Postively Maine noteworthy news

Posted July 19, 2011, at 2:06 p.m.

The Maine Philanthropy Center in Portland recently welcomed three newly elected board members: Peter Taylor of Belfast, Frank Douglass of Brunswick and Janet Wyper of Gorham.

Taylor is vice president for program development and grant-making services for the Maine Community Foundation in Ellsworth.

Douglass is assistant treasurer for Wright Express Corp. in South Portland, and Wyper is the community relations manager for L.L. Bean in Freeport.

“We are excited to welcome our newest board members and appreciate the unique strengths each of them brings to the organization,” said Janet Henry, MPC president.

“We are fortunate to have a board of the highest caliber, with the experience and expertise to help us to provide leadership to promote philanthropy and increase its impact in Maine.”

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Three Maine teachers who left June 19 for Turkey with the Teacher Study Tours program organized and sponsored by the Turkish Cultural Foundation in cooperation with the World Affairs Council of America have returned home.

The group of 57 middle and high school teachers, including James Flanagan of Brunswick High School, Bruno Yomoah of Deering High School and Shawna Dunn of Gorham High School, spent two weeks studying the country and now will start to work with the World Affairs Council of Maine to develop lessons plans about Turkey for their classrooms, as well as a fall 2011 “Portraits of Turkey” event series for the public.

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Rockport Automotive owner Steve Dixson and his dealership are participating in the nationwide “Wheels to Prosper” program that awards a late-model car that has been fully inspected and repaired to a worthy and deserving individual, helping that person get back on his or her feet again.

Sam Dyer of Dyer’s Detail detailed the 2001 Passat, VIP Auto Parts and Service donated four new tires, and AAA of Northern New England will provide a one-year Classic Road Service membership.

West Bay Rotary Club members Gary Walker, Mark Masterson, Jan Campbell and Sandy Cox, with Dixson serving as adviser to the group, are reviewing the nominations, and Dixson will present the car to the winner at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 30, at the dealership, 271 Commercial St. in Rockport.

Nominees must be residents of Knox or Waldo counties; be known as givers; and be active in one or more forms of community service. Additionally, the nominee needs to be someone who would find it difficult to purchase a car or replace an existing one considering his or her current financial situation.

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Each year the American Cancer Society New England Division presents the Sandra C. Labaree Volunteer Values Awards in honor of the late longtime American Cancer Society volunteer from Damariscotta and a founding member of the New England Division board of directors.

The awards recognize and honor New England volunteers whose actions and service in the fight against cancer most exemplify the society’s organizational values.

This year, five outstanding society volunteers from Maine received the award.

Among those recognized were Relay for Life volunteers Julie Tucci of Presque Isle and Karin Howe of Wade, who started attending the Relay for Life of Aroostook County in Presque Isle a couple of years ago in honor of Karin’s recent battle with cancer. By 2009, the women realized the event had outgrown its current facility and needed to be centrally located to reach participants north and south of Presque Isle, so they approached the superintendent of the Caribou School Department and were given the use of the high school track.

As co-chairs of the event, Karin and Julie worked tirelessly at recruiting teams and survivors, and this event went from raising $46,000 in 2009 to $123,000 in 2010 — a 170 percent increase and the biggest increase in New England.

This year’s June 3-4 event attracted approximately 850 participants and has raised more than $127,000 to date with more money coming in.

Other award winners included Holly Pye of Brunswick, Tess Hakkila of Portland and Clayton Eames of Westbrook.

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