Gorham Notes

Gorham students, businesses and residents display ribbons with messages of why they're grateful outside Baxter Memorial Library. The ribbons reflect the monthly theme of "Happy Healthy Gorham."

Gorham students, businesses and residents display ribbons with messages of why they’re grateful outside Baxter Memorial Library. The ribbons reflect the monthly theme of “Happy Healthy Gorham.”

Gorham flying its colors

The display of colorful ribbons strung outside Baxter Memorial Library is a community creation in connection with Happy Healthy Gorham, a community coalition.

The current monthly theme is Growing Gratitude. The group’s Facebook page reports students, businesses and residents designed more than 3,000 ribbons and is Maine’s largest gratitude art installation.

Each ribbon is inscribed with a reason each contributor is grateful. A sampling says, “I am grateful for my family,” and another, “I’m grateful to have an amazing friend.”

Happy Healthy Gorham includes the town, business community, students and residents. Its goal with monthly themes is to make Gorham the happiest and healthiest town in Maine. It is promoting exercise, kindness, gratitude and healthy nutrition.

4-H mini-forum

The Cumberland County 4-H Leader’s Association is hosting Mini-Forum, a day filled with a variety of workshops for youth ages 5-18, at the University of Southern Maine Gorham Campus on Saturday, March 17, 9 a.m.- 2 p.m.

All workshops are free or have a minimal materials cost. Registrations are due by March 11.

Mini-Forum is a day with a series of fun workshops where 4-H members and non-4-H members can explore a variety of activities. Workshops this year will include pickle making, veterinary science, cake decorating, fly tying, exploring virtual reality glasses and much more. Workshops focus on youth making or doing something and often participants get to take home a finished product.

All workshops are on a first come, first served basis. Workshops are designed for youth to explore their passion or to spark a new one and are offered free or with minimal materials cost.

Mini-Forum is hosted by the Cumberland County 4-H Leader’s Association in collaboration with UMaine Extension Cumberland County 4-H staff. A national organization, 4-H is the largest extracurricular program in Maine for youth to learn life skills through hands-on projects.

Participants must pre-register online or contact Sara Conant if you need a paper registration form. For more information, including specific workshops being offered, or to register for Mini-Forum visit umaine.edu/cumberland/programs/cumberland-county-4-h/mini-forum/; call 781-6099; or email  sara.conant@maine.edu.

vanLuling ‘Poetry Out Loud’ finalist

Gorham High School senior Abbie vanLuling will compete in the Maine Poetry Out Loud state finals at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14, in the Waterville Opera House.

The event is free and open to the public. It will also be broadcast and streamed live throughout Maine in collaboration with Boothbay Region Television on the BRTV station and throughout Facebook live on the Maine Arts Commission’s Facebook page.

She was one of five finalists in the Southern Maine Regional champions in a competition hosted by Westbrook Middle School.

The finalist will advance to the national competition. For more information, call Argy Nestor, Maine Arts Commission director of arts education, at 287-2713 or email argy.nestor@maine.gov.

Potluck With a Purpose

The monthly series Potluck With a Purpose continues at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, March 16, on the Gorham campus of Summit Community Church (formerly South Gorham Baptist Church), 53 County Road, Gorham.

Bill Stauffer, a local representative of a group that combats human trafficking, will speak.

Those attending are asked to bring food to share.

U.S. taxpayer debt

The Bureau of the Fiscal Service reported on March 1 that the U.S. public debt was $20,874,435,529,527.56.