Friday, June 8, 2012

Seacoast Ride Helps Orphanage Near Completion in Grand Guave, Haiti.

Bowdoin College participants are among many friends, families and schools from around the state who participate in the "Annual Beach Bike Ride for Charity" at Wells Beach.   The ride has become a huge success as it enters its third year. (courtesy photo)
The 3rd Annual Beach Bike Ride for Charity will held on Saturday, June 16, at 7 a.m. The ten-mile ride will begin and end at Wells Beach Harbor, at the end of Atlantic Avenue. Refreshments will be served at the finish. The cost for registration is only $35 per person. Free parking will be available at the Wells Beach Harbor until 9 a.m.
The event is a bicycle ride, not a race and is for the enjoyment of all bicycle enthusiasts ages 12 and older. Folks can join in the fun by riding, becoming a donor or volunteering to help work during the ride.
“The Beach Bike Ride has become a great event for all who join in,“ said Mike Fairweather, an event volunteer. “We hope that people from Wells and all surrounding communities will join together for this great cause.”
Last year 100 riders and sponsor/donors generated over $11,000 for the “Be Like Brit Fund” in memory of Wells summer resident, Britney Gengel, a Lynn University student who was tragically killed in the Haiti earthquake. Britney’s family, friends and community are building the “Be Like Brit Orphanage” in her honor in Grand Guave, Haiti. Construction is scheduled for completion in December, 2012 thanks to the generosity of so many.
“Britney loved growing up on Wells Beach” said her mom, Cherylann Gengel. “We are very grateful to all who are helping us honor her memory.”
The ten-mile route will be well marked with water stops along the way. It will start and finish at the Wells Harbor and go to the end of Ocean Avenue (Moody/Ogunquit Beach) and then return.
Donations may be made online or by check mailed to “Beach Bike Ride for Charity” PO Box 68, Wells, ME 04090.
The first 100 riders to register online will receive a free T shirt. Complete ride information and promotional materials for downloading may be found at

Central School Gets Grant for “Arts Tell a Story”

Schools across the country are currently facing budget cuts, which leaves many arts and cultural programs by the wayside. However, the Central School, an elementary school in South Berwick, finds ways year after year to make sure their Fine Arts Celebration remains an annual tradition.
The theme of this year’s celebration was “The Arts Tell A Story”, and PreK to 3rd grade students learned how to express stories through movement, song, art, theater and expression. The school also brought in guest artists to help facilitate students’ learning. Vicki Stewart, principal of Central School, worked closely with volunteers and pursued a $5,000 grant through Bob's Discount Furniture’s Celebrate the Arts contest in order to continue the school’s tradition of cultural development.
“This is an easy way for schools to get a chance to win money,” said Cathy Poulin, outreach director at Bob’s Discount Furniture. “This is our 8th year, trying to let community schools know that programs are being cut everywhere, with arts usually the first to go. We give $5,000 awards to schools in nine different states.
The staff at Central School really came together to make this year’s Fine Arts Celebration an interdisciplinary event. Tina Polichronopoulos, a librarian, Kate Smith, a music teacher, Kristan Tiede, a physical education teacher, and Casey Everett, an art teacher worked collaboratively with students, teachers, and parents on this year’s seven-day celebration, whose theme is “The Arts Tell a Story.”
“We found out about the grant opportunity and told our parents. Actually, it was a parent whose name was drawn to win,” Smith said. “This was the first year we didn’t have to actively look for a grant because we won the $5,000 so early.”
The group added eleven artists and musicians and six staff members to work with the kids all during the week of the Celebration. There were fourteen activities at the school and the Town Hall. “The focus was to give the kids kinesthetic opportunities. These kids learn by doing,” Smith said. “Students who tend to be very quiet were benefiting just as much. It really gave them a way out of their shells, to be recognized for their strengths. This grant makes for great opportunities for Maine students.”

Local Author Speaks about Overcoming Abuse

Katherine Mayfield, local author, will discuss her memoir at York Public Library (courtesy photo)

How can a person recover from the strain of coping with a dysfunctional family and create a more authentic life?  Award-winning local author Katherine Mayfield will answer this question and talk about her caregiving experience and her new memoir, “The Box of Daughter: Overcoming a Legacy of Emotional Abuse,” at the York Public Library on Tuesday, June 12, at 7 p.m.  Books will be available for purchase following the author’s presentation.
”We all live in boxes, letting ourselves be defined by the limits others place on us, as well as those we place on ourselves. The boxes keep us from living fully, from making choices that are right for us, and from experiencing our own strength and power,” Mayfield said. “I grew up in a dysfunctional family, with fundamentalist, emotionally abusive parents who were raised during the Depression. I lived in an emotional and mental box practically from birth, creating my life and myself based on who my parents wanted me to be. But over the years, I've climbed out of the box and discovered who I was meant to be. Life is just incredible, outside the box of daughter.”
“The Box of Daughter” is a compassionate, inspiring portrayal of Mayfield’s quest to raise her self-esteem and create a more authentic life after growing up in a dysfunctional family.  Entering therapy in her thirties in response to a divorce, she began to unravel the threads of dysfunction in her family of origin.  More than a decade later, armed with the truth about her family, Katherine sought to understand the challenges her parents faced and to recover from the trauma they inflicted on her, while simultaneously acting as the family caregiver for her parents in their late 80s and early 90s.  After the deaths of her parents in 2005 and 2008, she began an inspiring journey to wholeness—developing self-esteem, uncovering her true self, and finally creating a life that is truly her own.
Mayfield, a former actress who appeared off-Broadway and on the daytime drama “Guiding Light,” said she started journaling while she was acting in her 20’s. “My first book, “Smart Actors, Foolish Choices,” came out as I was leaving the business,” she said.
“In our generation, we were all programmed to be a certain way, especially women. Writing “Box of Daughter” was a catharsis. When my parents passed away, I felt an incredible freedom to tell the truth about dysfunctional families and the stuff that goes on behind closed doors.”
Mayfield wrote poems in the 1990’s when she was going through the process of recovery. It was one of those poems that gave her the title for her memoir. “The poems just kind of came out of a feeling or an insight. They were written somewhere in the cosmos; I was just the conduit,” she said. “The memoir is more from my own experience.”
Mayfield urges readers to make it to the conclusion of her memoir. “That’s the most important part – the process of overcoming the abuse. I want my readers to know there is hope.” Mayfield said she has about four more books in her, all on similar topics. One she envisions will be on bullying.
The York Public Library is located at 15 Long Sands Road in York and is open on Tuesdays from 10 to 7, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10 to 5, and on Saturdays from 10 to 2.