Friday, October 15, 2010

York Hospital Fashion Fling Raises Money for Breast Care

By Candi Enman
Staff Columnist
After a nine-year hiatus, the return of York Hospital’s Fashion Fling to the Ogunquit Playhouse was met with overwhelming community response. The October 5 benefit exceeded organizer’s expectations, netting $57,000 to support Breast Care at York Hospital, a project of its For Every Patient Campaign.
A red carpet led some 600 “best dressed” guests to a big top-sized tent on the playhouse lawn, where champagne flowed and over 25 area restaurants served delectable appetizers of crab-stuffed mushroom caps, miniature lobster rolls and tuna tartar. The festive atmosphere decorated with bountiful bouquets of pink balloons, fall mums and bales of hay draped in black polka-dots set the tone for the fundraising extravaganza.
A survivor of 15 years, Theresa Dilando of Cambridge, MA who has summered in York Beach most of her life, said it was hard for her to be there. Though not treated at York Hospital, Dilando commented, “This is a tough reminder for me, but I wanted to come out to support the hospital and other women like myself who’ve battled breast cancer”.
Inside the legendary theatre, master of ceremonies WCVB-TV Channel 5 morning news anchor and Kittery Point resident, Randy Price, welcomed the enthusiastic crowd. Before the main event and following a compelling testimonial by hospital patient and breast cancer survivor, Sandy Raynes, a live auction run by Maureen Boyd resulted in lively bidding on luxurious vacation getaways, unique experiences and celebrity memorabilia. Among the desirable items were a guitar signed by Daryl Hall that sold for $1,700 and a Tom Brady-signed football that raised $3,900.
The fashion show, complete with a cat walk that extended from the theatre’s stage into the audience, spotlighted stylish, trendy, glitzy and practical ensembles for men, women and children from a dozen Seacoast-area clothiers and boutiques. The models - physicians, hospital staff, area business people and community leaders – were sharply clad in designs offered by Carla’s of Kennebunkport, Daisy Jane’s of York Village, Lizology of Portsmouth, Freeport’s L.L. Bean and others.
The emotional highlight of the night came in the form of a surprise ending when 40 breast cancer survivors all dressed in black with pink shawls graced the stage. Teary eyes and audience applause culminated in a standing ovation as each woman’s name and their number of years cancer free was read aloud.
“The tremendous turnout and outpouring of support for Breast Care would not have happened without the help and cooperation of the many dedicated volunteers under the driving leadership of Fashion Fling Co-Chairs Ellen Baldwin of Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty and Barbara Conda of Bangor Savings Bank,” said Jud Knox, York Hospital President. “The Fashion Fling was always a community favorite and Barbara and Ellen were determined to bring this show back—making it bigger and better than ever!”
When asked why she came out to support York Hospital, Goldie Abbott of Ogunquit said: “It’s a community hospital that we all depend on and love. This is a great turnout and a fabulous event.”
Photo caption: Models on stage during the finale of the Fashion Show (Courtesy photo)

End Polio Now

The Ogunquit Rotary Club, in conjunction with Rotary International, has kicked off a new campaign dedicated to eradicating polio once and for all. Ogunquit’s campaign is entitled, “Kiss Polio Goodbye.” At various locations and events in Ogunquit, individuals can donate a dollar or more and receive a packet of candy kisses in exchange.
The Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation has awarded Rotary International a challenge grant of $350 million to be matched by $200 million from Rotary International to mark another milestone in Rotary’s 20-year legacy of polio eradication.
With nearly 33,000 clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas, Rotary reaches out to national governments worldwide to generate crucial financial and technical support for polio eradication. Since 1985, the advocacy efforts of Rotary and its partners have helped raise more than $3 billion in vital funding from donor governments.
Rotary clubs also provide “sweat equity” on the ground in polio-affected communities, which helps ensure that leaders at all levels remain focused on the eradication goal. Over the years, Rotary club members have volunteered their time and personal resources to reach more than two billion children in 122 countries with the oral polio vaccine.
Thanks to Rotary and its partners, the number of polio cases has been slashed by more than 99 percent, preventing five million instances of childhood paralysis and 250,000 deaths. When Rotary began its eradication work, polio infected more than 350,000 children annually. By 2008, fewer than 2,000 cases were reported worldwide.
But the polio cases represented by that final 1 percent will be the most difficult and expensive to prevent for a variety of reasons, including geographical isolation, worker fatigue, armed conflict and cultural barriers. That’s why it’s so important to generate the funds needed to finish the job. To ease up now would be to invite a polio resurgence that would condemn millions of children to lifelong paralysis in the years ahead.
The Ogunquit Rotary Club is picking up on the challenge to move that final inch and End Polio Now by kicking off it’s “Kiss Polio Goodbye” campaign and celebrating World Polio Week October 24-31.
The bottom line is this: As long as polio threatens even one child anywhere in the world, all children – wherever they live – remain at risk. Visit for more information.
Photo caption: Look for Ogunquit Rotary’s “Kiss Polio Goodbye” collection boxes in establishments throughout Ogunquit. (Courtesy photo)

Forest Service to Hold Firewood Exchange

A second out-of-state firewood exchange, designed to prevent the importation of dangerous invasive insects to Maine’s forests and to make Maine visitors and residents aware of the problem, will take place this weekend on the Maine Turnpike.
A detail of Maine Forest Service forest rangers and entomologists will set up an educational kiosk and exchange station for three days, Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 14-16, at the northbound Kittery rest area, according to Maine Forest Service (MFS) officials.
For the second time this fall, MFS forest rangers will exchange out-of-state firewood, now banned in Maine, for Maine firewood, as a way to prevent the spread of two invasive species in particular, Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) and emerald ash borer (EAB). Both insects, already found in near-by states, threaten to destroy Maine’s forests.
“This is part of a continuing effort to let folks know how important it is to not move firewood into Maine because of the extraordinarily damaging pests it can bring in,” Alec Giffen, MFS director, said.
Giffen said the first exchange, held last month, was very successful. “I was extremely pleased and frankly surprised at the volume of material coming into Maine,” the MFS director said. “It underscores the importance of this ban.”
MFS State Entomologist Dave Struble also called the first firewood exchange successful and pointed out that awareness about the danger of moving firewood is increasing among the general public.
“It’s beginning to get into the public mindset that lugging firewood around isn’t as risk free as it once was,” Struble said. He said that national polling done recently by a California corporation showed that outreach about the firewood issue was affective.
“The message we can take from this is that behavior is changing,” the state entomologist said. “We still are in outreach mode, and it’s working.”
The two insects have destroyed millions of acres of trees in other states. ALB infested the Worcester, Mass., area and recently was discovered in Boston. EAB, which has killed millions of ash trees and threatens Maine’s American Indian basket-making tradition, has been found in New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Maryland, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario.
The first Maine firewood exchange was held Sept. 2-4 at the northbound Kittery rest area, after Giffen signed an emergency order immediately implementing the firewood ban. Legislation calling for the ban was passed this past session by the Maine Legislature.
Maine Forest Service forest rangers used electronic signs to direct turnpike drivers with firewood to stop and exchange their imported firewood. Four to seven forest rangers worked each day, talking with people, handing out literature and exchanging wood. A total of 929 contacts were made over the three-day period, with more than 2,000 pieces of firewood exchanged.
All the seized wood was sealed in plastic bags and secured with duct tape; the place of origin was recorded; and wood samples were taken to the MFS entomology lab and Gray district headquarters for analysis and storage. All the wood, except for the samples, was destroyed.
Public response to the firewood exchange was “very positive,” according to Bill Williams, MFS chief forest ranger. “Even those people not hauling wood were encouraged to learn that Maine was doing something to curb invasive species that could damage the Maine forests,” he said.
According to exchange data, 56 percent of the wood came from Massachusetts; 16 percent from Connecticut; 12 percent from New Hampshire; and the remaining wood from Rhode Island, 8 percent; Vermont, 4 percent; and New Jersey, 4 percent.
Most of it was being taken to campgrounds south of Portland. The most northern destination was Freeport, Williams reported.
While interacting with the public, the MFS forest rangers found most people were familiar with the invasive insects, but didn’t know there was a Maine ban on firewood.
Two seizures were of particular importance. One piece of hardwood found in a load of wood from Kittery had signs of insect tunneling; a sample was taken, though the whole load wasn’t confiscated because of its Maine origins. A second seizure consisted of ash firewood from Massachusetts that had bore holes in it. The firewood was bagged and taken to Gray.
The samples since have been taken to the New Hampshire Division of Forest & Lands, which has a hatching laboratory, Struble said. The lab consists of a series of ventilated barrels each with glass-emergence jars and a light trap to monitor what emerges from the wood samples, he said.
Up to this point, no invasive exotic pests have been discovered. “This is no reason, however, for complacency,” Struble said. “We know that moving firewood is a principle mechanism for introducing pests to new areas.”
This weekend’s exchange is targeting hunters, recreationists and out-of-state camp owners coming to Maine to fill their wood supply, Williams said.
At least 2 cords of Maine wood will be available for the exchange program, Williams said.
“Making an exchange takes only a few minutes to happen, and there’s no inconvenience; it works very smoothly,” the chief forest ranger said.
“The opportunity to meet and educate the public is of incredible value in protecting Maine’s forests from invasive species,” he stressed. “This can’t fail because we will be educating the public.” For more info, go to