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Community News – South Portland Holiday Toy Drive is underway

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South Portland’s annual Holiday Toy Drive has begun and, according to organizers, the need is greater than ever.

The annual South Portland Toy Drive is underway. For more information, contact Laurel LaBauve, SoPo Cottage, at [email protected] or April Cohen, April Cohen Team, at [email protected] Courtesy photo

“The winter months can be difficult for many families and the toy drive continues to be a bright spot for so many,” said  Gretchen McCloy, director of community partnerships at South Portland Schools, said in a Nov. 14 news release, “Each year I have been touched by the broad smiles and words of gratitude from the families when they come to collect their gifts.”

There are three ways to support the toy drive:

1.) Adopt a child/children.

2.) Purchase toys and drop them at the designated locations.

3.) Make a donation via check, Venmo or GoFundMe. 100 percent of the contributions go toward the children.

According to McCloy, “The Toy Drive embodies an amazing sense of community as individuals, the South Portland school system, police department, fire department, parks and recreation, community center, housing authority and local businesses all come together to help children.

“Each child receives a new winter coat, boots and toys from their wish list. Started by Liz Darling of Maine Roofing, Inc., in 2011, the program has grown each year and has become a tradition in the community from the kick-off of adoptions, to the annual Toy Party at Evie’s Watering Hole, to the police and fire department helping to move the mountain of gifts for the children. But we still need your help to make this a great holiday season this year. Please consider adopting a child or making a donation.”

For more information, contact Laurel LaBauve, SoPo Cottage, at [email protected] or April Cohen, April Cohen Team, at [email protected]

Drop-off sites:

April Cohen Team – 382A Cottage Road, South Portland

South Portland Police Department – 30 Anthoine St., South Portland

South Portland Cash Corner Fire Station – 360 Main St., South Portland

South Portland Community Center – 21 Nelson Road, South Portland

Bath Savings Bank – 225 Ocean St., South Portland

Port Harbor Marine – 1 Spring Point Drive, South Portland

Snap Fitness – 747 Broadway, South Portland

Evie’s Watering Hole – 121 Sawyer St., South Portland

Ferry Village Market – 323 Broadway, South Portland

Peoples United offers monthly bean suppers.

Peoples United Methodist Church hosts bean suppers on the third Saturday of each month. The next bean supper is 5 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19. The church is located at 310 Broadway in South Portland.

The menu features hot dogs, homemade baked beans, casseroles and pies. The cost is $11/person or $20/couple. Age 12 and younger, the cost is $6.

For more information, call 207-799-3416.

First Congregational plans Holiday Fair

A Traditional Christmas will be the focus of the annual Holiday Fair at First Congregational Church of Scarborough. The fair is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 3 at the church, located at 167 Black Point Road in Scarborough.

Items featured in the Parish Hall will be holiday greens, Christmas items, quilts, crafts, jewelry, gift baskets, knit goods, homemade baked goods/jams/jellies, candy and the annual Cookie Walk. Coffee and breakfast snacks will be available.

Proceeds will go to the church’s charitable efforts. Masks are optional. The fair is disability accessible via a chair lift.

For more information, call the church office at 883-2342.

Peoples United Methodist schedules Christmas Fair

Peoples United Methodist Church will host its Winter Wonderland Christmas Fair on Saturday, Dec. 3. The fair is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Peoples United Methodist Church is located at 310 Broadway in South Portland.

The fair will feature include baked goods, candy, jewelry, holiday decorations, handcrafted gifts, books, new/nearly new items, and trash-to-treasure. A luncheon is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The menu includes chili, seafood chowder, corn chowder and hot dogs.

For more information, call 233-8870.

Rotary Christmas tree sale begins

South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club’s Christmas began on Nov. 25 is underway at Mill Creek Park. Courtesy photo

The South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary will host its Christmas tree sale in Mill Creek Park for the 60th year. The holiday tree shopping experience began Nov. 25, and continues until about 2,000 Maine-grown Christmas trees and wreaths are purchased.

Christmas tree lot shopping hours on Rotary’s Mill Creek Park tree lot are Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 3 to 7 p.m.. The lot is closed on Tuesdays.

Customers wishing to order a tree or wreath online to be picked up on the Christmas tree lot can visit

The Rotary Club said 100 percent of Christmas tree sale proceeds are returned to our community through contributions to not-for-profit organizations and schools to help neighbors cope with pressing issues such as food security, youth services, behavioral health, veteran needs, and safe and stable housing.

Call goes out for 2023 eco-Excellence Award nominations 

To kick off Maine Recycles Week, single-sort recycling and sustainable waste management firm ecomaine put out its call for nominations for the 2023 eco-Excellence Awards. The awards are designed to recognize and celebrate champions in Maine who are focused on recycling and waste diversion, and who are leading their communities toward greater models of sustainability.

The company said that nominees may live or work in any of its member communities, and may be nominated through Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023.

Caleb Hemphill, chair of ecomaine’s Outreach & Recycling Committee, said, “ecomaine’s eco-Excellence Awards recognize the difference one person or organization can make toward greater sustainability in Maine. Even though we have given these awards for many years, I continue to be impressed by the thoughtful leadership shown by all our nominees.”

According to ecomaine, nominees must be located in or serve one of 73 ecomaine communities. Nominees can be businesses, schools, nonprofits, municipalities or staff, or individuals and will be selected based on the effectiveness, increased awareness, community impact, and ease of replication of their sustainability programs or initiatives. Preference will be given to nominees in the areas of sustainable waste management, recycling, composting, etc. Submissions will be judged by ecomaine’s Outreach & Recycling Committee and awarded on Feb. 9, 2023.

The 2022 eco-Excellence Awards were given to:

Casey Zorn, Portland, Individual

Catherine Hewitt, Scarborough, Individual
Debbie Grover, North Yarmouth, Individual
Ethel Atkinson, MSAD 6 (Hollis, Limington, Frye Island, Standish, and Buxton), Individual
Kate Hodgson, South Portland, Individual
Tiffani Blye, South Portland, Individual
Tina Ruel, Gorham, Individual
We Fill Good, Kittery, Business
Greater Portland Landmarks, Portland, Nonprofit
Sarah Nichols & Chrissy Adamowicz, Sustainable Maine Program at the Natural Resources Council of Maine, Nonprofit
Partners for World Health, Portland, Nonprofit

Brandon Richards, 29, of Brunswick, is in full flight during the 54th annual Maine Track Club Turkey Trot 5K in Cape Elizabeth. The event benefits Wayside Food Programs through net proceeds and donations of nonperishable food items. Allyn Genest/


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