Community News – South Portland Holiday Toy Drive is underway

South Portland’s annual Holiday Toy Drive has begun and organizers say demand 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 [email protected] courtesy photo

“The winter months can be difficult for many families and the toy ride continues to be a bright spot for so many,” Gretchen McCloy, director of community partnerships at South Portland Schools, said in a Nov. 14 news release. “Every year I’ve been touched by the big smiles and words of thanks from the families when they picked up their presents.”

There are three ways to support the Toy Drive:

1.) Adopt a child/children.

2.) Buy toys and hand them in at the designated places.

3.) Donate by check, Venmo, or GoFundMe. 100 percent of the contributions benefit the children.

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

“Each child gets a new winter coat, boots and toys from their wish list. Started in 2011 by Liz Darling of Maine Roofing, Inc., the program has grown each year and become a tradition in the community, from the start of adoptions to the annual toy party at Evie’s Watering Hole, to the police and fire departments helped to move the mountain of presents for the children. But we still need your help to make this year a great holiday season. Please consider adopting or donating a child.”

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

Delivery points:

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 bean meals monthly.

The Peoples United Methodist Church hosts bean dinners on the third Saturday of every month. The next bean meal will be on Saturday, November 19th from 5pm to 6pm. 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. 12 years and under, the cost is $6.

For more information, call 207-799-3416.

First municipality plans Christmas market

A traditional Christmas celebration will be the focus of the annual Christmas Mass at Scarborough’s First Congregational Church. Mass is scheduled for Saturday 3 December from 8.30am to 12.00pm at the church at 167 Black Point Road, Scarborough.

Items on display in the Community Hall include holiday greenery, Christmas items, quilts, crafts, jewellery, gift baskets, knitwear, homemade baked goods/jams/jellies, sweets and the annual Cookie Walk. Coffee and breakfast snacks are offered.

The proceeds benefit the charitable commitment of the church. Masks are optional. The exhibition center can be reached barrier-free via a chairlift.

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

People’s United Methodist plans Christmas market

The Peoples United Methodist Church is hosting its Winter Wonderland Christmas Market on Saturday, December 3rd. The fair is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The Peoples United Methodist Church is located at 310 Broadway in South Portland.

The fair includes baked goods, sweets, jewellery, Christmas decorations, handmade gifts, books, new/nearly new items and trash-to-treasure. Lunch is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The menu includes chili, seafood chowder, corn chowder and hot dogs.

For more information, call 233-8870.

Rotating Christmas tree sale begins

The Rotary Club of South Portland-Cape Elizabeth’s Christmas Celebration began on November 25 and will be held at Mill Creek Park. courtesy photo

The South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary is holding its 60th annual Christmas tree sale at Mill Creek Park. The Christmas tree shopping experience began on November 25th and will continue until approximately 2,000 Maine-grown Christmas trees and wreaths have been purchased.

Christmas tree shopping hours at Rotary’s Mill Creek Park tree lot are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The site is closed on Tuesdays.

Customers wishing to order a tree or wreath online for pickup at the Christmas Tree Plaza can visit

The Rotary Club said 100 percent of proceeds from Christmas tree sales will be returned to our community through donations to nonprofits and schools to help neighbors address pressing issues such as food security, youth services, behavioral health, veterans’ needs, safety and stable housing .

Call for nominations for the eco-Excellence Award 2023

Kicking off Maine Recycles Week, ecomaine, a single-source recycling and sustainable waste management company, released its call for nominations for the 2023 eco-Excellence Awards. The awards are designed to recognize and recognize champions in Maine who are focused on recycling and waste diversion and their communities lead to larger models of sustainability.

The company said nominees live or work in any of its member communities and can be nominated until Tuesday, January 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 towards greater sustainability in Maine. Although we have presented these awards for many years, I continue to be impressed by the thoughtful leadership shown by all of our nominees.”

According to ecomaine, nominees must be residents of or serve in one of 73 ecomaine communities. Nominees can be businesses, schools, non-profit organizations, communities or employees or individuals and are selected on the basis of effectiveness, increased awareness, community impact and ease of replicability of their sustainability programs or initiatives. Preference will be given to nominees in the fields of sustainable waste management, recycling, composting, etc. Submissions will be evaluated by ecomaine’s Outreach & Recycling Committee and awarded on February 9, 2023.

The eco-Excellence Awards 2022 went to:

Casey Zorn, Portland, Person

Catherine Hewitt, Scarborough, Person
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, Person
We fill well, 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 swing during the 54th Annual Maine Track Club Turkey Trab 5K in Cape Elizabeth. The event benefits Wayside Food Programs through net proceeds and donations of nonperishable food. Allyn Genest/

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