Friday, July 1, 2011

4th Annual Nicole’s Run/Walk to Benefit Caring Unlimited

The 4th Annual Nicole’s Run and Walk to benefit Caring Unlimited, York County’s Domestic Violence Program, will be held on Saturday, July 16, 2011 at Lord’s Point, Kennebunk Beach. The 5k run and walk, presented in part by 2011 Event Sponsor: Kennebunk Savings Bank, will begin at 9:00 a.m., with registration opening at 6:45 a.m. Registration fees are $20 in advance, $25 on race-day.
Nicole’s Run/Walk was first organized by friends and family of Nicole Oliver, a 24-year old mother of two from Wells, Maine who was killed by her husband in 2007. Nicole had recently left her abusive husband and was working to rebuild a safe and secure life for herself and her two young sons. She was attending York County Community College, taking courses that would help her achieve her goal of becoming a registered nurse, when she was killed.
“If these walks raise awareness and can save one person’s life, or help one person free themselves from a domestic violence situation, then our efforts are not in vane, and it is worth every ounce of energy,” states Nicole’s mother, Holly Dee. The 4th Annual Nicole’s Run will coincide with the fifth anniversary of Nicole’s death.
Each year, Caring Unlimited serves approximately 3,000 individuals whose lives are affected by domestic abuse through support and safety planning services including: 24-hour confidential hotline, emergency shelter, transitional housing, support and education groups, legal advocacy, school-based education and advocacy and community education. Money raised by Nicole’s Run goes to support Caring Unlimited’s programs and allows the organization to continue to offer critical, life-saving safety planning services to victims of domestic violence.
For more information and to register online for the 4th Annual Nicole’s Run, visit
Participants are also encouraged to raise additional funds by collecting pledges from family and friends. For every $100 raised in pledges, participants will receive a chance to win an LL Bean tent. In addition, the highest fundraiser will receive a one-year membership to Quest Fitness in Kennebunk!
Volunteers are needed to make Nicole’s Run/Walk a success. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering email
Photo caption: Pictured is the start of the 3rd Annual Nicole’s 5k Run/Walk last year. (Courtesy photo)

Wells Resident Donates $20,000 Grant to Preserve Lands

Howard Hall, a prominent Wells businessman, has donated $20,000 in the form of a challenge grant to Great Works Regional Land Trust for the purchase and preservation of 288 forested acres in Wells and North Berwick.
Hall’s match for every donation up to $20,000 will help Great Works and local volunteers to raise the remaining $40,000 to fulfill the purchase and sale agreement with Unitil, the current owner of the property. It is the former “Granite State” lands that were slated for a huge natural gas facility, and will soon be conserved forever for community enjoyment and conservation.
“Howard Hall’s generous offer to match donations means that the Town of Wells and Great Works Regional Land Trust can finally acquire and preserve this wonderful property for low-impact recreation and wildlife habitat,” said Owen Grumbling, Wells Conservation Commission Chair, who has worked closely with Great Works on the project.
The land contains wetlands, vernal pools, and a mile of shoreline on West and Perkins Brooks, both headwater streams for the Great Works River. The property is located off the Perry Oliver and Quarry roads in western Wells and is crossed on its southern boundary by a portion of the woodland Eastern Trail that will run from Kittery to South Portland.
Hall was inspired to make the donation, he said, because it means everybody can participate in the challenge. He has lived and worked in Wells for over 25 years and served on the Planning Board for many years. This is not his first contribution to conservation causes.
“While I am a developer, I believe it is important for land be set aside for future generations. This land will be open to use. The Eastern Trail runs through it. People can stop and picnic,” said Hall. He also noted the significance of diminishing cottontail rabbits and native brook trout that will be protected, along with other species, on the property.
Great Works, its collaborators and a committee of local residents are seeking donations of $20,000 from individuals and organizations to match the Hall gift and enable the $425,000 acquisition within the coming months.
Thus far, the Town of Wells has contributed $200,000 through the Wells Land Bank. In addition, Maine Nature Resource Conservation Program has awarded a $100,000 grant and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has awarded a $75,000 grant, the latter for the cottontail habitat creation. Local donors have contributed more than $10,000. Other collaborators in the project include the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge and the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm.
“Each organization is contributing what they can to move the project forward,” said Grumbling. And many individuals have stepped up. Susan Cox, a Wells’ resident and a major organizer for the project, has met the Hall Challenge, doubling her $1,000 donation. She and others have generously given before in this community-inspired effort.
The property had been permitted in 1999 as the site for the nation’s largest liquefied natural gas storage facility over the objections of the Town of Wells and area residents. It can still be developed for industrial use should this acquisition not be completed.
Great Works Regional Land Trust is a non-profit organization founded in 1986 to provide conservation options to the landowners of Eliot, South Berwick, Berwick, North Berwick, Wells and Ogunquit. Great Works Regional Land Trust is committed to saving the best of our region by protecting working landscapes and wildlife lands for current and future generations. In 25 years the organization has completed 94 projects conserving 4,338 acres.
Contributions can be sent directly to GWRLT, PO Box 151, South Berwick, ME 03908. For more information or to join in this community effort, call Anne Gamble, Development Coordinator for Great Works, at (207) 646-3604 or visit
Photo caption: Howard Hall and Susan Cox. (Courtesy photo)

Hamilton House Offers Popular Servant Tour

On Saturday, July 9, at 5:30 p.m. go behind-the-scenes of Historic New England’s Hamilton House as part of The Way They Were tour. This special talk and guided tour explores the lives of servants and hired help in the early twentieth century, focusing on what it was like to live and work in the “back” of the house. On the tour, visitors view areas of the house rarely seen by the general public, including the third and fourth floors where staff and caretakers lived.
Hamilton House, built circa 1785, became the summer home of the well-to-do Tyson family of Boston in 1897. The Tyson’s transformed Hamilton House into a beautiful retreat with Colonial Revival interiors, elaborate gardens, wooded walking and riding trails, and a romantic little garden cottage for their own pleasure and the entertainment of family and friends. While most house tours detail the lifestyles of wealthy owners, The Way They Were tour offers a glimpse into the lives of the class that served them. As part of the tour, hear about the daily routines of domestics, grounds keepers and other workers whose toil made the leisurely lifestyles of the Tyson’s, and other wealthy New England families, possible. Explore side yards and back stairways once frequented by the hired help, including a visit to the fourth floor attic where servants enjoyed the stunning view of the Salmon Falls River from the mansion’s skylight.
The Way They Were tour will begin at the Hamilton Garden Cottage on Saturday, July 9 at 5:30. The program will be repeated on August 20 at 5:30 p.m. and September 24 at 10 a.m. Admission: $8 for Historic New England members and $12 for non-members. Space is limited and these popular tours sell out quickly. Sorry, no tickets sold at the door. To purchase tickets, call the Southern Maine office of Historic New England at 207-384-2454 or online at
Hamilton House is located at 40 Vaughan’s Lane, South Berwick, Maine, and is one of 36 historic properties owned and operated by Historic New England, the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive regional heritage organization in the country. For more information please visit
Photo caption: In the garden at the Hamilton House. (Photo courtesy Historic New England)