Kirby, a veteran’s K-9 helper


Rotary Club buys service dog for local veteran

The South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club has provided assistance to K-9s on the Front Line by “buying a dog” for a veteran. This nonprofit program is intended to restore hope by purchasing a suitable “shelter dog” that is professionally trained to match the needs of a veteran with combat-related PTSD and other issues.

The veteran, who now owns Kirby the Rotary Dog, said: “(Kirby) is my lifeline and my absolute best friend! He’s the most loyal dog I’ve ever had. When I’m down or depressed, Kirby comes to me and licks my face and will not leave my side. He understands me, and I understand him. I feel so calm when I’m out in public with him. I was taking four medications a day, morning and night and I am already down to three. My goal is to not need them at all when I leave the house and I believe I will get there. I now strongly recommend getting a service dog to any combat veteran who’s struggling. I had seen stories about service dogs before, but I never knew how much of a difference it would make. He is so much more than a dog. The people at K-9s on the Front Line are the salt of the earth and will always be family to me. Anyone who supports this organization should know that they are saving veteran’s lives. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making it possible for Kirby to come into my life!”

To see a short video of Kirby and the K-9 program, go to youtube/tlmVMs2rtXc. To assist the veteran K-9 program directly, contact co-founder Linda Murray, at 855-597-6835 or [email protected] The current cost to obtain and train one dog with one veteran is about $3,500, whicht can be shared. For more information or to donate to veterans programs through the Rotary Club, contact President Mike Geneseo at [email protected] or call 332-8198.


Literary Achievement Award winners announced

The 34th annual Literary Achievement Awards contest of the Wells-Ogunquit Community School District proved to be a lesson in patience this year. The writing contest, which encourages, recognizes and rewards outstanding creative writing at all grade levels, typically unfolds during late winter months and culminates with an awards ceremony in April. But that all changed with the onset of COVID-19.

Despite the obstacles, in-house and community judging was completed allowing monetary prizes and gift certificates to be awarded to contest winners during the summer.

“This year, the challenge was to complete the judging of entries remotely,” commented co-chair and organizer of the WOCSD Literary Achievement Awards Maryanne Foley.  “There was a delay in getting all the results back, and notifying the winners.  I want to thank all the judges, both preliminary and final, for the extra time it took to finalize the process.”

Well over 335 kindergarten through adult education students entered in late February. After a delayed two-tier judging process, 66 of them had placed in the contest. The event was co-sponsored by the WOCSD and the Ogunquit Rotary Club.

This year the top prize of $500 went to senior student Chaya Lord-Rozeff, who placed first in the 12th-grade category. The other first-place winners included Hadley Bouchard (kindergarten), Claire Protasewich (grade 1), Elsa Lawson (grade 2), Robert Roche (grade 3), Zander Johnson (grade 4), Alivia Collin (grade 5), Helen Lee (grade 6), Cali Leighton (grade 7), Samuel Coleman  (grade 8), Max Rosenberg (grade 9), Elle Meffert (grade 10), Kathryn Cafaro (grade 11) and Raquel Rivas Lopez Valentas (adult education).

The top winners in each grade level (with the exception of grade 12) receive $100. Second-place winners receive $50 and third-place winners receive $25. Honorable mentions are awarded $10 gift certificates to The Steakhouse in Wells.


Monument Square holiday tree sought

Portland Downtown and the City of Portland are seeking the next “perfect tree” to erect at Monument Square for the holidays.
The ideal tree will be evergreen, spruce or fir; 45-60 feet tall; and relatively accessible for retrieval (free from power lines and other obstructions). The “winning” tree will be removed and transported from the owner’s property at no cost.

If you have a tree that fits the description in Greater Portland (including Portland, South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough, Gorham, Westbrook, Falmouth, Cumberland or Yarmouth), go to Complete the form and upload one to three photos. A selection will be made by mid-November.

While there will be no traditional tree lighting event this year, work on an alternative plan is underway.


Spurwink awarded $2,000 for therapeutic gardening

Spurwink has been awarded a $2,000 grant from International Paper’s Auburn mill and the International Paper Foundation to support the expansion of therapeutic gardening on Spurwink’s Lewiston day-treatment campus.

“Having hands-on learning and engaging opportunities for our students is so important in the work that we do,” said Eric Meyer, president and CEO of Spurwink. “By engaging in therapeutic gardening, they’ll develop social, life and job skills, and be able to share this with the community.”


Four parishes get grants to help needy

Four Maine parishes are recipients of Matthew 25 Awards that include grants ranging from $2,000 to $5,000.

The awards, presented by Catholic Charities Maine’s Parish Social Ministry program, are given to parishes to assist them in expanding their capacity to serve more people or to develop a new social ministry. The ministries receiving the awards must be directly serving vulnerable people in need, regardless of faith affiliation, and adhere to the principles of the Bible verse Matthew 25 (“I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink.”).

This year’s winning parishes and ministries include a $5,000 award to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Parish of Portland to be used by the St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen to purchase a new commercial refrigerator, tables and chairs. The soup kitchen provides lunch, groceries and clothing to those in need in the Greater Portland area. Last year, over 36,000 lunches were served at the kitchen.

Grants of $2,000 also were given to St. John Vianney Parish of Fort Kent to be used by the food pantries at St. Charles Borromeo Church in St. Francis and St. Mary Church in Eagle Lake, as well as the Good Shepherd Ministries, to purchase a trailer for the moving of food and clothing to the various locations in the county; the Parish of the Resurrection of the Lord at Old Town to be used by the food pantry at Holy Family Church in Old Town to purchase shelves and tables; and to Holy Savior Parish in Rumford to improve the acoustics in the parish hall, primarily for seniors who come for lunches, speakers and other events.

For more details, visit


Noble High student is a National Merit semifinalist

Noble High School senior Lucas Bent has been named a 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist by officials from the National Merit Scholarship Corp. An avid musician and computer programmer, Bent is involved with Noble’s jazz band, French mentoring, Project SEARCH and EXCEL Music and Creative Writing.

Selected high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered next spring. To become a finalist, the semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official and write an essay.”

Bent is the son of Derek and Jennifer Bent of Berwick. Finalists will be notified in February and winners will be announced beginning in April.

Sister Terry Gauvin named finalist for National Lumen Christi Award.


Tech center receiving $180,000 for scholarships

The Biddeford Regional Center of Technology will be accepting a $180,000 donation from TJ’s Pizza Golf Tournament to benefit student scholarships next Tuesday.

Each year TJ’s Pizza Golf Tournament Committee donates $7,500 in scholarships to the BRCOT students from Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Kennebunk and the surrounding towns.

In 1996, former TJ’s Pizza owner Lou Chantigny and former BRCOT director Ron Gagnon established the tournament, which donated $2,000 a year ($500 each) to assist students in pursuing post-secondary training in their field of study. As it gained popularity, the event filled Dutch Elm Golf Course with the maximum number of players, increased sponsorships and included  a silent auction.

The tournament ended in 2012, but the committee continued to present scholarships donating close to $80,000 to local students. The remaining funds of $180,000 will be turned over to the BRCOT to monitor investment and administer its distribution.


Sister named National Lumen Christi finalist

Sister Terry Gauvin, the provincial superior of the American Province of the Good Shepherd Sisters and a Biddeford native, was named a finalist for the National Lumen Christi Award. The award also includes a $10,000 grant to be used on behalf of CourageLIVES, Maine’s first residential treatment program for survivors of sex trafficking and a safe house for women 18 years and older. The award, given by Catholic Extension, honors individuals or groups who show how the power of faith can transform lives and communities.

For nearly 54 years, Gauvin has extended a guiding hand to thousands of Maine people, providing emotionally challenged children with a warm smile, unwed and impoverished mothers with help without judgement, and survivors of human trafficking with safety and the hope of a better day.

Gauvin became a member of the Good Shepherd Sisters of Quebec (Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) in 1966. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology from Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, and a master’s in administration and education from Boston College.

She began her religious life working with troubled children in Massachusetts, then returned to Maine to help unwed mothers improve their lives, care for their children and set them up in homes. She went on to serve as a social worker, a teacher and principal at Catholic schools in Biddeford and Massachusetts, a youth minister, a campus minister, a faith formation director and then the interim director of St. André Home at Biddeford, established in 1940 by the Good Shepherd Sisters to serve families through counseling, adoption, resource management, and housing.

In 2015, CourageLIVES was founded to provide food, clothing, shelter and counseling for just five women. Today, the program serves over 125 survivors and their family members annually and offers an outreach program for women who live in Penobscot, Cumberland, Aroostook, York and Franklin counties. The program is recognized as a national model for its inspiring work.

The award winner will be announced later this year, with the recipient receiving a $50,000 grant to be used for enhancing a specific area of ministry.


Credit union gives schools $1,500 for meals

Town & Country Federal Credit Union has donated $1,500 to fund the South Portland School Department’s request for help to distribute meals in classrooms and hallways through a partnership with Full Plates Full Potential.

According to Ken Kunin, superintendent of South Portland Public Schools, “Since the very start of this pandemic, with support from Full Plates Full Potential, we have provided tens of thousands of meals for children, but with some in-person learning, we are facing new challenges in distributing meals and have to adapt our process. This support from Town & Country FCU will ensure we are able to distribute thousands of meals to children in South Portland. On behalf of our children and families, we are deeply grateful for this generous support.”

Town & Country has been a leader in supporting the community through its Local Helping Local initiative. It has provided thousands of meals to seniors, funding to help families in crisis, delivered meals and hand sanitizer to front line health care workers, and donated thousands of dollars in gift cards to support local businesses impacted by the pandemic.


Audubon taking bird seed orders through Oct. 9

Mid-Coast Audubon will be accepting bird seed orders through Oct. 9 to raise funds to support bird conservation and education programming. Five varieties of bird seed will be offered: black oil sunflower seed at 20 pounds for $18, 40 pounds for $32; sunflower meaties (hulled) at 25 pounds for $29, or 50 pounds for $48; Melody Mix at 20 pounds for $14, 40 pounds for $23; thistle (Nyger) at 5 pounds for $12; and suet blocks at $2 each.

Orders can be placed by mail-in form available at Seed orders must be picked up between 10 a.m. and noon Oct. 17 at one of two locations: Plants Unlimited at 629 Commercial St. (Route 1) in Rockport or Lincoln County Publishing at 116 Mills Road in Newcastle. Please specify  where you will pick up your seed.

Mail forms to “Seed Sale Sue,” 12 Audubon Road, Bremen, ME 04551. For more information, email Sue at [email protected] and put “bird seed” in the subject line or call 380-1370.


United Ways collect 37,856 pounds of food, supplies

The nine United Ways of Maine kicked off their annual fundraising campaigns with a statewide food and essentials drive, collecting 37,856 pounds of food and other critical supplies for local nonprofits at 20 locations across the state. The series of events, called United for Maine, also generated over $5,000 to support organizations and programs serving Maine people.

These collection drives also raised awareness about unmet basic needs and food insecurity exacerbated by COVID-19.

Collectively, United Ways in Maine raise more than $18 million annually to promote health education, and financial stability. To support your local United Way, visit or text “UnitedForME” to 41444.


New scholarship honors Kennebunkport innkeeper

The Maine Community College System Board of Trustees announced a new scholarship that was created in honor of longtime Trustee Jean Ginn Marvin, the innkeeper at The Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport.

The Jean Ginn Marvin Scholarship, which covers tuition and fees, will be awarded this fall to a second-year hospitality or culinary student at either York County Community College or Southern Maine Community College. The recipient must demonstrate a passion for culinary arts or hospitality, leadership skills and a deep appreciation for education. Candidates for the scholarship must be Maine residents attending the college full time.

Ginn Marvin is known for her deep commitment to student success. She regularly takes a personal interest in supporting hospitality and culinary students, employing them at the resort and has been known to help a student register or drive them to the college so they didn’t miss a class.

Ginn Marvin, who served as MCCS board chair from 2017 to 2020, was previously a member of the board of the Southern Maine Community College Foundation and has actively engaged the hospitality industry in the system’s workforce development efforts.

Church members meet online to choose leaders

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Greater Portland area gathered online recently to sustain a new area Stake president (spiritual local leader) and two counselors to preside over 11 ward and branch congregations. The Stake is home to nearly 4,000 members from Arundel to Damariscotta, as far north as Augusta, Livermore and Rumford, over to Bethel.

President Richard J. Taylor of Bowdoinham was called and sustained on Aug. 23 to lead the members in the Augusta Maine Stake. Glenn Davis of Windham and Steve Bryant of Saco were named counselors.
Elder John A. McCune, General Authority Seventy, accompanied by Elder David G. LaFrance, Area Seventy, presided online for the special meeting.

For more details, go to

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