Friday, January 28, 2011

Brothers Biking Cross-Country for a Cause

By Molly McCoy
Staff Columnist
When twin brothers Robert and Patrick Brady first told their parents they wanted to bike across the country, they received a skeptical response.
“It was a little bit of a contentious subject for a while,” says Patrick, 23, who graduated from the University of Maine in 2010 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering, “but now they’ve warmed up to the idea.”
This June, Robert and Patrick will dip their rear bicycle wheels into the waters of Portland, Maine, and embark on a three-month journey that will bring them across the U.S. to Santa Barbara, California, and their front wheels will touch the Pacific. Much more than a joy ride, the two Kennebunk residents are participating in one of the many annual routes organized by the national fundraising and awareness group: Bike & Build.
Founded in 2002 by Marc Bush, Bike & Build is a 501(c)(3) independent nonprofit organization that works with young adults, ages 18-25, producing cross-country cycling trips to raise awareness and funds for affordable housing organizations. What began as two trips in the summer of 2003 has now evolved into an eight-event season in 2011. According to its website, Bike & Build has contributed $2,780,000 (including more than $490,000 donated during the summer of 2010) to housing groups for projects planned and executed by young adults.
Each of the Brady brothers needs to raise a total of $4,000 before they start pedaling in early June, and $1,000 each by March in order to receive the official bikes provided by the organization.
“We’re about a quarter of the way there because of very generous family donations, but now we’re branching out to make up the rest,” says Robert.
Along with their own fundraising activities, participating riders execute these building projects along the course of their routes. The riders stop at multiple locations to build houses with a variety of independent organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, Hands On Gulf Coast, community housing corporations, land trusts, and more. The teams have dedicated more than 80,000 building hours and more than 5 million miles pedaled to date, setting a daunting expectation about the summer to come.
But the Brady brothers are up for the challenge.
“It will be physically demanding, for sure,” says Robert, who is currently finishing up his undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture at Philadelphia University, “but at the same time, it’s going to be really rewarding. By the time we get to California, it will be more than worth it.”
Both Robert and Brady have participated in community service projects in the past, but nothing of this magnitude, they say. Robert cleaned up neighborhoods and reached out through Philadelphia University’s community service programs, while Patrick went on an alternative Spring Break in Tennessee where he rehabilitated nature trails. This time around, the boys will bike roughly 70 miles a day along with the 30 or so other riders in their group, staying in accommodations ranging from churches to camps and on the floors of school buildings.
“We’ve grown up mountain biking more than road-cycling, so the endurance factor is going to be a big change for us,” says Robert. “My experience is minimal, at best.”
“As is mine,” says Patrick, laughing. “I’ve never been on a bike for that long.”
He explains that the organization encourages a diligent pre-ride practice routine to get all participants in comparable shape for the trip. The brothers know they have their work cut out for them as the starting date approaches.
Most of all, the brothers are looking forward to the adventure of it all, meeting new people with a common goal.
“We thought, ‘What have we done in our lives so far? Why not do this now?’” says Robert. “Since we’re leaving from Portland, we can literally walk out our front door and say we biked from Maine to California. That’s pretty cool.”
For more information about Bike & Build and to sponsor Patrick or Robert’s trips, visit You can follow Robert and Patrick’s blogs about their training and the trip at and, respectively.
Photo caption: Local brothers Robert and Patrick Brady will bike cross-country this summer as part of Bike & Build’s annual fundraising and building efforts. (Courtesy photo)

Stonewall Kitchen Celebrates 20 Years

2011 marks the 20th anniversary of the internationally recognized, award-winning specialty food manufacturer Stonewall Kitchen. Based in York, Maine, the company was started in 1991 by entrepreneurs and New England natives Jim Stott and Jonathan King. Today, both men continue to be actively involved in the privately held company.
Operating out of their home in Hampton, NH, the two gardeners, waiters and “foodies” first started out in 1991 bottling products at night on an apartment-sized stove that they would sell at local farmers’ markets in the morning. Response to their products was overwhelmingly positive and soon the pair was wholesaling their handmade specialty foods throughout New England. Customers were, and still are, struck by the unique flavor combinations, creative and well-designed packaging and consistent quality for which Stonewall Kitchen is known. Throughout the 20 years, Jim Stott and Jonathan King have created a strong, recognizable brand that is displayed on shelves in specialty food stores throughout the nation and is beginning to be distributed throughout the world. The company is the most highly awarded specialty food manufacturer in the United States by the National Association of Specialty Food Trade. Along with dozens of individual awards, Stonewall Kitchen products have earned the Outstanding Product Line Award three times as well as several notable awards for Maine-based businesses.
With nine Company Stores along the East Coast, a worldwide wholesale division, thriving Internet and direct-to-consumer sales channels, a Cooking School, Cafe and a state-of-the-art production facility, the company continues to thrive. Stonewall Kitchen employs a yearly average of 300 people and looks forward to continued growth.
The 20th Anniversary Celebration begins this January with the introduction of a new celebratory jam, Wild Maine Blueberry Champagne Jam. This incredibly flavorful jam is inspired by the company’s number one selling product, Wild Maine Blueberry Jam, and is a limited reserve product. The entire staff with be noting the anniversary with a companywide celebration on February 12.
During the summer of 2011, Stonewall Kitchen will mark the 20th anniversary with a special project developed in conjunction with the George Marshall Store Art Gallery, a part of the Old York Historical Society, and Jacqueline Nooney, landscape designer and owner of Nooney Landscaping and Design. The project is named “From Garden to the Kitchen” and will feature a major installation of art in the expansive gardens at Stonewall Kitchen. Approximately 20 artists from the area will be selected to participate in this creative project that will tie each artist’s vision of the bounty of the harvest to the kitchen table. Opening parties, celebrations of the installation and special activities at the Gallery are planned for the summer.
For more information about Stonewall Kitchen or the anniversary celebration, please call 1-207-351-2713 or check for further details.
Photo caption: Stonewall Kitchen’s flagship store in York, ME. (Courtesy photo)

Preservation Work at Historic New England

Despite cold and snowy weather, several important preservation projects move forward at Historic New England’s Sayward-Wheeler House in York Harbor and the Sarah Orne Jewett House in South Berwick.
Walkers who frequent York’s Fishermen’s Walk may have noticed a good deal of activity at the Sayward-Wheeler House in recent months. The historic house museum, located adjacent to the new Route 103 bridge, is one of thirty-six properties owned and operated by Historic New England that are open for public tours in the summer months. Aided by a grant from the Institute of Library and Museum Services, work has been ongoing in the basement of the historic house, where insulation and a radiant heat concrete floor were installed as part of a new climate control system. Upcoming improvements to the Sayward-Wheeler House’s gutters and the installation of a dehumidification unit will also be part of the system. When complete, the different elements of the climate control system will work together to efficiently move excess humidity away from the house, helping to preserve the fabric of the structure as well as stabilizing the interior climate for the benefit of the museum collections. In early January, six windows were removed from the riverside elevation of the Sayward-Wheeler House. The windows will undergo a complete sash restoration by the Historic New England carpentry team, including the removal and re-glazing of all panes. The windows will be re-installed in the freshly painted facade of the house in time for the museum’s opening in June.
At Historic New England’s Sarah Orne Jewett House, located in downtown South Berwick, a new roof is being installed. In keeping with the organization’s preservation philosophy, the existing Jewett House shingles are being replaced in-kind with new eighteen-inch cedar shingles that match the coursing of the current roof and replicate the existing ridge details. Cedar was chosen for its natural resistance to mildew and rot and its durability relative to other wood species. The roof project, partially funded by a grant from the Davis Family Foundation, also includes sheathing repair and new copper flashing and drip edges. The roof improvements will protect the Jewett House from weather for another twenty to thirty years.
Preservation projects at both houses, and ongoing projects at numerous other Historic New England properties, have been made possible by the organization’s Preservation Maintenance Fund. The Fund was established in 2009 through the largest private grant ever received by the organization, totaling $3 million over three years. The Fund was specifically established to support projects that contribute to the long-term sustainability of Historic New England’s properties and finances. Examples include reducing costs by installing efficient heating systems, replacing roofs with materials that will be good for twenty or more years, and resolving water penetration issues. The grant stipulates that Historic New England raise $1.8 million in matching funds by the end of 2011. For more information about the Preservation Maintenance Fund or to make a donation in support of it, please visit the Historic New England website ( or call the organization’s development office at 617-994-5951.
Besides preserving wonderful historic structures, Historic New England is committed to sharing the knowledge gained from its Preservation Maintenance Fund work in the form of “white papers,” or best practice documents. It is the organization’s hope that the white papers will assist other preservation organizations, museums, and historic homeowners in tackling their own preservation projects. A growing collection of white papers are available for study on the Historic New England website. For more information about preservation work in South Berwick or York, is encouraged to contact site manager Peggy Wishart at 207-384-2454.
Photo caption: Roof replacement is underway at the Sarah Orne Jewett House in South Berwick. (Photos courtesy of Historic New England)

Friday, January 21, 2011

‘Super’ Magnet in Place, York Hospital Breast MRI Project on Schedule

An 8,800 lb. superconducting magnet was hoisted into place in York Hospital’s new 2,800-square-foot Breast Care Center addition recently. Because of its size and weight, the magnet needed to be hoisted by crane through an opening in the wall and placed in its exact position before construction could continue. When complete in March, the center will provide the first Aurora® Dedicated Breast MRI System in the entire state of Maine. It will also open with newly designed reception and waiting areas for added privacy, and two additional consultation rooms for patients and their medical team.
“This breast MRI system is a critical tool in the fight against breast disease. It will be used to identify early stages of breast cancer not detected through other means and is especially critical for those women at high risk for the disease,” explained Dr. Kira Wendorf, one of York Hospital’s two dedicated, board certified Breast Radiology physicians who are on-site to provide same-day results. “It is the only FDA-approved MRI system that is exclusively dedicated to examine the breasts. Both breasts can be scanned at the same time, painlessly, without the need for compression and with amazing clarity.”
The Aurora® Dedicated Breast MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) system uses a magnetic field and radio waves (instead of x-rays) to painlessly scan breast tissue, producing high-definition, 3-D crystal clear images. For women who are deemed ‘high risk’ for breast cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends a breast MRI exam in addition to mammograms, which has proven most effective in identifying certain cancers that are not always seen using mammography or ultrasound.”
“We are thrilled to soon be able to offer this advanced technology to patients right here at York Hospital,” she added. “Better methods of earlier detection—like breast MRI—will help improve breast cancer survival even further,” noted Wendorf.
Already designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, the Breast Care Center at York Hospital, which opened in 2008, offers digital mammography, breast ultrasound and stereotactic breast biopsy in addition to the new MRI service. As part of the project, the hospital is also working to redesign current waiting areas for more privacy, and add consultation rooms for patients and their medical team. The project is slated to open in March. For more information please contact the Breast Care team at 207-351-2023 or
The expansion of Breast Care to include Breast MRI is a project of the Hospital’s For Every Patient campaign with a goal to raise $7 million to support several hospital endeavors. Other projects include the renovation and expansion of the hospital’s Surgery Center; the conversion of all semi-private in-patient rooms to private rooms; and the addition of a helipad for rapid medical transports. For more information or to make a donation to the campaign, contact Susan McDonough, Lead of Development, at 207-351-3522 or at
Photo caption: York Hospital President Jud Knox peers through the center tube as members of the Aurora engineering team position the 8,800 lb magnet into place in its new home at York Hospital’s Breast Care Center. The technology will be available for patients in March. (Courtesy photo)

Pretty in Pink, Again: Five-O to Host Second Annual Benefit Brunch

By Molly McCoy
Staff Columnist
For the second time, Five-O Shore Road in Ogunquit is partnering with the Donato J. Trumato Foundation and opening its door for a cure. On Sunday, January 23, the downtown Ogunquit restaurant is hosting its second annual benefit brunch to support breast cancer research.
“We’re excited to host it again,” says Jeffrey Porter, Vice President and General Manager at Five-O. “We already know that some people who came last year are returning again, and we’re hoping to bring more people in as the word gets out.”
For each person who orders a brunch entrée, the Donato J. Tramuto Foundation will donate $10 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the global leader of the breast cancer movement. According to its website, the Komen Foundation has invested nearly $1.5 billion since its inception in 1982, and is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists. Through generous contributions from sponsors, supporters, and events like Five-O’s brunch, the Komen Foundation has become the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.
“It’s really a great organization,” says Porter about Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “They continue to support breast cancer research, and we’re happy to continue our support of them.”
Brunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and guests may select any entrée from the Five-O Brunch menu, including standards like Eggs Benedict and house specialties such as Maine Blueberry Belgian Waffles or Seafood Crepes.
But Five-O’s outreach does not stop there. On Sunday, February 13, the restaurant partners with the Trumato Foundation once again to host a similar benefit brunch for the Frannie Peabody Center, the largest community-based HIV/AIDS services organization in Maine. As with the January brunch, the Donato J. Tramuto Foundation will donate $10 to the Frannie Peabody Center for every guest who orders a brunch entrée, available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information about both brunches, visit, Five-O Ogunquit on Facebook, or call the restaurant at (207) 646-5001. For information about the Komen Foundation and Frannie Peabody Center, visit and, respectively.
Photo caption: Five-O Shore Road will partner with the Donato J. Trumato Foundation to host two benefit brunches, the first of which is on Jan. 23 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. (Courtesy logo of Susan G. Komen for the Cure)

College Goal Maine Returns to York County

Senators Jon Courtney and Ronald Collins announced recently that the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) will offer the 8th annual College Goal Maine around the state on various dates and locations during January and early February of 2011.
College Goal Maine, formerly known as College Goal Sunday, brings together financial aid professionals from Maine colleges and universities, along with other volunteers, to help college-bound students and their families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. This form is required for any student seeking federal and state financial aid, including grants and loans at all colleges in the country.
Deadlines for filing the FAFSA form vary from school to school, and students should carefully consult the deadlines of every school to which they are applying. FAME encourages all students to complete the FAFSA form as soon as possible; ideally, all students should complete the FAFSA sometime during the month of January. Free online forms and more information are available at
The two meeting locations in York County are on Sunday, January 30 at 2:00 p.m. The meetings will be held in Wells at the York County Community College cafeteria and in Saco at the Thornton Academy Dining Commons.
You can find more information as well as various other dates and locations throughout the State on the FAME website at
“Preparing for a higher education is often an overwhelming and stressful experience for both students and parents,” said Senator Courtney. “College Goal Maine is a wonderful opportunity to get help with preparing for college and navigating the FAFSA form.”
“I encourage all college-bound students and their families to attend a College Goal Maine workshop,” said Senator Collins. “These Workshops can be incredibly helpful in the college process.”

Friday, January 14, 2011

E-Books at the Library: A Review

By Chip Schrader
Reviewer and Staff Columnist
Participating libraries in the state of Maine now hold an online database of e-Books available to lend for compatible readers and computers. Some libraries will lend the readers, as well, but any library that subscribes to the State’s initiative for electronic resources also has the capability to lend out titles to owners of the Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iPad, PCs, and Macs. Currently, the Kindle is not compatible with this library service, as Amazon has worked to retain their right to sell each title they have.
This digital download service is provided by a company called Overdrive, and many current online library users might recognize this as the same company that has provided audio books over the past year. With the demand of digital content increasing, they have expanded their services into e-Books.
If a library subscribes to Overdrive through Maine Infonet, the state-funded online library service, the patron just needs to log into the Maine page ( on Overdrive using their name and library card number. From there, titles for e-Books and Audio books may be browsed with full color images of the books’ covers. The borrowed titles will expire after a specified amount of time, and erase themselves from the device automatically, so late fees are not a hassle with this method.
Some users will need to download software in order to work with Overdrive’s formats. PDF is one of the more common file formats that allows the documents to be read on Mac or PC. Many users find e-Readers convenient for travel and commuting, as these readers may hold several books within their slim design. The display has improved over the years to eliminate glare and reflection.
The great debate is, “Will e-Books replace libraries?” The answer: only if libraries ignore e-Books, and they have not. Libraries have embraced the emerging technology over the last decade. Internet and word processing stations are a popular attraction to libraries. Most libraries provide high-speed internet access, also courtesy of the state of Maine, and many endowments and grants, including those from the Gates Foundation, focus on libraries stretching their budgets to make digital information available to everyone.
E-Books’ convenience increases as they may be downloaded from any computer, and a visit to the library’s webpage is the only necessary visit. Each library pays a flat subscription and will be credited with statistics for the number of downloads their patrons retrieve. So, it helps circulation statistics and proves the online service’s use to the library.
The overall idea of adding e-Books to the public library has been a long time coming, and will bring about a wider range of interest in the format, and in public libraries. As libraries reach further into cyberspace, techies, bibliophiles and busy professionals can find themselves at home within their local library, or at least their library’s homepage. A 5 out of 5 star idea from the state library!
Photo caption: The Barnes & Noble Nook is just one of the e-readers compatible with Maine’s library e-Book program. (Courtesy photo)

Reconstruction of Route 109 to Begin this Spring

York County legislators recently announced that nearly 4.5 miles of Route 109 in Wells have been slated to undergo reconstruction.
“This project has been seven years in the making,” said State Senator Ron Collins (R-Wells), the new Senate chair of the Transportation Committee. “The York County delegation has worked diligently to ensure that this road made the list of scheduled projects.”
The project is due to begin this spring and has been split into two phases because of its complexity. The first phase, due for completion by October 2012, will include nearly 2.5 miles of Route 109 from the Wells Turnpike exit to Meetinghouse Road. That portion of the project has been awarded to R.J. Grondin and Sons out of Gorham, Maine, which submitted the winning bid.
The second phase is due to extend into 2013 and will continue on from Meetinghouse Road north for approximately two more miles.
“Thanks to everyone working together at the state and local levels, Wells will enjoy the benefit of a substantial amount of state funding invested in rebuilding Route 109, one of our main arterial roads,” said State Rep. Kathy Chase (R-Wells). “This first phase alone is expected to cost nearly $4 million.”
“I am thrilled that the Department of Transportation’s priorities are beginning to align with the priorities of York County,” said State Senator Jon Courtney (R-Springvale), the Senate majority leader. “This roads need for repair is long overdue.”

First Winter Market of the New Year

The next Winter Farmers’ Market in York will take place Saturday, January 15 at Foster’s Downeast Clambake in York Harbor. Participating this week: Archer Angus, BCS Designs, Borealis Breads, Buddha’s Burning Buns, Chefs Cove Café, Chop Chop – Tom Eaton, Crazy Camel Dessert Hummus, Divine Chocolate, Divine Cuisine / Tulsi, Hubba Hubba Foods, Kat Bullock (Non-profit) People to People, Lakonia Greek Products, Maine Herb Farm, Meadow’s Mirth, Riverside Farm, Scituate Fresh Foods, Skippers Bay Lobster, Something Different, The Seacoast Soap Co., Wool & Goods and Wright’s Haven Farm. The market is sponsored by Savings Bank of Maine.
This is York’s first year doing a winter version of their summer farmers’ market and it has already grown so much (both in vendor participation and customer attendance) in the past two months! This market offers a one-stop shopping experience for customers looking for locally grown produce, breads, sweets, meats and specialty foods for the week. The select crafters at this market offer locally made, unique gifts for you or someone special! They also do a raffle each week to help offset the cost of the market, so please consider participating; you do not need to be present during the drawing to win. This week the market is raffling off an Alan Claude 2011 Lighthouse Poster Calendar & a smaller desk calendar.
The 2010 – 2011 Winter Gateway Farmers Market takes place on 10 Saturdays between November and March. Upcoming dates are Jan. 15 & 29, Feb. 5 & 19 and March. 5 & 19. The market runs from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and there are 20-30 vendors each Saturday. Many of the regular summer food and craft vendors attend, as well as some new vendors. Just like York’s summer market, this event is always free to attend. For more information about the Winter Gateway Farmers’ Market, visit or contact Steph at the Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce at 207-363-4422.
Photo caption: The next Winter Farmers’ Market in York will take place Saturday, January 15 at Foster’s Downeast Clambake in York Harbor. (Courtesy photo)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ogunquit Playhouse Receives Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Theatre

The Ogunquit Playhouse is thrilled to announce that it received the Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Theatre from the New England Theatre Conference at their 59th Annual Convention, held this fall in New Haven, Connecticut. Jeff Watts, NETC President, presented Executive Artistic Director, Bradford Kenney an award recognizing the Playhouse as one of the most important cultural landmarks in New England. Among the many accolades Mr. Watts shared with audience members, who represented theatres from all over New England, he thanked the Ogunquit Playhouse for producing the highest quality Broadway plays and musicals since 1933.
The New England Theatre Conference, Inc. is a non-profit Corporation, composed of individuals and organizations in the six-State region of New England, who are active or interested in the performing arts. It is committed to develop, expand and assist theatre activity in New England on the educational, community and professional levels. The New England Theatre Conference promotes excellence in theatre for our region, and supports quality theatre and performance in all of its diversity. They believe that theatre is essential to the quality of life for everyone!
The Ogunquit Playhouse is America’s Foremost Summer Theatre, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, producing the finest Broadway musicals each season, with performances Tuesday through Sunday, from May through October. Main Stage tickets go on sale in March. Gift Certificates, Flex-Passes and Season Subscriptions are on sale now! The 2011 titles under consideration include: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Curtains, and Miss Saigon. For a complete list of show times, pricing and more information about the season, visit our website Tickets on-line or through the box office at 207-646-5511.
Photo caption: Jeff Watts President of NETC, Bradford Kenney Ogunquit Playhouse Executive Artistic Director, Cheryl Farley, Ogunquit Playhouse Director of Marketing and Public Relations, and Moe Doucette, Board Member of NETC. (Courtesy photo)

Opening Scenes

By Chip Schrader
Movie Review Editor
“How Do You Know” opens with a sequence of scenes where a man in a finely tailored suit “George” (Paul Rudd) calls a softball uniform clad “Lisa” (Reese Witherspoon) for a blind date after getting her number from a mutual friend. This call has the poor timing of catching Lisa at softball practice while he is in the midst of another day’s work in a high level corporate office. Lisa is taken aback by this phone call from out of the blue and prepares to practice for the big tryout, while the viewer knows this phone call is only the beginning.
Paul Rudd’s performance as George, a man who ends up feeling foolish throughout the film, is charming and believable, just as Rudd’s fans might expect. His pursuit of Lisa comes as his previous relationship, where he never called the shots, ended and his job landed him in a criminal investigation. His father is played by the volatile and comic Jack Nicholson, a man who played high stakes corporate games his whole life, but always found his priority in his son.
Witherspoon and Owen Wilson, as “Matty,” have great chemistry that pulls together an otherwise well-worn and predictable relationship where George comes into the triangle. While Matty seems to have all the wrong moves and manages to dupe Lisa into accepting his philandering, he manages all the right words to keep her in his life. A particularly telling scene is after a potential one night stand, Matty offers Lisa a change of clothes from a closet loaded with small and extra-small clothes he keeps on hand for all of his conquests. After initially being revolted that he keeps a closet of women’s clothes for one night stands, Matty charms Lisa into seeing him again.
To George’s dismay, he keeps just missing that perfect opportunity with Lisa unless he decides to make the opportunities himself, and manages to always meet Lisa in his worst moments, a la “When Harry Met Sally.” As the story goes along, these characters seem to miss each other at that magical moment as Matty manages to hold on to Lisa.
The story goes into predictable outcomes, but there is some dancing in between major points where the story seems fresh and doesn’t go in a straight line. The story of the investigation of a crime that George knows nothing about and is innocent of, makes the movie move along at a leisurely, but pleasant pace.
“How Do You Know” is not a cinematic masterpiece, nor a work of genius, but it works. All of the characters are not terribly new, but some of the scenes turn the romantic comedy conventions around. One example is when Lisa calls George from outside his window pretending she isn’t there, but hoping he is home. While this Romeo and Juliet set up is commonplace, it is seldom the woman who is the more assertive seeker, particularly when she is spoken for.
Rudd plays his strength as the sensitive guy who always winds up with his true love’s friend, and he continues his niche as the innocent and socially awkward lead that started with “I Love You Man.” Wilson also treads common terrain as his “Wedding Crashers” fans might recognise, his charming smile is used to its fullest and spinning his romantic ineptitude into boyishness. All in all, this movie offers very little that is new, but it is a breath of fresh air with its lighthearted storyline and satisfying conclusion. One of the better romantic comedies of the year. 3 out of 5.
Photo caption: (Courtesy movie poster image of “How Do You Know”)

Season of Wishes: A Success!

Close your eyes. Open your heart. Let the Season of Wishes Begin.
That was the national tagline associated with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America holiday campaign, Season of Wishes®.
Across the country, the 66 local level chapters of the wish-granting organization put their best foot forward to encourage the public to consider making local donations and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Maine followed suit.
To kick off the Season of Wishes in Maine, wish child Cameron Tufts of New Gloucester was invited to light the Christmas tree in Monument Square, downtown Portland. Thanks to the Portland Downtown District and WHOM radio, Cameron was on stage with Santa and the city mayor to flip the giant candy-cane switch.
“I’m really not sure what was more beautiful,” said Vicki Parker, volunteer wish granter who is working with Cameron to grant his wish, “the lights on the tree or the light from Cameron’s smile when everyone clapped with delight after he flipped the switch. What a wonderful moment - and memory - for him after battling leukemia for three years.”
The goal this year for the Maine chapter was higher than any other seasonal campaign they had attempted: raise enough money to grant 15 wishes ($90,000). Why a higher goal this year?
A wish is granted to a Maine child every five days, on average. Each wish costs approximately $6,000 and to ensure wishes would be granted to each child scheduled through February, this was the amount needed.
To promote the campaign and raise awareness, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Maine teamed with radio partner 107.5/105.5 Frank FM. The station interviewed and broadcast stories from wish children, parents and volunteers.
“It’s a joy every year meeting these kids, and seeing first hand how these wishes transform their lives,” said Leif Erickson, On-Air Talent and Music Director of Frank FM. “It’s an honor to be a part of this, and to use the power of radio to help those in our community who really need it. I’m already counting down the weeks to next year’s campaign!”
The public responded in full force and came forward to generously donate gifts of $5, $10, hundreds or thousands of dollars, ultimately surpassing the $90,000 goal. In total, $103,000 was raised, which is enough to grant wishes to 17 Maine children with life-threatening medical conditions.
“Most of the donations that came through were of small denominations,” said Tom Peaco, Executive Director of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Maine. “Even when businesses came forward to give us a large check, it was usually a result of employees donating $15 here or there. These small numbers added up quickly as everyone came together to help our local children during their most challenging times.”
Corporate and major support came from VIP Parts, Tires & Service; Macy’s; Kepware Technologies; People’s United Bank: S. Maine Division; Village Candle; KeyBank; Dunkin’ Donuts of Greater Portland; Snap-On Tools; Auburn Fire Fighters Local 797; Stantec; Berry, Dunn, McNeil & Parker; Norton Lights, and the Ring Family Farm.
One of the first wishes to use funds from this campaign will be from a 12-year-old boy living in Ellsworth who had wished to see the New Year’s Eve fireworks in Sydney, Australia.
Other upcoming wishes that will be granted because of the generous donations to this campaign include: Cameron, 9, of New Gloucester who wishes for a room renovation; Lea, 11, from Auburn who wishes to go to Walt Disney World®; James, 8, of Portland who wishes to go to Sea World®; Sam, 9, of Scarborough who wishes to go on a Nickelodeon® Cruise; Tonika, 15, of Augusta who wishes to go to Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas; Ethan, 9, of Turner who wishes to go on a dinosaur dig with a paleontologist; Erika, 17, of Edgecomb who wishes to go to New York City; Rachel, 16, of W. Baldwin who wishes to go to Paws Up Ranch in Montana; and eight more Maine children.
Photo caption: For his wish, 9-year-old Cameron Tufts of New Gloucester told his wish granter Vicki Parker (left) that he would like a room renovation, which will be made possible because of generous donations to Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Season of Wishes campaign. Norton Lights, recently featured in The Weekly Sentinel, was also a major contributor to the overall success of the campaign. (Courtesy photo)