Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger makes stops in Kennebec County

WINSLOW — The Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger, which has raised and distributed more than $6.5 million to help end hunger in Maine since 1990, again partnered with Brenda Davis. Davis is one of the state’s leading ending hunger advocates and director of BBC Opportunity Center, an Old Town-based hunger agency that serves thousands of Maine people, to cover the state of Maine on foot to raise awareness about the problem of hunger in Maine, according to a news release from the Maine Credit Union League.

The tour recently made stops in Kennebec County in Augusta (where it started at Maine State CU), Gardiner, Monmouth, Oakland, Vassalboro, Waterville, Winslow and Winthrop. As part of the tour’s mission of making an impact in each community it visits, the Campaign for Ending Hunger also presented a check to a food pantry. Collectively, the contributions will enable the local food pantries to purchase approximately $10,000 worth of food and supplies at Good Shepherd Food Bank. Food pantries receiving contributions in Kennebec County include Augusta Food Bank in Augusta; Chrysalis Place/Gardiner Food Bank in Gardiner; Monmouth Food Pantry in Monmouth; Oakland Food Bank in Oakland; Vassalboro Food Station in Vassalboro; Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter in Waterville; Winslow Area Food Pantry in Winslow; and Winthrop Food Pantry in Winthrop.

The 15th annual Maine Credit Unions’ Ending Hunger Walking Tour is the largest yet with the walk visiting a record-setting 90 communities from Oct. 21 to Nov. 21. The walk concluded with a special ceremony in Bangor on Nov. 21.

Lane elected to seat on board of real estate association

Preti Flaherty in Portland has announced that Michael L. Lane has been elected to the Maine Real Estate & Development Association board of directors for a two-year term. MEREDA is a statewide organization of commercial real estate owners, developers and related service providers.

Lane is a partner practicing in Preti Flaherty’s Real Estate Group out of the firm’s Portland office. As a member of the MEREDA Public Policy Committee, with extensive experience representing clients in all aspects of real estate and land use law, expanding his involvement to the board level of the organization was a natural next step.

At Preti Flaherty, Lane has developed a strong timberlands practice representing mills, land management companies and industrial land owners in complex timberlands transactions, including acquisitions, sales, operating agreements, wood supply agreements, underwriting timberland titles, Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) development compliance and permitting. He routinely appears before municipal planning boards, LUPC and the Department of Environmental Protection to permit residential, commercial and industrial projects.

He also serves as vice president and general counsel to Charter Title Company LLC, Preti Flaherty’s wholly-owned subsidiary, a respected agent for a number of nationally recognized title insurance companies.

In addition to the recent board elections, Preti Flaherty Partner Sharon Newman has joined the MEREDA Conference & Seminar Committee and Associate Patrick Lever has joined the Membership & Marketing Committee. Laura Rideout and Rick Stauffer, also of Preti Flaherty, currently serve on the MEREDA Public Policy Committee.

Kennebec Dance Centre under new ownership

AUGUSTA — Renee Black and her husband, Jason Black, are the new owners of the Kennebec Dance Centre on Civic Center Drive in Augusta. After 43 years in business, KDC founder Keltie Collins decided to sell the 5,000-square-foot dance studio to Renee Black, a former KDC student, an experienced dance teacher and a seasoned marketing and business professional.

Renee Black will be the new executive and artistic director, and the artistic staff will remain intact, according to a news release from the business.

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of KDC’s original “Tap Nutcracker.”

“I performed in the very first Tap Nutcracker in the old Cony High School auditorium in 1996. Back then, I never dreamed that I would be standing on stage to introduce the 20th annual production as the artistic director,” Black said in a news release.

The “Tap Nutcracker” is Maine’s only tap production of the classic Christmas story.

KDC performed excerpts from the “Tap Nutcracker” Nov. 26 at Augusta’s Riverfront Holiday Tree Lighting.

Trademark Federal Credit Union gives $1,000 to Bread of Life Ministries

The Board of Directors of Trademark Federal Credit Union in Augusta recently selected Bread of Life Ministries as the recipient of the Griffin-Guerrette Charitable Giving Fund.

The fund was established in 2012 to recognize the career contributions of Judith A. Griffin and Paul J. Guerrette whose careers spanned four decades with the Credit Union. The fund awards $1,000 in November of each year to one Augusta area nonprofit organization serving the human services, social welfare or other charitable needs of the community.

Camden National Bank donates $20,000 to area shelters

Thanks to a little help from its customers, Camden National Bank was able to provide some extra support to Maine’s homeless shelters in honor of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, this November by donating a total of $20,000 to 34 shelters throughout the state. The donation was the result of a promotion aimed at increasing support and awareness for local homeless shelters during this special week. On Nov. 12, customers were asked to use their Camden National Bank debit card, and for every two purchases made, the Bank offered to donate $1 through its [email protected] program, up to $20,000.

“We are very grateful to all of the customers who made the extra effort to use their debit cards on this one day and help us give back to those in need at this critical time of year,” said Greg Dufour, president and chief executive officer of Camden National Bank.

In 2015, Camden National Bank launched the community-based, statewide [email protected] program to drive more awareness and support for Maine’s homelessness programs. Through this initiative, for every home Camden National Bank finances, $100 is donated to a homeless shelter in the community of the new homeowner, and in the homeowner’s name.

In addition to the funds donated through [email protected], the Bank also provided a combined total of over $5,000 worth of food to area shelters in November. Funds for the food donations were raised by employees, through the Bank’s employee-run community outreach program, the Community Spirit of Giving (CSOG). Founded in 1991 by employees who wanted to create their own grassroots effort to support local communities and people in need, the CSOG program holds fundraising events throughout the year to help fight food insecurity in Maine.

For more information on [email protected], please visit

Coming Soon: A New Home for Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop

Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop, now on Elm Street in downtown Damariscotta, will move in January to a new, more spacious location.

Its new home is located a short distance from the current shop, on the river behind Elm Street Plaza. Residents might remember the building as the former Backstreet Landing Restaurant.

The shop will stay open at its current location on its regular schedule until 5 p.m. Dec. 24. Then, during the usual January break, volunteers will set up the new shop. Opening day at the new place will be Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Pam Gormley, executive director of Skidompha Public Library, said, “We’re all excited to be moving into this lovely spot. The space is double the square footage of our current shop. We’ll have more room to display books, and we’ll have more places to sit and enjoy them. It’s a convenient location with a beautiful view, and it fulfills our objective of expanding while remaining downtown.”

Gormley expressed appreciation to Vern Verney and Robert Clifford of Colby & Gale Inc., which owns the building, for providing the book shop with this unique opportunity. She also thanked Valerie Seibel, owner of the current shop, and Larry Holmes, who maintained it, for their gracious hospitality during the 15 years that the shop has been located in the “Red Barn.”

The Skidompha Book Shop is a major fundraiser for the library. All items are donated, all staff members are volunteers, and all proceeds go to the library. The shop, now at 115 Elm St., is open 9 to 4, Monday through Saturday, and 9 to 5 on Christmas Eve.

Donations may be left at the shop whenever it’s open. Starting Jan. 2, donations may be left at the new location.

For more information about the bookshop, contact the shop at 563-7807, or visit its page on the library’s website,

Efficiency Maine offers businesses help in cutting LED lighting costs

Efficiency Maine recently launched a small-business initiative to help local companies reduce lighting costs by upgrading to energy-efficient LED lighting.

The initiative is open to small businesses in Anson, Athens, Bingham, Canaan, Caratunk, Cornville, Embden, Madison, Mercer, Moscow, Norridgewock, Pleasant Pond, Pleasant Ridge Plantation, Skowhegan, Smithfield, Solon, The Forks, and West Forks. It connects business owners and landlords to local contractors for lighting assessments and upgrades. This limited-time promotion offers higher incentives than are ordinarily available through Efficiency Maine.

Most small businesses in the Skowhegan area are eligible for the program. Program eligibility is determined by the rate on a business’s electric bill. “Small General Service” customers, or businesses that use less than 25 kilowatt-hours a month, can participate. Area small businesses can get started by calling Efficiency Maine at 866-376-2463 to sign up for a free lighting assessment. A local contractor will be assigned to perform the assessment and generate a savings estimate and proposal.

Past program participants have saved an average of $100 per month. Many participating businesses realize savings great enough to recoup project costs in one year, according to the agency.

Kennebec Savings joins Coats for Kids program

Kennebec Savings Bank invites customers and community members to drop off a warm jacket or a pair of snow pants at any of the bank’s locations as part of the annual Coats for Kids program.

KSB is partnering with the Maine Bankers Association, Shaw’s, Hannaford and Pratt Abbott in the program. Andrew Silsby, president and CEO of the bank, who also is vice chairman of the Maine Bankers Association, has long been a supporter of this program.

Collection boxes are available in each of the bank’s branches, ready to accept donations of new or gently used coats, snow pants, scarves and mittens. Branches are located in Winthrop, Waterville, Farmingdale and Augusta, where items will be accepted through Dec. 31.

Compiled from contributed releases

Augusta and Waterville news

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