South Portland-Cape Rotarians establish SMCC scholarship fund

The Rotary Club of South Portland-Cape Elizabeth has donated $60,000 to the Southern Maine Community College Foundation to establish the South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary Vocational Scholarship fund. The goal is to award at least two scholarships of $1,500 each per year.

The Rotary Club for years has provided funding for scholarships for SMCC students, but wanted to formalize its relationship with the college by establishing an endowment that would fund scholarships in perpetuity.

It is my distinct privilege to present $60,000 to SMCC from our charitable fund,” said Rotary Club President David BagdasarianThese scholarships will help students achieve their educational goals, enable the Rotary to support community college education and enhance our longstanding relationship with SMCC.


The University of Southern Maine Foundation has received a $5 million gift from the Crewe Foundation to support a future Center for the Arts on the university’s Portland campus.

According to a prepared release, this is the largest gift ever given by the Crewe Foundation, the legacy foundation of singer, songwriter and producer Bob Crewe, and one of the largest cash gifts ever received by USM. This gift will will benefit the USM School of Music as well as the visual arts program.

OUT Maine has received a $25,000 grant from The Florence V. Burden Foundation to make Maine rural schools more welcoming and affirming for LGBTQ+ youth. The grant will help develop five online training modules for school professionals that will address issues schools frequently face as they seek to provide safety and support for LGBTQ+ youth.


Creative Portland recently received a grant from Maine Community Foundation. Shown is a barricade design by Creative Portland artist Pam Chevez that brightened up the Old Port this spring. Contributed / Creative Portland

The Cumberland County Committee of the Maine Community Foundation has awarded $113,174 in grants to 16 nonprofits through the Community Building Grant Program, including:

• Creative Portland Corporation, to expand an arts-based community campaign to help combat COVID-19 with artistic messaging and CDC-compliant safety recommendations.
• Mercy Hospital, Portland, to purchase laptops for families to allow access to substance recovery sessions, pursue undergraduate degrees remotely and assist their children in remote learning.
• Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program, Brunswick, to operate a satellite food pantry for food insecure seniors.

Crystal Springs Community Farm in Brunswick has received a $32,770 grant from The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Agriculture Resource Development Division to expand access to diverse markets for more Maine farmers by providing refrigerated cold storage and adding value with custom retail product packaging.

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The Rev. Brian Conley has joined Our Lady of Hope Parish in Portland as the new superior of the Jesuit Community in Portland. Our Lady of Hope is comprised of St. Joseph Church at 673 Stevens Ave., St. Pius X Church at 492 Ocean Ave. and St. Brigid School.

A native of Dedham, Massachusetts, Conley entered the Society of Jesus in 1992 and was ordained to the priesthood in Massachusetts in 2001. 

For the past nine years, he has served on the Clinical Pastoral Education faculty at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. Prior to moving to Boston, Conley served for 12 years as a staff chaplain and director of mission and pastoral care at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. 

Giving back

Fontaine The Real Estate Leader’s Bid for Wishes Virtual Auction raised more than $20,000 for Make-A-Wish Maine last month. The fundraiser was established in 2014 as a Facebook event to grant a wish for a seriously ill Maine Wish child. The Fontaine team has been involved with fundraising since 2009, when it participated in the Walk for Wishes. The first year of the Bid for Wishes auction included just a handful of agents but managed to collect 50 items and raise a little over $900.