Eighth graders recognized for refugees aid

Two Biddeford girls have been recognized for their efforts to help the refugee community in Maine.

Adriana and Camryn, eighth graders at St. James School, organized a drive to collect food, toys and grocery money to donate to refugee, asylum-seeker and immigrant populations. Their inspiration came from Adriana’s mother Priscilla, who is a social worker at the multilingual and multicultural department at Portland Public Schools.

Adriana’s own parents were undocumented immigrants, and Pricilla was separated from her parents during the immigration journey.

Adriana worked with her mother at the Portland Expo in 2019 when Maine welcomed around 200 families. Priscilla later proposed the idea of a massive collection of items for refugees.

Adriana and Camryn took it from there, creating a flyer to spread the word in the school community and beyond. Almost immediately, families of St. James students and staff members jumped on board donating food items, crayons, notebooks, coloring books, toys and more. Monetary donations to purchase additional items have been happily accepted as well.

“I am very proud of these two students for tackling this independently and for their compassion towards an often overlooked segment of our Maine population,” said Jamie White, their teacher at St. James.

Their classmates want to pitch in, too, and they’ll help the girls sort the items and create baskets for the refugee children next week, with the baskets to be delivered the weekend before Christmas.

“Of course, seeing my daughter organizing something like this makes me proud,” Priscilla said. “But what makes me more proud is seeing her get her friends involved. I believe that Maine still has a long way to accept this population; integrating the kids and making them aware of the struggles that the immigrants go through in life can be a life-changing experience.”

Adriana said, “I feel that helping others brings me closer to positivity and a happy, equal world, even it if it’s just in my town.”

Camryn agreed, noting “I have learned that I am lucky to have the things I have because others are not as fortunate.”


Town Hall closes due to staff shortages

Due to COVID-related staff shortages, Falmouth Town Hall is closed to the public through Friday. Staff will be available to assist with remote transactions and will make every effort to accommodate residents during this time and hope to re-open for regular business on Dec. 28.

For assistance, call 781-5253 and leave a message. Staff will be returning calls from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

The staff will monitor staffing and post updates regarding re-opening via e-alerts and social media. To receive e-alert updates, subscribe to News & Announcements at


Skidompha Library selected as a recipient of Beanstack Black Voices Microgrants

Skidompha Public Library is one of just 40 schools and libraries in the U.S., and the only one in Maine, chosen to receive a microgrant from the Beanstack Black Voices Microgrant program. The grants were awarded to libraries that are committed to discussing and enhancing programs that focus on social justice and equity work.

Beanstack, a Black-owned company run by a husband/wife team, is the web-based reading tracking software Skidompha used for their Summer Reading Program. Zoobean, Beanstack’s parent company (originally funded by appearing on the television show Shark Tank), is offering this microgrant to help Skidompha create reading-related programs to advance social justice and equity initiatives.

Skidompha will focus this project on newly independent readers, offering book bundles and take-home kits to promote social justice and diversity. The aim is to deepen engagement and learning – for parents and caregivers who are looking for resources on how to talk to their kids about race, there will be information packets included with the book bundles.

Updates will be made to Skidompha’s website and newsletter as soon as the book bundles are ready to be shared with patrons. The target date is for midwinter.

For more details, call 563-5513.

Shane Savage named Central Maine Growth Council’s 2020 Developer of the Year


Shane Savage named 2020 Developer of the Year

The Central Maine Growth Council presented its 2020 Developer of the Year Award to Shane Savage, R.Ph.

Savage, co-owner of Savage’s Drug, began his career as a pharmacy technician at the age of 16 at LaVerdiere’s drug, a job he held through college. He is a graduate of Lawrence High School of Fairfield and Northeastern University’s College of Pharmacy, where he graduated with a B.S in pharmacy.

Since 2004, Savage has opened pharmacies in Fairfield, Oakland, Winslow and Unity. A second-generation pharmacist, he works alongside his father, John “Bud” Savage, in their Fairfield store.

Today, Savage’s Drug employs over 40 employees and provides a variety of local services, including vaccinations and on-site flu clinics, online prescription refill services and local prescription delivery.

Savage previously was named the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year in 2014.


TD Charitable Foundation supports college with COVID-relief funds for students of color

The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, has donated $10,000 to Maine College of Art to establish a COVID-Relief Financial Aid Fund for MECA’s students of color who have been financially impacted by the pandemic.

MECA President Laura Freid said, “Thanks to the generosity of the TD Charitable Foundation, MECA will be able to support our students of color, who make up 20 percent of our student body, with emergency financial aid during this unprecedented crisis.”

Margaret Brownlee, MECA’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion officer, stated, “MECA students of color face economic inequalities, similar to all communities of color nationwide, and tuition and living costs are deeply affected by the current crisis. With this fund, students who need additional support for the current or upcoming spring semester can access that aid.”


MaineCF’s Black, Indigenous, and People of Color fund offers grants

Grants of up to $10,000 from Maine Community Foundation’s Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Fund are available to nonprofit programs or organizations that are led by, and serve, people of Native American, Latino, African, Arab and Asian descent. The grants focus on three areas: addressing health disparities, supporting youth, and improving economic opportunities.

The application deadline is Feb. 15, 2021. The application, details of the grant program and a list of recent grants are available at

For additional information, contact Senior Program Officer Gloria Aponte C. at 412-0847 or by email at [email protected]

MaineCF will offer an information session for the 2021 BIPOC grant program from noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 7. To attend, register online at


President recognizes Scarborough woman for volunteer service

Jenna Booth of Scarborough was recently presented with the President’s Volunteer Service Award for outstanding volunteer service. The civil award, bestowed by the president of the United States, was established by executive order of George W. Bush to honor volunteers who serve hundreds of hours each year to help people in need.

Booth, 17, said she was honored to be recognized for her volunteer work.

“I myself went through Nervosa Anorexia when I was in middle school and know how it can be a hush-hush topic,” Booth said. “Truly Me sheds a light on the issue of eating disorders and a platform where many women and men who are suffering from eating disorders can turn to for help.”

Recipients of this award receive a personalized certificate, an official pin, medallion and a congratulatory letter from President Trump.

“This is such an honor,” Booth said. “I started Truly Me to give people suffering in silence a place to turn to. I never expect anything in return, but I must say, this is quite the honor.”

BLP Associates is a certifying organization that recognizes community volunteers with the PVSA awards each year. For nomination guidelines of more details, go to


St. John’s students send cards, posters, poinsettias to healthcare workers

Students from St. John’s Catholic School recently wrapped-up their holiday to-do list by delivering some smiles and support to frontline heroes serving in their community. The children created cards and posters and donated poinsettias to healthcare workers and patients at Mid Coast Hospital. The cards were distributed to doctors, nurses, emergency room physicians and the behavioral health unit.

“They brought so many smiles, laughs and more than a few tears of gratitude,” said Angela Boivin, a Catholic chaplain at the hospital. “The posters went up in the ICU and the central nurses’ station. The poinsettias went in the ICU, the COVID-19 positive unit, the behavioral health unit and the central nurses’ station.”


Grant to provide for first regional coastal resilience plan

The Southern Maine Planning & Development Commission has been awarded a $130,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Coastal Resilience Fund to develop the first regional coastal resilience plan for southern Maine.

The funding will support the advancement of coastal resilience action in Maine’s 10 southern most coastal communities through collaborative engagement of municipalities, local land trusts, regional conservation organizations and state natural resource agencies.

SMPDC will work with the Wells Reserve, 10 communities and other partners to assess the impacts of climate on our coasts, address regional needs and develop specific adaptation strategies. The plan will present nature-based solutions for making the region more resilient to coastal hazards. The project builds off of SMPDC’s continued efforts to assist our towns with preparing for and adapting to climate change.

For the full funding announcement, go to

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