St. James students are ‘Casual for a Cause’
Throughout the school year, St. James School students participate in a “Casual for a Cause” initiative, dressing in their regular clothing for a fee, and then donating that money to a favorite charity each month.
So far, the students have raised more than $6,925 during the 2021-22 school year.
The recipients and amounts of those donations include: Biddeford Food Pantry,$551; Catholic Relief Services, $447; Animal Welfare Society, $455; Seeds of Hope, $490; Running Passion, $405; Kentucky Tornado Special Collection, $523; Campaign to End Hunger, $462; Camp Sunshine, $480; Ukraine Relief Special Collection, $1,577; Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, $654; Pancreatic Cancer Research Special Collection, $528; and Ronald McDonald House, $354.

Mills museum seeks volunteers
Biddeford Mills Museum is looking for volunteers to help community members explore the history of the second largest textile manufacturing plant in the United States.
The museum is open from noon to 4 p.m. every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at their 2 Main St., Building 18, Suite 108 location.
For more details, contact Dotty at [email protected]

Creative Portland to receive $30,000 grant
Creative Portland, the City of Portland’s official arts agency, has been approved for a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the creation of a cultural app with augmented reality (AR) features. This project will curate inclusivity and increase access to immersive digital interactive experiences designed by local artists.
“We expect the AR experiences will attract a broader, more youthful audience to Portland’s art scene,” said executive director Dinah Minot. “Funds will be used to provide AR features to artists and venues that would otherwise not be able to afford it. With mentorship from filmmakers and AR designers, small arts organizations, immigrant-owned businesses, and BIPOC artists will be able to incubate, collaborate and promote their talents on a national platform.”
Visitors will be able to download the Creative Portland app to discover what’s happening now in the local arts scene. The wayfinding tool will have sortable filterable search categories that include events, exhibitions, and tours of local arts organizations in diverse artistic genres.
Currently in beta test stage, the app is being developed by The Yarn Corporation, a Maine-based technology firm, and is designed and built by locals: Reed Berkowitz, a pioneer of Alternate Reality Games, designer/developer Darrel Grosvalet, and creative technologist Nick Hall, also known as Tripdragon.
For more details, visit

Robotics teams mark new record
Three Cape robotics teams just returned from the VEX Robotics World Championship where they set a new school record for number of teams competing and had their best showing in the program’s modern competition history.
Two CEHS teams (56G and 56J) faced more than 800 other high school teams from across the country and around the world, while CEMS team 56R competed in a field of more than 500 teams. The middle school team – comprised of members Clark Abrahamsen, Ezra Gabrielson, Alex Kang, Jack Wark and Bella Wark – won the “Inspire Award,” given to teams who model cooperative learning and inspire their peers by sharing their creative, innovative designs with others.
The two high school teams performed exceptionally well as Team 56J – comprised of members Sarah Hagan and Evan Gebhart – beat the top-seeded team in one of their division matches. Team 56G – comprised of members Drew Butzel, Carter Abrahamsen, and Matthew Zimmerman – ranked as high as fourth before a ninth place finish and advanced to their division quarterfinals with their chosen alliance partner from Maine School of Science and Mathematics.

Retired officer named ‘Exemplary Volunteer of the Year’
The Wells-Ogunquit CSD honored retired police officer Paul Goyette with the title of “Exemplary Volunteer of the Year” for the 2021-22 school year. The award was presented to him May 4 for his dedicated work on plays and musical productions at Wells High School since 2009. Honoring him were WOCSD Community resource coordinator Maryanne Foley, WHS director and technical director for productions Andrew Lopez and his wife Rachel Goyette.
“When you find the right fit for a volunteer, you never let him quit,” Foley said in an email. “Mr. Paul (as he is known by the students) has been a popular and valuable volunteer with the Wells (H.S.) Drama Department for the last 14 years. This recognition is long over-due.”
Goyette, who teaches religion and manages St. Mary’s Ecumenical Food Pantry at St. Mary’s Church in Wells, has assisted Lopez with many tasks including set design, carpentry, building, painting, providing props, and even bringing snacks to student actors during rehearsals. In 2009, Goyette’s son Brandon first urged him to contact Lopez about volunteering to work on the set of the play Brandon was going to be in called “Once Upon a Mattress.” Goyette’s work on the March 2022 production of “Same Room, Different Story” marked his 22nd show with the drama group.
“I am truly honored as I usually work behind the scenes,” wrote Goyette. “I never expected to be given an award. I was flabbergasted. I (volunteer) because I enjoy working with the students. I especially enjoy working with Andy and am proud to call him my friend. I have worked with a great team. Betsy, Judy, and, Andria, all of them, made the time spent a great journey.”

FDDC receives $425,000 grant
Four Directions Development Corporation (FDDC) was recently awarded $425,000 in multi-year grant funding by the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation to support the Wabanaki Tribal Broadband Project and to advance the transformational work of developing an inter-tribal Wabanaki Consortium. The grant awards also provide critical operating funds that support FDDC’s mission to improve the social and economic conditions of the four Indigenous tribes in Maine: Maliseet, Mi’kmaq, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot.
FDDC focuses its efforts on projects that increase self-determination for Wabanaki people and tribal communities in Maine. As a community development financial institution, FDDC offers loans, technical assistance, and financial education to Indigenous homebuyers, homeowners, and entrepreneurs. “We are excited to receive support from the Sewall Foundation and inspired by the foundation’s commitment to partnering with Four Directions to create meaningful impact for Wabanaki people and tribal communities in Maine,” said FDDC Executive Director Charlene Virgilio. “This award empowers our organization to deliver broadband and economic and community development programs and services that will truly make a difference for the tribal communities we serve.”
The Elmina B. Sewall Foundation supports work in Maine to improve the well-being of people, animals, and the environment, while fostering equity and centering community voices. The foundation is committed to practicing trust-based philanthropy that contributes to advancing equity, shifting power, and building trusting and accountable relationships with grantees.
To learn more about Four Directions, please visit

filed under: