May 24, 2018
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Support extended to Bangor senior center after rooftop garden vandalism

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — In the month since the rooftop garden at the Hammond Street Senior Center was struck by vandals, gestures of support have come rolling in — not only from Greater Bangor but also from as far away as Brunswick, a spokeswoman for the center said.

During the incident, which happened sometime the night of July 11 or the morning of July 12, someone gained access to the center’s award-winning “Still Growing” garden and destroyed plants and the watering system, a section of which was broken beyond repair, Deanna Partridge, development and communications director, said in a press release at that time.

The vandal or vandals also tossed several bags of organic compost, tomato plant cages and a wooden trellis from the center’s roof, causing an estimated $500 in damage, she said.

No one has been charged in connection with the incident, Bangor police Paul Edwards confirmed Monday.

“It hurts,” Partridge said of the incident in an interview this week. She said, however, that the contributions of time, talent and money that have come in since then show that the larger community values the role that the center plays in the lives of its membership.

That was how Uno Chicago Grill in Bangor became involved.

Sarah Eremita, the restaurant’s marketing coordinator, organizes “Dough Raisers,” events that provide a portion of sales proceeds to worthy nonprofits.

Eremita said she was incensed to hear about the damage because her grandparents Jane and David Mahon of Carmel are center members.

“I was infuriated,” she said. “Why would somebody do that? These seniors — they’ve given us so much,” she said.

Eremita asked Ron Cross, Uno’s manager, if a fundraiser could be held for the senior center. Cross not only consented, he also signed his family up for a recent cleanup event Uno held at the senior center.

On Thursday, the restaurant will hold a “Dough Raiser” for the senior center. To participate, diners must use a Dough Raiser ticket when purchasing dine-in or takeout meals. Uno will donate 15 percent but will bump the gift up to 20 percent if eligible sales break the $1,000 mark.

Gift cards are not eligible.

Dough Raiser tickets may be obtained at the senior center, by emailing Eremita at or through the restaurant’s Facebook page.

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