Each year, staff of the Upward Bound programs at the University of Maine in Orono go above and beyond the call of duty, in my opinion, to ensure their students have adequate funds to participate in UB.
Upward Bound, according to the its website, http://umaine.edu/ub/, “is a federally funded program which assists qualified students to improve their skills in high school and to prepare to enter and succeed in college. UB provides academic support during the school year and an intense six-week residential summer experience at UM.”
But Classic Upward Bound and UM Math Science co-director Lori Wingo explained, funding is not what it used to be.
“Since we’ve been level-funded with our federal budget for the past seven years, it has been difficult … to continue to provide the same level of services to our students. We’ve managed to pull this off by incorporating a spring art/silent auction fundraiser,” but now it is time to do something different.
With so many nonprofit organizations hosting art auctions and silent auctions, Lori said, UB staff decided maybe getting down to the “grass-roots level” would open up new funding avenues.
To do that, she and her co-workers came up with a great plan, utilizing interests of their own to attract a new cadre of donors and UB supporters.
First, Lori’s co-director, Becky Colannino, is organizing a St. Patrick’s Day Pizza Fundraiser 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, March 17, at Acme Pizza & Wing Co., 296 Main St. in Old Town.
Admission is $12 or $40 for a party of four for all-you-can-eat pizza, garden salad, bread sticks and soda. There will be a cash bar with Irish green beer, and tickets are available at the door or by calling (800) 581-2522 for reservations.
Next, Assistant Director Kelly Ilseman is organizing a yoga event, 9 a.m.-noon, Sunday, March 20, at Central Street Yoga, Suite 401, 9 Central St. in Bangor.
Featuring 108 sun salutations to welcome spring, the event has a registration fee of $25, and participants are encouraged to collect pledges to reach $108. Everyone will be entered to win a drawing. You can register at Central Street Yoga or by calling the number above.
Finally, the third piece, the one nearest and dearest to Lori’s heart because it is the one she is organizing: a statewide, two-day, motorcycle ride in May with an April 30 registration deadline.
Lori is a member of STAR Touring and Riding Chapter 483 of Bangor, a group of motorcycle enthusiasts that “is not an exclusive group of any one brand,” she explained.
“Our group was looking for a fundraiser and I just said I happen to know of a great one!”
The two-day Biking for Books Scholarship Ride begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 21, at the University of Southern Maine in Portland and makes stops at all UMaine system campuses.
Complete details can be obtained at the UB website, by calling the number above or by visiting www.star483.org/ and clicking on Biking for Books.
The cost is $30 per rider and $20 for a passenger, and folks are being asked to get pledges. Anyone who raises $60 or more in pledges will be entered in a drawing for prizes, with the rider gathering the most pledges receiving a set of motorcycle tires and installation from Friend and Friend, “our riding association sponsor,” Lori said.
Please note that contest rules stipulate you must have your photo taken in front of the sign for each university.
This is a family-oriented event, Lori said of the rain-or-shine ride that will cover approximately 670 miles from Portland to Augusta to Farmington with a stop at Pelletier Family Logging Restaurant in Millinocket and on to Fort Kent the first day, where the group will stop at the Northern Door Hotel.
Leaving at 8 a.m. the next day for Presque Isle, you will stop at Helen’s in Machias and finally be met by a police escort and UB students upon your arrival on the Orono campus.
If you can’t ride, consider the following, and make a donation.
Lori told me UB students coming to UMaine with financial aid packages still have no extra funds to pay for books that can cost them more than $500 per semester, depending on their majors.
“More and more, we’re hearing about students trying to borrow books in which they can’t mark, highlight or make notes,” she said, “and even some students who are going without, and trying to just get by on their class notes.”
Students need their books. Period. End of story.
If you can help, by participating in or contributing to any of these fundraisers, please do.
Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; firstname.lastname@example.org; 990-8288.