2016-09-09 / Community

In the Know

Notes, quotes and news briefs of concern to Cape Elizabeth and South Portland, compiled by staff writer Wm. Duke Harrington.

DRUG MONEY — A South Portland group is among three to win new $125,000 grants to help combat Maine’s burgeoning drug issue. The award to the group SoPo Unite: All Ages, All Incomes is from the Drug-Free Communities Support Program, an effort of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, launched in 1997 to prevent youth substance abuse. The grant is for five years, or $625,000 total, and will require an in-kind local match.

“The opioid epidemic is taking an unimaginable toll on families across Maine, which is why investing in community coalitions is so important,” said Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King in a joint statement released Tuesday, Sept. 6, announcing the awards.

“These coalitions are determined to support our young people and turn the tide against this epidemic, and we will continue to work to combat the drug crisis and help ensure that future generations of Mainers can live happy and healthy lives,” the senators said.

Also getting $125,000 grants were the Choose To Be Healthy Coalition of Southern York County and the Mid- Maine Substance Use Prevention Coalition, which serves Greater Waterville and Northern Kennebec County. A total of $2.25 million in grant were handed out, which included similar $125,000 “continuing grants” to 15 additional agencies and programs across Maine.

SoPo Unite: All Ages, All Incomes is a coalition formed in early 2014 in response by efforts by the Maine Marijuana Policy Project, ultimately successful, to legalize marijuana in South Portland. It includes representatives from city hall including the interim city manager, mayor and councilors, as well as the police and recreation departments. The group also includes members from the school department, as well as social workers, substance abuse professionals, parents, teens, business leaders, faith groups, Boys & Girls Club staff, and the Opportunity Alliance.

The in-kind match will consist of volunteer contributions such as staff time, administrative oversight, office space, and office supplies.

TOP TEACHERS – Cape Elizabeth Education Foundation presented its annual teacher awards during the school district’s welcome back breakfast. The awards, the Brownell and the Thompson, were presented by Elaine Brownell, Nancy and Tim Thompson, and Ellen Jordan, Cape Elizabeth Education Foundation executive director.

The Brownell Award, named in honor of retired Cape Elizabeth High School mathematics teacher Elaine Brownell, recognizes faculty or staff who did an outstanding job implementing a Cape Elizabeth Education Foundation grant during the prior year. This year’s Brownell Award was presented to Freshman Academy. Teachers Tom Kohan and Ben Raymond, Principal Jeff Shedd, Vice Principal Nate Carpenter and students Gavin Spidle, Conner Thoreck and Brian Ellsmore accepted the award and were honored for their combined efforts implementing this grant.

The Thompson Award, established in memory of Timothy Thompson, recognizes faculty or staff who go above and beyond in reaching out and mentoring students. David Brown was awarded this year’s Thompson Award. Brown is a 32-year Cape Elizabeth School district staff member. He earned the award for his unwavering commitment to making a positive impact on kids’ lives every day. Brown is a role model and proof that school bus drivers don’t just drive, they care.

THE RACE IS ON — If it’s autumn in South Portland, it must be 5K season with no less than five such events scheduled for September and October.

On Saturday, Sept. 10, the STRIVE for 5K will begin at 8 a.m. from 28 Foden Road. The course will be partially on Texas Instruments property and cross to Jetport Plaza Road, returning to finish at Kaplan University, located at 265 Western Ave. The event, which includes a kids fun run and free neighborhood block party, is staged to raise money for STRIVE, which works to improve fundamental academic skills, develop leadership potential, and create economic opportunities for young people with disabilities, aged 11-24.

Also on Sept. 10, the Maternal Health Alliance of Maine will stage its Pound the Pavement 5K to help combat post-partum depression. That race kicks off at 8 a.m. from the South Portland Boys and Girls Club, at 169 Broadway.

At 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17, the SoPo MAINEiacs, a nonprofit founded to increase awareness about the presence of the two Air National Guard units located in the city, will stage its annual 5K starting from the base at 50 Western Avenue. Proceeds from the event will go to the Travis Mills Foundation to support its mission to aid combat wounded veterans and their families.

On Sunday, Sept. 25, the NAMI Maine, a chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will being its 14th annual fundraising walk, starting at 11 a.m. from Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse.

Finally, the annual Bug Light 5K, staged to benefit both the South Portland Historical Society and the South Portland Land Trust, will begin at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9 in Bug Light Park.

More information on each race can be found on websites for the sponsoring organizations.

BOTTLE MONEY — Cape Elizabeth is now accepting applications from nonprofit service clubs and organizations based in town to receive proceeds from the collection of bottles and cans at the redemption building, located at the Recycling Center on Dennison Drive. Distribution of funds to groups serving local youth will be made based on need in November, with awards of up to $2,000 per group. The deadline for applications, available on the town website, is 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21.

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