Wine Lovers Rejoice! 4th Annual Mount Desert Island Wine Classic set for August 5

Bar Harbor Banking and Trust Company will present Fourth Annual Mount Desert Island Wine Classic, a wine tasting and dining event, to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Maine. The event will be August 5, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor. Fine Wines, Live Music, Great Food, and 100th Birthday Celebration. Tickets $45 before July 23, $50 after. No sales at the door. Reserve by phone and make credit card payments….667-5304, ext. 230.

More than 75 wines from around the world will be available for tasting. Guests will also be treated to a sumptuous dining buffets and hors d’ouvres by Sawyer’s Catering and live music by the Downeast Swing Band. And more is in store as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Maine celebrates the 100th Anniversary of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

The MDI Wine Classic is sponsored by Bar Harbor Banking and Trust Company in cooperation with Sawyer’s Specialties of Southwest Harbor.

The cost of the event is $45 per person; $50 per person after July 23. All reservations must be made in advance. No tickets will be sold at the door. For more information or to charge your reservations by phone, please contact Big Brothers Big Sisters at 1-800-492-5550, extension 230 or [email protected]

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Maine, Christian Ridge Rd., PO Box 1087, Ellsworth, ME 04605
Phone: (207) 667-5304 (800) 492-5550 Fax: (207) 667-6117 Email: [email protected]

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Big Brothers Big Sisters Receives Grant, High School Mentor Recognized

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Maine (BBBSEM) has been awarded a $500 Maine Mentoring Day Omega Grant from the Maine Mentoring Partnership. The program received the award “in recognition of its commitment to improve and expand the quality and effectiveness of mentoring in Maine,” according to MMP Executive Director, Nancy Anderson. “BBBSEM plans to use the grant to update and republish its Big and Little Handbooks and revamp its Big Training,” said Pat Saunders, director. The grant was awarded during Maine Mentoring Day ceremonies at the State House on March 31.

Sara Herrick, a high school Big Sister with the program, was also recognized as Maine Mentoring scholarship applicant. Sara received a $50 savings bond and a special certificate in recognition of her dedication to mentoring. The Maine Mentoring Partnership recognized 35 high school senior mentor & mentee scholarship applicants from 13 mentoring programs as “youth who have aspirations, plan and prepare for further education, serve in their communities, recognize the benefits of both being a mentor and being mentored, and have wisdom beyond their years,” according to its citation.

“We were proud to have Sara represent our program,” said Saunders. “She is an outstanding example of the amazing high school student Bigs who spend an hour each week mentoring an elementary school aged child.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Maine currently serves nearly 400 children throughout Hancock, Penobscot, and Washington Counties by professionally supporting one-to-one mentoring matches. The program offers community-based mentoring, as well as school-based mentoring in 25 schools. BBBSEM is a program of Downeast Health Services and a member agency of United Way. For more information, please contact Pat Saunders, Director, at 1-800-492-5550 or [email protected]

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Big Brothers Big Sisters event tonight in Old Town

OLD TOWN – Residents will have a chance tonight to learn more about the area’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program during a program at the library. A game and information night for children, parents and volunteers from Old Town, Alton and Bradley who are interested in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. tonight at the Old Town Public Library.

Similar events for residents in Greenbush and Milford are being planned for later this month.

“It’s an opportunity for children, parents, and potential mentors to find out what the program is about,” Crystal Salinas, Penobscot County mentor coordinator, said Tuesday at her office.

Big Brothers Big Sisters recently received a Communities That Care grant from the University of Washington to make 35 matches with pupils in grades five through eight by Sept. 1 in the Old Town area.

So far, Salinas has met her January goal of placing 10 children with big brothers or sisters, but hasn’t yet reached her April 1 objective for the same number of matches.

In particular, finding male mentors for children is a problem nationwide, according to Salinas.

“Men often see the project and they think it’s a good idea, but they don’t feel that they can fulfill that role,” Salinas said. “Most of the time, little boys in the program just want somebody to come hang out with them.”

Two chalkboards, one with a list of eligible mentors and the other containing the names of children to be placed, can be found in Salinas’ Bangor office. The number of volunteers, however, is much shorter than the list of children looking for a big brother or sister.

In the Orono-Old Town area, University of Maine students often apply to be mentors. The only problem is that the organization doesn’t like to match UM students with a child after April 1 because there is only a month or so for the two to connect before college lets out for the summer and students go back home, Salinas explained.

“I have three kids that need to be matched, but they’re all boys and I have no big brothers,” Salinas said.

To become part of the program, children ages 7 to 14 are referred to Big Brothers Big Sisters by a parent.

While other organizations can give parents contact information for Big Brothers Big Sisters, a parent or guardian is the only one that can provide a child’s information.

Children then are put on a waiting list and placed with a mentor who lives in their community and shares some of the same interests. Matching a “big” with a “little” can take two weeks or more.

“It’s just a matter of finding the right match,” Salinas said. “We don’t match on a first come, first served basis.”

Matches are made based on a variety of things, including interests, parent requests, and gender.

“The volunteers are spending their time, so we want to make sure they’re happy with the match that they’re in,” Salinas said.

Big brothers and sisters are asked to commit six to 10 hours each month to spend with their “little.”

For the community-based programs, mentors must be 18 years old. School-based programs, however, allow mentors to be sophomores in high school or older.

Big Brothers Big Sisters conducts a Department of Human Services and criminal background check on all volunteers and also visits mentors’ homes to ensure they are a safe place for children to go.

The organization also requires that applicants provide a copy of their driver’s license and proof of vehicle insurance.

“We will always do what’s in the best interest of the child,” Salinas said.

Salinas noted that the application process shouldn’t scare away interested volunteers.

She also explained that the organization provides training for mentors, children and parents and follows up with “bigs” and “littles” each month to make sure that the match is working out.

“It’s not rocket science,” she said. “These kids just need somebody to pay attention to them.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Maine, Christian Ridge Rd., PO Box 1087, Ellsworth, ME 04605
Phone: (207) 667-5304 (800) 492-5550 Fax: (207) 667-6117 Email: [email protected]

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Big Brothers Big Sisters Welcomes New Staff Members

We have some new faces at Big Brothers Big Sisters and we’d like to tell you a little bit about them.

Lucy Barnhart,
SB Research Project Coordinator T

BBBS is pleased to announce that Lucy Barnhart has accepted a position as our school based mentoring research project coordinator. The national research focuses on learning more about the mentoring process in schools and is being conducted in only eight pilot sites. Lucy is thrilled to be part of this ‘cutting edge’ research and to be part of the BBBS team! Lucy Barnhart is a graduate of MDIHS and is near completion of her Bachelors degree in Elementary Education, at UMO. Lucy Barnhart served a year as an Ameri*Corps Vista for the Hancock County Children’s Council. She designed and implemented the Downeast Books for Kids program, which delivered over 40,000 books to local youth in Hancock and Washington counties.

Amberlea Freeman,
A*VISTA, Mentoring Coordinator

Big Brothers Big Sisters welcomes their new Communities for Children Americorps VISTA and mentoring coordinator, Amberlea Freeman. Amberlea will be making and maintaining matches at Hancock Grammar, Ellsworth Middle, Charles C. Knowlton, Bryant E. Moore, Beech Hill Elementary, and Cave Hill Elementary schools. She recently graduated from the University of Maine at Orono with her Bachelors in mathematics. Amberlea has spent most of her life volunteering her time working with the elderly and welcomes the chance to serve the children of this community. Amberlea comes to us from Brewer, Maine, where she lives with her 19-month-old son, Jarek. In her spare time she enjoys freelancing as a portrait photographer and teaching math at Orono Adult Education.

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3rd Annual MDI Wine Classic Includes Unique Auction

Bar Harbor Banking and Trust Company will present the third annual Mount Desert Island Wine Classic, a wine tasting and auction, to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hancock and Washington Counties. The event will take place on July 24, 2003 from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor.

In addition to the more than 100 wines from around the world available for tasting, guests will be treated to a unique silent auction. Items available for bid include three magnificent bronze sculptures by Lorenzo Ghiglieri: First Jump—a mare and her colt; Mother and Child; and Flying Colors—American eagle and flag. Original paintings and prints by Maine artists, jewelry and pottery from local artisans, and the work of Maine photographers will also be presented at the event. In addition, there will be many packages including dining at a wide array of Hancock County establishments and recreational activities for the sedate and the adventurous.

“This event is made possible by the generosity of businesses and individuals who have donated to benefit children in Hancock and Washington Counties,” said Pat Saunders, program director. “We are pleased to have returning artists, as well as returning guests for the evening. We have had people call for reservations who made vacation plans around this event.”

The evening will also include scrumptious dining buffets and hors d’ouvres by Sawyer’s Catering, and live music by the Downeast Swing Band.

The MDI Wine Classic is sponsored by Bar Harbor Banking and Trust Company in cooperation with Sawyer’s Specialties of Southwest Harbor.

The cost of the event is $45 per person; $50 per person after July 21. All reservations must be made in advance. No tickets will be sold at the door. For more information or to charge your reservations by phone, please contact Big Brothers Big Sisters at 1-800-492-5550, extension 239 or [email protected]

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hancock County, Christian Ridge Rd., PO Box 1087, Ellsworth, ME 04605
Phone: (207) 667-5304 (800) 492-5550 Fax: (207) 667-6117 Email: [email protected]

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