Waterville’s High Hopes Clubhouse receives international distinction

Waterville’s High Hopes Clubhouse’s College Avenue location. Contributed photo

Kennebec Behavioral Health’s High Hopes Clubhouse recently was recognized by Clubhouse International as a clubhouse of distinction among all clubhouses worldwide.

High Hopes, which provides employment, education and social opportunities for people with severe and persistent mental illness, has been recognized among all clubhouse as having the highest percent of its members – 79 percent who are working in supported or independent employment. Currently, there are over 320 clubhouses in 34 countries across the globe, each of which strives to meet or exceed an international standard that at least 20 percent of the clubhouse’s average daily membership is actively working. High Hopes, in Waterville, and its sister clubhouses, Looking Ahead, in Lewiston, and Capitol Clubhouse, in Augusta, are known to be among the most effective clubhouses in the world. Collectively, the three clubhouses serve over 600 people members each year.

According to Clubhouse International’s most recent accreditation report, “High Hopes is an exceptional clubhouse community, which excels in its compliance to all of the Clubhouse International standards. The clubhouse is dedicated to providing a community where members are treated with dignity and respect, and given everyone opportunity to be valuable members of their community.”

Statewide organizations recognize the value of clubhouse as well. Recently, at its annual meeting NAMI Maine presented the KBH Clubhouses with their Outstanding Partner Award. According to Jenna Mehnert, executive director of NAMI Maine, “we are very honored to work with the staff of your clubhouses. Not only do we respect the work clubhouses accomplish in partnership with peers, we appreciate how willing they are to engage with NAMI Maine staff on various projects.”

Lisa Soucie, director of High Hopes, says it takes a whole community to make clubhouse successful. “We really want to celebrate the whole community’s response, including local employers who hire clubhouse members, our parent company, KBH, local churches, state government, local law enforcement and more.” And that celebration just happens to coincide with High Hopes’ 20th anniversary of providing service in the greater Waterville area.

For details about High Hopes Clubhouse, in Waterville, Looking Ahead Clubhouse, in Lewiston, and Capitol Clubhouse, in Augusta, or any of Kennebec Behavioral Health’s services and supports, go online to www.kbhmaine.org or call 207-873-2136, ext. 1905.

Kennebec Behavioral Health was founded in 1960 and operates clinics in Waterville, Skowhegan, Winthrop and Augusta. For more information or to schedule an appointment for any KBH service, call 1-888-322-2136. Information can also be found at www.kbhmaine.org.

WATERVILLE: Kringleville has one of its best years

Brooklyn, 14, second from left, and Nolan, 12, with dad Brian, right, all of Winslow, visited with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Kringleville during the Christmas season. Photos by Central Maine Photography staff

by Mark Huard

Another magical season at Kringleville in the friendly city of Waterville has come to an end. The visitors seemed to be full of visions of Legos and hatchimals dancing in children’s heads, rather than sugar plums of old. The elves were certainly hard at work in the North Pole making toys for all the good little boys and girls. Elves, Cinnamon and Cinnamon Stick were busy at Kringleville in the cabin taking photos of folks who stopped to tell Santa what their Christmas wishes were. Though toys were quite popular, many children and adults visited to ask Santa for gifts for the less fortunate and for loved ones to be healthy. Many only asked that Santa would help make sure that their family had a good Christmas. The spirit of Christmas is truly alive in the hearts of many in the city of Waterville.

“Santa thanks the Children’s Discovery Museum for organizing the event this year, and to all of the volunteers, the elves, and Kringleville neighbors who made this season special.”

The polar bear, the gingerbread house and the train were a big hit. Santa also thanks the local businesses that sponsored Kringleville and who offered hot chocolate and warm mittens to those waiting in line. Your support made a tremendous difference to many. Santa appreciates Mrs. Claus traveling back and forth between the North Pole and Kringleville, so that she could be in Waterville every Sunday to talk with each person waiting to see Santa. While at the North Pole, Mrs. Claus has much cookie making to do for Santa and she oversees the toy making while Santa is at Kringleville. The deer also receive special attention from Mrs. Claus when Santa’s away.

Santa enjoyed spending time with all who visited him at Kringleville this season. Santa loves to share the stories of your visits with Mrs. Claus, and she enjoys sharing with Santa what you tell her while you wait to see him. Santa wants to share with you all, Santa had 1,150 good girls and boys visit him along with family and Kringleville raised $400 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Santa’s very own hand-painted ornaments will be on the Kringelville tree again next year to donate money to children who are not feeling well.

Santa wants everyone to keep in mind that Christmas isn’t something you should celebrate once a year. The spirit of Christmas should live in our hearts year round. So, take Santa’s advice and be good to your brothers and sisters, your friends and neighbors, and all whom you are with until Santa sees you again…That means mom and dad too! Remember, he knows if you’ve been bad or good, which makes a difference for his naughty or nice list. Santa and Mrs. Claus look forward to seeing you all next season when they arrive for the 2018 Parade of Lights. Keep Christmas in your heart!

WATERVILLE: Care & Comfort workplace cited

Care & Comfort, a leading provider of Home Health and Behavioral Healthcare, was recently recognized as one of Maine’s best employers for workers over the age of 50 for 2017 by the Maine State Workforce Investment Board’s Older Workers Committee.

The Silver Collar Employers Award honors Maine employers whose policies and practices match the needs of mature employees, valuing their skills and experience, strong work ethic, flexibility, and enthusiasm.

The agency which is locally owned and operated was founded in 1991 and employees over 400 people – a significant percentage of whom are over 50. Services for individuals and families are provided in 13 counties thus providing employment opportunities close to home for most workers.

“Care & Comfort is pleased to have employees spanning several generations choosing to work with us, and we are truly honored to be recognized for our commitment to employing those over 50,” said Mike Stair, COO. “Age is never a factor from the time we begin our hiring process, but experience, confidence, vitality, and reliability are.”

According to the Maine Department of Labor, Maine is the oldest state in the nation, with a median age of 44.5 years. “Nearly one-quarter of the state’s labor force is age 55 and over,” remarked Susan D. Giguere C & C’s CEO, and Founder. “As one of those, I know first-hand that most of us enjoy working and we are good at what we do!”

Colby College students perform at ‘Jazz at Lincoln Center’

Student musicians and actors from Colby College, in Waterville, performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center on December 6 as part of the college’s New York campaign launch celebration.

Kaylee Pomelow, of Canaan, was part of a group that performed selections from Lost With You for alumni and friends of the college at the event.

Emily Goulette, of Oakland, was part of a group that performed selections from Lost With You for alumni and friends of the college at the event.

Empire State Building in “Colby blue”

Lost With You is a musical written and produced by students that was workshopped with Broadway professionals last January at New York’s Ripley-Grier Studios.

The student performance was part of a larger New York event that included a lighting of the Empire State Building in “Colby Blue” and an appearance at the Nasdaq Stock Market by Colby’s President David A. Greene.

Dubbed “Dare Northward” to reflect the bold and unprecedented nature of the initiatives and priorities it will support, the $750-million campaign will make it possible for Colby to introduce transformational programs, build on already strong academic programs, improve access to a Colby education for deserving students from around the globe, and provide outstanding new facilities that support a multidisciplinary approach to learning and connect the college to the community beyond its campus.

Mount Merici Academy first trimester high honors

Mount Merici Academy announces their students in sixth – eighth grade who have earned high honors for the first trimester of the 2017/2018 school year. They are:

Samantha Bissell, Amelia Charland, Caden Cote, Nina Dabas, Hazel Dow, Sarah Hellen, Carolyn Kinney, Naomi McGadney, Isabella Morrill, Luke Parks and Skylah Talon.

Central Maine Squares to hold Toyland Dance

Central Maine Square Dance Club of Waterville

The new officers of the Central Maine Square Dance Club are, from left to right, Claude Francke, Al Mather, Jeff Howes, Karen Cunningham, and Becky Potter. Contributed photo

The Central Maine Square Dance club of Waterville is having their monthly square dance on Sunday, December 10, from 2 – 5 p.m., at the Waterville Jr. High School, on Rte. 104 (West River Road). Again this year this dance is being promoted as our “Toyland Dance.” Each year the club encourages its members and guests to bring an unwrapped toy or article of clothing to be donated to the Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers, in Waterville.

Items needed by the home are, toys for boys and girls ages 3-12, complete outfits size 0-16 for boys and girls, infant and toddler VTech and Fisher Price Developmental, 500 piece Lego sets for bots and girls, ages 8-12, warm pajamas, sizes 0-16, reading books for all levels up to age 12. Snow pants, jackets, boots, mittens and gloves.

They are asking the general public if they would like to get involved with this endeavor, they could drop a gift off at the dance on Sunday, December 10, from 2 to 5 p.m., or call 447-0094 or 631-8816 to make arrangements for pick up.

‘Parade of Lights’ kicks off Christmas season

Santa and Mrs. Claus were welcomed in Waterville on November 24 to kick off the Christmas season.


Young elves participate in the annual parade.


Some young elves wave at the crowd.

All photos by Mark Huard



Waterville veterans day parade

The colors are presented during the Veterans Day parade in Waterville on November 11.

Below, Waterville Police Deputy Chief William Bonney with his son, Chase. Photos by Mark Huard, owner Central Maine Photography

First place in grappling for Waterville’s Grayson Wilder

Huard’s Martial Arts student Grayson Wilder, 6, of Waterville, captured first place in grappling at the Maine Skirmish Grappling Tournament held on Sunday, November 5, at Winslow High School. Photo by Mark Huard

Season ski passes available for Quarry Road Trails

CJ Gaunce, of Waterville, left, in orange jacket, loads one of the first chair lifts at Sugarloaf Mountain. He and several others were in line at 4:30 a.m. for opening day. Photo courtesy of Sugarloaf Mountain

Waterville Parks and Recreation has announced that discounted season ski trail passes are now available for the upcoming winter season at Quarry Road Trails, located at 300 Quarry Road in Waterville.

During the winter months, a state-of-the-art snowmaking system and daily grooming all but guarantees the trails will be covered for cross-country skiing. The area offers 12 km (7.5 mi) of trails for all levels of ability with lighting on 2 km of trail for night skiing. Other opportunities for winter outdoor recreation on the Quarry Road Trails include snowshoeing and, when conditions permit, winter fat biking. A full slate of events is already planned for the upcoming busy winter season. Over the past 10 years, the Quarry Road Trails have grown into a multi-use, four-season recreation destination.

Season ski passes are available at discounted pre-season rates through November 30 and can be purchased online at quarryroad.org, the Finance Department at Waterville’s City Hall, or the Alfond Youth Center. Season passes and day passes will also be available 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily at the Welcome Center yurt beginning on the area’s projected opening day, Saturday, December 2.

Volunteers are needed to help this winter in the following areas: staffing the Welcome Center, youth ski program, events, and trail maintenance. If interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities, call (207) 446-7356 or email volunteer@quarryroad.org.

For more information about the area, programs, and events, call Waterville Parks and Recreation at (207) 680-4744 or visit quarryroad.org.