Scout donates cancer care packages to area patients

Dalton Curtis and his crew of volunteers, with their Christmas haul, at the Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan.

Dalton Curtis, 14, is a life scout of Boy Scout Troop #485, of Skowhegan, traveling on his journey to becoming an Eagle Scout.

In memory of his grandfather Frank G. James Jr., who passed away last year of cancer, Dalton decided to donate 50 cancer care packages (25 for men, and 25 for women) to the patients of the oncology department at Redington-Fairview General Hospital, in Skowhegan, the hospital where his grandfather received chemotherapy treatments in Skowhegan.

He chose the undertaking as his Eagle Scout Project. It is his way of giving back to the hospital for giving his grandfather such wonderful care. Each kit includes the following: a fleece throw, warm socks, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, tissues, a tooth brush with soft bristles, goat milk soap, lip balm (2), puzzle book with pen, a handmade bookmark, gum (no mint), chocolate, plastic utensils (the metal utensils taste bad after receiving chemotherapy), and a reusable tote bag. These kits are designed to help with side effects, and to teach others about chemotherapy as well.

Dalton typed up a letter on BSA (Boy Scouts of America) letterhead to ask for donations to purchase materials and supplies from places such as Walmart and Hannaford stores. He received donations through family and friends, he also did a fundraiser through Pampered Chef. Dalton was able to raise $600 for these kits! With the help of his troop, the Boy Scouts assembled all 50 kits, and donated them to the oncology department of Redington-Fairview General Hospital, on November 29.

Skowhegan to sponsor photo contest

Photo: Skowhegan Chamber of Commerce Facebook page

With the holidays upon us, the Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce would like to celebrate by giving away two prizes valued at $50 each. Two ways to win, see below for more.

Enter the Holiday Photo Contest for a chance to win, now until December 22.

To Enter:

Upload a photo of you shopping in Skowhegan area stores to their holiday Facebook Page. You can post more than just one local store, for each post the more likes you may get, the more chances you have to win.

Please include the contestant’s name(s) and where they are. This will also serve as permission to use the photo in the future as needed.

Ways to win

First way: Have your friends and family vote on your photo, the more likes the more chances you have to win.

Second way: Write an inspirational story of why you shop local and your experience at the shop you are at.

Deadline: Saturday, December 22, 2018, by midnight. Winner will be announced Monday, December 24, on the Skowhegan Area Chamber Facebook page.

Skowhegan girl sings anthem at bridge dedication

Evelyn LaCroix (Photo by Central Maine Photography)

Evelyn LaCroix, 11, of Skowhegan, was invited to sing the national anthem, on October 7, at the bridge dedication in honor of Somerset County deputy sheriff Cpl. Eugene Cole, pictured, who was tragically killed in the line of duty. With Evelyn are Pastor Deputy Kevin Brooks, left, and Somerset County Sheriff Dale P. Lancaster.

Delaney Curran wins UVM George M. Happ award for biology

The University of Vermont Biology Department, in Burlington, Vermont, presented Delaney Curran, of Skowhegan, with the George M. Happ Award during the May 18 College of Arts and Sciences Awards Ceremony.

This award is presented to a student with outstanding academic performance and excellence in research in biology. Dr. Happ arrived at the University of Vermont as a professor and chairman of the Department of Zoology in 1978. He was instrumental in transforming the faculty to a teacher-scholar model and prioritized obtaining funding to stimulate research.

Elizabeth Jones named to Emory & Henry College’s dean’s list

Elizabeth Jones, of Skowhegan, was named to the Emory & Henry College Spring 2018 dean’s list, in Emory, Virginia.

Dakota Bragg named Presidential Scholar at Clarkson University

Dakota Rae Bragg, of Skowhegan, a junior majoring in civil engineering, was named a Presidential Scholar for the spring 201, in Potsdam, New York.

Presidential Scholars must achieve a minimum 3.80 grade-point average and carry at least 14 credit hours.

JMG students visit MCS library

China Middle School Jobs for Maine Graduates students stand with David Richards, director of the Margaret Chase Smith Library, and a life-like portrait of Margaret Chase Smith as a young lady. (Contributed photo)

The Jobs for Maine Graduates program at China Middle School recently visited the Margaret Chase Smith Library, in Skowhegan, as the JMG program was being recognized for a community service project that they had done earlier in the school year. They did a Spare Change Drive to help with Hurricane Harvey relief in China, Texas. They were invited to attend by Director David Richards, who spotted the article months earlier in The Town Line, newspaper. As they got the tour, they were expecting the building to be more like a library, but it was actually more like a museum. It was really interesting that the museum was added on to her house.

A few interesting facts they learned were Margaret was the first woman in congress to break the sound barrier. She earned 94 Honorary Doctorate degrees from colleges around the country. Family meant a great deal as she had many pictures of her family in the house, especially in the entry area of the house. And her mother seemed very important as she had a picture of her above her bed. She didn’t have any children of her own so she was very close with her nieces and nephews. Some of her family came from Canada and changed their surname because people that were French were discriminated against. One of her missions was to make sure all people were treated with equality and respect.

Margaret wanted all students, especially Maine students, to serve their community and aspire to be a leader. In the entryway was the book The Little Engine That Could because her feeling was if you tried as hard as you can you can succeed and that when someone needs help, you help. You don’t sit by the sidelines and watch. It was a great visit.

Local students named to Clarkson University dean’s list spring 2018

The following students have been named to the dean’s list for the fall semester at Clarkson University, in Potsdam, New York:

Dakota Bragg, of Skowhegan, a sophomore majoring in civil engineering/environmental engineering, and Ben Thibert, of Oakland, a sophomore majoring in aeronautical engineering.

Marti Stevens’ dream come true: a gem in our community

by Katie Ouilette

Marti Stevens

People do have dreams that come true.

My dad, a shoe-cutter, had dreams of owning his own hardware store, and finally opened Henry’s Hardware, on Chestnut St., in Skowhegan. The late Herb Paradis dreamed of having a television program, and that became a reality on a local broadcasting station.

Now, I thought I knew Marti Stevens well. She had a dream that so many made fun of, but thank heaven she made her dream come true.

Marti loved the theater and became part owner of Lakewood after the Denis ownership. Her other love was education. And with those two attributes, she founded the Marti Stevens Learning Center, on the Norridgewock Road, across from MSAD #54 administrative office.

Marti is gone now, but she left us with a jewel.

A phone call to Barry Sites, the director of the Marti Stevens Learning Center for 30 years, initially about his new membership to the Skowhegan Heritage Council, opened the dialogue about the center.

Marti, who lived on Cornville Road, in Skowhegan, at the time, started the learning center in the kitchen of her home when she realized that young girls who became pregnant were not allowed in the local school systems. They earned their GED in Marti’s kitchen, and now these girls are leaders in a number of area towns. They run businesses or have learned the art of administration.

The Marti Stevens Learning Center has done so much for students that have had a “bump in the road” while growing up. Years ago, people laughed at her and her dream, but she made life “good” for so many of them.

One of only two schools of its kind in Maine, the Marti Stevens Learning Center personnel are in touch with and collaborate with guidance counselors in area schools, and by so doing, find the students who “do not fit well with the present public school system.” The learning center and MSAD #74 collaborate in scheduling graduations, so parents don’t have to miss such an important event in their child’s life.

The Marti Stevens Learning Center is being awarded a grant by Somerset Public Health. The theater will be used over a two-year period to develop an interactive improvisational theater program to create awareness surrounding health problems related to adverse childhood experiences. Sometimes children can illustrate an adverse event they experienced in childhood through acting, rather than talking. Because the same can sometimes be exhibited by a child with drawing, and that is why Mrs. Choiniere will soon be joining the Marti Stevens Learning Center and art will be an important part of the curriculum.

Graduates (about 12 a year) are introduced to professionals and trade folk to help them choose a work path for the future. Actually, like all education opportunities, a thought about the future is introduced through a guidance counselor.

The Marti Stevens Learning Center is funded through MSAD #54.

From South Chicago to Cornville, Maine

Marti Stevens, 1939-1993, was an American educator and theater director. Born in South Side Chicago, Illinois, she spent 10 years as a professional director and actress on off-Broadway stages in New York City before relocating to the rural community of Cornville. Both her parents were musicians. She earned a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and a masters degree at City College of New York.

In 1959, she moved to New York City, where she studied acting with professional coaches Uta Hagen and Gene Frankel. Her efforts to pursue a career in the “avant-garde theater of the 1960s” were disappointing. After ten years of work as an off-Broadway director, occasional acting gigs, and work as a teacher and secretary, she gave up big-city life and moved to Cornville.

Lions name speech contest winners

Pictured are Lion Mike Kay, Speak-Out chairman, first place winner, Taylor Kruse, a junior at Skowhegan Area High School, second place winner, Victoria Broadley, also a Junior at SAHS, and King Lion Diane Chamberland, of Skowhegan Lions Club. (Contributed photo)

The Skowhegan Lions Club recently completed its annual Speak-Out Contest at the Margaret Chase Smith Library Center, in Skowhegan. Lions Speak-Out gives high school students a forum to present a prepared speech on a topic or issue of their choosing and to defend their ideas when questioned.