The South Portland High School Chamber Singers visited the State House Feb. 15 to perform the national anthem. Courtesy photo

Senator Anne Carney, D-Cape Elizabeth, welcomed the South Portland Chamber Singers of South Portland High School to the State House to perform the national anthem on Feb. 15. The Chamber Singers, led by Director Darren Whidden, is an audition-based choir that performs at events across the state.

“I am so grateful to the South Portland Chamber Singers for visiting the State House and sharing their talents with us,” said Carney in a news release. “These students are incredibly gifted and hard working. They began our legislative day with a beautiful rendition of The Star Spangled Banner and I hope to welcome them to the State House again in the future.”

On session days, the day starts with an invocation as well as the singing of the national anthem. Any choir or individual interested in singing the national anthem should contact Alex Ferguson at 207-287-1540 or

Town & Country makes contribution to food cupboard 

Town & Country Federal Credit Union’s Linda Halleran, far left, and Jon Paradise, far right, present a check to the South Portland Food Cupboard’s Peter McNamara, second from left, and Jim Welch. The credit union visited the food cupboard to announce a $10,000 financial and in-kind contribution – a $5,000 financial contribution and an additional in-kind contribution of $5,000 to $10,000 for media advertising to promote the food cupboard’s Feeding Neighbors In Need concert in May. The concert is the food cupboard’s largest, single, annual fundraiser. Courtesy photo

With demand for services and resources continuing to surge at the South Portland Food Cupboard, Town & Country Federal Credit Union delivered a contribution to support the food cupboard in the short-term and provide support to its largest, single fundraiser happening later this spring.

The credit union recently presented a $5,000 check to help the food cupboard immediately and announced an additional $5,000 to $10,000 in-kind contribution that will be used for media advertising to promote the food cupboard’s 2024 Feeding Neighbors in Need benefit concert. The concert will take place on Saturday, May 18, at Aura in Portland and feature The Don Campbell Band.


In a news release, Jim Welch, operations manager at the Food Cupboard, said that the food cupboard is currently serving more than 800 families each week in South Portland and other communities in Cumberland and York counties.

“This contribution comes at a time when we see need continuing to rise and this will help us in our efforts to keep up with demand,” Welch said in an email. “The additional $5,000 to $10,000 in-kind contribution will also help raise awareness, interest and attendance at our benefit concert, which has quickly grown into our largest, single-fundraiser. We appreciate the strong support of Town & Country in our mission of feeding neighbors.”

Town & Country’s Jon Paradise, senior vice president of communications, marketing and community outreach, said the contribution represents the credit union’s commitment to “making a difference in our community. This gets to the heart of our ‘local helping local’ initiative, which is about supporting not only the financial needs of our communities but the other challenges, too. It is eye-opening to hear the numbers of families that the South Portland Food Cupboard serves directly and through other food pantries in southern Maine, and to also hear that these numbers continue to increase significantly.

“Providing funds to ensure that the food cupboard can continue to meet these needs is critical, as food insecurity is a paramount issue and problem for many of our neighbors. The credit union has been a partner of the food cupboard from the beginning and has been steadfast in our support ever since. We are grateful for the incredible work that the food cupboard’s staff and volunteers do on behalf of our community each day, and a contribution of $10,000-plus is recognition of our appreciation.”

Tickets for this year’s concert will fo on sale soon. For more information, visit

Vile joins Fontaine Family team


Fontaine Family – The Real Estate Leader recently announced that Andrei Vile is the newest addition to its Scarborough team.

Andrei Vile Courtesy image

Vile is native of Peaks Island. After graduating from Cheverus High School, he continued his academic journey at Beloit College in Wisconsin, where he earned a degree in psychology. Before embarking on his real estate journey, Vile served as an investor services representative, where he played a role in onboarding new clients. As the first line of contact for clients or hedge funds, he facilitated the subscription and redemption of funds per client instructions, ensuring compliance with guidelines and providing a seamless experience for his clients.

Outside of his professional life, Vile is an avid golfer, particularly during the summer months.

Maine students encouraged to enter Upcycle Challenge

The waste management company ecomaine announced the launch of its Upcycle Challenge for 2024, targeted at students from grades first to sixth, and seventh to 12th with the opportunity to win a $250 award in their respective age groups.

The Upcycle Challenge, according to a news release, invites students from ecomaine’s member communities to transform discarded items into fresh, functional designs. Submissions must be made by Friday, March 29, incorporate post-consumer materials, demonstrate ingenuity and functionality, involve students in the process, and receive approval from a teacher or advisor. ecomaine’s Outreach & Recycling Committee will select a group of finalists from the submissions.


During Earth Month in April 2024, the public will have the chance to vote for their favorite designs among the finalists.

“Each year, we are truly amazed by the inventive ideas presented by these students,” said Bea Johnson, ecomaine’s environmental educator, said in an email. “Their commitment to reducing waste in landfills and their exceptional creativity result in incredible, functional, and resourceful designs.”

Previous iterations of the Upcycle Challenge have witnessed entries such as a working chandelier crafted from old plastic bottles, a bike rack created from repurposed bicycles, fashionable garments made from plastic and discarded fabrics, hair scrunchies repurposed from old clothing, furniture made out of old tires, and even movie projectors constructed from miscellaneous discarded materials.

For guidelines, rules, and the entry form, visit

Light Up the Sky Fireworks returns to Fort Williams Park

The Rotary Club of South Portland Cape Elizabeth announced the return of Light Up the Sky Fireworks at Fort Williams Park on Saturday, March 2. Courtesy image

The Rotary Club of South Portland Cape Elizabeth announced the return of Light Up the Sky Fireworks at Fort Williams Park on Saturday, March 2, starting at 6 p.m. Patrons are invited to get bundled up, pack hot chocolate, and gather with family, friends, and neighbors. Entry to Fort Williams and parking is first-come, first-served, starting at 4:45 p.m.


Light Up The Sky Fireworks, sponsored by Port Harbor Marine and hosted by the Town of Cape Elizabeth, serves as the kickoff to the countdown for the SpringFest community celebration in South Portland, which is set to take place on Friday, May 17, in Redbank Village and on Saturday, May 18, in Mill Creek Park.

According to a Rotary Club news release, SpringFest, founded in 2022, “is dedicated to elevating the art of having fun while fostering community involvement and encouraging connections among people of diverse backgrounds. SpringFest’s gnome theme, a beloved favorite, is set to return in 2024, adding a touch of whimsy to the celebrations.”

For more information, including schedules and event details, sponsors, and sponsor opportunities, visit and follow @SouthPortlandSpringFest on Facebook and Instagram.

This year’s SpringFest is supported by Bath Savings, Hannaford, DiMillo’s On the Water, Ira Motor Group, Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution, and Port Harbor Marine, with up to 80 local business partners to be announced. One-hundred percent of SpringFest’s sponsorship proceeds are contributed to area nonprofit agencies and organizations focused on food security, community building, senior citizen projects, youth services, behavioral health, veterans needs, safe and stable housing, and community service projects.

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