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This week’s edition!

Sen. Collins speaks at Auburn PAL Center groundbreaking

AUBURN, ME — Today, U.S. Senator Susan Collins delivered remarks and participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking for a new Police Activities League (PAL) Community Center in Auburn. Senator Collins secured $3,000,000 in Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) through the Fiscal Year 2023 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill to build the new center, which, in addition to hosting the activities league, will serve as a hub for supervised after-school and summer youth activities and mentoring.

Senator Collins was joined at the event by Auburn City Manager and PAL Board Member Phil Crowell, Auburn Mayor Jeffrey Harmon, Auburn Police Department Lieutenant Anthony Harrington, and PAL Secretary Rita Beaudry. Also in attendance at the event was Auburn City Councilor Leroy Walker.

“For more than a decade, the PAL Center in Auburn has provided local children with a safe, structured environment to play and learn after school; receive food, clothes, and school supplies; and build relationships with law enforcement officers who protect the local community,” said Senator Collins. “As Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue to champion federal investments that allow successful community organizations like the Auburn PAL Center to expand their capacity, allowing more children and families to benefit from their great work.”

This year, Senator Collins secured nearly $11 million in CDS for community center projects in six additional communities throughout Maine in the Fiscal Year 2024 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill.

CLT presents summer theater camp productions                   

The youth camp musical of James and the Giant Peach, Jr. will be presented on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The teen camp production of Beauty and the Beast, Jr. will take the stage on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

These two musical productions culminate four weeks of intensive and performance-based programs. Campers were responsible for mastering the material (lines, staging, choreography, and singing), and participating in rehearsals. The youth camp is for children in grades 4-7 and participants in the teen camp are in grades 8-12. Maddy DuBois and Maria Groover directed the youth camp and Linda Vaillancourt led the teen camp. Jackie McDonald is the producer for both shows.

Tickets are available online at and may also be purchased at the door. Costs are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and students, and $17 for children under the age of 13. Prices include all taxes and fees. All productions will be held at CLT on 30 Academy Street in Auburn. More information about the summer camp shows is also available online at

Pictured here are the five seniors who are in the cast of the CLT teen camp production of Beauty and the Beast, Jr., which will be performed this weekend along with the youth camp production of James and the Giant Peach, Jr. From left in front are Genevieve Vaillancourt and Tessa Hayashida. In back are Jack Desrosiers, Brock Rancourt, and Julia Groover.  (Photo by Sophie Wood Photography).

SeniorsPlus announces new member, officers to Board

 LEWISTON, ME — SeniorsPlus, the designated Area Agency on Aging serving Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford counties, announces the election of a new member to its Board of Directors, as well as a new slate of officers. 

Holly Zielinski of Poland replaces Robert Kirchherr of Norway as the Chair of the Board of Directors of SeniorsPlus. Zielinski has more than 20 years of experience working with older adults and has held numerous senior management positions in senior living and healthcare in Maine, Florida and Missouri. 

Other appointments to the slate of officers of the Board of Directors of SeniorsPlus are Dustin Ward of New Gloucester to Vice Chair, Marie Samson of Auburn to Treasurer, and Don Berry of Sumner to Secretary.

 Joining the Board is Shawn Wright of Monmouth. Wright is a financial advisor in Lewiston. She has been an active member of numerous community organizations including the Auburn-Lewiston Rotary Breakfast Club and the Community Little Theatre of Auburn.

 Established in 1972 and headquartered in Lewiston, SeniorsPlus is the Western Maine designated Area Agency on Aging covering Franklin, Oxford and Androscoggin counties. The overall program goal of SeniorsPlus is to assist older people and adults with disabilities in its tri-county area to remain safely at home for as long as possible.  The mission of SeniorsPlus is to enrich the lives of older people and adults with disabilities, their families and communities, and to support them to make informed choices. SeniorsPlus envisions a future where all older adults and individuals with disabilities are engaged and respected while living quality, independent lives in the communities of their choice. Last year, SeniorsPlus served a diverse population of almost 8,000 clients and fielded 101,000 phone inquiries.

Robert Kirchherr passes the gavel to Holly Zielinski, the newly appointed Chair of the Board of Directors of SeniorsPlus, Western Maine’s designated Area Agency on Aging.

L/A Balloon Fest announces $60K Maine Office of Tourism award

LEWISTON, ME – The Lewiston-Auburn Balloon Festival, hosted by the City of Lewiston and in partnership with the City of Auburn, announced today that the State of Maine Office of Tourism awarded festival organizers with $60,000 in grant funding to support marketing and managing the iconic three-day festival in the twin cities.

The announcement follows notable developments earlier, where balloon festival organizers named Emerson Toyota in Auburn as presenting sponsor of the event and appointed former Lewiston Mayor Mark Cayer and former Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque as co-chairs of the festival’s sponsorship committee.

“We’re excited to support the cities in their work with community partners, nonprofits, businesses, and past organizers to revitalize this important event”, said Hannah Collins, Deputy Director, Maine Office of Tourism. “The efforts of the Lewiston-Auburn Balloon Festival team to make the 30th anniversary event a success will benefit the entire region.”

The Lewiston-Auburn Balloon Festival applied for and was awarded a Maine Office of Tourism Special Event Grant. The intent of the Special Event Grant is to provide marketing funds to existing, well-established events for the expansion and progression of marketing strategies to attract new audiences and increase overnight visitation and length of stay. Special events can strengthen Maine’s brand and image nationally and internationally, have a direct economic impact on the state economy and attract visitation in Maine’s shoulder season.

“On behalf of the sponsorship committee, I express our deep appreciation to the Maine Office of Tourism for approving our application and committing to partner with us in promoting such an iconic annual event for our community,” said former Lewiston Mayor Mark Cayer, sponsorship committee co-chair. “It’s also important to recognize the city staff and the LA Metro Chamber for identifying this opportunity and writing a competitive grant application. With this award, we are over 2/3 of the way to securing our fundraising goal to help ensure this a successful, memorable event.”

The Lewiston-Auburn Balloon Festival, scheduled for August 16-18 at Simard Payne Park in Lewiston, with complimentary events at Festival Plaza in Auburn, is expected to bring over 100,000 visitors to the event. Festival organizers are planning a series of announcements of specialty balloons, additional sponsors, music performers, amusements, non-profit vendors, crafters, family-friendly activities and more in the coming weeks.

More information on the event, balloon rides, donations, and volunteer opportunities can be found at: or

Wiscasset Homes on Tour is Saturday, July 13, 11am-4pm 

WISCASSET, ME – The collection of homes featured on Wiscasset Homes on Tour, Saturday, July 13, 2024, from 11am to 4pm, embody elegance, country-living, and a Village way-of-life. Together they decipher the historic components of a small, self-contained community by representing wealth, commerce, and agriculture.

Not far out of Wiscasset Village is a 2.5-acre estate with lawns and plantings that sweep down to the Sheepscot River. Owners of this magnificent homestead have brought the 1898 home into the 21st century with a high-end kitchen made for entertaining, a billiard room, a swimming pool, and a gracious patio with river views immediately behind the house. The effect is luxurious and stunning!

In a different compass direction, but not far from Wiscasset Village, is an 1889 farmhouse with Victorian details. The original modest structure has expanded over the last hundred years and now features six bedrooms and six bathrooms. A rolling lawn, suggesting a mown field, leads to the Sheepscot River.

In the heart of Wiscasset Village, a stately and handsome Federal-style home, built in 1799, is representative of the early merchant class who chose to live in the community’s center where residents provided the labor and ingenuity that drove the commercial life of the town. Today, this well-loved home is filled – inside and out – with the owners’ many personal collections.

Additional homes and gardens, including afternoon tea and home-made sweets in a native plant-rich Village garden, await tour-goers.

Tickets for Wiscasset Homes on Tour are $30 each with an optional pre-ordered lunch at $18. Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets online in advance of the tour. Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the tour, July 13, from 10am to 3pm, at the parking lot at 36 Water St., Wiscasset, ME. All tickets will be picked up at this location. Cash, checks, and plastic accepted.

More tour details, ticket purchase, and the lunch menu for pre-order can be found on For questions, call 214-232-3699 and please leave a message which will be answered promptly.

‘Homes on Tour’ is a fundraiser for Wiscasset Creative Alliance to support the Alliance’s community programs.

Wiscasset Homes on Tour’s collection of fascinating homes and abundant gardens tells the story of life in early Wiscasset, Maine. Saturday, July 13, 11am to 4pm. (Photo courtesy Wiscasset Creative Alliance.)  

Annual Butterfly Release to take place July 13 in Lewiston

LEWISTON, ME – Andwell Health Partners (formerly Androscoggin Home Healthcare + Hospice) will host its annual Butterfly Release Celebration on Sat., July 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Geiger Elementary School in Lewiston.  Light refreshments will be served. 

At the core of this special occasion is the solemn reading of names, where we honor those for whom the butterflies have been dedicated followed by the release of nearly a thousand butterflies, symbolizing the transformation of life and providing a truly breathtaking sight.

Dedicate your butterfly online at or call 207-795-9402.  Each butterfly can be purchased for $30.  All proceeds from the event benefit Andwell Hospice.

Treks & Sojourns talk on “Refusing Disappointment”

AUBURN, ME — The First Universalist Church of Auburn presents the story of a spiritual journey on Sunday, July 21 @12pm in the vestry. The Adult Religious Exploration committee hosts a talk by Luke Lunt entitled “Refusing Disappointment: My Trip to Tabasco and Chiapas, Mexico.”

Through pictures and stories, Lunt offers a reflection about a recent trip to see the 3,000-year old colossal Olmec heads in Villahermosa. The trip was a life-changing journey both outward and inward, because of what Lunt did- and didn’t- experience there.

Adult RE’s speaker series, “Treks and Sojourns,” provides a space in which Unitarian Universalists talk about their travels. The name is an invitation to focus solely on travel as a secular experience (a trek), to offer a more spiritual dimension to the excursion (a sojourn), or to share a mixture of both. FMI contact Adult RE chair Charles Nero

“Treks and Sojourns” has featured Bill Frayer’s talk about exploring Croatia and Holly Cooney’s talk, “From Fear to Faith,” about a solo bike tour.

The First Universalist Church of Auburn is located at 169 Pleasant St.  Enter on Spring, St., across from Dairy Joy.  Parking; accessible.  FMI 783-0461 or

Luke Lunt will share a talk entitled “Refusing Disappointment: My Trip to Tabasco and Chiapas, Mexico.”

“A Clinic in the Community” to provide free health screenings

LEWISTON, ME — The Central Maine Family Medicine Residency, along with Healthy Androscoggin and Maine Family Planning, will host a “Clinic in the Community” this month.

The event is scheduled for July 12 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at Kennedy Park in Lewiston. Members of the public will have the opportunity to access free blood pressure checks, reproductive healthcare services, diabetes screening and learn about lead poisoning prevention.

“We believe that meeting people where they live, work and play is the best way to build a healthier community together,” said Lindsay Gannon, health promotion manager at Healthy Androscoggin.

“By providing this opportunity to conduct health screens in conjunction with public health resources, we can strengthen the connection between community and clinical sectors to improve population health. We will be sharing resources on topics that improve quality of life, such as childhood lead poisoning prevention, nutrition, physical activity, tobacco-free lifestyles and substance misuse prevention.”

This project is part of Central Maine Healthcare’s commitment to engage the communities it serves to better identify needs and to improve overall health outcomes for the population.

For more information on the Clinic in the Community, please contact:

Central Maine Family Medicine Residency

(207) 795-2803

Healthy Androscoggin


Maine Family Planning

(207) 922-3222

Andwell Health Partners launches Mobile Wound Care service

LEWISTON, ME—Andwell Health Partners, Maine’s largest, non-profit home and community-based healthcare and care management organization, has launched its new Mobile Wound Care service in Androscoggin County, Oxford County, and parts of Franklin, Cumberland, Kennebec, and Sagadahoc County, to address the growing need in the community while eliminating barriers to critical care. (Andwell Health Partners is formerly known as Androscoggin Home Healthcare + Hospice.)

“Our new service brings professional wound care directly to the patient, whether they live at home, in assisted living, or at long-term care facility,” said Shauna Lane, Clinical Manager of Home Healthcare Services. “Because we serve the patient in their home, transportation is eliminated as a barrier to care.”

Accessing timely care presents additional challenges for rural areas where transportation issues can be difficult to navigate. Andwell Mobile Wound Care provides an essential solution by eliminating the need for travel and reducing wait times to improve outcomes and eliminate barriers to access.

Andwell clinicians bring more than just bandages.

“Our service is more than changing a bandage,” said Mary Desalle, Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, “Andwell’s Mobile Wound Care is holistic in its approach. There are so many variables to healing. By meeting with patients where they live, we assess their environment, develop goals together, and provide support every step of the way to a better quality of life.”

In addition to specialized wound care, Andwell Health Partners offers a full spectrum of home-based services, ensuring that patients receive care tailored to their individualized needs.

“Andwell’s breadth and depth of home and community-based services means we can easily and effectively connect our patients with additional care they need,” said Lane.

This multidisciplinary approach includes access to physical and occupational therapy as well as a full range of home-based healthcare to complement wound care.

The introduction of Andwell Mobile Wound Care solidifies Andwell Health Partners’ commitment to enhancing community health and wellbeing by making critical services accessible to all, regardless of location or mobility challenges.

For more information on Andwell Mobile Wound Care and other home-based services, visit

Longtime Lewiston educator receives legislative sentiment

AUGUSTA, ME —On Saturday, June 22, Sen. Peggy Rotundo, D-Lewiston, attended a reception for teachers and staff at Montello School in honor of longtime Lewiston educator Mike Martel. Sen. Rotundo presented Mr. Martel with a legislative sentiment recognizing his 43-year teaching career.

“Mike has dedicated his entire career to teaching generations of Lewiston students, helping to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge to lead productive, happy lives,” said Sen. Rotundo. “He has set a wonderful example for others through his kindness, patience, concern and dedication, and has made the Lewiston community very proud in the process.”

Martel has been a fifth- and sixth grade teacher and math interventionist at Montello School for 39 years. He taught at Holy Cross School in Lewiston for three years prior to joining Montello. Additionally, he has held high positions in the Lewiston Education Association and has served as Lewiston’s District Certification Chairperson.

A legislative sentiment acknowledges and recognizes academic, athletic, civic, professional or service-related accomplishments. It is approved by the full Legislature and signed by the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House, Secretary of the Senate and Clerk of the House.

Mike Martel, holding the legislative sentiment, with Sen. Peggy Rotundo.

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