Friday, June 1, 2012

Pumpkinman Triathlon Raises Money, Awareness

The Pumpkinman Triathlon Festival sponsored the Step Out to Stop Diabetes Walk at Marshwood Great Works School on May 24. Pumpkinman provided t-shirts and medals for the participants. The fourth and fifth grade students from Great Works raised $467 for the American Diabetes Association by walking or running laps of the half-mile trail on the school grounds for an hour. The event encouraged the students to remain in “constant motion” and promoted heath and fitness in addition to raising funds in the fight against diabetes.
Kyle Burnell, Pumpkinman Social Media Director, of South Berwick, commended the students for their efforts.
“It was special to see so many students supporting their community and the fight against diabetes,” he said. “These students are also working to improve their own health in the process of helping others and that is something we at Pumpkinman are thrilled to see,” Burnell elaborated.
Since its inception in 2007, the Pumpkinman Triathlon Festival has awarded and donated more than $150,000 back to the communities in Southern Maine. The Festival which takes place on September 8 and 9, 2012, hosts more than 1,100 multisport athletes and 2,000 spectators. Its success is due in part to the participation and volunteerism of over 250 local volunteers.

The Pumpkinman Triathlon Festival also recently awarded seven student athlete scholarships to Marshwood High School students.
Luke Fernandes, Eliot; Troy Pappas, Eliot; Megan Maguire, South Berwick; Sam Morrison, South Berwick;  Kate Pouliot, South Berwick; Natalia Bachelder, South Berwick; and Ryan Grogan, South Berwick, were all awarded the Fourth Annual Pumpkinman Triathlon Festival  Student Athlete Scholarship Award in the amount of $500.  These students displayed not only high academic achievements but also displayed leadership on the playing field and within their communities through their volunteer efforts.
Each recipient was a varsity level athlete for a minimum of two years, displayed an exemplary record of positive athletic and non-athletic citizenship through volunteerism, as well as success in the classroom. Event director, Kat Donatello, of Eliot, praised these local student athletes.
“In this very busy environment where so many students lose focus, it was exciting to see how diligent these seven students were in maintaining such high academic standards, as well as being incredible leaders on both the playing field and within their communities,” she said. (courtesy photo)

Safety Matters to Area Girl Scouts


Eighty-six Girl Scouts from York, Kittery, Eliot, South Berwick and Kennebunk recently attended “Safety Matters,” an event designed to help Daisy, Brownie and Junior girls earn the Girl Scout Safety Award. York Beach Fire Captain Ferris Boardman, along with Kittery Police Officers Jay Durgin, Chris Kondos and K-9 officer “Emma” presented a fun an informative evening explaining how girls can stay safe at home and how to make safe choices when encountering strangers and other outside influences.
Captain Boardman explained how fire alarms work and how important it is to make sure batteries are fresh and that alarms are properly maintained. “How many of you hear the smoke alarm at your house and say ‘It must be Dad cooking again?’” Boardman asked the girls. He explained that even if you think it might just be Dad burning toast, families should get in the habit of exiting the house and gathering at a predetermined “family meeting spot” in the yard to make sure everyone is safe.
In addition to demonstrating “Stop, Drop and Roll” and explaining what to do if someone were choking,  he also covered the importance of knowing where the emergency exits are in your home or in public buildings. He emphasized making sure emergency exits, especially in your home, are not blocked. Not only will the occupants of the home not be able to get out, but firefighters and rescue workers will not be able to get in to help. Sound advice.
Officer Chris Kondos discussed playground, school bus and bicycle safety, what to do if a stranger approaches or if you are lost in the woods or in a shopping mall. He emphasized that girls should know their home telephone number and street address, and the importance of having family contact information available. The contact information should include telephone numbers where parents can be reached including work and cell phone numbers as well as the phone numbers of trusted neighbors the girls could call if there were an emergency in the home and their parents were away. The Gundalow Service Unit, sponsor of the Girl Scout safety award event, provided each girl with a Family Contact packet to take home which also included a mini first aid kit for minor scrapes and burns.
While the girls were very attentive and interacted throughout each of the presentations, they were particularly interested in Emma the German Shepard K-9 officer. Emma’s “dad,” Officer Jay Durgin explained the search work Emma performs and her importance to the police department. He demonstrated how well she is able to find items, which generated many excited squeals from amazed girls (and adults). Emma was rewarded for her success with a special toy, which she absolutely loved.
(courtesy photo)

Silent Spring’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

This year, Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of its namesake’s seminal work, “Silent Spring.” Join the Refuge in its celebration kickoff on Saturday, June 9, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Refuge headquarters on 321 Port Road in Wells. Bring the whole family for guided tours along the Rachel Carson Trail, nature crafts, exhibits from local organizations, live animal demonstrations and performances from local artists. Make your own bird feeder, take home a tree to plant, explore the tidal critters touch tank, design your own nature-inspired t-shirt, learn about local flora and fauna, participate in the Wildlife Olympics, and more. Guided tours along the Carson Trail and events include Bird Identification at 7 a.m., Salt Marsh Ecology at 10 a.m., York Center for Wildlife’s “Raptors and Reptiles” live animal show from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Flora of Maine Walk at 1 p.m., a local 6th grader’s National History Day performance of “Reactions to Silent Spring and Reforms to the Environment” at 1:30 p.m., and the Sense of Wonder walk at 2 p.m.. Purchase sandwiches and baked goods from Borealis Breads.
If you would like to learn more about Silent Spring’s 50th Anniversary Celebration and Rachel Carson, visit for more information. (photo courtesy of wikipedia)