Tree dedication honors former student

Friends and family of the late Nicholas John Leon gathered at the University of Maine’s Gorham campus center recently to dedicate a tree in his memory.

Leon, a graduate of Calais High School, was a freshman who’d been on campus just one week when he died after an accidental fall 20 years ago.

A memorial service was attended by Leon’s parents, Peter and Ruth, and  his niece Jacquelyn Nichole Leon. USM Dean of Students Rodney Mondore and Assistant Vice President David Roussel also were on hand to pay their respects. Nicholas’s father read a Bible passage, his mother shared a poem, and his niece concluded the gathering by singing “Amazing Grace.”

Picture of the event is attached below.

This link leads to the WMTW news story about the ceremony:

Photo taken at the base of a Maple tree at the center of USM’s Gorham campus planted in Nicholas’s memory.

From left to right: Peter Leon, Ruth Leon, Nicholas’s niece Jacquelyn, and USM Dean of Students Rodney Mondore.


Midcoast Community Chorus cancels upcoming season

Midcoast Community Chorus has canceled its upcoming fall and winter schedule of performances because of the sudden illness of artistic director Steven Weston.

Registrations planned for Monday, Sept.16 and 23, as well as on-line sign-ups, have been canceled, with reimbursements to follow for those who have already registered and paid a membership fee.

Present members still plan to meet as a singing community at 6 p.m. Monday at The First Congregational Church, at 55 Elm St. Their decision is intended to offer regular singing opportunities for members while Weston recovers.

A group Community Sing, planned for Monday, will serve as a tribute to and celebration of Weston. It will be the first of monthly community sings for members and perhaps be linked to a pot luck dinner.

In the interim, leadership of the group will be overseen by community members who will try their hand at conducting. Sean Fleming will serve as the accompanist Monday. This session may be recorded and sent to Weston as an encouragement.


Sign-ups being accepted for golf tournament

Sign-ups are being accepted for those wishing to take part in the Kennebunkport Historical Society’s 19th annual golf tournament on Sept. 23 at Cape Arundel Golf Club.

The Walter Travis-designed, links-style course has been played by four U.S. presidents, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon, as well as golf pros and celebrities. The course record, a 60, was recorded on Oct. 2, 2006, by Phil Mickelson during a game with President George H.W. Bush.

Same-day registration is at 7:30 a.m., followed by a 9 a.m. shotgun start. Cost to play is $150 per person and includes use of a cart, greens fees and a post-tourney barbecue and prizes under the tent on the 19th hole.

For more details, call 967-2751.

Animal Welfare Society pairs animals waiting to be adopted with schoolchildren like Wesley Washburn, who wish to practice their reading skills with a nonjudgmental audience. Photo courtesy Brie Roche


Animal Welfare Society expands reading program

The Animal Welfare Society has expanded its Rescue Readers literacy program this fall, with drop-in hours for student readers set for 3:15-4:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the AWS Adoption Center, 46 Holland Road.

Rescue Readers pairs elementary and middle school students with AWS animals awaiting adoption for 30-minute sessions that are designed to promote confidence through reading aloud in a positive setting.

The program that began last fall with just a few readers now has more than 70 certified Rescue Readers and over 100 books to choose from.


St. Andre reopens Memory Care Garden

St. Andre Health Care reopened its new Memory Care Garden recently, with a dedication and blessing ceremony officiated by Bishop Robert P. Deeley of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

The newly reworked and expanded garden is located at the rear of St. Andre’s health care facility on Pool Road. The 5,600-square-foot space features an enclosed patio area, that was reworked to make it safer for residents with memory loss, while offering easier access and wider pathways for residents in wheelchairs and rehab patients seeking exercise. Previously, the area was only accessible by a ramp.  A gazebo was built and raised garden beds were created for visitors to enjoy.

The Good Shepherd Sisters of Quebec founded St. André in 1940 as a home for unwed mothers. Now operated by Covenant Health, the nonprofit, 96-bed residence offers rehabilitation and skilled medical care, short-term respite care, long-term nursing care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and palliative and hospice care. The sisters remain active through volunteering and financial support, including help with the recent garden enhancements.

Sister Terry Gauvin, SCIM, provincial of the Good Shepherd Sisters of Quebec, said: “With time, we’re getting to be more sensitive to those with memory loss, and this is going to be wonderful for them to be able to come outside.”

Sister Patricia Sullivan, RSM, head of mission integration and spiritual care of the facility, noted: “It will create space for physical exercise, therapies, and activities – all in a safe and secure environment. It can really improve a patient’s quality of life.”

To contribute or learn more about the facility, visit www.standre.org/donate or call (207) 282-5171.


Job Corps Center has immediate openings

The Penobscot Job Corps Center has immediate openings for individuals seeking free career training in the nation’s leading industries, including advanced manufacturing, construction, health care and hospitality.

Offered by the U.S. Department of Labor, Job Corps is the largest nationwide residential career technical training and education program in the country and has been operating for more than 50 years.

The program helps eligible young people complete their high school education, earn college credits, train for meaningful careers, and connect with employment, apprenticeship, military, or higher education opportunities.

Job Corps centers also provide on-campus housing, nutritious meal options, basic medical care, uniforms and class supplies, and enrichment and recreation activities.

Applicants must be between ages 16-24, have a low income, and have educational and employment barriers or deficits.

Job Corps is an open-entry and open-exit program that accepts new students on a weekly basis.

For more details about specific training programs and educational opportunities offered at the Penobscot Job Corps Center, go to jobcorps.gov or call (800) 733-JOBS.


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