Students honored for essays on family

The Biddeford-Saco Rotary Club announced the winners of its 27th annual Rotary Essay Contest for eight grade students in Biddeford, Saco, and Old Orchard Beach.

Those students were asked to write a 500 word essay on the topic What the Word FAMILY Means to Me.

From Biddeford Middle School were: first place, Olivia Zadakis; second place, Mallory McDevitt; third place, Amelia Ridlon.

From Loranger Middle School: first place, Adora Whitten; second place, Kiley Reynolds; third place, Ethan Tucker.


From Saco Middle School: first place, Sophia Farago-Dumsch; second place, Samantha Lawler; third place, Julia Gilbert.

Fom Saint James School: first place, Zachary Namiotka; second place, Liam Spenlinhauer; third place, Alexandria Tower.

From Thornton Academy Middle School: first place, Libby Towne; second place, Chantal Chen: third place, Olivia Frederickson.


Lahaie Fund commits $15,000 to firefighter training

The Lahaie Fund will commit $15,000 to the Peter L. Rines Memorial Scholarship for SMCC Maine Fire Service Institute (MFSI) training. The scholarship provides financial assistance to attend the MFSI Fire Instructor Program or Fire Officer Program/Academy, held at SMCC’s Midcoast Campus.


The scholarship was created in memory of the late Rines, a Wiscasset firefighter, State fire instructor and developer of nationally recognized certification programs.

Students interested in applying can contact Jim Graves at [email protected] or call 844-2078. To donate, go to and indicate their donation in memory of Peter L. Rines.


Middle school students meet with Tafton pen pals

Grade 7 and 8 students from St. Thomas School recently met with senior residents at the Trafton Center for a face to face event, following a nine month Pen Pal exchange of letters.

The Trafton Center, where the meet and greet took place, provides individuals 50 and older with opportunities to socialize and participate in learning and wellness opportunities.


St. Thomas Middle School teacher Ericka Sanborn said the students and their pen pals all approached the project with values modeled and held by the school, that include love, kindness, respect, and compassion.

“It was beautiful to watch each relationship unfold, proving that friendship transcends age and life experiences,” said Sunburn.


Catholic Charities Maine volunteers recognized

Gov. Janet Mills and Volunteer Maine, the state service commission, recently celebrated 165 volunteers who served communities across the state in 2021.

Six individuals generously served Catholic Charities Maine’s programs with thousands of hours of service. They include: Barbara Hughes of Lewiston, served 1,440 hours; Betty Bates of Auburn served 1,107 hours; Susan English of Wales served 527 hours knitting as a SEARCH volunteer; June Gagnon of Westbrook served 526.5 hours; and Carol Hartt of Presque Isle, served 520 hours.


Last year, 449 volunteers gave their time to CCM. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit


Girl Scouts of Maine announces new board members

Girl Scouts of Maine has appointments five new members to the Girl Scouts of Maine board of directors.

LeAnne Grillo is the founder and partner of Spaces for Change and has an extensive history with Girl Scouts.

Sarah Day is the director of Employee & Corporate Communications at Unum.

Elaine Healey is the Regional Initiatives manager at Bank of America.

Elizabeth Smith is a new girl member of the board of directors. She is in the 9th grade at Bangor High School and has been a Girl Scout for 10 years.

Charlena LaVallee is a new girl member and a junior at Gray-New Gloucester High School. She has been a Girl Scout for 12 years.

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