Middle school students donate items to shelter

Students at Middle School of the Kennebunks recently collected thousands of items for York County Shelter Programs. The project, organized by the seventh-grade Sebago Team, promoted community service among students, who gave 2,334 pairs of socks and 387 bottles of shampoo and conditioner in one of the largest donations ever received by the nonprofit from a school.

“I am so proud of our grade 7 Sebago students and staff for their efforts on this project,” said MSK Principal Marty Bouchard. “Awareness of the needs within our communities and world are a part of our curriculum at MSK, and the kindness and selflessness shown by these students is truly inspiring.”

The school’s seventh-grade team has a giving project each year to encourage team spirit among the students and fostered the joy of giving.



Noble High teacher receives prestigious award

Noble High School history teacher Mary McAuliffe has been selected as the N.H. Fellow by the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation. The fellowship, in the amount of $24,000, is considered America’s most prestigious award to help secondary-level history, government and civics teachers to become outstanding educators of the U.S. Constitution.


Land trust hires new program coordinator

South Portland Land Trust recently named Michelle Smith as the organization’s new program coordinator. As the land trust’s sole staff member, she will manage and coordinate internal and external communications to help accomplish financial, membership and community goals. Smith will work closely with the organization’s membership and outreach, fundraising, city easements, and trails committees to drive communications and collaboration, as well as communicate their goals and accomplishments to the SPLT community.

Smith previously served as communications and marketing director for Maine Audubon, as a communications manager and spokesperson for Goodwill of Northern New England and as a freelance communications consultant for such organizations as Sea Change Yoga, Business Network for Offshore Wind, and Friends of Spannocchia.


South Portland Land Trust is a nonprofit organization committed to linking neighborhoods and improving quality of life through expanding the city’s trail network, conserving open space, and educating the public on issues related to trails and open space. It holds 18 properties and easements within the city to preserve natural habitats, trail access, and open space for public enjoyment.


Partners Bank gives $5,000 to Community Forest project

Fundraising is underway for a proposed 550-acre public-access property on Oak Street, with Three Rivers Land Trust leading monthly tours to share the vision for the land and gather input.

Adding to the initial grants and donations that raised over 80 percent of the needed funds, local residents and businesses have now donated around $15,000 to the project, including a $5,000 grant from Partners Bank. The land trust continues to seek donations to raise the remaining $135,000 needed by December. Three Rivers is partnering with the Sanford-Springvale Mousam Way Land Trust and reaching out to the city and community organizations to raise awareness and ensure the success of this project.

The next planned walk at the proposed Sanford Community Forest is a 1 p.m. June 13. Advanced registration is required by going to or calling 358-9695.


Three Rivers decided to seek a purchase agreement on the 550 acres in 2020, prompted by the organization’s increasing focus on climate resiliency, and the recognition that this large block of timber lands was one of the last remaining unbroken forests of its size within city limits. Under land trust ownership, the land would be protected from development and the 3.8-mile trail loop would be open to the public.

The land trust envisions a future where school groups and those seeking healthful recreation would have access to this large natural area with trails, less than 10 minutes from the city’s downtown. Three Rivers also sees this property as an ideal candidate for carbon storage, an important concept in the race against climate change. The Sanford Community Forest could help to slow and resist the effects of climate disruption by growing large trees over time and producing forest products that can store carbon long-term.


Library returns to limited in house browsing

Curtis Memorial Library will reinstate indoor browsing hours beginning Monday at 23 Pleasant St.

New hours will be 9:30 a.m. to noon for curbside service only and from noon to 6 p.m. for indoor service only Monday through Friday. Saturday hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for indoor service only. The library will be closed on Sundays through Labor Day.


Patrons will need a mask before entering and will be reminded to limit visits to under an hour if possible. During indoor service hours, patrons can enter the library through the Middle Street, St. Paul’s or the Reading Garden entrances. Curbside pickup will still take place at the Middle Street entrance. Patrons will be able to use library computers for one hour, as well as printers and copiers.

Additional updates will be happening in the months ahead, including the replacement of the 23-year-old carpet in the children’s library and throughout the first floor, new furniture in the 1904 building and new and upgraded WiFi access throughout the building.

For more details, go to, or follow us on Facebook or Instagram.


Rotary, charity kicks off community fundraiser

West Bay Rotary, in partnership with United Midcoast Charities, has kicked off a “2021 Community Challenge,” a commitment to match the first $5,000 raised for community members still in need of food, housing, health and safety, and economic security during COVID.


As with all UMC fundraising campaigns, 100 percent of the money raised goes directly to the agencies with no administrative fees and will provide urgent needs funding of food pantries, homeless shelters and other basic needs during the COVID crisis.

To make a donation to UMC and double your impact, go to:


Registrations being accepted for International Ride of Silence

Registrations are being accepted for cyclists who want to participate in the International Ride of Silence, set for 7 p.m. May 19 at sites in Augusta, Lewiston, Rockland and Saco. The event is held annually to raise awareness for the safety and road rights of bicyclists who must share the road with motorists.

As the official Maine state coordinator for the Ride of Silence, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine is hosting a webpage that offers information about all the ride locations, general guidelines, registration details and COVID protocols in place.


The BCM also is hosting a Portland ride, with check-in from 6:30 p.m., a ceremony at 6:50 p.m. and the ride starting at 7 p.m. beginning at the CycleMania Parking Lot at 65 Cove St. Attendees should not park vehicles at CycleMania, but rather use the Park & Ride on Marginal Way or the lot at 1 Diamond St. (across from Coffee By Design).

The Portland ride distance is 3 miles, ride speed does not exceed 10 mph, and there are no drops.

For more details, go to


 Police department launches ‘R.E.A.L Cops’ project

The Scarborough Police Department has launched the “R.E.A.L Cops” (Respectful, Empathetic, Accountable, Law Enforcement) project that is designed to promote positivity through engagement with the community by sharing information about the department’s people and what they do to support people in the community. Victoria Green, a senior in the marketing communications program at Husson University in Bangor, is collaborating with the department.


The project is comprised of three campaigns that will be shared with followers. Green created two videos that show various officers and members of the department talking about what community means to them and why they serve in public safety. This project involves sharing stories about the officers on social media. In these posts, officers and other members of the department talk about actions that went above and beyond the call of duty. They also provide insights into their positions and share their thoughts about helping the community.

Also included is a series of social media posts called “Where’s Marlea?,” showcasing the adventures of the department’s emotional support dog, photographed in various locations around the community. Community members are invited to guess where Marlea was photographed, with historic and other facts to be provided about each featured Marlea sighting.

Green was instrumental in the creation and completion of this project. She conducted research into studies done on community engagement for law enforcement. From there, Green traveled home to visit the department and take photos. She also recorded the videos that were to be used in the project. Green was then was able to develop and schedule the content, which will be shared on the department’s Facebook page.

For more details, call Robert Moulton at 730-4399 or or email [email protected]


TD Bank grant pays for 50 trees, shrubs


A 2021 TD Tree Days grant from TD Bank has made it possible for the ReTreeUS to plant 30 fruit trees and 20 native fruit and nut shrubs at The Ecology School’s new River Bend Farm campus last week.

TD Tree Days is a community-based program created in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation to expand urban forests and green spaces in low to moderate-income neighborhoods. ReTreeUS and The Ecology School staffers were joined by community volunteers for the plantings. A local business, Maineland Stump Grinding, contributed to make it possible to plant an additional 50 native fruit and nut shrubs at the school. University of New England Sustainability and Ecological Restoration students worked to prepare the ground prior to the plantings, enriching the soil with compost, seaweed and mulch that was provided by Coast of Maine Organic Products of Portland.

Now in its 10th year, the TD Tree Days program works with community members and TD employees at planting events in communities from Maine to Florida.


Fire-EMS seeks applicants for scholarship

Falmouth Fire-EMS is seeking applicants for its annual Falmouth Fire-EMS Scholarship. The scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors who reside in Falmouth and have been accepted or expect to be enrolled in a college or university to study firefighting, emergency medical services, nursing or a related field. Funding for the $1,000 scholarship comes from donations made to Falmouth Fire-EMS as well as monies raised by Fire-EMS members who sort bottles at the bottle bin at central station.


Applications can be found online at, by calling 781-2610 or e-mailing [email protected]

The completed application should include a one-page summary as well as two letters of reference (by non-family members). Completed applications can be delivered or mailed to Falmouth Fire-EMS, 8 Bucknam Road, Falmouth, ME 04105 by the 4 p.m. June 4 deadline.

The award recipient will be announced in early July.


SMCC  marks 75th anniversary planting shrubs, trees

Southern Maine Community College kicked off its 75th anniversary celebration recently with on-campus planting ceremonies to honor its mission of transforming people and communities through education and training.


Small groups of students, faculty members, administrators, alumni and community partners planted flowering shrubs and trees in simultaneous ceremonies at SMCC’s South Portland campus and midcoast campus in Brunswick.

SMCC was founded to provide training to veterans returning from World War II as the U.S. economy transitioned from war to peace. That first year, it had 80 students and four programs: automotive, electrical, machine and radio.
Today, SMCC serves nearly 6,000 students and offers more than 40 degree and certificate programs at campuses in South Portland, Brunswick, online and at satellite locations throughout southern Maine.

For more information, go to


Catholic Foundation distributes over $1 million

Despite the challenges of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Catholic Foundation of Maine exceeded expectations and has distributed 76 grants valued at $1,045,787 this year.


CFM has provided over $7.5 million in funding through its annual distribution process since its inception. The foundation utilizes endowment funds to benefit churches, parish programs, schools, social justice initiatives, vocations and many other ministries across Maine.

The foundation manages the funds to ensure the long-term viability of the endowments so that the charitable wishes of the donors are carried out.

To view a list of endowments, visit


 Maine Constitution Essay and Poster Contest winners announced

Secretary of State Shenna Bellows announced the winners of the 2021 Maine Constitution Essay and Poster Contest. This annual contest allows Maine students in kindergarten through grade 5 to create posters reflecting Maine history or symbols and students in grade 6 through 12 to submit essays regarding the Maine Constitution, voting and democracy.


The essay contest was divided into two categories. The theme for grades 6-8 was “The Maine Constitution.” Declan Wotton, a grade 6 student at St. Michael School in Augusta, received top honors in this category for his essay, that reviewed the constitutional process for removal of a county sheriff from office.

The theme for grades 9-12 was “The Importance of Voting and Democracy.” Olga Baciu, a junior at Highview Christian Academy in Charleston, placed first in this category for her essay “Making a Difference,” that detailed the history of voting rights and options to increase voter participation.

The poster contest also was divided into two categories, detailing the theme of “Maine Symbols” for grades K-3 students and “Maine History” for grades 4-5.

Grade 1 student Sophia Hall of Forest Hills Consolidated School in Jackman received top honors for her Maine symbols poster, featuring a picnic spot along a river in the Maine woods that included the state cat, pine tree and some official foods.

Grade 4 student Evelyn Simons, of Cape Cod Hill Elementary School at New Sharon, received top honors for her Maine history poster “Wabanaki Gardens,” that depicts an ear of corn and several beans and seeds sown by the natives.

To learn more about the contest and view winning entries, go to



Maine Cancer Foundation gets $1,000 from Harvard Pilgrim

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation has awarded the Maine Cancer Foundation of Falmouth $1,000 from its Community Spirit 9/11 Mini-Grant program. Two employees of Health Plans Inc., an affiliate of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, nominated the organization for the award. Funds will be used to support fundraising efforts for the annual triathlon event, Tri for a Cure.

To commemorate those Harvard Pilgrim members who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, Harvard Pilgrim and the Foundation created the Community Spirit 9/11 Mini-Grant program. This program allows each Harvard Pilgrim employee to award a $500 grant, completely funded by the foundation, to the local charity of his or her choice each calendar year. Since this community grants program began in 2002, Harvard Pilgrim employees have directed more than $7 million to thousands of organizations throughout Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

For more information, visit