’s Operations Center in Scarborough. For the eighth consecutive year, the credit union awarded a total of $25,000 to eight area nonprofits based on the results of a month-long vote through the credit union’s Facebook page.
The Better Neighbor Fund was introduced in 2010 by Town & Country Federal Credit Union to support the work local charitable organizations perform in communities throughout Cumberland and York Counties. The credit union has awarded $225,000 to 72 charitable initiatives, to date.
Eight charitable organizations from an original finalist list of 25 nominees were awarded a share of $25,000 from the 2018 Better Neighbor Fund; three received $5,000 grants and five received $2,000 grants.
The 25 finalists were nominated in September through the credit union’s Facebook page, and during October, the public voted online for the project they felt was most deserving to receive one of the eight grants. Nearly 8,500 votes were cast during the month-long vote.
The winners of the 2018 Better Neighbor Fund grants include:
• $5,000 grant: Chenette Scholarship Fund,expand scholarship program for Thornton Academy and Old Orchard Beach High School students pursuing civic engagement and entrepreneurial studies.
• $5,000 grant: Camp Sunshine, support Family Sponsorship Program to help families of children with life-threatening illnesses attend camp.
• $5,000 grant: Frannie Peabody Center, support the Emergency Food Fund to provide nutritional assistance for clients living with HIV/AIDS in Maine.
• $2,000 grant: First Lutheran Church, Give a Child a Chance,provide tuition to pre-school program for needy local families.
• $2,000 grant: Gym Dandies Children’s Circus,support preparation and skills development for this children’s performance groups next national appearance.
• $2,000 grant: Hope Acts,replace beds and other furnishings for Hope House, a residential home to support asylum seekers in Maine.
• $2,000 grant: Spurwink’s Child Abuse Program,provide forensic medical exams for children in Maine who are abused or neglected.
• $2,000 grant: Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine,bring science, visual arts and theatre programs to children at the Portland Family Shelter’s 2019 summer school.
Eco nominations sought
Ecomaine, a single-sort recycling facility, opened its call for nominations for the 2019 eco-Excellence Awards. The Awards are designed to recognize and celebrate champions in Maine who are focused on recycling and landfill diversion, and who are leading their communities toward greater models of sustainability.
Nominees may live or work in any of its 74-member communities, and may be nominated until 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31.
“Ecomaine’s eco-Excellence Award winners are some of the greatest ambassadors we could hope for,” said CEO Kevin Roche in a press release. “These are the people who are committed to sustainable waste management solutions, and who are some of ecomaine’s most steadfast allies, even in tough times like we’ve seen for recycling in the last year.  It is always very exciting to see who is making these big differences across our state.”
Nominees must be located in or serve one of ecomaine’s 74 member communities. Nominees can be businesses, schools, nonprofits or individuals and will be selected based on the effectiveness, increased awareness, community impact and ease of replication of their sustainability programs or initiatives. Submissions will be judged by ecomaine’s Outreach & Recycling Committee and awarded on March 19.