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2021 Blue Mass featured heroes, dignitaries

Governors Mills and LePage and Senator Collins in attendance

From Portland Diocese

LEWISTON – A day of gratitude on Sunday, Sept. 19, honoring the fallen, and praying for the safety of heroes among us began with the sound of marching heels walking down the main aisle of the Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul.

Visible on the Bartlett Street side of the basilica were ladder trucks from the Lisbon and Lewiston Fire Departments displaying a massive American flag high in the air as a multi-jurisdictional honor guard comprised of members of four different public safety departments solemnly posted the colors in front of the sanctuary.

An assembly of hundreds stood in silence, with the pews full of either first responders or those wishing to thank them.

Moments later, Bishop Robert Deeley, priests, and deacons processed in, starting the 2021 Blue Mass venerable tradition in the Diocese of Portland that never loses its luster or lacks in meaning.

Policemen stand at attention as priests from the Portland Diocese start the Blue Mass at the Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul in Lewiston on Sunday, Sept. 19. (Photo courtesy of Portland Diocese).

The Blue Mass is named for the blue uniforms that firefighters, law enforcement and other first responders wear. It dates back to 1934 and recognizes the dedication and self-sacrifice of all first responders.

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Senior Center Open House on Oct. 18

From LRSC

LITTLE FALLS – Lakes Region Senior Center at 40 Acorn Street, Little Falls, is hosting an Open House on Monday, Oct. 18, from 10 a.m.-noon.

At 10 a.m., visitors are invited to stop by and enjoy some goodies and meet some of the Board and members.

At 11 a.m., Red Gallagher, who is well known in this area, will perform “oldies”.

There will be a free raffle and door prizes.

The Senior Center is open from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. every day for coffee/tea and socialization and there are usually activities. Longer hours can be arranged .

The center is looking for Cribbage players, Mahjong players, card players, craft participants, Memoir group participants and much more.

The Senior Center has speakers and occasional field trips.

There is a calendar available with all the monthly events.

Little Falls is a census-designated district that straddles the Presumpscot River, the townline between Gorham and Windham. It was originally a mill community with businesses and shops on Route 202, but has now become mostly housing.

Maine Collecting Unwanted Pesticides

From ME DACF

AUGUSTA – The Obsolete Pesticide Collection Program protects Maine’s natural resources and prevents agriculture pollution by promoting the safe and proper disposal of outdated, unused, or unwanted pesticides.

The program is made possible by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

The program is open to homeowners and family-owned farms, who are encouraged to bring unwanted pesticides – including herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, and similar products used in agricultural production or around the home, to collection sites in Presque Isle, Bangor, Augusta, and Portland.

Pre-registration is required by October 8 to participate. Drop-ins are not permitted.

Drop-off locations will be announced soon.

Details including registering and supplying the obsolete pesticides inventory form, a list of banned and unusable products, storage and transportation guidelines, other disposal options are found on the BPC website at www.thinkfirstspraylast.org.

Removal of obsolete and unwanted pesticides is important for protecting the public, wildlife, and environmental health. Improper pesticide handling and disposal, such as placing it in the trash or pouring it down the drain, can contaminate land and water resources.

The Maine Obsolete Pesticide Collection Program ensures that they are handled properly. Since 1982, the program has prevented more than 250,000 lbs. of pesticides from entering the waste stream.

Collected pesticides are taken to licensed, out-of-state disposal facilities by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Learn more on www.thinkfirstspraylast.org or by visiting http://bitly.ws/gWHo

AARP Maine seeks new volunteer state president

From AARP Maine

PORTLAND – AARP Maine is looking for a new state president, a lead volunteer position that works closely with AARP staff and volunteers on a range of key issues that impact Mainers 50-plus.

Applications for the position will be accepted through Oct. 15 on the AARP website at http://bitly.ws/gWIX

“The central pillar of AARP Maine’s mission is to help Mainers 50-plus and their families age with dignity and respect,” said Noël Bonam, AARP Maine State Director. “The role of the Volunteer State President is an integral part our work to advance AARP’s social change agenda in Maine. We seek a passionate, strategic thinker with outstanding leadership qualities and the ability to collaborate, motivate and inspire others as we work together towards this mission.”

The State President works closely with hundreds of AARP Maine volunteers supporting important advocacy issues at the state and federal level. Advocacy activities include testifying on bills at the state legislature, bringing concerns and issues to Maine’s Congressional Delegation, representing AARP Maine in local media, hosting and speaking at local events, and providing inspiration and guidance to a growing body of volunteer advocates in the Pine Tree State.

Responsibilities of this volunteer role also include the sharing of information and resources on topics such as caregiving, fraud prevention, Social Security and Medicare. The Volunteer State President will lead events, and work with local officials to bolster efforts to make Maine communities more age-friendly.

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Bag for Bag food pantry donations

From John & Janice

GORHAM – The John & Janice Real Estate Team in Gorham set up in the Gorham Hannaford parking lot under a white tent on a recent Saturday to raise money and food donations for the Gorham Food Pantry.

The team was able to raise over $280 in donations and over 700 pounds of food for the pantry.

Patrick Wescott places food in the carriage for donation to the Gorham Food Pantry in a recent event conducted by the John & Janice Real Estate. (Photo courtesy of John & Janice)

Janice Lesser of the team said “I feel so privileged to be part of such a close community. It amazed me the stories that were shared regarding their own memories of how a food pantry effected them in earlier years to great parents taking the time to teach the children how giving back is vital to our community.”

She said a gentleman brought two bags of food for donation. As she unpacked his bags, he shared with her that the reason he bought “Stove Top Stuffing” was because growing up he and his three siblings were raised by a very hard working single mom who was helped by the food pantry. His favorite “treat” that she would bring home was the stuffing. He went on to describe how successful he and his siblings became as adults through education and family values. It was a tribute to his mother.

The Real Estate team and their volunteers handed out reusable bags for donators to fill inside Hannaford. When the bags with donations came back, they were swapped for an empty bag to bring home for personal use.

This is the second year in a row the Team has reached out to the community to help benefit the Gorham Food Pantry.

 The Gorham Food Pantry accepts donations every day. There is a place beside the pantry with food can be donated.

The pantry is located on the rear right-side of St. Anne’s Catholic Church at 299 Main Street in Gorham.

Tutu time again for Dempsey Challenge rider

By Nathan Tsukroff

LEWISTON – It was tutu time again for Dennis Richardson of Turner as he rode for the seventh time in the Dempsey Challenge.

He’s been riding his bike in the annual Challenge since Patrick Dempsey, a childhood friend, challenged him to stop smoking in 2014.

Richardson participated last year wearing a pink tutu to signify the fight against breast cancer, and a purple tutu to represent the fight against pancreatic cancer.

Dennis Richardson of Turner warms up for the Dempsey Challenge in a recent ride through downtown Lewiston, sporting the pink tutu and tiara he committed to wear if he met his fundraising goal for this year. Setting an initial goal of $10,000, Richardson had raised over $14,000 by Sunday, the day of the ride. (Tsukroff photo)

This year, he wore just the pink tutu, with a pink tiara perched atop his bicycle helmet, and added pink pom-poms on his shoes, another gift from a friend and supporting fundraiser in New Jersey.

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Dempsey Challenge 2021 is this weekend

Five things to know about this year’s event

From Dempsey Center

LEWISTON – The Dempsey Challenge presented by Amgen Oncology has been the flagship fundraising weekend in Lewiston for the Dempsey Center every year since 2009.

However, the pandemic forced the massively popular ride, run and walk event to become a virtual-only event for last year.

Almost 150,000 people participated in the virtual event in 2020, completing a months-long activity challenge on Strava, joining Dempsey Center founder Patrick Dempsey on an interactive Zwift ride or choosing their own fundraising challenge. Many missed the in-person camaraderie and spirit provided by the annual event, which raises money for the Dempsey Center.

The 2020 version of the Dempsey Challenge was still able to raise $1.2 million to continue their mission to make life better for people managing the impact of cancer. This includes cancer patients, survivors, care partners, and family members of all ages.

Needless to say, event organizers, Dempsey Center clients, riders, runners, walkers and volunteers alike are gearing up to be able to safely gather again for this year’s events. 

Patrick Dempsey greets runner Jennifer Anne Jordan at a previous Dempsey Challenge event. The local Dempsey Challenge walking events on Saturday will be centered at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston. (Photo courtesy of Dempsey Center)

It was announced in June that the two-day event would return, Sept. 25 and 26 in Lewiston, as well as a Global Challenge for anyone interested in participating who can’t make it to Maine during the fall.

“There’s this pent-up excitement about being back out and doing something as a community,” Dempsey Center events manager Deneka Deletetsky said.

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Gorham Cleans Up October 3

From Town of Gorham

GORHAM – The Gorham Conservation Commission is inviting everyone to help clean-up the town on Sunday, Oct. 3, from 8:30 a.m.-noon.

Rain date is Oct. 17, 8:30 a.m.-noon.

Areas of focus will be the Village and South Street from the Village to Route 22.

Meeting locations Hannaford for cleaning up the Village and South Street to Weeks Road; The Rt. 114 Park and Ride for cleaning up South Street from Weeks Road to Rt 22; and the Gorham Middle School for GMS students only.

To sign up or learn more information, please visit the Gorham Conservation Commission’s Facebook page at http://bitly.ws/gvaZ.

The GCC thanks volunteers for helping keep the Gorham community a beautiful place to live, work, and play!

Employment Opportunities

Residents interested in a career in local government can view current municipal and school department can find employment opportunities with the Town of Gorham on the Town website at www.gorham-me.org under the ‘Employment’ menu.

We are currently advertising a Patrol Officer opportunity with the Gorham Police Department, as well as other vacancies. Additional information can be found on the Town of Gorham website at http://bitly.ws/gvVA .

Sebago Brewing Celebrates Staff

From Sebago Brewing

GORHAM – After an extremely busy summer of brewing beer and hosting thousands of guests at its five locations, Sebago Brewing Co. took some time to celebrate in mid-September.

Company co-owners Kai Adams, Tim Haines, and Brad Monarch honored their hardworking crew with an outdoor party at the Tasting Room on Main Street in Gorham.

Sebago Brewing Co. honored its hardworking staff with a celebration in mid-September at the Sebago Brewing Tasting Room in Gorham. (Photo courtesy of Sebago Brewing.

Of their 161 employees, Sebago Brewing honored four employees who have worked at the company for 10 years, four 15-year veterans, and four marking their 20-year work anniversaries.

“From brewers and packaging crew to kitchen staff and servers, all of our employees have been working so hard to bring the Sebago Brewing experience to the public,” said Kai Adams, VP and company co-founder. “We weren’t able to host our annual party last year because of the pandemic, so we’re extra grateful that we got to celebrate together this year.”

Sebago Brewing employees were treated to lawn games, food, and, of course, beer. Local favorite FOG AVE provided music.

First Parish to dedicate redesigned building

From First Parish

PORTLAND – Next Tuesday, First Parish in Portland, a Unitarian Universalist congregation, will dedicate major accessibility and media additions to its historic building and garden.

The event will take place at 1:30 p.m. at the church’s new, accessible entrance in the rear plaza shared with Portland High School (PHS), and will include Mayor Kate Snyder and Steve Bromage, Executive Director of the Maine Historical Society.

The church is located at 425 Congress Street in Portland.

The redesign includes an elevator, improvements to the enclosed garden on Congress Street, upgrades to the interior sound and light systems, and renovation of the Community Room and its attached kitchen. It is funded by the “A Church for EveryBody” accessibility project, a $1.5 million capital campaign.

The new entrance at the rear of the First Parish Church’s historic building on Congress Street in Portland. The redesigned building will be dedicated in a ceremony next Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of First Parish Church)

The City of Portland awarded a Community Development Block Grant to the campaign to enhance the public events and performances offered there. Additionally, the City will collaborate with First Parish by making improvements to the plaza that include installation of new lighting and proposed upgrades to “Freshman Alley,” which PHS students use to great advantage during their lunch periods. The plaza and the alleyways invite pedestrians to enjoy the walkways linking Elm, Chestnut, and Congress streets.

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