Friday, April 22, 2011

25th WOCSD Literary Achievement Award Winners Announced

The Wells-Ogunquit Community School District (WOCSD) will recognize sixty-five winners in this year’s 25th Literary Achievement Awards program at an awards night on April 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Olenn Auditorium at Wells High School. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. for the Silver Anniversary of the Awards.
In April, students from kindergarten through grade 12 received notification they had placed in the contest. Thirteen first place winners were named including Kathleen Pyburn, who will take home the top prize of $500 for her entry in the senior category entitled “A Someday Rendezvous.” Other first place winners will receive $100. Second place winners receive $50, third place receive $25 and honorable mentions receive gift certificates to the Steakhouse in Wells.
Entries for the contest, which can be either fiction or non-fiction, may be written in several styles including poetry, biographical, essay or short story.
This year’s first place winners include Alivia Boucher (kindergarten), Grace Boucher (1st grade), Hayden Barker (2nd), Hannah Bradish (3rd), Brianna Michaud-Nolan (4th), Madison Szcygiel (5th), Adia Montagna (6th), Talia Auen (7th), Julianne Fitzpatrick (8th), Corey Zinck (9th), Laura Kirol (10th), Patrick Menard (11th), and Kathleen Pyburn (12th). On April 28, first place winners are invited to read all or a portion of their writing before the audience.
In all, 236 entries were received. By means of a two-step judging process, that number was reduced to 84 by a group of “in-house” judges including Sue Olsson, Lil Connelly, Cheryl Oakes, Bob Sprankle, Betsy Littlefield, Karen Westerberg, Kim McDonough, Carolyn Beecher, Julie Esch, Cathy Abbott, Alice Meader, Lynn Mercier, Susan Condon, Liz Bell, Wendy Cowan, Becca Murphy, Jody Selsberg and Rebecca Follansbee.
On March 26, a panel of community judges gathered to determine the 65 winners. Outside judges included Marilyn Cate, Jack Ford, John Madden, Ina Toth, Ellen Aromando, Carolyn Walker, Connie Griffin, Mary Goulland and Diana Abbott.
This contest, sponsored by the Wells-Ogunquit Community School District and People’s United Bank, is coordinated by Maryanne Foley and Reg Bennett.
Students are encouraged to submit their winning entries to be posted on the District’s website, for public viewing. Awards night will also be videotaped and played on Time-Warner cable Channel 3 in Wells and Ogunquit at a time TBA.
Photo caption: This year’s community judges for the WOCSD Literary Achievement Awards 2011. (Photo by Reg Bennett)

South Berwick Cleans Up for Earth Day

The South Berwick Conservation Commission invites South Berwick residents to join the local Earth Day Clean Up on Saturday, April 30, 2011.
“The snow and ice are melting, birds are singing, people are getting outside, but we forget what is underneath all that snow,” observes Pat Robinson, the commission’s chair.
Residents are encouraged to team up with friends and family to “adopt” a road and make it the cleanest in town. Last year, approximately 55 children and adults pitched in to remove a winter’s worth of trash from South Berwick roads.
Roadside trash often washes into rivers and streams where it can choke or disable wildlife, such as ducks, fish, turtles and birds. In one study, researchers found that 18 percent of all litter ends up in our streams and waterways as pollution.
The transfer station will accept trash from the clean up between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. All participants should wear gloves and bright or reflective clothing. For more information call 384-3300 ext. 336 (conservation commission voice mail) or email

Patriots’ Day Festivities Mix History with Humor

By Molly McCoy
Staff Columnist
From Friday, April 16 through Sunday, April 18, Ogunquit was transformed as the town celebrated its 21st Annual Patriots’ Day Celebration. Visitors and locals alike delighted at a variety of activities ranging from concerts to a beach bazaar to a slew of historical reenactments. The weekend kicked off downstairs at the Ogunquit Baptist Church with a comical portrayal of the Sons of Liberty meeting, at which many famous patriots - played by a few brave locals - decided to undertake the Boston Tea Party. The evening continued upstairs at the Church, featuring an educational fife and drum concert and a costumed reading of Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech.
Luckily for all involved, the inclement weather held off during the daytime festivities, and the remainder of the weekend was pleasant for both indoor and outdoor events. Costumed characters could be seen throughout the town, interacting with both visitors and each other. Benjamin Franklin flew his kite on the beach, Abigail Adams and Betsy Ross exchanged pleasantries at Clay Hill Farm’s Patriots’ Dinner, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson enjoyed presidential receptions wherever they went, and even Sacagawea made an appearance on Sunday at the Dunaway Center as Lewis and Clarke reported back about their arduous journey west. A real cannon signaled the end of the weekend’s events at the Dorathea Jacobs Grant Common on Sunday afternoon, and everyone involved was grateful for the wonderful turnout and the enthusiasm of all the volunteers.
To learn more about this event, visit You can also find more on the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page at
Photo caption: Historical reenactment supervisor Gordon Lewis is pictured in costume at right, mustering his “new recruits” in Veterans’ Park in Ogunquit on Saturday, April 17. (Photo by Molly McCoy)