Supporting the green outdoors

A summer-long kayak raffle by Evergreen CU raised over $8,200 for three lake associations, the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland and several local food pantries. Shown are Jeana Roth, Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland; Jason Lindstrom, Evergreen CEO; Tim Greer, Little Sebago Lake Association; and Cheryl Rawson, Collins Pond Improvement Association. Contributed

Former Portlander named Veteran of the Month

Graham

David Graham, formerly a resident of Portland, was named Veteran of the Month for July at Maine Veterans’ Homes in Scarborough.

Graham grew up in the Woodfords Corner area of Portland and attended Deering High School. In 1966 the Vietnam War waged on and the 19-year-old decided to enlist.

“I wanted to see the world,” he said.

Graham served in the Navy as the company postal clerk after serving in many different roles. He was stationed in both Da Nang and Phu Bai during his four-year tour in Vietnam, where “I met some of the best people of my life,” he recalled.

Graham fulfilled one of his purposes in joining the military – seeing the world; he enjoyed traveling to Puerto Rico, specifically Ceiba, and other locations overseas.

When he returned home to Portland, Graham worked at Maine Medical Center in patient transport services, as a real estate appraiser and for the U.S. Postal Service, from which he retired. He met his future wife, Debra, in a Portland bar called Primo’s and says to this day that it was the best thing that ever happened to him. The couple has been married for 33 years and although they did not have children of their own, Graham was a loving stepdad to Debra’s daughter, Elizabeth. Throughout the years they also filled their home with cats in need of love and shelter.

“I’m a lucky man,” Graham said.

Giving back

Coinciding with the first anniversary of the introduction of its Pet Loan, Town & Country Federal Credit Union has joined forces with the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland to highlight and support dogs being cared for at the rescue league with the first-ever Dog-ust event.

“From contributions to events, COVID has brought about a number of challenges for ARLGP,” said David Libby, president and CEO of Town & Country Federal Credit Union. “We understand how important pets are to many people and we wanted to do something to support and highlight the life-saving efforts that go on everyday at ARLGP and the on-going need for assistance.”

During Dog-ust, ARLGP and the credit union will highlight a different dog up for adoption every Friday on its social media channels. In addition, Town & Country will make a $1,000 donation to ARLGP each week.

Granted

United Way of Greater Portland individual giving group Brick & Beam Society makes investments to support summer-focused programs that target early childhood learning and STEM programming for children in pre-school through eighth grade, including $20,000 to LearningWorks, Side x Side and The Telling Room for a collaborative Summer STEAM program for Elementary Students. In related news, UWGP awarded $222,655 in the third round of grants from the Greater Portland COVID-19 Community Relief Fund, bringing the total used to support rapid response efforts to $710,967.

Brunswick-based Independence Association clients have been enjoying the outdoors responsibly during the pandemic, including Frank Carman and Brandon Ladner, posing with a familiar figure at Bailey Island Land’s End. John Zerrlaut

The Frances Hollis Brain Foundation Fund at the Maine Community Foundation has awarded 31 grants totaling $157,500 to nonprofit organizations that serve disadvantaged, underserved and/or vulnerable communities in Maine. Grants include: Hope Acts, to make sure new asylum-seekers have access to basic needs such as food and housing; Pine Tree Legal Assistance to advocate for low-income residents; and Preble Street, to increase access to healthcare for homeless populations.

We Walk with Haiti, a month-long virtual fundraiser for the Maine-based nonprofit Konbit Sante Cap-Health Partnership, raised more than $60,000 in June for COVID-19 response and other health care relief in North Haiti. The amount exceeded the fundraising goal by more than $10,000.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick Concerts for a Cause has raised just over $1,450 for each of its 2019-2020 charities, Tedford Housing and the Oasis Free Clinics. The series, hosted by the church, is a part of the its commitment to the arts and supports local nonprofits.

In its second round of COVID Response Grants, the John T. Gorman Foundation has awarded $500,000 in grants to protect child and family safety during the pandemic. Half of the funding will go to organizations working to provide shelter and support to victims of domestic violence. The other $250,000 will help organizations continue in-person at-home visits with families to assess their well-being.

The customers of the Good Tern Co-op raised $890 during the month of June for OUT! Maine, which works toward a welcoming and affirming Maine for all rural young people of diverse sexual orientations. For the month of July the Good Tern Co-op rounded up for two organizations, Midcoast Music Academy and Cultivating Community.