Tri-town Notes: Jan. 18

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Tri-Town Notes

Community notes from Freeport, Pownal and Durham compiled by Kathleen Meade

Freeport students garner awards for artworks

Art teacher Kimberly Medsker announced that seven Freeport High School students received awards in the 2017 Maine Regional Affiliate Scholastic Art Awards Competition, including two Gold Key Awards: Bennett Hight for his Study of Fish portfolio and Min Wu for an individual piece in the category of human interest. There were also Silver Key Awards given to Zoe Fox, Olivia Sciulli, Joseph Sylvester and Min Wu. Honorable Mention was given to Zoe Fox, Abbi King (for two pieces) and Sarah Lano.

In Maine, there were 468 students from 50 schools and home schools supported by 87 art educators who participated in the competition this year. A total of 908 submissions were judged, which included 864 individual entries and 44 senior portfolios. This translated into 1,216 artworks being included in the jury process.

In all, there were150 Honorable Mentions statewide, along with 86 Silver Key Awards and 63 Gold Key Awards, which include the five American Vision nominees. The 44 senior portfolios resulted in seven Honorable Mentions, six Silver Key Awards and five Gold Key Awards.

FMS receives ecomaine grant

Lisa Wolff of ecomaine announced Freeport Middle School is being awarded $700 to increase awareness of the “three Rs”: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. A comprehensive recycling program will be implemented through school-wide education and a field trip to ecomaine’s recycling and waste-to-energy facilities.

The local school was one of a dozen recipients of ecomaine’s 2017 School Recycling Grants. Schools operating within Ecomaine’s 58 member communities were invited to submit grant requests for up to $5,000 for waste reduction initiatives.

Ecomaine Recycling Committee awarded 12 schools with funds or goods valued at a total of $16,295.35.

Winners of the grants were based on the project outline and school commitment, the ease of project replication, the likelihood of success and program sustainability, and how compelling and worthy the funding would be.

“We are very pleased by the creative and ambitious programs this year’s grant recipients have planned to reduce, reuse and recycle more of the waste in their schools,” said Caleb Hemphill, chairman of ecomaine’s Recycling Committee. “We look forward to following the results of these efforts in the months ahead.”

Last talk to wrap up Camden Conference

The Freeport Community Library is hosting a presentation by Ekhlas Ahmed on Jan. 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the last event in a series of 2017 Camden Conference-related talks at the library.

The 2017 Camden Conference focused on the topic “Refugees and Global Migration: Humanity’s Crisis.” The conference features lively discussions with speakers chosen for their firsthand knowledge and strong views on migrant and refugee issues. These discussions, to be held Feb.17-19 in Camden, will be streamed live to the University of Southern Maine Lee Auditorium in Portland.

Ahmed will share her own personal story of escape and relocation in a presentation entitled “A Bridge Between.” A refugee and a civil rights activist, Ahmed was 14 years old when she fled Darfur, Sudan with her family. They lived two years in Egypt before being resettled in Portland in 2005. In high school, Ahmed worked hard to learn English, navigate contrasting cultures and graduate with honors. She is the co-founder of the Darfur Youth of Tomorrow, an organization that raises awareness of the genocide and creates a space for survivors to gather, reflect and support one another.

Through her work, Ahmed has had numerous opportunities to travel and speak, including at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., where she was invited to discuss the genocide and read a poem about her homeland by the UN Refugee Agency. Here in her new Maine home, Ahmed teaches English at Casco Bay High School, which is her alma mater. She also runs a program called Make It Happen, which prepares multilingual students for college. For more information on the Camden Conference, go to

Freeport Masons Ham Supper

The Freeport Masons will host a Ham Supper 5-6:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Masonic Lodge on Mallet Drive in Freeport. The menu will include mashed potatoes, assorted vegetables, homemade biscuits, dessert and a beverage for $9 for adults; children under 12, $4.50.

‘Alice’ comes to Freeport

Jill Hooper, Drama Club adviser, has announced that Freeport Middle School Drama Club will present “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland!” The show is being staged at the Freeport Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door. The Freeport Performing Arts Center is at the Freeport High School on Holbrook Street.

Tri-Town Penguins Snowmobile Club

The next meeting of The Tri-Town Penguins Snowmobile Club (Durham, Freeport and Pownal) will be Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. at the Durham Fire Station, 615 Hallowell Road.

New members are always welcome. All meetings include pot luck, so bring something to share and come chat about snowmobile adventures. For more information, contact Duncan Daly at 865-6188 or Mike Yates at 233-6952.

Guide offered for families of mentally ill

Nancy Pizzo Boucher will give an interactive presentation based on her book, “Replanting Lives Uprooted by Mental Illness, A Practical Guide for Families” at Freeport Community Library at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6. The 90-minute presentation will cover the following topics: advocacy, why do it; the impact of mental illness; the importance of a person-first approach to healing; a brief history on the origin of the National Alliance on Mental Illness; partnering with those with experience to support healing and best outcomes; mental health medical emergencies – defensive vs. offensive behaviors.

Boucher is the ninth of 13 children born into a first generation Italian-American family. She taught special education for 24 years in public schools, starting programs for students with behavioral challenges. Her involvement in mental health includes: being a family speaker for Voices of Recovery of Portland, participating both nationally and locally in NAMI, being a family presenter at CIT trainings for police officers, giving local advocacy talks, writing guest blog posts on mental health sites, and speaking at public hearings on legislation related to mental health.

Boucher is a dedicated advocate for those dealing with mental illness, and works to promote understanding of a person-first approach to healing. She views personal empowerment and insight as fundamental to the recovery process, both for those dealing with a mental illness and for their friends and family. She is the author of another book based on her family’s experiences called “Getting My Night Vision”

FCL hosts annual Chocolate Bash

Each year the Freeport Community Library hosts a popular and delectable event that includes a buffet of bite-size chocolate temptations and raffles so visitors can bring home delicious treats. Sample an amazing array of variations upon the chocolate theme for a mere $2 per plate Wednesday, Feb. 8 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Chocolate Bash.

There are also raffles for chocolate desserts, a treat basket and an art basket made up of donations from members of the Art Guild of Freeport. Raffle tickets are $1 each or six for $5. They may be purchased the evening of the Chocolate Bash, or any time before then at the library’s main desk.

The musical group Cul de Sax will be returning to provide live music at this year’s Chocolate Bash,and the Art Guild will have members’ works on display as well.

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