Kindness rules on Saturday in Bath

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BATH — The idea Bryanna Ringrose had as a high school student has blossomed into an annual downtown tradition.

Bath’s third annual “Random Acts of Kindness Day,” which includes a variety of activities and stations on Front and Centre streets, takes place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20.

While she figures there are hundreds such days around the country, “it’s something that we brought to Bath specifically, and in sort of a different way,” she said in an interview Tuesday.

“I grew up in Bath, and I love the city,” Ringrose, now a sophomore at the University of Southern Maine, said. “It’s a really open community; there are tons of things that go on already. So I thought it would be a great place to have something like this.”

Ringrose organized the city’s version of the event in 2014, shortly before starting her senior year at Morse High School. She was a member of Darreby Ambler’s Dream Team group, members of which chose a goal and then helped each other make it happen, Ambler recalled Tuesday. Student Taylor Bisson helped Ringrose put on the first event.

“After that first year, it was such a hit, we decided to do it again,” noted Ambler, who offers the Dream Team program through Morse’s guidance department, and is helping to coordinate this year’s event.

One aspect that makes this Random Acts day different from others, Ringrose said, is the various “kindness stations” it offers. Groups, individuals and businesses from around the community host 25 kindness stations, which include “Pat-a-Pet,” where household animals give and receive affection, and “Have Your Portrait Drawn by a Child.”

There are also the Wisdom Station, where Plant Home residents give life advice; a flower-picking station hosted by the Bath Garden Club; treats provided by the Cosmopolitan Club; a knitting relay to benefit those in need; free clothes and art giveaways, and several others.

This year’s new stations include a community poem project sponsored by the Neighborhood United Church of Christ; a hugs and prayers area put on by the Bath Methodist Church; and free jewelry checking and cleaning at Springer’s Jewelers.

All Ways One Band and other local musicians will provide tunes along the way. Log onto the Random Acts of Kindness Day Bath 2016 page on Facebook for more information.

“People can stop when they’re downtown, and be able to have some fun, and experience some cool things that they might not do during a typical Saturday,” Ringrose said.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Bryanna Ringrose, founder of Bath’s annual Random Acts of Kindness Day, holds guinea pigs with younger sister Evelyn at last year’s event. Random Acts returns for a third year on Saturday, Aug. 20.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.