I loved last week’s first edition of this series, which gave me the opportunity to shine a light on some of the best things happening in the region at a time when we could all use a little reminder of the good things in our world as we head into the busy holiday season. This week I want to continue to spread the love for some more incredible happenings:

The moving dirt piles at MARC

The Midcoast Athletic and Recreation Complex in Brunswick broke ground this summer on the first phase of the project. Upon its completion, the MARC will have a new skate park, pickleball courts, recreational fields and so much more, right on Brunswick Landing.

Our office has a front-row seat to the progress (our chamber office is inside Maine Technology Institute, which abuts the property); we can attest that things are beginning to move! Sure, right now much of the effort has to do with earthwork, but almost daily, our office has the dull vibration of progress as the dirt piles get moved, settled, leveled and reworked to make the vision start to come to life.

Every two weeks in our Brunswick Landing News & Notes e-newsletter (which is free to sign up for, just call or email our office), we post photos from four different angles to document the progress. Week to week, the changes may be subtle, but to see it from where it was to where it is now is very cool.

New Brunswick-Topsham bridge

Many have been hesitant to draw attention to the new Brunswick-Topsham bridge, but the work has begun on the replacement for the Frank J. Wood Bridge, and that is a good thing. The project was thoroughly vetted and needed to overcome several challenges in the process; however, the work is finally underway and that should be applauded.

I’m thankful to those who continued to advocate for the need for a new, safer bridge, and though some feel this change may take some of our history, I for one believe this project will take us into the future. This work needed to be done, and once the project is complete, we should have a bridge that lasts a century and that is safer for our cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles, too. Sure, we will likely have some construction inconvenience during the construction process, but in the end, it will be worth it.


Ladies and gents, next on your calendar: Zamboni Pull

Six Rivers Youth Sports is a Topsham-based nonprofit whose mission is to promote youth sports and recreation through an ice arena and multi-use athletic center that is accessible to local schools, youth sporting organizations and all community members. I was blown away when I heard about their new fundraising idea for the complex: They are hosting a Zamboni Pull from 1-3 p.m. on Dec. 3.

If building a team to pull a 7,000-pound Zamboni is not your thing, but you’d like to attend and see others pull a 7,000-pound Zamboni 40 feet in the fastest time, then you should know, it’s free to attend. Beyond just the pull, they will also have food trucks, a beer garden, field games for the children and an inflatable obstacle course.

If building a team to pull a Zamboni is your thing, you should know that teams will consist of six to eight pullers, and all of the details are available on the Zamboni Pull event page on the Six Rivers Youth Sports Facebook page or by visiting sixriversyouthsports.org. The pull will be at its site at 20 Atwood Road in Topsham.

Helping those helping others

Finally, I want to share a powerful story that happened to me last week. To be clear, I almost did not share this because there’s really no way for me to share it without patting myself on the back. I’m not one to self-congratulate, but it’s an important story for what our chamber does. Specific names of people in this story have not been used as I didn’t ask them if I could share their part in it.

Last weekend, I received a call from a friend who always preaches to me about protecting my weekends and not overworking, so when the phone rang and I saw it was her, I knew it must be important. Along with being a past board member of the chamber, she’s also involved with many other organizations, and she was reaching out because the American Red Cross reached out to her. The American Red Cross was a part of the first line of crisis responders for the tragedy in Lewiston. They needed four offices for the week so six to eight of their crisis counselors could have a quiet space to have difficult conversations with families about the next steps and overcoming the obstacles of their new situations.

I thought of some available office space immediately and made a couple of phone calls, and in about 20 minutes on a Sunday, I had connected the Red Cross to the office space it needed. Later in the week, several of the Red Cross counselors and leadership reached out to say thank you and that we had “done our community proud.”

I think in tragedy all any of us wants is to do something, no matter how small, to help. I’m thankful for the office space that welcomed the American Red Cross for the week. I’m also thankful for my friend reaching out to me — and this is the larger point. Sometimes, when you don’t know where to turn or who to talk to, think about the people in your world who have big networks and rely on them. The American Red Cross leadership trusted that my friend would know someone who could help, and she trusted that I could help, and I did. That’s one of the unsung things we do as a chamber; we connect people. We are here, and we want to help.

Cory King is executive director of the Bath-Brunswick Regional Chamber of Commerce.

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