Red Cross Southern Maine Chapter recognizes volunteers for outstanding achievements

Recently, the American Red Cross recognized its top volunteers with the Clara Barton Award. These individuals embody the organization’s core values of compassion, commitment, credibility, creativity and collaboration.

The American Red Cross Southern Maine Chapter recognized John Leeming of Cumberland as the 2023 Clara Barton Award recipient. Leeming will celebrate 30 years of Red Cross service in October and remains an exceptionally committed Disaster Action Team responder. In 2022, Leeming responded to 26 disasters, opened 51 cases and served 99 people, which accounts for one-third of Southern Maine’s total caseload in 2022.

Red Cross Southern Maine Chapter executive director Steve Thomas said, “John’s approach with our clients shows tremendous compassion. He understands all too well that we often meet people on their very worst days, but his calm and reassuring presence invites them to move forward one step at a time. It’s a privilege to serve with John.”

The Red Cross also recognized volunteer Gloria Krayenvenger of North Waterboro as the 2023 Clara Barton Award Runner-up. She has been a steadfast administrative volunteer at the Red Cross office in Portland since 2018 and has held positions with operations, development and disaster cycle services. Krayenvenger wears many hats in her roles with the Red Cross and performs each with detail, confidence and warmth.


Red Cross business operations coordinator Kristin Laporte, Northern New Region, said, “What stands out most about Gloria, besides her professionalism and skill, is her kindness and love for others. I consider Gloria to be an exemplary representative of the Red Cross and feel so fortunate that she chooses to share her time, passion and heart with the Red Cross.”

The Red Cross also recognized the following volunteers, who achieved the President’s Volunteer Service Award, sponsored by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation:

• Gold Recipients, serving 500-plus volunteer hours, include: Lorraine Bernier, East Portland; Robert Bouchard, Frenchville; Jessica Craig, Portland; Michael Craig, Portland; Paul Duclos, Glenwood; Jim Larson, Hampden, John Leeming, Cumberland; Karen Towle, Gardiner; Lynn Walkiewicz, Lewiston; and Solomon Yusim, Scarborough.

• Silver Recipients, serving from 250 to 499 volunteer hours include: Sheila Blackman, Mount Desert; Ann Cibelli, Acton; Raybo Frank, Bucksport; Irene Lang, Winterport; Ruth Lathrop, Windham; Anthony Lawless, Portland; Christopher Luck, Moultonborough; Linda Murphy Luck, Moultonborough; David Pincumbe, Brunswick; Daniel Sayner, Brunswick; and Michael Thurston, Auburn

These awards, issued by the U.S. government, recognize individuals who achieve and record a targeted number of service hours within a calendar year.



Creative Portland’s free concert series returns this summer in Monument Square

After launching the Summer Stage pilot program in 2021 with the aid of sponsors, including the Maine Music Alliance and a revitalization grant award from Maine Arts Commission, Creative Portland will continue to produce and promote the Summer Stage Series, a live showcase of local musicians, in collaboration with the city of Portland, beginning July 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. during Creative Portland’s monthly First Friday Art Walk in Monument Square.

The free concert series is open to the public and to all ages in an outdoor setting to allow inclusive participation.

Wells-Ogunquit CDS community resource coordinator Maryanne Foley, left, poses with Holly Haseltine, center, and Carolyn Puliafico, who were named Exemplary Volunteers of the Year for their volunteer work at Wells Elementary School.WELLS

School district honors two Exemplary Volunteers of the Year

At its annual June gathering for school volunteers, the Wells-Ogunquit CSD honored Holly Haseltine and Carolyn Puliafico with the title of “Exemplary Volunteer(s) of the Year” for 2022-23. Haseltine and Puliafico were recognized for their teamwork in maintaining a virtual “lost and found” project at Wells Elementary School.


The need to go virtual with left-behind student items came when Wells Elementary School was closed to visitors due to pandemic restrictions. Over time, hundreds of unclaimed student items such as mittens, coats, hats, etc., accumulated with no easy way to identify who owned them. Haseltine and Puliafico worked with others to photograph and label the items for display on the WES website.

The district’s community resource coordinator Maryanne Foley, who started the lost and found project, said that the duo’s names will be added to the school’s Volunteer of the Year plaque.

District volunteers include retired community members, parents of students, and higher grade-level Wells-Ogunquit students. According to Foley, volunteers give whatever time they can as clerical, classroom, library, and project assistants.

At WES, volunteers may work in either a classroom, the computer lab, the art room, the library, or wherever else they may be needed.

Anyone interested in volunteering in the Wells-Ogunquit CSD School Volunteer Program should contact Foley in September at 646-5953, ext. 4204.



Retired restaurateur donates memorabilia, art to benefit Mainspring Resource Hub

Michael Landgarten, former Kittery, Maine restaurateur, is continuing his legacy of giving back as he enters retirement.

The man who transformed Bob’s Clam Hut into a famed establishment is donating several pieces of art and memorabilia from his time owning the restaurant. Those items will be auctioned/sold at an event on June 24 at the Kittery Community Center to benefit Mainspring, a collaborative endeavor between Fair Tide and Footprints Food Pantry, two local nonprofit organizations.

Fair Tide executive director Emily Flinkstrom said Landgarten’s restaurants played a critical role in creating and strengthening community.

Mainspring is a resource hub of social services which will bring together multiple, well-established agencies under one roof, working toward a shared mission to better serve the seacoast community.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Kittery Community Center and will feature food from local restaurants, including Bistro 1828 at Pepperrell Cove, Black Birch, Tulsi, Lils Café, Rococo Ice Cream and Ben and Jerrys. Items will be available for bidding online at http://www.bit.ly/landgartenyardsale, with final bids closing at the event.



Scarborough Veteran awarded Patriots honor and $10,000 for Vet to Vet ME

Robert Sam Kelley of Scarborough received the Myra Kraft Community MVP Award during a June 8 ceremony at Gillette Stadium.

A Vet to Vet Maine volunteer, he was one of 26 volunteers to be recognized for their contributions at the awards ceremony.

Vet to Vet Maine received $10,000 at the event, along with 24 other organizations. The Brian Dagle Foundation received this year’s grand prize of $25,000. In total, $275,000 in donations was distributed to the nonprofits represented by each volunteer.

Vet to Vet Maine’s mission is to alleviate the social isolation and loneliness that many veterans experience.


To learn more, visit vet2vetmaine.org.


Waypoint Maine raises $91,000 in Tele-Fest 2023

Waypoint Maine, formerly Waban, hosted the 52nd Tele-Fest May 20 at their historic waterfront camp on Bauneg Beg Lake, raising over $91,000 to provide specialized programs and services for children with special needs.

The Tele-Fest aired on Facebook and YouTube Live and was broadcast on the local Breezeline channel and The Legends radio. Tele-Fest was hosted by Waypoint Maine’s executive director, Jennifer Putnam, who was joined by Gervaise Flynn, Melissa Hall, and WCSH6’s program, 207’s host, Samantha York.

Entertainment was by Beau Dalleo, followed by The Eric Andrews Jazz Quartet and Michael Corleto. Waypoint Maine officials also presented the “Making a Difference Awards.” Staff members Bobbie Santos and Jayne Olmstead were awarded for their committed service to Waypoint, Maine. Donald Burgess, M.D., received the community service award.


For more details, go to waypointmaine.org or (207) 324-7955.


Workshop to teach beginners’ gravestone repair

The Maine Old Cemetery Association is accepting registrations for a four-day beginners’ gravestone repair workshop it will offer July 21-24 at Gray Village Cemetery.

Joe Ferrannini, of Grave Stone Matters of Hoosick Falls, N.Y., will lead the workshop.

Classes will start with an informative classroom session on July 21, followed by a trip to the cemetery for a walk-around assessment and to cover techniques for cleaning stones and straightening leaning stones.


On July 22, Joe will cover how to cast a new base; how to mix and work with stone-specific epoxies and soft mortars; clamping, setting, and lifting techniques; and much more.

Attendance is limited to those who have not participated in a previous MOCA four-day workshop.

There is no registration fee for this workshop. Donations will be accepted to help cover workshop expenses of about $1,000 per day. Any funds collected in excess of program expenses will be re-invested into the MOCA workshop fund.

Donations will be accepted each day of the workshop. Checks should be made out to MOCA.

For more details, go to moca-me.org



Library offers sessions with technology expert

Paul Haberstroh from Franklin County Adult Education will be visiting the Carrabassett Valley Public Library this summer to help people with their technology needs. Sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to noon July 27 and Aug. 10 and 17 at 3209 Carrabassett Drive.

Haberstroh’s tech services will include help for Microsoft Office, Google Workspace; Windows and Mac OS computer skills; online health resources; smartphones and tablets; email, internet safety, social media; WordPress, websites, graphic design; and resumes and online job applications. Contact is phaberstroh@mtbluersd.org.

Additionally, the library’s summer reading program also has begun. Participants who sign up will receive a tote bag plus the choice of two free books, bookmarks, a growth chart, activities page and crayons, while supplies last.

For details, call the library at 237-3535 or go to carrabassettvalley.org/departments/carrabassett-valley-public-library.

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