Center seeking nominations
for Biddeford Hall of Fame

The Biddeford Cultural and Heritage Center is seeking nominations for the 2020 annual Biddeford Hall of Fame, a BCHC program that recognizes and celebrates the citizens of Biddeford or nonresidents who have contributed to the history, heritage and culture of the city or the world at large in a significant way.
Winners will be inducted at a ceremony tentatively set for Oct. 3. The induction event has traditionally been held at the La Kermesse Festival, which has been canceled.
Official nomination forms are available on the BCHC website, although any application will be considered. Nomination forms also will be available at the Biddeford Saco Chamber of Commerce, McArthur Library, Biddeford City Hall and at the Heart of Biddeford. Deadline for submissions is July 16.
Nominations that were submitted last year, but not selected, also will be considered with this year’s nominations. People may nominate themselves.
Immediately following the induction ceremony, there will be a reception for family and friends of inductees and others. Representatives of BCHC will be present for those interested in learning more about the organization and its other programs serving the community.
To nominate someone, submit no more than two pages of text along with the nomination form to: BCHC, c/o Diane Cyr, P.O. Box 896, Biddeford, ME 04005-0896 or email documents to [email protected] Documents may also be submitted via the website at or submitted to any BCHC board member or Hall of Fame Committee member. For more information, please feel free to contact BCHC President Diane Cyr at 283-3993.


Staff at St. James School deliver surprise salute to eighth-graders

The faculty and staff of St. James School gathered at the school May 22 to offer a special tribute to the graduating Grade 8 students, who’ve been away from the classroom since early March.
As eighth-grade students were slowly driven by the school, they were greeted by their principal, teachers, ed techs and aides, cafeteria staff, and other St. James employees, who stood 6 feet apart, hoisting signs and waving pom-poms and cowbells to congratulate the students on graduating middle school. Additional commemorations of their achievement are still in the planning stages, including a graduation Mass and ceremony.
St. James School Principal Nancy Naimey noted, “There wasn’t a dry eye on the staff and the eighth-graders’ smiles could not have been any wider. Saint James School is truly a family and a very special place.”
St. James, like all of Maine’s Catholic schools, has been praised in its community and in the media for their preparedness and execution of distance learning in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our kid-friendly mission is SAFE (Service-Academics-Faith-Excellence) and I believe we continue to be true to that mission,” said Naimey. “I have no doubt that the Good Lord watches over our school and we will survive this abnormal time in our lives.”


Bookmobile now offering collection of kids’ picture books

The Tri-Town Bookmobile has received a $300 Library Grant from the Bates College Diverse BookFinder, in partnership with the Brooks Foundation and Maine Humanities Council, to offer a collection of thousands of children’s picture books featuring black and indigenous people and people of color (BIPOC), published and distributed in the U.S. since 2002. It offers a searchable database and a source of real-time data about who is in the books and how they are depicted.
The TTB is a mobile library providing books, wireless Internet capabilities, and literacy support for community members of all ages. The three public libraries of the towns of Berwick, North Berwick and Lebanon, along with the six libraries of M.S.A.D. 60, and Noble Adult & Community Education partnered to convert a school bus into a bookmobile library to better reach and support community members.
Books purchased from the Bates College Diverse BookFinder grant are now available to borrow from the TTB, which offers safe-distancing curbside service for books and WiFi access. Please visit the catalog,, to view the available books. To borrow books, complete the form at
A returned-book bin is available where books will remain quarantined for three to four days before returning to circulation on the #TTB. Check out the #TTB and #ChillOutandRead!


School raises $403,072 for tuition aid

A fundraising campaign to provide tuition assistance to St. Dominic Academy families has raised $403,072.
The 2020 Jean-Dion Match Challenge drew 386 donors with alums Ray Jean ’60, Louise Jean ’61, and Don Dion ’72 tripling each dollar up to $125,000. The challenge is in addition to an endowment that the Jeans established at the Catholic Foundation of Maine in memory of Louise’s mother, Laurianne Cormier.
Monetary losses, including lost wages, have resulted in concerns about the ability of families to pay tuition. With major fundraising events canceled, these concerns are heightened and made the unprecedented success of this year’s campaign crucial.


Rotary Club pledges to match charities fund donations

West Bay Rotary Club has pledged to match up to $10,000 in donations to the United Midcoast Charities Rapid Response Fund.
The club has teamed up with United Midcoast Charities to support local nonprofits that are meeting the immediate needs of individuals seeking help in Knox and Waldo counties.
The funding will provide support for critical nonprofits like food pantries, homeless shelters, and more as demand for their services grows during the COVID-19 crisis.
To donate, go to


MaineCF grant program awards $200,000 in first year

In its first year of grantmaking, the Maine Community Foundation’s Start Up/Scale Up Grant Program is providing $200,000 to 10 Maine nonprofit organizations that help new ventures start and grow through shared workspaces and incubator and accelerator programs.
The 2020 grants will help:

• Catholic Charities of Maine at Lewiston create a makerspace to develop skilled immigrant textile workers through onsite textile businesses from contract work for manufacturers;

• Coastal Enterprise Inc. of Brunswick expand programming to support, advise, and guide rural women entrepreneurs;

• Engine Inc. of Biddeford to launch IGNITE incubator in partnership with the Office of Innovation and Economic Development at the University of Maine to support entrepreneurs whose competitive advantage is design;

• support Main Street Skowhegan’s Scale Up Skowhegan plan for economic growth that is grounded in data, encourages innovation and entrepreneurship, and supports business development;

• New England Arab American Organization of Portland launch an entrepreneurship program for Arab American and New Mainer women to gain skills, support and knowledge about starting small businesses;

• Our Katahdin develop affordable space in downtown Millinocket to incubate small businesses;

• Piscataquis Regional Food Center of Dover-Foxcroft develop a plan for acquiring specialized commercial food processing equipment as part of a program to incubate regional food product businesses;

• support the Sunrise County Economic Council of Machias to provide co-working space, broadband access and training, programming for cohorts, and business incubators for Washington County small businesses;

• support Tear Cap Workshops of Hiram’s Rent-a-Bench makerspace program and to develop a new workspace for an entrepreneur or artisan;

• UpStart Maine Inc. of Orono to build a pool of mentors in the Bangor region available to scalable startup companies in the programs of the UpStart Maine coalition.

The next deadline for applications is April 1, 2021. For application and guidelines, visit, email Senior Program Officer Maggie Drummond-Bahl at [email protected] or call 412-0839.


DHHS launches first website redesign in decades

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services has launched the first phase of a website redesign project that will modernize the department’s online presence and improve communication about critical programs and services provided to Maine people.
The project, which will roll out in phases over the coming weeks and months, marks the first full redesign of the DHHS website in more than two decades.
DHHS partnered on the project with InforME, which manages the website.
The new website includes an updated homepage for DHHS, which highlights areas of high public interest, such as hotlines and crisis numbers, health insurance, child welfare, and news releases. Information on the DHHS response to the COVID-19 pandemic remains prominently displayed.
The new website also includes a redesigned homepage for the DHHS Office for Family Independence, which includes information on programs such as Food Supplement and MaineCare. The website redesign does not change how people apply for OFI programs.
The DHHS and OFI homepages can still be found at their existing URLs: and

Bill Gere and grandson James Gere work on a MATE construction project in 2019 benefitting Western Central Maine residents.jpeg


Program seeks volunteers for renovation projects

“Mission at the Eastward,” or MATE, is organizing volunteering efforts around Maine this summer in order to comply with the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Typically, hundreds of volunteers from New England and beyond come together to help with repair and renovation projects in western-central Maine. The work benefits low-income households, the elderly, veterans, people with disabilities, and others unable to afford necessary work. However, because of the 14-day quarantine restrictions, volunteers are limited to those individuals residing within the state, at least until later in the summer.

The need is great this year with a number of projects already requested. MATE is looking for volunteers and groups from Maine who can carry out repair work under the direction of knowledgeable project managers. PPE will be provided, and full social distancing practices observed. In the past, these groups have typically been from churches, community volunteer organizations, businesses and others; however, anyone with a desire to help is encouraged to contact MATE. You can sign up for a day, a couple of days or a week.

Anyone interested in MATE’s work should contact MATE executive director Rothea Kornelius, at: Mission at the Eastward, P.O. Box 206, Farmington, Maine 04938, call 778-4705 or email [email protected] Tax deductible contributions also are welcomed online at, or donate by mail to the address above.

Caddy Brooks named Hebron Academy’s new athletic director.png

Caddy Brooks named Hebron Academy’s new athletic director.png


Academy names new athletic director

Hebron Academy has named Caddy Brooks its new athletic director. Brooks replaces Leslie “Mitzi” Guenther, who is retiring at the end of this year. She will mentor Brooks as he transitions to his new role.
Brooks joined Hebron Academy in the 2019-2020 year as a coach, faculty member, and dormitory advisor.
Brooks has worked at Groton School and Cardinal Newman School in West Palm Beach, Fla.; coached numerous camps and club teams including  Colby College Lacrosse Camp; coached with 3D New England; and was the camp director at Stratton Mountain Lacrosse Camp.
As an athlete, Brooks played and started four years of lacrosse at Colby College in Waterville. He also signed with the Boston Cannons and earned a spot on their 40-man roster.


Habitat’s ReStore reopens with safety precautions

Habitat for Humanity’s Topsham ReStore has reopened to the public with new safety precautions in place at 126 Main St.
CustomersReStore will allow in 5 shoppers at a time. The ReStore will be open to the general public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with special shopping hours of 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday through Friday for high-risk customers only. ReStore shopping by appointment is available for individuals who are looking for merchandise that is in stock. Shoppers should indicate what they are looking for and to arrange a shopping appointment by contacting ReStore manager Nick by email at [email protected] or by phone, 504-9340.
As currently required by the state of Maine, Habitat encourages shoppers and donors to use their own protective face coverings when out in public settings where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. The ReStore is not currently selling upholstered furniture and other cloth items.
The ReStore has begun accepting donations at the back of the store by appointment and the ReStore truck has resumed scheduling the pick-up of donated items.
In March Habitat created the ReStore Online Marketplace. Customers can continue to shop online, pre-pay for their items, and schedule a curbside pick-up time. No face to face interactions are required. To access the ReStore Online Marketplace, please follow our Face Book page: Habitat ReStore/7 Rivers Maine.
For more details, call 504-9340. All ReStore proceeds advance Habitat’s mission and support our ability to build one to two new homes and weatherize and repair 60 existing homes each year.


filed under: