Sunday, July 22, 2018

The third annual Concert in the Park at Dundee begins with high energy and attendance by Lorraine Glowczak

Over 200 people were in for a lively experience at Dundee Park, 70 Presumpscot Road on Wednesday, July 11 for the first evening of four, Concert in the Park Series. Beachgoers and music lovers alike were entertained by the 121 Band, a seven-member local band, based out of Raymond.

“It went splendidly at Dundee,” stated Amy Krikken, one of the lead singers still riding high from the evening.

The 121 Band is known for its high energy delivery of many popular and favorite songs from the 60s, 70s, and 80s and beyond. Children and adults were dancing to the tunes of “Mustang Sally,” “You ain’t nothing but a Hound Dog,” “Love Shack,” and “Feel it Still” to name a few.

Those in attendance enjoyed the band’s diverse musical selection, including one member of the audience, Rebecca Lawind. “I like their versatile music selection, energetic style and especially appreciate Amy’s vocals. I also love the nostalgia element to their song selection.” 

The 121 Band launched onto the scene approximately three years ago, with some members playing together much longer with the band, Rip Tide. Musicians of the 121 Band include Krikken, Aaron Spiller (lead singer), Steve Knowles (lead guitar) and Dennis Look (lead guitar), Dan Wolf (rhythm guitar), Matt Natale (bass) and Ernie Look (drummer).

In the three years they have been performing, they have played at various venues throughout the state to include Tailgates in Gray, Dena’s in Windham, Crooked Hook in Mechanic Falls, Skips in Buxton, The Northland in Jackman, Gary’s in Naples; and at private parties and more. “We are looking forward to playing on a chartered and sold-out cruise aboard the Casablanca on Friday, the 20th,” Krikken said. “We did this last year and it is so much fun.”

As for the band’s name, the story goes something like this. The band had just begun, and a name had yet to be decided upon. Knowles, who plays with a number of musical groups, was trying to explain which band he was going to be practicing with that evening. “I’m going to be with my 121 peeps this evening,” he told that friend. Why 121? Because the band’s home base and practice site are located on Route 121 in Raymond.  

When the members of the121 Band are not performing their high energy and danceable music, they are busy working in other fields. “There's a bit of a theme to our work outside of the band,” explained Krikken. “Steve and Ernie are in the computer industry and work from home. Aaron, Steve and Matt work in car industry related businesses, Dan is in construction and I’m in real estate.”

If you missed the 121 Band and the first evening of Concert in the Park at Dundee, do not despair. The third annual concert series will offer three more Wednesday evening concerts from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. with free admission after 5 p.m. The Hurricanes performed on Wednesday, July 18th (The Windham Eagle’s publication day). On Wednesday, July 25, music will be provided by the Downeast Soul Coalition and Rick Charette will perform on Wednesday, August 1.

“We are very pleased with the attendance for the first two concerts,” stated Linda Brooks, Director of Windham Parks and Recreation, the host of the event.

Brooks also stated that concessions are available at each performance and funds raised will support area non-profits to include the Legion Auxiliary, Rescue and the Lions Club. 

For more information about the Concert in the Park series, visit For more information about: 121 Band, visit For The Hurricanes, visit Downeast Soul Coalition, visit and Rick Charette, visit

Town provides technology the Raymond way by Lorraine Glowczak

Providing the best services possible, done the right way and on a low budget, is the Raymond’s way of doing business. And that is exactly what is happening with the high quality technical amenities the town offers as a result of a forward-thinking, highly motivated and exceptionally skilled family.
Kevin Woodbrey of Raymond and his two sons, Kyle and Erik, have provided sophisticated technology services for the Town of Raymond for over 20 years. 

Erik Woodbrey in front of his custom built computer
Although the family has established their own business, Woodbrey Consulting, and now contracts with the town as a supplier of all information technology services, they began their role as volunteers, providing extensive technical assistance on their own time, and often, at their own expenses.

“Thanks to the Woodbreys, the Town of Raymond provides high quality electronic services as well as industry standard levels of security and back office protocols,” said Don Willard, Town Manager. “Very few small towns are able to reach these standards. We would not be where we are now if it was not for the Woodbreys.”

This is all achieved using high quality equipment, operating under a cost-effective model, which has included utilizing private sector equipment that has been refurbished and updated. “The Woodbreys always make sure we get the biggest bang for our buck, whether it be by sourcing high quality used equipment or through private sector company donations” remarked Willard.

There are a number of projects Kevin and his sons have completed in the last couple of years that financially benefit the Town of Raymond. The latest, of many recent projects, is the updated web streaming and cable television station that operates out of the recently upgraded town studio. The new computer system was custom built and installed in the town’s studio by 23-year-old, Erik.

“The main thing about Erik’s upgrade is that we purchased off-the-shelf equipment to build this computer versus buying proprietary equipment which is much more expensive,” Kevin stated.
Erik quickly added, “The broadcast workstation upgrade was approximately $5,500. It could have easily cost over $30,000.”

Another successful and completed project is an updated network infrastructure that manages all the town computers. A majority of the software is open source and equipment for the project was purchased through vendors selling used or refurbished technology, in this case eBay, that offer a two-year parts warranty. “We can easily go back one generation [in computer equipment, servers, etc.] and still provide sophisticated and high-quality technology at a dramatic price advantage,” explained Kevin.

The large computer console and supporting server racks in which the networking infrastructure and broadcast workstation is housed, also in the studio, was a result of a MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) upgrade and other donated equipment. “I had a friend who worked at the Technology Department at MIT,” Kevin began. “He called me to let me know that they were purchasing a new computer console and asked if I wanted the current one for free. The only catch was delivering the huge piece of equipment back to Raymond.”

But never allowing a small challenge to get in the way, Kevin and his sons drove to MIT with a large truck and trailer and delivered it to Raymond by themselves. “To purchase a computer console of this size would cost approximately $20,000,” Kevin said. “But we got this one for free.”

The Woodbreys have also been busy building and putting in place a Virtual Private Network (VPN). “This allows all the town network devices, servers, workstations and cameras to communicate to each other on a secure and private system that offers sophisticated full network data encryption for security,” Kevin explained.

The Woodbreys talent, skill and innovation are a result of many years of collective experiences. Kevin graduated from the University of Maine at Orono in 1978 and was employed by companies within the U.S., returning to Maine after many years away. Upon his return, he worked in various information technology capacities in companies such as Unum and WEX.

The Woodbreys built the network infrastructure for a new airport in Branson, MO
He and his wife, Vicki, a systems analyst, decided to homeschool Erik. Upon making that decision, Kevin and Vicki took Erik and Kyle on a five-week, cross country road trip and it was during this transition that Kevin created his consulting firm.

Woodbrey Consulting not only provide their technology services for the Town of Raymond but also provide contractual services for other companies and organizations. This includes airlines such as JetBlue as well as for airports in general.

“When Erik was 14, we were hired to build, from scratch, the data center including servers, computer systems, firewalls and network infrastructure for a new airport in Branson, MO,” explained Kevin. “We were there for 2 ½ months working seven days per week, ten hours per day. Erik had so much energy with it all. When I was ready to call it a day, he wanted to do ‘just one more thing’ - but we did it and now the Branson Airport is up and running.”

Although the Woodbreys are humble about their accomplishments, their expertise in information technology and their talents to find the greatest product at the best cost has created a town of technology advances that are likely the envy of most.

“We are simply problem solvers,” Kevin said of himself and his family. But Willard clarified Kevin’s statement, “They are problem solvers who don’t accept failure as a possibility. We are very lucky to have them.”

Friday, July 13, 2018

Jordan Small Middle School student places first for Maine in SIFMA Foundation’s InvestWrite® essay competition by Elizabeth Richards

Taylor Juhase
When 12-year-old Taylor Juhase moved from Connecticut to Maine, she transitioned from private school to public school for the first time. And it was at Jordan Small Middle School in Raymond that she discovered the world of investing, through their participation in the SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game™. Juhase then participated in the InvestWrite® essay competition, emerging as the first-place winner for the state of Maine.

The competition involved choosing a nonprofit organization and detailing, in writing an investment plan designed specifically for that organization. Juhase chose Save the Children. In her essay, she wrote “I chose Save the Children because I have a little brother and I would do anything to keep him safe…Save the Children believes every child deserves a future.”

Juhase said she didn’t know anything about investing before participating in the Stock Market Game™ in Jack Fitch’s math class. While she said she still doesn’t understand all of the nuances, she gained enough understanding to impress the panel of judges. what they have learned in the Stock Market Game™ is what the competition is all about, according to a press release from the SIFMA Foundation. “InvestWrite® enables students to develop the personal financial savvy needed to make practical financial decision with confidence and gain a deeper understanding of economic opportunities, consequences, and benefits,” the press release read. “Students consider real-world events and news, conduct research online, and develop investment recommendations. They work in groups during The Stock Market Game program and then write their InvestWrite® essays individually to reflect their critical thinking, analysis and creative talents.”

Juhase said she found out that she won while at school. “It was exciting, but at the same time I was a little sad, because my other friend was sad that she didn’t win,” she said. This compassion that she has for others came through in her essay as well. “I am fortunate enough to have everything I need to have a good and healthy life. My family has food, water, money and a roof over our heads. I can’t even imagine a family in the world starving, having nothing at all to protect children from harm,” she wrote.

Writing about investing was challenging, Juhase said, because she didn’t know much about it prior to this experience. She researched nonprofits online, as well as information on bonds and mutual funds. Now, she said, she thinks the process is really fun. “You really get to communicate and talk about the stocks,” she said. The essay took a couple of weeks to complete, Juhase said. They had time in math class to work on it, and she received support from her teacher and some friends, she said.

All of the attention has been a little overwhelming, Juhase said, since she typically isn’t much of an attention seeker. She added that when she moved to Raymond she felt really welcomed. Her grandmother, Patricia Juhase, said she has found a nice group of friends with whom she has bonded.

Juhase and Fitch were honored at a surprise event at the school in early March. Representatives of the SIFMA Foundation and other special guests were in attendance. Juhase was awarded a medal, a trophy, a t-shirt, flowers and a $100 gift card said Patricia, who travelled from Connecticut to attend the event.
“When I read her essay, I was truly amazed at what she wrote, for a 12-year-old,” Patricia said. “We’re very proud of her.”
The following is Taylor Juhase’s winning essay:

Save the Children

Did you know that Save The Children helps children in 120 countries including the U.S. I chose-Save The Children because I have a little brother and I would do anything to keep him safe. I could never imagine him growing up to a terrible future or life. Save The Children believes every child deserves a future. In the U.S. and around the world, they give children a healthy start in life, and. the opportunity to learn and be protected from harm. I want to help kids my age have a good life that they deserve. This means that they need clean water and healthy food to grow to be healthy and strong. No matter what the challenge is, they always put children first in everything they do. They do everything from child protection to hunger and livelihoods. No one wants a child to be not well treated or have a horrible life.

The day I was hired by this non-profit organization I told the people in charge that in my investment strategy diversification was important because they need to protect all of their money. I diversified their funds into mutual funds which are companies that take money from investors and invest the money in securities such as stocks, bonds, and also short-term debts. The combined holdings of mutual funds. are known as portfolios. Investors buy shares in mutual funds. Each share represents an investor's part of ownership in the fund and the income generated. Bonds are very similar to loans. 

When you invest in a bond you let a company borrow your money. According to U.S. News and World Report, DFA Five-Year Global Fixed Portfolio (DFGBX) and Franklin Income Fund are good mutual funds they can invest in. The third place I invested their money was in high quality growth stocks in all the different sectors of the market to keep risk to a minimum. I believe these strategies keep Save The Children viable for years to come. am fortunate enough to have everything I need to have a good and healthy life. My family has food, water, money and a roof over our heads. I can't even imagine a family in the world starving, having nothing at all to protect children from harm. I think about how good of an education I get and a lot of children around the world cannot go to school. In 2012 Save The Children launched the Every Beat Matters campaign, giving Americans a way to help millions of children survive. Also, in 2012 the Syrian Civil War killed thousands of children, and many more were harmed, traumatized, or forced to leave their homes. Save The Children was keeping the children safe in very dangerous conditions.

Save The Children provided the children with the basics that they needed. In 2011 a terrible drought struck the horn of Africa. Save The Children helped about 942,000 children providing them with child friendly spaces, education and counseling services, reuniting children with their families and providing foster families if needed.

Making investment strategies will ensure that Save The Children will always have the finances to be successful and will be able to save more kids in the future.

Students from Bolivia visiting Windham are part of an exciting science revolution by Lorraine Glowczak

The four students from Bolivia with their instructor
Four high school students from Bolivia arrived in Windham on Thursday, July 5 to participate in a 16-day independent, experiential learning program developed and led by Adam R. Zemans, a summer resident of Highland Lake. The environmental educational experience will focus on citizen lake science and conflict resolution, with the intention to learn ways to increase lake stewardship participation and collaboration in the context of climate change.

But perhaps just as important, is the knowledge the students will gain as they become international leaders in water and environmental science; bringing the two countries together to work collaboratively on an important natural resource.

The students, who attend Hughes School in Cochabamba, Bolivia (a private school that provides quality education with emphasis on English, university level science and math as well as training in music and dance), will make their home base at Highland Lake while they explore and learn the various waterways in Maine.
“The present situation facing Highland Lake is a perfect learning experience in environmental stewardship, collaboration and conflict resolution for these students,” explained Zemans. “The way the Highland Lake Association and the towns of Windham and Falmouth have come together to work on solving the picocyanobacteria issue is very cutting edge.”

Zemans, who lives most of the time in Cochabamba with his two sons, is a lawyer turning professor. As a doctoral student in Conflict Resolution Studies from Nova Southeastern University in Florida, part of his own academic studies includes the development of this educational and experiential curriculum. He, along with the following students: Leandro Jose Villabo Prado, Natalia Siles Choello, Abril Adriana Nina Mollo, Ana Lucia De La Fuente and co-leader Ivon Adela Ramirez D’Alencar have all worked together to make this educational expedition happen.

“I presented a lecture on citizen science at Hughes School”, explained Zemans. “Leandro approached me about the possibility of creating a program for he and [the] other students to participate and receive credit. After much thought and discussion with the faculty, staff and students at the school, what was just an idea became a reality and is what brings us here today.”

The curriculum not only includes exploration of Maine waters, there are daily required readings and quizzes as well. It also includes meeting local and state experts in the fields of water quality, aquatic biology, limnology, watersheds, water monitoring, invasive plant species, conflict resolution, weather and climate change, to name just a few.

Dr. Williams of Highland Lake
The day after their arrival, the students met with Dr. Keith Williams, Aquatic Biologist and Civil Engineer who leads the lake monitoring program at Highland Lake. Other syllabus activities include, but are not limited to, learning to ocean kayak at L.L. Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School, receiving certificates in lake and Secchi disk monitoring from Lake Stewards of Maine (formerly Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program), exploring Acadia National Park and meeting with Dr. Bridie McGreavy, Environmental Professor at the University of Maine at Orono, to discuss environmental conflict analysis. The students will also paddle through Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve to learn about invasive plant species.

The students are eager to learn all they can about water quality, collaboration, citizen science as well as environmental participation and then apply their knowledge at home in Bolivia, a country that experienced a water crisis in 2016 after a 25-year drought.

“Our town, Cochabamba, literally translates into ‘eternal springs – a place where the springs of water meet together underground,’” stated Ana Lucia referring to the drought. “My grandfather remembers digging in the ground and the waters would flow up freely. But that does not happen anymore, and it makes my grandfather very sad. I want to help my country have healthy waters again.”

Leandro states that he also wants to take the tools he learns here and apply them in Bolivia “I want to create healthy lakes at home, using what I have learned on this trip.”

Not only is there a water shortage in Bolivia, but the lakes and streams are very polluted due to the mining industry. The extraction of natural gas and zinc dominates Bolivia's economy, and this is the major contributor to water and environmental pollution.

“The lakes in our country are very bad,” explained Abril. “We want to talk about it to make some sort of change, but people turn their heads and will not listen because mining is so important to Bolivia’s way of life. Money is more important to people than the environment and our waters. It can be very frustrating.”

“People defend nature more here [in Maine], and that is so good to see,” Ana Lucia added.
Despite the dire situation, the students remain positive and hopeful. “I am here to learn how to take our lakes back and make them healthy again,” Natalia said. “We all want to make a difference, and maybe we will actually be able to make a difference this time - in Bolivia and across the world.” co-leader in the environmental experiential program is also learning something of great value. “I only swim in a pool,” Ivon explained, referring to the inability to swim in Bolivian lakes due to pollution. “Swimming this morning in Highland Lake was my first time in a lake and I feel very fortunate and happy with the experience.”

“She even saw a fish for the first time,” the students laughed. “And she was calling them mermaids in Spanish.”

All four students and the co-leader are enjoying their stay in Maine as well as participating in the different culture and foods they experience. Ice cream, they all agree, is among their favorite.
Although the 16-day educational program is packed with valuable learning opportunities, time has also been set aside for recreation, including a trip to Portland Headlight and an American meal made for the students by Zemans’ aunt who lives in Portland.

“The whole point to this educational experience is to keep our spirits high,” Zemans explained. “As things get more difficult in terms of water quality and quantity, we must look at our strengths rather than what we lack. This will provide impetus for positive collaboration, conflict resolutions and solutions. And these students have just what it takes to make that happen.”

As Zemans put on the top of the students’ syllabus, “There is a revolution happening in science. And now, more than ever, you can be a part of it.”

Friday, July 6, 2018

Seven-year-old receives donation from Manchester School’s L.I.T.E group for medical expenses by Lorraine Glowczak

Hannah Allen
Hannah Allen, a seven-year old Naples resident, was one of the three L.I.T.E. fundraising recipients from Manchester School last month. Hannah, who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) on April 12, 2018 and faces two and one-half years of chemotherapy treatments, received $500 from L.I.T.E to help pay for her medical and travel expenses.

Briefly, L.I.T.E (Lead, Illuminate, Teach, Empower) is a group formed by four Manchester School students, Lauren Jordan, Isabelle Fortin, Tayla Pelletier and Eliza Hill. Their goal was to make a difference in the world and they certainly did that for Hannah and her family.

Born to Bob Allen and Jessica Fecteau-Allen, Hannah has two older brothers and a younger sister. She was born with Down Syndrome, a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21 and can come with complications of its own.
Complications of Down Syndrome include heart defects, immune disorders and spinal problems to name just a few. Hannah exhibited none of these issues and was a typical healthy, happy and rambunctious seven-year-old girl. Until, that is, spring of this year.

“This past March, Hannah had a fever that kept going up and down,” began her mother, Jessica. “We also noticed she had a limp. We rushed her to an emergency quick care facility on Friday, April 6th. We were told that she had a virus and that by the end of the weekend she should be fine but to take notice if she wasn’t. By Monday, April 9th, there was no improvement, so we took her to her pediatrician.”

Those born with Down Syndrome also have an increased risk for Leukemia. Hannah’s pediatrician, aware of this risk, decided to do blood work to eliminate the possibility. “We did the blood work on Monday, April 9” stated Jessica. “We received a call on Tuesday, April 10 and was told to go to the emergency room immediately. After many long hours in the E.R., we received the official diagnosis of ATT on that day and began treatment on Thursday, April 12.”

“For the first month, it was intensive for Hannah,” continued Jessica. “They want to kill as much of the cancer as they can in that first month before they begin the additional chemotherapy plan to completely wipe the cancer out of her. Her usual happy-go-lucky self slept most of the day during that first month. However, this initial intense therapy increases the chance of remission.” Jessica happily reports that Hannah’s energy is returning to normal.

During some of her intense therapies, Hannah was put asleep. “When she woke up, she was really hungry,” Jessica laughs. “And what fills the void for her is McDonald’s chicken nuggets. Compared to chemotherapy, chicken nuggets are the best and she deserves it.” happily reports that Hannah’s energy is returning to normal. However, this high-spirited seven-year-old has a long way to go to get to the end of the Leukemia road. “We have two more years of chemotherapy,” explained Jessica. “But the odds are in our favor. After all the treatments are completed, Hannah will be in remission and cancer-free.”

To pay for the next two years of extensive chemotherapy treatments, fundraisers are under way.
Jessica’s sister, Michelle Fecteau-Chaplin is working tirelessly for her niece “We are hosting a “Hannah Festival” on Saturday, July 28 at the American Legion in Naples from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” explained Michelle. “We will have face painting, Rent-a-Princess, pie auction, silent auction, games, bounce houses and lots of carnival food.”

Cost of this fundraising event is $20 per family at the door and includes everything except for food and drink. The funds from this event will help pay for Hannah’s medical treatment and travel back and forth to the hospital for the next two years.

For those who would like to donate toward Hannah’s medical and travel expenses and are not able to attend this event, please contact Hannah’s aunt Michelle at or call at 207-595-1381.

A big thanks goes to L.I.T.E at Manchester school for their ability to actively care and make a difference.

Finding Our Someday – One family’s trip to discover a different way of life by Michelle Libby

Many people talk about taking a grand adventure or what they might do someday, but few take the leap that Windhamites Corey and Jessie Nickerson and their two daughters took last November when they sold their Windham home and their belongings before traveling with a U-Haul to Florida to spend the holidays with family. The ultimate plan was to purchase a recreational camper to pull behind their truck in order to see the country.

 “It’s so much better than we ever expected,” said Jessie.

The Nickersons at the Grand Tetons
It took them a year to plan their exit from Maine. Both Jessie and Corey owned their own businesses. Corey is a veteran, real estate and business marketing photographer as well as owner of Detail Maine. Jessie, a certified spray tanning technician, owned Envious Bronze, a spray tanning business that she ran out of her home. They found that both businesses were very seasonal in Maine, so they started looking at warmer climates.

“It’s been a long decade for my family dealing with terminal illness and caretaking. We were ready for a change. We were in a rut. It was time to take a leap of faith and step out,” Jessie said.

Jessie’s father was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2007. Four years ago, after Jessie had spent years as his caregiver and homeschooled her children so they could be close to their grandfather, he passed away. The Nickerson’s began to pray and think about what would be next for their family.

jobs@tubehollows.comLooking for somewhere to start over, they rented a car and in three weeks, put 6,000 miles on the car roaming up and down the east coast and west to Texas, but instead of finding a place to settle, they decided that the drive was the adventure. The present trip is their first time out west and they are amazed at the sights.

“My dad never got his someday,” Jessie said. Her father always said, someday he would travel, someday he would go on vacation, someday…the Nickerson’s didn’t want to wait for their someday.
Jessie and Corey searched for a year to find the right recreational vehicle for the family. They finally settled on a 33-foot 2018 Grand Design Reflection 285BHTS, which they purchased in South Carolina. They traded in their beloved truck for a GMC diesel and never looked back.

The youngest Nickerson’s; Lily, 13, and Leila, 11; have been homeschooled their entire educational careers. The family was very involved in the homeschool co-op in the area and were sad to leave it behind, but now they are “road schooling”, which according to Jessie, is a totally different view of schooling. They have more “field trips” and volunteering has become a way of life for the family. Their learning is now part of their everyday adventure.

Many families plan out their travels, but the Nickerson’s have taken a “fly by the seat of our pants” approach. They are open to new opportunities and surprise learning experiences.
While doing this interview, the family was staying on a ranch in Wyoming, riding horses, watching cows get branded and volunteering.

“We didn’t want to do the touristy things, we wanted to come and help out,” said Jessie. They are doing the tourist stops like Mount Rushmore and the Florida Everglades. Everywhere they go, they search for opportunities to volunteer so they will be treated less like a tourist and more like a community member. In the Everglades they worked for four days at Everglades Outpost, a wildlife refuge. Leila has started naming all of the animals they meet on their journeys.

This summer they are heading to Canada and Alaska.

One challenge that has been difficult for Jessie is not rushing. The culture in society is that everything has to be done now, she said. “It’s a new perspective. We have to be flexible. It’s about altering your mindset. Our time is our own. I’m more relaxed,” Jessie said.

The tiny, minimalist lifestyle was not new to the Nickersons. During the Maine summers, they spent most of their time on a 23-foot cabin cruiser on Sebago Lake. They knew how to live with one another in small, confined spaces, so moving into a RV gave them more space than they were used to on the boat.“Downsizing was way easier,” Jessie said about moving from an 1,800 square foot house to a 296 square foot RV. They sold everything except for a few bins left at Jessie’s mother’s house. The girls were able to bring one bin of toys or possessions each and have two drawers for their clothes. They didn’t really have a hard time choosing what to keep and what to giveaway, Jessie said.  

“Everything is here. We pull off the road and we are home,” she said. When visiting family and friends, they often expect them to stay in their house, but the Nickerson’s bring their home with them and are more comfortable in their own beds, she added. 
One of the goals for the Nickerson’s is to grow closer as a family and this trip has already done that.

The RV community.
The RV community is small. They share information, tips and travel itineraries with one another.
“I had no idea the relationships we would have or how wonderful that would be in the RV community,” Jessie said.

When they considered the challenges of RV living, Jessie said they were worried about the family, finances and safety, but that has not been an issue.

“There’s nothing we hate,” she said. Although in retrospect, she said she hated making the beds up clean. On a serious note, she found that saying goodbye often to family and friends has proven to be the most difficult part of this lifestyle.

“We make bonds, very deep and lasting bonds. So, saying goodbye to someone who is living a very similar lifestyle is hard,” she said. Many of the people they have met on the road are entrepreneurs home schooling their children while traveling from state to state. No matter where they go, they are welcomed by other full timers.

“We keep meeting these amazing families and people,” she said. While back in Maine in May, the Nickerson’s met up with a family they met on the road. They spent an entire week entertaining the family and showing them Maine. They have set up plans to travel to Mexico with that same family in the future.

The Nickerson’s have also strengthened connections and networking. They’ve met tons of people who want to be a part of their journey and those who provide opportunities like Jessie’s college friend whose family member runs a ranch in Wyoming.

Making money.
The Nickerson’s saved money for years to be ready for this adventure. They had a set amount of money they budgeted for their time on the road.

“Our monthly budget dictates how much we travel,” Jessie said. Realizing how much they are enjoying seeing the country, they are attempting to discover ways to make money remotely. They have met up with others in the RV community who are making money while “full timing,” which is the RV term for someone who lives in their rig all the time.

Corey is taking jobs using his photography and drone skills and Jessie is working on creating a spray tanning online certification course for those who want to start their own business. Bronze by Willa, in Windham, is a graduate of Jessie’s course. 

“I recommend you go for it. Don’t force it. It has to work for both spouses and families. “It’s a lifestyle. It’s worth it by the freedom it affords,” Jessie said.

When searching for a RV, go into as many campers as possible. People won’t know what they don’t like until they see it. Know that in a fifth wheel, there will be no storage in the back of the truck.
Jessie’s huge advice is that no one has to buy an RV where you are. Look for the best package deals and price.

“We had the courage to take that step,” Jessie said. The family has all lost weight since taking this journey because they are more active. Some people say they are crazy for doing this adventure, but the Nickerson’s don’t care. “If it’s right for you and your family, it’s right for you.”

Jessie wrapped up their first months of traveling with this statement from their website: “A year of planning, stressing, downsizing, selling, moving, buying a truck, an RV and a whole lot of stuff, and here we are.  Figuring out our new rhythm.  Our new process.  How we work.  How we do school.  How we function in this new space.  It has been scary, exhilarating, freeing and inspiring.”

To follow the Nickerson’s adventures, find them at, on Instagram and YouTube @FindingOurSomeday.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Anthem's Heroes at Hadlock honors 4-year-old cancer survivor

Libby Rulman
As part of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s commitment to supporting the prevention and treatment of cancer and the work of the Maine Children’s Cancer Program (MCCP), 4-year-old cancer survivor Libby Rulman of Windham was honored as an Anthem Hero for the courage she displayed battling a serious illness at such a young age.

Rulman was the second of four Anthem Heroes at Hadlock to be recognized during the 2018 season. The ceremony took place prior to the June 24 Portland Sea Dogs game at Hadlock Field.

“Libby is an amazing young girl and we’re all inspired by her story of perseverance,” said Dan Corcoran, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine. “We have a long tradition of supporting organizations that foster healthy communities here in Maine, and we’re especially proud of our commitment to MCCP and supporting the good work they do for kids like Libby.”

Rulman was only 26 months old when her parents took her to the doctor for what they thought was conjunctivitis. After being prescribed antibiotics and seeing no change in her condition at follow-up visits, the family was referred to an eye specialist, who immediately admitted Libby to Maine Medical Center. She was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis, a rare cancer.

After surgery and a year-long chemotherapy regimen, Libby persevered and thanks to the care and treatment she received from MCCP, today she is in remission. Libby enjoys dancing, playing tee ball and will start kindergarten next year. asked what her favorite part was in participating at the Heroes at Hadlock event, she said she loved running the bases and getting to high-five all the players while she was running! But there was more she enjoyed, “I also loved spending time with my family and friends,” Libby said with a smile.

The Anthem Heroes at Hadlock Program provides children who have battled a serious medical condition with a once-in-a-lifetime experience at Hadlock Field. Each honoree takes a celebratory home run lap around the bases of Hadlock prior to a Sea Dogs home game, while the players give the child high-fives and the crowd provides a standing ovation. The children and their families also receive a number of Sea Dogs souvenirs and other VIP privileges.

The Anthem Heroes at Hadlock Program will recognize two more courageous kids this season prior to the games on July 14 (6 p.m. start) and August 19 (1 p.m. start).

Local runner sets lofty goal by Elizabeth Richards

Scott Paradis running the Sandy Hook 5k in Conn.
Scott Paradis spontaneously took up running in 2015 and just as spontaneously set an ambitious goal for himself: to run 51 5K races in 50 states - and one in the nation’s capital, Washington DC.
Paradis, 35, is a Windham resident who graduated from Windham High School in 2001.  He is likely a familiar face in town since he works as a cashier at both Hannaford and Home Depot. 

He began running just three years ago, on a whim. “I just got a crazy idea - I just feel like going out running,” he said. He began with a one mile-loop on the Chaffin Pond Trail.

That first mile was tough, he said, tougher even than running three miles now. But he stuck with it, gradually increasing his distance, running his first 5K in September of 2015. That was the Stephen Ward 911 Memorial 5K in Gorham. 

After that first race, Paradis got an even crazier idea: to do it again in each of the 50 states. He said at first, he didn’t think it would happen, but then he started, and after running in a few states he realized it could be a reality.

Paradis finds races on He searches each state for a race with a cause he is most interested in supporting. “Whatever charity I like the best for that state is how I usually choose it,” he said. has a logo, designed by his brother that he puts on a t-shirt each year; the races he has completed are listed on the back. His tagline reads “A Race to 51 5Ks in 50 States.” The final race, to cap it all off, will be in Washington, DC. “I figured that would be a good way to complete the whole thing,” Paradis said. His goal is to have run all 51 races within 20 years.

Paradis has a large map on the wall in his room, tracking the races he has completed. In June 2018, he ran his 16th race, the Honoring Our Heroes 5K in Cincinnati, OH. At that race the runners raised enough money to provide tiny houses to three homeless veterans. “That made me feel really good that I was part of that,” Paradis said.

Paradis said he doesn’t seek out any particular type of charity. He doesn’t have a specific order in which he hopes to complete the 50 states, but has already done a few distant states, including Arizona, California and Hawaii.

One of his favorite causes so far, he said, was the Sandy Hook 5K in Newton, CT. That was a larger race, with approximately 1400 runners. At that event, he said the runners raised about $70,000, which was donated to charities chosen by the families who lost loved ones in the tragedy.

Some races are more challenging, depending on the weather or other conditions. In Hawaii, for instance, part of the race was on the beach, where running on sand added some difficulty. But Paradis said he feels like if he’s going slower, the rest of the participants are facing the same challenges and will also run slower, so he’ll place in the same range he would have.

“I go into these races knowing I’m never probably going to win, I’m not the fastest runner…My goal is to finish better than half the pack, I’m okay and happy with that,” he said. 

Paradis said he prefers races that have somewhere between 100 and 500 runners, because he can get to know people more, and talk about what he’s doing. He tries to approach the race organizers and let them know what he’s doing.           
Some of these organizers have been very happy that out of all the races in the state, he has chosen theirs. The mayor of Mt. Airy, MD, where Paradis ran Ava’s 5K for Down Syndrome, wrote him a personal thank you letter after the race.

Paradis funds his own travel, with the help of credit card and hotel rewards programs. He does not do additional charity fundraising beyond paying his race fees. 

Paradis said he has had many great experiences so far – including finishing on the 50-yard line at the Buffalo Bills stadium in Buffalo, NY, and coming in 2nd male overall at a very small race in GA. 

Paradis said he doesn’t have a specific goal in mind for how many races he will complete each year. He was able to do seven the first year by travelling to states within driving distance. However, that will slow as he heads to states farther away. And some states, like North and South Dakota, don’t have many races listed, so he’ll need to coordinate around what’s available.

Typically, Paradis said, he does a race in March, April, May and June, and then takes the summer off to avoid travelling when it’s too hot. He’ll pick up again in the fall with another race or two.  His 17th race, the Skeleton Run 5K for Bone Health, will be in Morristown, New Jersey on October 21, 2018. Paradis said this year is the first year for this particular race.  

Paradis said he likes to travel, and has fun choosing a race in each state. He travels on his own, but sometimes visits family on the way, or chooses a race based on where family or friends are located. 
One of his favorite things about doing these races is the reaction he gets from some people when they hear his goal. “It’s just an accomplishment in itself to be able to do it,” he said. 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Employees at Windham Weaponry awarded for generous contributions by Lorraine Glowczak

The employees at Windham Weaponry, Inc. were presented with a plaque by Drew Patin, Principal at th to show gratitude to the employees for giving a portion of their income to the programs; contributing a total of $750 per month during the school year.

Windham Middle School (WMS) and Marge Govoni, Coordinator of the Backpack and WMS Student Assistance Program (also known as Community Cares Program). The award was presented on Tuesday, June 12

Patin choked back tears when he expressed his appreciation. “Your contributions have made a huge impact on the students who need extra financial help. There is always a need and I’m often trying to help students in many ways. I work to find ways and to assist the students’ basic life necessities. Your contributions help us immensely.”

Community Cares Program was established to help WMS students who experience financial hardships. The program has assisted students with clothing, food, shoes, scholarships toward field trips and other necessary educational programming. The monies are also used to help with any other need a student may have that is essential to their educational growth and overall health.
“On a macro level, this program helps to build community through giving time and financial support,” Patin said. “It provides a sense of belonging and is what helps people get up in the morning.”

Mary K. Galipeau, Windham Weaponry’s BATF/Exports and Compliance Manager, stated that the idea of giving to this program was introduced by Cheryl Eliason, the Customer Service Manager.
“She put the idea out there, and we all thought it was a great idea,” Galipeau stated. “We’ve been contributing to this cause ever since.”

To make a contribution to help fund food and other necessary resources to all students in the RSU14 system, please contact Govoni at