May 22, 2018
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Valentine’s Day Gift Bags to go to troops at BIA

By Joni Averill

With her husband now retired after 30 years in the military, Arline Smith of Roque Bluffs holds our servicemen and servicewomen dear to her heart, which is what woke Smith up in the middle of a recent night, wondering what she could do for our troops for Valentine’s Day.

Her idea became a Support Our Troops Valentine’s Gift Bag, which is available for $4.

The package has “a small patriotic tin which contains a glass candle holder and votive candle, and a small package of Hershey kisses,” Smith said of the gift bag, which is “tied with a yellow ribbon to show support” for American troops.

The Valentine’s Gift Bags you purchase will be taken the week before Valentine’s Day to Bangor International Airport, where they will be distributed to arriving and departing troops who make a stopover at BIA.

The bags can be obtained by visiting or writing Down East Community Hospital Auxiliary Gift Shop, 11 Hospital Drive, Machias 04654, or call the shop at 255-0487.

Each gift bag also contains a printed saying: “Seal the Candle of Hope with a Kiss.”

Smith explained that the saying means that “we have all burned the candle way too long, and it’s time for our troops to come home, but we may have to burn the candle a little longer but let’s HOPE to seal it soon.”

Smith’s goal is to be able to have a minimum of 500 Valentine’s Gift Bags available for our troops passing through BIA.

• • •

Here’s a reminder from Suze Howe that, after Friday, Jan. 23, the ticket price increases for the Eastern Maine AIDS Network third annual Red Ribbon Ball, which begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, at Spectacular Event Center in Bangor.

Tickets now are $40 per person, but will be $50 after Jan. 23.

Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling EMAN at 990-3626 or by e-mailing

Black-tie optional dress and live music by Brian Catell and Jump City Jazz are featured in this fundraiser, which includes a silent auction.

• • •

Bangor Community Theatre board member Stephanie Erb reports BCT will conduct its annual meeting, 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25, at St. John Episcopal Church, 234 French St., Bangor.

“Board member elections will take place” at this meeting, Erb said, adding that “community involvement is encouraged.”

Light refreshments will be served, and you can obtain more information about BCT by calling secretary Nancy Dymond at 570-3222.

• • •

Word from the Penobscot County Extension office is that it has extended the deadline to register for its 2009 Master Gardener training program to Friday, Jan. 30.

Gleason Gray e-mailed the 40-hour training session begins Tuesday, Feb. 3, at the Extension office, 307 Maine Ave., Bangor.

Application packets are available by calling the Penobscot County Extension office at 800-287-1485 or 942-7396, or e-mail Theresa Tilton at

The fee is $100 for this program that “will concentrate on ornamental crops” and also will include “basic soils, botany and pest management training,” according to Gray.

The training program includes “a reference manual, a lot of opportunity to interact with other gardeners and opportunities to work on a variety of volunteer projects,” Gray added.

• • •

Louisa Carl e-mailed “River School, Belfast’s independent high school, is seeking donations of auction items and gift certificates for its second annual Treat Your Sweetie and Yourself Valentine’s Day Silent Auction.”

That event is 5-7 p.m. Feb. 11, at River School in the Belfast Center, 9 Field St. The snow date is Feb. 12.

This event “focuses on gifts and services that people can give as Valentine’s Day gifts, or that they can just enjoy for themselves,” Carl wrote of items ranging from massage sessions to schooner sail trips.

If you can donate an item or service, call 338-0100 or e-mail

To learn more about River School, visit

• • •

Dead River Co., Bangor, and Hannaford Supermarkets, Scarborough, have announced their partnership in initiating “Share the Warmth,” a heating assistance campaign to help needy families pay fuel bills.

Now through Jan. 31, Dead River Co. will match each dollar collected at Hannaford stores in Maine and New Hampshire, up to $100,000.

Customers can participate in this program by making a $2 or $5 donation at Hannaford checkout registers at stores in Maine and New Hampshire.

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402;; 990-8288.

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