Connie Justice, CEO of Planson International, left, Sen. Ned Claxton and Senate President Troy Jackson enjoy a lighthearted moment while the senators find out more about the practices of this successful business during their “Fighting for Maine Agenda” tour on Oct. 28.. Photo by Patti Mikkelsen

Senators visit Planson International

When Planson International, located on Penney Road, was recently named the Best Place to Work in Maine for the small business category, legislators promoting their “Fighting for Maine Agenda” took notice. One of their stated core objectives is gathering input from small business owners throughout the state, so a stop here filled the bill.

CEO Connie Justice and her son Nick Planson, who is the company’s sales director, briefed Sen. Ned Claxton, D-Auburn, and Senate President Troy Jackson on their humanitarian-centered business.

As a specialized global IT solutions provider to international organizations, their focus is on development, sustainability and emergency response. Much of their work is accomplished in conjunction with the United Nations to help refugees in developing countries by providing technology and services for charitable projects worldwide.

Strut Your Stuffin’

In partnership with Back 40 Events, New Gloucester Recreation is offering its first Thanksgiving 4-mile road race, Strut Your Stuffin’, on Nov. 23. The event will begin and end at Memorial School, 86 Intervale Road, and the route will take a scenic loop of the Upper and Lower Villages.

Runners will encounter both dirt and pavement surfaces. The start time is 9 a.m. The race fee is $30 plus a $2.95 sign-up fee. During a separate kids’ race, children will chase a turkey (a volunteer dressed in a turkey suit). The start time is 8:45 a.m. and the fee is $5 plus a $2 sign-up fee.

Proceeds from the event will go toward establishing the New Gloucester Recreation Scholarship. This scholarship will be used to help families or individuals in financial need by subsidizing the cost of program enrollment.


Providing an event of this size takes many hands, and organizers are soliciting volunteers to help with the race. Volunteers, racers and participating kids are encouraged to register online at

Sparks’ menagerie

Meet Josh Sparks of Sparks’ Ark and the array of wild animals he rehabilitates. His talk is open to ages 3 and up in the Mount Washington Room of The Commons at Pineland Farms from 1-2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11.

Buy tickets at The Market and Welcome Center, 15 Farm View Drive, for $5 per person. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early to allow time to purchase tickets before traveling to The Commons. For more information, call 650-3031 or email [email protected]

Hike Pisgah Hill Preserve

The Royal River Conservation Trust will sponsor a Rain or Shine Club hike on Thursday, Nov. 14, at its Pisgah Hill Preserve, GPS address: 74 Dougherty Road. The preserve includes old quarries, distinct and varied ledges, mixed forests and ground cover of lichen and mosses.

The trailhead has a parking lot for four cars and overflow parking is available along the shoulder of the road. This guided hike is free and starts at 10 a.m. Contact Carrie Ridgway, development and communications coordinator, at 615-7824 or email [email protected]

Exploring Sabbathday Lake

“In, On and Around Sabbathday Lake” is the title of the New Gloucester Historical Society’s Nov. 21 program to be presented by local explorer Tom Driscoll at the Meetinghouse, 389 Intervale Road. The talk begins at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public with refreshments served.

Patti Mikkelsen can be contacted at [email protected]

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