EVENTS: Festival of Wreaths to benefit Winslow Community Cupboard Food Pantry

by Dave Carew

The Festival of Wreaths – a raffle-benefit for Winslow Community Cupboard food pantry – will be held on Friday, November 24, from noon to 8 p.m., and on Saturday, November 25, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., at Winslow Congregational Church, 12 Lithgow Street, Winslow. Admission to the event will be a $1 donation; raffle tickets will be 50 cents each. Food and beverages will be available for sale and there will be a very special appearance by Santa Claus!

Featuring more than 50 wonderful Christmas and holiday wreaths, the raffle-benefit will seek to raise urgently-needed funds for the food pantry, which has served more than 20,087 food-insecure households in Winslow, Waterville, and surrounding towns so far in 2023.

According to Operations Manager Bruce Bottiglierie, Winslow Community Cupboard – which also operates a Mobile Food Pantry that directly serves locations in Waterville, Skowhegan, Fairfield, and more than a dozen other local towns – has experienced a 39 percent increase in the number of households needing food-pantry service this year. The Festival of Wreaths is sponsored by Healthy Northern Kennebec.

For more information, please contact Bruce Bottiglierie, Winslow Community Cupboard, at 207-616-0076 or

Love is Louder rally held at Mill Park in Augusta

photo by Jonathan Strieff

by Jonathan Strieff

Well over 200 demonstrators gathered at Mill Park, in Augusta, on Sunday, November 12, to take part in the Love is Louder rally organized by State Representative Regan La Rochelle and the Greater Augusta Unity Committee. The event came in response to recent incidents of vandalism and hate speech in Augusta and Hallowell and a rise in neo-Nazi organizing taking place statewide. The rally featured eight speakers including elected officials, the Augusta chief of police, various faith leaders, and the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, as well as live music, sign and banner painting, and crafts and activities for families.

On August 12, two dozen masked men assembled at the State House behind a banner reading “Keep New England White,” to chant racist and anti-immigrant slogans at passersby. Similar demonstrations occurred in Portland and Lewiston in 2022. Following the August event, swastika graffiti appeared at Mill Park and Cony High School and at least one city council meeting in Hallowell was disrupted by anonymous “zoom bombers,” calling in remotely to shout racist, antisemitic, and homophobic comments at the council members.

Addressing the crowd on Sunday, LaRochelle explained that the Unity Committee organized the event following an outcry from residents looking to “do something” to counter the recent series of hateful displays. “(Residents) were looking for an outlet,” said LaRochelle, “to show what our community and the beautiful state of Maine is truly about.”

The rally began with an up-tempo performance by Pat Colwell and the Soul Sensations. Following a moment of silence and a reading of the names of the shooting victims in Lewiston, LaRochelle first introduced Augusta Police chief, Jared Mills. Mills spoke briefly to commend the organizers and liken the days event to other random acts of kindness that he and his department encounter daily.

Hallowell mayor George LaPointe (photo by Jonathan Strieff)

Next, Hallowell mayor, George LaPointe, described the values of love, tolerance, inclusiveness, and community as fundamental to the character of his city, despite occasional reminders that not everyone feels the same way. “Our work to become a better place is everyones and is ongoing.” LaPointe closed by paraphrasing Edmund Burke, saying, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of hate is for good people to do nothing.”

Rabbi Erica Asch from Temple Beth El, in Augusta, spoke next, connecting recent events in the capital area to a larger national trend. “What has been happening here in Augusta is part of a larger pattern of antisemitism in our country. Since my family and I moved here to Maine 10 year ago the number of antisemitic incidents in the United States has quintupled… Most synagogs, including ours here in Augusta, regularly have police officers patrolling during our holidays and our Hebrew schools.” Rabbi Asch spoke to the many ways the Jewish community feels targeted today and of the importance of events like Love is Louder to grow solidarity.

Augusta mayor, Mark O’Brien, celebrated the Augusta City Councils unanimous decision to establish a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee as sending a decisive message that the city welcomes, recognizes, and values all people.“We don’t always have the power to change the hatred that exists, but we do have control over how we react. We will not be accepting. We will not be intimidated. We will not be silent…No matter what our backgrounds or upbringings, we are united in striving for the protection of individual rights, free and civil debate, and the rejection of intolerance.”

Jonathan Strieff is a freelance contributor to The Town Line newspaper

photo by Jonathan Strieff

Volunteers at The Mill help with basic needs

Unidentified volunteers stand ready to help folks. (photo by Roberta Barnes)

by Roberta Barnes

The Olde Mill in Vassalboro (photo by Roberta Barnes)

We all need a little help at various times. For the past year, people have been receiving food as needed at The Mill, in Vassalboro. Food is the fuel needed to keep our bodies functioning and proper nutrition matters.

Nevertheless, there can be times when the cupboards in a household do not have enough food to provide that fuel. Whether a person is trying to learn something new to him or her, or doing a job in the right way, it is difficult if that person does not have enough food to provide the needed fuel for his or her body. Enjoying the simple things in life or having a restful night’s sleep do not always happen if a person has not eaten the food that his or her body needs.

Through the Winslow community cupboard and Good Shepard food bank, volunteers at The Mill, in Vassalboro, are helping put the needed food in those cupboards. Wednesdays from 4 – 7 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., (except on Holidays) donated breads, canned goods, vegetables, cheeses, fruits, and more are available to put in your grocery bag when needed.

By 9 a.m. Sunday morning volunteers were unloading boxes of donated food from the Winslow Community Cupboard truck and carrying them into The Mill. Other volunteers were busy taking donated food out of those boxes and arranging them on the appropriate tables.

It takes time to safely handle all the donated foods and organize them in the best way. Samantha, the primary organizer, and some other volunteers began setting things up at 7:30 that morning.

Volunteers not only organized things so that people passing by the tables in single file could pick up the food needed for their household but were watching over so that people could get needed food in the best way. While the donated foods are free, any monetary donation is welcome as each dollar allows this program to continue to help provide food to those needing it at certain junctions in time.

Needing food can happen at unexpected times. Signing in you simply include your first name, the town in which you live and the number of people in your household. As you move through the line your focus only needs to be on the nutritional needs for you and others in your household.

Roberta Barnes is a freelance contributor to The Town Line newspaper.

Tables of food available for those in need. (photo by Roberta Barnes)

(photo by Roberta Barnes)

Construction Updates China Road Construction – Winslow Ongoing Work

Eastwood Contractors will continue a $2.4 million stormwater contract on the China Road.

Work will continue in front of Cumberland Farms, tying into a large box culvert with a 48-inch storm drain that will proceed east on the China Road to the Cushman Road and continue down the Cushman Road.

Because of the depth and size of the pipe, work continues on this project. Contractors will occupy both eastbound lanes with two-way traffic maintained in the westbound lane.

Every effort will be made to minimize disruption to the affected businesses. This work is to eliminate a flooding problem that has existed in this area for a long time.

Waterville-Winslow Ticonic Bridge Construction Look Ahead

Lane Closures:

The bridge will be closed from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., from Sunday, November 19 -Thursday, November 23, for work requiring access to the entire bridge. During this time, all vehicles will be required to follow the posted detour route. Message boards will be used to warn drivers. Pedestrians should continue to utilize the posted detour route during these times.

Thursday, November 23, not a definite for closure 7 p.m. – 6 a.m. Announcement will be made as the date gets closer.

Drivers are encouraged to proceed cautiously, observe signage in the work zone, and obey reduced work zone speed limits.


It is unlawful and unsafe to traverse the river via the rail bridge. Pedestrians have been observed doing so and are reminded of the dangers of such activity. Pedestrians must utilize the Two Cent Bridge for foot traffic.

Alfond Youth Center hosted its 99th annual holiday community dinner

Photo by Mark Huard, Central Maine photography

by Mark Huard

The Alfond Youth & Community Center, serving the Boys & Girls Clubs and YMCA of Greater Waterville, hosted its 99th Annual Holiday Community Dinner on Thursday, November 9, 2023. This traditional sit-down holiday dinner with turkey, stuffing, potatoes, rolls, gravy, vegetables, beverages, pies and all the trimmings was amazing. The event served over 1,000 community members.

The event is staffed by AYCC employees, volunteers from the Sunrise Rotary Club of Waterville and AYCC members. Central Maine Motors Auto Group was the event’s exclusive sponsor for the 10th year in a row, donating 700 pounds of turkey for the dinner.

“My husband, Chris, and I were pleased to be able to sponsor the Annual Holiday Community dinner again this year,” said Linanne Gaunce, Donations / Employee Relations at Central Maine Motors Auto Group. “We have much to be thankful for and feel strongly about giving back. Central Maine may be large, but it is a tight-knit community. We look out for each other during difficult times and share our joy during good times. We are happy to join with the AYCC to bring everyone together to enjoy a home cooked meal and celebrate our community and our connection to each other.”

The holidays are a busy time for Linanne, Chris and their team at Central Maine Motors Auto Group. A few weeks from now – just as they have in the past – they will make sure every family from the AYCC’s Waterville After School and Preschool programs receives a turkey and a bag of the fixings for their Thanksgiving dinner. The Central Maine Motors Auto Group is as competitive as they are generous. Chris and Linanne provide a list of what is needed for the bags (i.e., vegetables, gravy, etc.) and host a contest to see which site can fill the bags the fastest.

“We are incredibly grateful to Linanne, Chris and the Central Maine Motors Auto Group team for providing Thanksgiving dinners to the families of AYCC’s youth,” said DJ Adams, After School Programs Director, AYCC. “The holidays are a time for families to come together but can also be a difficult time for some. By donating the turkeys and all the fixings, Central Maine Motors Auto Group has taken some of the pressure off these families and helped to make it possible for them to focus on enjoying family time together.”

Photo by Mark Huard, Central Maine photography

EVENTS: Warming up for Christmas concert set

After five years Steve and Linda Fotter are returning for the Warming Up For Christmas Concert. (photo by Mark Huard, Central Maine Photography)

by Mark Huard

After a five year hiatus, Steve and Linda Fotter and friends are putting on a benefit concert for Operation Hope managed by the Waterville Police Dept. It is called Warming Up for Christmas and will be held November 18, 5 p.m., at the Williamson Auditorium, at Lawrence High School, in Fairfield. Steve includes some of his current and former guitar students. This year the Al Corey Orchestra under the direction of Brian Nadeau will be opening the concert. Tickets are $25.00 in advance, or $30.00 at the door. They can be purchased on

Over his 17 year career, Fotter and his wife, Linda have gathered everyone together for the performance, and donated the proceeds to charitable causes, so that more people have shelter, safety and food that they wouldn’t of otherwise have. In 2018 the Fotters raised $14,300 for the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter, in Waterville, and $15,000 for the Shine on Cass Foundation. The Fotters and the community have helped raise more then $150,000 over the years.

The Fotters say their only goals are to help others and have left a legacy of benevolence, grace and compassion filled with beautiful music that touches not only our ears but our hearts. And it’s a legacy that will continue to inspire others to live and love just a bit harder.

The benefits they have supported include the MS society, heating assistance, first choice, pregnancy center, shine on Cass foundation, the homeless shelter, and now operation. Hope.

Fotter says, this years event will help a wonderful cause that is helping people with serious drug addictions. It is a real problem in our community and if we can help just one person and we’ve done something positive and good. Tickets are also available by calling Mr. Fotter at 207-649-0722.

Massage Therapy: More than just a muscular experience

Danielle Dickey

by Gillian Lalime

Slowing down and creating stillness may feel impossible at times. And yet, we can slow down. Practices such as meditation, yoga, breathwork, massage, and dance can help by allowing us to create a somatic experience which – in essence – connects the mind to the body. “I work to create a space for deep listening to the messages that are coming up, emotionally, physically and mentally. I aim to create a sense of safety to allow the body and mind to fully relax, easing tension and providing stress relief while targeting specific muscle groups that need attention,.” says Danielle Dickey, a licensed massage therapist and owner of Guided By Breath, LLC, which operates in Vassalboro.

When asked about why she does what she does for work, Danielle says, “I love what I do. I deeply enjoy connecting people to their breath and bodies as I find most people in our world don’t truly breathe. We go throughout our days living in the sympathetic (fight, flight, freeze, faint, etc.) part of our nervous system”. Often, this manifests as taking unconscious, shallow breaths which fill only our chest, or lead to having a tight jaw and stomach. Taking the time to breathe deeply allows us to drop into the parasympathetic, or the ‘rest and digest ‘side of our nervous system. Lying on the table in Danielle’s massage studio, you will be encouraged to invite the breath all the way to the belly and lungs and to check in with the jaw. This action automatically stimulates the body to activate the parasympathetic nervous system.

Danielle’s journey to becoming a massage therapist was a long one. At age 19, during a challenging period of life, she and a friend attended a yoga class. Little did she know this moment would open a door to a future career path. “Looking back, connecting with my body was a pretty big deal for me… it was exactly what my body, heart, and mind needed.” Finding the class helpful, Danielle began looking into other alternative health practices to incorporate into her lifestyle.

Out of college, Danielle worked as a CNA with Alzheimer’s patients, went through training to become a certified birth and postpartum doula, and spent time working with preschool age children. Danielle’s work has always required compassion and patience, and yet, “I was struggling with the fact that I’m a very empathic person and I wanted a career that could highlight that.” Yoga and bodywork offered tools for grounding herself while helping others. Over time, Danielle felt the calling to become a yoga teacher. “It has truly helped me in so many ways. Yoga is always there for you. Particularly now as a mother, my relationship with yoga has changed. What the body, soul and mind go through during these childbearing years has been huge and yoga and bodywork have been my best tools to call upon. Being able to connect to your body on very busy days…it’s the most important thing you can do for yourself. I’m a firm advocate for meeting yourself where you are at…some days grabbing a tennis ball to do self massage or doing breathwork is the best I can do and that is okay!”.

Danielle completed a local yoga teacher training program and has since participated in further courses focused on trauma-sensitive yoga, and she is grateful to all she learned. Currently, Danielle works with clients in individualized sessions focusing on restorative, prenatal, yin and gentle yoga.

While completing her yoga teacher training, she decided to take the opportunity to enroll in Massage Therapy School. “I loved the massage program. It went hand-in-hand with yoga. I loved learning the anatomy, which built upon [my] previous knowledge from CNA training.” Over the last five years Danielle has been a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) in a variety of settings and understands how important it is to be present with each client. “I value the time to sit with my clients, both during intake and post-massage. As the business owner, I enjoy being able to get to know my clients as people and fellow community members.”

Danielle launched her business, Guided by Breath, in 2018, and has recently moved into her own space in the offices of Maine Family Natural Health, in Vassalboro. She offers prenatal and postnatal massage, trigger point therapy, breathwork, Swedish massage, assisted stretching, cupping, aromatherapy and corporate chair massage.

“People are so appreciative. What I love about chair massage is that it makes massage accessible to people who wouldn’t otherwise take the time to do it.” Danielle encourages her clients to practice self-massage and work out trigger points in tight muscles by using objects such as a tennis or lacrosse ball. She brings an understanding of anatomy and basic ergonomics into sessions, offering small adjustments to her clients’ work positioning such as the way you move your mouse. For folks whose occupations are computer-based, she says, this can make a huge difference in preventing future hand, wrist, and shoulder injury.

Danielle also works with people who are recovering from surgery, people who have had cancer, serious injury, managing menopause symptoms, and those who have had pregnancies or miscarriages. “I really want to support women and moms in our community.” Being a mother herself, she understands the mental, emotional, and physical shifts that happen throughout pregnancy, birth, and raising a little one. “For prenatal and postnatal clients I work side-lying, targeting muscle groups that get taxed during pregnancy in the low back, glutes and hamstrings. I also focus a lot on forearms, wrists, neck and shoulders…all of which become strained with a new baby. Danielle explains how engaging a side-lying position creates a more targeted approach for the low back and is a safer experience for pregnant or injured clients. “This work requires being fully present, checking in with the client often and following their lead. Now, I recognize that being empathic makes me the best therapist I can be.”

“So much comes up in massage…it’s more than just a muscular experience.”

Danielle explains, “Oxytocin (the love hormone) along with other hormones are released for both practitioner and receiver. Increased blood circulation and circulation of the endocrine system are just a few benefits of massage.” Massage and yoga allow everyone the space and setting to focus on the breath and tap into their inner workings.

Guided by Breath is a massage therapy and private yoga practice, located at 12 Priest Hill Road, in North Vassalboro, in the building of Maine Family Natural Health. Danielle is excited to be taking on new clients, particularly women’s health focused and is by appointment only. She is grateful to offer this work within her home community.

Danielle Dickey-Hefeits is currently accepting new clients at her practice in North Vassalboro. Danielle is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Yoga Teacher. To learn more, please visit her website: or call 207-578-4090.

Family Festival of Trees scheduled for Elks Lodge

Alfond Youth & Community Center and Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce combine efforts to present Festival of Trees this holiday season, continuing a proud tradition reinvigorated last season, with a change of venue to the Waterville Elks Lodge.

Participation in this year’s event continues a fabulous holiday tradition. At the same time, money raised supports families in the community experiencing food insecurity through the services of Alfond Youth & Community Center and funds workforce development services and assistance through the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, meeting a need existing throughout our region.

Who doesn’t love a beautiful holiday tree? Imagine nearly 60 trees, each uniquely decked out in holiday cheer. This wonderful family tradition will be held at Waterville Elks Lodge 905, 76 Industrial Rd., Waterville from November 17-19 and November 24-26. Hours on both Fridays and Saturdays will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 19 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 26 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Festival of Trees will provide a magical experience that the whole family can enjoy. Admission for ages 12 and over is just $2 per person; children 12 and under are admitted for free. Purchase and drop your individual tree tickets (just .50 each) into the bucket of your favorite tree and you could go home with a beautifully decorated tree complete with all the gift cards and merchandise displayed. Tree winners will be drawn at 5 p.m., Sunday, November 26, and notified that evening. Trees will be available for pickup the following Monday and Tuesday.

This year’s 50/50 experience has also been enhanced by increased prize amounts, with a maximum payout of $10,000 daily. Winners will be drawn each day and you do not need to be present to win.

Please join us for this wonderful holiday experience. Whether you visit to view the trees on display or are willing to volunteer some time to help staff the event, it will be time well-spent – and you will be helping support your community through your participation.

It takes a substantial number of volunteers for an event of this magnitude. Slots remain open, particularly for the weekend of November 24-26. For more information about volunteering for a shift, or shifts, please visit If you are interested in registering as a group, please contact Maddie Rock, volunteer coordinator at

Fresh fruits for Christmas (2023)

Palermo Community Foundation (photo by Connie Bellet)

The Living Communities Foundation, which runs the Palermo Community Center and the Palermo Community Garden, and hosts the Palermo Food Pantry announces that they are, once again, teaming up with Florida Indian River Groves to bring you freshly-picked oranges, grapefruit, and mandarins shipped anywhere in the contiguous USA to arrive before Christmas! What a sweet way to enjoy a healthy treat! Be sure and check out all the options for gift packages. Shipping is by Fed-Ex and the fruit will go from tree to truck in less than 12 hours. All you have to do is go to and pick out what you want and where it is to go. Then you enter your credit card or e-check info, and Boom! You can take care of your whole Christmas list!

If you have any questions or concerns, please call 1-800-468-3168 and a real, live person in Florida will be delighted to help you with your order. All the fruit has a money-back guarantee. Have a stress-free, joyous Holiday Season!