September 13, 2019

Celebrating local business success with Referral Network social

Most business owners and professionals would agree that the growth and success of their company is due, in large part, through their connections with others. Whether you’re working as an independent contractor, starting a new business, or trying to build an established company, building long-term, meaningful relationships with quality business professionals is the heart and soul to success.

Many local business owners and entrepreneurs have found professional – and personal – success through their long-term relationships with Referral Network – BNI, Windham. To share in their successes and the meaningful friendships they have developed, they invite the public for a social at Pat’s Pizza, 844 Roosevelt Trail on Wednesday, September 18 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Join in for a variety of food and conversation to learn more about how this group of professionals can help your business growth and continue to succeed.

Current President of Referral Network – BNI® - Windham Chapter, Darlene Pratt, has been a member for five years. “My membership with BNI® has consistently been 15 to 20 percent of my business yearly and has brought to me exceptional relationships.”

Briefly, Referral Network is one chapter of BNI® – Maine, which is part of a larger and supporting international organization, where people can quite literally gather and support each other all over the globe. According to the website, the mission of BNI® is to help members increase their business through a structured, positive and professional referral marketing program that enables companies to develop. This occurs through weekly meetings and exclusive resources.

There are many core values that members of BNI® promote and these include the commitment to life-long learning, having a positive attitude, attending weekly meetings and taking accountability. But one core value that builds long-term success was explained by BNI Founder, Dr. Ivan Misner in a recent interview.

“BNI®’s principle core value is ‘Givers Gain®’,” Misner began. “The idea is that if you help others by sending business their way, they’ll do the same for you. This is a concept that is predicated on building relationships, not focusing on transactions. One of the most important things I’ve discovered over the last 33 years is that networking is more about farming than it is about hunting.  It is about building long term meaningful relationships with other business professionals.”

Mark Morrison, Referral Network member growth coordinator stated that “BNI® allows you to broaden your professional resource network beyond your field of expertise. This allows you to connect your clients with quality professionals you know and trust which will ensure they will be taken care of properly. You become the go to person for your clients and your community. It is a win win for all concerned.”

With the ‘Givers Gain®” value by which BNI® members adhere, many professionals throughout Maine have also seen significant increase and growth in their businesses.

Get to know other like-minded business professionals in the Greater Windham business community and join Windham’s BNI Chapter – Referral Network – for a social event with food and conversation. <

Faith Lutheran Church offers a chance to win a “Dream Trip” for two anywhere in the continental U.S.

A small church in North Windham is hoping that a fundraiser can also help raise awareness and support for the work they do serving neighbors in need. Faith Lutheran Church sits on a hill in the woods at the edge of Sebago Lake at 988 Roosevelt Trail, but their compassion extends far beyond that idyllic setting. The motivating force behind a new non-profit, Fuller Center for Housing in the Sebago Lake Region (expected to become official in late October), the congregation has recruited other area churches as well as St. Joseph’s College to begin a program to renovate and repair houses of the elderly and disabled.

Faith Lutheran has also become an official partner with St. Ann’s Episcopal Church to operate a monthly Essentials Pantry providing items like soap, cleaning and paper products, diapers and personal hygiene items that can’t be purchased with SNAP (food stamp) benefits.  The church is a part of the Monday Meals program, and practices “tithing” by donating 10% of all money they raise to various organizations like the Village Fund, RSU14 Backpack Program, The Root Cellar, Windham Neighbors Helping Neighbors, and the City of Portland fund to assist asylum seekers.

To continue with these efforts, they are now conducting a special “Dream Trip” raffle, selling tickets to those in the surrounding community who would like a chance to support the church’s work and want a chance to win dinner anywhere in the continental United States, with air or train fare and two nights in a hotel also included (total value of $2,500). 

Tickets are $20. Only 500 tickets will be sold, so there is a 1 in 500 chance of winning. But hurry! Deadline to purchase the raffle tickets will be Sunday, October 6. The drawing will be held at the church on Sunday, October 13, at 10:45 a.m. and ticket holders do not need to be present to win. Local travel agent Emery Travel in Raymond will handle arrangements for the winner.

“We know that a lot of our neighbors aren’t members of our church but would welcome the chance to support our small-but-mighty congregation because of all the ways we serve the larger community,” said Pastor Jane Field.  “And we’re finding that this “Dream Trip” raffle is a great way for us to get to know our neighbors better, too!  It’s been so much fun to talk with folks about where they would go if they win. We’ve heard beautiful stories about trips to see family, life-long dreams to see the Grand Canyon or return to a childhood hometown. We’ve also been touched by those who have bought tickets for others, hoping to give a friend or family member the chance to take a trip they could never afford on their own. It’s warmed our hearts and reminded us once again of why we love being part of this community.”

Tickets are on sale after 9:30 a.m. worship on Sunday mornings at the church or from any church member. For more information, email or call Steve at 207-221-0734. Raffle terms and conditions are available on the Faith Lutheran Church Facebook page (Faith Lutheran Church Windham Maine). 

Raymond Fire and Rescue and Age Friendly Raymond collaborate with Red Cross to give away free smoke alarms

Free smoke alarms are available to Raymond residents through an American Red Cross program that has saved at least 627 lives nationwide.

Raymond residents can request appointments for free smoke alarm installation by visiting or calling 874-1192 and choosing Option 3. The Red Cross, the Raymond Fire and Rescue Department and Age Friendly Raymond are teaming up and will perform the installations on Saturday, Sept. 28.

“We urge you to take advantage of these free lifesaving services. Home fires are a real threat to our community,” said Fire and Rescue Chief Bruce Tupper. “Smoke alarms can – and do – save lives. Smoke alarms are your first line of defense to provide you quick warning as you do not have much time to escape the toxic soup of chemicals that a fire creates.”

In addition to installing free battery-powered smoke alarms, teams will check existing alarms, help residents create escape plans and review home fire safety tips with them.

Working smoke alarms reduce the risk of death by half and an escape plan further improves the odds of survival. Many people do not realize that smoke alarms have a 10-year lifespan and need to be replaced after that time.

“Older adults are at the greatest risk of dying in a fire – more than twice that of the population as a whole,” said Sheila Bourque, who serves on Age Friendly Raymond’s Steering Committee. “Taking concrete steps like having working smoke alarms and creating an escape plan can make all the difference.”

On average, seven people die in a home fire every day in the United States. Sixty percent of those deaths take place in homes where the smoke alarms weren’t working properly or where there weren’t any smoke alarms at all. 

“We know this work is making a difference. At least 627 lives – including those of 11 Mainers – have been saved because of it,” said Melissa Condon, the Red Cross disaster program manager for Cumberland County. “Home by home, community by community, we are making Maine people safer.”

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit us at or on Facebook @MaineRedCross, Twitter @ARC_Maine or Instagram @maineredcross.

September 6, 2019

WIndham Town Council discusses Community Center

By Lorraine Glowczak

The Windham Town Council met on Tuesday evening, September 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Hall in the Council Chambers room. evening Council Workshop began with an update from the Windham Community Center Advisory Committee. The committee gave a graphic 3D tour video presentation of the proposed building design. The design displayed considers space and activities for multigenerational use with the intention of becoming financially self-sustaining.

The Community Center layout consists of a reception area, four basketball courts, swimming pool, a kitchen area with a large room next door. The kitchen and the next room can be expanded to provide larger meeting space. Above the basketball courts on the second floor is an indoor track and administrative offices. Locker rooms and a child care space are also a part of the design.

Chair of the committee, Pat Moody stated that the committee is looking at whether or not the center will be a municipal or nonprofit and how to generate revenue through activities, all the while considering operational costs. “These are the pieces of the puzzle we need direction from the council,” he said. a few minor concerns about the building itself, The Council agreed regarding the use and concept design of the Windham Center as presented at the meeting. Disagreement was expressed among council members and public in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting regarding the suggested location/property for the building – the land behind Smith Cemetery at the Route 302/202 rotary.

“The next charge is to talk with Don [Gerrish, Interim Town Manager] to find out what it’s [next steps] going to include, how big the committee should be and identify where the money is coming from to continue – then we can move forward,” explained David Nadeau.

Mark Hampton of Mark Hampton Associates, Inc. spoke to the council regarding the Smith Cemetery parcel that is the proposed building site for the community center as well as expansion of the cemetery itself. Hampton is a certified soil scientist and site evaluator and he was hired to evaluate the land. A portion of the parcel contains wetlands, but no vernal pools were found. Although he does not see any red flags regarding both the construction of the center and expansion of the cemetery in regard to environmental impact, he does suspect that a fee might need to be paid to DEP in order to build there. He did share a few “yellow light” concerns in which design and layout would need to be analyzed in great detail.  

For more information about the community center plans, programs and designs, contact the Windham Parks and Recreation Department at (207) 892-1905 or Parks&
For full details of the meeting and other agenda items discussed, go to the town website at

GWBE Wing Challenge crowns first winner

Last Wednesday, Greater Windham Business Exchange hosted its first GWBE Wing Challenge at All About Kids in Windham. The event brought in stiff competition with The Beacon in Raymond winning the popular vote and taking home bragging rights and a plaque to be hung in their restaurant for the year.

The wing challenge partnered with area businesses to raise money for Hannah Warrior Princess’ mission of raising money to purchase fun play sheets to be giving to children at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital.

Hannah was diagnosed with Leukemia and spent a lot of time at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. She’s home now and wants to give back to other children staying at the hospital. The play sheets go home with the children after they use them at the hospital.

The event raised over $600 with admission and donations combined. This will purchase at least 60 sets of sheets for ill children.

GWBE is a 501(c)(3) networking group that raises money for local charities and non-profits. Save the date for the next event on September 18, a block party carnival at Commons Drive in Windham, to raise money for Marine Mammals of Maine. For more information, visit