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Bristol Area Lions learn about Stepping Stones Housing, Inc. 06/12/2019

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Stepping Stones Housing Executive Director Marilee Harris, is thanked by Lion John Janell for her presentation.

On Monday, April 1, Stepping Stones Housing Executive Director Marilee Harris explained their program to the Bristol Area Lions Club.

Marilee Harris was introduced as a local who grew up in Woolwich and graduated from Morse High School. She has a bachelor’s of science degree and a master’s degree from Cornell University, where she studied horticulture, floriculture and agricultural education. She returned to Maine and became the director of a after school program, focusing on “latch-key” kids. When Chop Point opened their school, she taught graded 4 thru 6.

Harris spent time traveling and teaching in Thailand and Bolivia and returned to complete a master’s degree of divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary. Today she works as a part-time Pastor of the Damariscotta Baptist Church, a part-time middle school math teacher at Bristol Consolidated School and as part-time executive director of Stepping Stones Housing. A true Mainer with three part-time jobs.

Stepping Stones Housing, Inc. is a 501 c (3) non-profit corporation that has been providing affordable transitional and permanent housing for individuals and families in Lincoln County since 2013 and helped 20 individuals this past year.

SSHI is a local, volunteer run, grassroots program dedicated to helping those who earn less than a living wage find housing as a “stepping stone” to an improved living situation. They own several properties in Bremen and Damariscotta.

SSHI provides housing for individuals who were previously homeless and works in conjunction with Telford Housing who provides a case manager at the Ecumenical Food Pantry each week, SSHI also works with New Hope for Women and has offered several women a “safe” place to live. SSHI charges less than 30% of their take home income.

SSHI works hard to tackle the growing problem of homelessness in Maine. Over 48,000 people in Maine live below the poverty line, and about 50% of those are children who go to bed hungry. The State of Maine ranks 9th in least affordable housing available. One in nine people in Lincoln County live below the poverty line and can’t afford available rental housing. Damariscotta rentals are $800 to $1,000 per month for a one-bedroom unit and even at 40% of their income are unaffordable by single parents.

SSHI current project is to develop their Biscay Road property to assist more individuals. They are currently using a $10,000 grant to connect to town sewer and digging a second well. The property consists of a commercial unit currently rented to Custom Fitness Personal Training, a separate house and a six-bay garage. After construction these buildings will increase the family units from 2 to 8. This site is within walking distance to prospective employers.

Bristol Area Lion Chris Leeman and his wife Heather have been assisting with fund-raising and repairs to existing housing units. If you would like to help support this program, one can send a check to: Stepping Stones Housing Inc., P.O. Box 21, Damariscotta, ME 04543.

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club is on Monday, May 6 at 6 p.m. at the Willing Workers Hall in New Harbor. This will be the annual business meeting to nominate officers and directors for the coming fiscal year and plan the club’s summer fund-raising events and annual activities. The meal will be bowls of beef stew, salad, and biscuits followed by carrot cake and coffee catered by Deb’s Bristol Diner. To make dinner reservations for that meeting, call John Janell at 53-7402.

To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, call Walt Johansson at 677-2584.

Leeman earns 10-year Lions service award 06/11/2019

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Bristol Area Lions Club President Brendan Donegan (left) presents a 10-year service chevron to Lion Chris Leeman.

At the Bristol Area Lions Club meeting on April 1, Lion Chris Leeman received his 10-year chevron from Club President Brendan Donegan.

Leeman’s service is notable in that he and his family maintain the parking lot, landscaping and lawn at the club’s Willing Workers Hall. The Leeman family and friends help distribute the club’s Christmas Food Baskets. Leeman is a Platinum Golf Tournament sponsor and fields three foursomes at the club’s annual event.

He and his wife Heather do business as Chris Leeman, Contractor and Maine Home Networking Inc. located in New Harbor.

Bristol Area Lions award $12,500 in Scholarships 06/06/2019

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Scholarship recipients from left: Aspen Dyer, William Shaffer, Jenna Gilbert, Jayden Gilbert, and Christopher Burrows with Bristol Area Lions Scholarship Chairman Michael Hope. (Photo courtesy Jenny Mayer)

The Bristol Area Lions Club congratulates five outstanding seniors of Lincoln Academy’s Class of 2019 who were each awarded $2,500 scholarships on Class Day, Tuesday, June 4, from the Bristol Area Lions Foundation Scholarship Fund. Scholarships are awarded to recognize scholastic achievement, extracurricular activities, and community service.

Aspen Dyer, of Bristol, was the 34th recipient of the Ed and Gladys Lewis Scholarship. She plans a major in biology with a minor in neuroscience/animal science at Davidson College. Among Dyer’s achievements are: president of the Young Women’s Club, softball team manager, officer of the National Honor Society, treasurer of Sigma Chi, mentor of Unified Sports and of Freshmen Mentors and Ambassadors, member of the Interact Club and of Muddy Mustangs 4-H, kennel attendant at Haggett Hill Kennels, and sales clerk at the Granite Hall store.

Honors received by Dyer include Spanish Excellence, AP Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa Award, National Honor Society, Eagle Award, and Ekls Most Valuable Student. Her community services include raising money for cancer patients and low-income families, assisting the elderly, a local food pantry, the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, suicide awareness, a refugee center, a local animal shelter, and collecting crutches for polio patients.

William Shaffer, of New Harbor, received the Pat and Doris Harrison Scholarship. He plans a major in economics at Vassar College. Among his achievements are: captain of the soccer team, vice president of the Ambassadors Club, National Honor Society, freshman mentor, mentor and counselor at Kieve-Wavus, sailing counselor at the Central Lincoln County YMCA, teacher and mentor at LA China Institute, co-founder and president of the Lincoln Area Community Fundraising Organization, a group that has raised thousands over the past three years for local charities. He has also worked for the Bristol Parks and Recreation Department, and volunteered for the National Honor Society and the Elmer Tarr Roadside Cleanup.

Jenna Gilbert, of Bristol, received the Ralph and Peg Hunt Scholarship. She plans majoring in nursing at Husson University. Her achievements are: co-president of the Interact Club, freshman mentor, Sigma Sigma Chi Service Sorority, varsity softball, dietary aide, nanny, and ice cream scooper. Her volunteer work includes food drives and fundraising that support local efforts, such as creating Thanksgiving baskets for the needy and planting Arbor Day saplings around the baseball field at Lincoln Academy.

Jayden Gilbert, of Bristol, received the Al Rottner Memorial Scholarship. She will attend Husson University, majoring in nursing. Her achievements are: co-president of the Interact Club, freshman mentor, Sigma Sigma Chi Service Sorority, varsity softball. Gilbert’s work experience includes Schooner Cove Retirement Community and Round Top Ice Cream. Her volunteer work through the Interact Club has involved fundraising and various activities such as bake sales for toys donated to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital and raffles to help families in need.

Christopher Burrow, of New Harbor, received the Bristol Area Lions Foundation Scholarship. He will major in woodwind performance at New York Institute. He excelled scholastically with six Advanced Placement courses and eight honors courses.

Burrow is a member of the Lincoln Academy jazz band, the Portland Youth Wind Ensemble Orchestra, the Seacoast Community Orchestra, and the Bowdoin Concert Band. He has been accepted three times to the Honors Band and the Maine Music Educators Association All-State Band. Twice he has been a member of the Sousa National Honors Band and a pit member of the orchestra for Lincoln Academy musical productions. He participated in a summer program for the New York University Broadway Winds group.

Burrow is the high school representative of Healthy Lincoln County. He has been an entry-level teaching assistant and participated in a community service trip to Haiti through Maine Music Outreach, where he taught Haitians to play musical instruments.

The Bristol Area Lions Club has awarded 75 scholarships to Lincoln Academy graduating seniors from Bristol and South Bristol in the past 34 years. For more information about the nonprofit Bristol Area Lions Foundation, contact Michael Hope at 677-2193.

Bristol Area Lions learn about Healthy Lincoln County 06/05/2019

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Bristol Area Lion John Janell thanks Healthy Lincoln County Project Manager Jess Breithaupt for her presentation on preventing drug abuse.

Jess Breithaupt, the project coordinator for Healthy Lincoln County, spoke to the Bristol Area Lions on Monday, June 3. She spoke on preventing drug abuse, addressing alcohol, marijuana, vaping, smoking, and prescription drug misuse.

In Lincoln County two out of five students feel they don’t matter in the community. Two big focuses are food insecurity and feeling despair. Healthy Lincoln County Gleaners made up of ten volunteers go to local farms and harvest unpicked or imperfect produce as well as home gardens. Last year they collected 5,895 pounds of produce and redistributed it back into the community at various convenient locations for anyone to take and use at no charge.

Maine is the most food insecure state in New England and the 9th in the nation. 1 in 5 children in Maine are hungry. There is a connection between food insecurity and drug abuse. At Lincoln Academy one in four students felt depressed. Families have lost togetherness by not sharing a meal. Two out of five don’t eat meals with their families and share their day.

The agency strives to prevent and reduce substance abuse in our youth by promoting health and resilience. They focus on root causes of this issue as they discovered that scare tactics are not effective. Healthy Lincoln County works with our towns to make policies that protect our kids from underage drinking, or collaborating with the schools, farms, and libraries to bring fresh produce to the people that need it. They bring members of our community together to share ideas and resources to have the greatest collective impact. They promote leaving technological devices and taking a walk on many of our community and conservation trust trails and breathe in clean air.

They are funded by a combination of state, federal, local grants, and donations. The Bristol Area Lions encourages others to donate to this 501 (c) (3) nonprofit by sending a check to Healthy Lincoln County, P.O. Box 1287, Damariscotta, ME 04543.

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 17 at the Willing Workers Hall in New Harbor. This will be the club’s annual meeting and the five scholarship winners and a parent will be guests, along with spouses and friends.

Dinner will be roast pork, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, applesauce, and salad, followed by strawberry shortcake with homemade whipped cream and coffee. To make dinner reservations for that meeting, call John Janell at 53-7402. To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions, serving Bristol and South Bristol, call Walt Johansson at 677-2584, or like the club on Facebook.

Bristol Lions Induct Three New Members 05/15/2019

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From left: Club Parliamentarian Bill Byrnes inducted three new members: Bob Ives, Mary Jane and Buck Smith, with their sponsor, John Janell.

At the May 6, meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club, Parliamentarian Bill Byrnes inducted three new members: Bob Ives, Buck and Mary Jane Smith, our first husband-wife members.

At the meeting Mary Jane Smith and Ives were nominated as vice presidents and will co-chair speaker coordination, obtaining interesting speakers for our meetings. Ives was appointed to the scholarship committee and David Ray to the finance committee.

David Kolodin reported that our Speak Out winner, Liam Cullina, also won the regional contest and went onto the District or Statewide contest and won second prize.

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club is on Monday, June 3 at 6 p.m. at the Willing Workers Hall in New Harbor. Our speaker will be Jess Breithaupt, Project Coordinator for Healthy Lincoln County. She will speak about preventing drug abuse and recently spoke to students at the Bristol Consolidated School.

The meal will be spaghetti and meatballs, salad, garlic bread, and cookies prepared by our caterer Deb Thibault of Deb’s Bristol Diner. To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, call Walt Johansson at 677-2584, or like the club on Facebook.

Bristol Area Lions learn about Open Primaries Maine 05/08/2019

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Bristol Area Lion John Janell thanks Campaign Manager, Open Primaries Maine Kaitlin LaCasse for her presentation.

Kaitlin LaCasse Campaign Manager, Open Primaries Maine drove an hour and a half from Raymond, on the north shore of Sebago Lake, to address the Bristol Area Lions on Monday, May 6.

Their 2019 goal is the passage of LD 211, “An Act to Open Maine’s Primaries and permit unenrolled voters to cast ballots in primary elections” in the 129th Maine Legislature. LD 211 would permit unenrolled voters to cast one ballot in the primary of their choice. Republicans cannot vote is in Democratic primaries and Republicans cannot vote in Republican primaries.

Commonly referred to as “independents,” unenrolled voters are registered voters who are not registered in any political party. 35% of Maine voters are unenrolled, a bloc that is larger than either Republicans or Democrats. 50% of millennials and 49% of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are unenrolled. The bill is being sponsored by a number of Independent legislators, as well as Democrats and a Republican.

All Maine taxpayers pay for primary elections and polling shows that 75-80% of Maine Voters support open primaries. Maine is only one of 11 states with closed, members-only primaries.

If one is in favor of opening Maine’s primary elections, they may write a letter to the editor, ask friends and neighbors to join you in supporting, lobby your legislators, and/or make a financial contribution to Open Primaries Maine, P.O. Box 928, Gorham, ME 04038.

Bristol Area Lions Donate $500 to Bristol Area Library 04/17/2019

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Lion Mary Jane Smith (left) presents Bristol Area Lions Foundation’s annual donation to the President of the Bristol Area Library Carol Jaeger. The Bristol Area Lions recognized the service the library provides to the community and increased their gift from $300 to $500. The library is a site where used eyeglasses, hearing aids, and cell phones may be left to help the Lions sight and hearing programs

Bristol Area Lions host the Annual Speak Out contest 03/13/2019

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Speak Out

Bristol Area Lions Club Speak Out contestants: (from left) Grace Canny, Gus Hunt, Liam Cullina, Paige Camp, Scott Peterson and Riley Stevenson with Lion David Kolodin the coordinator of the event.

The Bristol Area Lions Club held its annual Speak Out contest on Monday, March 11 in the fellowship hall of the New Harbor Methodist Church.  Veggie lasagna, tossed salad and garlic bread followed by cookies and dessert was served by caterer Deb Thibault of Deb’s Bristol Diner. The speakers, parents and guests were sponsored by club members. 

After dinner, the six Lincoln Academy participating in the contest were introduced only by a previously drawn number by Lion David Koldodin, who had coordinated the event with Lincoln Academy debate advisor Matt Leland.  

The contestants chose their own topic and spoke on an issue they felt strongly about in a talk ranging from 4-6 minutes long, with penalties for going over or under the allotted time. These speeches must be organized, logical and presented with few or no notes. At the conclusion of each speech, the speakers were each asked two questions worded in such a way that required some reasoning or application of knowledge of the subject by Lion David Ray and guest Richard LaSalle. 

First prize was awarded to Liam Cullina, a senior, whose topic was “ocean acidification.” Second prize was awarded to Scott Peterson, a sophomore, whose topic was “the economic expansion of China.” Third place was awarded to Page Camp, a senior, who advocated for “mental health awareness.” Gus Hunt, a senior, spoke on “the modern Chinese economy.” Riley Stevenson, a sophomore, addressed “climate change in Muscongus Bay” and for Grace Canny, a junior, the topic was ”gun reform and control.”  

The performance of the speakers in several different categories was judged by Lions Bill Byrnes, Brendan Donegan, and Pastor Kelly Harvell of the New Harbor Church.   The Speak Out timekeeper was Lion Walt Johansson.  Liam Cullina will now compete at the regional Speak Out contest on Tuesday, March 26 at the library at Lincoln Academy. The winner of that event will compete at the state Speak Out contest on Saturday, April 27 at 1:00 p.m. at the Grand Summit Hotel, Sugarloaf Mountain, Carrabassett Valley. 

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club will be on Monday, April 1 and will take place at Deb’s Bristol Diner in Bristol Mills.  The meal will be fish & chips, coleslaw, followed by cookies and coffee. The speaker will be Marilee Harris, executive director of Stepping Stones Housing.  To make dinner reservations, call John Janell at 563-7402.

To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, contact Walt Johansson at 677-2584.


Bristol Area Lions Rev. Robert Ives and Louds Island 02/14/2019

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Lions John Janell (left) thanks Rev. Robert “Bobby” Ives for relating the history of Louds Island and his experience living there.

 At the Bristol Area Lions meeting on Monday, Feb. 4, Rev. Robert “Bobby” Ives, related the early history of Louds Island and his experience as a summer minister and resident. 

The three-mile long island was originally named Muscongus Island until it was renamed by a cartographer in Washington D.C. who was a descendant of William Loud. It was also called Samoset’s Island as the Indian Samoset was said to be born there, lived there and is buried there.  Samoset had learned English from the early fishermen and greeted the Pilgrims at Plymouth in 1621.  

Although there were many fishing stations on Matinicus, Monhegan, and Damariscove in the early 1600’s, Muscongus was the first to sustain habitation by European settlers.  Samoset sold Muscongus Island to John Brown and a deed was registered in York County in 1652.    

In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s Louds Island was a thriving farming and fishing community with two stores. The Carter store had a dance hall on the second floor and later housed the first post office.  A Boston Steamer stopped at Louds Island and provided stock for the stores which served nearby islands and the villages of Bristol as it was easier to go by boat to Louds than take a horse and wagon up to Damariscotta. 

While serving as a teacher and minister on Monhegan, Ives was asked by the Maine Seacoast Mission to serve as a summer minister on Louds Island in 1975.  The original Louds Island church was built in 1913-14, from the lumber of the Malaga Island Schoolhouse after its residents were sadly removed from that island and relocated to the “Pineland Home for the Feebleminded”. 

Lettie Prior came onto the island in 1904 and taught school there until 1941.  She later served as Post Mistress.  Her son Cecil Prior used to row over to deliver and collect the mail at Round Pond. The early school house was closed in 1962 as it had only seven students and the state had ruled that a school must have a minimum of ten students. 

When Ives arrived on the island in 1974 as the summer minister, the church needed to be repainted. He and his late wife Ruth painted it that summer while listening to the Watergate hearings on the radio.  

That summer they became interested in becoming residents of Louds, and approached Edward Poland and Hilda Libby about purchasing property. In 1975, they bought Hilda Libby’s house and four acres., and moved full-time onto the island from 1975-77.  During that time the Ives made a living by lobstering, carpentering, building boats, and serving the Sheepscot Village church each Sunday. 

On Dec. 28, 1976, Ives agreed to help a friend move his gear onto Louds Island in his lobster boat. It was 5 p.m. 10 degrees, snowing with 25-28 mph winds.  As they rounded the south end of Bar Island with the waves hitting them broadside they were pushed off course.  At one point a wave lifted them 6-8 feet high and dropped them on a ledge. It opened a hole in their boat 3 feet in size.  The seas came rushing in, and drowned the engine in 5-6 minutes. Then a wave lifted them and nearly capsized their vessel on top of them, so they abandoned the boat and went into the freezing seas.  Just before Ives went overboard, the words of an old Gospel hymn came to mind “Lord plant my feet on higher ground”. He wasn’t sure whether the good Lord heard him, or whether it was the waves that were out of the south-east, but both men were washed up on the south end of Louds Island beaten, bruised and bloodied, but still alive.

In 1977, he was asked by the Bishop of the United Methodist Church to be the interim minister at the New Harbor and Round Pond Churches. They accepted the invitation, and eventually moved to the mainland. Ruth’s mother was relieved as she was six months pregnant at the time.  

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions is the annual Speak Out on Mar.4 at 6 p.m. in the fellowship hall of the New Harbor Methodist Church, catered by Deb’s Bristol Diner. The meal will be veggie lasagna, salad, and garlic bread, followed by cookies and coffee. Student contestants and one family member or friend will be dinner guests sponsored by members of the club. 

Six members of the debate team from Lincoln Academy will speaking on a topic of their choice for approximately five minutes using a minimum of notes. 

To make dinner reservations, please call John Janell at 563-7402.  To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, call Walt Johansson at 677-2584

Bristol Area Lions support ElderCare Network 01/12/2019

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Round Pond Green Manager Jessica Leeman accepts the annual donation from the Bristol Area Lions Foundation from Lion Walt Johansson.

ElderCare Network of Lincoln County is a not-for-profit organization founded 20 years ago by a small group of people who wanted to make more and better housing options available to frail elders in this rural mid-coast Maine county.  While private assisted living developments abound along Maine’s coastline, Lincoln County totally lacked options for resident unable to afford private assisted living until ElderCare Network opened its first residential care facility in 1998.

ElderCare Network provides home-like assisted living for 60 older adults on fixed incomes in seven communities in Lincoln County: Boothbay, Damariscotta, Edgecomb, Jefferson, Round Pond, Waldoboro and Wiscasset. Their small homes provide care and assistance as needed, private rooms, family-style dining and relaxing, opportunities for activity and engagement, an emphasis on self-managing personal health, and a strong connection with people and community that residents call home.

You can help support their programs by sending a tax-deductible check to ElderCare Network of Lincoln County, P.O. Box 62, Damariscotta, ME 04543.  

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