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Bristol Area Lions donate $2,000 to CHIP 12/26/2018

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The Bristol Area Lions Foundation make an annual donation to CHIP Inc. (Community Housing Improvement Project) in support of basic and often emergency housing repairs that are needed by area residents unable to afford them without help.

 During the past year, CHIP was able to answer 271 requests for fuel and make repairs to 71 homes. The repair projects included 10 steps or exits,14 roofs,10 window projects,13 door projects, seven floor repairs, 10 ramps, 10 skirtings, seven chimney/heating projects, three insulation projects and 12 plumbing and electrical projects. Funds for these repairs exceeded $100,000.

Close to 200 people volunteered during the year, including 60 volunteers from Basking Ridge who repaired 9 homes, 100 volunteered for Community Cares Day, including students from Lincoln Academy and Medomak Valley High School,  repaired 10 homes, and a group of highly skilled volunteers, called “the regulars”, who repaired 22 homes. 

The Bristol Area Lions would like to encourage others in Lincoln County to donate to CHIP Inc., PO Box 6, Newcastle, ME. 04553.

Bristol Area Lions distribute Christmas Food Baskets 12/22/2018

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The Bristol Area Lions Club, with family and friends distributed 50 Christmas food baskets to Bristol and South Bristol homes on Saturday, Dec. 22, thanks to the efforts of Bristol Lions Club project manager Michael Hope and Paul Yates of C.E. Reilly & Son Inc. in New Harbor. Owner Reggie Reilly was one of the founding members of the Bristol Area Lions Club in 1958.

Participating in the deliveries were eight Bristol Area Lions: Bill Byrnes, Bill Crider, Brendan Donegan, Michael Hope, John Janell, Walt Johansson, David Kolodin and Chris Leeman: and six friends: Stan Galvin, Craig Leeman, Norma Leeman, Tim Leeman, Ashley Mason and Coleen Nichols. 

The Lions thank Rising Tide Community Market in Damariscotta for its donation of canned green beans and containers of gravy.  After scholarships, this is the club’s largest donation to the community.  The Bristol Area Lions look forward every year to this heartfelt event and wished everyone a merry Christmas.  

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club will be Feb. 4, at 6 p.m. at Deb’s Bristol Diner, 1267 Bristol Road, Bristol Mills. Dinner will be chicken pot pie, salad, and rolls followed by coffee and brownies. The speaker will be Rev. Robert Ives. To make reservations for that meeting, 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 donate $500 To Caring for Kids 12/15/2018

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Bristol Area Lion Bill Byrnes presents the Bristol Area Lions Foundation donation to Caring for Kids President and Executive Director Jenny Pendleton.

 The Bristol Area Lions Club recently donated $500 to the Caring for Kids Christmas Project. This year they are celebrating their 25th year of the Christmas Project.  Each year the project has provided Bristol and South Bristol children with full sets of winter gear, complete outfits, books, toys and much more.  They also provide older teens and pre-teens with personal hygiene bags and the above items, as well as gift cards to local stores so they can purchase items in their style and size. As we are nearing the holiday season once again, it’s time to reach out to the two communities to help ensure these children have a very happy holiday! 

Over the past 25 years the project has helped hundreds of local children/families with holiday needs.  This has only been possible because of their wonderful supporters that believe in helping the community.  Groups, businesses and individuals are encouraged to adopt a child or a whole family to shop for.  Caring for Kids keeps everything confidential, names are never given out. Each family is assigned a number, and they receive information on each child, such as age, size, and any particular gift requests. Only this information is given to volunteers.  Anything you can donate, create, or provide for this project is greatly appreciated.  

Anything one can contribute, financially or materialistic, would be greatly appreciated and help ensure all children in Bristol and South Bristol have a happy holiday. Checks may be mailed to Caring for Kids, P. O. Box 412, New Harbor, ME 04554. Donations of clean used clothing in good condition may be dropped off Monday or Saturday at the Once Again Shop located downstairs in the Congregational Church of Bristol Fellowship Hall. Caring for Kids is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit. 

If you know of any child or family that could uses services from Caring for Kids, please call 677-3300.  All calls are kept confidential.    

Bristol Area Lions donate $500 to Community Energy Fund 12/05/2018

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Bristol Area Lions Foundation President Brendan Donegan (left) presents a check to Community Energy Fund President Todd Maurer.

The Bristol Area Lions Foundation recently made its annual donation to the Community Energy Fund. Recognizing the importance of this Fund, the Lions increased their annual donation to $500. The Community Energy Fund partners with the towns of Lincoln County to identify families need, especially those not served by assistance programs.  Residents should contact their town offices for assistance, in Bristol call 563-5273 and in South Bristol call 563-1798. The Community Energy Fund then contacts their local energy supplier to schedule and pay for a delivery.  

All the administrative costs are covered by volunteers and businesses donating advertising, printing, etc.  Every dollar donated is spent on providing energy needs. To help keep neighbors warm, one should please make a personal donation to this 501 (‘c) (3) organization with a check to:  Community Energy Fund, P.O. Box 40, Bristol, ME 04539.  

The Bristol Area Lions will distribute Christmas food baskets on Saturday morning, Dec. 22 in Bristol and South Bristol.  

New Harbor Food Pantry Donation 11/21/2018

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Bristol Area Lions Foundation Treasurer Michael Hope presents the annual donation to the Director of the New Harbor Food Pantry Donna Hart. The New Harbor Food Pantry recently gave out over 100 boxes of food to 50 families in their service area of Bristol and South Bristol. Bristol Area Lions encourage others to donate to the New Harbor Food Pantry, P.O. Box 100, New Harbor, ME 04554

Bristol Area Lions 20-year Service Award 11/14/2018

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20 year

Bristol Area Lions Club Secretary John Janell (left) presents a 20-year service chevron to Lion Bill Byrnes.

At the Bristol Area Lions Club meeting on November 5, Bristol Area Lion Bill Byrnes received his 20-year chevron from Club Secretary John Janell. Byrnes served as club president in the 2001/02 fiscal year. 

Byrnes service is notable as the lead judge of the club’s annual Speak Out contest, when he announces the results. He encourages the student contestants to listen to the evening news veteran reporters, like Don Carrigan, for their tone, enunciation, clarity and well-paced delivery.   

Byrnes is a realtor for Newcastle Realty and teams up with Lee Simard.

Bristol Area Lions Learn Details on the Pemaquid Saw Mill Acquisition. 11/08/2018

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Chairman of the Friends of Pemaquid Mill Phil Averill (left) receives a donation for the project from Bristol Area Lions Treasurer Michael Hope.

On Nov. 5, the Chairman of the Friends of Pemaquid Mill Phil Averill explained the historical, and archeological benefits, as well as preserving the important fishway up the Pemaquid River and providing future recreational benefits.  The newly formed group turned to the Damariscotta River Association, the Pemaquid Watershed Association, the Old Bristol Historical Society and archeologist Dr. Neill De Paoli for assistance.

A preliminary inspection by Architectural Resource Conservation concluded that it is a solid building with museum character inside. Much of the inner working of the water powered sawmill still exists including a turbine, early lines, pulleys and numerous belts which ran the sawmill and earlier grist mill and textile mill.   A planner dated 1867 also exists. 

It is the site of an earlier mills dating to the mid-1600’s.  The present mill was built in early to mid-1800s, served by a no longer existing mill pond. This mill originally had straight sawblades and many of the rough sawn boards used inside to form rooms for the various activities are examples of the product.  This was before the advent of circular saw blades.  

Of interest to the club was that at the closing of the mill in 1960, Craig Leeman, father of Bristol Lion Chris Leeman, was working there. Craig and Chris along with family and friends have participated in the distribution of the club’s Christmas food baskets to families served by the New Harbor Food Panty. 

This year’s Christmas food baskets will be distributed on Saturday, Dec. 22 and club members and friends are requested to meet at the loading dock of C.E. Reilly & Son, Inc. in New Harbor at 9:00 a.m. 

Since the success of the acquisition of the mill requires raising another $100,000 by Nov. 30th residents are asked to please donate today by writing a check to the Damariscotta River Association with Campaign for Pemaquid Mill on the memo line.  This may be mailed to DRA at P.O. Box 333, Damariscotta, ME 04543, had delivered to the Bristol town hall, or by debit or credit card online at bit.ly/campaign-for-pemaquid-mill.

For information about pledges over three tax years, obtaining corporate matching funds, gifts of appreciated stock or tax-exempt qualified charitable distributions from retirement plans, contact Deb Suchar at 563-1393.    

Should the acquisition not be completed, contributions will be returned.  

Bristol Area Lions learn about the Maine Center for Economic Policy 10/10/2018

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Lion John Janell (left) thanks the Maine Center for Economic Policy Executive Director, Garrett Martin for his presentation.

On Monday, Oct.1, Maine Center for Economic Policy Executive Director, Garrett Martin explained the function of the MECEP organization.  They provide extensive research data, in many cases by State Senate District and House District on employment and poverty, education, health care, and social safety nets: Social Security, food assistance, and cash public assistance. 

Martin began by citing the $1.9 billion forfeited in Federal funds since 2011, that could have helped protect Mainers’ health and well-being, promote tax fairness, and boost the state’s economy. These funds would have injected up to $700 million into Maine’s economy and supported as many as 4,400 jobs annually. Maine even turned away Federal funding for screening and testing for colorectal cancer which did not require any State funds. 

The minimum wage increase in 2017 from $7.50 to $9.00 per hour boosted paychecks for the lowest-income Mainers by 10% and cut child poverty rate from 17% on 2016 to 13% in 2017 or from 43,000 to   33,000 children. Some studies showed that an increase in minimum wage may cut working hours, but that did not happen in Maine in either workers with no high school diploma nor those with no college qualifications.

The Maine Legislature has enacted a tax package in response to the federal tax overhaul signed into law in December.   The Republican package, to replicate the Federal tax plan would benefit the wealthy and profitable businesses, would cost $89.5 million for the next 2-year budget cycle.  The Democratic tax plan, expanded tax credits for low-and middle-income working families and increased property relief for homeowners and renters, would cost $51.5 million.  Neither side was able to muster the votes needed by the time the Legislature adjourned in May. The tax policy approved by the Legislature on August 30 is the result of negotiations that took place in the interim and only cost the state $26.8 million in lost tax revenue for the two-year budget cycle. 

The compromise law preserved the personal exemption of $4,150 per household member. The new standard deduction amounts for 2018 have increased to $12,000 for individuals and married couples filing separately, $18,000 for heads of household and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly and surviving spouses. For people age 65 and over an additional standard deduction of $1,600 for singles and $1,300 for each spouse in a married couple. Maine’s three personal income tax brackets of 5.8%, 6.75% and 7.15% remain unchanged. 

The law also increases the state’s property tax fairness credit, from $900 to $1,2000 for residents age 65 and over. Most of the benefit from this expansion will go to Maine households with income in the bottom one-fifth.  According to Martin, “The compromise is a win for Mainers who believe the state should chart its own course regarding tax policy.

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 5 at the Willing Workers Hall in New Harbor. The speaker will be Phil Averill who will explain the Pemaquid saw mill preservation project.  Dinner will be mac & cheese with ham, salad, and rolls, followed by chocolate cake and coffee. To make dinner reservations for that meeting, 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.

Johansson gets 40-year Lions Service Award 10/04/2018

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Maine 1st Vice-District Governor Tia Knapp (left) thanks Bristol Area Lion Walt Johansson for his years of service.

At their most recent meeting, Bristol Area Lion Walt Johansson received his 40-year chevron from Maine 1st Vice-District Governor Tia Knapp.  Johansson’s award understated the years he had been a member, as he first joined in 1971 when he moved to Bristol, then after three years, he dropped out to serve as youth minister at his church and as Boy Scout Troop #228 scoutmaster, since he was still working at that time.   After four years, he rejoined the club in 1978. 

Johansson at 85, is the club’s oldest member, and its top raffle ticket salesman.  He goes door-to- door walking down the long roads and driveways off Pemaquid Harbor Road. His sales were over $1,000 and accounted for a third of the total proceeds. 

Johansson is a past-president of the Bristol Area Lions, currently serves as the membership chairman, and oversees the maintenance of the Willing Workers Hall which the club owns.    


“Upwards” Author Shares Adventure with Bristol Area Lions Club 09/19/2018

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northern trail

On Monday, Sept.17, Laurie Apgar Chandler of Bremen, spoke about her 740-mile long paddle of the Northern Forest Trail to the Bristol Area Lions Club. Chandler holds degrees in Biology and Forestry from Albright College and Duke University and worked for many years as a research forester. 

Her love for wilderness paddling in a kayak blossomed at age 40 when she moved to Maine with her two children. In 2011, she made her first long distance trip as a fundraiser and called it “Paddle for Hope” when she paddled across Maine.     

In 2015, she was the first female to solo thru-paddle the Northern Forest Canoe Trail stretching from Old Forge, New York to Fort Kent, Maine at age 53. The trip took 53 days, including one day of rest, with a short portion going into Quebec and back into Vermont. The trail was mostly upstream until it entered Maine. 

At one-point Chandler capsized and her canoe was caught in a strainer, in this case a tree lying in the river. This was the only point along the trail where she nearly had to abandon her trek.  Luckily with a lot of effort and some prayer she was able to free the canoe. 

Asked if she ever got lonely, she admitted that at times she did, but the natural beauty around her and the friends she made along the way greatly outweighed any occasional loneliness that she felt. Chandler tells the whole story in her book “Upwards” available at Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop.

At the business meeting that followed the club voted to go to only one meeting a month. The first Monday, unless it is a holiday and then it will be the third Monday. 

The next Bristol Area Lions Club meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 1 at the Willing Workers Hall in New Harbor. The speaker will be Garrett Martin, executive director of Maine Center for Economic Policy.  To make dinner reservations for that meeting, 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.

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