Local scouters receive honors at district dinner

Waterville Elks Exalted Ruler Alanson P. White III, second from right, receives the “Partners in Scouting” award from Kennebec Valley District Key 3. From left to right, District Commander Charlie Ferguson, of Winslow, District Chairman Rick Denico, of Vassalboro, White, and District Director Matt Mower. Photo courtesy of Charles Mahaleris

Three local Scouting volunteers received the District Award of Merit, the highest award a local Scouting district can bestow upon a Scouter, at the Kennebec Valley District Annual Scout Leader Recognition Dinner held on March 25, at the Waterville Lodge of Elks. The three were selected by other Scouters for this high honor.

Jared R Bolduc, of Oakland, is currently the committee chairman of Troop #454 where he has also served as an Assistant Scoutmaster, earned his Eagle Scout rank, is passionate about the Order of the Arrow, and served on staff at various Scouting Camporee including Maine Jam but most know him through his work at Camp Bomazeen, in Belgrade, where he volunteers as assistant ranger doing everything from getting fires going at cabins for troops who rent the building in the winter to performing maintenance and construction projects. He was nominated by Karla McAtee Talpey, of Jackman, and was joined at the awarding ceremony by girlfriend Blair Rueger, of Waterville, and his mother, Kathy Bolduc, of Oakland.

Award of Merit recipients from the Kennebec Valley District are, front row, from left to right, Jared R Bolduc, Clarence”Buster” Nutting and Raymond “Jim” VanAntwerp. Second Row, Blair Rueger, Kathy Bolduc, Gayle Nutting and Wendy VanAntwerp. Back, District Chairman Rick Denico, Jay Pfingst, Pat Couture and Chuck Smith. Contributed photo

Raymond “Jim” VanAntwerp is currently the Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop #433, in Winslow, and formerly a Cub Scout leader in Pack #445. He’s taken training classes to expand his Scouting knowledge and to help him improve his delivery of the programs of Scouting. He has spent the past six summers instructing youth on the safe and responsible method to handle, load, aim, fire and maintain a firearm as the shooting sports sirector at Camp Bomazeen – always one of the most popular areas at camp. Patience and a deep desire to see the youth learn to appreciate the skills involved in shooting, Jim is always ready to work with his son and every other Scout that comes to the range. He was nominated by Scoutmaster Jay Pfingst, of Troop #433, and was joined by his wife Wendy for the award ceremony.

Kennebec Valley District delivers Scouting to youth in the following counties: Kennebec, Lincoln, Knox, Somerset and Franklin. The leadership of the district is Chairman Rick Denico, of Vassalboro, Commissioner Charlie Ferguson, of Winslow, and District Director Matt Mower. Past District Award of Merit Reci­pient Pat Couture, of Manchester, led the ceremony.

The third recipient was Clarence “Buster” Nutting, of Strong.

Violette accepted to Delaware Valley University

Nathan Violette, of Oakland, has been accepted for admission at Delaware Valley University, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

Springtime Vidalia onions now on sale in Palermo

PALERMO: Sweet, crisp Vidalia onions, fresh from the fields of Georgia, will be coming to the Palermo Community Center on May 5. These large beauties come in 25 pound boxes for only $27. Go in with your neighbors and relatives, and you can get four boxes for only $100! They keep in a well-ventilated cool place for up to six months, especially if they are not allowed to touch one another.

Orders must be placed by April 28. To order, e-mail pwhitehawk@fairpoint.net or call Connie at 993-2294, and be sure to leave your phone number. You will be called as soon as the boxes are unloaded in the late afternoon of May 5. You may pick up the onions during the weekend, as well. Payment is accepted at the time of the order, or in cash at the time of pickup. Checks may be mailed to the Living Communities Foundation, P.O. Box 151, Palermo, ME 04354.

Your support of the Living Communities Foundation is highly appreciated. Proceeds from the sale will go toward roof repairs of the Community Center, the Community Garden, and the Palermo Food Pantry. Stay tuned for upcoming spring and summer events at the Community Center.

Gladiolus auction set for April 8

SOUTH CHINA — The Maine Gladiolus Society’s annual spring bulb auction will take place on Saturday, April 8, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., at the South China Community Church, on Old Route 3, South China.

A free lasagna lunch will be served, with donations welcome.

For more details, call Elisabeth Cates at (207) 923-3412.


China school’s forest April vacation family events

CHINA — Join the staff at the China School’s Forest for fun activities for all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All sessions start at the China Primary School Bus Circle. If programs are canceled due to the weather, it will be posted on the China School Forest- China, Maine facebook page or you can call 968-2255 to ask.

Children enjoying a day in the China School Forest. Contributed photo

These programs are free, but donations are appreciated to help us provide future programs and activities.

Wednesday, April 19: Signs of Spring Nature Walk 9:30 – 11 a.m. Look for signs of spring, make a journey stick and play a nature game. This will be rain or shine. Dress for wet, muddy trails.

Thursday, April 20: Night Hike 7 – 8:30 p.m. They will walk the trails of the forest, listen to night sounds and explore the night sky. Please bring a flashlight and dress warmly. Binoculars will help when looking at the moon, if visible. This program will be rain or shine. If it is raining, we will take a night hike and explore the pond.
Friday, April 21; Animal Skins, Skulls, Tracks and Scat 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Explore many of Maine’s mammals and talk about how they survive in the wild.

Saturday, April 22: Fairy Houses & Toad Homes 9:30 – 11 a.m. They will read a Fairy House story, gather natural materials and build fairy houses and toad homes in the school forest.
On Saturday, families may bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in the forest. Picnic tables are available at the Primary School Pavilion or throughout the forest.

Saturday, April 22: Pond Explorers 12:30 – 2 p.m. They will use dip nets to collect pond critters and talk about water habitats. Come dressed to possibly get wet.

Autism awareness growing at Winslow Elementary School

Teachers and students in a classroom, from left to right, Melissa Hanley, Ashton Darrell, Joan Carney, Ava Tantoco, Donna Wilson, Samantha Lessard, Jessica Fortin, Melanie Wheat, Amaya Tantoco and Kelsey Steves. Photo by Tawni Lively, Central Maine Photography staff

by Mark Huard

Autism Awareness is growing at Winslow Elementary School. April is Autism Awareness Month and there are many activities planned.

Most people have heard about Autism by now, and many even know someone personally who lies somewhere on the Autism Spectrum. At Winslow Elementary School, the Autism program is spreading the word: Kids with Autism want to be included, just like you!

Autism is a social communication disorder that makes it difficult for a person to read social cues, interact, and express themselves. They may need to be taught how to make friends, or to read body language. It often affects the way they perceive the world, as well. The buzzing in fluorescent lights may drive them crazy. The sound of a fire drill may be unbearable. Looking into your eyes might be so distracting, they can’t listen to your words. On the other hand, you may know a person with Autism their entire life and never know they have a diagnosis! Every single person on the Autism Spectrum is unique!

Winslow Elementary School ed techs involved in the Autism program are, from back to front, Kelsey Steeves, Anne Rice, Katherine Leclair, Jessica Fortin, Joan Varney, Donna Wilson, Samantha Lessard and Melissa Hanley.
Photo by Tawni Lively, Central Maine Photography staff

At Winslow Elementary, they focus on individualizing the education of the students who are in our program. With their team of eight hard working ed techs and teachers, they work hard to make sure all of their students are getting the education they deserve, and that they have every opportunity to be included in the regular education environment. Sometimes this requires Assistive Technology such as an iPad for communication, or a visual schedule, or just some extra breaks included throughout their day. They have access to speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy if they need it.

“Working with kids with Autism is a wonderful experience, said Melissa Hanley, a teacher at Winslow Elementary School. “It teaches you to put yourself in another person’s shoes, and to look at the world at a different angle. Our students are so smart and they love to be a part of this school. We work with them to be as independent as they can be, and to handle the stress of everyday life in stride. I hope that through awareness and exposure, the world can accept the different needs of kids on the spectrum and help make the world more accessible”

If you would like to donate to the program, or would like to learn more, please consider coming to the community events: April 10, 4 – 7 p.m.: McPuzzle Night at McDonald’s, in Winslow.

Come enjoy a meal and play games with the WES Autism group, and 92.3 The Moose! Bring your bottles for the bottle drive! McDonald’s has generously offered to donate 20 percent of sales to the program!

April 13, 4 – 9 p.m.: Dining to Donate at Applebee’s, in Waterville.

Applebee’s is hosting a fun night of dining and will be donating 15 percent of all purchases! Have a nice family dinner knowing you’re helping out a great organization!

April 26, 4 – 9 p.m.: Sweet Frog frozen yogurt and sorbet, Waterville Commons.

Sweet Frog is donating 20 percent of proceeds to the program if you mention the fundraiser at the register! The group will be there with an information station, so bring your questions and they’ll be happy to chat with you!

Donations are also coming from Subway, and It’s a Good Pizza, both in Winslow.

If you have any questions, or would like to donate, contact Melissa Hanley at mhanley@aos92.org, or during the school day at (207)872-1967 X2107

Area competitors in recent karate showcase

Students from Huard’s Martial Arts collected funds for the Battle of Maine, to benefit Help Save Children’s Lives Project. Together, these young martial artists raised close to $5,000 to help support the Children’s Miracle Network.

Photo by Angela Poulin, Central Maine Photography staff

The 37th annual Huard’s Battle of Maine Martial Arts Championships were held on March 25 at Thomas College, in Waterville. Over 350 competitors from all over New England and Canada, and lots of specttors, enjoyed a full day of martial arts demonstrations, competition and friendship. The battle has raised over $75,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network and that total keeps rising each year. At left, Huard’s Sport Karate Demo team performances Mikey Stewart, left, of Fairfield, and Landon Nunn, of Skowhegan, show some Bo staff during the opening Battle of Maine Demo.

Photo by Tawni Lively, Central Maine Photography staff

Helped raise funds at Battle of Maine

Carlie Brook, left, of Freedom, was among the group that raised funds for the  Children’s Miracle Network Foundation. Pictured with Carlie is Caitlin Brooke, foundation specialist at Eastern Maine Health Services. Photo courtesy of Mark Huard

Learn about new trails in Unity

UNITY —  The 47-mile Hills-to-Sea Trail is complete with an expected opening this spring. Join Buck O’Herin and Tom Mullin of the Waldo County Trails Coalition on Wednesday, April 12 to learn about this new footpath from Unity to Belfast.  Find out about the history and building of this inspiring project and how you can get involved to support this community resource.

The talk is part of the Sebasticook Regional Land Trust’s monthly speaker series, “Restoring Connections to Place,” featuring a wide variety of conservation topics of interest to Maine. The programs are free and open to the public at 6:30 p.m., the second Wednesday of every month at the Sebasticook Regional Land Trust office, 93 Main St., Unity.

Other speakers in the monthly “Restoring Connections to Place” speaker series:

Wednesday, May 10. Ecologist Aleta McKeage, of Belfast, will present on invasive plants, one of the primary threats to environmental health that we face today. Invasive plants take over natural areas, crowding out native species and changing wildlife habitats.

On Wednesday, June 14, Lessons from Avian Haven Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center: A Citizen’s Guide to Helping the Birds of Maine. Laura Suomi-Lecker, education and outreach coordinator, will discuss common reasons why birds are admitted to Avian Haven Wild Bird REhabilitation Center, in Freedom, and what citizens can do to help our local birds.

FMI: 948-3766.

Kaitlynn Pelletier participates in choir tour

Kaitlynn Pelletier, of Waterville, will tour Pennsylvania and New York with Lebanon Valley College’s Concert Choir. Pelletier, a graduate of Messalonskee High School, in Oakland, is pursuing a bachelor of science and bachelor of arts in music education and music.

The 81st annual tour will run from Sunday, March 26 through Saturday, April 1, and will conclude with a performance in Frederic K. Miller Chapel on the college’s campus, in Annville, Pennsylvania. Students will perform vocal selections that related to this year’s theme of “From Hardship to Harmony” under the direction of Dr. Matthew Erpelding. All proceeds collected during the tour support a charity of each host church’s choice.