People and Business: Feb. 17

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Portland, Mid-Coast
Haitian relief efforts

Businesses, non-profits and individuals throughout the Greater Portland and Mid-Coast area have shown their generosity by holding fundraisers to support the relief efforts in Haiti.

Support for the earthquake survivors in Haiti has come together in many diverse ways, ranging from benefit concerts, fundraising dinners, to children hosting a “Hoops for Haiti” basketball tournament at their school.

Here is a brief recap of area businesses and people going above and beyond to help the Haitian people after the devastating earthquake on January 12:

Konbit Sante, the Portland-based Cap-Haitien Health Partnership, has health care relief workers on the ground in Haiti and has been the beneficiary of several local fundraisers. Proceeds from the following events were donated to Konbit Sante: A performance of “Head and Heart” by The Portland Symphony Orchestra; a film screening hosted by the Maine African Film Festival; a benefit concert hosted by the Falmouth Congregational Church; funds collected by Falmouth Middle School students.

Greg Brooks of Portland company Sub Sea Research, which has worked in Haiti for several years, set sail for Haiti aboard the M/V Sea Hunter, loaded with food, water and other items donated by the Portland community. A ship’s blog can be found at, where donations can be made, and a list of business and individual donations can be viewed.

The Maine Credit Union League launched a statewide fundraising initiative by activating a secure Web site to raise money for Haitian credit union employees, volunteers and members. Haiti has over 175 credit unions throughout the island. Donations made to or through will be forwarded to credit union organizations in Haiti through the National Credit Union Foundation.

In the music sector, Portland’s Space Gallery held “A Throwback Show,” with performances by Darien Brahms and Phantom Buffalo, with all door proceeds benefiting nonprofit Partners In Health.

During its “Furrst Friday” event on Feb. 5, Fetch, an independent dog supply store in the Old Port, donated 50% of sales to the WSPA, an organization coordinating relief for Haiti’s animal victims.

Brewer Yacht Yards, with 21 marinas in New York and Maine, made a $25,000 contribution to the nonprofit Hope for Haiti. The company also matched all donations made to Hope for Haiti by employees during the month of January.

The Brunswick Coastal Rotary Club raised $500 for Haiti relief to support Project Hope (Pwoje Espwa) a Haitian orphanage and school run by Lewiston priest, Father Marc Boisvert.
Maine Loves Zumba held a Zumba for Haiti at Lifestyles Fitness Center in Portland, raising $1,564 for Doctors Without Borders.

The Center for African Heritage and St. Dominic’s Church in Portland hosted a performance benefit for the Haiti Project of Sacred Heart/St. Dominic’s Church.

Area restaurants such as Ricetta’s of Falmouth, The Pepper Club in Portland and the Sea Glass Restaurant at the Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth, Leonardo’s Pizza in Portland have donated proceeds toward Haitian relief.

Upcoming Haiti fundraisers:

Benefit Concert with Sean Mencher and His Rhythm Kings, Lady Lamb the BeeKeeper, Peter Alexander, and more on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 5:30 p.m. at the First Parish Unitarian Meeting House, 425 Congress St., Portland. Advance tickets are $10. Proceeds donated to Partners in Health, with a dollar for dollar match by a grant from the Firland Foundation. For more information, call First Parish at 773-5747.

On Sunday Feb. 28, from 2 to 4 p.m., Casco Bay Movers is hosting a Nia Maine Haiti Relief Benefit Teacher Dance Jam at 517 Forest Ave., Portland. Donations given to Konbit-Sante. FMI, Contact Maggie Bokor at 899-5939.

Head Games Salon for Hair & Body, located at 116 Free St., Portland, is hosting a Hair and Body for Haiti Benefit Event on March 13 from 4 to 8 p.m. 100% of all proceeds will be donated to Care Haiti Relief. To make an appointment, or call 773-8393. 

WorkReady Credential
program begins Feb. 22

BRUNSWICK — A WorkReady Credential program is being held free of cost to residents of Brunswick, Harpswell, and Sagadahoc County.

The WorkReady program is a training program helping job seekers increase certain skill sets that today’s employers are looking for. Sessions on dependability, problem-solving, communication skills, teamwork, resume development and interview preparation are included.

The three-week program will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, Feb. 22 to Mar. 12. This session will be held at Merrymeeting Adult Education, 35 Republic Ave., Topsham.

Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a WorkReady Credential to provide to potential employers.

For more information or to sign up, please call 729-7323.

Portland Goodwill launches
teen mentoring program

PORTLAND — Goodwill Industries of Northern New England is launching a new mentoring program in Portland to help youth ages 12 to 17 who are at-risk for dropping out of school, or delinquency issues such as drug or alcohol dependence, or gang membership.

One of the goals of this national mentoring program, called Goodwill GoodGuides, is to help teens finish school, build career plans and skills, and transition into productive careers through the guidance of a trusted adult.

The Goodwill GoodGuides program in Portland is funded through a two-year, $299,723 grant to Goodwill Industries of Northern New England from the U.S. Department of Justice.

To become a volunteer adult mentor or sign up a youth for the program, please call Christina Powell at 347-3229 or email [email protected]

Sidebar Elements

Lisa Caristinos, right, is assisted in her tax return preparation by volunteers Gigi Guyton and Tom Manderson on Feb. 6 at a “Super Refund Saturday” sponsored by Key Bank in partnership with Casey Family Services, United Way of Greater Portland and CA$H Greater Portland. More than 100 families took part in the annual event, held at Casey Family Services on Washington Avenune in Portland, designed to provide free tax prep for low- and moderate-income wage earners.

Air Force Major and local attorney Thaddeus Day of North Yarmouth, pictured here, is currently serving in Baghdad, Iraq, for a six-month deployment.