Friday, September 7, 2012

“I Will” Movement Comes to Maine

Nationally, 33 million joined movement last year

The Maine Commission for Community Service invited area citizens this week to join the 9/11 tribute movement called “I Will” to commemorate this relatively new National Day of Service and Remembrance.  Organized nationally by My Good Deed, a foundation started by family members of 9/11 victims and first responders, “I Will” calls on each citizen to pay tribute to those remembered on 9/11 by performing a good deed, a personal act of service, an act of “neighboring.”
Maryalice Crofton, executive director of MCCS, said the tribute movement was a way to honor those who died on 9/11 and also to begin to look at the day in a positive light, somehow.
“Families spent ten years to get 9/11 as a day of service and remembrance,” Crofton said. “In 2009, it finally happened as part of the Serve America Act passed by Congress.” The act reauthorized the American service programs, AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, and affirmed all the national days of service including the new one, she said.
This is the second year in a row that Maine has participated in the national campaign.
“People design or pick out their own way of remembering,” Crofton said. “Some of the things people did last year: there were a couple of classrooms who wrote letters to active military stationed overseas, some people collected food for a food bank, some helped out neighbors who didn’t have family close by. It’s a wide range of things to do. It’s called neighboring. And it gives an opportunity to let folks highlight what they do.”
“Neighboring is the informal volunteering we do to help out in the community,” said Pam Zeutenhorst, the Commission’s coordinator for volunteer sector initiatives. “It is the food we bring to a sick neighbor, the community drive to refurnish a family whose house burned, and the citizen who keeps an eye on seasonal camps for their owners during the winter.”
The MCCS has registered Maine's “I Will” tribute as a single, statewide project with the national movement. Each citizen wishing to participate decides what personal act of service will be the tribute to 9/11 victims and first responders and then registers the pledge of service at by September 11.
Zeutenhorst noted that neighboring complements formal volunteering. Both connect residents to each other, make communities stronger, and foster mutual respect and responsibility. In rural, under-resourced communities throughout Maine, neighboring and formal volunteering flourish side-by-side, tackling serious local needs.
Schools, clubs, town councils, faith communities, and fraternal organizations can organize a “pledge drive” among their members. Posters and pledge cards with instructions on how to participate are available from the Commission. Group leaders can obtain these at no cost by emailing or calling 207-624-7792 during business hours.
All Maine pledges of service recorded at will be bundled and reported to the national organizers by September 15. Last year, through the efforts of the “I Will” campaign, thirty-three million people observed 9/11 by engaging in charitable activities that ranged from simple good deeds to organized volunteer work. The results far exceeded the national organizers’ hopes for ten million people undertaking volunteer activity. For more information and pledge registration details, visit

Native American Speaker Looks to Refocus Perspectives

Dana Benner, the Native American speaker, is the Kittery Historical and Naval Society’s next feature (courtesy photo)

The Native Americans who once called the Kittery area home will be the topic of the next program at the Kittery Historical and Naval Society. Dana Benner, a well-known expert in Native American studies, will present a fascinating look at the people who were here long before we were, their lifestyle, social structures, and their relationship to the ocean.  In addition to a power point presentation, Benner will offer several static displays of Native American interest. He hopes to shift the typical focus on Native American studies, away from war, disease, and death, to a better personal understanding of the way these Native people lived on a day-to-day basis.
“The battles and conflicts between Native peoples and the Colonials could fill libraries, but people know very little about those that called that area home,” said Benner. “I try to talk about - not the conflicts - but the Native people themselves, how they lived their social lives, how they survived the winters.”
Benner, a Manchester, New Hampshire, resident is Native, himself. He’s part Penobscot, Piqwacket, and Micmac. When he speaks to groups of people, he tries to make his talks more natural than the traditional library lecture.
“I hate going to lectures, I hate lecturers, and I hate lecturing,” he said. “But I’ve been doing this for twenty five years.” Benner teaches a history of New England course at Granite State College, in Concord, New Hampshire, and an adult ed course called “Native Peoples of New England” in Concord, Exeter, and Nashua. Benner received his BA in US History and Native Culture from Granite State College, and is in the last course for his Masters of  Education in the Heritage Studies program at Plymouth State.
“I often start by asking how many people in the audience are Native American. Then I ask ‘how long have your families been in the New England area?’ Some say ‘500 years.’ Well, ten to one they’re part Native, especially if they’re French Canadian: that’s almost a ‘gimme.’ It gets people talking,” he said. “It’s the people in the audience that will govern how this lecture goes. I could speak for hours on something they don’t want to hear, but if someone asks a question, that leads to a discussion of what’s in their interests.”
The essence of the hour-long lecture is new perspective. “My main thing is to educate people about the Native people as a people, not as a date in a history book where a battle took place.”
Benner will speak at the Lions’ Club building on State Road on Tuesday, September 11, at 7 pm. The Kittery Historical and Naval Society meets quarterly, March, June, September, and December. There is no admission fee and the public is always invited and encouraged to attend. For further information, contact the Kittery Historical and Naval Society at 207-439-3080.

Soccer Player from Wells Scores 1st Collegiate Goal

Abbigail White, from Wells, who scored her first collegiate goal, a penalty kick for Nichols College (photo courtesy of

Abbigail White, of Wells, slammed home a penalty kick to score her first goal for Nichols College. The tally wasn’t enough, however, as Nichols fell to Emmanuel in overtime, 3-2.
Emmanuel senior Megan Zerba (Cumberland, R.I.) deposited a feed from sophomore Amanda Roberts (Hudson, N.H.) just 1:51 into overtime to lift the Saints past host Nichols, 3-2, on a rainy Tuesday afternoon in a non-conference women’s soccer match. With the win, Emmanuel improves to 2-1-0 while the Bison move to 0-1-1 on the season.
Nichols struck first as junior captain Julie Monroe (Whitman, Mass.) sent a free kick into the back of the net from 30 yards out 56 seconds into the match for her first collegiate tally.
First-year player White extended the Bison lead with the penalty kick that found the bottom right of the goal in the 13th minute. Less than a minute later, Emmanuel converted on a corner kick as junior Lindsey Garvey (Warwick, R.I.) knocked in a header that was put into play by senior Lauren Foley (North Andover, Mass.). The Saints led 18-5 in shots and 4-0 in corners for the frame.
In the 61st minute sophomore Alyssa Tosti (Douglas, Mass.) drilled the ball into the post and collected her own rebound only to have Emmanuel’s rookie goalkeeper Jenna Marcello (Hopedale, Mass.) made an outstanding save.  Emmanuel then netted the equalizer as Garvey sent a long feed to junior Darcey Sullivan (Dalton, Mass.) at 62:29. The second half saw a closer shot margin with the visitors holding an 11-7 advantage as both squads took a trio of corner kicks.
Marcello (1-0-0) picked up the win for her scoreless relief effort that included a pair of saves. Senior Jessica D’Ottavio (Pawling, N.Y.) surrendered both markers in the opening half and made two stops.
Rookie Bison backstop Melissa Toomey (Saugus, Mass.) collected a game-high 11 saves in the defeat.
Both squads returned to the pitch on Thursday, September 6. Nichols hosted the United States Coast Guard Academy at 4 p.m. while Emmanuel ventures to Fitchburg State for a 7 p.m. match.