2014-07-18 / Community News

Community News

Storyteller Michael Parent will appear at Scarborough Public Library 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 22. (Courtesy photo) Storyteller Michael Parent will appear at Scarborough Public Library 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 22. (Courtesy photo) Library to host storyteller

Michael Parent, world-traveled storyteller, will perform at the Scarborough Public Library, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 22.

The performance is presented as part of the Library’s summer programming, funded by the Friends of the Scarborough Library and open to all ages.

A native Mainer of French-Canadian descent, Parent blends raconteur roots with a talent for drawing the audience into his stories.

He has been featured at many events, including the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, and at international events in France, England, Ireland, Poland and New Zealand.

In addition to his performances for a wide range of audiences, Parent also leads storytelling, story writing and performance workshops.

The multigenerational program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the library at 883-4723, option 3, or visit www.scarboroughlibrary.org.

Foundation donates pediatric wheelchair

The Robbie Foundation will donate a specialized wheelchair to a girl who suffers from Moyamoya disease.

Desiray Gallerani has a congenital condition where the internal carotid arteries, the vessels that supply blood to the brain, become thick and narrow. Children with this condition are at risk for blood clots and strokes.

The condition causes her to have numbness in her arms and legs which puts her at risk for falling. The 6-yearold also has vision problems. She gets around with a pediatric wheelchair, but unfortunately the one she currently has can’t be used on her school bus because it dosen’t have a lock down system which allows her to be safely transported to school and field trips.

Members of the Robbie Foundation presented Desiray and her family with a $2,000 Convade EZ rider stroller Monday, July 14.

The stroller is certified to be used on Desiray’s school bus and will help her get around more independently. The Foundation provides adaptive equipment, therapy treatments and other services to children with developmental disabilities that are not covered by insurance.

In the past three and half years, the Robbie Foundation has donated more than $100,000 worth of much needed equipment, assistive technology and other services to hundreds of special needs children and youth throughout the state of Maine.

Despite recommendations and a presciption from Gallerani’s doctor that this pediatric wheelchair is medically necessary, private insurance and Maine Care will not pay for this much-needed adaptive equipment.

Jim Greatoreaux, the owner and president of Black Bear Medical, which supplied the rider stroller, was on hand, as well as Lynn Gierie, the foundation’s founder and president and family members.

Nonprofit offers resources for families

Gov. Paul R. LePage has designated $25,000 from his contingency fund to support services offered by Family Hope in Scarborough.

Founded in 2012, Family Hope serves the needs of those struggling with mental illness by providing resources to their families and caregivers.

“Family Hope is an excellent example of Mainers working together to fulfill an unmet need in their community,” said LePage in a press release. “I commend the community of stakeholders who have dedicated themselves to supporting those who care for mentally ill loved ones.”

Family Hope’s services include recommendations for therapists and counselors, as well as phone support and one-on-one consultations. The Family Support Navigator Program is equipped with licensed clinical social workers who connect families with resources, answers to questions and a “next steps” plan.

“Family Hope is dedicated to educating, providing encouragement and suggesting resources to aid family members of people living with mental illness in Maine,” said Donna Betts, founder and executive director of Family Hope. “We are very grateful for this generous designation from Gov. LePage to support our Family Support Navigator Program, an innovative, new model of support for these families.”

According to Betts, 265,000 Maine families are affected by mental illness every year.

“In a nation where 36,000 families every year experience the loss of a loved one due to suicide, Family Hope’s work regarding crisis and suicide prevention is especially meaningful,” LePage said.

Land trust benefits from ingenuity

Forty-seven handcrafted, hand-painted wooden signs will mark the wooded trails and open fields of the Scarborough Land Trust, thanks to a group of residents at Piper Shores retirement community.

The handmade signs will be used to mark the nature trails at two properties owned and managed by the trust: the 220- acre Fuller Farm, which was purchased and protected in 2001; and the 35-acre Albert Sewell Woods, which was protected and donated to the Land Trust in 1996. Both properties are open to the public year-round and are used for walking, hiking, bird watching and recreating by Scarborough residents and beyond. Fuller Farm has the largest trail network of the Land Trust’s properties.

Piper Shores Marketing Director Andrea C. Killiard said, “It has been simply inspiring to watch these four residents take the project on with gusto and see it through to such impeccable completion,” said Killiard. “We extend our gratitude to John Peacock and Brad Wellman for their lettering, sizing and woodworking skills, and to Suzan Nixon and Karen Walker for their superior painting and artistic skills,” she said.

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