In a year when many Maine families have faced financial hardship, Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution continued its efforts to help end school hunger. The bank will donate $23,990 to school nutrition programs in York and Cumberland counties through its Community Debit Card Program, providing meals for students in Biddeford, Old Orchard Beach, Saco, Scarborough, South Portland and Westbrook.

Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution will donate $23,990 to school nutrition programs in York and Cumberland counties through its Community Debit Card Program. Courtesy photo

According to the National Education Association, child nutrition is a critical factor in development and achievement. Eating breakfast at school helps children perform better, have better attendance, and exhibit fewer behavior problems. Maine ranks as one of the most food-insecure states, with 46 percent of students attending Maine schools eligible for free or reduced lunch according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

“Hunger in our communities is all too common, but no child should have to wonder where their next meal is going to come from,” said Bob Quentin, president and CEO of Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution, in a Feb. 15 news release. “As a mutual organization, it is our responsibility to do our part to help. We’re grateful for our customers, who continue to support the Community Debit Card Program and show their commitment in helping to keep our students fed.”

Donations to the program are generated every time bank customers swipe their Community Debit Cards for non-ATM transactions. This year’s total of nearly $24,000 marks an increase of almost 25 percent compared to 2021 when card users raised $18,000. In total, the program has raised more than $66,000 over four years.

For more information about the Community Debit Card Program, visit

University of Maine announces fall 2021 dean’s list


The University of Maine recognized 3,101 students for achieving dean’s list honors in the fall 2021 semester. Of the students who made the dean’s list, 2,024 are from Maine, 1,009 are from 39 other states and 68 are from 25 countries other than the U.S.

Local students named to the dean’s list include:

Cape Elizabeth: Sierra Galgano, Ethan Gillespie, Anna Hayes, Nathaniel Holmes, Luke O’Kelly, Dylan Palmore, Zale Rasco, Gavin Spidle, Sara Taylor and Mary Isabelle Wisell.

Scarborough: Grace Alofs, Zachary Alofs, Sydney Bloom, Ryleigh Bois, Connor Coffin, Isabella Cook, William Dunham, Brooke Edgecomb, Kaylee Faherty, Julia Freeman, David Geng, Evan Hamer, Lila Harakles, Wyatt Harris, Tatum Hayward, Calista Jackson Gianino, Lily Jennings, Audrey Jones, David Kayser, Aaron Kazilionis, Alison Kueck, Emily Labbe, Olivia LaChance, Sarah-Theresa Lemay, Ryan Lilley, Joseph Luong, Casey Maddock, Peter Martin, Morgan McGarry, David McKelvy, Josh Medeiros, Emily Murray, Ryan Murray, Jared Nelson, Ryan O’Leary, Jasmine Olshin, Gaby Panagakos, Eliot Pomerleau, Juliet Quartararo, Zack Reed, Abby Roy, Lauren Sabatino, Justyn Sears, Dan Smith, Nick Titcomb, Amy Topchik and Allison Weymouth.

South Portland: Ethan Blier, Ryan Boles, Aileen Campbell, Taylor Davis, Luca Desjardins, Lauren DiBiase, Phelan Doyle, Lauren Elsemore, Michael Feely, Josh Frank, Sam Holbrook, Allison Holt, Aleksandar Kaurin, Euan Maclaurin, Chloe MacVane, Caleb Marston, Maegan Murphy, Mia Quint-Wood, Luke Rainsford, Andrew Riley, Sydney Sherburne, Jacob Solomon, Caleb Viola, Jack Vose-Gimbel, Molly Walker and Hannah Yesse.

Journalism scholarships available for Maine students


Maine students interested in careers in journalism are invited to apply for post-secondary scholarships from the Guy P. Gannett Journalism Scholarship Fund at the Maine Community Foundation.

The scholarship honors businessman and entrepreneur Guy P. Gannett, who launched his newspaper career in 1921 with the purchase of two newspapers he merged into the Portland Press Herald. By 1998 when the family sold Guy Gannett Communications, its media reach spanned several states with three daily newspapers in Maine and seven television stations.

Gannett’s granddaughter Maddy Corson and her uncle John Gannett established the Guy P. Gannett Scholarship Fund in 2000 to pay tuition and expenses for Maine students who dream of careers in journalism. Since then, the initial $3 million scholarship fund – Maine Community Foundation’s largest – has helped educate nearly 150 students with more than $3.8 million in support. In 2021, 16 students were awarded $332,000 in scholarship support.

The Gannett Scholarship provides renewable support for students majoring in journalism or a field reasonably related, including print, broadcast or electronic media. The fund helps pay the cost of attendance to attend an undergraduate, graduate, trade or technical school.

Applicants must be graduates of Maine high schools or have been home-schooled in Maine during their last year of secondary education. Students are chosen based on demonstrated interest in journalism through their choice of coursework and extracurricular activities, as well as financial need and academic achievement. The application deadline is April 1, 2022. Apply online at For more information about the Gannett Scholarship, visit, and hear from past Gannett scholars at

Maine Community Foundation is headquartered in Ellsworth, with additional personnel in Portland, Dover-Foxcroft, Rockport and Mars Hill. For more information about the foundation, visit


SMCC schedules commencement for May 22

Southern Maine Community College will hold its 75th commencement in person on May 22 to celebrate and recognize graduates of the class of 2022.

It will be the first in-person graduation ceremony since 2019, after the pandemic forced the college to hold virtual ceremonies the past two years. Graduates from the classes of 2020 and 2021 are also invited to participate in this year’s ceremony.

“Commencement is such a memorable occasion for students, families and the college, and is even more special this year since it comes during SMCC’s 75th anniversary,” said SMCC President Joe Cassidy in a Feb. 22 news release. “We are ecstatic that we can come together in person to honor our graduates, who have distinguished themselves as they persevered through difficult circumstances. While commencement may signal the end of their time at SMCC, it marks the springboard to all the opportunities that lie ahead.”

The ceremony will be held at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 22, at Cross Insurance Arena on Spring Street in Portland. Doors will open at noon.

Participating graduates must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and have received a booster shot when eligible. Guests must show proof of vaccination to staff at the Cross Insurance Arena or take a rapid test at the door.

Graduates from 2020 and 2021, whose graduation ceremonies were held virtually, are invited to participate, but advance registration is required.

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