Blog Archives

Rallying to Support Westport Island’s Ethan Langley

Spaghetti fundraiser helps to lend a hand…

burma shave signs for spaghetti fundraiserLast Saturday, islanders had the opportunity to help a neighbor while enjoying dinner — and getting a break from fixing dinner at home in a hot, steamy summer kitchen.

Sue Anderson and friends organized a spaghetti dinner fundraiser at the Town Hall to help Ethan Langley with medical bills from a protracted illness due to liver failure. Sue and Ethan grew up on the island together; and according to her mother, Cheryl Anderson, Sue decided to organize the fundraiser because “that’s just the kind of person she is.” As a paramedic, Sue also sees the fallout from serious medical issues on a daily basis.

Between the dinner, a 50/50 raffle, a silent auction and T-shirt sales, more than $2,000 was raised to help the Langley family with medical bills and transportation costs. Although Ethan was unable to join his supporters, he called in from Leahy Clinic to express his appreciation and get a rousing “Hey Ethan!” from his home team.

Ethan has been living back at home with his mother, Diane Langley, as he weathers the ups and downs of awaiting a donor for a liver transplant. He has been unable to work since October when his health took a marked downturn.

Those who have suffered catastrophic illnesses know the secondary trauma of being buried by mountains of medical bills. Despite his trials, Ethan walked into the fire department this past April volunteering to do “whatever he could” because he wanted to give back. He’s made a valiant — and much appreciated — attempt to be a part of the fire department despite recurring and significant health challenges.

Ethan’s came home this week but will return to Boston Tuesday to find out his ranking on the donor list. Prayers are appreciated. Well wishes can be sent to him at 309 Main Road, Westport Island, ME 04578.

For those who were unable to attend the spaghetti fundraiser and who might like to add their support, there is an account set up for Ethan at Midcoast Federal Credit Union: Account No. 606113, 41 US-1, Edgecomb, ME 04556.

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Perfect Weather, Perfect Neighborhood Barbeque

The Westport Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD) thanks all for a great evening

serving under a thank you signOnce the annual WVFD Barbeque was underway, a turn of the head left and a turn of the head right from the entry of the Town Hall gave a view of parked cars as far as one could see. About 230 friends, neighbors and volunteers turned out to visit, enjoy a barbeque dinner and support the fire department. When just-retired Fire Chief Bob Mooney arrived to join the annual get-together, traffic was so busy, he couldn’t find a parking space and had to move on…

It was sad to miss Chief Mooney’s company, but affirming for new Fire Chief Stacey Hutchison that his first barbeque as Chief appeared to be an overwhelming success. When all expenses are paid, the WVFD will likely have raised $2,500 – $3,000 from dinner & dessert donations, T-Shirt sales and raffles. And surely there was a nod of appreciation for the sounds of the Old Grey Goose Band who stepped in to serenade us when the Back to Basics Blue Grass Band was otherwise engaged.

Putting together the annual barbeque is a monumental event for both the fire department and the Community Association. The fire department focuses on food, cooks, servers, set up and logistics. The Community Association focuses on promotion, dessert, entertainment and organizational details. Then
there are generous event sponsors who help to underwrite the event — Bath Savings, Norm’s Used Cars and John E. Bailey (whose donation honored the memory of WVFD Fire Chief Alan Anderson). This year also saw a new “guardian angel,” Liz, the innkeeper of the Squire Tarbox Inn who, along with the inn’s new owners, allowed us to piggyback our food order on the inn’s so the WVFD could benefit from wholesale pricing and reduce costs. Thank you all!!

…And — congratulations to Robert DeLong for walking away with $212 after winning the 50/50 raffle!

If you want to help with next year’s event, speak to Fire Chief Stacey Hutchison or one of the Co-Chairs of the Community Association, Drew Porter or Art Weber.

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A Beautiful Day for a Run, or Walk

Westport Island’s 13th Annual Shore Run

On Sunday, the sun shone on the 13th Annual Westport Island Shore Run 10K and 5K Fun Walk. The numbers of runners and walkers were the lowest ever (something to work on for next year), but the weather was simply perfect for a scenic outing with friends.

The 10K race by the numbers: Garret Bonney, Boston, took first place with a time of 47:25, a 7:38 pace. Leslie Couper, Falmouth, took the top women’s spot with a time of 50:52, an 8:12 pace. Nora Bradford was the top finishing Westport Islander with a time of 55:35, an 8:57 pace. And Top Dog, Besor, with handler Gail Reinertsen, Brunswick, finished with a time of 1:08:19.

The 5K fun walk by the numbers: there are no numbers, but it was a beautiful walk! Top Dog: Gracie, with her handler, Westport Island Town Office star Dedee Greenleaf-Hodgdon. Congratulations to all the finishers!

With the generosity of sponsors Wayfair; Maine Yankee; Sheepscot River Marine Service; Bath Savings Bank; Ames True Value Supply; Sharon Drake Real Estate; Newcastle Jeep, Chysler, Dodge; the Westport Island Brewing Company; Sparhawk Gear; Norm’s Used Cars; Wiscasset Ford, First Federal Savings, Hodgdon Yacht Services and the Hampton Inn of Bath, it’s estimated that over $1,000 was raised for the Westport Volunteer Fire Department.

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Photo credit: photo of Garret Bonney, Bib #20, by Rob Whitney

Another Successful Summer Barbeque

Shows “the love” for the Westport Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD)

Cloudy skies and a passing squall gave way to beautiful weather for a summer’s eve chicken barbeque on Saturday. The annual barbeque is the Westport Volunteer Fire Department’s flagship fundraiser event. In partnership with the Westport Community Association, the Fire Department hosted a great spread with entertainment from the Back to Basics Bluegrass Band. More than 200 Westport Islanders turned out to enjoy the evening and support their emergency responders.

Almost $3,000 was raised from dinner donations, a 50/50 raffle, fire department T-shirt and hat sales and the “Dunk the Chief” tank. A San Franciso firefighter renting a house on the island stopped by just to drop a donation in the fire boot, and several said it was the “best barbeque ever.” Thanks to all for making it a great evening…

Islanders Finish 1st and 2nd

At the 12th Annual Westport Island Shore Run 10K Road Race

Dan Bradford sprinted to the finish line of the Westport Island Shore Run last Sunday with a winning time of 40:53. Then, it was time to recover from the last uphill climb on West Shore Road, high humidity and the beating sun. Chase Hughes, a senior at Maine Maritime Academy and son of a Westport Volunteer Firefighter, finished second. Lisa O’Neill of Boston was the first place female finisher.

There was a light turnout at the race this year — which in the hours before the race start looked like it may be a rainy run — but the rain clouds turned into hot sun and a beautiful day on a beautiful course.

Thanks to the participants and sponsors: Wiscasset Ford; Maine Yankee, Hodgdon Yacht Services; Sheepscot River Marine Services; Ames True Value Supply; Sharon Drake Real Estate; Bath Savings Bank; First Federal Savings; the Westport Island Brewing Company; Newcastle Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge; the Westport Island Community Association; and Norm’s Used Cars, it appears that the race generated over $1,000 for the Westport Volunteer Fire Department coffers.

A second pair of Islanders, Mary Ellen Barnes and Carol Norris, were 1st and 2nd place finishers in the Fun Walk in this year’s field of two — go walkers! …Wait until next year…

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A Westport Island Contender: Dock Dog Casco

Help support Erin Bailey and Team Casco head to the Dock Dogs World Championship

Casco with Speed Retrieve blue ribbonWhen Erin Bailey saw Dock Dogs a canine aquatics competition on TV, she thought it would be fun — and she had the perfect dog to participate: a young, high energy black lab. What lab doesn’t like to run, jump and swim? The aquatic events include “Big Air” — the long jump; “Speed Retrieve” — racing the clock to run, swim and retrieve; and “Extreme Vertical” — the high jump. Erin’s previous dogs, Moose and Bear, gave an open practice session of Dock Dogs a “paws down,” so Erin let go of what seemed like a fun idea. Then came Casco and the Seacoast Dock Dogs Club in Berwick…

At Seacost Dock Dogs, club members are very supportive and go the extra mile to help dogs get comfortable with jumping into the pool. Casco seemed enthusiastic and was itching to go after the toy. After some coaxing — from both inside and outside the pool — he made his first jumps. Casco took to the sport, and Erin took to being a Dock Dogs mom. The two – often with their support team, sister Jessica and their mom and dad, started taking Casco to practice sessions and competitions around New England, including the Union Fair the last two years.

Casco's invitation to the nationalsOn September 13, Casco participated in a Dock Dogs Wild Card Event at the Hebron Harvest Fair in Connecticut. In the Speed Retrieve event, Casco was the top scorer running from a sitting position half way down the runway dock, jumping into the pool and retrieving a toy from the opposite end of the pool. He scored 7.254 seconds in the Turbo Division (a 7.000 to 7.999 seconds bracket) — winning himself an invitation to the Dock Dog World Championships in Dubuque, Iowa, from November 11 – 15. Yea Casco!!

Now Erin and Team Casco need to raise money for the entrance fee, the drive to Iowa and accommodations. To support the home team, there is a Go Fund Me page; you can follow Team Casco on Erin’s Facebook page; and you can purchase a sweet treat at a bake sale at Ames True Value on October 17th from 10 – 2.

In a shout out to support Team Casco — 2016 Dog Licensing at the Town Office starts on October 15. One dollar of every dog license is an agent fee (the remaining dollars support Maine’s Animal Welfare Program and Westport Island’s Animal Control Officer). The agent fee for every dog licensed in October and November will be donated to Team Casco — it’s a win/win. Go Team Casco!

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Photo credits to the Bailey family and John Thurston, Seacoast Dock Dogs

Westport Volunteer Fire Department Invites You

To the annual chicken barbeque to celebrate a year of hard work and training successes

Westport Volunteer Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Jason Abbott accepts state flag from State Sen. Chris JohnsonIt’s been a year of hard work for the Westport Volunteer Fire Department. Last winter, six firefighters attended the six-week Lincoln County Fire Academy Basic Firefighter school. They are now certified for interior structure attacks and any operations necessary at a firefighting scene. James Richardson earned the Lincoln County Fire Chiefs Association’s Newman Award at this school for excelling at the academy classes and exhibiting leadership and initiative.Firefighters Jason Abbott and James Richardson talking to Ruth Nelson at the Town Meeting

Two more fire volunteers completed EMS (Emergency Medical Services) training, which now gives the department seven licensed Emergency Medical Technicians along with one certified first responder.

And last weekend, nine of the Volunteer Fire Department members attended a three-day pump operations training conducted by Lt. Thomas St. Pierre from The Topsham Fire & Rescue Department.

Now, it’s time to take a break from training — and visit with neighbors. Members of the Fire Department will be serving up a Class A Chicken Barbeque while tapping their feet to the music of the Back to Basics Bluegrass Band.

Saturday, July 25, is the Fire Department’s annual fundraiser and a chance to show appreciation for the time and commitment of our fire and rescue volunteers. Dinner will be served starting at 5:30. The menu is barbequed chicken (or hot dogs, if you prefer), corn, beans, rolls, beverages and scrumptious desserts courtesy of the Westport Community Association. There is no set fee, give what you can or feel like donating for a night of good food, good fun and neighborliness.

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Westport Fire Department Summer BBQ

Brings neighbors together; Inspires junior firefighters…

Westport Volunteer Fire Department in front of rescue vehicle

Thank you!

This year’s barbeque raised more than $1,500 for the Westport Volunteer Fire Department and allowed at least a dozen junior firefighters to earn their “Fire Chief” hats. The weather, the music and the company made for a great summer evening.

Word on the street from last year had it that the Summer Barbeque was kind of boring for kids. So this year, there was a scavenger hunt and some firefighting to do. Those that could extinguish a simulated fire flaming from four windows of a fireman’s training house earned their Fire Chief’s hat and bragging rights. Few junior firefighters could resist the opportunity to squirt water from a high pressure fire extinguisher and put out a fire. Who could?

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Westport Island: Sneakers on the Ground

The 9th Annual Shore Run

Today… was a beautiful day in the neighborhood: just like last Sunday. And, last Sunday couldn’t have been more perfect (well, maybe a little less humid) for the 9th Annual Westport Island Shore Run benefiting the Island’s volunteer fire department. This year’s run brought in another $1,200 according to Rob Whitney, the race organizer.

Word is Westport Island is a tough 10K course because of hills. “Tough” may be more about location, location, location. Just when exhaustion has set in on the last half mile, you have to kick it up a notch to clear the climb from the causeway on West Shore up to the Main Road.

Although runners are not necessarily taking in the scenery, for the 3.5 mile walkers, the views aren’t too shabby. If you’re not a runner, think about joining the walkers next year for a beautiful walk in the neighborhood…

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Westport Island Spells Summer with a “Q”

Barbe-que that is…courtesy of the Westport Volunteer Fire Department

Mother Nature defied weather forecasters’ rain predictions for an all-sunny evening of fun at the Fire Department Summer Barbeque. About 200 people turned out to support the Department’s annual fundraiser. And, once again, the Back to Basics Bluegrass Band was on hand to get hands clapping and toes tapping…