Community news briefs for 10/5/17

OHI Maine in Hermon Receives $500 Community Spirit Grant

PORTLAND– Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation has announced that OHI Maine in Hermon, an organization that supports people with disabilities, was awarded $500 from the Foundation’s Community Spirit 9/11 Mini-Grant program. Jessica Bineau, an employee of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, nominated the organization for the award. Funds will be used to purchase supplies for various health and safety programs.

To commemorate those Harvard Pilgrim members who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, Harvard Pilgrim and the Foundation created the Community Spirit 9/11 Mini-Grant program. This program allows each Harvard Pilgrim employee to award a $500 grant, completely funded by the Foundation, to the local charity of his or her choice each calendar year. Since this community grants program began in 2002, Harvard Pilgrim employees have directed more than $5.2 million to thousands of organizations throughout Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

“We are so fortunate to have generous and dedicated employees who enrich our company and the communities in which we all live and work,” said Karen Voci, President of the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation. “The Mini-Grant program is a wonderful way to support our employees as philanthropists and to help them make an impact in their own cities and towns.”

In 2016, more than 96% of Harvard Pilgrim employees participated in at least one form of service or giving through volunteering, the Mini-Grants program, or Harvard Pilgrim’s annual Employee Fundraising Campaign.

About The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation:

Created in 1980, The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation supports Harvard Pilgrim’s mission to improve the quality and value of health care for the people and communities we serve by providing the tools, training and leadership to help build healthy communities throughout New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and Connecticut. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $140 million in funds. In 2016, the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation awarded more than $2.4 million in grants to nearly 900 nonprofit organizations within the four states. For more information, please visit


Orono Bog Boardwalk Closing Early

The Orono Bog Boardwalk will close for the season at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14.  This is six weeks sooner than normal, but is necessary for the next phase of the Boardwalk reconstruction process.

Between the mid-October closure and next spring’s reopening, 97 more sections of the Boardwalk will be replaced, along with two interpretive stations and three wheelchair turnouts. The newly-installed sections will be constructed of composite decking with cladded aluminum siding and stainless steel footings, as are the 251 sections installed in the past four years.  Funds are currently being raised to complete the Orono Bog Boardwalk reconstruction project by late 2018.

Volunteer staff and a student intern maintain the Boardwalk and provide information and education for visitors, including school and community groups.  The facility is jointly managed by the Orono Land Trust, the City of Bangor and the University of Maine.  Its operation and maintenance are funded entirely through donations, sales of Boardwalk merchandise and grants.

For information about the Boardwalk, to volunteer for the October phase of reconstruction or contribute funds to the reconstruction and continued operation of the Boardwalk, visit,, e-mail, or call 866-2578.


Maine Science Festival announces headliner for 4th annual event

BANGOR – The Maine Science Festival (MSF) announced that Radiolab’s Robert Krulwich will headline the 4th annual Maine Science Festival.

Robert Krulwich is co-host of one of public radio’s most popular shows, Radiolab, the WNYC’s Peabody Award-winning program about ‘big ideas’. It is carried on more than 500 radio stations and its podcasts are downloaded over 7 million times each month.

“There’s nothing like it on the radio,” says Ira Glass of This American Life. “It’s an act of crazy genius.”

Robert is also the author of National Geographic’sCuriously Krulwich” blog, where he illustrates hard-to-fathom concepts in science using drawings, cartoons, videos and more. For 22 years, Krulwich was also a science, economics, general assignment and foreign television correspondent at ABC and CBS News, and a frequent host/reporter on the PBS investigative series, Frontline.

“I like talking about big ideas, and I especially like creating images that will keep those ideas in people’s heads for hours, days, even months,” Krulwich said.

Krulwich’s curiosity and ability to explain complex subjects has made him, as the New York Times said, “a storied figure in public radio history.”  TV Guide described him as “the most inventive network reporter in television.” He has won two Peabody Awards and Emmy awards, the AAAS Science Journalism Award, The Extraordinary Communicator Award from the National Cancer Institute and an Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia Award.

“Robert Krulwich has perfected the art of communicating science in an engaging and thoughtful way, and we cannot wait to have him as our guest on March 17, 2018. When combined with our other programming – more than 60 events and activities over four days – there will be no better place to celebrate and learn about Maine science than Bangor, Maine this coming March,” said Kate Dickerson, Director of the Maine Science Festival.

The 4th annual Maine Science Festival will take place March 15-18, 2018, in Bangor. Events include a Friday Field Trip Day for middle school students, five MSF Showcase events and many other workshops, hands-on activities, forums, presentations, films and exhibits.

All MSF events other than the headliner, are available free of charge to the public. Tickets for An Evening with Robert Krulwich, at the Gracie Theatre, are currently available via Eventbrite. More information about the event can be found at; a link to the tickets will be available there.

About the Maine Science Festival:

As the first and only science festival in Maine, the Maine Science Festival is a 4-day celebration that  encourages attendees to question the world around them. It seeks to inspire not only the next generation of scientists and engineers, but also facilitate grassroots scientific thinking at the citizen level. Through partners and sponsors, the MSF works to showcase the remarkable work happening in Maine daily.

For more details, updates, and information visit, or find the Festival on Facebook, Twitter (@MEScienceFest), Instagram (mainesciencefestival) and Snapchat (mainescience).

Bangor Savings Bank promotes Matt Watkins

BANGOR — Bangor Savings Bank Vice President Matt Watkins recently was promoted to mortgage development officer at Bangor Savings Bank. Matt is a graduate of the University of Maine where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Geological Sciences. Matt later received his Certificate of Graduation from The New England School of Banking at Williams College. Matt joined Bangor Savings Bank in 2007 where he served as a Commercial Lender.

Prior to joining Bangor Savings Bank, Matt served in a variety of roles as an assistant vice president at KeyBank including Consumer Lender and Business Banking Officer. Matt also served as a Customer Assistance Loss Prevention Representative at MBNA, now Bank of America. Matt is involved in his community, serving on the Board of Directors for Wellspring and the Maine Air Museum. Matt is a lifelong resident of Bangor, where he resides with his significant other, Amy, and his son, Braden. Matt is an avid photographer, traveler, Boston sports fan, and aviation enthusiast. Matt looks forward to continuing to serve the Greater Bangor Region and Central Maine in his new role as Mortgage Development Officer at Bangor Savings Bank.

Matt Watkins


‘Night of Laughs’ comedy show fundraiser by Brewer Professional Firefighters 2162

BREWER, Maine — Brewer Professional Firefighters 2162 is hosting “Night of Laughs” comedy show fundraiser at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at Jeff’s Catering, 15 Littlefield Road.

Currently area businesses and residents are being contacted for sponsorships and ticket sales. The firefighters are raising funds for youth athletics, local scholarships, fire education projects and the many other worthwhile endeavors the local supports.

Please support your local firefighters and purchase tickets for this fun-filled event. Call 747-5277 to purchase tickets.

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