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This week’s edition!

Sen. Rotundo Welcomes Lewiston Student as Honorary Senate Page

AUGUSTA, ME (June 2, 2023) — On Thursday, June 1, Sen. Peggy Rotundo, D-Lewiston, and other members of the Legislature welcomed Basilio Mpaka from Lewiston Middle School to serve as an Honorary Page in the Senate session.

“I am so proud of Basilio for being an honor roll student and coming to Augusta to experience the Senate firsthand,” said Sen. Rotundo. “It was great to meet him and his wonderful family. I look forward to seeing more honor roll students and their families in the State House.”

Honorary pages are invited to perform duties such as delivering messages to Senators and distributing amendments and supplements in the Chamber under the supervision of the Sergeant-at-Arms and other chamber staff. Those wishing to sign up as Honorary Pages should contact Alex Ferguson in the Senate Secretary’s office at Alex.Ferguson@legislature.maine.gov or 207-287-1540.

Mpaka Lumbizimbizi, Sen. Peggy Rotundo, Pascoal Mpaka, Victoria Mpaka, Valente Mpaka, Basilio Mpaka and Arieth Mpaka in the Senate Chamber.

Church Lets Its Light Shine for Peace & Diversity

BRUNSWICK, ME (June 1, 2023) — The Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick (UUCB) is letting its light shine by illuminating the corner façade of its building, located at the corner of Middle and Pleasant Streets in Brunswick, on two upcoming weekends.  Both focus on increasing peace and justice in our community, and reflect our earnest efforts to work together with people of all faiths or no faith who likewise want to positively shape our world. 

On the weekend of June 3-4, the church will be lit in ORANGE in observation of Wear Orange Weekend (wearorange.org). Along with other houses of worship, including the National Cathedral in Washington, the spiritual community of UUCB honors National Gun Violence Awareness Day and the lives of over 100,000 Americans killed or injured in the United States each year by gun violence. Every day, 120 Americans are killed and more than 200 are shot and wounded. The effects of gun violence are felt much more broadly, of course, from those who have lost loved ones to those of us whose daily lives are impacted by rising fear of mass shootings. The most vulnerable in our communities – those marginalized by race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, immigration status, poverty, etc. – are disproportionately impacted. UUCB will illumine a portion of its exterior in orange to express our deep sorrow at the epidemic of violence plaguing our nation, and to amplify our commitment to peace, love, and nonviolence. 

The following weekend, June 10-11, the church will be lit in RAINBOW colors to honor the second annual Brunswick Pride Festival. UUCB has been an officially welcoming congregation (the UU designation for congregations who have done the work to prioritize the affirmation and inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in all aspects of congregational and religious life) since the congregation voted unanimously in 2006, following over a decade of intentional effort. UUCB will join with other congregations in our area at a joint Pride Festival booth entitled “Queer Spirit” on Saturday, June 10th from 12-5 on the Brunswick Mall.

Unveiling Androscoggin’s Annual Butterfly Release Celebration

LEWISTON, ME (June 1, 2023) — Androscoggin Home Healthcare + Hospice is pleased to announce its highly anticipated Annual Butterfly Release Celebration, an extraordinary event designed to honor our loved ones. Set against a backdrop of serenity and natural beauty, this unique gathering promises to be an unforgettable experience for all participants.

The celebration will take place on Saturday, July 29, from 11am to 1pm at Geiger Elementary School, located in the heart of the community. Attendees will be treated to an array of activities, including soul-stirring music, light refreshments, and the chance to connect and share treasured memories with others who understand the significance of remembrance.

At the core of this special occasion is the solemn reading of names, where we honor those for whom the butterflies have been dedicated. As the moment unfolds, the air will be filled with emotion, love, and reflection. The climax of the event will be the grand release of nearly a thousand butterflies, symbolizing the transformation of life and providing a truly breathtaking sight.

“We believe that the Butterfly Release Celebration offers a uniquely beautiful and meaningful way to pay tribute to our loved ones,” said Elif Mogensen, Community Relations and Development Manager of Androscoggin. “It allows us to come together as a community, share our stories, and embrace the healing power of remembrance. This event has become a beloved tradition, fostering connections and creating lasting memories.”

To ensure your participation in this poignant celebration, you can purchase your butterfly on www.androscoggin.org/get-involved/butterfly-release/. Each butterfly can be purchased for $30, and the proceeds will contribute to the realization of this remarkable event.

This is an opportunity not to be missed, as Androscoggin’s Butterfly Release Celebration promises to be a source of solace, inspiration, and beauty for all who attend.

Bates College Student Aaliyah Moore wins Truman Scholarship

LEWISTON, ME (May 15, 2023) — Aaliyah Moore, a junior at Bates College and graduate of Central High in Phoenix, has won a prestigious Truman Scholarship. In announcing the award, Bates College said Moore will pursue graduate studies to build her skills in advocacy, research, and education, then tackle systematic disparities within the U.S. legal and foster-care systems.

Federally funded Truman Scholarships, which are awarded to students with demonstrated leadership potential and a commitment to public service, are considered among the most important U.S. graduate fellowships.

Moore is one of 62 recipients of a Truman Scholarship from more than 700 applicants this year. The scholarships provide up to $30,000 for graduate study as well as leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and federal government internship opportunities.

“We have confidence that these 62 new Trumans will meet their generation’s challenges together,” said Dr. Terry Babcock-Lumish, the foundation’s executive secretary. “Selected from across America, the 2023 Truman Scholars reflect our country as innovative, purposeful, patriotic problem-solvers, never shying away from a challenge.”

Bates College President Clayton Spencer said she is thrilled for Moore. “I have worked with Aaliyah on several projects since her first year at Bates, and she has proven herself to be a leader, a problem-solver, and an exceptionally talented and determined student. Aaliyah is trustworthy and intuitive.”

Spencer added, “She brings a powerful mind, a strong sense of purpose, and great self-awareness to the tasks at hand, and her already-impressive commitment to public service is both deep and personal. The Truman Scholarship is a wonderful recognition for Aaliyah and a tribute to the many members of the Bates community who have worked with her here, and who look forward to cheering her on in this next chapter.”

Moore intends to pursue graduate degrees in both law and African American studies, with the intent to use her voice to challenge U.S. institutions that violate civil rights, including the rights of people in foster care and people who are incarcerated. “I hope to help the poor, incarcerated, and condemned, protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society,” Moore said.

Moore said that her “upbringing as an African American woman living in subsidized housing and foster care shaped my determination to use advocacy, scholarship, and education to combat systematic disparities within our legal and foster care systems. I want to address the lack of reintegration support for foster children and formerly incarcerated individuals and defend the wrongfully convicted from prison.”

She pointed to the “direct correlation” between youth leaving foster care and homelessness, sex trafficking, and incarceration rates. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 23,000 foster youth will exit the foster care system each year. Of those, 46 percent will be homeless and 70 percent will have been arrested at least once by age 26. “More alarmingly,” Moore said, “60 percent of the child sex-trafficking victims recovered in a 70-city FBI raid were children from foster care or group homes.”

Moore, a double major in politics and Africana who is currently in South Africa studying multiculturalism and human rights during a semester abroad, is an important and effective student leader at Bates and in the broader community. She has been extensively involved with the Lewiston-Auburn and Maine communities focusing on issues of social justice and, specifically, incarceration.

After Bates, Moore intends to pursue both J.D. and Ph.D. graduate degrees. For her Ph.D., she seeks a program in African American studies that offers the “opportunity to critically analyze the issues faced by African-descent people in the U.S.”

Through her legal studies, Moore hopes to gain the skill to “fight for the release of wrongly incarcerated persons, challenge institutions violating one’s civil rights through discriminatory practices, and become a pioneer in civil rights advocacy, scholarship, and teaching.”

In her Truman application, Moore was asked to look ahead past her graduate studies. Where does she see herself? The answer, Moore said, is written on the walls of her Bates College dorm room.

“I made my walls into vision boards. On one wall, there is a cluster of images depicting Harriet Tubman, Angela Davis, Ida B. Wells, Sojourner Truth, and others. In the middle, I intentionally left an empty space” – a place for her future self. Inspired by those forebears, Moore hopes to be similarly inspirational and influential – to be among thinkers and problem-solvers who “strive to expand our understanding of race, legal ethics, and systemic injustices.”

This year’s Truman Scholars were nominated by 275 colleges and universities, and in turn were recommended by 17 independent selection panels based on the finalists’ academic success and leadership accomplishments, as well as their likelihood of becoming public service leaders.

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Located in Lewiston, Maine, Bates is internationally recognized as a leading liberal arts college, attracting 2,000 students from across the U.S. and around the world. Since 1855, Bates has been dedicated to educating the whole person through creative and rigorous scholarship in a collaborative residential community. Committed to opportunity and excellence, Bates has always admitted students without regard to gender, race, religion, or national origin. Cultivating intellectual discovery and informed civic action, Bates prepares leaders sustained by a love of learning and zeal for responsible stewardship of the wider world.

Aaliyah Moore, member of the Bates College class of ’24 and the recipient of a 2023 Truman Scholarship, helps to recruit students to volunteer locally to support legal reform and social justice organizations during the 2022 Volunteer Fair, sponsored by the Harward Center for Community Partnerships. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College). Photo courtesy of Aaliyah Moore/Bates.

CLT Rehearses for Steve Martin Comedy

AUBURN, ME (May 26, 2023) — Cast and crew are busy in rehearsal for the upcoming Community Little Theatre production of the comedy Picasso at the Lapin Agile, which will open June 15.

Comedian Steve Martin’s comic take on the early 20th century, the play is set in 1904 in a Paris bar named the Lapin Agile (which still exists). Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso, both young men at the time, are on the verge of disclosing amazing ideas (Einstein will publish his special theory of relativity in 1905 and Picasso will paint Les Demoiselles d’Avignon in 1907). They meet at the bar and begin to discuss art, the universe, and everything in between. A unique collection of bar patrons punctuate their discussion with wit, humor, and wry perspectives, until a mysterious visitor comes along with fascinating visions of the future. 

Pictured here left to right at a recent rehearsal are John Blanchette, director; Jason Pelletier, who plays Freddy the bar owner, a simple man who occasionally says something truly stunning; Sarah Duncan, Freddy’s worldly and thoughtful girlfriend Germaine; and Chris Kuhlthau, who portrays Gaston, an amicable old Frenchman with prostate problems.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile will be performed at CLT on 30 Academy Street in Auburn at 7:30 p.m. on June 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, and 24 and at 2:00 p.m. on June 18 and 25. Ticket prices (including all fees) are $22.00 for adults, $19.00 for seniors, and $14.00 for students. Tickets are available online at www.laclt.com/box-office or by calling 207-783-0958.

L/A Community Little Theater, located at 30 Academy Street in Auburn, has been producing live theater since 1940. A volunteer, non-profit organization, our goal is to provide affordable and quality entertainment in the performing arts as well as education, training, and experience in theater for area youth. www.laclt.com.

UUCB Concerts for a Cause Presents Porch Party Mamas

BRUNSWICK, ME (May 26, 2023) — UUCB Concerts for a Cause will host Porch Party Mamas on Saturday, June 10, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick.

Concerts for a Cause brings special concerts to the Greater Brunswick area while raising money for local charities.  Porch Party Mamas will be the last concert of the 2022-2023 season and will benefit the Brunswick Area Teen Center and Maine Family Planning.

The Porch Party Mamas are an engaging and magnetic Boston-area band of four female musicians who’ve developed a fun and moving blend of folk, country, Celtic, and blues repertoire. They play beautiful arrangements of lovely and whimsical songs featuring dynamic lead vocals and lush harmonies backed by virtuosic guitar, fiddle, accordion, piano, percussion, banjo, and bass playing.

Inspired by playing and singing each others’ songs at their own “porch parties”, these established Boston area musicians and singer/songwriters decided to combine their individual talents and create their own band. They took their act on the road and “Porch Party Mamas” was born. All are seasoned players, each with their own pervasive individual music persona and critical accolades.  Between them, they have shared the stage with a distinguished litany of artists, including Willie Nelson, the Indigo Girls and Lyle Lovett.

$20 in advance, $25 at the door, $10 students/children.  Available at the church office, Gulf of Maine Books or online at https://ticketstripe.com/porchparty.

Clean Sweep at Back at Bates! June 11

LEWISTON, ME (May 26, 2023) — What: Bates College Clean Sweep Sale 

When: Sunday, June 11th 2023 8 am 

Where: Bates Underhill Arena, 145 Russell Street, Lewiston, ME

Bates College will host the popular “Clean Sweep” yard sale again this year. Doors will open at 8am.

This popular community event,  held since 1991, remains one of the largest community tag sales in Maine. Thousands of eager bargain-hunters are expected to attend the sale which, in years past, has raised as much as $40,000 for participating nonprofits. This year’s event is in support of John F. Murphy Homes.

The bulk of the sale items come from Bates College students who donate an estimated 5,000 items, including dorm room furniture, appliances, electronics, sports equipment, camping gear, rugs, clothing, and kitchenware.

The Bates Clean Sweep yard sale has three goals:

Keep students’ used goods out of the waste stream 

Hold a low-cost yard sale for the people of Lewiston/Auburn

Donate all the proceeds to local nonprofits

In the past, bargain hunters have arrived hours before the doors open for this anticipated sale, so interested residents should plan accordingly.

Lewiston Adult Education Graduation Set For June 6th

LEWISTON, ME (May 26, 2023) — Lewiston Adult Education will hold its 2023 graduation on Tuesday, June 6th, at 7 p.m. in the Lewiston High School gymnasium.

The ceremony will include recognition awards for students who are still taking classes. Family and friends of the graduates are welcome to attend, along with members of the public.

Lewiston Legislative Delegation to Host Public Office Hours

AUGUSTA, ME (May 18, 2023) – Members of Lewiston’s delegation to the State Legislature will hold constituent office hours at the Lewiston Public Library later this month to provide local residents a chance to meet with their elected officials and discuss legislative and state government matters. The delegation will give updates on their work on various policy areas, including the state budget, law enforcement, insurance and financial affairs, taxes, transportation and veterans issues. Office hours are scheduled for the fourth Saturday of every month.

Sen. Peggy Rotundo, Rep. Kristen Cloutier, Rep. Margaret Craven, Rep. Mana Abdi and Rep. Michel Lajoie will host office hours Saturday, May 27, 2023 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at The Couture Room, Lewiston Public Library, 200 Lisbon Street

Androscoggin Receives Gift to Establish Pediatric Endowment

LEWISTON, ME (May 19, 2023) — Androscoggin Home Healthcare + Hospice, Maine’s largest independent provider of home healthcare and hospice services, is pleased to announce the establishment of the East Auburn Community Unit Pediatric Endowment. This significant initiative has been made possible by a generous gift of $35,000 presented at the East Auburn Community Unit’s Board meeting on May 17, 2023, by the President of East Auburn Community Unit, Bonney Philips. 

The East Auburn Community Unit, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the East Auburn Community and supporting children’s well-being, recognizes the outstanding work of Androscoggin Home Healthcare + Hospice in caring for some of the most medically vulnerable children in the region. The establishment of the Pediatric Endowment underscores their commitment to ensuring the continuation of uncompromising pediatric care throughout Maine for generations to come. 

In expressing his appreciation Androscoggin’s President and CEO, Ken Albert, stated, “The establishment of the Pediatric Endowment is a significant milestone in our mission to provide uncompromising pediatric care throughout Maine. We are truly thrilled and immensely grateful for your organization’s vision and dedication to ensuring the continuation of exceptional care and support for generations to come. This endowment will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the lives of the children and families we serve, regardless of their personal circumstances.”

 The $35,000 donation from the East Auburn Community Unit will be invested in Androscoggin’s Long Term Mission Endowment Fund. This fund ensures a sustainable source of annual income, supporting the organization’s programs and services while prioritizing the needs of patients and their families. By investing in the endowment, the East Auburn Community Unit demonstrates their commitment to making a lasting difference in pediatric care and the well-being of children throughout the state of Maine. 

An endowment is a philanthropic investment fund established to provide ongoing financial support for a specific cause or organization. The principal amount is carefully managed and invested, while the generated income supports the designated programs and services. The East Auburn Community Unit’s decision to establish the Pediatric Endowment reflects their dedication to the long-term well-being of children and families in Maine. 

Androscoggin Home Healthcare + Hospice extends its deepest gratitude to the East Auburn Community Unit for their exceptional generosity and commitment to improving pediatric care throughout Maine. The Pediatric Endowment stands as a testament to the power of philanthropy and community collaboration in creating lasting positive change.


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