September 30, 2017

Leaders warn of con artists trying to take advantage of hurricane victims

Washington, D.C.— A warning from the leaders of the Senate Aging Committee: Be on the lookout for con artists trying to take advantage of victims in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee, are urging people, particularly older Americans, to be cautious of con artists who often target vulnerable communities following natural disasters. 

Reports from federal agencies such as FEMA, the Federal Trade Commission, IRS, and others, indicate scammers are calling people in hopes of stealing money for reasons related to recent hurricanes. Such calls could be about phony relief funds and charities, fraudulent flood insurance premiums past due notices, and unlicensed contractors helping with cleanup efforts who demand payment up-front for work they never do or simply lack the skills, licenses, and insurance to legally do the work.

“Putting a stop to aggressive and ruthless scams targeted at older Americans is one of our top priorities on the Senate Aging Committee,” said Senators Collins and Casey in a joint statement. “In these times of crisis, criminals will undoubtedly try to take advantage of those in need. While their actions are despicable, it is best to be diligent about who you are dealing with over the phone, and to check with your local officials for reputable sources of aid.”

If you suspect fraud or suspicious activity, please call your local police department. In addition, you can contact the Senate Aging Committee’s Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470.

Former WHS graduate says support from home contributed to his success with the Boston Bruins and Anaheim Ducks by Elizabeth Richards

Chris Aldrich didn’t dream of working for the NHL when he was a child. When he graduated from Windham High School in 1990, he went to the State Fire Academy and received EMT certification, intending to become a career firefighter. A couple of years later, he went to college to become a history teacher. Throughout it all, however, he was working with hockey teams and in the end, hockey won out. 
Chris Aldrich on the right
“I thought for sure I was going to be a history teacher,” Aldrich said. But when the call came from the Boston Bruins, he couldn’t pass it up. “You don’t get that call very often,” he said. “I thought I’m going to jump on this and see what happens, see where it takes me.” And it’s taken him far and wide as he travelled with teams, including a trip to Germany with Team USA. “I’ve travelled the world because of this job, for free.”  

Aldrich began his career with the Maine Mariners while still in high school. When the Mariners, a Boston Bruins minor league team, moved to Providence, Aldrich did too. After five years there, he moved up to the Boston Bruins, working with them for 10 years. After a management turnover, 

Aldrich was looking for change and had the opportunity to return to Maine to work for the Portland Pirates, which was affiliated with the Anaheim Ducks. He hoped he’d be back in Maine for a while, but after just one year the Ducks moved their minor league team to Iowa. After a season in Iowa, Aldrich ended up in his current position at the Anaheim Ducks. 

Aldrich said it was connections and support from many people in Windham that helped him land where he is now. It all began when he was young, and he had the opportunity to go to games, visit the locker room and meet players with his friend Billy Anderson, whose dad drove a bus for the Maine Mariners. Those experiences brought his enjoyment of hockey to a different level, he said. 

So when another friend, Kyle Rickett, who was working with the Mariners on game nights, asked him if he was interested in working when a spot opened up offering assistance to the visiting teams, he said yes. And being part of what makes a game come together was so interesting, he just kept moving forward. 

When Rickett graduated from high school and went into his family’s business, the head equipment manager Roger Beaudoin offered Aldrich a chance to move to the home team side. When Beaudoin left, Peter Henderson came on, and asked if Aldrich was interested in staying. He said yes, and worked with Henderson for 15 years.
“The connection with Windham was all the way up through. Without any one of those people, I probably wouldn’t be where I am now. They all played a key role in me getting to where I’m at,” Aldrich said.
Aldrich is the equipment manager for the team, meaning he helps take care of any needs the players might have: new skates, sticks, alterations to equipment, and much more. “Anything they have on the ice, we’ve directly had some contact with,” he said.

The shared experiences, stories and sense of family that exists on a team are part of what makes the job fun, he said. Travelling has also been a great experience, though now that he has a 10-year-old child, leaving is more difficult he shared. “When I first started, it was unbelievable,” he said; adding that he can’t believe how fast the years have gone by.

Aldrich’s story illustrates what is possible when you’re willing to follow an unplanned path. Though it wasn’t at all what he imagined doing when he was a kid, he has grown to love it, he said. “You meet so many people along the way that give you advice, and point you in the right direction,” he said. “You have to be willing to work and maybe relocate, but if you can put the time in, if you can show the effort, anything is possible.” 

RTT’s Triple B Boots, Band and BBQ celebrates its 10th year

Saturday October 14from 5:30 p.m. to -11 p.m. at 14 Lilac Drive in Windham, Riding To The Top Therapeutic (RTT) Riding Center will host its 10th Annual Triple B ~ Boots, Band and BBQ.  
Cheers for 10 years will celebrate the Triple B’s decade of raising awareness and funds for RTT’s riders, horses and programs. This year’s event will highlight the life changing services that have been made possible because of the generosity of Triple B guests, sponsors and volunteers during the past decade. Organizers for the October 14 event have a goal of raising $215,000 to reach the million dollar mark!  

SymondsFoundations@myfairpoint.netThe evening will feature DennyMike’s mouthwatering barbecue, a Mission Based Auction, dancing to the live music of local favorite, Under The Covers, a fantastic raffle, a photo booth, boot contests and door prizes.  Michelle Taylor of 99.9 THE WOLF will return to emcee and auctioneer Elizabeth Holmstrom will call the unique mission based auction.   

This annual “Party with a Purpose” plays a vital role in RTT’s ability to provide equine assisted activities and therapies for local children and adults with disabilities. 

Sarah Bronson, RTT’s Executive Director, shared that “We would not be able to provide services for people with disabilities as we do - 6 days a week, year round - without our volunteers and supporters like those who show up for the Triple B!”  Riding To The Top is a community based nonprofit, receives no federal, state or municipal funding and provides scholarships to over 60% of its clients.”
Sponsorship opportunities (deadline is Oct. 2 for publication in our program) and tickets are still available for advance purchase. For sponsorship information, contact Susan Cole at or 892-2813, X21. Tickets are $50.00 per person and include dinner, dancing and door prizes.  To purchase tickets call 892-2813 X 21, go to,  or email

About Riding to the Top
Founded in 1993, Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center’s mission is enhancing health and wellness through equine assisted activities and therapies. Over 250 clients participate annually and are assisted by horses, certified instructors and volunteers, all specially trained to assist with therapeutic riding, carriage driving and hippotherapy. RTT is a PATH, Intl. Premier Accredited Center (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International). Located just 5 miles from Portland in Windham, Maine, the center is located on a 50 acre farm and is the state’s only year round PATH Intl. accredited program solely dedicated to equine assisted activities and therapies.
For more information about client services, volunteering, making a referral or a gift, please visit us at or call 892-2813.