Three L-A residents, along with four departments of first responders in the Lewiston-Auburn region, are among those to be honored this year as “Real Heroes” by the American Red Cross of Maine.
“These are truly special people who share the common thread of taking action to help others,” says Jennifer Gaylord, Branch Manager of the United Valley office of the Red Cross. “This year, as a special recognition, we’re honoring the Fire and Police Departments from Auburn and Lewiston for their tremendous work during the 2013 Lewiston fires.”
Receiving the “Blood Real Heroes Award” is Hallie Twomey of Auburn. Twomey is a supporter of giving the gift of life through blood drives and organ donation. She tragically lost her son to suicide four years ago and organizes an annual blood drive in his honor. Twomey and her husband gave the ultimate gift of life by choosing to donate their son’s organs. In addition, Twomey has raised thousands of dollars for the New England Organ Bank, is currently in the live organ donation process, and actively promotes organ donation awareness.
By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
Today in Lewiston we stand at a crossroad. Over the past several years prior city councils, our city administrator, our finance director, our development director and the many entrepreneurs located in the area of upper Lisbon and Main Streets have worked hard to create a vibrant downtown—a downtown that has become a destination.
We have listened to our young professionals; these young professionals represent Lewiston’s future. We have added bike lanes to our streets, nature trails and parks in neighborhoods throughout the city. We are slowly, but steadily, putting into place our Riverfront Plan. The Balloon Festival and the Dempsey Challenge bring thousands of people to Lewiston each year. These visitors spend large amounts of money at local businesses.
Since Friends of Pettingill was formed 17 months ago to encourage and guide the development of a city park at the site of the former Pettingill School on College Street in Lewiston, members of the organization have been working to find a photograph of the school and park’s namesake, Lee Duren Pettingill. They finally tracked down the college graduation photo shown below with the help of Bowdoin College.
L.D. Pettingill was born on August 26, 1894 in Fairfield, Maine, the son of Alvah G. and Ellen Duren Pettingill. He graduated from Jordan High School in Lewiston and was a 1916 graduate of Bowdoin College. A chemist by profession, he worked for the Pepperell Manufacturing Co. and the Lewiston Bleachery and Dye Works.
Bates College will confer honorary degrees on four leaders from the arts, business, journalism and technology during the college’s 148th Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 25.
Delivering the Commencement address and receiving an honorary degree will be Isabel Alexis Wilkerson, author of the acclaimed “The Warmth of Other Suns.” Also receiving honorary degrees during the ceremony will be pioneering computer scientist John Seely Brown, renowned actress and social activist Glenn Close, and leading Maine entrepreneur and champion of corporate social responsibility David Shaw.
Registered nurse Rachael Lewis has been recognized as a Central Maine Medical Center DAISY Award recipient.
The DAISY Award is sponsored by the DAISY Foundation to recognize nurses who consistently demonstrate in their work the following attributes as nursing professional role models: compassion, critical thinking, passion about life, patient- and family-focused care, patient advocacy, and support of all healthcare team members.
Kaplan University’s Maine campuses are making a commitment to developing Maine’s workforce through higher education by creating a competitive scholarship for upcoming graduates of the Maine Community College System (MCCS). Each of the three Kaplan University campuses in Maine, located in South Portland, Lewiston and Augusta, will award one full scholarship covering all tuition, fees, and books to complete a 2+2 bachelor’s degree program in the student’s chosen field of study. In addition, one runner-up from each campus will be awarded a 50% scholarship.
“We know that Maine lags behind the other New England States in the percentage of its citizens who hold a bachelor’s degree or above,” said Dr. Christopher Quinn, President of the Maine campuses of Kaplan University. “We are making this commitment to help increase the quality of the Maine workforce and to help the state achieve its college attainment goals.”
On Saturday, April 26, the Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society will present a discussion by society president Rev. Robert A. Parent on the “filles du roi,” or “daughters of the king,” the 770 or so single women and girls who, from 1663 to 1673, underwent the long and perilous ocean crossing from France to Quebec to become wives and mothers in the New World.
The presentation will take place at 11 a.m., after a general business meeting at 10:00, in the Androscoggin Community Room at Auburn Public Library. Both the meeting and presentation are free and open to the public.
The third annual Great Falls Fitness Seminar, “An Evening with Joan Benoit Samuelson,” will take place on Tuesday, April 29 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Franco Center in Lewiston.
The event is appropriate for seasoned runners looking to improve performance, as well as beginning runners and those just thinking about getting into running. Dr. Paul Cain of Central Maine Orthopaedics will emcee the event. Samuelson will begin the evening with an address at 6 p.m., followed by a Q&A with a panel of running experts, including Dr. James Timoney, Dr. Elizabeth Rothe, and Eric Gosselin of Select Physical Therapy.
By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
I ran for Mayor of Lewiston not for fame or notoriety, but because I was an irate taxpayer, sick of special interests and the liberal progressive policies put forth by academic and trust-fund elitists. Policies that ran counter to what the average person experienced every day. Policies embraced by spineless politicians that were opposite of the will of the middle class taxpayers that elected them.
I am a “coffee shop mayor.” I am not going to plant myself in my desk chair, which looks more like a throne, compared to the average executive’s chair, and hold court in an office to create an illusion that citizens who visit the mayor are in the presence of greatness, not their equal.
When the Lewiston-Auburn CA$H Coalition celebrated its 11th anniversary of free tax preparation and asset-building outreach on April 9, its IRS-certified local volunteers were recognized for preparing 2,042 returns, resulting in a total of $2,876,000 in Federal refunds and $701,000 in State refunds that will go back into the pockets of local residents.
Those numbers accounted for 43% of the total tax prep work done by Maine’s ten such coalitions during the 2014 tax season and brought the Coalition’s 11-year claim tally for L-A area residents to $22,561,674.