Noteworthy news Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2011

Posted Aug. 09, 2011, at 8:17 p.m.

Bill Knight of Bangor, a 32-year-U.S. military veteran, has shaken hands with more than a half million troops leaving or returning from the war in the Middle East.

On his first visit to Bangor International Airport, as a guest of the Bangor Troop Greeters, former Chief Petty Officer Knight found new meaning to his life.

It was almost 10 years before he missed a single flight, driving to and from the airport as many as eight times a day. Greeting men and women who fought for our country brought back a joy Bill had not experienced in years.

Bill Knight, and the story of the Maine Troop Greeters, are featured in the multi-award winning documentary, “The Way We Get By.”

At 91, Bill he has outlived two daughters and two wives, lost his farm and was close to homelessness before hearing from a friend about the Veteran’s Aid and Assistance program, a little-known benefit that pays qualified wartime veterans and widows of veterans up to $1,949 a month in aid and living assistance.

A Veteran’s Aid and Assistance seminar begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10, at Sunbury Village Retirement Community, Bill Knight’s new home, on Ohio Street in Bangor.

Veteran Service Provider Jacob Lowrey will explain the program, answer questions and be available to assist those attending in filing for benefits.

For more information, call 262-9600.

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Ten-year-old Tommy Hosmer of Bangor has been chosen as the 2011 Champion the Cure grand marshal, leading the 1K Family Fun Run portion of the Aug. 20 event that raises funds for local cancer research.

The Champion the Cure Challenge also features a 5K or 10K walk-run, 25-, 50- and 200-mile bike rides and a 50-mile motorcycle ride, all beginning at the Lafayette Family Cancer Center in Brewer.

Tommy raised $3,340 through “Tommy’s Book and Bake Sale” to honor the memory of his grandmother, Linda “Mimi” Reilly Williams, who died in 2009 of ovarian cancer.

With a book collection given him by a neighbor and a special copy of Stephen King’s “Black House,” which Tommy raffled, the youngster was able to present the proceeds from his sale to CancerCare of Maine in Brewer, where his grandmother was a longtime patient.

To obtain more information about the 2011 Champion the Cure Challenge, or to register or volunteer for the event, call Jeni Lloyd at 973-9628 or visit championthecurechallenge.org.

•••

The Irving A. Hansen Memorial Foundation recently awarded a $5,000 unrestricted grant to each of Maine’s two Ronald McDonald Houses — the Ronald McDonald House of Bangor and the Portland Ronald McDonald House.

This is the 25th consecutive year the Bangor facility has received the grant, and the 16th year for the Portland facility.

“We are very grateful to the Irving A. Hansen Foundation for this meaningful gift,” said Darlene MacLeod, director of the Ronald McDonald House of Bangor.

“We rely on the generosity of organizations such as this to help meet the ever-increasing costs of running our House and to continue to welcome families from all across Maine.”

The Irving A. Hansen Memorial Foundation, based in Newark, Del., was established by the Hansen family in 1983.

It operates in memory of the late Irving A. Hansen; his son, the late Irving A. Hansen, Jr.; his wife, the late Elizabeth R. Hansen and his daughter, the late Elizabeth A. Hansen.

The Ronald McDonald House of Bangor, located at 654 State St., is a 14-bedroom facility that, each year, serves as a home away from home for approximately 450 families of ill children who are receiving medical treatment.

Founded in 1983, “the house that love built” helps people in Maine with comfortable, short-term residential accommodations during their medical crisis.

In addition, the Bangor Ronald McDonald House Extensions Program provides services beyond housing to families being treated for cancer or blood disorders.

The Bangor Ronald McDonald House is the product of the effort, energy and caring of local volunteers, parents, business leaders and the owners of McDonald’s Restaurants in Maine.

For more information, call 942-9003 or visit ronaldmcdonaldhousebangor.org.

 

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