We are grateful to all who made the 7th Annual Pumpkin Festival a great success, including our good friends at Highland Avenue Greenhouse & Farm Market. Sunday was bright, mild, and the perfect day to enjoy all the activities -- from facepainting to obstacle course to pumpkin painting to apple and pumpkin catapults, and more! If you missed it, you can still stop in to pick out a pumpkin or mums or sample treats from the cafe! Thank you one and all, including these event sponsors:
This prestigious honor was awarded to Project G.R.A.C.E. volunteers, Len and Liane Giambalvo, by Scarborough Terrace. Len and Liane's many volunteer roles include answering recipient phone calls, working 'behind the scenes' to improve Project GRACE's administration, making countless calls to sign people up for Joe4Oil heating assistance, coordinating the delivery of supplemental food boxes for seniors, and volunteering for the Scarborough Food Pantry. Both are compassionate, thoughtful, and generous in their approach to helping their neighbors. We are honored to have them working with us and congratulate Len and Liane on receiving this much-deserved recognition! >>READ MORE IN THE LEADER
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.
At a recent school board meeting, Project GRACE awarded the Scarborough School Nutrition Program a $3,000 grant for milk and snacks, breakfasts and lunches, and second helpings, for students whose families are struggling.
"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. "No child should have to go hungry, and our partnership with the schools and the generous support of our friends makes it possible for us to respond with discretion and compassion."
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, especially working families who earn just a bit too much to qualify but not enough to make ends meet or a family going through a temporary rough patch, 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.
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.
The "Food for Thought & Action" group, hosted by the Scarborough Food Pantry, Scarborough School Nutrition, and Project GRACE, is ready to reconvene. We are eager to hear how things are going and your ideas for what else we can tackle together to halt hunger in our community.
We'll be convening in a few weeks, and hope you'll attend. In the meantime, please save the date:
Wednesday, May 16th (2:30-5:00)
St. Maximilian-Kolbe Church
150 Black Point Road (map)
Help the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center open up the nature center, pick up trash and debris in the marsh, and help you neighbors with a donation of food or grocery gift cards for the food pantry. 9am - Noon.
The community is invited to a special Earth Day Festival @ the Scarborough Public Library from Noon to 3pm! The event will celebrate two new ReVision Energy solar installations at the Library: an electric vehicle (EV) charging station and a rooftop solar panel array. Earth Day activities will include an appearance by News Center Maine meteorologist Jessica Conley and weather van Stormy, live music by The Incredulous String Band, electric vehicle demonstrations by Pape Chevrolet, a Minecraft Lab where players can build virtual solar arrays in the Library’s Minecraft world (2-4pm), and exhibits by community environmental organizations, including the Scarborough Community Garden! An official ribbon cutting of the EV charging station will take place at 1:00 pm. This event is free to attend. Hope to see you there!
Seems like the whole town turns out for ACE Hardware's annual Garden Party at the Oak Hill store! We will be there, too, promoting the Scarborough Community Garden. We will be joined by the Cumberland County Master Gardeners and the Scarborough Garden Club, to promote their annual plant sales, learning opportunities, and offer soil test kits and gardening tips. Thank you to all our friends at ACE Hardware for including us in this Scarborough Spring tradition. Hope to see you all there!
Have you heard the buzzzzzzz? Wentworth School is the place to "bee" on Tuesday, April 10th for the 4th Annual Jr. Trivia Bee Championship!
Middle School students are prepping to see which team will answer the most correct questions in a fun trivia competition. In addition to the Jr. Trivia Bee Championship, homeroom teams are competing for Best Costume and Best in Category (including history, math, science, geography and pop culture). Hosted by the Kiwanis Builders’ Club, all are encouraged to come out and support the kids. It’s an evening of fun and goodwill, but one that showcases the talents of our kids. Proceeds will go toward Project GRACE's School Immediate Needs Fund.
Project GRACE will be at the Scarborough High School on Thursday, March 29th - Scarborough Public Schools and the Scarborough Police Department are co-hosting "Raising Healthy Teens (and people in general)" and Community Health & Wellness Fair. The event is free and open to the public to bring information to our community members about programs and services designed to support people of all ages. Hope to see you there! >>MORE
Thanks to a generous foundation grant, Project GRACE was able to help parents and school nurses and social workers purchase 61 pairs of new shoes and winter boots for kids. All kids deserve to feel good themselves. New, well-fitting shoes give dignity, joy, and boost self-esteem. That’s why Project GRACE has expanded our school outreach program to include a pair of new shoes for children that need them. We want kids to focus on their studies rather than their circumstances.
PS - save the date - our 6th Annual Rally to Keep Our Neighbors Warm will be on Saturday, February 10th at the Oak Hill Fire House (10-Noon). Our ambitious goal is to raise $15,000 for fuel assistance!
Together we can help our neighbors have a more joyful holiday season. We are hearing from families who are worried about how they'll keep their homes warm, put food on the table, and make sure their kids find a few items under the tree. Can we count on your help this holiday season?
We have almost 150 kids on our list this year! Christmas presents for kids are needed by Monday, December 11th. Please RSVP HERE to receive a wish list.
We recently distributed Thanksgiving holiday meal baskets to 38 families, and here are a few of the thank you notes that came to us, meant for you:
Thanks to our many friends, neighbors, and supporters, 38 families and 15 senior households (about 175 people!) received bountiful Thanksgiving meal baskets, with all the fixings for a traditional holiday meal. Many had special touches, like flowers or festive napkins, and most included fresh vegetables and fruit, too. We are always impressed by the care and thoughfulness that goes into each basket. The cheery 'treat' bags for seniors were put together by Scarborough Daisies and Brownies, kids at Blue Point School made placemats, St. Max church shared their hall with us, the Volunteers in Police Service welcomed everyone and helped carry baskets to the car, and many volunteers lent a hand. This is giving project is one example of the generous holiday spirit -- and many helping hands -- that is a hallmark of our town.
We are grateful! Thank you, and a Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Sponsors include: Woodin & Co., State Manufactured Homes, PSM Ansaldo Energia Group, Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution, Katahdin Trust Company, Higgins Beach Association, Hillcrest Retirement Community, The Cheese Iron, One Stop Event Rentals, La-z-Boy of Scarborough, South Portland Police Union, Career Planning & Placement, Beal's Old Fashioned Ice Cream, and friends of Project GRACE.
Nearly two-hundred friends and neighbors from all over town came to Wentworth Café on Thanksgiving Day to enjoy a delicious and festive communal meal. Plus forty more who couldn't come to Wentworth were brought a holiday meal. Dozens of volunteers of all ages prepared a traditional holiday dinner with all the fixings under the direction of Chef Peter Esposito, set the tables and placed fresh floral arrangements, served up ice cream and homemade apple and pumpkin pies, and greeted guests with a welcoming smile. We are grateful for all who helped make this second annual community meal a great occasion, including the dozens of community volunteers, Scarborough Garden Club, Town of Scarborough Community Services, Project GRACE, Scarborough School Nutrition, Wentworth School custodial staff, and the steering committee: Kelly Murphy, Chef Peter Esposito, Ann LeGage, Brenda Franklin, Audra Keenan, Jackie Perry. We are especially thankful for all who came to Wentworth, because it was being together that was at the heart of it all. We hope you will join us again next year.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
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