Wells student Hunter Roberts selected for MMEA All State Band


Wells High School student Hunter Roberts was selected by the Maine Music Educators Association (MMEA) to be part of the Association’s annual All-State Band. The 14-year-old freshman, who plays clarinet, is the first WHS Band member to have been selected for this honor in some time.

If this had been a typical school year, the All-State Band would have played in the All-State Music Festival at the University of Maine in Orono. This annual event also features orchestra, mixed chorus, & treble chorus performances. However, this year, as with so many other public events, the festival was canceled as a precautionary measure to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

Fortunately, all was not lost as Roberts and the other selected student musicians were able to feature their musicianship by participating at a distance in the production of a virtual concert. Thanks to the MMEA, students were able to record their individual performances onto a common track to be assembled later for a special recording of what their concert performance might have sounded like had they been able to perform all together live before an audience.

“Having the honor of qualifying for the Maine All-State Band feels amazing!,” commented Roberts. “When I started playing the clarinet, I could have never expected to make it this far. Although participating in a virtual band was not the ideal experience I was hoping for, it was still worth it after all the hard work I had to put in to make it into such a band.”

Larry Downing, the WHS’s recently retired musical director said, “(Downing) is the first WHS Band member to be accepted in a number of years. It is certainly a major accomplishment to be accepted as a freshman.” Downing noted that Hunter was also active in Marching Band, Jazz Band, the WHS 2019 fall play, and the school’s annual spring musical for 2020 that also was postponed.


Kennebunk Beach Improvement Association’s (KBIA) 29th Annual Day at the Beach 5k will be held in a virtual format this year in order to comply with safe Covid 19 precautions. And registrations are being accepted at www.lightboxreg.com/kbia-2020?mobile=0.

The 5K walk/run will take place on the weekend of July 11. Participants can share their race photos by using the hashtags #run4annie and/or #dayatthebeach5k. Those photos will be shared with the KBIA community all weekend on their social media pages.

This year’s race is in memory of Annie McNamara Evans, a longtime supporter of KBIA and former counselor. Evans was truly an inspiring person. After being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 25, she spent the next 3½ years raising money for cancer research and increasing awareness about becoming a bone marrow donor. Her mother and uncle are the owners of the Portland Sea Dogs. Proceeds from the race will be donated to the Dempsey Center in her name.

The Bauman Family Foundation will be matching the contributions to the Dempsey Center in Evans’ name. The center provides services that can help cancer patients manage the emotional, mental and physical impact of cancer’s impact. Join KBIA as they #run4annie and remember her legacy as a “leader by doing.”


Kennebec Valley Tourism Council (KVTC) has awarded Sponsorship Support funds in the amount of $2,500 to the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce for the Taste of Waterville. This funding will assist in the growth of tourism in Maine’s Kennebec Valley and produce a positive economic impact on the region.

The Chamber received one of six sponsorships awarded as part of the 2020 KVTC marketing partnership program. In total, the 2020 KVTC sponsorship support application requests reached nearly $17,500. The organization was able to fully fund all regional sponsorships to its members this year. KVTC awards local organizations who are helping promote the Maine’s Kennebec Valley Region as a destination place with their own marketing initiatives.

To learn more, visit www.KennebecValley.org.


CampShakes is accepting registrations for students entering grades 4 through 8. Classes in voice, movement and acting help students explore Shakespeare’s text emotionally, physically, and intellectually in preparation for a final performance for family and friends.

For 2020, all sessions will take place virtually from home via Zoom from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with breaks for snacks, lunch and arts and crafts projects.

There are three weeklong sessions to choose from:

Session 1: “As You Like It” will be held from July 27–31; Session 2: “Romeo & Juliet” runs from Aug. 3-7; and Session 3: “Twelfth Night” runs from Aug. 10-14. There will be a final performance each session for friends and family.

Each day at CampShakes begins with a movement class to warm up campers physically and vocally. The rest of the day is filled with acting, ensemble building, voice, costume and set design, and learning to interpret Shakespeare’s plays as text detectives. After a break from Zoom to eat lunch, students return to read through scenes from that week’s plays and get personalized coaching from professional actors and directors. The day ends with circle time for students to check in with each other, share their thoughts and questions, and get ready for the following day.

CampShakes’ teachers bring a variety of training and experience from colleges and universities all over the country. Each specializes in an area of theatre from voice to movement, improv to Shakespeare, ensemble building to acting.

For more details, call 933-9999 or visit theateratmonmouth.org/education/campshakes.


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

The recognition 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) each year. Nominees must have demonstrated exemplary continuing humanitarian service.

Wagner is only the 11th person in this Rotary district to receive this award.

Wagner has been a Rotarian for almost 40 years. Last year he was honored as a district co-Rotarian of the year. Wagner was key in maintaining enthusiasm and getting clubs involved in projects like the Westbrook-Gorham Club’s water project in Guatemala and gathering and sending crutches and other mobility devices to Africa.

Locally, Wagner has been instrumental in helping trim the trees in Mill Creek Park at Christmas time and installing a skating shelter in that park, as well as a Children’s Garden that was started with Rotary contributions at Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth, and a skating rink at Wainwright Fields in South Portland.

David Lourie, the 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.”


During the 2020 Foreign Language Association of Maine annual conference, Timber Mattson of Lisbon High School was honored with the FLAME Student of the Year Award and Stephanie Carbonneau of York Middle School was honored as FLAME Teacher of the Year.

Mattson is an accomplished athlete, a member of the National Honor Society and a four-year member of the Unified Basketball team. She has shown a love of the French language and, as a four-year French student, earned Maine’s Seal of Biliteracy.

Carbonneau’s nominators cited her as amazing for her tireless efforts to bring engagement and innovation to her classroom through experiences such as bringing a professional graffiti artist for a graffiti project, bringing a Québecois coach to teach her class the sport of Kinball, and la Manie Musicale.

She is an active member of the AATF and has successfully presented at numerous conferences including FLAME, NHWALT and AATF.

* The Office of Maine Catholic Schools announces that schools will be open for in-school learning for the 2020-21 school year. Barring unforeseen developments, classes will be held five days a week with a full-day schedule. Both before and after care at the schools will also reopen.

“In conjunction with the Diocese of Portland, our administrative team has been and will continue planning for a safe and efficient opening in the fall for our schools,” said Marianne Pelletier, superintendent of Maine Catholic Schools. “Following CDC guidelines for reopening schools, we are in the process of modifying our classrooms and facilities to successfully comply. Additional cleaning supplies have been ordered, and extra staff is being brought on to assist. We are confident that our schools’ health protocols and processes will keep our school environments as healthy and as safe as possible for all members of our communities.”

The schools overseen by the Office of Maine Catholic Schools include All Saints School (St. John Campus/St. Mary Campus) in Bangor, Holy Cross School in South Portland, St. Brigid School in Portland, Saint Dominic Academy in Auburn and Lewiston, St. James School in Biddeford, St. John’s Catholic School in Brunswick, St. Michael School in Augusta, and St. Thomas School in Sanford.

To enroll or for more details, go to www.mainecatholicschools.com.


The Rotary Club of Biddeford-Saco has announced the winners of its 25th anniversary essay contest for Grade 8 students from Biddeford, Saco and Old Orchard Beach.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, this year’s program featured a digital platform.

Students were asked to write a 500-word essay with the faculty at participating schools judging the essays based on the relevance to the topic; quality of composition, creativity and grammatical and spelling accuracy.

A traditional luncheon honoring winning essayists wasn’t possible this year, so students instead recorded themselves reading their winning essays, and the club put together a video presentation of the event. Those students also received cash awards, certificates and a medal.

Club President Fausto Pifferrer added charity giving to the event this year. The first-prize essay winners receive $100 plus $100 to donate to a charity of their choice. Second-place winners, $75 plus $75 to donate to a charity of their choice and third-place winners, $50 plus $50 to donate to a charity of their choice.

The top three winners of the 25th Anniversary Rotary Essay contest, placing from first to third, include:

St. James School, Biddeford – Madelyn Gelinas, Matthew Gonneville and Jeffrey Lafrance. Saco Middle School – Maia Gustafson and Lindsay DesRoberts.

Thornton Academy Middle School – Julie Elie, Caleb Morin and Rose MacWhinnie.

Biddeford Middle School – Hannah Grohman, Tyanna Caron and Brooke Girard.

Loranger Middle School, Old Orchard Beach – Madison Bell, Asher Hubert and Makenzie Stadig.

The charities the students selected to donate to include Hospice of Southern Maine, The Lance McCullers Jr. Foundation, Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, Biddeford Food Pantry, The Ronald McDonald House and the Biddeford-Saco Rotary COVID-19 Crisis Project.

To view the student presentations, go to YouTube at https://youtu.be/9QfkGKBCqoY.


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