Friday, November 26, 2010

York Announces 2010 Citizens of the Year

The Board of Directors of the Greater York Region Chamber of Commerce selected Lorea and Howard Merrill as the winners of the 2010 Citizens of the Year Award. Howard and Lorea are the past owners of Inn Between the Beaches. As an example of their willingness to help their neighbors and as owners of the Inn, Howie and Lo would open their doors to a local person or family in need of a roof over their heads, regardless of the season.
They are very active in the York Lions Club, the St. Aspinquid Masonic Lodge, the York Senior Center and the Union Congregational Church.
Howie has been an active member of the Lions Club since 1983, the same year he received the “Rookie of the Year” award. They have coordinating and/or volunteering at numerous fundraising events for the Lions. They can be seen each Holiday season during the day selling Christmas trees in the village. This year, Howie was awarded the Melvin Jones Award. Lions International recognizes outstanding individuals by bestowing on them an award that is named for its founder, Melvin Jones. This Fellowship Award LCIF is the highest form of recognition and embodies humanitarian ideas consistent with the nature and purpose of the Lions. The recipient of this award becomes a model because of the exemplary service to his club and the community that it serves.
At the Masonic Lodge, they are involved in diverse projects including blood drives and the operation of the kitchen to coordinating transportation of their lobster bisque to Harvestfest each year. They are involved in preparing and serving community meals throughout the year. They provide lunch for the kids when they come back from the Shriner’s Circus. They started and now coordinate a run each week to the food bank in Alfred to deliver bread from When Pigs Fly and Pepperidge Farm. They recently helped raise $1150 at a Rummage Sale.
Lorea’s individual contributions make their way around our community and literally halfway around the world. She’s always knitting. Whether it’s a blanket for the hospital or dozens and dozens of hats for troops going overseas, the two of them are always reaching out to make the world a better place.
Dr. Nancy Flolid, a member of the Chamber’s board, said, “This couple is the best example of what is great about our town. They have flown under the radar for many years doing good deeds. They never sought recognition for their acts of kindness---they simply believed it’s just what you do---you help each other, whatever it takes! And that is exactly what they have done, quietly and without fanfare.”
The Citizen of the Year nominations are vetted through the Festival of Lights Committee, which forwards up to five nominations to the Chamber’s board of directors for selection of a final recipient. Nine individuals were nominated this year. The Merrills join the ranks of previous Citizens of the Year including Bill & Phoebe Foster, Verna Rundlett, Rosie Lent, Bainbridge Parsons, Pat Bacon, Harold Radochia, Leo & Diane Flynn, Rita Turner, Michael Lee, Alan Junkins, Gordon & Donna Lewis, Rick Mace, Russell Peterson, Marianne Quinn & Fran Koerschner, Betty Kehoe, and Ginny and Dexter Spiller.
The announcement was made at the Chamber’s monthly Icebreaker, which took place on Wednesday, November 17 at Savings Bank of Maine. The Merrills will be the Grand Marshalls of the Festival of Lights Parade on Saturday, December 4 at 4:30pm. The public is invited to attend a reception for the Merrills on Sunday, December 5, from 12:30pm to 1:30pm at The York High School Commons. Past recipients will also be invited. This is an opportunity for the community to come out to congratulate and thank the Merrills for their service to the townspeople of York and beyond. For more information, please contact Cathy Goodwin, President/CEO of the Chamber at 207-363-4422.
Photo caption: Lorea and Howard Merrill, 2010 York Citizens of the Year. (Courtesy photo)

Holiday Celebration Comes of Age in South Berwick

South Berwick’s annual Home for the Holidays festivities set for December 3 and 4 have taken another leap forward this year with more groups than ever working together on the community celebration of the town’s artists, merchants, citizens and children.
Artists from the Women’s Holiday Art Sale will be in Town Hall, as always, but also will sell their wares on Main Street. And downtown storekeepers have boosted the celebration with the fullest lineup yet of song, food, art, children’s activities and music since Home for the Holidays began six years ago.
Friday evening’s stroll will include cookie decorating, a visit with Santa, holiday karaoke, a boxing demonstration, craft fairs and Hanukkah games. Also this year, strollers will be able to make stained glass or lantern ornaments and see the premiere of a short video about the history and future of the South Berwick Public Library. Free treats and warm beverages will be offered at all the shops.
Downtown decorations also have been enhanced this year. Dozens of merchants and individuals purchased signature Home for the Holidays woodpecker flags to hang throughout the village, and the South Berwick Eliot Rotary Club donated luminaries to shine on sidewalks and lead strollers from one happening to the next.
In the last six years, Home for the Holidays has become a centerpiece of community life in the holiday season, as downtown business owners keep their doors open into the evening and hundreds of residents fill the streets with cheer.
The Home for the Holiday’s umbrella sponsor, SoBo Central, will share space on Main Street with Stained Glass Stained Images studio, a new stained glass gallery and supply shop on Lower Main, to host a variety of ornament making.
The festival originally grew out of the Women’s Holiday Art Sale, now in its 12th year. This year, the artists have expanded into downtown’s newest business, Film Barn Studios at 245 Main St. Film Barn will serve as a creative community space, showcasing local art, music and films, and will house Pip Productions, a video and multimedia design company.
Local videographer Tim Benoit will be at Vacuum Village showing his video on the South Berwick Public Library, featuring photos from the Old Berwick Historical Society, interviews with founding members of the Library, and a glimpse of future plans for the Young Street property.
In addition to Santa Claus welcoming children for a photo op at P. Gagnon & Son, Mrs. Claus will read stories at the Library. People’s United Bank will help children write letters to Santa, and York Hospital Medical Services is inviting children for face painting and snacks.
On Saturday, December 4, the Women’s Holiday Art Sale, craft sales at the First Parish Federated Church and First Baptist Church, the holiday bazaar at Marshwood High School and the Jewett House all will be open.
For a complete listing of activities, the Home for the Holidays brochure is online at
Photo caption: Kristen Wiese-Adelman of Rollinsford and 28 other local craftswomen will participate in the 12th Annual Holiday Women’s Art Sale, Dec. 3 and 4. (Courtesy photo)

Prelude Trolley Rides Offered at Seashore Trolley Museum

Seashore Trolley Museum will offer holiday railway rides, shopping, and complimentary refreshments during both of Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude weekends, starting on Friday afternoons and continuing all day on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Museum will offer railway rides on Friday afternoons from 1 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. The rides continue on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
Visitors during Prelude weekends enjoy the winter scenery of the Maine woods and a glimpse of history, while keeping warm in comfortably heated, restored historic trolleys.
Seashore’s historic railway runs for 3 miles along the Kennebunkport-to-Biddeford portion of the Atlantic Shore line Railway, which operated from 1904 to 1927.
Throughout that time, the Atlantic Shore Line was an essential transportation link carrying residents and tourists to work, school, as well as recreation and shopping destinations.
Refreshments and holiday shopping complete a Prelude visit at Seashore Trolley Museum.
The Museum store will be open from noon until 4 p.m. on Friday’s and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays of the festive Prelude holiday weekends.
The store features a huge selection of rail-related gifts including books, toys, collectibles, DVDs and memorabilia. Parents and grandparents delight in the full selection of Take-along Thomas and Friends toys.
Admission to the Museum Store and Visitors’ Center is free. Tickets are $4 per ride, per person (all ages). The trolley rides are contingent on weather conditions.
Seashore Trolley Museum is located at 195 Log Cabin Road in Kennebunkport (3 miles north of Dock Square). For more Information, call 207-967-2800 or go online to
Seashore Trolley Museum is the oldest and largest museum of its type in the world and has been in operation since 1939. The museum is owned and operated by New England Electric Railway Historical Society, a 501c3 non-profit educational institution.
Photo caption: The Seashore Trolley Museum will offer holiday railway rides, shopping, and complimentary refreshments during both of Kennebunkport’s Prelude weekends, beginning Friday, December 3. (Courtesy photo)