New Dimensions FCU awards two area high school students with scholarships

Sage Clukey left, accepted her scholarship certificate on Wednesday, April 27. Thomas Dean received his scholarship certificate at the Skowhegan location on April 25. (contributed photo)

New Dimensions FCU has announced that Sage Clukey, from Winslow High School, and Thomas Dean, from Skowhegan Area High School, have been selected as New Dimensions FCU’s 2022 Scholarship Program winners who have earned $2,500 each for their first year in college.

New Dimensions FCU awards scholarships to deserving high school seniors that demonstrate strong character, community involvement, and academic success. This year we found two exceptional candidates who went above and beyond in their academics and community. They both came highly recommended by school officials, and their essays showed that their character and assessment of financial literacy aligned with our mission and values.

Sage Clukey plans on studying to be a nurse at Franklin Pierce University, while Thomas Dean will study finance at the University of Maine at Orono. The staff and directors of NDFCU wish them both the best of luck in all their educational endeavors.

Ryan Poulin, Chief Executive Officer, states, “Our scholarship program is just one of the many ways we support our community. We hear many times from students that financial education is an underdeveloped skill they feel they’d like to hone, so we try to give them the tools and resources at the local level by adding financial fitness into their curriculum as well as offering our Scholarship Program to show the importance of financial success.”

For more information, contact NDFCU at (800) 326-6190 or visit

Skowhegan icon, former columnist dies at 91

Katie Ouilette

SKOWHEGAN – Kathleen “Katie” Valliere Denis Ouilette, 91, passed away on Monday, January 17, 2022. She was born on July 8, 1930, at 29 Chestnut St., in Skowhegan, to Henry and Roxie (Russell) Valliere.

She graduated from Skowhegan High School in 1948 and went on to graduate from Colby-Sawyer College in 1950 with a degree in Medical Secretarial Science. She continued her education throughout her life with various courses through 2000. She held several certificates and licenses to perform the various jobs she did throughout her life. At a very young age Katie was gifted with a beautiful Soprano voice. She sang on the stage at the Strand Theatre. She also sang in choirs throughout the schools she attended, as well as the churches she attended. She sang at many weddings throughout the years. Three days before her own wedding, Katie declined an invitation to join the New York Opera. She didn’t join the Opera but her minister and great friend Larry Kalp, from New Jersey, remembers her teaching a Children’s Choir of 70 members.

Her first job was helping her father at “Henry’s Hardware”. Other early work experiences included working as a dental assistant after school for Dr. Dumont and Dr. Gower, switchboard operator at Lakewood Summer Theatre and personal secretary for Attorney Thomas Weeks.

While working at Lakewood she met her first husband Joseph Denis. They were married in January 1953 and started their lives together in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. They had three children together. From 1953 through 1969 they lived in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Jersey due to her husband’s work.

In 1969, they returned to Maine with their three children to start their new business Z.D. Wire Products.

In 1972, they became owners of Lakewood Resort. Katie was known for singing nightly in the Inn closing the bar with Climb Every Mountain. One of her proudest memories was the opportunity to sing with Jack Cassidy. For several years Katie continued to work in the hospitality business working at Red Coach Inn and the Holiday Inn. Then in 1977 she took on a totally different line of work and worked for CN Flagg during the construction of Scott Paper Company, in Hinckley. In 1976, she met her second husband Lewis Ouilette. They were married in February 1977. She became the step mom to two sons. She and Lew lived a wonderful and eventful life together until he passed in July of 2018.

From 1977 Katie continued to perform various jobs as office manager and sales and marketing at various places of businesses. She was also activities director at Maplecrest Nursing Home as well as 234 Madison Avenue, in Skownegan.

In 2009, she became very active with the Madison Community Access TV Channel 11. So many people loved watching her on Now You Know and Keeping Pace, with the late Herb Paradis. She also wrote a column for weekly newspapers, including The Town Line, titled If Walls Could Talk. She enjoyed being a member of several Heritage Councils in the area but especially enjoyed working with Bob Washburn on Abner Coburn Days.

Katie was a doer. Nothing stopped her. At 90, she called Governor Janet Mills and offered to work for her. She even survived Covid at the age of 90. She is also an early survivor of Lyme disease that she contracted in the early ‘80s. Unfortunately, this is when she lost her singing voice and suffered great pain in her arms and legs. For this reason she has donated her body to science in hopes they can learn more about Lyme disease and the effects it has on individuals and a possible cure.

She and Lew are remembered for their hours of volunteering their time throughout Madison and Skowhegan. Katie was the walking historian for this area. A lot of history left this area when Katie passed. In 2006, she received the Alton Whittemore Award from the Skowhegan Chamber of Commerce. In 2014, she received the Senatorial Sentiment Reward from Senator Angus King. In 2019, The Senate and House of Representatives joined the Town of Madison and dedicated the Madison Town Report to Lew and Katie. Also in 2019 she and Lew were recognized by the Somerset County Commissioners for their endless hours of volunteering.

She opened her house to so many people from far and wide. She was known at times for her feistiness and never giving up attitude. She made a huge impact on so many lives and will be missed by so many.

Katie was predeceased by her parents Henry and Roxie; her husband Lew; her son Russell; son-in-law Ray; cousins Ernald, Sherwood and his wife Nancy.

Katie is survived by her children, Craig and his wife Laurie, Lynn, Nick and his wife Loan, Dean and his wife Donna; grandchildren, Daniel, Angela and her husband Tim, Andrea and her husband Jeremy, Michelle and her husband Jason, Matthew and his wife Heather, Brittani, Danielle and her husband Kevin, Paul and his wife Bryanna, Marc and his wife Diana, Roxie, Leigh and his wife Samantha; great-grandchildren, Landen, Sydney, Kinley, Caden, Kyler, Rylie, Cody, Reese, Owen, Bella, Olive, Francis, and Sawyer; cousins, Ray, Mimi, and Mal.

A celebration of life for Katie will be announced at a later date.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of Smart and Edwards Funeral Home 183 Madison Ave. Skowhegan Maine.

In lieu of flowers, please feel free to donate to St. Jude’s Hospital or a place of your choice.

GFWC raises funds for humane society

From left to right, Mary Pono and dog Sig, Linda Smith, Davida Barter, Maureen Provencal and Nancy Ames preparing ornaments. (photo by Jeff Powers)

The General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) Semper Fidelis, of Skowhegan, proudly donated $305 each to Canine Companions for Independence and the Somerset Humane Society. Also donated to the local shelter were 32 bags of dog and cat food, 118 cans of cat food, 12 bags of dog treats, dog harnesses, collars, and toys, 4 dog beds, cleaning supplies, blankets, and towels.

Community member Tori and her dog Charlie, with member Maureen Provencal and volunteer Mike painting paws to print the finished ornaments. (photo by Jeff Powers)

Sixty unfinished round ornaments, red and green acrylic paints, and mini poinsettia garnishes were purchased, then painted and assembled by members of the club for “Paws for a Cause” to make keepsake paw print Christmas ornaments.

A local brewery donated space the morning of the annual Skowhegan Holiday Stroll for this event. The price to participate was set at $10 per ornament plus a donation of either a bag of dog food or canned cat food.

Stations were set up around the brewery to allow for social distancing, consisting of check in, donation drop off area, painting of the paw print by covering a sponge with non-toxic acrylic paint and pressing it onto the dog’s paw, then onto a piece of paper (no easy task!) and finally, drying the print with a hair dryer and placing it into the ornament frame. There were also photo opportunities provided for the pets with an elf cut out dogs could put their face through or sitting in an oversized Adirondack chair.

While several members and their families helped the day of the event, others helped by making and wrapping 120 homemade dog treats for the participants to take home with them.

The event sold out of all ornaments and many community members have already asked if the club will be doing it again next year.

Paws for a Cause ornaments. (photo by Jeff Powers)

PHOTO: Cub Scouts carve their great pumpkins

Cub Scouts from Skowhegan Cub Pack #485 show off the great pumpkins they carved in time for Halloween. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

Skowhegan legion to hold September events

Photo source: Skowhegan American Legion Facebook page.

Skowhegan American Legion Post #16, will hold two events during the month of September.

September 11, 2021
Luck of Draw Auction
Located at American Legion Post #16
on Route 201, in Skowhegan

Doors open at 9 a.m., drawings starts at noon.

Money raised will be used for charities the Auxiliary donates to all year long. Some of these include, but are not limited to: Togus VA Center, Annual High School Scholarship, Songs of Love Foundation, Hospice Volunteers of Somerset County, Local Food Cupboards, and direct assistance to veterans and citizens in our community.

September 18 and 19
Stuff the Cruiser

Located at American Legion Post #16 hall, on Route 201, in Skowhegan

From 10 a.m. ‘til 3 p.m. both days. Auxiliary members will be collecting personal care, and activity items that will be distributed for free to Veterans receiving care at the Veterans Hospital, or one of the Veteran Homes.

Ideas for donations at the event:

Personal Care: Deodorant, Soap, Razors, Shampoo, Lotion, Chapstick, Tooth Brushes, Tooth Paste, Chapstick, Hair brushes/combs, lap blankets, T-shirts of all sizes, and socks.

Activity items: Word Search, Sudoku, crossword, or adult coloring books. Also colored pencils, stationary to write to family, and card games.

For more information call Ann Spaulding at 399-5602.

Skowhegan scouts hold annual crossover ceremony

Owen Perri, left, and Hayden Rowell recently joined Cub Scout Pack #485, in Skowhegan, and are both working on their Lions Badge this year.

by Chuck Mahaleris

Skowhegan Cubs Scouts held their annual cross over ceremony on July 2 and Arrow of Light recipient John “LJ” Easler completed all requirements in order to leave Cub Scout Pack #485 and start his new adventures in Scout Troop #485.

The program was held at “Chicken Camp” on River Road and included dinner (all families brought things to share), campfire, awards, and families could spend the night if they chose. There was an Arrow of Light Ceremony for Webelos Scouts and a Bobcat Light ceremony.

John “LJ” Easler crosses the Arrow of Light bridge leaving Cub Scouting and entering the Skowhegan Scout Troop. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

Kaleb Simonds and Owen Hatfield crossed to the Tiger Cub program from the Lions Program. Jameson McGinnis left the Tigers and began his journey to Wolf. Logan Simonds started his Bear program and Weston Booker crossed the bridge from Webelos to the Arrow of Light level program. Pack #485 welcomed two new Cub Scouts: Owen Perri and Hayden Rowell who earned their Lions Honor. The Scouting program follows the school calendar so they will be working all year on these new levels of program.

Pack #485 Cub Master Shanna Brown said, “It was an amazing night. We had a BBQ, ball games, the campfire and Scouts made and enjoyed s’mores. No one stayed the night, it was chilly and many of the families have younger siblings.” The pack is planning another similar family outdoor event at the end of summer as a way to kick off the new Scouting year.

Cub Scouts Kaleb Simonds, Hayden Rowell, Owen Hatfield, Owen Perri and Jameson McGinnis with leader Shawn Hayden. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

Scouts New Boy Scout LJ Easler. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

EVENTS: Skowhegan class of 1963 to meet

The Skowhegan High School class of 1963 will be gathering for a breakfast buffet on Saturday, June 19, 2021, at 9:30 a.m., at 234 Hilton Hill, MountainsView, Cornville. FMI call 858-0946.

PHOTO: Moving up the ranks

These students at Huard’s Martial Arts earned the rank of Blue Belt on April 24. From left to right, Jackson Hanson, of Clinton, Walker Johnson, of Oakland, Brody Robbins, of Skowhegan, and Trenton Clark, of Oakland. (photo by Mark Huard)

Legion collects for animal shelter

Members of the American Legion of Tardiff-Belanger Post #39, Madison, are collecting for the Furry Friends at the Somerset Humane Society Animal Shelter, in Skowhegan, during this holiday season. Items can be dropped off at the hall, on 20 S. Maple Street, Madison after 3 p.m., on Wednesdays through Saturdays.

Here are a few items that are in need: cat litter, cat and dog toys, cat food containing no dye, dog food, cleaning supplies, used bedding such as comforters, blankets, sheets, etc., just to mention a few. For a complete list go the legion’s website at

If you can’t drop off items, but you still would like to help, monetary donations are accepted. Mail to American Legion Post #39, PO Box 144, Madison, ME 04950, please earmark it Skowhegan Animal Shelter. The donations will be delivered to the Animal Shelter prior to Christmas. Thank you in advance for your help. FMI: call 431-5533.

Kennebec County retired educators support the classroom

The Kennebec Retired Educators Association (KREA) awards two $150 grants to two educators in Kennebec County for classroom use. The grants will supplement expenses for student-centered, inter-disciplinary projects and may be expended for materials used in the classroom, speakers’ fees, project development expenses, etc.

Grant description and applications have been disseminated to every principal in all 60 elementary, middle, and high schools in 31 cities and towns in Kennebec County. The principals have made them available to the classroom teachers.

“Students and teachers remain our primary focus long after we leave our classrooms,” says George Davis, of Skowhegan, chairman of the Innovative Classroom Grant Committee and retired principal of Winslow High School.

Grant applications are to be submitted by October 31. The winning applicants will be notified in early November and will receive the grant money at that time.