Contest winner

Lucia, 9 years old, of Skowhegan (photo courtesy of Mark Huard)

Somerset Public Health held its third annual Dear Future Me contest and Lucia, 9 years old, of Skowhegan, took first place. She created a video and spoke as though she was talking to her younger self explaining how living a life free of drugs, alcohol and bad influences allowed her to reach all of her goals and lead a life of success and positivity. She received a New Balance gift certificate, Pittsfield Community Movie Theater gift certificates, and a gift certificate to Pop on Over Cafe, in Pittsfield.

Skowhegan High School class of 1963 “Tail Gate Gathering”

On August 29, 2020 there will be a class get together on Hilton Hill, on the very top of the hill, at noon. Members are asked to bring their lunches, chairs and masks. Beverages and chips will be provided as well as a comfort station! Classmates can drive vehicles to the site, no walking involved. Lovely mowed lawn, 360 degree vistas and usually a breeze. Hope for a nice day, in the event of inclement weather the outing will be canceled. If any questions, call Cindy at 858-0946.

St. Anthony’s Soup Kitchen re-opens in Skowhegan

Nora Natale and Aldea LeBlanc, St. Anthony Soup Kitchen volunteers. (contributed photo)

Community members can once again enjoy a hot meal every Thursday thanks to the volunteers at St. Anthony’s Soup Kitchen in Skowhegan.

“The soup kitchen is resuming because there is a need in the community, and most of the crew are more than ready to see our guests and meet the need,” said Nora Natale, office manager at Christ the King Parish.

“There is a definite need in this area,” agreed Aldea LeBlanc, coordinator of the soup kitchen. “None of us wanted to close during the pandemic, but it was mandated.”

After shutting down in March due to COVID-19, the soup kitchen began serving meals again on June 4, although with some precautionary measures in place. Volunteers wear masks and practice social distancing, while diners are no longer allowed in the hall of Notre Dame de Lourdes Church, where they used to gather. Instead, the meals are served in a drive-thru format in the parking lot of the church, with recipients remaining in their cars.

While the delivery method has changed, what hasn’t is the appeal of the meals. Macaroni and cheese was on the menu the first week, followed by pork chops the next. Those who drive through on June 18 will be treated to barbecue chicken legs, served with potato salad and corn.

“We will continue to do full meals on Thursdays. We also provide a vegetable and fruit of some kind, as well as donated desserts and bread,” said Aldea. “The meals are served from 4:30 to 5 p.m. ,to anyone who pulls up.”

The soup kitchen is entirely volunteer run, and while not all have immediately felt comfortable returning, those like Aldea plan to be there to cook, serve, and welcome guests with warm smiles, even if they are hidden behind masks.

“I plan to stay on volunteering for the foreseeable future,” she said.

St. Anthony’s Soup Kitchen was first established in 1991, then shut down in 2017 while the parish sought funding and someone to lead it. Aldea stepped forward, along with Steve Watrous, and the kitchen began serving meals again in November 2018. Patrons not only come from Skowhegan but from surrounding communities such as Athens, Bingham, and Canaan.

Maine International Film Festival (MIFF) still on at new venue

In response to social distancing requirements and in the interest of public safety and health, the Maine Film Center (MFC) will present the 2020 Maine International Film Festival (MIFF) in a new, modified format. The 23rd annual MIFF will be held July 7–16 with in-person screenings held exclusively at the Skowhegan Drive-In Theater in Skowhe­gan, Maine. The twenty-third annual celebration of Ameri­can independent, international, and classic film will showcase nine feature films, comprised largely of World, North American, and East Coast premieres, as well as a program of Maine Shorts. Additional feature and short films will be made available for ticketed online streaming via the festival website, MIFF.org.

“We’re elated to be able to host a terrific lineup of films this summer, in spite of the difficulties that movie theaters across the country have experienced over the past several months,” said Mike Perreault, Executive Director of MFC. “While the festival may not exhibit the same number of films as in past years, we’re confident that our 2020 MIFF program will reflect the world-class cinema that our patrons and community have come to appreciate. We’re especially grateful that our partners at the Skowhegan Drive-In have agreed to host MIFF23. This all-too-rare kind of venue will be a great place for audiences to have a unique experience and enjoy movies from a safe distance.”

“While we’d love to be able to share with our audiences all the incredible cinematic discoveries we’ve made in working on this year’s festival,” said Ken Eisen, MIFF programming director, “we are truly thrilled to be embarking on what we are sure will be an exciting, safe, and joyful version of MIFF appropriate to the current conditions.”

“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to work with Maine Film Center to maintain the continuity of the Maine International Film Festival in this moment of unprecedented challenge,” said Donald Brown, owner of the Skowhegan Drive In-Theatre. “The Skowhegan Drive-In Theatre is a unique cultural attraction from an earlier era [and] MIFF is a resource for all of Central Maine. Together this summer, they will illuminate the night!”

The complete festival lineup, including titles that will be available for streaming, will be announced in June. Passes for the Festival are available to pre-order at MIFF.org.

Class breakfast canceled

The Skowhegan High School class of 1963 breakfast scheduled for May 16, 2020, at Wentworth’s Restaurant, in Norridgewock, has been canceled until further notice due to the coronavirus. Call 858-0946 with questions.

Margaret Chase Smith essay contest announced

Photograph by Brian Vanden Brink

The Margaret Chase Smith Library is pleased to announce the topic of its 24th annual essay contest. As the Pine Tree State commemorates the past during its bicentennial year of 2020, we invite Maine high school seniors to look to the future and share with us ideas of how they would propose to make the state “the way life should be” for young people so that more of them will choose to live in a place with one of the oldest populations in the nation.

Entries are due by April 1, 2020 and decisions will be announced by May 4. Prizes are $1000 for first place, $500 for second place, $250 for third place, and five $50 honorable mention prizes. For more information, visit the Library’s website at or contact John Taylor at 474-7133.

Located in Skowhegan, Maine, the Library is owned by the Margaret Chase Smith Foundation and operated under its auspices by the University of Maine. The Margaret Chase Smith Library is an archive, museum, educational facility, and public policy center devoted to preserving the legacy of Margaret Chase Smith, promoting research into American political history, advancing the ideals of public service, and exploring issues of civic engagement.

Skowhegan Savings Bank welcomes two new employees

Skowhegan Savings Bank has announced that John Butera and Steve Gray have joined the bank as vice presidents of commercial lending. They will work to assist the bank’s customers with their business banking. Butera has over 30 years experience in economic and business development.

John resides in Waterville with his wife and son.

Steve Gray lives in Farmington with his wife, and also operates a blueberry farm called Grayberry farm. He has 38 years experience in customer service in banking, insurance and auto industries.

Eunice Farnsworth-Ruth Heald Cragin Chapter DAR

The DAR is a nonprofit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting historic preservation, education and patriotism. Our motto is: “God, Home & Country.” We have 3,000 chapters in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. , and in several countries. Over one million women have joined the DAR since it was founded.

To become a member you must be 18 years or older, regardless of race, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution. We offer assistance with joining.

Some of the interesting things we do are:

We discuss women’s issues, health tips, recycling, conservation, patriotism, growing gardens, pollination, etc., maintain the World War I Memorial Sundial Garden at Coburn Park, in Skowhegan, donate to a local animal shelter, donate clothing to schools so that if a young child has an accident while at school they have a change of clothing available, donate comfort items such as toothpaste, tooth brushes, soaps, lotions, razors, shaving cream, deodorant, etc. for the veterans at the VA Hospital (Togus), and we donate annually for newspapers there.

Visit our website: www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~meefcdar/.

Curtis Dalton achieves rank of Eagle Scout

For his project, Dalton donated 50 Cancer Care Packages to Oncology patients at Redington-Fairview General Hospital, in Skowhegan. (Contributed photo)

Dalton James Curtis of Skowhegan, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout on October 19, 2019, at his Court of Honor Ceremony held at Centenary United Methodist Church.

Dalton is the son of Chad Curtis, of Athens, and Tammy James, of Skowhegan.

He is a member of Troop #485, of Skowhegan, and is also a member of the Order of the Arrow.

To earn the rank of Eagle, a Scout must earn at least 21 Merit Badges and demonstrate leadership and community service by organizing and carrying out an Eagle Scout project.

For his project, Dalton donated 50 Cancer Care Packages to Oncology patients at Redington-Fairview General Hospital, in Skowhegan.

Dalton is a freshman at Skowhegan Area High School.

Dalton plans on taking a basic cooking class this year, hoping to take a culinary arts program his junior year, and after graduation he plans to go on to college. His plans are to become a chef.

The Vietnam War: I was there

Credit UPI Photo by Jeff Taylor 4/19/72

by Gerald A. Boulette
Skowhegan

Yes, I was there, along with a thousand other young boys…rather, men! I saw, I did, and I’ve seen it all. It’s hard for some people to visualize what it’s like to see a man die right in front of you. For me, it will be forever in my mind. For the veterans, war will always be a figment of their mind ‘til the end. I’m reminded every month, every year of Vietnam, in one way or another. Never to forget to see your fellow comrade fall in battle. I’ve seen it all and hope never again. Yes, I’ve been there, and seen it all. My thoughts and prayers are with the future vets who will fight in all these next wars. I know what they face!

Gerald A. Boulette was a Specialist Four in the U.S. Army serving in Vietnam from December 1966 through December 1967.