A book launch is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 26 at Lighthouse Bikes in South Portland. Leah Day and her son, Oakley, will give a brief talk about the book, “Changing Gears: A Distant Teen, a Desperate Mother, and 4,329 Miles Across the Transamerica Bicycle Trail ” followed by a question-and-answer session and book signing.

A book launch is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 26 at Lighthouse Bikes in South Portland for Leah Day’s “Changing Gears: A Distant Teen, a Desperate Mother, and 4,329 Miles Across the Transamerica Bicycle Trail ” Courtesy image

According to an April 21 news release, “Leah Day could feel herself growing apart from her 16-year-old son, Oakley. As most teenagers are, Oakley was distant. In order to strengthen their bond, Leah decided to drop everything to bike across the country with her son. In a time when people have grown apart, especially after years of not seeing each other, and accustomed to splintered relationships, Leah Day made a drastic decision to reconnect.

“On the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail, they struggle up hills in the pouring rain, they feel soreness in muscles they didn’t know they had, and they learn more about each other than they ever knew before. In this memoir chronicling the journey of a lifetime, Leah and Oakley find that if they can push themselves to accomplish physically exhausting and emotionally taxing milestones on a bike, they are capable of anything. Today, the mother and son duo are closer than ever.”

“Riding across America is about so much more than covering a few thousand miles by bike. Leah Day writes about her adventures, both internal and on the road, with insight and empathy, bringing readers along for a view of magic moments, big and small,” wrote Alex Strickland, editor of Adventure Cycling Magazine.

Cape Elizabeth student wins Upcycle Challenge

Aurora Milton, a sophomore at Cape Elizabeth High School, won ecomaine’s annual Upcycle Challenge for her design and manufacturing of pants made from old curtains and fabric that would have otherwise been discarded. The announcement was made in a May 2 news release from ecomaine.

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Aurora Milton, of Cape Elizabeth High School, was voted the winner in ecomaine’s annual Upcycle Challenge. Milton created an upcycled pair of street-style trousers made from an old curtain and old clothing. Courtesy image

Voted on during the two weeks surrounding Earth Day 2022, the contest featured two other entries as finalists – old jeans turned into functional aprons by RSU 13’s (Rockland) Afterschool Program with The Landing Place, and a large tree sculpture made by Aria Pines and Portland’s Casco Bay High School Waste to Art Intensive with artist Kim Bernard.

In less two weeks, the contest received more than 1,500 votes. Milton’s pants garnered more than 61 percent of the vote, earning the $500 grand prize.

From Milton’s contest entry: “Rewind to the ’90s with these chic, street-style trousers. Recently inspired by ’90s fashion, designer Aurora Milton took inspiration from many ’90s idols such as Friends, TLC, and Destiny’s Child. By replacing a darker color with this off-white, retro becomes modern while still embodying the true nature of this era. No one would know that the creamy, cargo material of the legs is actually a window curtain saved from a swap shop. Or that the deep, utility pockets are made with an old flannel from Goodwill. Wearable in winter, summer, spring, and fall, any top paired with this pant would make a fabulous runway-ready look.”

“All three finalists did an amazing job,” said Matt Grondin, ecomaine’s communications manager in an email. “It’s important to congratulate each of them for their great creativity, and we are thrilled to see Aurora’s stylish, upcycled design win the grand prize.”

The Upcycle Challenge asked students in ecomaine’s communities to use items that ordinarily would have been disposed of, to make all-new, functional ones. ecomaine’s Outreach and Recycling Committee selected the three finalists based on incorporation of post-consumer materials, ingenuity and functionality of the new creation, inclusion of students in the process, as well as the approval from a teacher or advisor.

Community Cares Game Day set for May 22

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The Opportunity Alliance, a local community nonprofit, in partnership with the Portland Sea Dogs, announced a new event called Community Cares Game Day to support the 55 programs it offers to care for vulnerable Maine families all year long. Slated for May 22, the event will offer an afternoon of entertainment for all ages.

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Community Cares Game Day will include a pregame on-field ceremony recognizing some partners and community members, all-you-can-eat buffet lunch of ballpark fare, opportunities to meet and get autographs from Slugger, Kids Creation Station including games, crafts, balloon artist, face painting, silent auction with lots of family-friendly items and baseball memorabilia, and the opportunity for kids 12 and younger to run the bases to at the end of the game.

Joe Everett, The Opportunity Alliance president and CEO, said, “After two long years of a pandemic this event is a much-needed opportunity for our community to gather and celebrate with a day of fun. It’s also a crucial fundraiser that will empower our programs and the essential services we provide to Maine’s most vulnerable. The Sea Dogs have always been a great partner of The Opportunity Alliance and we can’t wait to see everyone at the game.”

Community Cares Day will provide vital support to The Opportunity Alliance programs, including those that support the youngest at-risk Mainers and their families, such as visiting services for pregnant women and infants, childcare and Head Start classrooms, mental health support for children, parent education, WIC, and Homeless Youth Services.

For more information and tickets to the family-friendly event, visit The Opportunity Alliance website, follow the event page on Facebook, or contact Connor Archibald at [email protected]

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