West Bay Rotary awards $3,000 to One Less Worry

West Bay Rotary President Mark Coursey and District 7790 secretary Etienne Perret presented $3,000 to executive director Sharon Hobson of One Less Worry to support its initiative to provide free eco-friendly menstrual cups to 300 low-income women in Knox County. These cups will save women hundreds of dollars and significantly reduce menstrual products going into the waste stream.
In accepting the donation, Hobson said, “Research shows that the average woman spends $75 to $100 a year for menstrual products. For a woman who is having a difficult time feeding a family, tampons and pads become an expense that is hard to afford. By supplying the free menstrual cups, the cost of menstruation drops to almost zero.”
Hobson also noted that there is nothing environmentally friendly about traditionally purchased menstrual products, that typically come individually wrapped, with adhesive strips or with plastic disposable applicators, most of which also are made from synthetic materials like rayon or absorbent polymers that are often bleached to stay white. All-organic cotton alternatives are more expensive to buy.
One Less Worry is a grassroots organization that provides pads, tampons, and toilet paper to people in Knox County. While its product distribution is focused on local communities, its advocacy efforts have a far broader reach. For more information, go to:


Pop-up store becomes permanent marketplace
The Maine Organic Marketplace celebrated the grand opening of its new marketplace Nov. 18 in the Bartol Library building, located at 55 Main St. Several state officials were in attendance to offer remarks, including Gov. Janet Mills and town representatives.
A project of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association,, the marketplace began as a pop-up store in the winter of 2020. It now serves as a permanent outlet for sustainably sourced and organic Maine-made goods.
The marketplace currently supports over 50 Maine-based small businesses and offers a diverse array of products. Additionally, there is a classroom space that is used to host community events.



Grant to fund Maine Farm to School Institute
A new Maine Farm to School Institute for rural middle and high schools will focus on sourcing local food and cultivating student leadership in food and agriculture.
A USDA service learning grant of nearly $225,000 was recently awarded to the University of Maine School of Food and Agriculture and Maine Farm to School Network at Healthy Communities of the Capital Area to lead the creation of the first annual institute.
Sub-recipients include UMaine Cooperative Extension, Maine Agriculture in the Classroom, ReTreeUs, and Cumberland County Food Security Council.
Over a dozen partnering organizations will support the project, providing training and technical assistance, including Falmouth Schools, FoodCorps Maine, Maine Department of Education Child Nutrition, and Maine School Garden Network.
Participating Maine schools will attend a three-day workshop in August 2022 at The Ecology School at Riverbend Farm at Saco.
For more details, contact Maine Farm to School Network Coordinator or go to


Club donates to pet-care project in memory of a fellow Rotarian
The Oxford Hills Rotary Club is donating funds and labor to Responsible Pet Care of Oxford Hills in memory of the late Rotarian Jay “Bird” Partridge, who passed away June 4. Co-president Peter Kaurup and director George Rice presented a $1,000 check to Responsible Pet Cares’ director Mitch Shaw.
The funds and volunteer labor will go toward building “Jay’s Shade,” an 8-by-12-foot structure with a hip roof, composite decking and two benches that will provide shade for the dogs and their helpers inside the dog play-yard. Partridge was a life-long animal lover.
To assist with the funding of  Jay’s Shade, go to The goal is to raise $3,000 for materials, signage and a plaque for Jay’s Shade, and another $3,000 for a bank of cat cages.
Jim Boyce of Boyce J. Builders Inc. has already started construction on the building.


Katie Brann named CMGC Emerging Leader of the Year

Central Maine Growth Council and KV Connect presented their 2021 Emerging Leader of the Year Award to Katie Brann recently during the council’s annual meeting celebration.
Brann is chair of KV Connect, the young professionals’ group of mid-Maine, and financial adviser at Golden Pond Wealth Management. She has been involved with KV Connect since February of 2020, previously serving as the organization’s treasurer and marketing committee chair.
A 2016 graduate of Boston University, Brann returned to her home state of Maine to pursue a career in financial services. She received her Certified Financial Planning designation in March. Brann also serves on the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce’s Marketing and Membership committee and as the varsity field hockey coach at Messalonskee High School in Oakland.


Volunteer Maine welcomes new class of AmeriCorps members

Maine’s newest AmeriCorps members, hailing from the state and across the country, gathered virtually Nov. 15 to participate in the 27th annual Maine AmeriCorps Induction Ceremony.
Maine Supreme Court Associate Justice Andrew Mead presided over the ceremony and the reading of the AmeriCorps Pledge, which the more than 40 new members recited to affirm their commitment to serve Maine communities.
AmeriCorps members serve in Maine to gain valuable skills while supporting community organizations in the areas of early childhood education and development, mentorship, environmental conservation, green energy education, expanding access to outdoor recreation, improving the lives of Maine’s aging population, and community resilience, among others. Member benefits include a living allowance and a post-service education award.
The ceremony, hosted by Volunteer Maine Commission Chair Jenni Tilton-Flood, also featured remarks by a group of AmeriCorps alumni.
For more details, go to

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