August 16, 2019

VFW supports the NAVY SEALs Swim for Camp Sunshine

Windham Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 10643, was proud to again support the Navy SEALs Swim for Sunshine Challenge. Five Navy SEALs swam 16 miles from Bridgton to Casco to raise money for military families who have children with life threatening illnesses to attend Camp Sunshine. 

Mike Wisecup, a retired Navy SEAL, originated this challenge six years ago and the VFW has been honored to provide assistance to these SEALs events since its inception. The SEALs for Sunshine events are a highlight of the year for VFW members including having one of the VFW members in the lead boat each year, members placing flags at the finish of the challenges, and it's a proud moment for all when the VFW members line up to salute the SEALs as they enter the Gala, the culmination of the annual two day event. 

"Each year, we're in awe of, and inspired by, these men who perform incredible athletic feats to raise funds to enable military families to go to Camp Sunshine.  We are honored, and humbled, to be able to join with the SEALs each year," stated Willie Goodman, Commander of the Windham VFW.
In addition to joining the SEALs on the beach at the end of their challenge, the VFW members donated $1,000 and many members attended the Gala event, a memorable night for all.

Camp Sunshine, founded in 1984, is nestled on the shores of beautiful Sebago Lake. It’s mission is to provide a retreat - combining respite, recreation and support, while enabling hope and promoting joy, for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families through the various stages of a child’s illness.

Camp Sunshine's program is offered year-round and has the distinction of having been designed to serve the entire family in a retreat model. The program is free of charge to families and includes on-site medical and psychosocial support. Bereavement sessions are also offered for families who have experienced the death of a child from a supported illness.

Windham Parks and Recreation senior campers’ program: A big summer success

2019 senior campers and camp counselor
By Matt Pascarella

This summer, Windham Parks and Recreation’s Senior Campers Program celebrated its fourth year as part of the Adventure Camp for grades six through eight. The Senior Campers Program is a next step for rising high school freshman who are interested in working towards becoming a Windham Parks and Recreation camp counselor.

Recreation programmer, Sarah Davenport and counselor, Lauren Syphers oversaw the program.
“Our goal is for them to start to take that next step and transition from campers into more of a leadership role; to work on leadership skills, character development and still have a really fun time getting to be a part of the summer camp program,” explained Davenport.

During a regular day, they were given additional responsibilities such as activity set up, helping counselors/directors with special projects, and holding their fellow campers accountable for their words and actions.

“Throughout the summer, the staff of adventure camp witnessed all eight of the senior campers step up to tasks given, demonstrate their ability to plan and execute activities, and gain more and more maturity. Whenever a counselor needed additional help during camp, the senior campers were the first kids to be asked and continuously stepped up to the plate,” remarked Syphers. week, the senior campers chose a different character trait to focus on and what they, as a group wanted to accomplish. Syphers was the lead counselor and stated she was very fortunate to have such a great group of senior campers who were proactive and ready to take on any task given. There were days where the senior campers would beg her for more responsibility. Syphers stated that it was a big help to know these individuals could be relied on throughout the summer.

The senior campers worked really hard and did a lot of things that ended up serving other people. They volunteered at Black Brook Preserve and did some work to get their garden up and running. 

The senior campers also ran activities for the middle school campers as well as for those in the fourth and fifth grade. The activities included: a Slip n’ Slide, a water balloon relay, frozen t-shirt race and water gun games.

One of the purposes of having the senior camper program is to prepare them to be counselors in training for the next summer. These activities helped the senior campers understand what a counselor
has to go through and think about daily.

They will be invited to return next summer as counselors-in-training; once they are 16, they can apply as counselors.

“We’re really hopeful that we can see this current group of senior campers move forward in our program, knowing that they enjoy summer camp and love what they’re doing; that they’ll get to take the next step towards sharing that with the next generation. It was a great summer with them,” concluded Davenport.

Syphers added, “They are just such an enthusiastic group and I think their ambition to do better each time is what made them such amazing kids to have worked with this summer. I’m beyond grateful and proud of the eight senior campers and I’m so excited to see all of the amazing things they each accomplish in the coming years!” 

Raymond Select Board is ready for next step in main street sidewalk project

By Lorraine Glowczak

At their Tuesday evening meeting held on August 13, the Raymond Select Board received an update from Owens McCullough of Sebago Technics and Raymond Road Commissioner and Public Works Director, Nathan White regarding the status on the sidewalk to be placed on Main Street from Route 161 to Route 302.

Town Manager, Don Willard, began the discussion by explaining that the sidewalk project has be under review for a long time. “It is something we should do, and this project hasn’t moved as fast as I’d hoped,” he stated. “We are here tonight to find a way to proceed in a cost effective and time efficient manner.”

McCullough provided an updated cost estimate comparing the MDOT LAP project to a project that the Town would complete with town resources and supporting subcontractors, referred to MPI (Municipal Project Initiative).

“Option one is working in conjunction with the Maine Department of Transportation, LAP,” McCullough said. ““LAP, the ‘locally administered project’ would mean that all federal and state requirements are met, which means there would be very little local control.” continued by stating that this option would cost $802,652 of which the town’s share would be 25% of that cost –approximately $200,663.00. The state’s share would be 75% of that cost – in the amount to $601,989.00.

“I suspect the state probably wouldn’t go along with a mill and overlay so that would have to be removed from the project costs,” McCullough explained. “Also, given the cost escalations we have seen, the overall project cost is likely to be more than the State is willing to contribute too. Lastly, there will likely be other costs for ROW negotiations and easements.”

Option two would cost approximately $478.605. The town’s share - $239,302 with the state’s share also coming in at $239,302. This option provides local municipal control.

“While on the surface, Option one appears to have a slight advantage, there remains a number of unknowns and we will still have to be completed under the full review and administration of MDOT as part of the LPA process,” McCullough continued. “Option two is a much simpler (less onerous and complicated) process but my understanding is that MPI money won’t be available until 2020. 

Regardless, either option would have to wait until 2020 anyway. Given the escalations in costs we are seeing (even the MDOT has had to cut some of their projects due to cost escalation), the complexity of the LPA project and scope of work the town would like to undertake, it appears that option two would be preferable assuming you can get the MPI money.”

Willard and White both agreed with the recommendation McCullough put forth. “The sidewalk project is important as it promotes community, walkability and safety for the town,” Willard said. “And having local control without all the complexities will help to speed up the process.”

The Board directed Willard, McCullough and White to start working on the option two plans which will include a meeting with Sen. Bill Diamond, Chair of the Committee on Transportation. Sen. Diamond has already been working with the town to assist in the completion of the sidewalk project and they will continue to seek his assistance.

August 9, 2019

Maine’s 200th birthday

By Senator Bill Diamond

In July of 1819 the voters of the District of Maine voted overwhelmingly to approve our secession from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Less than a year later, on March 15, 1820, an Act of Congress made it finally so, and Maine became the 23rd state in the union. As those of you who remember your history lessons may know, the establishment of the State of Maine was ultimately part of the Missouri Compromise, which kept the balance between free and slave-owning states equal.

Maine has certainly lived up to our motto, “Dirigo,” which translates from Latin to “I lead”:

We were leaders as a new free state, in the Civil War when the famed 20th Maine Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, led by Col. Joshua Chamberlain fixed their bayonets at Little Round Top, successfully turning the tide of the deadliest battle of the Civil War towards the Union. We sent the first woman, Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, to serve in both houses of Congress, and she herself led her colleagues against the tide of McCarthyism in 1950. The leadership of Chamberlain and Smith paved the way for Sens. Ed Muskie, Bill Cohen, George Mitchell and others from Maine to stand above the petty fights of the day and accomplish great things for the people of Maine and the country.
So clearly, there is much to celebrate.

Last week, for the anniversary of Maine’s statehood vote, the Maine Bicentennial Commission kicked off our state’s 200th anniversary party. Gov. Janet Mills conducted a whirlwind tour of the state, from Presque Isle to Bangor to Portland to Augusta in one day. At each location she raised a ceremonial flag and dedicated a Tricentennial Pine Grove with local leaders, and announced programs and events for Maine’s 200th anniversary of Statehood. chair of the Bicentennial Commission, which comprises various legislators, the governor, Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, and officials representing various organizations of historic and civil
importance, I was lucky enough to take part in ceremonies in Portland’s Deering Oaks Park. It was a touching ceremony dedicated to both Maine’s past and future, and Gov. Mills delivered remarks that highlighted all that makes Maine great and wonderful.

It was the first of what will be many events and programs marking our state’s 200th birthday.
Starting in March of next year, and going through October, there will be concerts, a parade, festivals and fireworks. In addition, the largest ever display of tall ships from around the world will be coming to Maine ports, starting in Portland and making stops up the Maine coast. This will be a spectacular showing, and people will be invited aboard to view these magnificent structures. Community grants will also be made available to cities and towns to host their own bicentennial celebrations, which will allow local communities to celebrate in whatever way they see fit.

There will also be a Maine200 Time Capsule exhibit on the State House grounds in Augusta, which will highlight moments in Maine history; facilitated, topic-focused book discussion groups, promoting literacy at public and school libraries across the state, put on by the Maine Humanities Council; an interactive 360 virtual reality experience of notable places in the State of Maine, available through the State Archives; and other programs celebrating Maine’s history and culture.

To learn more about Maine’s 200th anniversary, see a schedule of events and programs or apply for a community grant, visit

As always, please feel free to contact me or my office with any questions, comments or concerns. You can call (207)287-1515 or email me at It’s a pleasure to serve as your state senator.

North Yarmouth Academy Honor Roll for Second Semester 2018-19

The following students who live in the Windham Eagle’s coverage area attained honor roll status for the second semester:

Highest Honors
Grade 8:
Emily Greene of Windham

High Honors
Grade 5:
Nathan Geary of Gray
Grade 6:
Timothy Taylor of Raymond
Grade 9:
Emma Rothrock of Naples
Grade 12:
Hannah Gagne of Raymond
Elizabeth Kennedy of Raymond
Clara Mulvihill of Raymond

Grade 10:
Reese Merritt of South Casco
Grade 11:
Emily Beisel-Bolen of Raymond
Pierce Manchester of Raymond

North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school for
toddlers to students in grade twelve. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character and
intellect in its students. For more information, please contact NYA at 207-847-5423 or visit our
website at

Partnership between Raymond Village Library and HART Adoption Center benefits cats and kids

Winnie Burke with Allison Griffin, Director
of Raymond Village Library and Callie the cat
By Briana Bizier

The Raymond Village Library hosted a special guest last Monday. Although she didn’t have much to say, Callie the calico cat delighted library patrons as she graciously accepted attention and questions from the children participating in the library’s summer reading program.

For the second year in a row, Raymond Village Library has partnered with HART Adoption Center and Shelter for Cats. Children in the library’s summer reading program set their own reading goals by deciding to count books, pages, or minutes spent reading. For each goal they reach, the children can decorate a tag and then choose a special treat for the kitties at HART’s shelter in Cumberland.

We’re going for experiences over prizes,” Allison Griffin, the Director of Raymond Village Library and the Intake Coordinator for HART, explained.

This year, one of the cats available for adoption at HART traveled to the Raymond Village Library to accept her gifts in person (or, in feline). Callie, an even-tempered, two-year-old calico, arrived at the library on a Monday afternoon to calmly accept belly rubs, ear scratches, and gifts from several children enrolled in the summer reading program.

I think she’s falling in love with me,” my five-year-old Ian declared as Callie calmly rolled onto her back and let him pet her fuzzy tummy.

After explaining that we already have plenty of pets at home, I told Ian to keep reading this summer so he could earn more treats to give kitties like Callie. He ran off in search of new library books to bring home.

Callie, who is truly an exceptionally sweet cat, originally hails from Tennessee. HART partners with a group called Perfect Match Animal Rescue, which takes animals from high-intake shelters in Tennessee and brings them to New England, where their chances of being adopted are much higher. 

HART also brings adoptable cats to Maine from as far away as North Carolina, Georgia, and Puerto Rico. Callie and her sister Izzy arrived in Maine last week after being surrendered when their previous owner was forced to move into a smaller home. traditional animal shelters, HART has a no-kill policy, which means their cats are not euthanized unless they suffer from a severe illness or injury. All of HART’s cats receive veterinary care, which includes seeing specialists if necessary. HART is also cage-free.

Once the cats get out of intake, they’re free to roam,” Allison tells me. This means a visit to HART’s custom-designed shelter feels more like stepping into a cat-lover’s sunny living room and less like going to a traditional pound. The kitties who live at HART as they await their forever homes are separated into different rooms.

We have a special diet room for cats who are diabetic or have allergies, and a room for cats with FIV,” Allison explained. Kitties who test positive for FIV, or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, are still considered “adoptable” because they can live for many years without any health complications, although HART does keep the FIV cats separate from their other kitties.

Currently, HART is hosting about eighty cats in their shelter with another seventy cats in foster homes throughout the area. All kitties with special medical concerns, pregnant cats, and newborn kittens are in foster homes, and all of HART’s adoptable cats can be found through or at HART’s website:

Callie, the sweet female who visited Raymond Village Library, is one of HART’s many adoptable kitties. Despite my children’s protests, this journalist is not able to adopt another cat. But, if you’re looking for a friendly kitty who is good with children, dogs, and enjoys an occasional trip to the library, you might want to contact HART at (207) 829-4116 or

If, like us, you’re not in a position to adopt a cat but you still want to support HART’s good work, HART’s Annual Yard Sale will be held on August 22, 23, 24, and 25 at the Exhibition Hall in the Cumberland Fairgrounds. This yard sale features thousands of donated items, from furniture to tools, jewelry to books, and more! HART will hold a special preview event on Wednesday, August 21, from 5 to 7 in the evening; a ten-dollar admission fee includes early sale access, a glass of wine or a soft drink, and snacks. For more information, call HART at (207) 829-4116 or visit their web site:

August 2, 2019

Sen. Diamond earns perfect attendance record in 2019 legislative session

Sen. Diamond: “My constituents expect me to show up and work hard on their behalf.”

AUGUSTA — Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, earned a perfect attendance and voting record during the recently concluded legislative session. He is one of 20 Senate Democrats to receive a perfect attendance score.

“My constituents expect me to show up and work hard on their behalf,” said Sen. Diamond. “I’m proud of my perfect attendance record and commit to continuing to work hard for the people of Windham, Raymond, Casco, Standish, Baldwin and Frye Island.”

During the 1st Regular Session of the 129th Maine Legislature, Sen. Diamond cast a total of 350 votes – 100 percent of the votes recorded, excluding absences excused by the Senate President for illness or other extenuating circumstances. This year, lawmakers cast critical votes to protect children in state care, make our roads safer, provide $130 million in property tax relief and create good-paying jobs in rural Maine.

Sen. Diamond also had a perfect attendance record last year. The 129th Legislature adjourned on June 20. The Legislature is set to reconvene in January.

Over 20 teams compete at Chamber’s 19th Annual Golf Open

Top gross scoring team Hartford Funds - Ron Girard,
Tim Hampson, Luke Rodrigue & Colin Roy
On Thursday, July 18th, the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce held its 19th Annual Chamber Golf Open.  The event was presented by Signature Sponsor Norway Savings Bank and hosted by the Poland Spring Inn & Resort. 

The weather and the spectacular course views made for a perfect day of golf in Maine. Twenty-four teams vied for the coveted top gross and net scores, enjoying contests such as longest drive, closest to the pin, hole in one and putting along the way. 

Top net scoring team - Evergreen Federal Credit Union -
Justin Collett, Jon Merrill, Carol Swenson & Jim Wiley
An air cannon situated on picturesque hole number four made for an exciting way to launch players’ golf balls onto the awaiting green. Adding to the excitement was Brian Bartlett, the only player to hit a thirty-foot qualifying putt in the putting contest, who just missed the fifty-foot putt worth $5,000. 
Other standouts included Derek Mathieu who had the longest drive for men, Laurie Berry who won
longest drive for women, and Charlie Ward who landed his golf ball just five feet and eight inches away from the pin to take home the closest to the pin award. 

The top gross scoring team was Hartford Funds (Ron Girard, Tim Hampson, Luke Rodrigue and Colin Roy) and the top net scoring team was Evergreen Federal Credit Union (Justin Collett, Jon Merrill, Carol Swenson and Jim Wiley). 

Chamber Executive Director, Lynn Mansfield said, “It was a very successful tournament. The weather and venue were amazing and everyone seemed to have a fantastic time.”
The event raised over $11,000, a portion of which funds the annual Chamber scholarship awarded to a deserving high school senior or adult education graduate from one the Region’s local school districts.  Mansfield added, “On behalf of the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber Board of Directors, I would like to thank David Pollard, Golf Open chair and his committee, participating teams, sponsors and volunteers who made this golf open so successful.  Volunteers really are the heart of the Chamber.”