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This week’s edition!

Ride to End Hunger raises $3.2K

From Casco FCU

GORHAM – On Saturday, Aug. 28, Casco Federal Credit Union conducted their 4th Annual Motorcycle Ride to End Hunger.

More than 25 motorcycles cruised around Southern Maine to raise funds and awareness for the Maine Credit Union Campaign to End Hunger.

Twenty-five motorcycles cruised around Southern Maine the last weekend in August in the Casco Federal Credit Union’s 4th Annual Ride to End Hunger, raising more than $3,200. (Photo courtesy of Casco FCU)

A record-breaking $3,241.85 was raised with the generous support of riders, volunteers, and event sponsors.

All of the proceeds from the Ride to End Hunger will be donated to three local food pantries – the Gorham Food Pantry, the Buxton Food Co-Op, and the Standish Food Pantry.

To learn more about how Team Casco is fighting food insecurity in our community, visit www.cascofcu.com or stop by one of their two branch locations in Gorham.

$6.2M for 29 Maine Fire Departments

From Sen. Collins

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) announced last week that 29 fire departments in Maine have received a total of $6,220,151 to upgrade equipment and support personnel.

This funding was awarded through the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grants and the FY 2020 Staffing for Adequate Fire Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants

“Firefighters put their lives on the line every day to protect local residents, homes, and businesses,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “This important investment will help improve the safety of Maine firefighters and ensure that our fire departments have the equipment and training they need to continue to protect our families and communities.”

Gorham Fire Department received $93,333 to purchase vehicle exhaust removal systems.

Albion, Waterville, Belgrade, China Village, Clinton, Fairfield-Benton, Madison, Oakland, South China, Winslow, and Sidney Fire Departments received a total of $627,385.45 to purchase mobile radios, portable radios, and pagers.

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Collins, Shaheen push for relief fund distribution

Money remains in Provider Relief Fund and other programs

From Sen. Collins

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Su­san Collins (R-ME) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) recently led 41 of their bipartisan colleagues in urging U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Secretary Xavi­er Becerra to distribute the funds remaining for healthcare providers.

Funding is still available in the Provid­er Relief Fund (PRF) and other health care relief pro­grams.

Over the course of the pandemic, Congress has appropriated $178 bil­lion for the PRF as well as an additional $8.5 billion for rural providers. The Government Accountabili­ty Office recently reported that about 25 percent of the funding remains unspent.

“Regrettably, the PRF funding distribution process has been uneven. Shifting guidance, difficul­ties in reconciling tax in­formation, the absence of a formal appeals process, and other technical prob­lems have plagued the pro­gram,” the Senators wrote. “Some providers are still waiting for funding from PRF distributions that were announced last year. Furthermore, plans for ad­ditional PRF distributions have been opaque.”

“Financial losses oc­curring between the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 have not been ad­equately considered. In addition, some provider types, such as senior care facilities, have been un­derrepresented in previous rounds of funding,” the Senators continued. “As the health care provider community continues to respond to the challenges posed by the pandemic, this funding should be re­leased without any further delay.”

The Senators asked that HHS announce and implement its plans for additional disbursement of PRF. Hospitals, nurs­ing homes, assisted living providers, health clinics, and other health care pro­viders need these funds to help weather the finan­cial difficulties created by the pandemic. In rural ar­eas in particular, the PRF has prevented facilities that struggled before and during the pandemic from falling into bankruptcy or closing entirely.

Senator Collins has long been a champion of improving access to health care, particularly in ru­ral and underserved areas amid this public health cri­sis. In February, Senators Collins and Manchin au­thored an amendment to replenish the Provider Re­lief Fund by $35 billion to help hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, assisted living providers and others with the increased costs and lost revenue brought on by the pandemic.

In addition to Sena­tors Collins and Shaheen, the letter to Secretary Becerra was co-signed by Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Lisa Murkows­ki (R-AK), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Jon Tester (D-MT), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Tina Smith (D-MN), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mag­gie Hassan (D-NH), John Boozman (R-AR), Ra­phael Warnock (D-GA), Rob Portman (R-OH), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Debbie Staben­ow (D-MI), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Todd Young (R-IN), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Ben­jamin Cardin (D-MD), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Angus King (I-ME), John Barrasso (R-WY), Rich­ard Durbin (D-IL), Steve Daines (R-MT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), James Lankford (R-OK), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Jeffrey Merkley (D-OR), Robert Casey (D-PA), Alex Padil­la (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Bernard Sand­ers (I-VT).

Q Memorial events at end of September

From Q Memorial

GORHAM – The inaugural Q Memorial Events are fast approaching!

Proceeds from all Q Memorial fundraising events in 2021 will be used to award scholarships to Gorham High School students in memory of David Michael Quintal “Q” and his contributions to the Gorham community, especially with softball.

The events are being coordinated by the Q Memorial Scholarship Team.

Quintal died unexpectedly from a massive heart attack at the age of 42 in on Sept. 27, 2020.

The 2022 inaugural memorial scholarship will be awarded to a GHS senior who plays softball or baseball.

David Quintal at home with one of his daughters. The Q Memorial Scholarship was created in his honor after his sudden death in September, 2020. Fundraising events will take place in Gorham from Sept. 20-Oct. 2. (Photo courtesy of the Quintal family)

“Starting with the homerun Dave promised he would hit for me the day after we met, to the travel tournament Makayla (our daughter) played in the day Dave died and everything in between, baseball and softball were always a huge part of our family’s life,” said his wife, Sunny.

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BJ’s donates $1 Million

From BJ’s

WESTBOROUGH, MA – BJ’s Wholesale Club, a leading operator of membership warehouse clubs in the Eastern United States, donated $1 million from the BJ’s Charitable Foundation to Feeding America®, in August.

Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. BJ’s donation is part of the retailer’s efforts to help fight hunger by awarding grants to 50 Feeding America member food banks in the Eastern United States to support child and family food assistance programs.

 “BJ’s is committed to nourishing our communities by providing families with access to basic essentials including fresh, nutritious food. We’re grateful for our longtime partnership with Feeding America as we work together to help provide meals to families in need,” said Bill Werner, executive director, BJ’s Charitable Foundation. “We’re proud to donate $1 million to Feeding America member food banks to help fight hunger in the local communities we serve.”

 Feeding America estimates that 42 million people may experience food insecurity, including 13 million children, due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. Moreover, households with children are more likely to experience food insecurity.

“Feeding America is grateful for BJ’s continued investment, which helps food banks expand access to more nutritious food for families who need it most,” said Casey Marsh, Chief Development Officer at Feeding America. “The need for food assistance increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and every community in the country is home to neighbors who face hunger. Our partnership with BJ’s will continue to provide member food banks with essential resources to help families thrive and build a path to a more food-secure future.”

BJ’s Charitable Foundation grant marks the fourth $1 million donation to Feeding America member food banks located in BJ’s footprint. Since 2011, BJ’s has provided ongoing support to food banks through the BJ’s Charitable Foundation and BJ’s Feeding Communities program, helping local food banks expand their programs for children and families within their communities.

BJ’s Feeding Communities program is a food rescue partnership, where the company donates all unsold perishable food to Feeding America member food banks in its footprint, helping to get wholesome food onto the plates of families. To date, BJ’s has donated more than 120 million pounds of food including meat, produce, dairy and bakery items to Feeding America member food banks.

To learn more about the BJ’s Wholesale Club, visit BJs.com.

Headquartered in Westborough, MA, BJ’s Wholesale Club is a leading operator of membership warehouse clubs in the Eastern United States. The company currently operates 222 clubs and 151 BJ’s Gas® locations in 17 states.

Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry.

Visit feedingamerica.org

Lack of data stymies efforts to address firefighter shortage

By Vanessa Paolella of the Maine Monitor

BIDDEFORD – Even when he works two consecutive 24-hour shifts, Chris Aberle rarely sleeps at the fire station. 

Sometimes he tries. If he is lucky, he might pick up a couple hours of rest. But lately his shift has been getting calls at night.

“No one ever sleeps, you know, even if we had no calls from midnight to 8 a.m.”, he said. “No one really sleeps because you’re just waiting for that bell to go off.”

Twenty-four hour shifts can be exhausting, he said. Back-to-back 24-hour shifts are worse.

Due to small rosters of firefighters in many Maine fire departments, multiple departments must respond to a call. At least eight departments responded to this fire in Knox County. (Photo courtesy of Whitefield Fire Department)

“It’s tough to stay two days in a row. Because you’re like, if you’ve been up all night, I don’t want to be here another day. It wrecks your body. It wrecks your body and trying to do it all over again the next day, you’re like, ‘Here we go.’ ”

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EXIT Oceanside Realty opens new location in Wells

From EXIT Realty

WELLS – Michael Wohl, Regional Owner of EXIT Realty New England recently announced the new Wells location of EXIT Oceanside Realty, under the direction of Rick and Pam Coyne, as an EXIT Realty franchisee.

“Rick and Pam have not only recognized the value of everything EXIT Realty has to offer but they have instilled these values in all of their real estate agents; the EXIT Formula, state-of-the-art technology, in-depth training, and more.  They wanted a location that would allow each agent a more comfortable workspace allowing them to thrive,” said Wohl. 

Rick and Pam Coyne recently moved their Wells office of EXIT Oceanside Realty to a new location at 913 Post Road, Unit E, in Wells.

In making the decision to relocate EXIT Oceanside Realty to 913 Post Road, Unit E, in Wells, the Coynes realized that most real estate companies focus on the numbers and not the individual.  “At EXIT Realty, we believe that working first to strengthen each agent makes the team more productive and successful. We don’t believe more is better, we believe better is better. EXIT Realty has the best real estate business model to support this philosophy,” he said. Coyne is a passionate leader, teacher and coach. He will place much of his focus on mentoring and training his team. 

“We are very excited to contribute even more to our community and assist residents with their real estate needs,” said Pam Coyne. “At EXIT Realty we are committed to our customers’ satisfaction.”  

Rick and Pam Coyne, and EXIT Oceanside Realty, continue to donate their time and resources to various organizations in the Wells community, along with serving twice as President of the Wells Rotary Club.

EXIT Oceanside Realty also sponsored the EXIT Realty Little League team this year and is looking forward to expanding their contributions within the greater Wells community. 

EXIT Oceanside Realty is part of EXIT Realty New England’s growing family of independently owned and operated franchise brokerages. For more information about this brokerage, please visit www.exitoceansiderealty.com.

Guild Fine Craft Show in Scarborough Sept. 18-19

From Maine Crafts

SCARBOROUGH – the Guild Fine Craft Show in Scarborough returns for its eleventh season with a fully outdoor show on the expansive grounds of Ketcha Outdoors at 336 Black Point Road in Scarborough.

The show will take place Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 18-19.

The show was founded and produced by the Maine Crafts Guild for the past decade. In 2020, the Guild became part of the Maine Crafts Association, continuing the programs, events and initiatives previously offered by the separate organizations.

The intent of the shows, as it was under Maine Crafts Guild management, is to present a professional craft show where the public is invited to engage with exhibitors to collect and learn about the highest quality crafts made by Maine’s dedicated, talented and experienced artists, each who have creatine beautiful objects for everyday use and special occasions.

Ketcha Outdoors offers 107 acres of beautiful fields and forest that features an extensive collection of trails that are open to the public and eventually connect to the abutting 90 acre Scarborough Land Trust Libby Farm trail. 

Show Director Lizz Berry of the Maine Crafts Association said, “This outdoor show at Ketcha Outdoors is special in that one can make a whole day of exploring nature and shopping for fine craft handmade in Maine; with many designs inspired by its natural beauty.”

Attendees will collect, learn and gather with fellow craft collectors, supporters and artists. The show features 25 fine craft artists exhibiting handmade jewelry, ceramics, glass, fiber, paper, stone and more. 

Admission is $5 and those under 18 may attend free of charge.

The show is open Saturday, Sept. 18n from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday. Sept. 19, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

More information about Maine Crafts Association can be found at mainecrafts.org.

The Maine Crafts Association is a non-profit with a mission to support craft artists by providing educational, marketing and retail opportunities and a vision to strengthen individual craft artists, Maine communities, local economies, and the visitor experience by making Maine a national crafts destination.

This summer camp is a family passion

By Nathan Tsukroff

RAYMOND – Summer camp is fun and educational. And for the Slovenski family, it’s a family passion.

After attending summer camps where their parents worked, the Slovenski brothers and sisters went on to become counselors, trustees and directors in Maine summer camps.

And then one of the brothers, Peter, who lives in Brunswick, opened a summer camp in Raymond.

Camp Hawthorne on the west side of Panther Pond in Raymond was closing, so Peter worked out a deal with the Plummer family to take over the camp in 2010, renaming it Slovenski Camps. The property is part of what used to be the Plummer family farm that was developed more than 200 years ago.

The story of camping goes back a generation, starting with parents Walter and Ruth.

Steven Slovenski chats with his mother, Ruth, outside the healthcare facility named in her honor at the Slovenski Camps, a summer camp for children in grades 3-11 on Panther Pond in Raymond. Ruth Slovenski was school nurse in the Lewiston and Lisbon school districts, and spent summers as a summer camp nurse in the Lakes Region area. (Tsukroff photo)

Walter Slovenski was raised in western Pennsylvania and attended Syracuse University after serving several years as a Seabee in the Pacific theater during World War II. He met Ruth, a nursing student at Syracuse School of Nursing, and they were married in 1949. Slovenski went on to earn a master’s degree at New York University and coached both basketball track at Oneonta State College in New York for two years, where their oldest son, Steven, was born.

The family moved to Lewiston in 1952 for Walter to take on the role of head track coach and assistant football coach at Bates College.

The other Slovenski children – Susan, Peter, Paul, Sally, and Patti – were born in Lewiston, where Ruth worked as a school nurse in first the Lewiston and then the Lisbon school districts.

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Maine celebrates with bicentennial parade

By Nathan Tsukroff

AUBURN/LEWISTON – It’s official! Maine is now 200 years old, and citizens have finally celebrated this milestone, although a year late.

After being rescheduled twice due to the pandemic, the Maine Bicentennial Parade, presented by Poland Spring, wound its way through Auburn and Lewiston on Saturday as Mainers celebrated the state’s transition from a territory of Massachusetts to the 23rd state.

The state was created under the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which allowed Maine to join the Union as a free state, with Missouri entering a year later as a slave state to preserve the numerical balance between free and slave states.

Governor Jane Mills (D) led the parade as the Grand Marshall, followed by a string of floats and marching bands.

Mills rode in a 3-D printed boat created at the University of Maine. The float was followed by Mainers protesting her recent mandate that all healthcare workers must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 1.

Also in the parade were several local bands, clowns, unicyclists, and veterans groups.

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