Food for Fines program runs through March 28

From March 15-28, South Portland Public Library is sponsoring Food for Fines, a library fines amnesty program to benefit the South Portland Food Cupboard. During this period, library users may bring in donations of food and other items and the library will excuse any late fees on returned items on their library account.

Donations may be brought to the Main or Branch libraries during regular library hours.

All donations will be passed on to the South Portland Food Cupboard, a 100-percent volunteer, ecumenical food pantry dedicated to alleviating hunger by providing supplemental food to the needy of South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough, and surrounding communities. The South Portland Food Cupboard serves over 700 people a month.

Here’s how Food for Fines works:

· All fines will be waived for items brought to the library. Items in high demand are listed on the library’s website. The Food Cupboard requests that items are from the list, but will accept other items as long as the expiration date is current.

· Donations will be collected at the Main and Branch libraries beginning March 15 through March 28.

· The amnesty program is for overdue fines only and does not apply to library materials that have been lost or damaged.

· Previously opened items, home-canned items, cans that are past their expiration date or are dented or damaged, or cans with bar codes that have been lined or scratched through will not be accepted.

· No items will be accepted through the book drop. Donations must take place in person during regular library hours.

· More than one food item may be donated per person and patrons are encouraged to donate as much as possible, even if they do not have fines.

· Questions about the program or about the South Portland Food Cupboard can be directed to 874-0379.

For more information about South Portland Public Library or the Food for Fines program, and to view a list of items in need, visit www.SouthPortlandLibrary.com

Book celebration honors bicentennial

South Portland Public Library will host a book celebration in honor of Maine’s bicentennial 3 p.m. Saturday, March 21. Guests will include author Lynn Plourde and illustrators Mark Scott Ricketts and Russ Cox. Courtesy photo

On Saturday, March 21, at 3 p.m., South Portland Public Library will host a double-the-fun book celebration. In honor of Maine’s bicentennial, author Lynn Plourde and illustrator Mark Scott Ricketts will share their new picture book “Happy Birthday, Maine!” in which Paul Bunyan and a Maine moose throw their beloved state a huge birthday party.

Plourde and illustrator Russ Cox will also share their new picture book “The Boy Whose Face Froze Like That” about a boy who makes a silly face that freezes in place and then he has to figure out how to thaw his face.

Plourde will read both books and Ricketts and Cox will do a drawing demonstration. Books will be available for sale and autographing. For more information, call the South Portland Public Library at 767-7660.

The event is sponsored by The Friends South Portland Public Library.

Plourde is the author of 40 children’s books, including “Wild Child,” “Baby Bear’s NOT Hibernating,” the board book “Go, Grandma, Go!” and the middle grade novel “Maxi’s Secrets.” Her books have received numerous awards, including Lupine Honors, Maine Student Book Awards, Maine Literary Awards, and an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award. She grew up in Skowhegan and currently lives in Winthrop.

Ricketts is a Bangor writer/illustrator who has enjoyed national success in advertising, graphic novels, and comic books, including as the author of several Iron Man comics. His picture book “Adventures in Vacationland,” published by Islandport Press, won a 2015 Maine Literary Award.

Cox is a Tennessee born author/illustrator now living in Pittsfield, who has illustrated for many well-known companies such as McDonalds, Pop Cap Games, and AOL. His first authored and illustrated picture book, “Faraway Friends” was released in 2015. He has illustrated over 25 books including the Puppy Pirates series and Freddy the Forecaster series.

Rotarian receives international recognition

At a recent Rotary District World Understanding and Peace dinner, a Cape Elizabeth resident, Anton (Tony) Wagner was presented with the Service Above Self Award by Rotary International.

The award is one of Rotary’s most prestigious awards, as Rotary’s International’s board of directors recognizes no more than 150 individuals (out of over 1.2 million Rotarians) to receive the award each year. Nominees must have demonstrated exemplary continuing humanitarian service. Wagner is only the 11th person in this Rotary district to receive this award.

Former district governor and a member of Wagner’s Rotary Club of Cape Elizabeth-South Portland, John LoBosco, said at the presentation, “The contributions to the betterment of mankind that our award recipient has made are awe inspiring. He has been a Rotarian for almost 40 years. Last year we honored him as one of the co-Rotarians of the year in our district. This year, I suppose you can say he went from the “All-District” team to “All-World.”

“Our Service Above Self Award recipient has helped clubs in every corner of our district with their long-term planning. He was persistent in maintaining enthusiasm and getting clubs involved in the Westbrook-Gorham club’s water project in Guatemala, He is constantly working to ensure we have enough hands to help the Saco Bay Sunset Club and others from throughout the district wrap and load crutches and other mobility devices in route to Africa where each pair will change a life. He is the guy climbing around in the trees in Mill Creek Park around Christmas time to get the lights ready for the South Portland – Cape Elizabeth tree sale.

“There is a skating shelter in that park, a Children’s Garden that was started with Rotary contributions in Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth, and a skating rink at Wainwright Fields in South Portland because he was instrumental in forming partnerships between our business community, our municipalities and our Rotarians. He is driven to motivate and inspire all Rotarians to be the best they can be. He relentlessly works for the betterment of others, both locally and internationally.

Rotary District Governor Glazier described Wagner’s strength as, “His ability to communicate his passion and excitement to others, thereby constantly growing our Rotary team and increasing the good work we do.”

David Lourie, president of the South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club said, “ We couldn’t be any prouder than to have Tony Wagner selected for this most prestigious award. He has and continues to be an inspiration to all of us. Indeed, Tony’s achievements in Rotary are evidence that one person’s good deeds can have a tangible impact, not only on his community and state, but well beyond that to the nation and the world at large.”

Library to host wildlife lecture

Join South Portland Public Library for its next Wildlife & Ecology Lecture, Landscaping for Wildlife, at the Main Library on Thursday, March 19, at 6:30 p.m.. The program will feature Deb Perkins of First Light Wildlife Habitats.

Participants will learn how to make yards a more hospitable place for local creatures? Learn from wildlife ecologist Perkins the many ways that to promote biodiversity by creating habitats for pollinators, birds and native plants.

For more information about the Wildlife & Ecology lecture series, call circulation at 767-7660, ext. 2.

The program is sponsored by the Friends of the South Portland Public Library.