March 28, 2020

Ashland unites to offer aid to Honduran cause

Residents of the small community of Ashland, poised on the edge of the great Maine wilderness, are offering their support to people in a country far from the cold, snow-covered world of Aroostook County.

On Valentine’s Day, the Rev. Tom Caton of Ashland’s Union Congregational Church will leave for Honduras where he work with a group of 15 others to help rebuild a mission there.

Since the amount of goods and material Caton can take with him is limited by airline regulations — he must take his own tools, and he wants to take clothing he can leave there — members of the community have come up with a way to provide more aid than he alone can bring.

Representatives of the town’s three churches and community and school groups are planning a benefit supper at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Ashland High School cafeteria to raise funds to purchase items that can be sent to Caton while he is in Honduras. Admission is by donation.

Among those planning the event are Ashland residents Penny McHatten, representing the Congregational church; Rhoda Thoms of the Advent Christian Church; and Nan Belskisa of St. Mark’s Catholic Church.

“One of the things we want to do, through this supper, is to communicate and raise the awareness of the needs of the people of Honduras,” McHatten said.

“The fact is that we can all just be solicited for money for a country but if we have some personal involvement where we’re sending goods and services — in the form of Rev. Caton — it makes you feel more a part of a project and makes you realize you can reach out and do something for someone less fortunate than you.”

A Honduran representative spoke at a Town Council meeting, McHatten said, “and we learned that Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Central America. They have nothing, so it really doesn’t help to send money because there are no goods to buy. The group that is going has to take everything they will need because you can’t even buy hammers or nails.”

The fund-raiser is impresssive because it includes all segments of the community. Workers from St. Mark’s are manning the kitchen. “All the beans, salads and rolls will be cooked right on site,” McHatten said.

Members of the Advent Christian Church are preparing other food items, including desserts and fruit salads, and “ladies from the Congregational church are doing sweets, beverages and fruit,” she added.

Serving and cleanup is in the capable hands of members of Girl Scout Troops 447 and 572 and Boy Scout Troop 179.

Pupils of sixth-grade teachers Thoms and Esther Chamberlin have been doing research projects on Honduras “and will give a presentation on what they’ve found. They will have lots of displays everywhere; little `factoids,’ I like to call them,” McHatten said.

Another display will show diners “what you are getting for your supper, and what you would be getting if you were in Honduras,” McHatten said. “Their main staples are rice, beans and corn; no meat. They do export a lot of fruit, which is one reason we are doing a fruit display and using fruits from that country.”

If you cannot attend but would like to help purchase items that will be sent to Caton later, send your donation to the Rev. Tom Caton, P.O. Box 187, Ashland 04732. Any questions you have about the project may be directed to the Congregational church at 435-6082.

You are in for a dual treat if you accept the invitation of the Bangor-Brewer YWCA-Isaac Farrar Mansion Committee’s invitation to attend a “Victorian Valentine Dessert” at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Mansion on Union Street.

Anne Hoskins of Holden is chairwoman of the event, which features a presentation by historic consultant Sharon Brown of Frankfort who specializes in authentic historical clothing and reproductions of period dress.

Her presentation is titled “A Collection of Courting Customs and Valentine Days in Times Past.”

We have seen Brown in action and can tell you that not only does she keep herself in stitches with her work, but she will keep you in stitches with her words. She has some wonderful tales to tell of what lengths “the fashionable” would go in the past to make themselves look perfect in the eyes of the fashion world.

A $2 donation is requested of mansion members and $3 from nonmembers to attend the event. For reservations, call the YWCA at 941-2808.

Besides enjoying Brown’s presentation, you will also enjoy the Valentine desserts and the beauty of the historic Farrar Mansion, which was built in 1845 and deeded to the YWCA in 1972. It is a historic landmark available for public functions, supported by the work of the mansion committee.

Two Garland residents are hoping someone has seen their dogs, which have been missing since 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14.

Robena Sproul is looking for her wolf-type dog, Lobo, and Robert Turner his German shepherd, Hooch. They are offering a reward for their safe return but Turner is so concerned about Hooch, he said, “make that dead or alive.”

“We’ve placed notices in East Corinth, Charleston, Dover-Foxcroft, Dexter, Corinna and Newport, and we’ve contacted wardens and animal control officers,” Sproul said. They have also been running a lost notice in the classified advertising section of the NEWS but, through Thursday, the dogs had not been found.

If you have seen the dogs or know where they might be, call 924-7368.

The Standpipe, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; 990-8288.

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