The Town of Scarborough is updating its Comprehensive Plan -- and everyone's invited to share their views on the future of our community. This is a participatory process, and along the way there are many ways to make your voice heard.
Mark your calendars for Monday, September 25th at 6:30 pm at the Scarborough High School for "Planapalooza". Join your neighbors for conversations surrounding land use, transportation, natural resources, parks and open spaces, bikeways, trails, public facilities and services, economic development, as well as community growth, development, design, housing and identity.
Kids will be heading back to school soon, but many families will struggle to provide the basics like backpacks, notebooks, paper, pens and pencils, rulers and glue sticks. With your help, we can ensure all kids start the first day of school ready to learn, prepared to succeed.
Easy as 1, 2,3 -- you can help a child start the school year prepared to succeed:
DROP OFF LOCATIONS (by August 21st, please)
Scarborough Public Library
The Study Hall at Oak Hill
cPort Credit Union
St Max Church (August 21st, 4-6 pm)
Thank you, Dennis Meehan and the Sea Dogs ("ETFE"!!) for hosting a fun night out for all of Scarborough on August 1st. We are also grateful to all the sponsors, and all our good friends over the years, who hit a 'home run' for us by celebrating our 15th anniversary. We were honored to have all-star, Eddie Woodin, representing us with a ceremonial first pitch, Kaire Leonard singing the national anthem, and the SFD and SPD Honor Guard, too. Thank you!
Eddie Woodin, a Scarborough resident, inspirational philanthropist, and long-time friend of Project GRACE, is an all-star in life.
A successful entrepreneur, work is only one of several priorities for Eddie. “The point is to give back. Then it comes back to you so many times over," says Eddie. Eddie takes a deep personal interest in his community, and Scarborough’s Project GRACE, Maine Audubon, Boy Scouts of America, Scarborough Garden Club, Friends of Scarborough Marsh, Scarborough Public Library, Scarborough Land Trust, and Southern Maine Agency on Aging, are but a few of the worthy local causes he has championed.
His commitment to service for others started when he was a student at Colby College (class of ’69), where he was a star baseball and football player with a natural gift for leadership. After graduating, he set a personal goal of volunteering, giving, and calling on friends in need. Today Eddie’s investment in community is often in the form of a significant “challenge grant” that brings the community together, like Project GRACE's annual "Rally to Keep Our Neighbors Warm" to raise money for fuel assistance, or the Land Trust's campaign to conserve a special piece of property. Because it’s as much about stepping out in front to call attention to a chance to give back.
In recognition of his winning spirit and generous support of youth sporting programs, in 2015 the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame awarded Eddie the prestigious Sonny Noel President’s Award.
With an all-star's winning attitude, Eddie inspires and encourages his neighbors to put our gifts and talents out there, to come together a as a team to tackle our challenges and make the most of our opportunities. Eddie coaches us all with a bright smile, big heart, and a nudge to “...get out there, and go, go.”
* With thanks to "My Generation" for the quotes.
Hope you'll come out to the ballpark Tuesday to root for Eddie as he throws a ceremonial pitch for Project GRACE! All-star hall-of-famer, Kevin Youkilis will be at the game, too, to throw the official first pitch of the game.
Each summer, local children from low-income families can go to area day camps through stipends made possible by charitable gifts to Project GRACE. We in turn give that money to area camps, including a $2,500 gift to Scarborough Community Services.
We make that investment because at camp, children are in an environment that fosters belonging, acceptance, independence and relationships. This experience not only develops social skills, self-esteem and emotional intelligence, it builds future leaders. And kids get healthy meals and snacks to help keep them on track.
Join the Portland Sea Dogs as we celebrate Scarborough Community Night at Hadlock Field. Along with a fun night of baseball we will be celebrating the 15th Anniversary of Project GRACE and our mission of Neighbors Helping Neighbors. Former Red Sox Kevin Youkilis will make a special appearance to sign autographs before the game. 'Youk' is a three-time MLB All-Star, two-time World Series Champion, and winner of the 2008 Hank Aaron Award.
Youk's An All-Star, You Can BE an All-Star, Too!
You can help your neighbors with each ticket purchased. All tickets are $9 general admission seats, including $3 donated to Project GRACE's Neighbors Helping Neighbors Fund which supports programs like community nutrition, fuel assistance, and helping a neighbor in a time of need.
DIVAS THROUGH THE DECADES: June 27, 2017 at the Clarion Hotel, Portland (6-9pm)
Spa Tech Institute presents this fun annual event with this year's proceeds to benefit Project GRACE -- wow, thank you! Doors open at 6, show starts at 7 - admission is free. There will be prizes, a 50/50 raffle, and best of all, a fun fashion show for all ages! Come support Westbrook Spa Tech's cosmetology students and enjoy the show! >>MORE
It's a comfort having good friends, and visiting with them over a cup of tea adds a special sweetness to life. Add a lively chat about books, and well, you've got the makings of heaven on earth!
Nellie's Teas & Gifts has been hosting a book club for a couple of years, and part of the charm is their passion for tea, but also compassion for their neighbors. The Nellie's book club has been giving modestly but steadily every month to our Neighbors Helping Neighbors Fund. Sometimes we use the money to pay an overdue electric bill, sometimes their gift is used to help an elder pay for medications or get a little extra at the grocery store, other times we use it to pay for clothes or a new pair of boots. Once we used the funds to help a neighbor with an unexpected travel expense. Each month the amount varies, but that it comes in regularly is a big help to us. Like a good friend who checks in on you to see how you're doing... Nellie's keeps a friendly eye on us, sharing more than a little encouragement every time they do.
We're celebrating 15 years, and all that is great about our town -- hope you'll bring a friend, bring a chair and settle in for a fun evening of music with the Maine POPS (an 80 member concert band!), tasty food from Fishin'Ships and Pizza By Fire, kids activities and games, and a special performance by the Gymdandies, too! Come one, come all, we're celebrating and hope you'll join us!
Too many kids in Maine - and in our town, too - are hungry and not getting enough nourishment. When kids come to school hungry, it threatens their futures in profound ways. Hungry kids have a harder time concentrating on lessons and generally score lower on tests, are at higher risk of health problems, tend to miss more school, and are also more likely to experience behavioral issues and social difficulties. Hunger makes it harder to fully participate in school or other activities.
It doesn't have to be this way for our kids. We can help every child start the day with a good breakfast, keep them going with a nutritious lunch, and have snacks on hand when they need a boost.
At a recent school board meeting, Project GRACE awarded the Scarborough School Nutrition Program a $2,500 grant for milk and snacks, breakfasts and lunches, and second helpings, for students whose families are struggling.
Almost 3,000 kids attend school in Scarborough; about 12% are participating in the 'free and reduced' school meal program. Even so, some children need extra helpings to make up for not getting enough food at home. Other families aren't eligible for the subsidies, but also need help feeding their kids. The longstanding partnership between Project GRACE and the schools ensures vulnerable students get the daily nutrition they need to stay on track to succeed.
"We're picking up the lunch tab for our neighbors who want to provide healthy meals for their kids, but can't because of set backs like loss of work, illness, or other circumstances that make it difficult to make ends meet," says Project GRACE's Board President, Bert Follansbee. "There is an abundance of good food available, and no child should have to go hungry. It's unconscionable. Fortunately, our partnership with the schools and the generous support of our donors makes it possible for us to work together to respond with discretion and compassion."
Families in any neighborhood can be hit hard by life events that can cause a family to temporarily fall behind on their bills and have to choose between paying for rent or heat and putting nutritious food on the table.
With the support of community volunteers and groups, School Nutrition's 'backpack program' gives boxes of staple foods to struggling families so they can feed their kids during school breaks and long holiday weekends.That's when kids are most likely to miss meals at home because the cupboards are quite literally bare. School Nutrition Director, Peter Esposito, is working on adding more fresh foods to the boxes, and Project GRACE contributes by supplying fresh fruit like apples, oranges and bananas.
Our community's generous investment in Project GRACE allows us to meet basic needs for kids in our schools so that teachers and students can focus on learning and preparing for a bright future.
Greetings from Hillcrest Community Garden!
There are smiles all around: a community garden is sprouting in the Hillcrest Retirement Community.
The plots are staked and ten yards of organic compost from Benson's Farm in Gorham have been spread and tilled into the ground in preparation for planting.
Part of the garden has been set aside for a shady nook for visiting and quiet reflection. Lovely shade plants for the area at the far end by the woods have been set aside by the Scarborough Garden Club, following their annual plant sale at the historic Hunnewell House. There will be ferns, Solomon's Seal, hosta, geraniums, astilbe, and more! Gardeners who have plants to donate can contact Project GRACE or the Scarborough Garden Club.
We wanted to extend our heartfelt thanks to Theresa Desfosses and State Manufactured Homes for their generous support for the garden project.
A couple of spots will be designated for 'planting a row for the hungry' to send fresh veggies and herbs to the Scarborough Food Pantry.
Thank you, Girl Scouts of Maine -- we just got 240 cases of cookie love! That's 2,880 boxes!! Wow!! We'll be sharing those with our friends at the Scarborough Food Pantry, Judy's Pantry, South Portland Food Cupboard, and more... thank you so much!
2017 marks the fifteenth year that Project GRACE has been extending the circle of compassion that brings together “Neighbors helping Neighbors,” setting Scarborough apart as a very special place. And we're celebrating! >>MORE
Real Estate professionals, have you heard how you can become an agent for social good by working with a local charity to make community giving part of your brand? As a fellow Realtor and staunch supporter of Project GRACE, Jean-Marie Caterina would like to invite you to learn why and how it’s an all-around win to extend our circle of compassion.
"When you engage your clients in a thoughtful, give-back program, it differentiates your business from others. You stand apart as a real estate professional who matches buyers with homes in a welcoming community that matters to them and to you -- more than just someone who sells houses in a one-off transaction. I can personally attest that many clients seek me out because they know I care about the community where they want to live," says Jean-Marie.
So, how can you be part of this and make a meaningful contribution to a worthy charity like Project GRACE? One way is to donate a percentage of a sales commission. Another could be an outright leadership gift from every sale. By doing this, you will be investing in making our surrounding towns and neighborhoods stronger, welcoming and DESIRABLE places to live.
"I believe in the work Project GRACE does so much, I support them every time I make a sale, and I hope you will, too." Jean-Marie Caterina, Maine Real Estate Network
Scarborough High School alumni will be hosting their annual golf tournament to benefit scholarship funds, and Project GRACE, on Sunday, June 4th at Willowdale Golf Club. Project GRACE is hosting the Putting Contest. Players pay to play, with our share of the proceeds going to support our "Investing in Student Success" project that helps kids start the first day of school ready to learn.
Seems like the whole town turns out for ACE Hardware's annual Garden Party at the Oak Hill store! We were there, too, promoting the Scarborough Community Garden. We were joined by the Cumberland County Master Gardeners and the Scarborough Garden Club, who were on hand to promote their annual plant sales, learning opportunities, and offer soil test kits and gardening tips. Thank you, Rebecca, Dan, and Anne and all our friends at ACE Hardware for including us in this Scarborough Spring tradition.
Pictured: Elizabeth Richter (Scarborough Garden Club), Ralph Wink (Cumberland County Master Gardeners), and our neighbor, Becky Delaware who stopped in to say hello.
Project GRACE, the Scarborough Food Pantry, Scarborough School Nutrition, and friends are convening another working forum on Tuesday, March 28th. Many are already making a significant contribution, doing a lot to halt hunger in our community. But there are still unmet needs, opportunities for us to do more, to collaborate for greater impact.
Mainers are hungry. Did you know: Maine ranks 17th in the nation and 1st in New England in terms of food insecurity (hunger). 24%, or nearly 1 in every 4 children, are food insecure in Maine. Here in Scarborough, 17% of our kids are receiving 'free and reduced' lunch and snacks through the school nutrition program.
A lot of great information came to light at the September convening, and it was inspiring to hear what's already happening to help our neighbors. We are pleased to report that as a result of our conversations at the last forum, several actions have already been taken. We are eager to hear what else is in the works, how things are going, and your ideas for what else we can tackle together to halt hunger in our community. We hope you'll join us on March 28th.
Tuna & Canned Proteins Needed for Pantry
PLEASE SAVE THE DATE!
WHAT: PROJECT GRACE 15th Anniversary Party with Maine POPS
WHEN: Thursday, June 15, 2017, 5:30 pm -- 8 pm
WHERE: Memorial Park, Scarborough Maine
COST: FREE admission
A growing number of Scarborough area residents are part of the fabric of Project GRACE. The nonprofit organization engages dedicated volunteers from kids to seniors, partners with numerous agencies, and is supported by hundreds of individuals and businesses large and small. Thanks to all these friends, Project GRACE tangibly improves the lives of community members by confidentially coordinating the interchange of resources between those in need and those willing to share their gifts. Project GRACE answers over 700 calls for help annually.
“Where is Project GRACE? While we work out of an office, Project GRACE is actually wherever we gather and let hope shine,” says Executive Director, Steffi Cox. “It is where we Rally to Keep Our Neighbors Warm; fill a new backpack with school supplies so a child can start the year with confidence to learn; when a group puts together nourishing food baskets; or volunteer gardeners plant veggies at the Community Garden. It’s wherever we stop in our busy lives to care about someone else. It’s also found wherever a neighbor realizes they don’t have to go it alone during a rough patch and that it’s OK to ask for help, for ourselves or for someone we’re worried about.”
Bert Follansbee, President of the Board of Directors, adds “We’ve been at the center of that generous spirit for an amazing fifteen years, and that’s really something. We’re looking forward to taking stock of all that Project GRACE and our community have accomplished. As we begin to imagine what the next chapter could look like, the June celebration with the Maine POPs is a chance for us to appreciate what we can do together.”
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
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