Briefs – Portland Press Herald

‘Virtual’ charity game raises $36,000 for children’s cancer
Faced with a pandemic and health protocols limiting or prohibiting indoor gatherings, the 27th annual C-U Swish-Out Childhood Cancer Challenge, organized and presented by Town & Country Federal Credit Union, was at risk of being canceled for the first time in its history. However, based on feedback from past participants and strong support from sponsors and volunteers, it was clear that the ‘shot’ must go on. Instead of a one-day, 3-on-3, co-ed tournament for adults and youth teams, this year’s event transitioned into a ‘virtual’ 3-on-3, free-throw competition.
The competition, which ran from April 12 to May 8 raised $36,000 to support the Maine Children’s Cancer Program.
Collectively, more than 30 teams competed in the 2021 events. The top three teams in the adult division were: Riley’s Basketball of Gray; Town & Country FCU for Three of Portland; and The Weakest Link of Durham. Top three teams in the Middle School Division: TCFCU’s Worth a Shot of Portland; Middle School Rules of Saco; and Above the Rim of Scarborough. The top three teams in the 5/6th Grade Division were: The Three Bucketeers of Falmouth; The Falmouth Force of Falmouth; and The Backboard Counts of Sanford.
To learn more, visit

Dealership owners donate $1 million to Children’s Center expansion
Children’s Center, an early childhood intervention and family support services organization for children with special needs, has announced a $1 million gift from Charlie and Nancy Shuman. The Shuman family is behind Charlie’s Motor Mall and Charlie’s Family of Dealerships in Augusta, which is considered the largest new car dealership in the state. The gift is for the Children’s Center’s efforts to expand its Augusta facility, allowing for more kids with special needs to access vital services at a critical age. This is the Shuman’s largest gift of this nature to date.
“The Children’s Center is an amazing place for children with special needs to be given every opportunity to move into the public school system as high functioning kids,” said Charlie Shuman. “Nancy and I have given to the Children’s Center in the past for playground equipment, and we have had the opportunity to see kids using it, while also watching the work the staff does with all of these children. We have been very impressed to witness it, and to hear the stories of the progression these kids make because of the Children’s Center. It is inspiring to us.”
Children’s Center announced its plans earlier in the year to expand its primary location in Augusta to meet demand. The organization provides center-based services for children ages six weeks to 5-years-old and outpatient services, including occupational therapy, speech therapy, outpatient mental health for children and families, and case management support to kids up to age 21. Annually, the center serves more than 250 children between its four sites: Augusta, Farmington, Skowhegan and Waterville. All sites have waiting lists with Augusta’s being the largest at nearly 100 children in need of center-based or outpatient services at any given time.
Children’s Center will expand its current Augusta facility by 14,000 square feet, while renovating 5,000 square feet of existing space. The expansion will more than double the space and provide additional classrooms, specialized service areas and administrative space. The expansion will also create additional gross motor space, a stimulation-sensitive entrance and lobby, solar installation for improved energy efficiency and a reduced carbon footprint, and the state’s only Snoezelen Room.
For more details, go to

Lewiston, Portland students take first place in art competition
Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden announced that Baxter Academy senior Elwen Bernard of the 1st District and Lewiston High School sophomore Whitney Perkins of the 2nd District are the winners of the 2021 Congressional Art Competition.
Bernard’s illustration “Passport Photo,” and Perkins’ photograph “Curious,” will be displayed in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol for the entire year, alongside winning artists from districts across the country. The two also will be flown to Washington, D.C., this June for the official opening of the show.
The submitted artwork was judged by a panel of jurors selected by the Maine Arts Commission. The judges honored the works of twelve Maine students in total.
In all, 12 Maine students placed in the contest. In the 1st District: First runner-up was Fiona Jason of Baxter Academy and second runner-up was Kaitlyn Sawicki of Freeport High School. Honorable mentions also went to Della Huntley of Baxter Academy, Alexis Milem of Thornton Academy and Kaylee Demers of Falmouth High School. In the 2nd District: First runner-up was Sophia Carson of Edward Little High School and second runner-up was Ella Shaffer of Rangeley Lakes Regional School. Honorable mentions also went to Lexi Bachelder of Rangeley Lakes Regional School, Ruoxuan Zhang of Lee Academy, and Addaline Hemmingway of Rangeley Lakes Regional School.
To view the students’ artwork in a virtual gallery, visit

MDA partners with Maine Needs to make hygiene kits
The Maine Dental Association recently partnered with nonprofit organization Maine Needs to assemble and distribute 200 cleaning and hygiene kits to four sites.
The MDA, though its donation campaign called Maine Needs a Smile, collected personal hygiene items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, and shampoo, and basic cleaning supplies, like laundry detergent, all-purpose cleaner, and trash bags, to help Maine families in need.
The initiative was started by three MDA member dentists – Dr. Meg Dombroski, Dr. Kathryn Horutz, and Dr. Nicole Kimmes – along with MDA Executive Director Angela Westhoff. Maine Needs strives to help individuals and families meet basic, material needs by providing donated clothing and essential products and household items, and which partners with schools, caseworkers, nurses and nonprofits throughout the state to provide those material resources.
The kits were distributed at the Community Concepts Early Learning Center in Farmington, River Valley Free Store in Mexico, Kaydenz Kitchen Food Pantry in Lewiston, and Penney Memorial United Baptist Church in Augusta.
For more details, go to

UMaine Extension 4-H offers at-home aquaponics project
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H is partnering with the University of Maine Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research and UMaine Aquaculture Research Institute to offer a 4-H At-Home Aquaponics Project, an experiential learning program for ages 9-18, to be delivered virtually from June 15 to October.
The project includes learning experiences in introductory aquaponic systems and design, fish husbandry, aquaponic gardening, cooking and nutrition and more. With program leaders as mentors, youth will work to complete individual projects at home and also are members of a statewide group in participating in the project together. Prior experience with aquaponics is not required.
All project information will be provided; some materials will be required before the project starts. Enrollment is limited to 10 participants. To register or find more details, go to
To request a reasonable accommodation, call Carla Scocchi 667-8212 or email [email protected]

Nine community college students earn scholarships
Nine Maine community college students were awarded full tuition scholarships in honor of Leon A. Gorman for the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year. The scholarship supports three students at Southern Maine Community College, the largest college within the Maine Community College System, and one student at the other six colleges. Each of the scholars will receive an award equal to a full year of tuition.
The 2021 Leon A. Gorman Scholars are: Miranda Kelly of Camden, studying nursing at Central Maine Community College; Autumn Mowery of Franklin, studying liberal studies at Eastern Maine Community College; Daryn Gilbert of Waterville, studying respiratory therapy at Kennebec Valley Community College; Joshua Morneault of Madawaska, studying electrical construction and maintenance at Northern Maine Community College; Brian Determan of South Portland, studying marine science at Southern Maine Community College; Robert Henline of Amherst, N.H., studying business administration/sports management at Southern Maine Community College; Astrid Mumpalala of South Portland, studying medical assisting at Southern Maine Community College; Bryon Barton of Hodgdon, studying mechanical technology at Washington County Community College; and Shelby Varney of Turner, studying veterinary technology at York County Community College.

Unity student wins scholarship art contest
Calla Collins of Unity is the winner of Liberty Graphics’ 23rd annual art contest titled “Art and Our Natural Environment,” that was open to all Maine high school seniors.
Collins took top honors, winning a $1,000 scholarship for her acrylic painting of freshly picked blueberries and iconic Maine boots.
Collins plans to attend College of the Atlantic this fall with a focus on art. She was raised in Maine and is the daughter of two park rangers. She has been making art since a very young age and has two uncles who are artists.

Superintendent wins administrator award
The Maine Music Educators Association (MMEA) presented its 2021 Outstanding Administrator Award to Dr. Becky Foley, Superintendent of RSU5 (Freeport, Durham, Pownal) during its annual Awards Ceremony and All-Member Meeting recently.
When describing Dr. Foley’s achievements, MMEA Executive Director Beth LaBrie said, “This administrator constantly asks what is best for kids. She has supported music education at all levels and made sure that the music staff had full access to their students throughout the past year. In addition, she has supported music educators across the state in her communications with other superintendents and principals.”
When Dr. Foley addressed the MMEA membership she said, “I feel honored by all of you and what you have done to keep music alive in the midst of the pandemic. I think you guys have had some of the hardest jobs because the restrictions surrounding music have been really hard … I am so honored to be on the taskforce.”
Dr. Foley was the only superintendent representative on the MMEA Return to Music Taskforce, a group that facilitated conversations between the Maine Principals Association, Maine Department of Education, Maine CDC, and Maine School Management Association regarding the issue of bringing back music in Maine schools during the pandemic.

Virtual race supports Wayfinder Schools
Wayfinder Schools is hosting its first annual “Finding Our Way Down East” virtual race, spanning from Kittery to Calais. Now through to Labor Day, race participants will hit their favorite trails, roadways and waterways. They will hike, bike, walk, run, swim, canoe and kayak, logging miles online as they go, virtually making their way along the entire Maine coast.
Participants may join from all over as they log miles from their local trails, lakes or gyms. This is a great opportunity to get outdoors and get some exercise all while supporting Maine youth who need a second chance at high school graduation.
Each participant has the opportunity to sponsor themselves or be sponsored by others. Race participants may join as individuals or form teams with friends, family and co-workers. All are encouraged to post photos from their favorite spots and to help encourage others to the finish line. Those who prefer a shorter route will have the option to sign up for one-month races in June, July and August.
All racers will receive event T-shirts. Maine-themed prizes will be awarded to the top individual and team fundraisers.
For more information or to register, go to

Talbot Ross wins Waynflete alumni award

Waynflete alumna Rachel Talbot Ross, Class of 1978, has been named recipient of the 2021 Klingenstein Alumni Award. This award was established in 2019 by the school’s board of trustees to recognize alumni whose efforts at the local, national, or international level have had a broad and positive impact. It is named for its first recipient, alumna Patricia Davis Klingenstein ’47, in recognition of her work as an education advocate, devoted community leader, volunteer and philanthropist.
Talbot Ross is a ninth-generation Mainer who has dedicated her career to public service and social justice. In addition to serving as the City of Portland’s Director of Equal Opportunity and Multicultural Affairs for more than two decades, she led the NAACP in Maine and founded several nonprofit organizations, including Maine Black Community Development, Maine Freedom Trails, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellows. She chaired the Maine State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and sits on the African American Collection Advisory Committee for the University of Southern Maine.
Talbot Ross is currently serving her third term in the Maine House, representing the Portland neighborhoods of Parkside, Bayside, East Bayside, Oakdale, and the University of Southern Maine campus. She serves the Democratic caucus as assistant House majority leader and is the first and only Black woman elected to the Maine Legislature and to legislative leadership.
As a lawmaker, she has worked extensively on justice reform and has shaped critical conversations about equity for all Mainers. She sponsored successful legislation to create Maine’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous, and Maine Tribal Populations (which she now chairs), and also secured passage of a landmark bill expanding tribal legal authority over domestic violence against Native Americans.
Talbot Ross is the recipient of the University of New England’s Deborah Morton Award for exceptional civic leadership and the 2020 Gerda Haas Award for Excellence in Holocaust and Human Rights Education and Leadership. She was named the 2020 Woman of the Year by Emerge Maine.

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