Friday, February 24, 2012

A ‘Golden’ Moment!


On Monday, February 13, at South Portland’s Marriott Hotel, Maine’s credit unions made a major announcement on the success of their efforts towards “thawing” out hunger in Maine in 2011 at the ‘Thaw to End Hunger’ Celebration Event. At this annual event, credit unions were recognized for their success in raising the most funds ever for the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger, and the official, record-breaking total was announced. The total raised in 2011 was $446,929.56, an increase of nearly $45,000 over last year’s record. In addition to raising a record-setting amount in 2011, the Campaign also surpassed the $4 million milestone in funds raised since the Campaign began 22 years ago.

Three credit unions with ties to York County placed in the Top 25 in Total Funds Raised and Highest Per Member Contributions: Saco Valley CU, which has branches in Saco and Waterboro; York County FCU, which has branches in Biddeford, Saco, Sanford, North Berwick and York; and PeoplesChoice CU, which has branches in Biddeford, Saco, Sanford and Wells. Also, Ocean Communities FCU, with branches in Biddeford, Kennebunk, Saco, Sanford and York, and Shaw’s Employees FCU of Wells, participated in the fundraising Campaign.

“The generosity of the over 615,000 credit union members in Maine is extraordinary,” explained John Murphy, President of the Maine Credit Union League. “This marks the sixteenth consecutive year that the Campaign has raised a record-setting total, and the milestone of the Campaign surpassing the $4 million mark in funds raised since the Campaign began—a remarkable effort in such a challenging economy.”

The celebration was a luncheon event, and featured an address by award-winning author Ernest Thompson. In addition to giving the keynote address on community-service and the “can do” attitude and the “neighbor helping neighbor spirit” he learned from spending nearly every summer in Maine, Thompson helped to unveil the big check announcing the total raised during the 2011 Ending Hunger Campaign. Thompson also had his picture taken with representatives from each credit union in attendance and presented them with certificates and envelopes containing the total funds each credit union has to distribute in their own community.

Ernest Thompson won an Academy Award and Golden Globe for writing the classic film, On Golden Pond, which is based on Thompson’s summers at Belgrade Lakes in Maine. On Golden Pond was named by the American Film Institute as one of the Top 100 romantic films of all-time.

Since 1990, the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger has raised more than $4.3 million to help end hunger in Maine.

About the Maine Credit Union League

Formed in 1938, the Maine Credit Union League is the State Trade Association for Maine’s 63 credit unions providing a variety of services and products to assist credit unions in meeting the needs of their membership. For more information, please visit

Photo Caption: York County FCU’s Brenda Robbins (second from left) represented her CU at the Luncheon announcing the record-setting results raised by the Maine CUs’ Campaign for Ending Hunger in 2011. Pictured with her are (l-r) Luke Labbe, Academy Award-winner Ernest Thompson, and John Murphy. (Courtesy Photo)

Kittery Residents Meet with Prime Minister


Kittery residents David, Cathleen and Kay O’Shaughnessy had the opportunity to meet Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny on Thursday, February 16, at the Seaport Hotel in Boston. Mr. O’Shaughnessy is the President and Managing Director at the Seaport, and is an Irish native who moved to the US only three years ago with his family. He was honored to welcome Prime Minister Kenny to the Seaport yesterday, who stopped by during his two-day tour of Boston to be feted by the City’s Irish community. Also at the reception were Senator Scott Brown, Irish ambassador Michael Collins, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis and Ireland’s Consul General to Boston Michael Lonergan.

Photo Caption: David O’Shaughnessy, President of Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center, his daughter Cathleen O’Shaughnessy, Prime Minister of Ireland Enda Kenny and (David’s wife) Kay O’Shaughnessy. (Photo courtesy of Dom Miguel)

Seashore Trolley Museum Wins 2012 Preservation Award


The Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, recently announced the receipt of the 2012 H. Albert Webb Memorial Railroad Preservation Award given by the Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts, Inc. The grant, in the amount of $10,000, will pay for key components needed to complete the restoration of former Bay State Street Railway car 4175, a valued part of the museum’s operating collection of historic electric railway equipment. The award was presented to the Museum on January 28 during the “Railroad Hobby Show” in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

James D. Schantz, Seashore’s Chairman of the Board, received the award.

“We are truly honored and pleased to receive this generous grant which will greatly move forward our restoration work on Car 4175. We hope to have the work completed in time for Seashore’s 75th Anniversary which will take place in 2014.”

The Laconia Car Company of Laconia, New Hampshire, built car 4175 in 1914. It was part of the 4100 series of cars built for the Bay State Street Railway. The car was state-or-the-art for its day, built for the largest street railway system in the world at the time, and the only Bay State car in existence today. Laconia was a boutique car builder and car 4175 is a prime example of that builder’s art with an interior of hand-rubbed cherry woodwork and polished bronze hardware. So strong was the car’s external construction that car 4175’s riveted steel body has not needed any re-work—the joints are still tight after almost a century.

Car 4175 has had many lives in its 98-year history, including originally running in Revere, Massachusetts, on the Boston-Beachmont line. In 1917, it was transferred to Newport, Rhode Island, to run on the Newport division of the Bay State system and was subsequently sold to the Newport County Electric Company. In 1926 it was sold to the Coast Cities Railway in Asbury Park, New Jersey, where it ran until 1929. After it was removed from service in 1929, it evolved into a summer cottage in Egg Harbor, New Jersey, where it remained until the Seashore Trolley Museum acquired it in 1976. Restoration began in 1985 and will hopefully be completed and fully restored to its original grandeur to celebrate it’s 100th birthday by 2014.