Skowhegan Woman’s Club Members, from left, Freda Toneatti and Sharon Adams meet Staff Sgt. (retired) Travis Mills at the Aug. 6 Open House at the Travis Mills Foundation Veterans’ Retreat in Rome. Submitted photo

Members of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) Skowhegan Woman’s Club met at the Travis Mills Foundation Retreat Annual Open House on Aug. 6 in Rome.

Freda Toneatti, Sharon Adams, Bonnie Chamberlain and Mary Cayford toured the grounds and buildings. They learned about the programs promoting recovery, recreating and healing available for veterans who have been wounded at war, along with their families and caregivers eligible to attend at no cost, according to a news release from Cayford.

The highlight of their tour was to meet Staff Sgt. (retired) Travis Mills, who established the foundation in 2017.

To show their appreciation to veterans and the foundation’s cause, the members presented the organization with a donation from the Skowhegan Woman’s Club.

Mills, who lost portions of all of his limbs in Afghanistan in 2012, was motivated to help other veterans and their families. As a result of his vision, the former Elizabeth Arden Estate overlooking Long Pond was purchased and transformed into a veterans’ retreat with expansive grounds.

The Marbury House was renovated as the main retreat building, and a waterfront cabin was restored by the Maine Cabin Masters. The marina is equipped with boats and kayaks available for veterans and their families. A ropes course and a Health and Wellness building under construction are evidence that physical activity is an integral part of the recreation and recovery programs.


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On Aug. 12, Skowhegan Woman’s Club members bid farewell to Virginia Jordan, who passed away July 12. Jordan served the club in various capacities and held many offices, including club president, since 1964.

Weather permitting, at 5 p.m. every Sunday club members are selling homemade snacks, desserts and drinks under their tent at Concerts in the Park. People can grab a lawn chair and head to Coburn Park, located off Water Street in Skowhegan.

The non-profit, community organization meets on the second Wednesday of every month from September to June either in person or via Z00m. Its goals are to help one another, to contribute to programs and agencies in need, to promote arts and culture, and to award an annual scholarship to a deserving graduating senior seeking higher education.

Area women, not only Skowhegan residents, who are interested in learning more or attending meetings (either in person or via Zoom) can call Billie Sherman at 207-474-5052 or Cayford at 207-474-9820.

Check out other upcoming area events!

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