June 25, 2021

WHS pays tribute to Junior Book Award recipients

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's
Rensselaer Medal Award was presented to
Audrey Day of Windham High School
earlier this month. It is given annually
to a high school junior in the Top 10
percent of their class who has demonstrated 
academic excellence in advanced math and
science courses while in high school and
who has exhibited significant involvement
in extracurricular activities. 
By Ed Pierce

As seniors at Windham High cleaned out their lockers and prepared for the next chapter of their lives following graduation, members of the junior class were honored for their focus on academics during the 2020-2021 school year.

According to Phil Rossetti, Windham High School assistant principal, the Junior Book Awards are presented at the conclusion of each school year to top students in the junior class.  

Rossetti said that each year a number of universities and colleges in America partner with secondary schools such as Windham High School to recognize exceptional high school juniors. Each Junior Book Award focuses on a specific area of academic achievement and excellence, such as service to the community, music and the arts, distinction for academics and community advocacy.

“The awards honor distinguished juniors at Windham High, giving them a chance to gain a wider look at the world they live in, and to connect outstanding students with schools of higher learning,” Rossetti said. “Collegiate Book Awards are given annually to top-achieving students in the junior class. Each college or university establishes rigorous criteria and seeks feedback from high school faculty and administration to identify the worthy recipient of each award.”

Each Junior Book Award recipient is presented with a book from the university or college sponsoring the award and is intended to foster the recipient’s continued willingness to grow and learn.

Here are this year’s Windham, High School 2021 Collegiate Book Award recipients:

Bowdoin College Book Award: ISABEL DIONNE. This award recognizes a junior who lives life with compassion and integrity, and who demonstrates extraordinary service to the common good and a commitment to the study of the environment.

Brandeis University Book Award for Social Action and Civic Engagement: ELIZA TRAFFORD. This award recognizes a junior in the top 15 percent of the class who demonstrates a commitment to civic engagement, community service, political activism, social justice and volunteer work.

Clarkson University Leadership and Achievement Awards: LAUREN DELUCA and ESTELLA INMAN. These awards are presented in recognition of outstanding leadership qualities and academic promise and are given to two juniors in the top 15 percent of their class with an academic interest in Engineering, Business, Science, or Liberal Arts.  These awards include a renewable yearly scholarship.

Elmira College Key Awards: KYLIE DOTTAR and MATTHEW FOX. These awards are presented to two juniors who have maintained a 3.0 GPA in high school, and who demonstrate outstanding school and community leadership. These awards include a renewable yearly scholarship.  

Harvard Club in Maine’s Harvard Prize Book Award: AUDREY DAY. This award recognizes an outstanding student in the junior class who displays excellence in scholarship and high character, combined with achievements in other fields.

Maine College of Art Book Award: NOLA WALLACE. This award recognizes a junior who has produced outstanding visual artwork during their time in high school, as determined by the Art Department here at WHS.

Phi Beta Kappa Association of Maine’s Academic Achievement Award: AMY CROPPER. This award recognizes a junior who is going on to higher education and demonstrates intellectual curiosity and achievement in (and beyond) the classroom.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Rensselaer Medal Award: AUDREY DAY. This award goes to a junior in the top 10 percent of their class who has demonstrated academic excellence in advanced math and sciences courses while in high school, and who has exhibited significant involvement in extracurricular activities. It includes a renewable yearly scholarship.

Sage College’s Student Sage Awards: DESTINY POTTER, JANE TINSLEY and ELLIE WILSON. These awards go to three top juniors in the top 25 percent of their class who are actively involved in the community, able to balance numerous activities with enthusiasm and leadership, devoted to the improvement of the community’s well-being, and motivated to serve and inspire others to grow. The awards include a renewable yearly scholarship.

Saint Michael’s College Book Awards for Academic Achievement with a Social Conscience: MONICA AGNETA and WILLIAM SEARWAY. These awards recognize two juniors who demonstrate a strong commitment to volunteerism and leadership both in their school and local communities, while also showing a sustained and sincere concern for social justice and the well-being of others. These awards include a renewable yearly scholarship.

Smith College Book Award: LILY OLDERSHAW. This award recognizes a junior girl in the top 10 percent of the class who demonstrates outstanding scholarship and community service. The recipient exemplifies academic achievement, leadership qualities, and concern for others.

Suffolk University Book Award: GRACIE HODGKINS. This award recognizes a junior who shows great dedication to learning in the classroom, as well as to their school community through extracurricular involvement and volunteer positions.

University of Maine Book Award: WILLIAM MCDONALD. This award recognizes a high achieving junior who has been a positive contributor to the school community, and who demonstrates a great interest in Engineering.

University of Rochester’s Bausch + Lomb Honorary Science Award: WILLIAM STEWART. This award recognizes a junior who demonstrates outstanding academic achievement and superior intellectual promise in the field of science. The recipient has been a positive contributor to the school and in the larger community. It includes a renewable yearly scholarship.

University of Rochester’s Frederick Douglas & Susan B. Anthony Award: ROBERT LEDBETTER. This award recognizes a junior who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to understanding and addressing difficult social issues. The recipient shows strong leadership and dedication to community action. It includes a renewable yearly scholarship.

University of Rochester’s George Eastman Young Leaders Award: CHLOE DESMOND. This award recognizes a junior who demonstrates outstanding academic achievement and leadership at school and in the community. The recipient has extensive involvement in extracurricular activities and has earned high grades in challenging courses throughout high school. It includes a renewable yearly scholarship.

University of Rochester’s Xerox Award for Innovation and Information Technology: JULIAN HOWARD. This award recognizes a junior who demonstrates outstanding achievement in the pursuit of innovative approaches, and an appreciation for the possibilities of technology. It includes a renewable yearly scholarship.

University of Southern Maine Book Awards: ELIZABETH MILLER and BRADLEY SMITH. This award recognizes the aspirations and achievements of two juniors who exemplify academic promise and humane understanding. The recipients are students who regard others with openness, consideration and goodwill, and who brighten the world around them.

Wellesley College Book Award: SARAH HARE. This award recognizes a junior girl who is an academic leader at our school and is a visible member within the school and local community. The recipient demonstrates intelligence, determination, motivation, and achievement across all aspects of life.

Wells College’s 21st Century Leadership Awards:  CARLY MOREY and COLBY MIZNER. These awards recognize two juniors who have maintained a 3.0 GPA throughout high school, and who demonstrate leadership abilities through school and community activities. The awards include a renewable yearly scholarship.

Williams College Book Award: ASHLEY BELL. This award recognizes a junior who has demonstrated intellectual leadership and has made a significant contribution to the extracurricular life of the school. <

Sappi sells Presumpscot River hydropower sites to Dichotomy Power

The hydropower plant at Gambo Falls in Windham
may be one of the facilities that Sappi North
America has sold to Dichotomy Power LLC of
Buffalo, New York. FILE PHOTO  
Sappi North America Inc., a producer and supplier of diversified paper, packaging products and pulp, announced last week that it will sell its hydroelectric assets on the Presumpscot River in Maine to Dichotomy Power LLC, pending satisfactory completion of regulatory and other approvals.

According to a press release issued by the company, the transaction allows Sappi to focus on its core competencies and is consistent with Sappi's recent restructuring of its Westbrook site.
"We are happy to have found a strategic buyer in Dichotomy Power, a company with a wealth of expertise in this area, so that Sappi can continue to focus on its core competencies," said Mike Haws, President and CEO, Sappi North America.

Dichotomy Power LLC is a New York-based renewable-energy company engaged in the business of acquiring, renovating as needed, and operating eight hydroelectric assets in the United States, principally in the Northeast.

"Dichotomy Power is pleased to have reached an agreement with Sappi North America, Inc. to acquire their Presumpscot River hydroelectric facilities," said Ian Clark, CEO of Dichotomy Power LLC. "We are proud to carry on a history of successful traditions that started in 1878 with mechanical waterpower. Dichotomy looks forward to investing in the facilities to increase renewable energy production while honoring the commitments made to the agencies, communities, regulators and stakeholders who helped craft the new licenses."

The hydroelectric projects involved in the transaction were not named in the press release, but Sappi owns and operates two hydropower facilities in Windham at Gambo and Little Falls.

The Gambo Project has been used almost continuously for hydroelectric generation since its original construction around 1850. It was first developed as a sawmill in the 18th century by Jonathan Lovett and was later part of the Oriental Gun Powder Mill until around 1904. The current dam was constructed there in 1912 by E.I. duPont de Nemours Company, which used the site to manufacture wood flour for dynamite until 1950.

From 1950 to 1960, the Gambo site was owned by the Town of Windham, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Commercial Chemical Corp. In 1960, Lawrence Keddy started using the site to provide power to the Little Falls steel mill. He also sold some of the power generated there to Central Maine Power Company.

S.D. Warren (later renamed Sappi North America, Inc.) purchased the Gambo Project from the Commercial Chemical Corporation in 1974.

The Little Falls hydropower site has been used commercially since the 19th century. C.A. Brown and Company purchased the site in 1875 and constructed a wood board mill at that location. The Androscoggin Pulp and Paper mill purchased the property in the early 1900s and operated there for decades. Keddy purchased the site in the 1960s and used the power in his steel mill until S.D. Warren acquired the Little Falls site in 1974, and was later renamed Sappi North America, Inc.

The deal with Dichotomy Power is expected to close by the end of the calendar year subject to regulatory and other approvals.

Sappi North America, Inc. is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Sappi Limited, a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with more than 12,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and customers in over 150 countries.

According to its website, Dichotomy Power was founded in 2019 and “creates value for stakeholders by working alongside regulators and local communities to enhance the fundamental value embedded in each operated renewable energy facility while preserving the environmental and social contributions these assets carry.” The Buffalo, New York-based Dichotomy Power LLC corporation is backed by Greenbacker Capital Management. <

4-H offers new ‘Fridays on the Farm’ summer program for students

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H is
offering a new hands-on free summer learning series for
students ages 12 to 18 focused on Maine agriculture. It
includes a visit to Mulberry Farms in Raymond in July.  
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H is offering a new hands-on summer learning series focused on Maine agriculture for students ages 12 to 18. 

Participants in the free four-session “Fridays on the Farm” program will take a tour of each participating farm's operations, gain hands-on experience and learn what different farms across the state contribute to the Maine food system. This is the first in a planned series of educational programs from the Maine 4-H Agricultural Leadership Ambassador Program and program materials and instruction is entirely free for participants. 

The goal of 4-H Fridays on the Farm is to expose students to Maine and create workforce development skills through a variety of different hands-on, farm visits throughout the state. Teens may join for one session or all four to experience what different farms across the state have to offer.

Each session will include an opportunity for teens to take a tour of operations, gain agriculture hands-on experience, and consider their role in the Maine Food System.

The first session will be held from 9 a.m.to noon July 16 at Mulberry Farms, 96 North Raymond Road, Raymond. Mulberry Farms is run by the Pecoraro Family and specializes in organic fruits and vegetables.

All sessions in the series are scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon. 

Other sessions in the series include:

** Sustainable vegetable grower Rustic Roots Farm,120 Vipah Lane, Farmington on July 23. Rustic Roots Farm is a small-scale farm producing sustainably grown mixed vegetables. They offer weekly farm shares and sell locally to restaurants and the public at Farmers markets.

** Seed potato developer Seed Pro Inc., 21 ME-159, Crystal on July 30. Seed Pro Inc, along with the family farm, Daniel J. Corey Farm based in Monticello, centers around the development, production and harvesting of potatoes. At their Island Falls facility, which includes a research laboratory and greenhouse, they develop seed for distribution throughout the entire East Coast.

** Visiting a 10th-generation family owned and operated dairy farm, Brigeen Farms, 278 Upper Street, Turner on Aug. 6. Since 1777, Brigeen Farms has cared for dairy cows and produced fresh, high-quality milk as part of Maine’s strong dairy industry.

The series is free and includes materials; current 4-H enrollment is not required.

For more information or to register please visit: https://extension.umaine.edu/4h/4-h-summer-learning/fridays-on-the-farm-registration/

If you are a person with a disability and need an accommodation to participate in this program, please call 800-287-1471 (in Maine) to discuss your needs. Receiving requests for accommodations at least 10 days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request, however all requests will be considered.

For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Sara Conant, 207-781-6099 or by email at sara.conant@maine.edu. <  

Catholic parishes in Gorham, Westbrook, and Windham preparing for merger in July

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Windham is joining
St. Anne Church in Gorham, St. Hyacinth Church in
Westbrook, and the seasonal chapel of Our Lady of Sebago
in East Sebago to form the new St. Anthony of Padua Parish
as part of a canonical merger taking place in July. To
celebrate the merger, the inaugural St. Anthony Festival will
be held on the weekend of July 16-17 at Out Lady of 
Perpetual Help in Windham. PHOTO BY ED PIERCE  
By Ed Pierce

If you’re Catholic and attend church on a regular basis in Windham, you’re probably aware that Our Lady of Perpetual Help is about to undertake an important step regarding its future.

According to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, starting July 1, a canonical merger is going to take place involving current parishes in Gorham, Westbrook, and Windham and will establish the new St. Anthony of Padua Parish. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Windham, St. Anne Church in Gorham, St. Hyacinth Church in Westbrook, and the seasonal chapel of Our Lady of Sebago in East Sebago will form the new St. Anthony of Padua Parish with all worship sites remaining open.

“Over the past six years, the three parishes have worked towards joining together as one community of faith and fellowship,” said Rev.  Louis Phillips, pastor of the new St. Anthony of Padua Parish.

Under a canonical merger, the churches will share the same clergy and pastoral staff members.

“We have established one pastoral center with clergy and staff offices,” said Phillips, who has served in the communities since 2015. “We have formed a united pastoral council and a united finance council. Many parishioners attend masses at more than one of the churches. This announcement may cause some to say, ‘I thought we were already merged.’”

Dave Guthro, communications director for the diocese, said that the name for the new parish was the top choice of parishioners and received approval from Bishop Robert P. Deeley.

“The canonical merger officially transitions the three parishes into one parish with four worship sites,” Guthro said.

Streamlining the operations of the churches involved in the canonical merger will result in one set of financial books, one set of sacramental registers, combined finances, one diocesan reporting mechanism, and one single annual Catholic Appeal goal,” Phillips said.

“Those are just a few of the many administrative advantages that will save money and more efficiently utilize the time and energy of our parish staff,” he said. 

Phillips said that on the weekend of July 16-17, members of the new St. Anthony of Padua Parish will gather together as one to host the inaugural St. Anthony Festival in Windham.

“A Mass of Celebration will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, located on 919 Roosevelt Trail, on Friday, July 16, at 7 p.m. The Mass will conclude with a procession of a statue of St. Anthony to an outdoor shrine, after which there will be a reception in the church courtyard,” Phillips said.

The following day, an outdoor festival will begin at 10 a.m. and will feature food, crafts, baked goods, a yard sale, activities for the kids, and live music. The festival will pause for mass at 4 p.m. on Saturday and then resume with a barbecue at 5 p.m.

“All are welcome to attend all or part of the festival,” Phillips said.

The festival will complete the lengthy merger process that featured several informational and feedback sessions with parishioners of the churches involved and a submitted proposal to the bishop who approved the canonical merger after reviewing those discussions, consulting with the Presbyteral Council, and obtaining the consent of both the College of Consultors and the Diocese of Portland’s Finance Council.

Parish leadership identified our top two priorities as fulfilling the social ministry of the church and stewardship for future generations of Catholics,” Phillips said. “A coordinated, collaborative effort as a merged parish can do so much more in promoting the social mission of the church. We also want to do now whatever is necessary to make certain that our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will inherit a vibrant, engaging, and involved Catholic faith community as an act of human stewardship. Through more efficient use of our combined financial and human resources, this is a goal we can best accomplish together rather than separately.” <

June 18, 2021

Pastor Sally Colegrove of Windham Hill UCC retires from her ‘little white church on the hill’

After a total of 38 years in the ministry, Rev. Sally Colegrove
will retire on June 30 as the pastor of the Windham Hill United
Church of Christ where she has spent the last 18 years of her
career. In her retirement, Colegrove looks forward to 
volunteering in community theater, renovating two of her
homes and traveling once the borders open back up.
By Lorraine Glowczak

The members of Windham Hill United Church of Christ (UCC), located at 140 Windham Center Road, will bid farewell to their pastor of 18 years, Rev. Sally Colegrove, on June 30. After 38 years in the ministry, Colegrove has decided to retire to enjoy new adventures.

“One thing I’m looking forward to is volunteering and spending time in the dramatic arts,” Colegrove said. “Maybe community theater, maybe stage directing.”

Her passion for the cinematic arts isn’t a new one. In fact, Colegrove attended the University of Connecticut upon high school graduation in the early 1970s to study writing and directing for television. Realizing the financial rewards of this career are limited, she shifted her focus following her last year in college and took a few business courses.

“The writing and directing career would have allowed me to starve, so I changed my mind and took business courses following my last year of college,” she said. “As soon as I graduated, I accepted the first job offered to me. I was hired in the accounts payable department at the Greenwich [Connecticut] Hospital and within six months I was promoted to the manager of a multimillion-dollar accounting system.”

But how did these experiences and choices lead Colegrove into the field of ministry and to Windham Hill UCC?

Born in Greenwich, Connecticut as a descendent of all seven proprietors of the town, Colegrove grew up attending the First Congregational Church of Greenwich, the town’s founding church. 

“I participated in all the youth programs and was an active member of the church from a very young age,” she said.

She continued her involvement in the church into adulthood and while working at the hospital. Having free time after work, Colegrove inquired about serving the church and was asked to lead confirmation classes as well as other high school church programs. After two years of volunteering, Colegrove discovered she enjoyed spiritual leadership and decided a career in the ministry was what she really wanted to do.

“I applied and was accepted to Yale Divinity School, but I still needed a job,” Colegrove said. “The church hired me as a youth minister so I worked and attended school at the same time. This meant I took the ‘long, slow program,’ starting school in 1978 and graduating with a Masters of Divinity in 1983.”

Colegrove was ordained at First Congregational on June 5 of that year and was hired soon after as the church’s Assistant Pastor. She enjoyed serving her home church with over 1,600 members and, although her vocation kept her busy, she found time to visit Camden, Maine to sail as often as she could. Considering Maine her second home, Colegrove eventually purchased a house in the small coastal village to have her own place to stay during her getaways and as a solid future investment.

In 2001, after approximately 18 years serving her hometown church, Colegrove made the decision to make Maine her permanent home and began searching for calls for ministry in the area. Just when she started to explore her options, the most disturbing event happened 32 miles away from Greenwich, across the Long Island Sound in New York City - the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC).

“As soon as we received the news, we [members of the church and of the town] watched as the devastation took place. Not on television, but from across the sound. We could see with our own eyes from the shoreline into Manhattan as the WTC billowed with smoke. We watched as both towers fell,” Colegrove said.

That evening, Colegrove and other First Congregational clergy set up an impromptu prayer service at the church as many in the congregation, as well as the greater Greenwich community, either worked in Manhattan or at the WTC. Colegrove relives that day.

“There was no phone service, no way to communicate. We all desperately wanted to know how those we knew who worked in the city were but there wasn’t a way to find out. One member would have been on the 90th floor of the WTC on that day if it were not for the fact she was on maternity leave.” That member eventually told Colegrove she had lost 200 people she knew because of the tragedy – 12 of which were her close personal friends.

Colegrove made the decision to stay in her position, and thus withdrew her inquiries to Maine congregations. “It was too cataclysmic for the church and the town, and it didn’t feel right to leave just yet,” Colegrove said.

Eighteen months after that horrific event, Colegrove resumed her job search and received several offers from churches throughout Maine, Windham Hill UCC being among them. But having experience with a large parish like First Congregational, Colegrove believed it would be best to accept a job from one of the larger churches.

With only 120 members at the time, Colegrove believed she did not have the skills needed to lead Windham Hill UCC, or what she lovingly termed ‘the little white church on the hill’. However, a few things kept pulling her toward this faith community.

“Every time I thought about accepting one of the larger churches, I would become sad and knew I would miss my little white church on the hill. This thought kept pulling at me. There was just something special about this place and this church. Plus, I kept receiving calls from the chair of the search committee every day for a month offering me the job.”

Of course, we know Colegrove accepted the call to pastor Windham Hill UCC and she has been very pleased with her decision. In the past 18 years, she has witnessed the congregation grow to over 200 members, enjoyed the ‘thinking outside the box’ worship styles to be more inclusive, saw the building of a fellowship hall and columbarium, watched as successful adult ed classes and book discussion groups developed and continue to this day, led congregation and community travels to seven different countries, took part in trips to Honduran and Maine missions and now appreciates the newly established and successful annual Festival of Trees.

“We’ve been busy and I have been very lucky these past 18 years,” Colegrove said. “The church moderators have been very supportive in guiding me with the work of a small church and I could not have done it without their help. I thank everyone and want to give a special shout out to the moderators during my stay: Phil Moody, Dick Roy, David Pinchbeck and Eric Lund as well as Cora Moody who was the musician and her colleague from 2003 to 2014.”

Colegrove will hold a special place in Windham Hill UCC’s heart.

“Sally is warm and outgoing and has truly been a friend to so many in addition to being their pastor over the past 18 years,” the present Church Moderator, Eric Lund said. “We will all miss her a lot but are glad that she will still be part of the Windham community.”

In addition to theater involvement, Colegrove will also spend time renovating her two homes here in Windham and in Camden. She has also been encouraged to publish the letters she wrote to her congregation every day during the first 100 days of the pandemic. And travel – when the borders open back up – is on the top of her list.

“Although I have traveled to 40 different countries, there is still a lot I haven’t seen in the world.”

No matter where Colegrove may journey, it is without a doubt upon her return she will find herself driving along the tree-lined Windham Center Road to sneak a peek at her ‘little white church on the hill.’ <

Local author promotes connection and relationship in upcoming book

Windham resident Sarah MacLaughlin will publish
her second book, 'Raising Humans With Heart: Not 
a How-To Manual' later this month. The book explores
how connection impacts parenting.
By Elizabeth Richards

Sarah MacLaughlin is passionate about parenting and has read every parenting book she can get her hands on.  She calls her ability to read and distill important information her “superpower.” 

MacLaughlin’s second book, Raising Humans With Heart: Not a How-To Manual, launches this month. She’s long been interested in how connection impacts parenting.

“We know that growth is part of both nurture and nature,” she said. “The only part of that that we have any power to guide is the nurture part and that is worth looking at and being curious about.”

The book, as the subtitle indicates, is not a step-by-step guide to parenting. While there are tips, frameworks and resources throughout the book, MacLaughlin is clear that there is no magic formula. 

Her goal, she said, was “reframing parenting not as something you’re doing to somebody, but as a relationship that you have and how that all stems from the relationship that we have with ourselves.”

MacLaughlin said, “I could teach a parent every approach or strategy in the book, but if that parent is completely stressed out while trying to pull off said strategy, it’s not going to work. What really motivates people to change, whether they’re four or forty, is a relationship.”  

Working with Publishizer, which she described as “like Kickstarter for publishing,” helped keep MacLaughlin accountable, the author said.  That’s because she sold people copies of a book which hadn’t yet been written. When the pandemic hit and she was at home all the time, she put that time to good use.

While her first book took a decade to write, this one, which is longer, was completed in a couple of months, she said.

MacLaughlin strives to help parents find the “Goldilocks” spot in parenting: not too firm and not too soft. She also emphasizes having grace with yourself and taking steps to repair ruptures in relationships when they do occur.

There’s a wealth of information available now that parents a few decades ago just didn’t have, she said.

“There are so many misunderstandings of children’s behavior and what motivates them,” MacLaughlin said.  Having information about how the brain works and development progresses can help parents respond rather than react. She describes her new book as “a short and sassy book that distills the research and brain science for busy parents.” 

The title of the book is both a reminder that we aren’t raising children – after all, they don’t stay young forever – and that we need to be more in our hearts, MacLaughlin said.

“We need people in the world right now that are connected to themselves and connected to others that have heart,” she said.

Although the anecdotes included, with her (now teenage) son’s permission, are about a younger child’s behavior, she said she tried to “paint with broad strokes about the meaning of that” so the information would apply across the spectrum of age. 

“My hope was that no matter where you were in your parenting trajectory, you could pick it up and find it useful,” she said.

She hopes that anybody who interacts with children, whether or not they have any of their own, will find value in the book. 

“It’s a different way of thinking about relationships with kids and young people,” she said.

MacLaughlin’s writing and parent education work has been done alongside full time employment for many years. She has a degree in Women’s Studies, has been a licensed social worker for 15 years, and has a background as a preschool teacher, nanny, working in foster and adoptive care, and delivering workshops to parents and early childhood staff, among other roles.  She is currently employed full time as a senior writer for Zero to Three.  

MacLaughlin and her husband bought land in Windham in 2004, had a house built, and moved in the summer of 2005.  She said they’ve slowly developed their homestead with their garden and their chickens.  She and her family enjoy discovering local spots to get in or on the water.

Raising Humans With Heart: Not a How-to Manual is currently available for preorder on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indy Bound.  Orders will ship in mid-July. <

‘Rally for RTT’ benefits Riding To The Top programs

Riding To The Top's June Ride-A-Thon has been
replaced with a virtual event called the 'Rally for
RTT.' Participants will set goals for activities
of their choice and can win prizes for their efforts.
Since 1993, Riding To The Top's riders, staff and volunteers have participated in Ride-A-Thons, raising more than $115,000 for RTT’s programs and services for people with disabilities.

But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all of RTT’s live events were cancelled in 2020 and so far in 2021, only a few small live events have been held. This year RTT’s June Ride-A-thon has been replaced with a virtual event called the Rally for RTT.

This event will run throughout the entire month of June, with each participant setting a goal for an activity of their own choice (riding, biking, wheeling, hiking, walking, swimming, even volunteering). The Modern Woodmen of America organization will be matching the first $2,500 received in donations.

Prizes for participants include one for the Top Fundraiser and Top “Friend-raiser.”  Raise $1,000 or more and receive a $500 credit toward RTT lessons and RTT swag. Raise $500 or more and receive a RTT swag T-shirt, tote bag and key chain. Raise $250 or more and receive a RTT tote bag and key chain. All participants will be entered into a drawing for special prizes.

To help Riding To The Top reach its goal of raising $7,500 please go to www.ridingtothetop.org/events. 

Founded in 1993, Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center’s (RTT) mission is enhancing health and wellness through equine-assisted services. It is a PATH International Premier Accredited Center (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International).  

Located in Windham, RTT is the state’s only year-round PATH International Premier Accredited Center solely dedicated to serving people with disabilities through equine-assisted services.

RTT is a community-based nonprofit, receives no federal or state funding and provides scholarships to over 60 percent of its clients.  For more information about client services, volunteering or making a gift, please visit www.ridingtothetop.org or call 207-892-2813. 

Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial was founded in 1883. Ever since then, MWA has been helping families fulfill their financial needs and making an impact in communities nationwide. Their main purpose is to help members plan for their financial security through insurance, investments. Modern Woodmen fraternalism is about coming together and making a positive impact on each other and on our communities. It’s about being part of something bigger than yourself.

For more information contact Tim Graham at the Windham office at 207-892-0302. <

The Windham Eagle’s managing editor wins award for outstanding coverage of veterans

Ed Pierce, managing editor of The Windham
Eagle newspaper, was awarded the Fourth
Estate Award for outstanding coverage of
veterans and veterans' issues during the 
Maine American Legion's 102nd Annual
Convention in Brewer on June 12. Pierce
has spent 46 years in journalism, including
eight years of service as a military journalist
in the U.S. Air Force. SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Lorraine Glowczak

The American Legion’s 2021 Fourth Estate Award for outstanding coverage of veterans and veteran’s issues in Maine was presented to Ed Pierce, managing editor of The Windham Eagle newspaper, during the 102nd annual Maine American Legion Convention in Brewer on Saturday, June 12.

Pierce’s dedication to highlighting veterans is especially appreciated by those who have served and now live in the Windham and Raymond communities. One of those individuals is David Tanguay of Windham who is the American Legion Department of Maine District Two Adjutant and is the person who nominated Pierce for this award.

“In the 14 months that Ed has been managing editor of The Windham Eagle newspaper, he has provided a personal touch to his stories about our local veterans and has elevated the visibility of the local veterans’ organizations such as the American Legion Field-Allen Post and the local VFW Post within the community,” Tanguay said. “Edmund Pierce exemplifies the attribute of the aware and is most deserving of recognition.”

Pierce said he is deeply humbled and honored to receive the award.

“We’re all very fortunate in Windham to have a number of World War II veterans still with us today and active members of the American Legion Field-Allen Post 148,” Pierce said while accepting his award in Brewer. “Those guys are the real individuals who deserve an award, all I do is tell their stories.”

He also shared that he is grateful to The Windham Eagle Publisher Kelly Mank and Advertising Director Melissa Carter for their continued support for veterans and veterans’ causes in the Windham area.

“We couldn’t be prouder of Ed and the work he has done within our community to highlight our service men and women - and doing so with such a personal touch. We can’t forget the history - we need to learn from it and Ed has been instrumental in telling those stories and providing that education.” Mank said.

Pierce thanked Tanguay and members of American Legion Post 148 for nominating him for this award. He also recognized two other very important people in his life who have made contributions to his success.

“I would be remiss not to thank my wife, Nancy, for encouraging me to come out of retirement to work for The Windham Eagle and for her unwavering support of my writing and career,” he said. “Lastly, I want to thank my father who died in 1991. He was a World War II veteran who recognized that I would be better suited as a journalist than a high school basketball coach and changed my declared major to journalism when he submitted my application to attend college. More than 50 years later, I have come to appreciate that decision more than ever.” 

Pierce has held a long and successful career in journalism that spans 46 years, including eight years serving as a public affairs specialist for the U.S. Air Force in Germany, at The Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of New Mexico and has worked professionally as a sportswriter, newspaper page designer, news reporter and newspaper editor, rising through the ranks to lead the newsrooms of seven different daily and weekly newspapers as top editor. <

June 11, 2021

Chamber launches first-ever Golf Ball Drop fundraiser

By Ed Pierce

One of the most exhilarating and entertaining charitable fundraisers is coming to the Lakes Region during the annual Summerfest celebration this coming week and promises to become a permanent fixture in the area.

The first Golf Ball Drop event is scheduled to be conducted Saturday, June 19 in Windham and could deliver an unexpected windfall to a lucky winner while also assisting the Windham Food Pantry and Summerfest at the same time.

“The Sebago Lakes Region Chamber has started a new event that we will be doing at local fairs/festivals,” said Robin Mullins, the Executive Director of the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce. “It will eventually be a chamber fundraiser that we'll split with the events. This year, being our first year, and with COVID making fundraising difficult for some local events, we decided to have all monies raised go to the event and/or the local food pantry.”

According to Mullins, the Windham Summerfest asked to be the chamber’s first event of their new Golf Ball Drop.

“Anyone can purchase golf balls for $10 each,” Mullins said. “On Saturday, June 19 at 1 p.m. the Windham Fire Department will be dropping from their ladder truck all of the balls that have been sold.”

The drop will be held at the "bowl" field just off Windham Center Road near Windham High School.

“We'll have a metal pole, or pin for those who play golf, set up and the ball falling ‘closest to the pin’ will be designated the winner,” Mullins said. “The winner will receive 10 percent of the monies raised from the sale of the balls. Summerfest will split with the Windham Food Pantry the remaining monies raised.”

The late Bob Stone, a PGA tour golfer of the 1970s and a Senior PGA tour competitor in the 1980s, is credited with conceiving the idea for a fundraising golf ball drop based upon a trip he took to New York City on New Year’s Eve in 1981 to watch the annual ball drop event in Times Square. He used the idea to drop numbered golf balls from a helicopter over a golf course in Missouri to raise money for a local children’s charity there in 1984 and the idea took hold and has now spread across America employing different methods to drop the golf balls. 

Mullins said the Golf Ball Drop at this year’s Summerfest celebration will be streamed live on Facebook and is being co-sponsored with the chamber by the Sebago Lakes Rotary Club, Modern Woodmen of the World and the Windham Parks and Recreation Department.

“We do plan on doing this event at Sebago Days and the Gray Blueberry Festival this summer as well,” Mullins said.

To register to purchase golf balls for the Summerfest Golf Ball Drop, go to https://www.sebagolakeschamber.com/event/summerfest-golf-ball-drop <

Animal control officer relocates surrendered farm animals

By Daniel Gray

Windham Animal Control Officer
Jacqueline 'Jackie' Frye greets Lola
the cow on the animal sanctuary she
owns in Bridgton. Last month
she successfully found new homes
for 41 surrendered farm animals
in the area. SUBMITTED PHOTO 

Windham's own animal control officer, Jacqueline "Jackie" Frye, has a serious affection for all animals big and small. It shows with her choice of career, but not to mention the animal sanctuary she owns.

Back in May, Frye was called to an animal surrendering, where that the owner chose to relocate animals to a better home. Frye says this tends to be the case when someone is overwhelmed with animals, and overwhelmed they were for sure. In all, Frye took in a total of 41 animals including 12 rabbits, 10 hens, seven pigeons, six sheep, three roosters and three goats.

After the animals were surrendered, they were placed in her own animal sanctuary. She had received the animals on a Monday and was thankfully able to have them relocated by Thursday that same week.

"I put the word out after taking these animals in and, less than a week later, I was able to have them all relocated into good homes. I'm so grateful for all the outreach I got with people wanting to help out," she said.

Frye said all 41 animals were taken in and are being kept as pets, not livestock to be turned into food later. Any animal that is surrendered to Frye as an animal control officer goes to a “forever home,” and not end up a plate.

"I grew up on a farm myself, so I understand some people do raise animals for that purpose. I wasn't surprised when I get the occasional call from people wanting the animals to eat. But once you start raising them without that intent, it's a whole other story," Frye said.

Frye's sanctuary, Open Arms Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, OAARS, was founded by her in 2016. It's located on her property in Bridgton and situated on three acres, suited for larger animals such as pigs, cows, and goats.

"The sanctuary isn't a place for me to profit, but for people to learn," Frye said. "I want people to learn all about these animals. To learn how to take care of them properly and love them as much as I do."

Some special friends at her sanctuary include A'mel and Mazikeen, a Pitbull and Rottweiler respectively, along with Babies, Miguel-Miguel, and Cheddha the pigs, Wabbit the white rabbit, Lola the cow, and Billy the donkey.

With her love of animals, it's no surprise to Frye that is both an animal control officer and is the owner of an animal sanctuary.

She explained where her love for both came from.

"Watching animal control shows on TV back in 2012 got me motivated, I'll be honest. Then I volunteered with Harvest Hills Animal Shelter in Fryeburg. After that, I knew that I had to do both in my life," she said.

Frye said she’s looking to expanding the sanctuary and relocated it to Cornish before fall this year. She would have more than 400 acres there dedicated to the animals with plenty of room for them to run and play.

"It's always great to relocate animals into a good, loving home. And I wouldn't have done it without some help. There were a lot of animals," Frye said.

She thanked two people for helping her with the 41 farm animals relocations, including Amber Truman and her brother, RJ.

For more information about Open Arms Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, go to their page on Facebook to learn more about the amazing animals there. <

Windham residents gather for annual town meeting June 12

Windham's Annual Town Meeting will be held at 10 a.m.
Saturday, June 12 in the Windham High School Auditorium.
Residents will vote on proposed municipal and RSU 14
budgets and for a number of upcoming town projects
and purchases.  PHOTO BY ED PIERCE
By Ed Pierce

During Windham’s annual town meeting this weekend, residents will have their say in either approving or disapproving of the submitted 2021-2022 town and RSU 14 budgets.

The meeting starts at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Windham High School auditorium and participants are required to sign in to receive a voting slip. Ballots will determine the fate of Windham’s proposed $35,115,270 budget and RSU 14’s $52,233,221 budget.

Windham’s municipal budget is up slightly from the $35,048,303 budget for 2020-2021 approved by town voters last June.

“In the proposed budget 2021-2022, we are looking to accomplish several objectives,” said Windham Town Manager Barry A. Tibbetts. “We hold the budget increase due to the COVID impacts on residents and businesses, continue with the paving and equipment replacement programs, develop recreational playing fields and playground while expanding parking at Lowell. The first item is to hold or limit any increases in the budget to the minimum based on the COVID impact to residents and businesses. The municipal budget increase is at 0.33 percent, or flat or no increase to the mil rate.” 

If approved on Saturday, the new budget would fund paving and sidewalk work; work on rear access roads off Route 302; addressing North Windham wastewater treatment; completing the second phase of the Lowell Reserve parking lot; creation of three new playing fields behind Manchester School; a possible new community center; and addressing open-space property issues in Windham.

Town meeting participants will be asked to greenlight repaving projects for Land of Nod Road; Depot Street; Common Avenue; Dunridge Circle; Page Road, Vance Drive; Varney Mill Road; the Gosher and Gateway Subdivison; Hillcrest Subdivision; the Abby and Oak Subdivision; and Lantern Lane Cross Culvert. 

Should the budget proposal be approved, capital funding would also be allocated up to $200,000 for paving stretches of dirt roads on Hall Road; Gilman Drive; Old Country Road; a portion of Swett Road; Keene Road; Barnes Road; Read Road; Town Farm Road; Pendleton Ash Way; Peartree Lane; Craig Road; Claman Drive; Jones Hill Road; Hall Road where it meets Route 302; and Neighborly Way.

The 2021-2022 budget proposal will authorize Windham to add an assistant town manager and two new fire/emergency medical technicians. Town impact fees will be used to replace the playground equipment at Lowell Preserve and funding will be used for a design and engineering study to improve Donnabeth Lippman Park.

Budget approval will give permission for the town to lease or purchase two plow trucks; a street sweeper; a trackless snow blower/mower; three new EMS stretchers; and three new cardiac monitors. It also allocates $550,000 to complete the purchase of Engine 7 for the Windham Fire Department.

With the mil rate of 4.4 unchanged from a year ago, the municipal tax rate for Windham will be flat, Tibbetts said.

The 2021-2022 budget proposal for RSU 14 is up $1,450,223 or about a 2.86 percent increase from its 2020-2021 budget.

RSU 14 Superintendent of Schools Christopher Howell said that minimal additions were proposed through the budget process this year and that the increase reflects fixed costs related to negotiated salaries and benefits for employees.

“The district will be receiving an additional $974,159.00 in subsidy from the state this year,” Howell said. “This is a welcome addition that should result in a minimum tax increase for households in Raymond and Windham.”

According to Howell, Maine Gov. Janet Mills has proposed an increase in funding to the legislature to meet the promise of 55 percent for public education.

“If this passes through the legislature, it will further reduce the tax requirement for the RSU,” he said.

Even with this proposed budget, per pupil cost for RSU 14 students is slightly below the state average of $12,442, coming in at $12,294.

If approved at the town meeting, Windham Primary School would receive additional funding for physical education, music and art and for educational technicians. Raymond Elementary School would gain additional funding for educational technicians, while Windham Middle School would lose one teacher. Also under the budget proposal, the district would create a new e-sports program, and the nurse position at Jordan-Small Middle School would be converted to a nurse technician. <

Raymond voters return Bruno to Select Board seat

By Ed Pierce

Joe Bruno

Raymond voters made their choices on Tuesday, casting ballots for a number of town positions and approving a number of municipal warrants for the town budget and the RSU 14 school budget proposal for the coming year.

Voting was conducted at Jordan-Small Middle School in lieu of the annual Town Meeting because of COVID-19 concerns. The ballots were four full pages on two sheets of paper and contained budget items and ordinances that would normally have been approved with an in-person vote at the town meeting.

All warrants on the ballot were approved by voters, including funding for Raymond’s Public Safety and Public Works Departments, several land use ordinances and greenlighting the $52 million annual budget for RSU 14.

The most contested race for voters was to elect a candidate for Raymond’s open Board of Selectmen position. When all of the ballots were counted, former selectman Joe Bruno earned 204 votes to win the seat, with Abigail Geer receiving 171 votes and Dana DesJardins got 34 votes.    

Kate Levielle was unopposed for a three-year seat on the RSU 14 Board of Directors and received a total of 310 votes.

Robert Gosselin tallied 264 votes and Kevin Oliver received 243 votes to win three-year terms on Raymond’s Budget and Finance Committee.

No candidates were declared or on the ballot to fill two open two-year terms and one three-year term on the town’s Budget and Finance Committee, but Raymond’s Town Clerk Sue Look said candidates receiving write-in votes on Tuesday for these vacant positions, including Dennis Morse, Abigail Geer and Marshall Bullock will be asked if they would be interested in serving on the committee. <

In the Public Eye: Windham’s Director of Parks and Recreation, Linda Brooks, values partnerships and community input

Linda Brooks has led Windham's Parks and 
Recreation Department for six years and
prior to that served as the director of Parks
and Recreation for the Town of Standish.
Editor’s note: This is another in an ongoing series of Windham and Raymond town employee profiles.

By Elizabeth Richards

Linda Brooks has worked in community recreation for more than 25 years.  After 21 years as the director of Parks and Recreation for the town of Standish, she made the move to Windham where she has served in that same position for six years. 

Brooks has a degree in therapeutic recreation from the University of Connecticut.  She worked in a rehabilitation hospital in Braintree, Mass., before her family relocated to Maine and she took a position at Sanford Parks and Recreation as a recreation coordinator.

“That was my introduction to community recreation,” Brooks said. “That became what I really have loved most, clearly, since I’ve stuck with it for so many years.”

The move to Windham has been a great experience, Brooks said.  Windham has additional resources available in the community, more parks and facilities, and great council support, she said. Impact fees collected allow for park improvements, and an active advisory committee encourages and supports community events, such as the concert series at Dundee Park, Summerfest, and the Halloween Adventure, which have been extremely popular.

Summerfest is run by a town appointed committee now, which provides additional support and funding for the event. 

“Committee members have been able to be less focused on trying to raise the money and more focused on coming up with the great ideas and suggestions on how to celebrate that event,” she said.

Two community center committees have worked to explore the possibility of a new facility in Windham.

“That’s been an ongoing process and we’re making some real headway. A lot of people are talking about the possibility of a community center for Windham, which is really exciting,” Brooks said.

“We have a great staff here that work together as a nice team,” Brooks said. “Everybody knows what their role is, but they are happy to pick up the slack for anybody else.”  

Partnerships and relationships are inherent to the success of many of their programs, she said. They rely on, and receive, support from other town departments as well as a long list of community organizations.

Quality enrichment programs and summer camps for youth are an important aspect of the department as well, to build upon what kids are accomplishing throughout the school year, Brooks said.

“To me, one of the greatest success stories is to have somebody who has been to our camp all the way through, then they do the senior camper program, the CIT program, they’re hired and the next thing you know a few years down the road they’re one of our assistant directors or something,” said Brooks. “It’s great to watch that because they’re really invested in the program, and they know what we’re all about.”

The role of Parks and Recreation departments has evolved over the years, she said, and these departments really enhance what a community can be from a resident perspective.

“Many directors around the state have been there for years, and there’s a reason for that. It’s a great job,” she said.

Some of the main challenges she’s encountered are lack of facilities, both indoor and out, and staffing shortages.  For instance, they’ve had to be careful about how many people use the parks and trails due to a lack of parking.

“It’s a good problem to have, but we have to be really creative,” she said. “The more we enhance these facilities, the more people show up, and we’ve got to make sure we can manage all of that.” 

Currently, there’s a parking lot expansion happening at Lowell Preserve, and another planned for Donnabeth Lippman park at some point in the future.

Brooks said the door to Parks and Recreation is always open.

“Even when it wasn’t open during Covid, we found ways to be there for people,” she said. 

They welcome ideas and suggestions and try to serve the community in the best way they can, she said.

Brooks and her husband raised five children in the Bonny Eagle School District.  Two years ago, the two moved to Biddeford.

“We had loved our rural lifestyle for many years but once we were empty nesters, we wanted to be closer to things,” she said. 

Their five children have all returned to the area, and the couple has two granddaughters and a grandson they see on a regular basis. They also love to travel and are working on seeing as many National Parks as they can. <