July 15, 2020

Bangor High’s SEED looking for worthy group

Here’s a switch: students searching for organizations to fund. Usually, it’s the other way around.

Bangor High School’s Students Ending Environmental Destruction has $1,000 to give to a nonprofit organization, or organizations, in the Greater Bangor area. Applicants must be earth-friendly and nonprofit.

Bangor’s SEED is one of 10 groups chosen from among 56 statewide by Partners in Philanthrophy to distribute a grant. The application deadline is May 1.

Peter Holman is president of the group, with Meredith Theeman, vice president; Becca Edson, secretary; and Britta Strong, treasurer. Science teacher Michele Benoit is the adviser. Students go through the process from beginning to end in coming to understand the concept of philanthropy.

“They learn such things as how to solicit applications, develop criteria for competing applications, and resource allotment,” Benoit said. “They are discovering the difficulty of making these decisions. We’re at the beginning stage in terms of soliciting applications and defining our direction.”

SEED’s 25 members have been allowed the discretion of giving the entire grant to one group or dividing it between two groups in equal or unequal proportions, depending on the assessment of the applicants’ needs.

SEED originated with the Maine Communities Foundation in Ellsworth, Benoit said, “as a method of involving students in environmental projects around the school and community, and providing environmental awareness throughout the school and community.”

The SEED grant, or grants, will be announced around June 1. For more information, or to apply, contact Benoit at the high school, 885 Broadway, Bangor 04401, or call her there at 941-6200.

Cynthia Sudheimer of Bangor, who has been disabled by polio for more than 40 years, knows what it means to network with others in similar circumstances.

That is why she is a peer advocate for the Brewer office of Alpha One, a state organization for people with disabilities. She wants others who are disabled to know about a newly formed Peer Support Group, which meets from 1-3 p.m. each third Tuesday in building Phase 4 at the Mountain View Apartments in Ellsworth.

“We are open to the public and really want to reach out to the disabled to offer some support and understanding,” she said. “There is a great need for it down there. We want people of all abilities to know it’s available to them. Our next meeting, April 18, we will have a speaker from Social Security to discuss issues and programs for the disabled.”

Anyone who would like more information about the group may contact Sudheimer at 942-4422, attend one of the meetings, or call Alpha One at 989-6016 or 1-800-300-6016.

Today many of us will participate in the second annual Community Reading Day, sponsored by the Bangor Education Foundation.

From 10 to 11 a.m., 250 people from all walks of life will take time from their regular responsibilities to read to pupils in kindergarten through fifth grade in Bangor, Glenburn, Hampden, Hermon, Newburgh, Old Town, Orono, Stillwater, Veazie and Winterport. This is the first year schools outside Bangor have participated in the event.

The visit is our way of helping promote the importance of literacy and to help students recognize that community members support their schools. We know, from experience, that it will be fun and a learning opportunity for us all.

Congratulations to the Brewer Middle School pupils who raised more than $2,900 in March for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Middle school coordinator Rich Kimball said about 200 pupils participated in a “Superdance” for “Jerry’s Kids.”

The first-time benefit was organized by the Student Wellness Team with advisers Gail Orndorf-Sperry, Susan Richard and Sheryl Myers and with help from MDA representative Chris Bennett.

Each $5 entry fee was donated to MDA, but the kids surpassed that. Seventh-grader Shawn Morrison was the top fund-raiser, turning in $115. The event received support, in the form of prizes, from 25 area merchants. Kimball said the pupils enjoyed the music of disc jockey Dana Wilson, and declared the benefit “a fun time and a great success.” The Standpipe, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; 990-8288.

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