Recreation news

Posted July 19, 2011, at 11:11 a.m.

Relay across the state

ORONO — The summer of 2011 will introduce a new student activity at Orono High School — Larry’s Run. This will be a team-building activity and a tribute to Larry Berthiaume, former teacher and coach who passed away in June 2010.

The five-day event will be a relay across the state — starting July 22 in Fort Kent and ending on July 26 at the New Hampshire border near Bethel. During this 352-mile endeavor, students, teachers, administrators, and coaches will diligently run and support each other.

In addition to being a school community-building event, the relay will kick off a long-term, fundraising drive for a new all-season turf and track facility to be used by many Orono High School athletic teams, other school programs and for community events.

The proposal was introduced to the students and faculty over the last couple of weeks with great response from students and staff. More than 80 students have expressed an interest in the relay. Each day, a team of 10 students will divide up a run of 70 miles into small increments. Students are asked to commit one day to participate with a group.

Organizers are still looking for volunteers who would be interested in helping support this event, since it will take many people to ensure a successful and safe activity.

For more information, contact Lin White at white35@roadrunner.com or call 866-2023.

GBO for autism

BANGOR — For 45 years, professional golfers from all over the world have converged on Bangor Municipal Golf Course to compete in the Greater Bangor Open Golf Tournament. On July 20, golfers, sponsors and supporters from around the region supported Penquis Autism Community Services while competing in the Greater Bangor Open.

It was the second year the GBO has named Autism Community Services as the recipient of the donation. Rob Jarvis, PGA certified professional, Bangor Municipal Golf Course, said, “We have had nice response since announcing Penquis Autism Community Services will be our primary charity this year.”

The number of Maine children identified as having an autism spectrum disorder has increased 276 percent in the past eight years.

“Supporting children and families with autism creates a stronger community. Every child should have the opportunity to reach his-her highest potential and this is a way to show our support,” said Jarvis.

Penquis Autism Community Services offers case management to families in Penobscot and Piscataquis counties for individuals and children up to age 20 who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

Consultation is provided to schools and community groups which express an interest in learning more about autism and related disorders. Monthly support groups are offered and an extensive resource lending library is available.

Autism Community Services ran its first social skills group this spring with a grant funded by the Elizabeth W. Means Trust. Families identify that social opportunities for their youth is a continuing need. Social skills deficits are a core deficit of autism spectrum disorders and are one of the most difficult areas to treat.

The funds received from the Greater Bangor Open will allow the Autism Program to offer additional social opportunities and activities for families.

Since its inception in 1967, the GBO has become one of the largest charity golf tournaments in New England. With the help of Coke and area local business sponsors, they are continuing that tradition.

For more information about Penquis Autism Community Services or the support group, call 973-3642 or toll-free 800-215-4942.

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