SKOWHEGAN —  Gifford’s Ice Cream has teamed up with Hight Dealerships and Animal Medical Clinic to benefit a local charity called the Sweet Dreams Project. For the fifth year in a row, this charitable giving campaign will focus on providing children in-need with a new book, PJs and toys to open during the holidays. Gifford’s, Hight and Animal Medical Clinic are working together to spread the word about Sweet Dreams and helping to collect donations through Dec. 6. Donations can be dropped off at:
• Hight Chevrolet, 29 Madison Ave., Skowhegan;
• Hight Ford, 242 Madison Ave., Skowhegan; and
• Federated Church, 13 Island Ave., Skowhegan.

Note that children’s caregivers can sign up for gift bags by calling the Skowhegan Federated Church at 207-474-2776.

“As we head into the holiday season, Gifford’s is excited to partner with local family-owned and operated businesses to give back to the community we were born and bred in,” said Lindsay Gifford-Skilling, chief executive officer of Gifford’s Ice Cream, according to a news release from Gifford’s. “This is our home and being part of this project means a lot to us. We hope that other community organizations and Skowhegan residents will help us in giving back to Sweet Dreams to make the holidays extra special for kids in our town as we continue to navigate pandemic challenges.”

“If there is a silver lining to the COVID epidemic, it is how our community has come together to help our fellow neighbors,” said Sam Hight, according to the release. “We, the Hights, are always honored to help these wonderful, local programs.”

“During the holiday season it is natural to be grateful for all that we have and for us that means helping our community that has given us so much. We take the commitment to our community very seriously, and we feel giving back is a responsibility,” said Reid Gibson, owner of Animal Medical Clinic, according to the release. “This is a perfect time of year to partner with two other local businesses who share our same values. We want to help children in need and encourage holiday spirit in these trying times.”

According to the release, since 2016, the Sweet Dreams Project has given gifts to children in Skowhegan during the holiday season with the hopes of lifting their spirits and bringing families together. In its first year, the project donated 114 sets of PJs and books to local community members. In 2019, the program donated over 400 gift sets. This year, they’re doing all they can to make an even larger donation.


Deb Tanner, Skowhegan Area Middle School teacher and founder of the Sweet Dreams Project.

“I’m so thrilled to have Gifford’s, Hight’s, Animal Medical Clinic, Charlie and Sons, and Skowhegan Education Association on board this year,” said Tanner, according to the release. “Having the support of local organizations means a lot to me and other Sweet Dreams organizers. Thanks for helping make what can be a tough season a little brighter for Skowhegan residents.”

Donations for Sweet Dreams Project will be accepted through Dec. 6. Those interested in giving can provide PJs and an age-appropriate book and toy in their donation package. If you plan to wrap your gift, please note the gender and size for the PJs, as well as the intended age of the book and toy. Distribution of toys will be conducted on Dec. 14.

For more information about Sweet Dreams, contact Tanner at

Looking for other ways to give back to the Skowhegan community this season?
• Skowhegan Education Association Toy Drive: To further benefit the Sweet Dreams Project, the association will host a toy drive at all Skowhegan schools. Donations are being accepted through Dec. 6 at all Skowhegan schools. The association appreciates all the contributions by all school staff and community members to this drive.
• JingleFest 2020 Stuff the Trailer Towriffic Toy Drive: Gifford’s is supporting the Skowhegan Information Center/Chamber of Commerce and partnering with United Way of Mid-Maine for JingleFest 2020 and this year’s Stuff the Trailer Towriffic Toy Drive. Anyone that drops off toys Dec. 12 at Skowhegan Information Center/Chamber of Commerce, Hight Dealerships, Charlie and Son Sales and Service, or T&B’s Outback/Central Maine Family Fun Center, will be entered to win a $100 gift card to George’s Market.
• Charlie and Sons Toy Drive: Charlie and Sons Sales and Service will host a toy drive the weekend following Thanksgiving (Friday, Nov. 27 through Sunday, Nov. 29) at Walmart, 60 fairgrounds Market Place, Skowhegan.

Madison Dunkin’ gives $1,000 to The People Who Care Food Cupboard


MADISON — Local Dunkin’ franchisees Colleen and Ed Bailey recently made a $1,000 donation to the The People Who Care Food Cupboard, that serves residents of Madison, Anson, North Anson, Embden and New Portland. The gift was presented during the grand reopening of the Dunkin’ at 146 Main St. in Madison. Shannon Drury accepted the donation on behalf of the food cupboard.

The Madison Dunkin’ received a complete remodel and now has inside and drive-thru digital menu boards, Dunkin’s innovative tap system for cold teas and coffees, new tables and seating for customers, and front counter bakery cases.

Augusta/Gardiner KOA Journey wins President’s Award during annual convention

Kampgrounds of America, the world’s largest family of family-friendly, open-to-the-public campgrounds, has announced that the Augusta/Gardiner KOA Journey has earned the 2021 KOA President’s Award. This prestigious award was presented Nov. 17 at KOA’s Annual International Convention, according to a news release from Kampgrounds of America, based in Billings, Montana.

The KOA President’s Award is presented to those campgrounds meeting exceptional quality standards and who receive high customer service scores from their camping guests. KOA surveys hundreds of thousands of campers each year regarding their KOA camping experience.

“Our campground owners and their staffs work so hard to ensure each and every guest has a truly exceptional camping experience, so it’s a pleasure to recognize this work,” said KOA President and CEO Toby O’Rourke, according to the release. “Our President’s Award is driven by camper feedback and, especially this year, it really points to the work that’s been done to ensure each camper has the best outdoor experience. These KOA owners have made the right investments in their campgrounds to make them the very best in North America.”


KOA is celebrating its 58th anniversary in 2020.

Northern Light Inland Hospital meets Gold Star Standards of Excellence

WATERVILLE — Northern Light Inland Hospital has been recognized for meeting the silver level for efforts to prohibit smoking and tobacco use on campus and addressing patient tobacco use.

The award is part of the annual Gold Star Standards of Excellence program and the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence Breathe Easy Initiative. Thirty-three hospitals, five health care organizations, and five individual Gold Star Champions were recognized for efforts to address tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure, according to a news release from the hospital.

This is the sixth year that Inland Hospital has been awarded showing a longstanding commitment to addressing tobacco use and exposure.

Award levels are based on best practice criteria such as a smoke and tobacco-free campus policy, annual screening for tobacco use, referral to tobacco treatment and supporting employee education related to tobacco treatment.


“We applaud the ongoing efforts of Maine hospitals and health care organizations to address tobacco use, secondhand smoke exposure and nicotine dependence by meeting the Gold Star Standards of Excellence,” said Kristen McAuley, tobacco prevention services director for the Center for Tobacco Independence, according to the release. “Addressing tobacco use has continued importance during the current pandemic, as the U.S. CDC states that being a current or former cigarette smoker increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19.”

For more information about the Gold Star Standards of Excellence, visit The program is funded by Maine Prevention Services, an initiative through the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention working across the state to impact tobacco, substance use, and obesity.


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