This year Octoberfest, a part of the Feed the Need outreach by the Sebago Lakes Chamber of Commerce, moved to Camp William Hinds in Raymond to offer more space, parking and activities on the shore of Panther Pond.
“We see the event as a phenomenal success. We do feel we had a large increase in participation this year at our new location and feedback from participants has been extremely positive,” said Sebago Lakes Chamber of Commerce executive director Amiee Senatore.
It was estimated that between 3,000 and 4,000 people enjoyed time at Camp Hinds.
Feed the Need helps raise money for the 11 food pantries in the 10 communities it serves. Feed the Need encompasses Octoberfest and the Community Coin Challenge, which raised close to $18,000 last year. This year they plan to reach $20,000 after all of the money is counted.
“The Feed the Need Initiative has several components to it from a fundraising perspective...and the Coin Challenge will continue to be a part of that. We will continue to grow the event and expand our ways to "give",” said Senatore.
People who attended the event were asked to make donations for activities and items that were given away. Many things like food, the helicopter rides and seaplane rides has a minimum suggested amount. The seaplane and helicopter were donated by Matthew McFadden of Naples Seaplane Adventures and Dick Dyke from Windham Weaponry.
The Sebago Lake Rotary Club held its annual chili and chowder cook off at Octoberfest and crowned Rustlers from Windham the chili winner and Saint Joseph’s College (Pearson’s Café) the chowder winner. A portion of those proceeds went to Feed the Need. The Rotary also donated through their Feet for Food Walk.
“The chamber looks to create a charitable foundation before next year’s event so that businesses can use charitable funds instead of money from their marketing budgets. I think that change will allow us to raise a lot more because we can introduce crowd funding as well,” said Senatore.
Thank yous go out to presenting sponsors Allen Faraday from Windham Weaponry and Sheri Huff from Lee’s Family Trailer Sales, Eric Tarbox and Tucker Adams from the Pine Tree Council and Camp Hinds for their help with the location. Community champions were Pine Tree Council, DownEast Energy, Mechanics Savings Bank, Gorham Savings Bank, ServPro of Portland, Tricia Zwirner State Farm, Sebago Lake Rotary Club. Final thanks go to all the volunteers and exhibitors who worked so hard to make the day a huge success, said Senatore.