Friday, April 26, 2019

Keeping Lakes Region’s most precious resource in tip-top condition can be successful through volunteer efforts

By Lorraine Glowczak

A new Windham Town committee has recently been established to keep much needed attention on the greatest natural resource in the Sebago Lakes region – water. The Town of Windham’s Natural Resource Committee (WNRC) is spearheaded by Windham Councilor, Donna Chapman and is chaired by Dennis Brown, who is also an active volunteer for the Highland Lake Leadership Team and has been instrumental in targeting the many environmental concerns facing the lake.

As mandated by the state from each municipality, Councilor Chapman explained the importance of
the newly launched WNRC. “We have never had such a committee before and seeing that we have five watersheds on the impaired list, it seems necessary to have a committee working on these issues,” explained Chapman. “The committee will look at all of our open spaces and determine how our natural resources are used, discovering things we can be doing to prevent further [environmental damage] – combining that with the action of community volunteers.”

Brown reiterated Chapman’s response adding that those in the Windham, Raymond and other lake region communities can give in ways with very little time commitment. “The more volunteers we have, the less obligation it will take on an individual level.”
There are several ways to be active, offering a few hours of your time in an effort to clean up the
natural spaces surrounding the region’s streams and lakes. One is by being a member of the Natural Resource Committee for those who are Windham residents. To be considered as a member, playing an active role in making decisions, one need only apply via the Town of Windham’s website at

Another opportunity is through the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust (PRLT) which has established their own citizen science volunteer program.

“We run a 20-week water quality monitoring program that goes from May through September and involves collecting water samples every other Saturday morning from somewhere in our five-town region,” stated Toby Jacobs, PRLT Stewardship and Outreach Manager. “Most volunteers work in pairs or groups of three and sample three sites per group. Samples are tested for dissolved oxygen (high amounts of which is crucial for aquatic life) and bacteria (high levels of which can make water dangerous for drinking or swimming).” [from a previous interview published in the March 1, 2019 edition of the Windham Eagle.]

PRLT will host a training led by the Maine DEP on Saturday, May 4. The training will include how to collect water samples and data every other Saturday morning from mid-May through mid-September. Water stewards are placed in teams of two to three, so you don’t need to be available for every sampling day. Please contact for more information.

townmanager@fryeislandtown.orgIf you are interested in participating with the PRLT in other environmental events, they have a variety of volunteer opportunities, “We are always taking volunteers to help us with trails to our new wildlife initiative to create habitat for key species in the region,” stated Jacobs. “People can sign-up and”
obtain information at

In regard to becoming a volunteer and water steward, Chapman captured the current situation the best “….the more, the merrier.” And as for the active work in cleaning up our most precious resource, collectively doing our best to keep the Lake Region waters clean, “…let’s get this show on the road.”

Portland Altrusa Club brings books to Kindergarteners at Windham Primary School

By Elizabeth Richards

Altrusa International, Inc. might not have the same name recognition as other service organizations, but members have been serving the area through the Portland club for ninety years.  In Windham, the club has been putting books in the hands of all kindergarten students for three years now.

Altrusa of Portland is one of 17 clubs in District One, which includes New England, Eastern Canada and Bermuda.  In Maine, there are four Altrusa clubs.  Altrusa of Portland has 39 members, including several from the Lakes Region. 

For twenty-five years, the Portland Altrusa club has participated in the ABC Literacy Program.  Members read a book to a kindergarten class and then give each child a book to take home, as well as giving the teacher a book for the classroom.

Club treasurer Wanda Pettersen joined the club after she retired. She learned about The ABC Literacy Program, which was happening in every Portland, South Portland and Westbrook kindergarten classroom at the time, and wanted to bring it to Windham, where she lives.  After making sure there were members from the area willing to do the reading, she contacted the principal at Windham Primary School to get the program started. 

This is the third year that Altrusa of Portland has brought the ABC Literacy Program to all 11 kindergarten classes at Windham Primary School. “It’s so much fun. The kids love it,” Pettersen said.
“The children’s faces, when they learn they’re going to get to keep a book – it’s priceless,” added Club Director Debbie Lemieux. are given a choice of several books to choose from, so they can select something that matches their interests.  Pettersen said she was surprised at how many children told her they didn’t have any books at home.  “They are just delighted to think that they have a book of their own that they can bring home. It is amazing how many families don’t have books,” she said.

Books A Million is Altrusa’s main partner for acquiring books, Pettersen said.  The store conducts book drives at the cash registers, and then donates those books to Altrusa.

Lemieux said the club has given away an average of 100,000 books per year both through the ABC program and other avenues.  In December, they wrapped books and gave them to area organizations like the Boys & Girls Club, she said.

They give board books to Head Start programs, and members donate books that are then given to Long Creek Youth Development Center, The Cumberland County Jail and the Windham Correctional Center. 

Literacy is something the club focuses on, but they also participate in other service activities.  Last year, they started sponsoring a high school club, called ASTRA, at Lakes Region High School.  This is the first ASTRA club in Maine and one of just two in New England. The students have weekly meetings and participate in fundraisers and service projects – including going into Sebago schools to do the ABC literacy program. The ASTRA club has about 25 student members. “We’re very proud of our Astrans,” Lemieux said.

Other club activities include maintaining a memory garden at the Barron Center in Portland, serving meals at the Ronald McDonald House and for Wayside Community Programs, giving scholarships, and holding a fundraising event for Project FEED.

One of their biggest fundraisers each year is a show by comedian Bob Marley.  Marley, whose mother is an Altrusan, donates his time to the cause.  This year, the show is on Wednesday, May 8 at Keeley’s Banquet Center in Portland.  Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at Eventbrite, on Keeley’s Facebook page, or through an Altrusan.

Altrusa of Portland is always looking for new members with fresh ideas, Lemieux said.  Meetings are held on the first and third Wednesday of each month. The first meeting is a business meeting held at the Clarion Hotel, and the second is a dinner and program held at the Fireside Inn. For more information, contact the club at or visit their Facebook page, Altrusa International – Portland,  Maine Club.

Before the memory fades: The history, mystery and controversy of Windham’s Old Quaker Burial Ground – Part II

1906 - Celebrating 50 years of a monthly school meeting
By Walter Lunt

By the 1970s, the tiny cemetery on the corner of Route 202 and Pope Road had grown over with trees and underbrush – literally and figuratively forgotten.

Time had all but erased the existence of Windham’s first Quaker burial ground, located on the piece of land bequeathed by the Town to the Society of Friends (Quakers) in 1780.

As discussed in part one of this series (The Windham Eagle - April 12, 2019), a local builder, unaware of the property’s previous “life,” had moved men and equipment on to the hallowed ground to prepare it for the construction of houses or an apartment building. Concerned citizens produced ancient maps from the Windham Historical Society that proved the site was an old burial ground, a Quaker burial ground. Ultimately, the Town of Windham, community volunteers and even the builder joined forces to clear the site, build a fence around it and install signage. What followed would prove to be awkward and somewhat controversial.

A decision was made to give the little cemetery a formal re-dedication. Little consideration was given to the fact that Quakers shunned such celebratory demonstrations, believing such displays to be tawdry, or merely sensational in their appeal. Windham Militia, a re-creation of a Revolutionary War Company (The Windham Eagle – March 29, 2019) announced they would be part of the ceremony by marching and firing off a three-gun salute.

Windham resident Phil Kennard, a member of both the historical society and the militia, protested the idea, reminding militia captain Larry Ziehler that the use of firearms would be antithetical to core Quaker values.

In an email addressed to the Windham Historical Society in 2015, Kennard recounted the episode, writing “I (decided) to sit this one out. I arrived in civilian dress. Capt. Zeihler (led the militia) up Pope Road in parade formation. (He then gave) a call to halt. ‘Order-Arms-Attention – prepare to salute the dead.’”

Following this, explained Kennard, “…the normal sequence would be ‘Ready, Aim, Fire.’ But it was not forthcoming. Instead, it was ‘Present Arms.’ Instantly, every man brought his musket into (a) position that denotes respect. And Capt. Ziehler, unsheathing his sword, brought its tip to the toe of his boot and touched his free hand to one of the corners of his cocked hat in a hand salute. He held (the soldiers) to this position until cameras stopped clicking and then, after giving the necessary orders, marched them back from whence they had come, leaving me feeling mighty proud of those boys.”

One reason the cemetery could so easily hide in plain sight for so long is that it is a Quaker, or Friends, burial ground. Early Windham historians referred to this religious sect as peculiar or queer, due to the Friends unusual customs. Their dress was plain; men wore broad-brimmed beaver hats; bonnets were the familiar head gear on women. Both were always seen adorned in drab, colorless clothes. Further, Friends language utilized the archaic form of pronouns: Thee, Thou and Thy. All were sworn to live by the principles of peace, equality, social liberty and strict honesty in all dealings.
Upon their arrival in Windham around 1774, residents thought the Friends behavior odd, but accepted them into the community, even exempting them from the ministerial tax since Quaker worship (or meetings) employed no parson, minister or preacher.

The Friends settled in the center of Windham and established themselves as honest, prosperous contributors to the community. They were merchants, farmers, blacksmiths and mill owners.
The first Friends Meeting House was built shortly after their arrival at the corner of Swett and Gray (route 202) Roads. Education was a high priority, so a two-story academy for “higher learning” was added. Little else is known about these early Quakers.

The present Friends Meeting House, built in 1849, is located on route 202 (near the present-day Public Safety Building). Almost adjacent to the church is the second burial ground – the Friends Cemetery, almost hidden on forest ground under tall pine trees. Ancient headstones record the generations of Quakers that populated the Windham Center village of Popeville, named for one of the earliest settled families.

But this story does not end with the 1972 re-dedication of the Old Quaker Burial Ground. At this time, more old-timers were exchanging more memories about mysterious voices emanating from the old cemetery. Some even maintained that bodies were exhumed and reburied at the Friends Cemetery several hundred feet away, possibly to straighten Pope Road where it crossed 202. We’ll examine those stories in part III, next time. <

The importance of responsible dog ownership

Zoe - The Windham Eagle office dog.
By Lorraine Glowczak

The American Kennel Club (AMC) officially recognizes the third weekend in September as “Responsible Dog Ownership” day. Although the intention of such a ‘celebration’ is to bring about awareness of pet accountability and safekeeping, one might assume that such a day should not be necessary if an individual makes a well-thought out decision to have a pet in their life.

The topic of responsible dog ownership has come to the attention of the Windham Town Council, creating agenda item discussions on procedures, ordinances and legalities in terms of local law enforcement’s legal capability to enforce such regulations.

The Town Council is working together with Windham Police Department (WPD) to establish a set of ordinances that are in accordance with state laws, working on exact specifications with the intention of giving the WPD a certain level of enforcement capability in the matter.

Shannon Oliver, owner of Doggie Daycare in Raymond provided a few tips regarding responsible pet ownership. “In regard to the winter months, breeds that have thicker coats, including German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labs, Huskies and Malamutes can hold body heat for up to an hour at a time,” explained Oliver. “Short coated dogs, however, – once they start lifting their paws, usually after about 25 minutes in the outdoors, it is time for them to go indoors.”

Oliver also mentioned that starting flea and tick protection should have begun about a month ago. “And it crucial for dogs to have a heartworm preventative program once the mosquitoes are out. If heartworm goes untreated it can cause death.”

As for heat in the summer months, – breeds such Boxers, Boston Terriers and Pugs can overheat quickly. But for almost all dogs, a 70-degree day without shade can cause overheating. “It’s also imperative to watch out for dogs’ paws,” Oliver began. “Dogs sweat through their paws and when they walk on hot pavement, this too can cause overheating and blistering.”

For those who may be considering pet ownership - below is a small list of what it takes to be responsible as well as the many issues one should consider before becoming a parent to our four-legged counterparts. The list was compiled by the AKC. To view the full list: Recognize the commitment
Before deciding that a dog is right for you, make an honest assessment: are you ready for the financial, emotional, and time commitment owning a dog requires?

2. Evaluate your lifestyle
Think about the type of dog that will best suit your lifestyle. Evaluate all aspects of your family’s life — hobbies, activities, personalities — before choosing a breed.

3. Make a list
Based on your evaluation, what qualities do you want in a dog? Consider size, energy level, grooming needs, trainability, and temperament. If you rent an apartment, are there restrictions on height, weight, or breed? Answer these questions now, because once you bring a dog home, it can be heartbreaking to realize you made the wrong choice.

4. Consider an older dog
Puppies aren’t for everyone. If an older dog better fits your lifestyle, check the AKC Rescue Network. Most rescue dogs have been spayed or neutered and are screened for health and temperament issues.

5. Skip the holidays
Most breeders don’t recommend giving dogs as a present. A new puppy needs your undivided attention, which is difficult during the holiday season. A better idea is to give dog-related gifts — toys, leashes, grooming tools — and then bring your puppy home when all of the excitement has died down.

6. Dog-proof your house
Prepare your home before your new dog arrives. Move breakables or “chewables” to higher ground. Make electrical cords inaccessible to curious paws and noses. Block off any area of the house that’s off-limits. Block access to any house or garden plants that are toxic to dogs.

7. Set a containment policy
Make sure the yard is securely fenced or that you have a run for your dog. If that’s not possible, keep in mind that your pup will need to be on a leash outdoors.

8. Make a bed
Create a comfortable area — whether a crate, a dog bed, or a pile of blankets — for your dog to go to when he needs rest or privacy.

9. Select a veterinarian
Choose a veterinarian ahead of time, so you’ll be ready for a visit soon after your dog comes home. Give your vet copies of the dog’s health records, and set up a vaccination and check-up schedule.

10. Feed him a healthy diet
Your breeder or vet can suggest food that is best for your dog’s age, size, and activity level. Keep the diet consistent. Always provide plenty of fresh, clean water.

11. Exercise
Take your dog for walks, play games, run in the yard, throw a ball around — anything to stimulate his mind and body.

12. Take walks
Your dog will enjoy exploring the neighborhood and he’ll benefit from the exercise.

13. Set a good example
As a dog owner, you are responsible not only for your own dog’s wellbeing, but for the status of dogs everywhere. Owning a friendly, clean, well-mannered dog reflects positively on the species.

14. Respect your neighbors
Not everyone will love your dog as much as you do. Keep your dog on your property. Don’t force your dog’s company on a neighbor who isn’t comfortable with dogs.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Operation Sunshine Bears project donates toys to medical organizations

Approximately 85 hand-made crochet and knit bears were recently received by Rosemary’s Gift and Yarn Shop, 39 Roosevelt Trail in Windham. The bears (and seven monkeys) were made by 29 women from the Women’s Center at the Maine Correctional Center for Operation Sunshine Bears.

Operation Sunshine Bears is the brainchild of Rosemary Libby, owner of Rosemary’s Gift & Yarn Shop, “The Largest Yarn Shop in Maine.” Knitters and crocheters create and stuff the bears, which are collected by Rosemary and her staff at the shop. The bears are then distributed to the Ronald McDonald House, the Maine Medical Child Life Program (Barbara Bush Wing in Portland), and several other organizations and agencies.

In addition to the cuddly, hand-made stuffed animals, the women from the Women’s Center at MCC made 80 adult and children’s’ hats that will be distributed to local schools and the Preble Street shelter.
The women at the correctional center rely on donated yarn to make their projects. They purchase their knitting needles and crochet hooks themselves, as the implements must meet certain requirements to be used within the Women’s Center.

Rosemary’s Gift & Yarn Shop is hosting a yarn drive on April 27 at the shop to help keep the women crafters at the MCC Women’s Shelter supplied with raw materials. The yarn collection event will be held in conjunction with Local Yarn Store Day on April 27.

The yarn collection event will be promoted on the shop’s website at and on their Facebook page at

For more information, please contact Amanda Kovats of the Women’s Center at the Maine Correctional Center at 207-893-7056, or Rosemary Libby, owner of Rosemary’s Gift and Yarn Shop, at 207-894-5770.

Music with a Mission features Travis James Humphrey in concert Saturday April 27th

On Saturday, April 27th, at 7 p.m., Music with a Mission is proud to present Travis James Humphrey for a fun evening of original music along with some of the best covers of country, folk and honky-tonk favorites.

Travis James Humphrey is a professional musician and Northern Maine native who learned his trade from his father, Tim Humphrey.  After high school, Travis served with the United States Air Force as a bandsman for 8 years.  He returned home to Maine in 2003 and became a working musician performing regularly to packed houses at Lenny’s and other clubs throughout Southern Maine.  

Travis, who mostly performs solo, has released four studio albums and opened shows for B.B. King, Ricky Skaggs, Roy Clark, David Mallett, Don Campbell, The Mallett Brothers Band, and many other fine artists.  

The Music with a Mission concert series is sponsored by the North Windham Union Church, which donates a portion of the proceeds to area non-profits.  Now in our seventh season, MWAM has provided almost $62,000 for mission support to the church and other community organizations.  

Travis James Humphrey has chosen to support the RSU14 Windham Raymond Backpack Program in their efforts to provide food to 150 students in 3 elementary schools each weekend of the school year giving balanced meals for the food insecure.

Tickets will be sold at the door and are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.  They are also available online at  The box office opens at 6 p.m. and the doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The North Windham Union Church is located at 723 Roosevelt Trail in Windham. For more information please call 892-6142 or email

Windham graduate enjoys reconnecting with his hometown community

By Matt Pascarella

Matthew Bell knows the importance of community and applies that every day. He is the nurse at the Manchester School in North Windham. Prior to that, he was a medic for the United States Army. He is also coaching soccer, alongside Jason Dakin, and has been doing so for several years.

Matthew Bell
Before joining the Military, Bell never considered a career in the medical field.

“When I joined the military, I wanted to make sure I had a usable skill when I got out,” he explained. “My recruiter helped guide me to becoming a medic and I ended up loving it. Toward the end of my first enlistment, the Army offered me nursing school.”

From that point, he went to the Army Medical Department Center in San Antonio, Texas and received his nursing license.

While in the military, Bell worked with active duty and veteran populations. This meant a lot to him. “Being able to help these soldiers caused me to fall in love with nursing. Helping these individuals who have given so much for us is humbling and extremely rewarding.”

Working at the Manchester School was a natural fit for Bell. He stated that the students are an engaging age group. The educators and support staff are some of the greatest with whom he’s ever worked and have the best interest of the students in mind; they are always willing to help.

Bell is impressed with the teamwork and collaboration between nurses within RSU 14. Working with accomplished people who are willing to help or answer any questions has made his job even better.  

Bell got into coaching to be closer to his daughters. He quickly learned he was having more fun than they were. He and coach Dakin started coaching for Windham Youth Soccer Association (WYSA) at the U11/U12 level. They both have been moving up with this talented group of girls throughout the years. He and Dakin are also in their second year of coaching Velocity Soccer, a premier soccer league.

Last fall, Bell took over as the eighth grade girls’ coach. “Being involved in coaching has allowed me to connect with the community,” Bell said. “I have made friends throughout this town and surrounding area as a result of coaching. Also, coaching the kids through WYSA, Velocity and RSU 14 has been extremely rewarding. I have had the good fortune of coaching the same girls for the last few years and it has allowed me to see them grow as both players and young women.”

Bell would like every player who plays for him to grow as an athlete, but more importantly to grow as a person and teammate.

He and his wife, who is also a WHS graduate, have two daughters in the middle school. When he is not working or coaching, he enjoys spending time with his family. They like hiking, swimming and spending time outside. His youngest daughter and he have gotten back into fishing and hope to enjoy a lot more of it this spring and summer. 

Community Day shares student learning with town

By Matt Pascarella

Community is important. Manchester Community Day, held on Wednesday, March 10 at Manchester School in North Windham, showcased service projects by fourth and fifth grade students during the year. Friends, family and service members gathered in the gymnasium to view the projects and show support. The theme of the day focused on students caring for their neighbors and community.

Fourth graders Allison Shardlow and Brenna Small
from Mrs. Priebe's class show off a homemade birdhouse
Principal Danielle Donnini introduced RSU14 Superintendent Sanford Prince who was one of the guest speakers. He talked about the bravery of Maine resident Samantha Smith, who wrote a letter in 1982 to Yuri Andropov, the leader of the Soviet Union, asking why he wanted to be at war with the United States. Superintendent Prince spoke about how she made a difference and how the students at Manchester School can make a difference. Superintendent Prince added giving back is more important than receiving and the importance of caring for friends, family and community members. 

He also spoke of building relationships with others and the difference that can make.
Windham Middle School Principal Drew Patton then spoke of having role models within the community; and that Windham is full of role models. He stated that as individuals, we need to model the behaviors we want to see.

After the assembly, the students separated by class to reveal the projects they had been working on all year. Students from Carol Priebe’s class, built, painted and distributed birdhouses to those who serve and protect the public.

Priebe has been doing the birdhouse project for a while and she said, “it’s a great way to bring wildlife to the community and our brave service well as show our appreciation.”
Jill Thornton’s class collected the tabs off soda cans to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House. Another project included making dog toys out of recycled t-shirts.
Chef Ryan Roderick on the stationary bike blender
making fruit smoothies 

Kelley Simpson, coordinator of the ‘Let’s Go’ program had a stationary bike with a blender on the back. When the bike was peddled, the blender began blending fruit smoothies everyone could enjoy while getting exercise.

It’s a fun way to get physical activity while also making a healthy snack; a healthy alternative to sugary drinks. It’s been really fun and an exciting thing to bring to schools,” observed Simpson.

I think it’s nice for communities to get together whenever they can in a time of celebration and it’s an opportunity to bring parents in during the day,” stated Principal Danielle Donnini. “It’s nice for the students to see the service men and women - a show of mutual respect and support from kids to grownups and grownups back to kids.”

Friday, April 12, 2019

National Nutrition Month was a way to introduce students to a wider variety of foods

By Lanet Hane

RSU14 is well known for its incredible food service, with frequent mentions in media around the state. It has been featured on Maine Public Radio, Central Maine, and the Portland Press Herald, just to mention a few. And it continues to impress, not only with the quality of the food available, but the creativity of the whole department.

Last month’s Eat Your Way Through The Alphabet campaign is no exception.

Throughout the month of March, National Nutrition Month, the entire district participated in an exploration of food that took them all the way through the alphabet. Starting with foods like asparagus and arugula and ending the month with a variety of ways to prepare zucchini, students had the opportunity to try new healthful foods without pressure. Even quinoa had a chance to be in the spotlight!

“Our Eat Your Way Through The Alphabet campaign to celebrate National Nutrition Month is a wonderful way to introduce students to a wider variety of fruits & vegetables,” stated Jeanne Reilly, Director of School Nutrition, “Kids and parents alike enjoy this month long event.  We are frequently pleasantly surprised at how well accepted a new fruit or vegetable is!  Roasted asparagus this year got rave reviews and even emails from parents requesting the recipe.” while the month of hard work was definitely a huge hit among the lower grades, it also provided an opportunity for the high school students. Students in their second year of high school health class used the month as an opportunity to investigate the various health benefits of the featured fruits and
veggies and create posters to hang on the cafeteria walls.

“Students selected two foods and had to research, from a reliable source, a number of aspects of the foods,” said Kim Bartholomew, Health 2 instructor at Windham High School, “It was fun to hear them say, while they were standing in line for the lunch, ‘I made that!’.”

Research included learning nutritional facts about the foods as well as finding preparation methods and recipes, as several of the foods students had never tried before. By the end of the project, students understood not only why the foods were healthful options, but also how to best include these foods in their future food choices.

“We enthusiastically embrace this healthy eating adventure,” says Reilly, “though I must admit we are usually happy to see it end every year, but that doesn’t stop us from jotting ideas down for next year!

Thank you to Reilly and her entire staff for the hard work they put into this campaign each year. We can’t wait to see what next year’s brings!

A Palm Sunday service like no other: Creative worship and the Rutter Requiem Aeternam

Raymond Village Community Church UCC (RVCC) Pastor Nancy Foran and Music Director Patrick Martin invite everyone to a magnificent fusion of creative worship and gorgeous choral music at the RVCC Palm Sunday Service, Sunday, April 14, 10 a.m. at the church.

The service; “Passion Sunday with Palms”, begins with the story of Jesus’ triumphal procession into
Jerusalem and ends with his trial, scourging and death - a powerful prelude to the joy of Easter Sunday. The story is told through readings, visuals, and the music of the “sensitive and beautiful” choral work; Requiem Aeternam, by English composer John Rutter, performed by the RVCC Choir and a variety of guest singers.

“I am so fortunate to be able to collaborate with someone with Patrick’s energy, passion, and musical talent,” stated Rev. Foran. “Not to mention his contacts in the regional music community. For both Palm Sunday and Easter, he is augmenting our choir with a number of excellent local singers, and the results will be amazing!”

“This is the sort of service that will be deeply significant to both churchgoing people and to those who appreciate really meaningful choral music.”

The service will last approximately an hour.

This Palm Sunday collaboration will be followed by an equally powerful candlelight Tenebrae (“Shadows”) service on Maundy Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m., and a joyous Easter Celebration Service, Sunday, April 21 at 10 a.m. The Church will also be open to everyone for quiet meditation and reflection on Good Friday, April 19 between noon and 3 p.m.

For further information, email Rev. Foran at, or call the church at 655-7749.

Raymond Village Community Church is a United Church of Christ congregation.  It is a diverse faith community embracing tolerance, committed to missions and outreach, singing joyfully, and welcoming all people no matter where they are on their faith journey.  For more information about RVCC, contact Rev. Nancy Foran, Pastor, at 655-7749 or

Windham Alumni Association: Honoring the past that contributes to future successes

By Lorraine Glowczak
Except for those who move often during the early years of life due to parental circumstance and jobs, most of us spend our young lives living in the same town and attending the same school, spending time with friends that we also consider family.

But then, at the young age of approximately 18, we graduate, stepping out into a new stage in our lives, longing for new and fun experiences. There is so much to explore, and we leave the “mundane” of small-town life behind us.

This is truth. This is reality.

But it is also true that those in our past have stayed by our side for as long as we can remember.  Friendships change as we change, but that doesn’t mean that they must fade. Nobody knows us like our oldest friends, and nobody feels like family the way they do. Just remember, while moving forward, don’t forget those who supported you for the first 18 years of your life.

That’s why the Windham Alumni Association, established over 80 years ago, is here and provides an opportunity to look back annually, providing an opportunity to remember and honor our closest friends who were there in the very beginning. “When the association was established, no one really knows,” explained Gary Plummer, a 1964 graduate of Windham High School who is presently the President of the Alumni Association and was also a former Windham teacher and a Maine State Senator. “What I do know is the association was re-established under the leadership of Harold Haskell. You know,” he began to explain to this Windham newby reporter, “That’s Windham’s Town Councilor, Clayton Haskell’s father?”

Seeing the importance of reconnecting the old with the youth, Harold Haskell worked to give the Windham Alumni Association new life in 1992 when the association was lacking in participation and numbers. Although, no one knows when the association began exactly, there is the common belief and agreement that the Windham Alumni association’s origin began in 1910.

Elsie Haskell, Harold Clayton’s wife and mother of Town Councilor, Clayton Haskell stated that her husband wanted to give the dying association new life. “He always wanted to start it back up,” she explained. “It wasn’t until the school called us, telling us they had the bank book of past alumni, that he was able to get the organization started again.” It was at that time he became president of the association.

Robert Meile, a 1942 graduate of Windham High School and a veteran of WWII, has a vested interested in the Alumni Association as he views this as an organization that provides an annual occasion to visit and reconnect with long-time friends – the few that are left. “I was born the year this association was re-established,” Meile said. “And I hope that it continues to bring alumni together so everyone can see how far they have come since they graduated and to connect with friends from the past.”

Plummer stated that the mission of the WAA is “….seeking to foster a connection among all alumni who share the common bond of Windham Schools.” Plummer continued. “To further this goal, we organize events of networking and awards to encourage future alumni to join and to ensure lifelong connections that benefit the high school and the community.”

Walter Lamb, another alumni member, added to Plummer’s sentiments by stating that one is not required to graduate from Windham High School in order to be a part of the association. “You don’t’ necessarily have to graduate from Windham High School to be a part of the association,” he began. “If you were in our class and didn’t graduate with us, you are still a part of us. You contributed to our experiences and we embrace all those who had at least some part of an experience here.”

The challenge for the association is that today’s graduating seniors do not attend the annual banquet and the numbers of participants are dwindling. But President Plummer is determined to keep the organization alive.

The association offers a scholarship every year to deserving seniors during the high school’s regular graduation activities.  In addition, the alumni association also awards a second $500 scholarship, on behalf of the grange, to a student planning to pursue work in agriculture or a related field.

Plummer has worked tirelessly to keep the Windham Alumni Association alive. In fact, he has persuaded close friends who have fallen away, on the cusp of leaving the mission of gathering people together with a common bond.

The Windham Alumni Association holds an annual banquet in May on the first Saturday after Mother’s Day. This year, the event will be held on Saturday, May 18th at the Windham Middle School Auditorium.

For more information or to become involved in the alumni association, contact Plummer at or 892-8570

Robin Greeley helps students explore creativity

Robin Greeley

By Matt Pascarella

Robin Greeley is an art educator for the RSU14 district. She teaches grades kindergarten through fourth grade with three and one-half days at Raymond Elementary School and grades kindergarten through third grade with one and one-half days at Windham Primary School. Art is her passion; something she defines as sitting down to do and suddenly four hours have gone by and it feels like five minutes.

Greeley explained she brings an artistic background to the classroom by sharing stories of the artists; their struggles, how they were accepted and the historical element to her teachings. “I think you’re apt to allow the kids the freedom to ask. ‘well, what if I did this?’”
For many years, she worked in the home, raising her children. But once they were in school and was busy with their many activities, Greeley asked herself what she wanted to do next with her life.

She knew she enjoyed working with children and had always had an interest in the arts so she started researching and thought she might like to be a teacher. She knew that if she was going to be an educator, she wanted to teach something she was passionate about. It was at that point she made her decision to teach art to young children.
“The fact that I get so much joy out of doing art, making art...this is what I’m supposed to be doing because I’m thoroughly engaged, I’m not trying to rush through something...just to complete it. It’s something I fully enjoy, and it fulfills me,” Greeley explained.

The children are her favorite part of the job. Greeley stated she knows people say, ‘I learn more from the kids than they’ll ever learn from me,’ but Greeley stresses that is really true. “Kids teach adults how to look at things differently.” If she puts a colander on the table, she knows its purpose, but to a kid, it can be a hat, or something they can stand in and tip side to side. “The novelty of things and the way that they see things I think is what I love the most.”

A Raymond resident and Windham High graduate, Greeley is married with two children. She’s lived between Massachusetts and Florida for many years until she moved to Maine when she was a junior in high school. She graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a B.A. in fine arts and a concentration in education. This past summer she got her master’s degree in special education with a gifted and talented endorsement.

"YardScape" for a healthy, safer lawn

By Matt Pascarella

The Highland Lake Association held a Spring Lawncare Workshop which was sponsored by the Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District on Wednesday April 3 at the Windham Public Library. Ali Clift, Educator and Outreach Coordinator from the Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District, spoke about the YardScape program and the importance of proper, healthy landscaping.

“The goal of the workshop is to help participants transition their lawncare practices from dependence on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides towards a more natural lawn which focuses on soil health and requires fewer resources (nitrogen, phosphorous, water, time, and money) to grow,” explains Clift. 

“Lawns treated in this way have a stronger resistance to common lawn pests and diseases.”

Clift spoke about the dangers of ‘weed and feed’ fertilizers which contain pesticides. While pesticides kill bugs and rodents and keep weeds from growing, they can be harmful to adults, children and animals. More than 50% of pesticides contain carcinogens, which pose a threat to your family and pets. Clift described pesticides as a ‘war on lawns.

Several areas were addressed to help grow a healthier lawn: mowing, aerating, topdressing, fertilizing and overseeding.

When mowing, you do not want to cut your grass down close to the soil. Taller grass has healthier roots. With a sharp blade, cut your grass at 3” or 1/3 of the grass blade. This allows root development. Leave your grass clippings on the lawn as a fertilizer source. Mowing in the early evening is best, after the heat of the day and before the dew settles. Vary your mowing pattern so you don’t compact your soil will keep your grass healthier. Depending on rain, water your lawn between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. once or twice a week.

A core aerator removes plugs of soil from your lawn. It loosens the soil, so that air, water and nutrients can reach the roots. It makes existing nutrients more available to grass, reducing the need for fertilizers and improves root growth and thickens turf.

Topdressing is spreading a thin layer of compost on your lawn. This will help increase soil depth. The most effective way to do this, aside from hiring a lawn professional, is to make ‘compost tea.’ Compost tea is steeped in room temperature water. This process grows the population of beneficial microorganisms and makes nutrients immediately available to the grass.

When it comes to fertilizer, organic doesn’t always mean safe. It’s very important to read the ingredients and how to properly use them. People interested in using YardScaping-friendly products can look for yellow ducky stickers and tags in their local garden centers and hardware stores.

Unless you have done a soil test that identifies a need for phosphorus and potassium, all you really need is nitrogen. Looking for a 10-0-0 bag with corn meal gluten is a good choice. Slow release is ideal, too. Younger lawns (under 10 years) need nitrogen as food, while older lawns (10+ years) can get by with just lawn clippings.

Focus on fertilizing in the fall; doing so in the summer creates extra work.

Overseeding is the process of spreading seed over existing lawn to rejuvenate the grass. This restores grass and thickens turf. Adding clover, a rapid spreader that crowds out weeds and grows well with grass, takes nitrogen from the environment that plants can’t use and converts it to nitrogen plants can use.

Brent Olsen, a Windham resident and retired teacher, attended the workshop because he received a memo from the Highland Lake Association and thought it would be a good topic to explore and found it very informative. 

“Lawns do not provide adequate buffering capacity for any shoreline property,” observed Rosie Hartzler, President of the Highland Lake Association. “But when coordinated with a vegetated buffer along the shoreline, lawns can be part of the homeowners plan to exhibit ‘lake smart living.’

She continued, “The goal of Highland Lake Association education efforts is to encourage every homeowner to provide better buffering capability of their property especially if a property is located in the Shoreland zone at Highland Lake (first 250 feet from the edge of the lake). It is highly recommended that homeowners not cultivate lawns right down to the shoreline, as grass does not have an adequate root system for buffering and filtering potential runoff.”

YardScaping practices build healthy soil to grow a beautiful lawn without weed and bug killers and with reduced use of fertilizer. We all play an important role in keeping our soil and water healthy and clean.

For more information visit: and click on the Yardscaping tab.