Inside Bridgton

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There will be lots more than candy to treat families at the Lake Region Trunk or Treat Saturday, Oct. 28, at Lake Region High School.

4-H engineering club

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is sponsoring a hands-on club for kids 8 to 12 who like to build things and watch them go. The 4-H STEM Engineering Club will meet for five sessions on Fridays at the Bridgton Public Library from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. The first session is set for Oct. 27, and the others are scheduled for Nov. 3, Nov. 10, Nov.17 and Dec. 1. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to attend. Space is limited and registration is required. Contact the library at 647-2472 for more information and to register for the program.

Damnationland 2017

Just in time for Halloween, the Magic Lantern Theater presents a series of original independent Maine-made films to be shown at the Tannery Pub on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m.

This year, Damnationland presents world premieres of five genre-defying short works, produced in Maine by Mainers. These dark, surreal and fantastic pieces redefine the classic thriller and horror categories and offer film fans an excellent sampling of the talented people producing independent films in Maine today. Last year’s films were excellent and anyone interested in good filmmaking is sure to enjoy this year’s offerings.

Tickets to the event are $8 per person and are on sale at the Magic Lantern. For more information go to http://www.magiclanternmovies.com/

Taoist Tai Chi open house

The Bridgton chapter of the Taoist Tai Chi Society/USA is hosting an open house on Saturday, Oct. 28, to introduce new people to the ancient Eastern practice of tai chi.

Tai chi is becoming increasingly mainstream as doctors and some insurance companies recognize its benefits. Practising tai chi can improve balance, increase bone density  and reduce stress. It may also help manage chronic pain with decreased medication and help create a sense of relaxation, joy and harmony.

The Taoist Tai Chi Society was founded by Master Moy Lin-Shin 50 years ago and now has locations worldwide. The Bridgton chapter, which opened 17 years ago, holds classes in Bridgton, Harrison and Denmark. Anyone interested in learning more is invited to stop by the Harrison location (the Congregational Church at 77 Main St.) on Oct. 28 between 10 a.m. and noon to meet with instructors, watch a demonstration and try a few moves. Beginner classes start the following week and new participants are welcome to try a few classes for free to see if tai chi is a good fit for them.

For more information and a schedule of classes please visit taoist.org/usa/locations/bridgton or email maine@taoist.org

Halloween events

Fix up your car, put on your costumes and join in the fun at the Lake Region 6th Annual Trunk or Treat festivities on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 1 to 4 p.m. This is a family-friendly event and will be held rain or shine at Lake Region High School.

Bridgton Recreation Department will host its annual Halloween party on Tuesday, Oct. 31, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Old Town Hall on North High Street. Kids of all ages are invited to this free party featuring a costume contest as well as games, prizes, music, cotton candy, popcorn and a jump house. The costume contest takes place at 6:15 p.m. (register online for the contest at bridgtonmaine.org/bridgton-recreation), with musical chairs at 7 p.m. and a freeze dance at 7:30 p.m.

For those a bit older and perhaps less dramatically inclined, the Warming Room at the Bridgton United Methodist Church, 214 Main St., will also be open on Halloween night, Oct. 31, from 5 to 7 p.m., offering hot coffee, hot cocoa, places to rest and a potty. Treats for all and no tricks.

Vigil for substance abusers

The Bridgton Ecumenical Group, together with the Bridgton Community Center and the Lake Region Substance Abuse Coalition, will be holding a prayer vigil for those affected by drug and alcohol addiction. Everyone in the community is invited and encouraged to attend the event, which will be held on Thursday, Nov. 2, at the First Congregational Church, 33 South High St., at 6 p.m., after the regular public meal at the Community Center. For more information call the Community Center at 647-3116.

Socrates Café

The Socrates Café will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, Nov. 6, at the Bridgton Community Center beginning at 6:15 p.m. The topic for discussion will be “Defining Patriotism” and the meeting will be moderated by Ted Gerber. Light refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact 583-6957.

Free veterans dinner

The volunteers of the Bridgton Community Center will host a complimentary Veterans Day dinner at noon in the dining hall of the Oriental Masonic Lodge, Harrison Road (Route 117), in Bridgton on Saturday, Nov. 11.

All veterans and their families are cordially invited to join in for good fellowship and a feast of ham with all the fixings to honor those who have served in the U.S. armed forces. Everyone is encouraged to come and connect with old friends and create new ones. Call 647-3116 for more information.

Crafts Fair and Cookie Walk

The Ladies Guild of the First Congregational Church, UCC is pleased to announce they will hold their annual Christmas Crafts Fair and Cookie Walk, on Saturday, Nov. 11, at the church Fellowship Hall, 33 South High St., from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Area crafters will be offering their creations for sale and there will also be a table with new and gently used Thanksgiving and Christmas items, all in time for early bird shoppers. Tables for crafters are still available for rent at $25, or $20 for returning crafters.

Shoppers are encouraged to participate in the Ladies Cookie Walk, featuring all kinds of scrumptious cookies for purchase. There will also be a delicious luncheon of homemade soups, bread rolls and dessert for $6 (take out available). Proceeds from the lunch will support local groups and individuals in need.

For more information, please contact Dodie Henning at 647-9930, dhenning5@roadrunner.com or Pam King, 647-2564, king6275@roadrunner.com

H.E.L.P needs help

The local nonprofit organization Community H.E.L.P needs help. Due to circumstances beyond their control, the organization is struggling to remain in its current building at 7 Nulty St.

The organization has grown considerably since it was founded by Patti Wininger in 2013 when she recognized the extreme need faced by many individuals and families in Bridgton and surrounding communities. Currently, over 400 families are registered for Community H.E.L.P. programs offering gently used clothing and housewares, books and toys.

The organization also trains volunteer helpers from the Senior Goodwill Program, the ASPIRE program, Lake Region High School Vocational Center’s Diversified Occupations Program, and the FedCap Rehabilitation Services Work Experience Program. Wininger’s efforts have been recognized by American Senior Magazine, and EcoMaine awarded her the eco-Excellence Award for her accomplishments in sustainability.

Community H.E.L.P. now needs a more visible and stable location. They have outgrown the Nulty Street location, which can be difficult to find, and efforts to improve signage on Main Street have been thwarted. They also face problems with electricity and water. It is difficult for Community H.E.L.P to deal with such issues in addition to their primary mission. They require stable rent and utilities in order to continue providing vital assistance to struggling individuals and families in the community.

Please help by shopping for and/or donating items, and contact Community H.E.L.P. at 647-5000 if you know of any location that may be available to keep this necessary non-profit working for and in the community.

Toy Fund applications

The Bridgton Community Center has applications for the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund. The deadline for applying is Wednesday, Nov. 8. It may seem early to be thinking about Christmas just now but it is important to process applications for the Toy Fund before the set deadline.

‘The Portland Press Herald Toy Fund was started in 1949 to give toys to needy children in Maine, from infants to age 18. The program serves children from York, Sagadahoc, Cumberland, Lincoln and Knox counties.

Parents can apply individually or through a “group” like the Community Center. Groups help by identifying recipients, distributing applications and arranging local pick-up centers. To obtain an application go to the Community Center on Depot Street, behind Renys, or call 647-3116.

There will be lots more than candy to treat families at the Lake Region Trunk or Treat Saturday, Oct. 28, at Lake Region High School.

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