Spare change funding school project

Fri, 12/02/2022 - 8:45am
Southport Central School students believe some spare nickels, dimes and quarters can change the look of their campus. Students have enlisted World of Change, a Portland-based nonprofit to raise money for the Southport Community Project. 
World of Change estimates there is about $10 billion of spare change in the U.S. and promotes donating these coins to civic causes. The fundraising beneficiary is Southport Community Project. A couple years ago, Principal Lisa Clarke started talking about improving the school’s  play space. She noticed the space was used by multi-generations during both school and non-school hours. 
So, she organized a committee charged with improving the space “by keeping it as natural as possible.”  The committee began thinking of ways to improve the play space. A survey showed community members favored providing improved seating around the pond and focusing on the wooded play area’s features. A landscaping firm was hired to help with the design. The committee also created a plan for beginning site preparation work in early 2023.
A student group is also participating in the project. The  group has a fundraising plan to seek spare change. On Nov. 30, Clarke updated selectmen about the project and students’ fundraising plan. She reported students will promote their initiative on Friday, Dec. 2 at the “Light up, Southport” event. “This year, 100% of money raised will go toward our playground project,” Clarke said. “We will have collection jars available Friday at the Southport General Store. We encourage participants to come with any spare change they may have, if they wish to make a contribution.”
In other action, the board received three communications. One was from Thomas Obrey who asked for public information. “What form of local government does your municipality have?” he wrote in an email.  The Boothbay Register asked selectmen what organization Obrey represented. “Never heard of him before this,” Selectman Gerry Gamage said.
The second communication was from Community Partnerships of Boston. Executive Brian Buxby invited Southport to participate in an upcoming solar project. “The program allows municipalities to subscribe to our local fuel cells to save on rising electricity costs,” he wrote in an email. Selectmen took no action. “We already have our own solar panels so there is nothing to respond to,” Gamage said.
Lifeflight of Maine sent the third communication. Lifeflight is the state’s only air ambulance service. In 2022, Lifeflight requested a $1,200 municipal donation which residents honored at the March town meeting. Lifelight officials requested another $1,200 for 2023. Selectmen agreed to place the request on the March town warrant.
Selectmen meet next at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7 in the town hall.