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

Dreams come true for 2018 Windham-Raymond Adult Ed graduates by Lorraine Glowczak

Sometimes it takes a little bravery to follow a course of action on a rarely traveled and less popular path, believing against all odds that it will lead to good things. Much like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” who traveled along the yellow brick road only to experience a variety of challenges and road blocks, the 2018 graduates of the Windham-Raymond Adult Education (WRAE) met their challenges head on and succeeded. 

The Windham High School Auditorium hosted families and friends on Thursday evening, June 14th
as 16 of the 20 graduates marched in to receive their high school diploma.

Tom Nash, Director of WRAE, welcomed and congratulated family and friends in the audience for their support and encouragement in helping to make the difficult road to success less challenging for the students. He gave the biggest kudos to the graduates for their hard work and determination. Cummings, Chair-elect of the RSU14 School Board, reiterated Nash’s sentiments, asking the audience one question, “How did you get here, tonight?” she begin. “Of course, as I drove here from my home in Raymond, I traveled a certain way – most likely different than those of you from other surrounding communities. There is more than one way to get to a destination, and these 2018 graduates successfully traveled their own road to accomplish what they had set out to do.”

Inductions into the honor society were part of the evening’s program. Graduates Zachary Cole, Grace Daye, Mary Laughlin, Marjorie Lougee and Carlos Rodriquez were inducted to the National Adult Education Honor Society by Cathy Renaud, Adult Basic Education Coordinator. Also inducted were other members of the Adult Education Program: Dioni Araya, Nyabore Luak and Victoria MacDonald. A scholarship to Central Maine Community College was also awarded.

Graduate, Marjorie Lougee was the first student speaker to share her story. Lougee explained that it took some time to get where she is now, but with the support of family and friends, she was able to reach her aim of graduating with a diploma. Now that she has accomplished one goal, she has more on her list to check off. “I want to become a massage therapist, a wife, a mother,” she said. “And, I also want to be a writer and a storyteller.”

Her speech was followed by student, Nyabore Luak. Luak shared the challenging journey from her home in South Sudan to American citizenship. She explained that arriving in a new culture and unable to speak the language was the most difficult of her experiences. She would have never imagined that 22 years after arriving in America, she would be giving a speech in English. “I did not get discourage,” she said of her journey. “I wish to thank all my teachers in Portland Adult Ed as well as the Windham-Raymond Adult Ed who have helped me to be where I am today.” Luak worked full time as a mother of eight children while obtaining a diploma, purchasing her first home in Windham a few years ago. But she isn’t stopping there. Luak ended her speech by announcing that her next step is to become a nurse.

Guest speaker for the evening was Rep. Patrick Corey of Windham. The subject of his speech was “The Courage to Embrace Firsts,” explaining to the graduates that this was his first graduation address. “I have done many things in my role as a representative, but this is my first time to speak at a graduation,” Corey admitted. “What is an ending for you today, is also a first. The first of many things. Life will throw you many, many firsts and some will require you to find a way to overcome them. Keep track of your progress and you will see your improvement along the way.” He ended his graduation address with this advice: “Don’t let failure get in the way of your goals.”
Musical interludes and highlights were performed by the Sebago Lakes Ukulele Society (SLUKES), directed by Dana Reed. Nash and the musical group led the graduates and the audience in Israel “Iz” Kamakawiwo╩╗ole’s rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

“Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly
And the dreams that you dream of, dreams really do come true.”

Congratulations and good luck to all the 2018 Windham-Raymond Adult Education graduates that include the following: Lydia Chadbourne, Zachary Cole, Ezra Davison, Grace Daye, Bailey Halliday, Carter Jackson, Mary Laughlin, Marjorie Virginia Lougee, Sidney Brent McKeen II, Eric Mitchell, Nathan Rizal PeBenito, Carlos M. Rodrigues, Tyler Santero, Yasmin Siana-Wolf, Kiante Smith, Shane Thompson.

May your dreams always come true.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Students learn compassion and respect through Heart of Courage Project by Lorraine Glowczak

Kelsey Theberge (center) stands with her grandfather veteran Larry Theberge (right) and father Sean Theberge. Also pictured is the silhouette she made of her grandfather 
The sixth grades students at Windham Middle School (WMS) who are from Ms. Hopkins’ and Ms. Stokes’ team, celebrated an evening of gratitude and celebration with a presentation of their Heart of Courage - Veteran Project Base Learning (PBL) Program. The festivities occurred on Monday, June 11 at 5 p.m. at the Windham Veterans Center; beginning with an Honor Guard ceremony and the National Anthem, sung by sixth-grader, Caitlin Miles.’s celebration was an accumulation of educational discovery that began in early spring. The project was kicked off with an opening event with the ROTC cadets led by Sergeant Wirtz.  The event included a brief history of the military, students participating in practice drills, trying on military gear, and using portable military medic cots.

The sixth graders had been working closely with local veterans, interviewing them as part of their PBL project; which was a student-centered mode of educational discovery with focus on subjects in the humanities, math, English language arts, science and data analysis.

The festivities included a spaghetti dinner followed by presentations by the students. After the student speeches, guests had an opportunity to talk to the pupils as they stood by hand-made silhouettes of the veterans they interviewed, to discuss what the students had learned from veterans.

In addition to interviews, the students researched the history of U.S. conflicts, participated in activities with the high school ROTC, placed flags at cemeteries, listened to presenters and visited the Maine Military Museum.  The students also cleaned headstones and flat stones at the Augusta Cemetery.

Laurent “Larry” Theberge, a Vietnam, Dessert Shield and Dessert Storm Veteran, was one of the local individuals interviewed by the sixth-grade class. Theberge’s granddaughter, Kelsey, is one of those sixth-grade students and he felt honored to participate in his first interview. “I have discussed my experiences with others, but I’ve never been interviewed before,” Theberge stated. “Most people don’t know what you experience in war. It’s not fun. It’s good to let people know what happens in war and how it can change you.”

As for Theberge’s granddaughter Kelsey, the project created a few realizations that may not have occurred in a traditional learning mode. “It [this project] has made me realize just how important it is to respect veterans and why,” Kelsey said. “By talking to the veterans, I realized just how much they went through and it has made me go deeper into this subject.”

Logan Forbes (left) with Willie Goodman
Another student, Logan Forbes, had the opportunity to interview Willie Goodman, who entered the service in 1963 and is a Persian Gulf Veteran. “This was not as easy as you think,” began Forbes. “It was very difficult to capture the veteran’s story and put it into one writing assignment. Also, when we visited the cemeteries and we washed the stones, it was much more difficult than anyone would think. You just don’t wipe over the stone – you have to scrub it. We were told to say ‘thank you’ at each veteran’s gravestone, but I ended up talking to them all. So, I learned a lot about respect, too.”

One of the guiding questions for the interviews included, “How do we show gratitude to those in our community who have served?” Goodman stated that vets do not expect to be treated differently. “It’s not that we ask to receive it [respect], or even expect it, but when we are honored in some way it is nice to know that people care.”

Students took a lot of pride and ownership in this project. “During interviews many students were sensitive to the experiences and emotions of the veterans, making sure not to bring up uncomfortable memories,” Stokes explained. “During the flag placing at local cemeteries, students worked hard to make sure the grounds and headstones were neat and beautiful. In Augusta, students took their time, scrubbing and cleaning the stones, often saying, ‘I need to get this cleaner.’ Students took care and loved cleaning each and every one of the stones and memorial markers. As family members approached headstones to place flowers, students went up to family members, offered assistance and asked to help clean the stones. Many students engaged in conversation with family members about their deceased loved ones.”

As for what lessons the students learned from this project, Stokes explained it is difficult to narrow it down to just one thing. “Both Mrs. Hopkins and I feel that if we were to narrow it down, students have grown significantly in regards to compassion towards others, respect for those that have served (and still do) and our responsibility to give back to veterans.” this spring, Post VFW applied for a $1000 grant to help support the PBL project and received that grant. The grant money paid for all busing to field trips and reading books connected to the wars.

Joe Bruno will remain active after retiring from a long political career by Lorraine Glowczak

Joe Bruno and his wife Suzanne
Joe Bruno, a member of the Raymond Board of Selectmen, has decided to step back from his 29-year career in politics. The pharmacologist and entrepreneur is looking forward to having a few more evenings at home, but he has no plans to lay low. In fact, it seems he will continue with his busy lifestyle, making contributions to the community and beyond in a multitude of ways.

Although Bruno may not have envisioned a life in politics, he has always held a keen interest in the topic, following legislative outcomes and policymaking while growing up in Long Island, NY.

Although his interests in political affairs never subsided, Bruno chose pharmacology as a career, attending Northeastern University - graduating in 1978. Upon graduation, his chosen profession took him to Washburn, ME where he met his wife, Suzanne.

Together, they moved to Raymond in 1980 and had two daughters, Adrienne and Julia. It was when their daughters began attending school that Bruno’s interests in politics deepened and he decided to run for a position on the school board in 1989. He was elected and that’s when it all began.
“I wanted to be part of the community, the town and the school, learning from all the people I met,” stated Bruno.

While active in the school board, Bruno was also a member of the Maine Board of Pharmacy. “As a member of the board, I went to Augusta to present a testimony on a pharmacy bill to the Health and Human Services committee,” began Bruno. “As I spoke to the committee, the legislators continued to talk to each other and eat lunch as if I weren’t there speaking to them. I felt as if they were ignoring me. At one point I told them that they were being very discourteous, not only to me but to everyone who spoke that day. I also told them that as a result of their rudeness, I was going to run for office and
that I’d be there the next year as a member of that committee.” He did run office. He was elected. And, a year later he was on that committee.

Bruno, a Republican, served his first term in the Maine House of Representatives from 1993 to 1994 and a second term from 1996 to 2004; serving two terms from 2000 to 2002 and 2002 to 2004 as Minority Leader.

During his time as a representative, Bruno’s focus was supporting businesses in Maine and keeping taxes low. “Maine has so much potential. It was my focus to help small local businesses prosper and to make sure our aging population was not being over taxed,” Bruno said.

In terms of the recent concern on civility Bruno blames, in part, term limits as the contributing factor to the lack of civility among legislative members. “When there weren’t term limits, everyone in the legislature got to know one another,” Bruno began. “It didn’t’ matter if you were Democrat or Republican, you knew you had to work together for the common good. You sought to understand because you knew it was possible you would have to work closely with someone you might disagree with for a long time. No matter the party affiliation, it seemed we were willing to work together.”
Civility also played a role during his campaign for the state Senate against Senator Bill Diamond. “During that campaign, we never attacked one another,” Bruno said of that experience. “It’s just something both he and I refused to do.”

It was after that campaign and the election of Senator Diamond that he was nominated to be a Raymond Board Selectmen.

There are many things one learns about self and others while serving a role in politics. For Bruno, he admits he wasn’t always open to an opposite point of view. “When I first entered into politics, I had my talons dug deep in what I thought was right,” he continued. “But I have learned that it is best to hear the other point of view. I have changed my mind often after considering what others who differed from me had to say.”

Bruno is known for his passionate views and direct and straightforward style of communication. “It’s true I have had disagreements with people, but it was never personal,” he said.

In regard to advice he has for others who are considering a career in politics, he shared a few thoughts. “You must have a passion for things that matter to you and you have to be committed to work hard in order to get elected. A person must stand on their own merits, keeping emotion out of it. You must have thick skin. But most importantly, you must be knowledgeable on both sides of anissue, making decisions based on facts and numbers.”

Despite stepping down from politics, he isn’t slowing down. Bruno is the treasurer for the Shawn Moody campaign, the president of the Maine Board of Pharmacy and he teaches classes in pharmacy and law at the University of New England, Portland campus. And, he will still work full-time at his Community Pharmacy business.

“I’m not going away just yet,” Bruno stated. “I love this town and will remain involved. I will do my part to make sure the community of Raymond continues to be affordable place to live.”
As for missing his role as a Town Selectmen, there are is one thing he won’t miss. “The only thing I will not miss is having to go to meetings in the evenings and getting myself in trouble.”

A sincere good luck to Joe Bruno.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Thanks to volunteer efforts, Raymond is on its way to becoming a full-fledged age friendly community by Lorraine Glowczak

Volunteers at work folding 4000 copies of the survey
It all began over a year ago on April 28, 2017 when a group of approximately 40 Raymond area residents gathered together to learn about the concept of an age friendly community. The meeting was initiated by State Representative Jessica Fay and was led by Jess Maurer, Director of the Tri-State Learning Collaborative on Aging.

Fast forward to June 2018 and that group of individuals recognized a need and felt inspired to work tirelessly in a volunteer effort to build an age friendly network for Raymond residents. As a result, the Town of Raymond is now listed as one of 50 up and coming age friendly communities in Maine.

“There has been a critical mass regarding this issue,” stated Nancy Foran, a volunteer member of the group and pastor of Raymond Village Community Church. “Senator Collins is one of the many individuals who are working on the issue of aging in place, and Raymond with its geographically separated area is an region that needs an age friendly network. We [the volunteers] are all working together to consolidate access to services and to make a difference.”

The past year’s work has included the development of working groups such as steering and assessment teams. Raymond residents will find a survey included in this week’s edition of The Windham Eagle which they can fill out and submit for the team of volunteers to discover what Raymond residents (year-round and seasonal) determine to be important services and options that will aid and assist an aging population.  

Briefly, per AARP, “age friendly networks are not retirement villages, gated developments, nursing homes or assisted living facilities.”

Instead they are livable communities that help promote the areas’ health and economic growth. The network, consisting of devoted community members that can choose to work in partnership with their elected officials, actively work to help the growth of the aging population and to promote easy and comfortable living situations so that elder adults can remain in their homes.
It is no secret that Maine is the oldest state in the U.S. and people are living longer. The aging population has no plans to move into a nursing facility or move in with their children. Increasingly independent, the aging population wish to remain in their home and community where they have friends, go to church and continue to be socially active. The Raymond Age-Friendly Community is being developed to meet these needs.

To get to this moment in time, however, took many volunteer hours and steps. They are as follows:

After the initial meeting in April 2017, the volunteer group appeared before the Raymond Board of Selectmen two months later, in June 2017, to ask for Town support for joining the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities as 50 towns and counties have done in Maine. The Town supported the group and it was accepted into the Age Friendly Network in October of 2017

To keep the momentum going and to remain informed, monthly meetings are conducted at the Raymond Public Safety Building providing a wide variety of topics and speakers. These meetings are informative for everyone. “What I have learned is that there are a lot of services out there to help the aging population, but they are not advertised,” stated Irene Morris, a member of the steering committee. “We have learned a lot just by being involved as volunteers.”

To help the volunteer efforts, the Raymond Village Library requested and has received a grant from the Maine Public Library Fund to establish a monthly seniors’ only library hours with programming

To assist with the cost of the enclosed survey, a support grant of $1100 was received from AARP. AARP printed 3000 surveys and the cost of 2000 was donated by First Light Home Care of Windham, a home care agency that offers companion and personal care services to individuals, aging or otherwise, to remain in their homes.
And last, but not least of all the collaborative efforts, is a partnership with a student at Saint Joseph’s College. Student, Mira McKinney designed a logo that has been approved and is now the official brand of Raymond’s age-friendly network.

The Raymond Age-Friendly Community is dedicated to advancing a well-designed, livable community for the aging. The survey is an important first step in the team’s goal of learning about aspects of the community which are important for the overall well-being of Raymond’s older residents.

It is important to note that although AARP has contributed resources and funding, the Raymond Age friendly community is a stand-alone entity. AARP does not apply its social or political stances on this, or any, age friendly community network.

If you are a Raymond resident, there are many ways you can contribute to the success of endeavor. First and foremost, please fill out the enclosed survey and mail it to PO Box 297, Raymond 04071, or place it in the drop off box available at the Raymond Post Office, the town office or the Raymond Village Library.

To learn more or to become a volunteer, attend a monthly meeting on the second Monday of the month at the Raymond Fire and Safety Building, call 207-655-2222 or email at

The next gathering will be a potluck on Saturday, June 9th at 5 p.m. at the Raymond Public Safety Building, 1443 Roosevelt Trail in Raymond. All are invited to join in to meet others and learn more about the network. Please bring your favorite side dish.

Windham graduate follows in grandfather’s footsteps to become an Air Force Pilot by Matt Pascarella

Devin Pellitier
Devin Pelletier, a 2012 graduate of Windham High School and a 2016 graduate of the Air Force Academy recently finished training and officially became a pilot, receiving his wings on May 18, 2018.

Pelletier gave a speech during his high school graduation as an Honor essayist. This speech was dedicated to service members as well as to his grandfather, Edmond Theriault who was a World War II B-17 pilot and recently honored for his service at last week’s Memorial Day event in Windham.

Pelletier wanted to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and joined the Air Force. He knew that is what he wanted to do while in his junior year of high school, never once hesitating after upon making that realization.

There are a lot of opportunities in the Air Force. Initially, Pelletier was interested in becoming an engineer, but over time, he became more interested in becoming a pilot. His grandfather was a big influence on this decision.  

To become a pilot, he took academic classes the first month; and then began flying in a T-6 Texan II plane, which is an aircraft designed specifically to assist in training pilots. Pelletier learned airspace rules, how the systems worked and eventually switched over to a T-38 C Talon, a supersonic trainer. In this aircraft he focused more on formation flying and supporting other pilots in an air-to-air type fight.
At first, Pelletier said flying an aircraft was quite stressful; there’s a lot to pay attention to such as altitude, airspeed as well as all that is around you, listening to the radio and listening to the instructor. He stated that there’s always more to learn though; once you learn one skill you move on to another.
His grandfather was very happy for his grandson but was curious as to how Pelletier navigated. “We use GPS.” His grandfather shakes his head and replies, “We had to use the stars.”

Last week, Pelletier headed to Oklahoma for further training in a KC-135 plane, a military aerial refueling aircraft. This aircraft supports fighters when they need fuel. He will later travel to Okinawa, Japan where he will be stationed for two to three years flying the KC-135 plane.
We wish Pilot Pelletier the best.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Volunteers needed for free summer meal program at Dundee Park this summer by Lorraine Glowczak

The Summer Food Service Program will be providing free summer meals every weekday from July 9th to August 17th from noon to 1 p.m. This sixth annual free summer meal program will be located at Dundee Park, 79 Presumpscot Road in Windham with the intention of helping families save money while providing a fun, safe place for kids and teens, ages 18 and under, to eat a healthy meal every day of the week.

Statistics indicate that one out of every five school age children are food insecure. This includes
children in our small-town communities of Windham and Raymond.

According to the Economic Research Service division of the United States Department of Agriculture, the following is what is known about food insecurity in the U.S.

The defining characteristic of very low food security is that, at times during the year, the food intake of household members is reduced and their normal eating patterns are disrupted because the household lacks money and other resources for food. Very low food security can be characterized in terms of the conditions that households in this category typically report in the annual food security survey.
·         98 percent reported having worried that their food would run out before they got money to buy more.
·         97 percent reported that the food they bought just did not last, and they did not have money to get more.
·         95 percent reported that they could not afford to eat balanced meals.
·         97 percent reported that an adult had cut the size of meals or skipped meals because there was not enough money for food.
·         88 percent reported that this had occurred in 3 or more months.
·         68 percent of respondents reported that they had been hungry but did not eat because they could not afford enough food.
·         44 percent of respondents reported having lost weight because they did not have enough money for food.
·         33 percent reported that an adult did not eat for a whole day because there was not enough money for food.
·         26 percent reported that this had occurred in 3 or more months.”

RSU#14 and the town sponsor the Summer Meals Program to help those families who are facing these choices and are able to do so through a federal grant. But in order for this meal program to run successfully, volunteers are needed.

“I think it is important to volunteer and to help bridge the summer gap that students experience during summer vacation,” stated Jeanne Reilly, RSU#14 Food Service Director. “This gap is pretty severe right here in Windham and Raymond and we need all the help we can get.”

To volunteer will not take much of your time. “All we need are individuals who can commit to two or three dates throughout the summer,” Michelle Jordan, Volunteer Coordinator for the program said. “Each volunteer will be asked to attend a small training session and will only have to be available for 2 hours - from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. - on the days they volunteer to serve the meals. The two hours consists of receiving the meals as they come in, serving the meals to the children and a few minutes of cleaning up after the meals are completed.”, and their children, will have free access into the park, as entrance fees do apply. Park pass waivers are available for Windham and Raymond residents and can be requested from Reilly at

For those who are interested in volunteering, contact Jordan at To learn more about the program itself, contact Marge Govoni at

First day of the Farmers’ Market at Turning Leaf Drive in Windham was a hit by Lorraine Glowczak

If you missed the first day of the Farmers’ Market at Turning Leaf Drive in Windham (intersection of Route 302 and River Road) that occurred on Saturday, May 26 – no need to worry. The market will continue every Saturday from now until November 17th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

But come early and often! Saturday’s first market was such a success, despite the cloudy and cool weather, that when the farmers packed up at 1 p.m., they had very little produce left to sell.

Windham Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is the sponsoring entity of the Farmers’ Market and Tom Bartell, Executive Director and Lisa Fisher, Administrative Assistant have been working tirelessly to bring back a market in the area. “Despite the fact we got a little bit damp [on Saturday] it was so nice to see everyone happy at this Saturday’s market,” stated Fisher. “It was great having a large crowd of people come out to enjoy a farmers’ market again. I was very pleased with how successful the day was.” 

Bartell and Fisher are grateful for the help they have received to make this farmers’ market a realization. “So many people helped with this project, not just Tom and I.” Fisher said. “Local farmers, the folks from the Windham Community Garden and volunteers came to our meetings and graciously shared their time and knowledge. The property owner [at Turning Leaf Drive] let us use his land. Town staff helped us to get ready for opening day. Members of the WEDC gave their time and efforts. The people who help us with graphic design and advertising have been great. There are community members who kept asking for a farmers’ market. The wonderful vendors took a chance on this new beginning. It has really been a group effort.” 

https://www.egcu.orgBetween the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., the parking lot was intermittently full as people visited each farmer and vendor, purchasing their locally raised produce, meat and gifts. The first market included the following businesses:

1)      PH Farm from South Paris. They were at the market on Saturday to sell eggs and seedlings and plan to also have produce at future markets. PH Farm also hopes to incorporate selling rabbits in the future.
2)      Mountain View Farm from Harrison was available to meet the needs of those who prefer locally raised chicken, beef and pork.
3)      Mulberry Farms from Raymond was available to provide organic produce such as asparagus, radishes, lettuce mix, cucumbers and rhubarb.
4)      Sweet Relief Farm from Standish was available to sell organic seedlings. They will have organic produce in the future.
5)      Fox Run Gifts from Raymond were available as well to sell many locally made gifts including, household products, bird houses, wreaths, placemats, aprons and more.

“We have had additional vendor inquiries, so we suspect there will be more vendors available as time continues,” explained Fisher. “WEDC is working to grow the market in order to have a variety of vendors and attractions. In fact, we recently discovered that June is National Dairy Month and we are told to expect to have calves present during month of June.”

Farmers’ markets are an up and coming way to provide healthy and locally grown foods as well as a way for people to gather. There are many advantages to farmers’ markets and Frank Pecoraro of Mulberry Farms stated those advantages in a previous article. “The big difference between grocery store produce and what you get at a market is twofold,” Pecoraro began. “First, most often you get to speak to the person who grows the produce you are purchasing. You get to find out what fertilizer was used, if there were any pesticides applied, when produce was picked, etc. You don’t get that sort of knowledge at a grocery store. Second, the food that is grown locally is much better tasting and nutritious because it hasn’t traveled up to 3,000 miles. Food at a store is also made with the intention to have a long shelf life. As a result, the produce purchased at a grocery store loses nutrition and flavor.”

If you are a farmer or artisan and wish to be a part of the Farmers’ Market at Turning Leaf Drive in Windham, contact Fisher or Bartell at 207-894-6900, extension 6122.