Holiday Events: Dec. 6

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The spirit of giving can be a driver for good

Want to do a lot of good with a little time and help your neighbors? This holiday season, and all year long, those with a car and few hours to spare can make a difference in the life of a cancer patient as a Road to Recovery driver. The American Cancer Society is in urgent need of drivers in Cumberland County is recruiting volunteers throughout Maine so all cancer patients have transportation to and from their treatments. Whether you are available once a month or once a week, even for an hour, you can be a Road to Recovery volunteer.

“Every driver has what it takes to help save lives,” said Elisa Madore, program manager, Mission Delivery for the American Cancer Society. “We’re urgently asking drivers to donate their passenger seat and volunteer to take cancer patients to treatment. One cancer patient requiring radiation therapy could need between 20 to 30 trips to treatment over the course of six weeks. A patient receiving chemotherapy may need weekly treatment for up to a year.”

Many cancer patients don’t own a vehicle, can’t afford the extra gasoline, or don’t have access to public transportation. Some patients may be elderly and unable to drive, too ill to drive, or have no family members or friends who are able to provide regular assistance with transportation. Even the best treatment can’t work if a patient can’t get there.

“Some patients don’t have access to transportation at all, and public transportation is not ideal for those who are in treatment and who are fatigued, sick, and often at risk of infection,” said Madore. “Access to care is a big problem in our country, with low-income and minority persons and those living in outlying communities suffering the most from disparities. Transportation programs are vital for these patients to get the treatments they need and deserve. But the program not only helps patients, it’s also rewarding for the volunteers.”

The Road To Recovery program provides transportation options for patients in these situations and currently is in need of volunteer drivers in Maine, especially Cumberland, Kennebec, Penobscot and Aroostook counties. Volunteer drivers donate their time and the use of their vehicles so patients can receive the cancer-related treatments they need. Drivers also provide encouragement and support.

Volunteers must have a valid driver’s license, a safe and reliable vehicle, and proof of automobile insurance. Drivers must be at least 18 years old and have a good driving history. They arrange their own schedules and can commit as many or as few hours as their schedule allows. The American Cancer Society provides free training to drivers and conducts criminal background and driving record checks. 

For information about the Road To Recovery program, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

Rock My Soul making local appearance 

Rock My Soul, an acclaimed, 25-member secular choir that specializes in roots-based gospel, and its sister group, The RMS Five, a five-member vocal ensemble that specializes in harmonies and roots, Americana, and gospel, will perform a Rockin’ Holiday Concert in Portland this year. The show will take place at One Longfellow Square in Portland on Sunday, Dec. 17 at 4 p.m. The groups will also take the stage at Kittery Dance Hall on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. 

Every year, The RMS Five and Rock My Soul put on holiday concerts throughout New England. “We’re influenced by gospel, blues, doo-wop, and R&B,” says Dawn Boyer, founder and director of the two groups. “No one else that we know of does quite what we do. We have a great time, and our audiences love the style of our music. Families now make it an annual tradition to come to our shows.”

Songs will range from “gospelized” versions of familiar tunes such as “White Christmas” and an Aretha Franklin-inspired arrangement of “Joy to the World,” In contrast to the high-energy sound are introspective carols such as a Temptations-inspired arrangement of “Silent Night,” as well as new songs added to the repertoire such as Otis Redding’s “Merry Christmas, Baby” and The Band’s “Christmas Must Be Tonight.”

Due to the groups’ popularity – shows often sell out – advance tickets are strongly recommended. To purchase tickets for the Portland show, visit onelongfellowsquare.com or call 761-1757.

Rock My Soul and The RMS Five are part of ProjectMusicWorks, a nonprofit arts and cultural organization dedicated to performing free outreach concerts at hospice, homeless shelters, nursing homes, rehab programs, and other facilities that support those in need. 

Designing Women host annual holiday showcase

Designing Women, a nonprofit volunteer corporation that works with organizations that benefit local women and girls, will hold their largest and last show of the year at Ocean Avenue School, 150 Ocean Ave., Portland, on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Over 30 female artists and craftswomen will display high-quality and beautifully handcrafted jewelry, handbags, glasswork, handwoven clothing and accessories, home accents, stained glass, pottery, and sculptural ceramic art. Large treasures, as well as small, unique ornaments and items, will be available for purchase. The suggested $2 door donation and all lunch/refreshment proceeds will be donated directly to the Ocean Avenue School Parent Teacher Organization. 

Designing Women is a nonprofit volunteer corporation established by female artisans from New England in 1991 to bridge art and the community by sponsoring shows that benefit local nonprofit services which, in turn, support women and families. For more information see www.designingwomen.org.

Northern Lights Gala benefits Coastal Academy

Flight Deck Brewing in Brunswick will play host to Northern Lights Gala, a festive night out with good food and drink and live holiday music to celebrate the season and benefit Harpswell Coastal Academy. On Tuesday, Dec. 12, from 6-9 p.m., enjoy a cozy winter night inside, share some laughs with friends, and bid on an impressive list of silent and live auction items – all to benefit student programs and special activities at Harpswell Coastal Academy. Tickets are $25 for the 21+ event at 11 Atlantic Ave., Brunswick Landing.

Local organizations are stepping up with a wide array of donated items, including an overnight stay at Maine Huts & Trails; a four-hour Casco Bay Cruise; a two-hour chartered sail; grass-fed beef; and a host of other items. 

‘Tis time to ring in the season 

“Christmas Bells, A Holiday Handbell Concert,” will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, at Mechanics’ Hall, 519 Congress St., Portland. Co-sponsored by Maine Charitable Mechanic Association and Maine Historical Society, the program of seasonal music will included arrangements set to the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “Christmas Bells.” Also featured will be the Penobscot Bay Ringers, a community handbell choir based in Camden. Tickets are $10 for MHS and MCMA members, $15 for general admission. FMI and to purchase tickets, visit www.mainehistory.org.

Holiday toy raffle benefits Bath library

Support literacy one dollar at a time

The Patten Free Library is having a toy raffle through Dec. 16, thanks to an anonymous donor and the owners of Island Treasure Toys, who generously donated over a dozen items, ranging from Monster High doll sets to Superman wall posters.

Tickets are only $1 each, available at the main circulation desk and in the Children’s Room. Patrons are encouraged to take advantage of the “special” raffle ticket deals – get six tickets for $5 and 12 tickets for $10.

“This a great chance to check off your Christmas list and support the library’s mission of promoting literacy in our community,” said Library Director Lesley Dolinger.

“Small fundraisers like this are a great opportunity for the library and the community to come together to support literacy and promote lifelong learning in our community. A lot of people think you have to be rich to give back, but even the smallest donation can make a big difference.” 

Rhys repeats performance for ‘A Christmas Carol’

“Rhys brought Dickens’ world vividly to life. His performance was spirited and infectious. It’s amazing what he manages to do … a marvel to watch … a gifted and fascinating storyteller. Rhys magically conjures up the world of Dickens’ beloved Christmas tale … elevates storytelling to an art.” – Portland Press Herald

Good Theater has announced that Will Rhys will reprise his acclaimed one-man version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ for six performances, Dec. 6-10, at Good Theater’s home on Munjoy Hill, the St. Lawrence Arts Center, 76 Congress St.

This is the second time Rhys has brought his delightful version of the Dickens classic to Good Theater. Performances will be Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 3 & 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. All tickets to all performances are $20 for this family-friendly event. Call the Good Theater box office at 835-0895 or go to the company’s website, www.goodtheater.com.

Rhys has appeared on Broadway, on national tours and in major regional theaters throughout the country.  In this version of Dickens’ beloved classic, Rhys plays all of the characters from Scrooge to Tiny Tim, as well the ghosts and Bob Cratchit. The show runs approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, with one intermission.

“This is my favorite version of A Christmas Carol,” says Good Theater Artistic Director Brian P. Allen. “And I’ve seen a lot of them. Will brings such warmth and humor to the script. It is highly entertaining and perfect for all ages. We are honored to have Will share this very special show with Good Theater audiences during the holiday season.”

Benefits

Christmas Tree and Wreath Sales, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., every Saturday and Sunday in December while supplies last at Yarmouth Town Hall, 200 Main St. Benefits Yarmouth Lions Club local scholarship fund. 

Toys for Tots Drive, bring a new, unwrapped toy to Freeport Edward Jones Office, 5 Depot St., during regular business hours through Dec. 11.

Call for Volunteers

Project GRACE in Scarborough needs people to stock the food pantry, knit mittens & hats, keep a neighbor’s home warm this winter, or fulfill a child’s holiday wish, apply at http://conta.cc/2iioYe7.

Fairs

Saturday 12/9

Christmas Fair, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., The Bath area Senior Citizens Activity Center, 45 Floral St., Bath. Crafts, knitting items, decorations, silent auction, breakfast and lunch.

Festival of Greens, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 9 and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 10, The Winter Street Center, 880 Washington St., Bath. Wreaths, swags, floral arrangements, tree ornaments, vintage items, refreshments. Proceeds benefit projects Bath Garden Club sponsors. 

Holiday Greek Pastry and Sweet Bread Sale, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Holy Trinity Parish House, 133 Pleasant St., Portland.

International Artisan Craft Fair, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., 40 Walch Drive (across from Riverside Municipal Golf Course), Portland. Handcrafted baskets, jewelry, scarves, and unique global gifts, proceeds benefit Partners for World Health. 

Festivals

Saturday, 12/9

Jolly Family Jamboree, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Maine Maritime Museum, 243 Washington St., Bath. Lobster trap tree, crafts & activities, live music, visit from Santa and Captain Christmas. Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers performances at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Members $13, or $14, under 3 free, www.MaineMaritimeMuseum.org, 443-1316. 

Mixers and Merriment at Maine Maritime Museum, 7-9:30 p.m., 243 Washington St., Bath. Sample specialty cocktails from Maine’s artisan spirit makers, light hors d’oeuvres. Members $40, or $50, www.MaineMaritimeMuseum.org, 443-1316. 

Music

Saturday 12/9

Interfaith Christmas Concert, 6:30 p.m., Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church, 280 Ocean House Road (Route 77). Featuring vocal and instrumental music with a combined choir from six Portland-area churches and other faith communities. Freewill offering.  

Christmas with Cornils, 7:30 p.m., hosted by Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ at Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St, Portland. Tickets $15-$50, www.porttix.com/.

USM Chamber Singers, 6 p.m., Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 133 Pleasant St., Portland, free, followed by reception. 

Tuesday 12/12 

“A Christmas Concert” by the Coastal Winds, greater Freeport’s community concert band, 6:30 p.m., Harraseeket Inn, 162 Main St. Suggested admission a nonperishable food item for the local food pantry or a cash donation for fuel assistance. 

Sunday 12/17

“A Wescustago Winter,” Wescustago Youth Chorale, 3 p.m., Freeport Performing Arts Center. Auditioned youth choir with 70 members in grades 3-12 from over 12 towns, $10/adults, $5/students, $8/seniors at the door. 

Rockin’ Holiday Concert, with secular gospel choir Rock My Soul from Southern Maine and The RMS Five vocal ensemble, 4 p.m., One Longfellow Square, Portland. Advance tickets strongly recommended, onelongfellowsquare.com, 761-1757. 

Theater

“A Christmas Carol,” The Footlights Theatre, 190 US Route 1, Falmouth, 7 p.m. Dec. 5-22, Tuesday through Friday. Magical, fun-filled family show, $15,  747-5434, thefootlightsinfalmouth.com.

Wednesday 12/13 

“In the Company of Mr. Dickens,” festive readings with English actor Andrew Harris, 6 p.m., Prince Memorial Library, 266 Main St., Cumberland.

Visit with Santa

L.L.Bean Northern Lights Celebration, 4-8 p.m. Fridays; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays, Freeport. Free.

Yarmouth Town Hall, Memorial Green, 200 Main St., 4-6 p.m. Dec. 9 & 16.

English actor Andrew Harris performs as Charles Dickens at Prince Memorial Library on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. His performance, titled “In the Company of Mr. Dickens,” includes readings from Dickens’ classics. The presentation is free and open to the public. The library is located at 266 Main St. in Cumberland.

Rock My Soul, secular gospel choir from Southern Maine, will be playing along with The RMS 5 vocal ensemble at One Longfellow Square on Dec. 17.

The ensemble cast of “Scrooge! The Musical” at the Chocolate Church Arts Center in Bath. Based on the 1843 novella by Charles Dickens, the production features local actors of all ages singing and dancing Dec. 15-17 on the main stage, located at 804 Washington St.

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