Toys for holiday drive accepted through Friday

Friday is the deadline to participate in the Amistad Peer Support Services holiday toy drive to benefit children and families that participate in its programming for vulnerable people in the community.

Located at 66 State St., Amistad offers services including free breakfast and lunch and support for groups and individual peers five days a week.

Toy donations can be dropped off at the Peer Support and Recovery Center 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more details or to schedule a pick-up, call Patty Field at 773-1956.

Preservation group gets $30,000 in grants for 2019

Greater Portland Landmarks has received a total of $30,000 in funding to support education, outreach and advocacy efforts in 2019.

Landmarks received $10,000 from the Rines Thompson Fund of the Maine Community Foundation toward educational outreach, including training 62 volunteer docents at the Portland Observatory, expanding educational programs and walking tours in neighborhoods, and supporting internships. The Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust has awarded Landmarks $15,000 to support these efforts and recognize the planned retirement of Landmark’s executive director, Hilary Bassett, adding that it was “in appreciation of your years of service.” Bassett will retire in June 2019.

A $5,000 grant from the Phineas W. Sprague Memorial Foundation will support preservation advocacy and outreach efforts. In 2019 Landmarks will identify five to eight Places in Peril, endangered properties that are at risk from lack of awareness, deterioration or potential loss.

Part of this grant funding supports the organization’s management of the Portland Observatory, the last remaining maritime signal tower in the United States. A comprehensive redesign of the educational exhibits in the tower is currently underway and will be unveiled when the Observatory reopens in May 2019.


Animal Welfare Society chosen for bank donation

Sanford Institute of Savings selected the Animal Welfare Society of Kennebunk as its 32nd local charity to receive $500 as part of the Bank’s Employee Donation Program.

The no-kill animal shelter has received several donations made by SIS through various charitable campaigns because many SIS employees have found their pets at AWS.

Donations to the shelter can be made at animalwelfaresociety.org.


Two seniors named scholarship semifinalists

Cape Elizabeth High School seniors Makena Deveraux and Rohan Freedman have been named semifinalists for the 2019 class of the Coca-Cola Scholars Program, moving to the next round of the selection process to become a Coca-Cola Scholar and receive a $20,000 college scholarship. They are among 1,896 seniors selected as semifinalists from a pool of 95,715 applications from across the country based on their academic excellence, leadership and service demonstrated in school and community activities.

Semifinalists must now complete Phase 2 applications, which include essays, recommendations, and transcripts. Some 250 regional finalists will then be selected to be interviewed. 150 Coca-Cola Scholars will be named in March.

For more details, go to coca-colascholars.org.


Therapeutic riding center elects board members

Riding to the Top Therapeutic Riding Center recently elected new members to its board of directors.

Gary Plummer, a former legislator and retired educator; Hilda Sastre, a commercial marketing manager for Idexx Laboratories; and James Small, a regional market manager for Whirpool USA, now join RTT board members Linda Baker, Janis Childs, Cynthia Cyr, Casey Etter-Bobb, Steve Flynn, Emily Dickinson Leete, Carissa Robb and Allan Shepard.


Nestle award to support USM watershed research

Nestlé Waters North America recently awarded a $25,000 “Good Neighbor Grant” to the University of Southern Maine Foundation. The grant will fund an upland watershed monitoring project conducted by the university’s Environmental Science and Policy program.

The gift will specifically support internships and assistantships for ESP students working on the research project, located within the Tannery Brook Watershed/USM “Smart Forest” on the Gorham campus. The project involves building a network of environmental sensors throughout the area to provide researchers with better insight regarding the impacts of climate change and land use on small forests and mini-watersheds. Data collected at the site can be remotely accessed by the public, including educators, researchers, and interested “citizen scientists.”


Foundation lists grants to theaters, LGBTQ groups

The Maine Community Foundation recently awarded nearly $121,000 in grants supporting community and professional theater and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer issues and needs.

Twenty Maine Theater Fund Awards Grants totaling $75,250 were given to: Mad Horse Theatre Company at South Portland to explore the theme of communication and its impact on humanness, connection, and the meaning of community for the 2018-2019 season; to True North Theatre, in Orono, for increased marketing and social media training; and to Everyman Repertory Theatre in Rockport for the 2019 season consisting of two “Art on Stage” collaborations with the Farnsworth Museum and a show on the topic of gun violence titled “Up in Arms.”

Eight grants totaling $45,592 also were awarded to nonprofit organizations for projects and capacity-building work that address LGBTQ issues and needs. Grant recipients in 2018 included: the Maine Transgender Network Inc., to expand transgender peer support services to northern and Down East Maine; the Frannie Peabody Center, to facilitate an HIV/AIDS prevention awareness program that involves customized advocacy-oriented condom packaging design; and to Consumers for Affordable Health Care Foundation, to improve health care access for LGBT people through education and training, health insurance application/appeals assistance, and advocacy with Maine’s Bureau of Insurance and carriers.

For questions or more information, visit mainecf.org or call 877-700-6800.


Church seeks director, pianist for production

St. Christopher Church is seeking a music director and pianist for its 26th annual production of “To God Be the Glory,” a Lenten season musical depiction of the life of Christ set to be performed April 4-7.

The production features more than 100 musicians, singers and actors. The show runs around 90 minutes, with dates and times set for 6:30 p.m. April 4-6 and 3 p.m. April 7.

Choir rehearsals are scheduled to begin in late February or early March and will include six full cast rehearsals, scheduled to begin on March 24.

Those interested in applying for the music director and/or pianist positions, should call Kathy Leroux at 451-3433 or email [email protected]


Grant will help families purchase fruit, vegetables

The York County Community Action Corp., or YCCAC, recently received a $4,000 grant from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and Maine Water to provide food vouchers for the Gaining Access to Healthy Eating Resources program, a fruit and vegetable prescription for local families experiencing food insecurity.

“Providers at Nasson Health Care, our federally qualified health center located in Sanford, prescribe fruits and vegetables to families who either have or are at-risk of diet-related health issues and struggle to pay for food,” said Meaghan Arzberger, director of Economic Opportunity at YCCAC. “This grant will enable families to receive vouchers for fruits and vegetables each month for six months to be redeemed either at the farmers market or Hannaford’s. We provide $1 per family member per day so, for example, a family of six will receive $186 for the month to purchase fruits and vegetables.”


Elementary students honored with breakfast

Wells Elementary School held a Breakfast of Champions ceremony recently, recognizing 29 first- through fourth-graders for modeling one or more of the school’s core values in school.

Honored were Zoe Borberg, Luke Boucher, Mattie Carpentier, Hunter Chadbourne, London Chadwick, Arianna Cogliano, Alivia Collin, Isla Collins, Gracey Copper, Baya Cuevas, Lily Desper, Logan Desper, Savannah Dunlap-Woodward, Emily Finch, Cole Gauthier, Weston McKinnon, Mila Mustacka, Carolyn Nichols, Andrew Parker, Alicja Izabella Paszkowska, Lincoln Polacke, Chase Pullen, Kaden Richard, Rusty Rousseau, Ethan Smith, Selena Sola, Joshua Watts, Kaylee Webber and Devyn Woodman.

As with a similar honorary breakfast at Wells High School, the elementary breakfast occurs three times per school year.