Friday, June 20, 2008

Warrior Memorial Field, Filled with Graduates

Wells High School held its 105th commencement exercises on Warrior Memorial Field Sunday afternoon, June 8th.  It was estimated that close to a thousand traveled to brave a hot, humid day and observe family members and friends graduate.
Commencement began at 1:00 pm with Junior Class Marshals Hope Beisswanger and Christopher Hebert leading the marching seniors dressed in red and white caps and gowns to their seats.   Their march was accompanied by the traditional Pomp and Circumstance played by the WHS Concert Band.
Members of the audience dealt with the direct sun as best they could by using their programs for fans.  Some were standing hundreds of feet away near the field’s surrounding woods for shade.   The temperature climbed into the 90’s.
Brianna Cilley provided the Salutatorian Address.  She talked about the seniors being together for the past four, eight, and, for most, the past 13 years, but by the end of her brief speech she advised classmates to look forward by quoting writer W.M. Lewis: “ ‘The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon but that we wait so long to begin it.’ So, with that said,” Cilley urged,” lets go out there and do it class of ‘08.  Good luck and thank you.”
Principal Jim Daly spoke briefly and reminded the students that they did not get to graduation day without some help, a sentiment Valedictorian Jesse Hamilton echoed by sharing a touching story about his Kindergarten teacher, Nancy Talbot, who, one day, supported him in trying the seemingly impossible monkey bars at the playground.  The next day he confidently went the whole way on the bars.  Later in his address, Jesse quoted Albert Einstein: “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” He spoke of the power of self-motivation and made the point that one needs inner motivation as well as the help of others to succeed.  “I believe each of us has unlimited potential,” he said.  “And even if we falter in striving to achieve our dreams – effort and dedication are what matter most.” Hamilton closed with an enthusiastic “Congratulations.  We have earned the right to celebrate!”
This year’s commencement speaker was the Honorable Susan M. Collins, U.S. Republican Senator, originally from Caribou, Maine in rural Aroostook County.  She pointed out that she faced some of the same uncertainty the graduates were facing when she graduated and went off for her first year at college. She found herself in school with many kids from big cities. However, she soon realized the advantages of coming from a small town like Caribou and Wells, a point she drove home by sharing stories of Mainers from small towns who achieved great things in areas as diverse as human gene mapping and baseball.
Following Collins’ speech students flipped over their tassels and tossed confetti and their caps into the air to celebrate becoming graduates of Wells High School.  Superintendent Edward McDonough, School Board Chairperson Damon Russell and Principal Daly stood up to confer diplomas upon the graduates. Senator Collins remained on stage at the end of the line to greet each graduate. “I so enjoyed being the commencement speaker,” said Senator Collins about her visit to Wells. “This is a real milestone in the lives of these students.  From everything I’ve heard, they’ve been an excellent class.  Wells High School does a terrific job and it is a tribute to the teachers, the principals, the staff, the school board, the whole community.”
When asked about the 90 plus degree heat of the day she joked.  “Oh it was brutally hot but at least that was an incentive for all of us to keep our speeches shorter then they might have otherwise been.”

Class Marshals Hope Beisswanger and Christopher Hebert leading the soon-to-be 2008 Graduates to their seats. (Reg Bennett photo)

Greeting Senator Collins at Wells High School are some of the members of the Wells-Ogunquit School Committee. Left to right: Sue Pollard, Vice Chairman David Johnson, Assistant Superintendent Ira Waltz and (behind the Senator) Chairman of the School Committee, Damon Russell. (Reg Bennett photo)

Ogunquit Rotary Dedicates Flags

On June 11, 2008, the Ogunquit Rotary Club held a Flag Dedication Ceremony at the Perkins Cove Rotary Park. The Invocation was said by Gordon Lewis, the National Anthem sung by Ellen Farber, the history of National Flag Week explained by President Ben Oliver and “I am the Flag of the United States of America” read by Tracy Smith. (Courtesy photo)

Regatta Banquet and Conference Center


The Regatta Banquet and Conference Center at Eliot Commons has opened for business. A ribbon cutting ceremony with the Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce will be held at the facility on Thursday, June 26 at 3:00 pm.
The facility has two state-of-the art function spaces: the Regatta Room can host 300 seated guests – perfect for conferences and weddings – and the more intimate Optimus Room accommodates up to 70 seated guests for board meetings, press conferences or upscale private dining or wine-tasting events. There is also a dressing room with private bathroom and shower facilities, perfect for VIPs, brides or talent.
The facility boasts a world class culinary team in a luxury commissary facility and top of the line, wireless audio/video equipment and multiple screens to accommodate any and all business or social functions. Efficiency Maine helped incorporate green technologies into the design which include such features as: heated sidewalks; interior, exterior, and parking lot lighting; low energy, high efficiency kitchen motors; recaptured heat from refrigeration motors; preheated water; and cooking systems that utilize steam generated by natural gas.
With the opening of this new facility, area residents now have a local, state-of-the-art event center to host business and social events of all kinds.
The Regatta Banquet and Conference Center is located at Eliot Commons on Route 236 right next door to the Shipyard Brew Pub. FMI:

Captions: Regatta Banquet and Conference Center can be seen from Route 236 in Eliot Commons. (Weekly Sentinel photos)