The Kennebunk High School Civil Rights Team is raising money to buy 750 copies of “The Far Away Brothers” by Lauren Markham, which provides insight on the difficulties of immigrating to America and the reasons for seeking refuge in the United States.

Courtesy image

According to a June 6 news release from the team, “We believe that our book project provides our community a way to foster conversations that are often avoided. We have started a fundraiser for our project and we are very excited about this project and its importance. We are also planning to create a program which supports the distribution of the book.”

For more information, email [email protected]

Community Gourmet addresses food insecurity in southern Maine

The Community Gourmet is a local grassroots effort to help people with limited access to food create healthy meals using foods that are easily acquired. To do this, the organization created meal kits that can be used alone, or with foods that are readily available at food pantries and farmers’ markets.

For its Mothers’ Day fundraiser, The Community Gourmet borrowed a commercial kitchen and baked 45 dozen raspberry linzer cookies and advertised them on The Community Gourmet Facebook page, for a suggested donation of $15 per dozen.

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According to a June 9 news release, “The response was overwhelming, and allowed us to create many, many kits that have been distributed throughout southern Maine and New Hampshire. We’re doing another fundraiser for Father’s Day, when we will be offering chocolate linzer cookies for a suggested donation of $15 per dozen.”

People can reserve cookies on The Community Gourmet Facebook page, or by emailing [email protected] Cookies will be available for pick-up on Saturday, June 18, at the Kennebunk Kennebunkport Arundel Chamber of Commerce, 16 Water St., Kennebunk, between 1 and 3 p.m.

The Community Gourmet was formed in January 2022 under the leadership of Traci Anello, who has been a professional chef and baker for over 35 years.

According to the organization, “It is made up of community members who saw a need and were inspired by meal kits that simplify food preparation but are expensive and beyond the means of many in our community. We began creating the kits with funds donated by a few interested people who believed in us.

“We’ve developed a meal kit with shelf-stable items such as pasta, tomato sauce, cheese, and mayonnaise that people can use on their own or to supplement with produce and proteins readily available at food pantries and farmers’ markets. Each kit includes simple recipes for creating several different meals and include suggestions for including ingredients readily available at food pantries (such as chicken or hamburger) and different vegetables.”

The meal kits are delivered to various food pantries and are meant to augment the food items distributed by the pantries. As of this date, 120 kits have been distributed through the York County Shelter, Chamber of Commerce Little Pantry, and local churches. The group is also working to connect people with kits at farmers’ markets, many of which accept SNAP benefits. The Community Gourmet will be at the Kennebunk Farmers’ Market every other Saturday to connect people who utilize SNAP with the kits and local farmers.

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Library announces summer reading program

Kennebunk Free Library’s summer reading program is coming. This year’s theme is Oceans of Possibilities, and all ages are welcome to participate. Participants are encouraged to keep track of how many hours they’ve read using Beanstack or a paper log, and earn raffle tickets for local business gift cards.

All ages will be eligible to enter a raffle in their age group. The summer reading program will run from June 27 to Aug. 20. Programs planned this summer include:

For adults:

· Loon expert James Paruk, Tiny Art Paint and Sip.

For teens (ages 10 and older):

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· Teen Tie Dye Party, Bottle Rocket Launch Day, return of Friday Fun.

For kids:

· 30th annual Pet Show, Jaws-some Shark Party, special guests all summer long.

For all ages:

· Under the Sea Summer Reading Kickoff Party, Sea Shanties and Sno-Cones featuring Castlebay, Pirate Week, including a Pirate Escape Room for teens among other programs and activities for all ages, Ice Cream Social Finale Party.

For more information, call 207-985-2173, ext. 105.

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First Congregational plans bean supper

The First Congregational Church is hosting an inside/outside/take-out baked bean supper on Saturday, June 25 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the church, 141 North St., Kennebunkport. Due to, and depending on the rise in COVID cases in York County, church volunteers may announce whether inside seating is available. There will be two types of home baked beans, American Chop Suey, hot dogs, rolls, and cole slaw, topped off with a slice of homemade pie.

Church members are hoping that everyone will enjoy the meals as they have in the past, but in a safe setting. Social distancing is suggested. Exact change is required: adults and children older than age 12, $10 per person, and children younger than 12, $5 per child. There will be limited seating outdoors, weather permitting.

For more information, call Carol at 207-710-7060.

Brick Store Museum Dessert Bazaar is June 25

The Brick Store Museum will host its Dessert Bazaar fundraiser on Saturday, June 25. Courtesy image

The Brick Store Museum is hosting a turn-of-the-century Dessert Bazaar on Saturday, June 25 from 1 to 3 p.m. The event is planned to celebrate community connections with live music, hat contest, new exhibition and book signing, raffles, and games while raising funds for the museum.

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The museum has spent 86 years in its existence preserving local histories, art and cultures of Kennebunk and its surrounding communities. With over 50,000 artifacts to illustrate human experiences through research, exhibitions, free programs for local schools, and public engagement; plus more than 20 major events offered each year in addition to a rotating slate of exhibitions and an award-winning educational website; the museum fundraises 100 percent of its annual operating budget in order to serve its communities.

Join the museum on Saturday, June 25 for desserts in the bake sale, all donated by local restaurants such as Congdons, Bandaloop, Village Tavern and local residents baking up to help the museum. Additionally, visitors can tour the brand-new What A Relief: The Art of Salley Mavor exhibition and meet Mavor. The artist will sign her recent children’s books, including “My Bed: Enchanting Ways to Fall Asleep Around the World.”

Live Acadian music will be performed and a Hat Contest invites visitors to wear their best to enter to win.

Attendee ticket (10-plus) start at $10 each and includes museum event admission and two bake sale tickets. Supporter tickets are $25 (museum admission, two bake sale tickets, commemorative museum pin, $15 donation to museum). Additional bake sale/raffle tickets will be sold on site.

York County Audubon presents bird songs

York County Audubon will host Monica Grabin for a Zoom program on bird songs on Tuesday, June 21, at 7 p.m. Courtesy photo

York County Audubon announced that it will host Audubon board member Monica Grabin for a Zoom program on bird songs on Tuesday, June 21, at 7 p.m.

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Grabin, a folk singer, has known many songs about birds for years, but it was Pat Moynahan who first got her started writing songs about birds. Playing guitar and banjo, Grabin will share the stories behind the songs while also honoring the memory of Moynahan.

There’s no charge to participate, but patrons will need to register in advance to view the program. To register, visit www.yorkcountyaudubon.org. After registering, a confirmation email with information about joining the meeting will be sent.

Habitat for Humanity York County plans Framing the Future event

Habitat for Humanity’s Framing the Future event is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on June 23 at the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport. Framing the Future, which is Habitat for Humanity York County’s largest fundraising event, is a celebration of Habitat’s impact on the local community.

When planning the event, executive director Amy Nucci, in a June 10 news release, said, “We were discussing our history in this area, and how since 1985, Habitat has partnered with thirty three local families for affordable homeownership.” “Giving families a stable shelter, helps them to put down roots and give back to their community. They’re invested in the betterment of this area.”

At the event, Habitat will share how these families have given back, and how donations will help generations to come.

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It’s dinner time for this newly fledged Eastern Bluebird (Siala sialix) as dad gives him a morsel of suet at a feeder in Arundel on May 26. Kevin A. Byron photo

An essential element of Framing the Future are the exclusive raffle prize packages.

“We are offering something for everyone in this raffle” said Development Officer James Connally. “We are offering one-of-a-kind resort packages from Cliff House, Kennebunk Inn, and the Nonantum. We also have a brand new Wolf Islander scooter, and several packages for families looking for fun this summer.”

Raffle tickets are available on the Habitat York County website, and are either $10 or $20. Winners will be announced the evening of June 23. Participants do not have to attend the event to win.

According to Maine Housing, the median home price in York County is $389,900. “The housing market is at a historic high along with building material costs,” Nucci said. “Demand for affordable housing in our community has never been greater.”

Framing the Future runs until June 23. For more information, visit www.habitatyorkcounty.org/framingthefuture.

Food pantry seeks assistance

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York County Shelter Programs’ Food Pantry is seeking some assistance. The pantry is inviting food donations (nonperishables) and especially encourages individuals, schools, businesses or organizations to organize a food drive on its behalf.

For more information about starting a food drive or to make a donation, contact Food Pantry Coordinator Mike Ouellette via email [email protected] or call 207-324-1137, ext. 103.

The food pantry serves about 4,500 people every month. It is located at 5 Swetts Bridge Road in Alfred. (Just off Route 4.) It is open noon to 3 p.m. every Tuesday and Friday and is available to residents in York County.

Photo credit: The Climate Initiative → Access image for download here.

The Climate Initiative team retreat held in Kennebunkport

First started as a program of the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust and now an independent nonprofit with a partnership with the trust, The Climate Initiative is a non-partisan, youth-focused and science-based organization pushing for local, solutions to global climate challenges.

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The Climate Initiative came together for its second annual staff retreat in early-June. The retreat overlapped with the first ever in-person board meeting since the inception of the organization. Courtesy photo/The Climate Initiative

Leia Lowery, director of programs and outreach with the initiative and the conservation trust, Kennebunkport Conservation Trust Executive Director Tom Bradbury and seed funder Robert King spearheaded The Climate Initiative in late 2019, inspired by a partnership with Dr. Pam Morgan from the University of New England. Melissa Luetje, from Kennebunk High School, and Dr. John Terry, from the Gulf of Maine Institute.

“The TCI mission is to empower youth action for climate change, through educating, and empowering local action to build grassroots movements toward climate mitigation and adaptation,” Lowery said. “We believe that this generation will be paramount in solving the climate crisis and The Climate Initiative is there to equip them to take on this challenge.”

In early June, The Climate Initiative came together for its second annual staff retreat which also overlapped with the first ever in-person board meeting since the inception of the organization.

“The week’s theme was Building a Beacon of Hope and was filled with team-building activities, as well as focusing on impact planning around our mission to empower youth voices for climate action,” said Jono Anzalone, executive director for the initiative. “We have grown from four full-time employees in early-2020 to 19 this summer. Staff from seven states participated in the retreat. With just over a year and a half in the books for our operational history, we also came together to celebrate the expansive reach The Climate Initiative has experienced in such a short time, which includes our climate education programming (which originated here in Maine) in more than 40 states and territories across the United States as well as more than five countries where the initiative has youth ambassadors or programmatic reach.”

Part of the week was spent at conservation trust properties. The group also experienced a lobster boat tour on the F/V Nor’easter to visit trust Islands, Goose Rocks Beach, Cape Porpoise Harbor and other trust locations from the sea. The Climate Initiative was an idea borne from the creation of the Gulf of Maine Field Studies course, a partnership between Kennebunkport Conservation Trust, University of New England, RSU 21 and and Gulf of Maine Institute.

For more information on The Climate Initiative, visit: www.theclimateinitiative.org, follow @the_climateinitiative (on Instagram) or email [email protected]

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Radio Field Day planned for June 25-26

The New England Radio Discussion Society will demonstrate emergency communications during the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise June 25-26 on the south yard of The New School in Kennebunk.

Since 1933, amateur radio operators have established temporary amateur radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the science and skill of Amateur Radio. Organizers say that Field Day is the most popular on-the-air event in the U.S. and Canada. Over 40,000 radio amateurs gather outdoors to simulate emergency conditions using a variety of antennas, transceivers and power sources.

Visitors will have a chance to meet and talk with local ham radio operators and see what the Amateur Radio Service is about. For the public’s protection and the safety of radio equipment operators, organizers request that patrons follow current Maine CDC COVID-19 protocols.

For more information, call Alex Mendelsohn at 207-967-8812.

Kennebunk Land Trust launches Trail Challenge

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The Kennebunk Land Trust announced that registration is open for its 50 x 50 Trail Challenge. In recognition of the trust’s 50th year, participants raise $50 in donations to travel (walk, bike, run, stroll, etc.) 50 miles in 50 days on Kennebunk Land Trust trails, Kennebunk Plains, or local beaches.

All proceeds go to keep the trails open and accessible all year long.

Participants can register for themselves, or as a group for a sports team, family, workplace, and more. Participants can also register a pup to be a part of the challenge, or compete between neighbors and coworkers. Follow the leaderboards to see how much others have raised, and receive a Kennebunk Land Trust hat and swag bag once miles are completed.

Donations for participants can be raised from family, friends, and community using a payment link. Registration can happen anytime, as this event is open all year.

Participants are encouraged to build community through the event by sharing pictures and accomplishments using the hashtag #my50x50, and following the Kennebunk Land Trust Trail Challenge on Facebook.

For more information and to register, visit www.kennebunklandtrust.org.

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Reception planned for Merry Hermans Poetry Corner

Kennebunk Free Library and the George Hermans Family invite the public to a reception celebrating the dedication of the Merry Hermans Poetry Corner at the library on Wednesday, June 29 from 1 to 3 p.m. Participants are encouraged to bring a favorite poem – original or otherwise – to share in Merry’s honor. Light refreshments will be served.

According to a May 26 news release from the library, “Merry Hermans brought her love of poetry to each day of her nearly 26 years of service at Kennebunk Free Library. In addition to matching numerous patrons with their perfect book of poetry, she also succeeded in her mission to make poetry lovers out of some reluctant staff members, posting a poem of the month in the staff break room.”

The Merry Hermans Poetry Corner is made possible by a donation from Merry’s family and will provide a reading and writing space for poets and aspiring poets in the community. The space will be stocked with stationary, notebooks, pens, and other supplies to help spark creativity.

For more information, call 207-985-2173 or email [email protected]

Mid-Week Music does Dylan

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The Bard from Hibbing gets covered at the next Mid-Week Music concert. The monthly series, held at the Town House School at 135 North St., in Kennebunkport, continues on Sunday, June 19 at 1 p.m. with “Post-Motorcycle Accident Bob Dylan.”

Dana Pearson (guitar, keyboard) will be joined by bassist John Kumnick and drummer Dylan Kumnick (who gig with Fog Ave and also play in a jazz trio weekly at the Leavitt Theater in Ogunquit) on songs from 1967 onward, including “Sweetheart Like You,” “Not Dark Yet,” and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.”

Tickets are $15 for Kennebunkport Historical Society members and $18 for non-members. The evening
show is BYOB (21 and older only).

For more information and tickets, visit kporths.com/buy-tickets,
email [email protected], or call 967-2751.

Sixth annual LAUNCH! A Maritime Festival planned

LAUNCH! A Maritime Festival, in its sixth year in the Kennebunks, is scheduled for June 15-19.

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The festival celebrates the Kennebunk region’ seafaring history with events for all ages at locations throughout Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel. For more information and a schedule of events, visit gokennebunks.comlaunch.

LAUNCH! is adding new events this year, including Claws for a Cause on the Village Green, benefitting the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. Here are the details:

Four local musicians bands – Michael Corleto, the Dock Squares, Beau Dalleo Band and Chris Ross Band – from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 18 at the Village Green in Kennebunkport. There will be lobster rolls for sale, hot dogs, fried dough and snow cones and the Musette bar truck serving cocktails. The event will feature games and more. Patrons are encouraged to bring a blanket or a chair for a day of music, food and more. Donations will be accepted for the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, which supports local lobstermen.

“For the second year in a row, we are partnering with the Maine Lobstermen’s Association to give them a platform to better educate the public on the challenges our lobstermen are facing,” said Laura Dolce, executive director of the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Arundel Chamber of Commerce, the team behind LAUNCH!, in a June 7 email. “We are hoping the public comes out to support them again this year”

Other highlights:

· Castaway Cove for Kids at the Waterhouse Center in Kennebunk, featuring buoy decorating, touch tanks and bouncy obstacle courses.

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· RELAUNCH with Portside, a nautical-themed cocktail party benefitting Ben’s Fight.

· River Lights Boat Parade, where boats bedecked in lights carrying costumed passengers and accompanied by fun music make their way down the Kennebunk River after dark, as hundreds of spectators cheer from shore.

· A traditional Blessing of the Fleet in beautiful Cape Porpoise village, wishing captains and crew a safe and bountiful season.

Throughout the five-day festival, visitors can also enjoy historic walking tours with costumed interpreters, a Wednesday night After Hours at White Columns, a candle and wine event with Sea Love Candles and Maine+Vine and costumed interpreters in Kennebunkport.

The Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Arundel Chamber of Commerce can help visitors plan their stay this June. For information on hotel room availability and more event details, call 207-967-0857, visit www.gokennebunks.com or launchfestme.com, or follow the event’s Facebook page.

Mavor exhibition opens at Brick Store Museum

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The Brick Store Museum’s new exhibition, “What a Relief: The Art of Salley Mavor” opened June 7.

According to a May 26 Brick Store Museum news release, “Award-winning artist Salley Mavor has spent four decades developing her signature style and working methods, carving out her own niche within the children’s book world and the fiber art community. Her work ranges from three-dimensional sculptural illustrations to satirical political commentary in stop-motion videos.”

The exhibition at the museum is the first retrospective of Salley’s lifetime of work. The exhibition will run through Sept. 11.

Visitors to the exhibition can expect to find four galleries of Salley’s work ranging across 40 years of her career in sculptural needlework. Salley has illustrated 11 picture books, including “Pocketful of Posies” and most recently, “My Bed: Enchanting Ways to Fall Asleep Around the World in 2020.”

Mavor will visit the museum on June 25 for a book signing and opening celebration during the museum’s Dessert Bazaar.

The Brick Store Museum is open six days per week, closed only Mondays. For more information, visit www.brickstoremuseum.org. Admission is $5 per person and free for museum members.

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Portside Rotary starts ‘item of the month’ program

Kennebunk Portside Rotary Club has begun a monthly program for members to donate an item of the month to Community Outreach Services.

Working with Community Outreach Services Executive Director Mark Jago, the club identifies an item of current need for the food pantry and members collect donations all month for delivery to COS. This month’s item was low sodium soups and the club donated 50 cans/boxes. Prior months focused on paper towels and bags of coffee. COS is located at 19 Park St., Kennebunk, and stocks fresh and nonperishable foods available to any size family.

Historian will discuss Kennebunk Poor Farm

In the 18th and 19th centuries, even into the 20th century, most Maine towns had poor farms.

These were properties owned and supported through taxes which took in and cared for children and adults who could not take care of themselves. On Wednesday, June 22, at 6:30 p.m., Town Historian Kathy Ostrander Roberts will be at Kennebunk Free Library to share information about the Kennebunk Poor Farm.

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The Kennebunk Poor Farm was on Cat Mousam Road and ran from 1825 to 1936. The building was torn down in 1959, but those who died there are still buried in unmarked graves on the site.

Ostrander Roberts has spent years learning who these individuals were and how they were cared for. It is both a heartwarming and sad tale.

The program is free and wheelchair accessible. Kennebunk Free Library is located at 112 Main St. in Kennebunk. For more information, call 207-985-2173 or email [email protected]

‘Loon Lessons’ discussed at library

The call of a loon is a familiar summer sound for many Mainers. But how much do people know about the birds? On Wednesday, June 29 at 6 p.m., biologist James Paruk will be at the Kennebunk Free Library to discuss loons and his book “Loon Lessons: Uncommon Encounters with the Great Northern Diver.”

Paruk is a professor in the Biology Department at St. Joseph’s College of Maine. He is a senior scientist at the Biodiversity Research Institute’s Loon Center for Conservation. Paruk has studied breeding loons in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Saskatchewan and Maine and non-breeding loons in California, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Maine. He also spent seven years monitoring the health of a population of loons off the Louisiana coast in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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For more information, call 207-985-2173 or email [email protected]

‘Moon in Full’ author to visit library

Author Marpheen Chann will be at the Kennebunk Free Library on Tuesday, June 21, at 6:30 p.m. to discuss his new book “Moon in Full.” A signing will follow the discussion, with books available to purchase at the event.

According to a library news release, “Moon in Full”  is a contemporary coming-of-age story, shines light on one young man’s search for truth and compassion in a complicated era as it unwinds the deep-seated challenges we all face finding our authentic voice and true identities. Author Marpheen Chann’s heart-warming journey weaves through housing projects and foster homes; into houses of worship and across college campuses; and playing out in working-class Maine where he struggles to find his place.

“Adopted into a majority white community, Chann must reconcile his fears and secret longings as a young gay man with the devoutly religious beliefs of his new family. Chann, a second-generation Asian American, recounts what he has learned, what he has lost, and what he has found during his evolution from a hungry refugee’s son to religious youth to advocate for acceptance and equality.”

“Chann,” according to the news release, “is a politician, thinker, author, and speaker on social justice, equity, and inclusion. As a gay, first-generation Asian American born in California to a Cambodian refugee family and later adopted by an evangelical, white working-class family in Maine, Marpheen uses a mix of humor and storytelling to help people view topics such as racism, xenophobia, and homophobia through an intersectional lens.”

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For more information, call 207-985-2173 or email [email protected]

Graves Library to host Secret Gardens

Graves Memorial Library announced that its Secret Gardens of Kennebunkport will be held again on Saturday, July 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (rain or shine).

Six homeowners have agreed to open their private gardens for this one-day only event to help raise money for the library. Tickets are $40 each and they can be purchased in advance online via Eventbrite or at the library at 18 Maine St. On the day of the event, tickets will only be sold at Kennebunkport Consolidated School at 25 School St.

A map will be provided on the day of the tours to all ticket holders to reveal the secret locations of the six participating properties. Visitors will experience a variety of garden styles and plant types amid natural settings hidden from view behind stone walls, seaside cottages, and privacy hedges.

Secret Gardens features colorful perennials and annuals, a scenic pond, woodland sculptures, ocean views, a Zen-inspired rock garden and trellised blooms. All proceeds for the event benefit Graves Memorial Public Library.

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For more information, call 207-967-2778.

Kennebunk Artisans Marketplace runs through Oct. 1

The Kennebunk Artisans Marketplace will open at Kennebunk’s Waterhouse Center.

The marketplace provides shoppers with a wide variety of items created by more than two dozen Maine-based artisans. A juried application process is utilized to ensure a high level of quality and diversification for all items being sold. The marketplace is open each Saturday through Oct. 1.

For a complete list of approved vendors and their products, visit  https://www.kennebunkmaiine.us/artisansmarketplace. The Waterhouse Center is located at 51 Main St. in Kennebunk. Vendors could change from week to week.

Seashore Trolley Museum seeks volunteer trolley operators

Seashore Trolley Museum is seeking new recruits from the community who want to learn a new skill and help the museum provide experiences for guests this season by becoming volunteer trolley operators on a heritage railway.

The museum is holding its annual trolley operator training course on Thursdays May 26, June 2, June 9 and June 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. via Zoom. The course will cover the mechanical aspects of trolley car operation, railway rules and safety, history and visitor interaction. Following successful completion of the course, new operators will be paired one-on-one with seasoned operators. They will operate and conduct trolleys side-by-side until ready and fully qualified to operate solo for museum guests.

To be eligible to operate trolleys, volunteers must become members of the museum ($40/year), be 18 years old by the conclusion of the course, and must hold a valid motor vehicle operator’s license from any U.S. state. The course fills up fast. Those interested are encouraged to sign up early. For more details or to sign up, call 207-967-2800, ext. 101 or email [email protected]

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