Temple Academy Outreach Team doing great things within our community

From left to right, Grace Paradis, Katelyn Rose, Kaylan Haber, Billy Dumond, and Shivon Larsen, serving at the Winslow Community Cupboard. (contributed photo)

by Mark Huard

The Temple Academy Outreach Team is a community serviced-oriented group of 7th through 12th grade students led by junior high and high school science teacher Rachel Baker. Kevin Wood, Superintendent of the pre-K-12, non-denominational Christian school shared his vision with Ms. Baker for a service-based team at the start of the 2020/2021 school year. Within a short period of time the team was formed, organized, and committed. They enthusiastically hit the ground running throughout the community.

From left to right, Isaac Smith, Elena Hassele, Dylan Shortil, Zack Wiles, Chloe Riportella, Gavin MacDonald, Dave Louis, Thomas Fortin, Marko Ajvaz, Hunter Doyle, Evan Lafountain, and Mary Jo Wadsworth serve at the Winslow Community Cupboard. (contributed photo)

They have worked on several different community projects in the area. In the Fall the team performed yard clean up chores for several local residents in different neighborhoods. They participated in the “Crusin’ Country” 93.5’s “Put a Sock in It” Sock Drive in December, collecting 238 pairs of new socks, which the students decided to donate to the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter. The team has developed an ongoing relationship with the Winslow Community Cupboard, whose food pantry is open every other Thursday. The entire student body from seventh through 12th grade gets involved in this program. Ms. Baker takes multiple grade levels once a month, in shifts, to the Cupboard to volunteer.

Adalia Harrington, a 12th grade student at Temple Academy and Outreach Team president shares her feelings about being a member of this team, “After the devastating year our world has faced, I am privileged to be part of a group that restores the hope in our community and spreads the message that we are in this together!”

Ms. Baker states, “The heart of our mission is to promote a culture that regularly engages the student body in meeting needs in our community through acts of service. We want our students to experience the value of serving others. When you humble yourself to do something kind for someone else, it does something inside of you. It can deeply touch both the person serving and the one being served. With Temple Academy being a small school, I was immediately impressed with the level of interest at our very first meeting. The students are a committed and hard-working group and I am truly fortunate to have the privilege of working alongside of them. It is amazing for me to see these students shine during our events; they work so hard! And the best part of it is, I can tell the students are really enjoying themselves because of how happy they are while volunteering. This is truly an enlightening experience for every student that participates.”

She continues: “We were fortunate to make a connection early on with Bruce Bottigliere at the Winslow Community Cupboard. We have been able to plug our student volunteers into the various programs they have there. Together in March, we are working on scheduling a USDA Farmers to Families Food Box distribution site at our school. This will allow us to give every student in our entire school the opportunity to participate and experience the feeling of serving. I am thankful for our students, our parents, and our entire faculty who are so incredibly supportive in the efforts in making our vision a reality. We are Temple!”

(Plans are currently in the works for an opportunity this month at the First Choice Pregnancy Center.) This Spring the team is working on solidifying partnerships with the Alfond Youth & Community Center and with the city of Waterville to create some annual community projects. If you have any ideas on how their team may be able to get involved in your community or in your event, you are encouraged to contact MS. Baker at her contact information stated above.

Waterville Creates celebrates Black History Month by highlighting Maine author

Four-year-old Naomi creating a Beautiful Blackbird collage.(Contributed photo)

In honor of Black History Month, Waterville Creates, together with the Colby College Museum of Art, Kennebec Montessori School, Waterville Public Schools and the Family Violence Project, has created a special Art Kit for All to celebrate the artwork and legacy of Maine artist, Ashley Bryan. The February art kit is inspired by Ashley Bryan’s award-winning book, Beautiful Blackbird, a copy of which will be included in each art kit.

Ashley Bryan is an American artist, writer, and illustrator of children’s books, and the majority of his subjects are derived from the African-American experience. “Beautiful Blackbird is a wonderful representation of Bryan’s spirit,” says Shannon Haines, President and CEO of Waterville Creates. “His captivating storytelling and vivid collage work make this book a treat for all ages, and it is our hope that these art kits will inspire families to not only read and create together but also to learn more about Bryan’s work.” The Beautiful Blackbird art kit will be distributed on February 25 at the Alfond Youth and Community Center, located at 124 North Street, in Waterville, at 4 p.m. as long as supplies last. A number of kits will also be available for the Alfond Weekend Backpack Program and the Waterville Public Library’s “Library To Go” program.

“Ashley Bryan is such a beloved artist, and we are thrilled that young people in Waterville will be able to draw inspiration from his beautiful book to make their own art. It’s exciting for children and families know that an artist and writer of Bryan’s stature lives right here in our state, and we are honored to have his work represented in the Colby Museum collection to share with our community,” said Jacqueline Terrassa, Carolyn Muzzy Director of the Colby College Museum of Art.

To complement these special art kits, Waterville Creates and the Maine Film Center will highlight and promote streaming information for the 2016 award-winning documentary by filmmaker, Richard Kane, entitled I Know a Man…Ashley Bryan, throughout the month of February at www.mainefilmcenter.org. The film was featured as an official selection at the Maine International Film Festival in 2016. A long-time resident of Cranberry Island in Isleford, Maine, Ashley Bryan is deeply committed to using his artwork and writing as a vehicle to create unity and understanding around his African heritage.

For this month’s art kit, Waterville Creates is especially grateful for additional sponsorship provided by the Colby College Museum of Art and the Children’s Book Cellar. Ongoing funding for the Art Kits for All program has been generously provided by Waterville Creates’ annual sponsors MaineGeneral Health, Kennebec Savings Bank, Colby Center for the Arts and Humanities, Bangor Savings Bank, New Dimensions Federal Credit Union, and Back Office Solutions.

In direct response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, Art Kits for All is an innovative, collaborative program designed to keep our community’s families engaged and connected to the arts. By providing free art supplies and instructions, this program offers high-quality, accessible art experiences in a completely re-imagined way. The first art kits were distributed on April 8, 2020, and to date, over 3,000 kits have been distributed as part of this innovative response to the pandemic.

MaineGeneral Health opens new practice

MaineGeneral Health has announced the opening of a new medical practice, MaineGeneral Addiction Medicine on Feb. 1, 2021. Addiction Medicine will provide comprehensive services to patients seeking treatment for substance use disorder, opiate use disorder and the treatment of other addictive substances. Services are offered at two locations, 9 Green Street in Augusta and Thayer Center for Health in Waterville.

MaineGeneral’s Addiction Medicine team uses an evidence-based approach to manage opioid, alcohol and stimulant and sedative (benzodiazepine) use disorders, with a focus on diagnosis, treatment and prevention. “From one-on-one appointments with addiction medicine physicians, to group meetings, individual counseling and needle exchange services, we are here to support patients and families through this process,” said Nicholas Gallagher, DO, medical director.

“MaineGeneral looks forward to providing more robust substance use disorder treatment services to our community,” said Chuck Hays, president/CEO. “For the last 15 years, we have provided medication-assisted treatment for opiate use disorder. Having an Addiction Medicine practice allows us to continue to effectively respond to the current opioid crisis in our community, as well as the ongoing prevalence of alcohol use disorder and its long-ranging effects on individuals and families.”

To learn more about MaineGeneral Addiction Medicine, please call 872-4151 or 207-621-3759 or visit http://www.mainegeneral.org/addiction-medicine.

Winslow Food Pantry to benefit from Hannaford promotion

Hannaford “Fight Hunger” Reusable Shopping Bag. (image courtesy of Hannaford Bros. Company, LLC)

Looking for an easy, effective way to support a local food pantry during these difficult economic times? For the month of February, Winslow Community Cupboard food pantry will receive a $1 donation from each purchase of the $2.50 reusable “Fight Hunger” Shopping Bag at the Hannaford supermarket located at 190 Kennedy Memorial Drive, JFK Plaza, in Waterville.

Every dollar donated will go directly to assist food-insecure children, seniors, and other adults in Winslow, Waterville, Clinton, and Benton—more than 140 families in all, with demand steadily rising. According to Good Shepherd Food Bank and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 13.6 percent of Maine’s households are now food insecure, which is nearly 2 percent above the national average.

Those unable to purchase the Hannaford “Fight Hunger” Shopping Bag, or who wish to make a direct donation, may do so by mailing a check payable to “Winslow Community Cupboard” to: Winslow Community Cupboard / 12 Lithgow St. / Winslow, ME 04901. Credit card or PayPal donations are also greatly appreciated at this link: https://winslow ucc.org/winslow-community-cupboard/

Winslow Community Cupboard is a ministry of Winslow Con­grega­tional Church, 12 Lithgow Street, Win­slow, which has served the local community since 1828.

For more information, please contact Winslow Community Cupboard at WinslowCupboard@Gmail.com.

Mid-Maine Chamber to offer Takeout Challenge again

The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce will once again be holding their Takeout Challenge Contest to help out restaurants, cafés and eateries at a time when they need us the most.

We all enjoyed eating outside on decks and patios, or frequenting our favorite places while the weather was nice. Now that the temperatures have cooled off, our restaurants and eateries are hurting – many have had to curtail hours, or staff to align with the amount of business coming through the doors. So, it is not as easy to find places to eat outside our homes.

If you can still get food at your favorite hangout and feel a comfort level to do so – by all means, help them keep on keeping on. But for those who may not be comfortable eating inside for the next few weeks and would rather be in the comfort of your own home, please consider ordering takeout to continue helping those who kept you fed in the past.

We all must eat, even during the pandemic – the chamber would simply like to reward you for doing so.

For the next eight weeks, you can enter to win a $25 Damon’s Beverage gift card simply by sending in your takeout receipts for food ordered at any of the Chamber member eateries. It’s easy to enter, and win – just scan, email, snap a photo, mail or drop off a copy of your receipt.

Emails and scans may be sent to cindy@midmainechamber.com. Entries may also be mailed or dropped at the Chamber office – 50 Elm St., Waterville. Be sure to include a contact number, in the event you are a winner. Weekly winners will be drawn at random each Wednesday and notified by phone or email.

Check for Chamber member restaurant/eateries take-out hours and website information here: www.midmainechamber.com/takeoutchallenge.

(This list will expand as the chamber receives additional information as to eateries offering takeout.)

Join the Takeout Challenge 2021 – and eat your heart out – while you show some love to our local businesses!

PHOTOS: Central Maine Youth Hockey in action

Central Maine Youth Hockey Hornets Tier 3 Squirts, from top to bottom, Zaiden Thoopsamoot, Jace Poulin and Chase Lawler, saw action recently against the Tier 3 Maine Moose, in Rockport. The Hornets fell, 5-0.

(Photos by Sarah Fredette, Central Maine Photography staff)


Zaiden Thoopsamoot of Central Maine Youth Hockey Hornets Tier 3 Squirts. (photos by Sarah Fredette, Central Maine Photography staff)

Jace Poulin of Central Maine Youth Hockey Hornets Tier 3 Squirts. (photos by Sarah Fredette, Central Maine Photography staff)

Chase Lawler of Central Maine Youth Hockey Hornets Tier 3 Squirts. (photo by Sarah Fredette, Central Maine Photography staff)

Local youth builds cat houses for area humane society

Isaiah Vear, 14, right, attends the Waterville Alternative School. He recently constructed seven cat houses to help the Humane Society Waterville Area, where they will be placed in areas so cats can go to keep warm during the winter. With Isaiah is his teacher, Jessica Jones, at the Waterville Alternative School. (Photo courtesy of Central Maine Photography)

Kringleville 2020: The magic of Kringleville like no other season

A message from Mrs. Claus to our Kringleville, Maine, USA friends. This certainly was a season like no other Kringleville season. Though Santa and I could not visit with you in the cabin, we were so pleased to be able to connect with so many of you remotely. The thing Santa and I missed the most were your holiday hugs.

We enjoyed our brief visit to Maine, USA for Kringleville’s “Light Up the Town” event brought to you by The Children’s Discovery Museum of Waterville. Santa and Mrs. Claus are excited to share with you that The Children’s Discovery Museum is projected to open in the fall of 2021. We sure hope that you will all visit the museum to learn, grow and have fun!

Santa was so happy to be able to receive your letters that you mailed to him at the Kringleville cabin in Castonguay Square, in Waterville, thanks to Kringleville’s postmaster Scott McAdoo. Your letters flooded into our North Pole mail room day after day.

The Kringleville Facebook page ended the 2019 season with 3,284 friends and followers.

We’re happy to share that there are even more Kringleville friends and followers in 2020: 4,612 and growing. This season, thanks to Santa’s friend Eric Lunt, Santa and Mrs. Claus were introduced to Fran Nuite. The good people at the Faith Church, in Waterville, allowed Fran to borrow their filming equipment and transport the equipment to the North Pole to film this season’s Kringleville videos for you. So much Christmas magic was able to be shared with you thanks to Fran and Eric.

It’s not too late to view the Kringleville videos. As Mrs. Claus always says, “Kringleville is not a season. It is a friendship.” The Kringleville Facebook page is active year-round, so we hope that you stay connected, because the spirit of Christmas should be more like the Hawaiian spirt of Aloha and live in all of us year-round.

This season’s videos include, storytime with Santa and Mrs. Claus, songs by Eric Lunt (a.k.a. the Big E), songs by REZ Life Church, songs from Mrs. Claus, Santa and Mrs. Claus winter waltz, Christmas dance performances and cookie time with Mrs. Claus and friends, Santa and Mrs. Claus carriage ride arrival.

We decided to have a virtual season to try our best to help keep our Kringleville friends healthy and safe during this worldwide pandemic. We know some were disappointed to not be able to sit on Santa’s lap, but thankfully you were able to get a Christmas picture with Santa 2020 style through the computer. Santa and I enjoyed our zoom visits with you and wish that we could have spent more time with you, but you know that there were so many who wanted to visit with us, and it was also our busy season here in the North Pole.

One thing that Santa and I stressed to all of you this season was during all the changes, we hoped that you were still kind to others and to yourselves. What we heard over and over again this season was honesty from children. You expressed that this was a difficult year and that you were worried about making the nice list. One even said that his halo was a bit crooked, but that he tried his best. This genuine honesty coming from child after child had Santa and Mrs. Claus telling children that as long as you tried your best, that is all we can ask. And just like that, honesty placed many children on the nice list, because being honest is what good boys and girls do.

This season’s annual Kringleville Christmas ornaments were available for purchase in downtown Waterville at Holy Cannoli and Jorgenson’s Café on Main Street with 50 % of proceeds donated to the Children’s Discovery Museum and as always, the other 50 percent was a personal donation from Santa and Mrs. Claus to the Saint Jude Children’s Hospital. Santa and Mrs. Claus hand paint the collectible ornaments each year and donate proceeds to charitable causes that directly benefit children.

If you or your business would like to contribute to the success of this timeless Waterville tradition, please contact Amarinda Keys, at The Children’s Discovery Museum. Email Amarinda at amarinda@childrensdiscoverymuseum.org to ask how you too can be a part of the magic of Christmas at Kringleville for the 2021 season. If you would like to share your time and talent with our Kringleville family in 2021, please contact Amarinda to be placed on our Kringleville 2021 “I want to help Santa list”!

Santa and I ask that you continue to try your best. You have been brave…Continue to be brave! You have been strong through all of the changes that the year 2020 brought to you and the world you live in. Always remember to be part of solutions, rather than adding to problems. Be respectful of all others, because kindness begins with respect and a smile.

Though the 2020 Christmas season started with the newspaper headlines that Kringleville was canceled, we certainly proved that no one cancels Christmas, because Christmas lives in our hearts. Santa wants everyone to keep in mind that Christmas isn’t something you should have in your heart only once a year. The spirit of Christmas should live in your heart year-round. So, take Santa’s advice and be kind to all others! Mrs. Claus sends big hugs from my North Pole home to your home. Santa and I wish you all the best in this new year!

How small business can beat Covid-19 to be presented by Mid-Maine chamber

Nancy Marshall

Marshall Communications Founder and CEO Nancy Marshall will offer tips to address how businesses and leaders can embrace adaptability, exercise empathy in the workplace, and take action to assure success during and after the pandemic. The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce’s January breakfast will be held on Thursday, January 14, from 7:15 to 9 a.m., in the Colby/Coburn Room, at the Best Western Plus, 375 Main Street, Waterville.

Nancy Marshall is known as The PR Maven®, she’s a go-getter and social media powerhouse. Thirty years ago, Nancy started her own public relations agency, which has represented many major clients.

Nancy’s hallmark is her commitment to living clients’ businesses. Before starting work at Sugarloaf, she certified as a professional ski instructor. When she represented Northern Outdoors, she became a licensed whitewater rafting guide. For the Maine Windjammer Association, she lived the life of a crewmember on the Victory Chimes. For Orvis, she learned to fly fish and tie flies.

She hosts the PR Maven® Podcast, shares her expertise in columns for Forbes.com and MaineBiz and does speaking engagements throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Nancy specializes in all things connected to networking and media relations; personal branding and business and motivational speaking.

Before founding Marshall Communications, Nancy was a marketing associate for a Hinckley yacht-builder; corporate conference sales manager and director of communications for Sugarloaf ski resort, and Public Information Manager for a PBS TV Station, the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Network.

In her spare time, Nancy enjoys entertaining, food and wine, travel, reading for pleasure and learning, walking, cycling, swimming, fitness, skiing, boating, fishing, and spending time with her two sons.

Nancy holds a bachelor of arts degree with a double major in French and American studies from Colby College, and a master of business administration from Thomas College, both located in Waterville.

Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce holds monthly informative presentations on a variety of educational business topics at Best Western Plus, 375 Main Street, Waterville. The cost of the Business Breakfast is $20 for members, $27 at the door and for non-members. Breakfast is included with the reservation. All CDC regulations and guidelines are followed.

To register, e-mail Cindy@midmainechamber.com or call 207-873-3315.

The major sponsors for the Business Breakfast are: AT&T; Cross Employee Benefits; New Dimensions Federal Credit Union; Nicholson, Michaud & Nadeau CPAs; O’Donnell, Lee, McCowan & Phillips, LLC; Sheridan Corporation. The print media sponsor is Morning Sentinel, a division of MaineToday Media, Inc.; radio sponsor is MIX107.9; video sponsor is Kennebec Savings Bank.

Many kids waiting for big brothers, big sisters in 2021

Big Brother Chris Paradis, left, and his Little Brother Evan Jones, enjoy playing cribbage, watching movies and, shown here two years ago, shooting pool. Chris and Evan were matched three years ago as part of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine, which is actively recruiting adults in the community, as well as college and high school students, to become Bigs to one of 100 kids waiting to be matched. (contributed photo)

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine (BBBSMM) kicks off the New Year with a recruitment effort to match 30 waiting Littles with adult mentors and train another 70 college and high school students to serve as “Virtual Bigs” to mentor area youth, with hopes of returning to in-person programming this year. The BBBSMM campaign, “One to One in 2021” is part of National Mentoring Month, a time dedicated to recognizing the agency’s current Bigs, and share their stories to help recruit new mentors from throughout midcoast, eastern and central Maine.

Community-based matches meet a few hours each week either virtually or in person following Covid safety guidelines. School-based matches are communicating via the agency’s online virtual messaging program “MentorNet” and keeping in touch through pen pal writing, with hopes of returning to one-hour, weekly meetings at after-school programs when it is safe to return. Both community and school/site-based Bigs are screened, trained, matched and supported by professional program staff. All volunteers commit to mentoring a child for a minimum of one year, which supports the development of stronger and longer lasting relationships.

Big Brother Chris Paradis, who has a busy personal and professional life, says mentoring is about finding time for things that matter most.

“This experience has been an eye opener and has made me realize the importance of giving back,” Paradis says about his three-year friendship with Little Brother Evan Jones, who is now 16 years old. “It’s pretty powerful to be able to watch someone grow, mature, and know you are making a difference in their lives.”

BBBSMM Executive Director Gwendolyn Hudson said there has never been a more critical time for volunteers to become Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

“As we all do our part to isolate for the health of our community, the connection between Bigs and Littles is more important than ever,” Hudson said. Community Bigs, she shared, are finding creative ways to stay connected through virtual cooking classes, online games and arts and crafts, and doing outside activities together. MentorNet, the agency’s new online communication program, is making it safe and easy for college and high school Bigs to stay connected with local youth.

“The New Year is a great time to make a personal commitment to give back in your community. All you need is a desire to make a difference by igniting a child’s greatest potential,” Hudson said. “Many people think they don’t have the time or are not sure if they would be a good mentor,” Hudson said. “Bigs tell us all the time that spending a few hours just being a friend not only significantly impacts their Little’s life, but changes their own for the better. It is very rewarding.”

Interested volunteers can learn more about local Littles waiting and how to become a mentor by calling 207-236-BBBS or emailing info@bbbsmidmaine.org. Additional information can be found at bbbsmidmaine.org.