Students get bikes for participation in reading program
Members of Masonic Ocean Lodge No. 142 of Wells recently awarded 60 new bicycles to Wells Elementary School students who participated in the 2022 Masonic Bikes for Books reading incentive program. Sponsored by the Maine Masonic Charitable Foundation, with donations from area businesses and individuals, the programs also rewarded students with new bike helmets and T-shirts for their reading efforts.
This was the school’s seventh year participating in the program, which is coordinated by Bonnie Esty, literary specialist and director of academic recovery.
The contest began this past spring, with Grade 1 through 4 students selecting books to read and earning one drawing and a chance to win a bike for every book they completed.
To date, the group has donated more than 300 bikes for students.
The Bikes for Books program is intended to motivate students to read more while encouraging them to also get outside and enjoy healthy summer activities away from computers, phones, and tablet screens.

Generous donor supports Waban camperships
Waban officials will send students of its children’s case management and special purpose private school to summer camps, courtesy of an anonymous donor.
Waban’s mission is to improve the lives of children with intellectual disabilities. Providing these summer camperships helps to meet that goal by offering them life-enriching experiences and adventures.
Some of the summer camps that the children will be attending this summer include: York County Barbell Summer Camp, Berwick Academy Camps, Biddeford Rec-Safari Camp, University of Maine 4-H Camp & Learning Center, Sanford YMCA Camp Marland, Waterboro Rec-Teen Adventure Camp, Mad Science Camp-Robot Recruit, USM/Maine Robotics Camp Programs-Lego Robotics, the Autism Society of Maine’s Family Retreat Weekend and Camp Chrysalis.
“All students at Waban’s Fraser Ford Child Development Center and children receiving case management were offered the opportunity to apply for a camp scholarship. This anonymous donation is providing enrichment and supplemental opportunities for 16 children to attend various camps throughout the summer of 2022. We’re excited to say that we will be able to offer the program to children in the case management program and at the Child Development Center in 2023 as well,” said Waban executive director Jennifer Putnam.

Photos wanted for 2023 Sebago calendar
The Portland Water District is seeking photo submissions to be included in its eighteenth “Images of Sebago Lake 2023” calendar, to be published this fall.
Photo submissions for consideration should celebrate the natural beauty of Sebago Lake and the streams and rivers that flow into it, such as the Crooked River. All photographers will receive a complimentary calendar. Deadline for submissions is July 31.
For more details, go to pwd.org/publications/sebago-lake-calendar.

Free blueberry picks at Beech Hill Preserve
The blueberry crop this year is ready and Coastal Mountains Land Trust invites the public to participate in the 20th annual free blueberry pick beginning Sunday at Beech Hill Preserve at Rockport, a 295-acre conservation property, managed for wildlife habitat, certified organic blueberry production, historic preservation, and scenic values.
As with last year, instead of selling blueberries, the trust is offering over a full week of community free picks, from Sunday – with members only in the morning – to Aug. 3.
Pre-registration is required in order to keep the number of participants per time slot manageable. Go to coastalmountains.org and look for the link on the homepage to register, no phone calls please.
Participants should bring their own drinking water and containers for picking. Raking is not permitted. Hand washing stations will be available.
Remember that dogs are not allowed in the fields, so please leave them at home. If you have any questions or concerns, email info@coastalmountains.org.

Nonprofit awards $400,000 to BIPOC organizations
More than $400,000 in grants from the Maine Community Foundation (MaineCF) will support organizations throughout the state that are led by and serve people of color. MaineCF’s Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Fund awarded 33 grants totaling $315,470 with an additional 10 grants, totaling $93,250, made by people with donor-advised funds at MaineCF.
The 2022 grantees include: Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition of Lisbon for its peer health and reentry mentor program; New England Arab American Organization of Portland to provide leadership and service opportunities for BIPOC youth that focus on decreasing bias and fostering a more inclusive community; and the Zambian Community of Maine of Lewiston to meet the health, financial literacy and critical needs of the Zambian community.
The Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Fund supports organizations that are led by and serve people of Native American, Latino, African, Arab, and/or Asian descent. The grant program is designed to help BIPOC people in Maine achieve greater equity by investing in nonprofit organizations; changing policies and practices that negatively impact BIPOC people because of their race; and supporting efforts to alleviate the impact of race-based discrimination and disparities.
To learn more about the BIPOC Fund and to view all the 2022 grantees, visit mainecf.org.

Nonprofit grants support hospice services
The Maine Community Foundation has awarded more than $30,000 in grants to support hospice services in southern Maine.
MaineCF’s Hospice Fund committee awarded five grants totaling $29,5000. Donors with advised funds awarded three additional grants that totaled $7,000.
The 2022 grantees include: Center for Grieving Children of Portland to provide peer-support groups for grieving children in person and expand online programming; Harbour Singers of Saco to provide bedside singing for those in homes and residential facilities; and Southern Maine Agency on Aging of Biddeford to educate staff and community members in Cumberland County about available hospice and bereavement services.
For a list of all recent grants and information about the grant program, visit mainecf.org.

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