Tri City Community Chorus perform Dec. 16

The Tri City Community Chorus will present its holiday concert on Dec. 16, 7 p.m. at First Parish Church in Saco. The choses has begun performing againagain after a long lay-off due to the pandemic. Thiswill be the first performance underthe new director, Dr. Christian Giddings. Currently, there 40 members who live in Biddeford, Saco, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Old Orchard Beach, South Portland, Arundel and Lyman. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and children, and free for children under 5.

Holiday party takes place Dec. 15

Ferry Beach Retreat and Conference Center in Saco hosts a holiday party on Friday, Dec. 15 at 5:30 p.m. Come celebrate the holidays with family, friends, neighbors and the community during an evening of great food, drinks, live holiday music and dancing in a decked out dining hall for the holidays. Tickets are $50 for adults and $35 for youth. Children under the age of 8 are free with the purchase of an adult ticket. For more information and to buy your tickets visit: Ferry Beach Retreat & Conference Center is located at 5 Boardwalk Drive in Saco.

Sweetser students receive new park with community support

SACO —  Sweetser’s Saco Campus has a new playground thanks to an award from Lowe’s and the help of local organizations.


A $145,000 award from Lowe’s was combined with other community-based resources and support to rebuild and revitalize the outdoor recreation spaces on Sweetser’s Saco campus. This includes new playgrounds and a multi-purpose play court for the youth they serve between ages 5-18, K-12 engaged in Sweeter’s Child Crisis, Residential and Educational Programs. Sweetser is one of only 100 projects nationally selected by Lowe’s to receive a hometown community impact grant and the only project awarded in Maine.

“This new outdoor recreation space will aid in improving the mental wellbeing and healing for the students and youth we serve on campus,” said Justin Chenette, Sweetser’s Senior Director of PR & Advancement. “Thanks to our amazing community partners and to Lowe’s, this play space will help children reduce anxiety and stress along with teaching important physical, mental, and emotional skills like cooperation, patience, and balance.”

Sweetser recently held a ribbon cutting opening the outdoor recreation spaces to their young clients. In addition to Lowe’s, the following organizations assisted with the final project including Maine Community Bank, Sam L. Cohen Foundation, Rotary Club of Saco Bay Sunset and the Pendleton Fund.

Coast Guard Auxiliary of Saco presents new required boating safety course

SACO — Effective Jan. 1, operators of motor boats on Maine’s inland waters are required to have completed an approved safety course if they are under the age of 26. Jet Skis may be operated by those 16 or 17 only if they have passed an approved boating safety course.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is working closely with the State of Maine to assist in the huge effort to provide the instruction necessary for every eligible person to complete an approved course. This course provides education on inland and coastal waters. It is aimed at boaters of all ages who either require or desire to attended a boating safety class.


A course is being offered in January in Southern Maine in Old Orchard Beach. There will be four meetings on Wednesday nights starting Jan. 10 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at OOB/Saco Adult Education OOB High School, 40 E. Emerson Cummings Blvd., Old Orchard Beach, ME 04064. For more information, go to The fee is $25. For more information and to register call OOB/Saco Adult Ed. 207-934-7922; contact USCG Auxiliary 24 Public Education Officer James Katz, at 3 Abby Lane Saco, 04072, by phone at 617-283-2203 or email

AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Wraps-up 2023 School Supply Drive

AMVETS Ladies Auxilary donated school supplies to Biddeford Middle School. Pictured from left are: Faedra Binette (Auxiliary 1st Vice President); Guy Lamontagne (Sons of AMVETS Commander); Scott Descoteau (Principle, Biddeford Middle School); April Lajoie (Auxiliary 2nd Vice President); Lionel Lamontagne (AMVETS 2nd Vice Commander); Cathy Lessard (Auxiliary Madam President); Jim Thibodeau (AMVETS Finance Officer); Doris Day (Auxiliary Americanism Officer); Pat Morin (Auxiliary Secretary); and Sandy Foster (Auxiliary Scholarship Officer). Courtesy photo

On behalf of Biddeford Middle School students, Principle Scott Descoteau accepted three bags of school supplies as well as a check for $900 to purchase additional school supplies as a need arises.

Auxiliary Madam President said, “Every fall as school gets started, I get asked when are we going to collect school supplies. Of course it’s also a busy time of year with Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. But helping out Biddeford Middle School is important. Well worth our effort — why we do it.”

Assisting the Ladies Auxiliary are AMVETS and Sons of AMVETS who donate school supplies as well as contribute cash. Sons of AMVETS Commander Guy Lamontagne said, “Supporting the Auxiliary is part of what we do – help Veterans and our community.”

Jim Thibodeau, AMVETS Finance Officer, added, “What they (Auxiliary and Sons) do is very important. The number of unsolicited assistance requests AMVETS get every year can be overwhelming. As much as possible, our focus has been local; Veterans, schools, youth organizations, things like that.”


Post Adjutant, Gene Foster, noted, “Biddeford and Saco are fortunate to share such a vibrant, community involved, AMVETS post. A large part of the reason is how well the Auxiliary and Sons work alongside post Veterans. This is just not my sales pitch; each year Biddeford AMVETS gets singled out as being Maine’s best in several categories. A testament to a lot of volunteers and donations.”

Biddeford man joins Finding Our Voices public forum

Dana Ward of Biddeford was one of three men who publicly broke his silence Nov. 28 at a public forum hosted by Finding Our Voices on growing up with abusive fathers and breaking the cycle. The event at the Camden Public Library broke attendance records for indoor programming in 2023, according to Julia Sagaser, the library’s program director.

The event capped the 2023 “Let’s Talk About It” library tour for the grassroots nonprofit Finding Our Voices that brought a panel of survivors to 10 towns including Freeport in May and Kennebunk and York in October. This project launched in October 2022 at the Scarborough Public Library. The panelists on all the previous stops were women.

On November 28, Dana Ward joined by Scott Denman of Belmont and Jory Squibb of Camden spoke to over 90 people gathered in the Camden Public Library about the terror of growing up with angry and controlling fathers, how this impacted their adult relationships, and the sometimes rocky paths to healing. Facilitating the discussion was Jon Wilson, a Finding Our Voices board member who founded WoodenBoat publications and school, as well as the nonprofit JUST Alternatives which facilitates dialogue between victims of violent crime and their perpetrators.

Patrisha McLean, CEO/founder of Finding Our Voices, said, “More and more men coming up to me and confiding that they grew up with abusive fathers is what led me to put together this program. It aligns with the central mission of Finding Our Voices — to get people talking about domestic abuse, from all kinds of angles, because domestic abuse is complicated and impacts everyone whether they realize it or not.” She added, “Domestic abuse is a huge problem in Maine, and the first step to solving any problem is to shine a light on it. That is what we are doing with our campaign of posters, and what we are also doing with these survivor-led community conversations.”

According to McLean, a 2024 “Let’s Talk About It” tour is in the works, and video recordings of the 2023 library events will soon be available on the Finding Our Voices website.

Finding Our Voices is the statewide grassroots and survivor-powered nonprofit breaking the silence of domestic abuse across Maine one community and conversation at a time. Sister-support provided by the group includes emergency funding for shelter, car, legal, security, and food expenses, the pro bono dental program Finding Our Smiles, healing retreats, and online support groups. For more information or to make a donation visit or contact Patrisha directly at 207 322 6460.

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