Friday, October 10, 2008

24th Annual Harvestfest Returns to York

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist

A year ago, those estimating the crowd attending Harvestfest set the number at about 35,000. A similar or even larger crowd is anticipated this year.
This will be the 24th annual celebration sponsored by the Greater York Regional Chamber of Commerce and, as always, even though some events won’t be repeated there are new ones to take their place.
Events are scheduled throughout the Oct. 17-19 weekend in York and York Beach. A complete listing of events, times and places is included in this week’s edition of The Weekly Sentinel.
The weekend begins Friday night with one of the new events, the first annual Lobsterfest, sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank under the tent at the baseball field in York Beach. The gates open at 5:30 with serving beginning 30 minutes later. The cost is $30 per person.
Another new event is the Corn Toss Challenge, described by Carrie Eisner, the Chamber’s program development coordinator, as a beanbag toss meets horseshoes.
She said 25 teams have already registered for the event but “we welcome more” to come aboard.
The registration fee for the event supports the York Education Foundation. It will be held Saturday, Oct. 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the big tent in York Beach.
Fireworks will also be part of the celebration, thanks to the sponsorship of the Woods Family Inc. The display is set for Saturday night at 7:30 in York Beach.
The popular pumpkin stroll will be held Saturday at York Beach from 5 to 8:30 p.m. with decorated pumpkins for all sizes and shapes on display. “Every year it grows,” Esiner said of the event.
Seniorfest featuring entertainment, information, displays and live entertainment is scheduled on the green in York Village “just for our senior citizens,” Eisner said.
There will also be an Old Fashioned Marketplace/Food Festival on the green Friday. Those events will be featured from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The celebration begins with the Annual Sidewalk Sales at Short Sands at York Beach this Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 11, 12 and 13, where the shops move their merchandise to the sidewalks for their end of the season sales.
Other Saturday activities in the village include Kidsfest and the Esplanade, showcasing non-profit organizations of York.
The highlight for the celebration Sunday in York Beach will be a Classic Car Show, crafts at the ballpark, and a Native American POW-WOW under the big tent at the Short Sands ball field.
More than 200 crafters from all over New England will present their wares during the weekend on the village green and at York Beach.
Parking will be available at Ellis Park in York Beach, at the York Middle School on Organug Road, Coastal Ridge Elementary School and York High School with a trolley shuttle providing transportation from those sites to the activities.
More than 150 volunteers will be working at the various sites over the long weekend.
For more information call the Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce at (207- 363-4422. Major sponsors for the event are Kennebunk Savings Bank, the Cutty Sark Motel and Guest Suites, Tapley Insurance Agency, and Woods Family, Inc.
Caption: Last year the grounds of York were covered with the many tents of vendors and held demonstrations such as this parade of militia. (Courtesy photos)

Fire Department Receives New Waterproof Defibrillators

By Ron Long Staff Columnist and Cindy Hunt
The story starts about a year ago. It was Monday, October 22, 2008 in Cocoa Beach, Fla when Ted and his wife Cindy were vacationing staying at a friend’s condo. They had been in town for just three days and were spending as much time as they could at the beach, knowing they wouldn’t seeing weather like that in Berwick for a very long time. Ted and Cindy were walking along the sidewalk adjacent to Cocoa Beach eventually passing a riptide warning sign. Then a man came running up, exasperated, pleading that he needed help because his wife was caught out in a riptide current and couldn’t to make it back to shore.
Ted didn’t say anything; he just looked at his wife, took his wallet and cell phone out of his pocket and headed into the water. Cindy hollered “Well, at least take off your sandals,” Ted kicked off the sandals and took off his shirt, and dove right in.
Cindy watched as Ted and the other man reached the stranded woman, who was Maureen Jennings, a Canadian novelist. At first, everything seemed to be going fine. Ted and the other man reached Jennings, and swam with her sideways, parallel to shore, to get out of the riptide — right by the book.
But all of a sudden, the other man got pulled back by the riptide and became separated from the group.
Fred started to get pulled back, too. As the current was taking him back, Ted gave Jennings a final push sideways. The effort forced Jennings past the edge of the riptide, and she was able to swim back to shore.
Cindy started getting nervous as she saw Ted was struggling to stay afloat with all the waves crashing down. She watched him float on his stomach, trying to save energy.
Rescue workers arrived a few minutes later. They got the other man out of the water, but took longer to reach Fred. When they finally found him, it was too late. Seeing the rescue workers bring him back on shore and try to give him CPR, Cindy knew Ted was gone.
The loss of Fred Hunt also known as Ted has brought the communities of Berwick Me, Cocoa Beach Fla., and Wells Me all a little bit closer.
It was a beautiful night, perfect for a “Sunset Kayak Paddle” fundraiser on August 28, 2008 for the Ted Hunt, Jr. Memorial Fund. Plum Island Kayak,, in Newburyport, Massachusetts generously donated their time, kayaks, life vests, and transportation. Fifteen participants set off in kayaks up the Merrimack River into the tranquil waters of the Joppa Flats for an evening of memories, stories and plenty of laughs.
Guide, Ken Taylor gave everyone a warm welcome, an introduction and the purpose of the first Sunset Paddle in memory of Ted Hunt who lost his life saving another caught in a rip current in Cocoa Beach, Florida, on October 22, 2007. Ken followed this with a short orientation about paddling, steering and communication on the water, and then everyone made their way to a colorful kayak. It was a little tricky maneuvering past the moored boats at the launch site, but under the careful supervision of John, Ken and Carrie Metcalf we were headed in the right direction on the open river.
After rescheduling twice due to inclement weather from the original June 17th date, it seemed the night was meant to be. Ted’s youngest daughter, Lauren was home from Texas for the weekend and his oldest daughter, Chelsea and fiancĂ© Jay, all paddled together with Cindy, Ted’s wife of 30 years.
Ken and Danny Sullivan, Ted’s co-worker/friend, found a common family connection as well as a Plum Island Kayak employee previously employed by Textron, leading to “who knew who” and a session of ‘six degrees of separation’. It was a mix of family, friends and friends/coworkers of Ted’s former employer Textron, and Cindy’s employer at UNH coming together to honor the memory of a great friend, father and husband. It was a special evening of bonding, stories, water fun, and an elegant sunset.
All monies generated benefits the memorial fund in honor of Ted Hunt. Funds are being donated to the Wells Fire Department for one of the two needed waterproof AED’s (Automated External Defibrillator) for the Wells Beach area where the Hunt family spent many days and evenings with friends, family and as a couple savoring the soft, sandy beaches, waves and canoeing up the river side. Books on ocean currents and water safety are also being donated to the Berwick Public Library in Ted’s memory.
The memorial fund will merge with the Sea of Dreams organization, ( in Cocoa Beach, Florida as founder Randy Smith, a long time family friend, along with many dedicated volunteers have strived to make changes on their Florida beaches in Brevard County. Currently, Brevard County Commissioners have approved 12 fulltime lifeguards, 5 year round lifeguard towers and 13 seasonal towers. Brevard’s force was terribly inadequate compared to other counties along the East-Central Florida coast with just two full-time staffers.
Thirty part-time seasonal lifeguards, mostly high school or college students with about one year of experience have been on Cocoa Beach in Brevard County comparing with an average of eight to 15 years’ experience for full-time lifeguards in other counties. Commissioners finally began to act in late August, 2008 when they approved hiring 12 full-time lifeguards through Sept. 30 during their final budget votes.
“Ted lost his life saving another in Cocoa Beach, and I feel this is the best honor to Ted’s sacrifice, where the money will improve safety for many others. He would smile to see our friends gathered on the water in his memory” says Cindy Hunt, Fred/Ted’s wife of 30 years. Ken summed up the evening as he and Cindy floated down the river and Ken commented that it was a perfect evening with a perfect sunset and it was as if Ted was looking down and enjoying it with us.
Caption: Molly the dog, Carrie Metcalf, Lauren Hunt, Ken Taylor, Cindy Hunt, and Chelsea Hunt. (Courtesy photo)