Nicholas Vemba, 5 of Westbrook, is happy with an item he found on a table of donated items at last year’s Day of Service at St. Hyacinth Church in Westbrook. Carl D. Walsh / Portland Press Herald

A Day of Service for Martin Luther King Jr.

The St. Anthony of Padua Parish will host a Day of Service to honor Martin Luther King Jr. from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Jan. 15 at St. Hyacinth Church, 268 Brown St.

The annual service day calls on “individuals to strengthen communities, bridge divides, remove barriers and bring people of different minds together to move us all closer to Dr. King’s version of a beloved community,” according to a press release about the event. It will include a pancake breakfast, haircuts, hand massages, health and dental screenings, COVID-19 and flu shots, as well as information related to financial, educational, nutritional and legal services offered in the community.

Everything is free for attendees, and all are welcome.

“This idea for this initiative came directly from St. Anthony parishioners who wanted to honor the legacy of Dr. King in a way that would strengthen the bonds of the parish with the greater Westbrook community through acts of service and caring,” said parish Pastor Lou Phillips. “The parish wants to reach out to others in our community in practical and tangible ways, thus ‘celebrating’ rather than just ‘observing’ Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“It makes you think outside of yourself and think of somebody else,” Phillips said. “When people are connected with each other, it helps us to be a stronger community. We can offer hope and healing in our own community in much the same way that Dr. King’s passion and compassion offered healing and hope to a sadly divided nation.”

For more information about the Day of Service, contact the parish at 857-0490.


UNE outreach assists seniors

Four students from the University of New England’s Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program recently collaborated with the Westbrook Housing Authority to enhance the safety and wellness of Larrabee Woods residents.

Nina Pham, Deanna Rotella, Julia Symbol and Michelle Zeltsman painted sidewalks to increase their visibility and mapped out three trails around Larrabee Woods to promote physical activity.

“This was a fantastic experience in helping us build relationships with a community partner like Westbrook Housing,” Pham said. “Our conversations informed us that residents wanted opportunities for increased physical activity, and we were able to convey that directly to Westbrook Housing officials. This was a breakthrough project to foster a closer relationship with Westbrook Housing and will hopefully create increased opportunities for students to do similar work in the future.”

UNE has a longstanding relationship in providing wellness services for WHA residents, all of whom are 55 or older. In collaboration with UNE’s Center for Excellence in Aging and Health, dental hygiene students have provided no-cost dental cleanings and consultations for residents, and students from multiple health professions programs have also hosted aging-in-place activities, such as wellness fairs, at WHA locations in the past several years.

Seniors plan party and pot roast

A Westbrook Senior Citizens party will be held at noon Jan. 8 at  the Westbrook Community Center. Members are invited to bring an unwrapped gift to exchange with other attendees. Potluck refreshments will be served.

The group also will meet Jan. 15 for a pot roast dinner and entertainment by Salem Street with Nor and Eli Dale. Reservations are required for the meal by calling 415-8092 before Jan. 11.

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