Benefit hoops tourney sets fundraising record
Maine’s longest, continuous-running, 3-on-3, benefit basketball tournament returned in-person for the first time in three years while setting a new fundraising record. The 29th annual C-U Swish-Out Childhood Cancer Challenge, presented and coordinated by Town & Country FCU, held March 5 at the University of Southern Maine, Gorham campus raised $58,000 for the Maine Children’s Cancer Program. The event surpassed the $700,000 mark in funds raised in its history.
The event featured 42 teams, ranging from middle schoolers to older adult teams. Many teams represented local businesses, school friends, family members who have lost a loved one to childhood cancer, and former area hoop stars.
Winners by division includes: Male Open – V-TEC Education Center, Portland; Female 40-plus – Team 207, Gorham; Male 40-plus- Riley’s Basketball Academy, Gray; Co-ed – Skywalkers, Portland; High School Male – Riley’s Basketball Academy, HS, Gray; High School Female – Cheverus Freshmen, Portland; Middle School Male – The Blueprint, middle school team from Saco; and Middle School Female – Bench Buddies, middle school team from Sanford.
To learn more, visit tcfcu.com.

Credit union offers virtual home buyer seminar
Sunday is the deadline to register for Atlantic Federal Credit Union’s free virtual Home Buyer Seminar from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on March 22.
Experienced financial professionals will offer insights and valuable tips about the home buying process, including what to expect during the loan process, how to prepare for an application, and about the definitions of real estate jargon.
To sign-up or for more details, visit atlanticfcu.com/home-buyer-seminar.

‘100 Resilient Yards’ applications open
The City of South Portland Sustainability Department has launched a “100 Resilient Yards” program to provide free technical expertise and resources to residents and businesses who promote the transformation of 100 properties into resilient, organic landscapes founded on healthy soils.
The city has partnered with Friends of Casco Bay, Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District, Osborne Organics, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Wild Seed Project, Maine Audubon, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and Garbage to Garden to provide the technical expertise and resources to realize the program.
Those who are accepted will receive technical assessment from experts on how to transform public-facing yards or green spaces into one of five resilient, organic yardscapes: pollinator garden, rain garden, vegetable garden, native planting, and/or organic lawn. Trained volunteers will work with property owners to help implement recommendations. Participating property owners also will receive a resource package with materials to help start the transition; these may include native plants, seeds, plans, raised beds, and/or compost.
Applications to participate will be accepted through April 1 and are available at tinyurl.com/100-Resilient-Yards/.

From left, Saco Middle School Unified Basketball partner Sam Stone and player Keegan Romage at their opening season game on March 6 at Bonny Eagle Middle School. Photo courtesy Stacey Nast.

Unified basketball season begins for Bobcats
The Saco Unified Basketball Team, under the guidance of the Maine Principals’ Association and the Special Olympics of Maine, played their first competition March 6 at the Saco Middle School home court. Unified Sports partners students with developmental disabilities with students without developmental disabilities to help promote physical activity, teamwork, sportsmanship, and social inclusion.
Saco Middle School athletic director Michael Tatro said the unified contests are one of his favorite events to host as they promote “special bonds between partners and unified athletes.”
The team consists of 10 unified athletes, 10 partners, coach Kathleen Morey, coach Krystalyn Keenan, a strong Pep Band, and a supportive cheering section.
For more details and the game schedule, go to middle.sacoschools.org.

Town seeks applicants for stewardship committee
The Town of York is accepting applications for volunteers who wish to serve on the York River Wild and Scenic Stewardship Committee, which will include representatives from York, Kittery, Eliot and South Berwick. This new committee will be the local implementor and partner for coordination with the National Park Service Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers Program.
The York River Study Committee was formed in 2015, with appointees from the aforementioned four watershed towns set to evaluate the York River for designation into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System and develop a York River Watershed Stewardship Plan. That plan is the culmination of more than 30 months of work to gather information about York River and its watershed, and identify opportunities to protect outstanding resources for future generations. Communities endorsed the plan and voted for river designation in late 2018.
York River was designated by Congress as a Partnership Wild and Scenic River on Dec. 23, 2022. Once established, the newly appointed stewardship committee will prioritize recommendations and develop steps to put that plan into effect.
York will appoint six members to the committee. Interested residents may fill out an application. Those forms are available at yorkmaine.org and must be returned by March 31. For more details, go to yorkrivermaine.org.

McCrann Preserve trailhead is closed
The McCrann Preserve trailhead at 309 Falmouth Road has been closed as part of the West Falmouth Sewer Project and associated upgrades to the Falmouth Road Pump Station.
In addition to updating essential town infrastructure, the work will include improvements to the trailhead parking area and entrance trail. Visitors cannot park or access the trails from the Falmouth Road trailhead. Access to the trailhead on the Falmouth Schools campus at 52 Woodville Road will remain open.
The work is expected to be completed in early summer.
To learn more, visit falmouthme.org/west-falmouth-sewer-project.

Woman’s Club awards grant
The Freeport Woman’s Club recently awarded its 2022-2023 Step-Up Grant, in the amount of $1,000, to Courtney Smith.
Smith is a single mom of a teenage daughter and provides for her family by working two jobs. Those who know her describe Smith as “responsible, reliable and eager to learn new things.” She works at a dentist office and also is enrolled in a medical coding program to further her education and improve her employability.

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