Fryeburg has always been a community that has come together when people are in need. If you’d like to join a team to make our community work for everyone, you can become a valley volunteer for Fryeburg’s age-friendly program. Learn about the people and organizations that provide important services in our community: health care, food, education, friendship, fun, entertainment, security, safety and kindness. All you have to do is head to the Fryeburg Recreation Center on Saturday, Jan. 18, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to find out how you can lend a hand. Contact Greg at (207) 935-1054 if you have any questions.
A benefit supper will be held on Saturday, Jan. 25, (snow date Jan. 26) at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church to benefit the Bishop family and their daughter Melanie’s fight with leukemia. Dinner will be served between 4:30 and 6 p.m. and includes baked beans, ham, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, corn bread and desserts. Adult tickets are $10, tickets for kids from 6 to 12 years old are $6, and children under 6 eat for free. For more information, call Sandy Pendery at (207) 935-3685.
AARP and the Fryeburg Public Library will once again offer free tax help beginning in February. Volunteer tax preparers are certified and trained annually by the IRS to prepare and e-file both state of Maine and federal tax returns. Keep in mind that they are not prepared to do military, international, Schedule C for business, or E for rental income returns. To schedule an appointment, call the library at (207) 935-2731.
Harvest Hills Animal Shelter’s Freezing for a Reason, the annual polar dip fundraiser to benefit the animals, will be held on Feb. 15 at Highland Lake in Bridgton, Maine. This is one of their biggest fundraisers of the year. It’s always held in conjunction with Greater Bridgton Lakes Region Winter Carnival, which has winter fun for all ages.
Pre-registration begins Sunday, Feb. 2. You can pre-register any day that the shelter is open, starting Feb. 2 until Friday, Feb. 14. Pre-registering ensures you will get the correct size sweatshirt, because they cannot guarantee that at the lake. You do not have to have all your donations in at the time you pre-register, just the minimum amount of $50. Do you dare take the plunge?
The 10th annual Cupcake Battle, a fund-raising event for Mount Washington Valley Promotions, will take place on Sunday, Feb. 16, at the North Conway Community Center. Bakers will square off in four categories (professional, home, teen and child) with a winner selected in each division.
Attendees purchase a $12 ticket which entitles them to sample one cupcake from each baker and to vote for a favorite in each category.
Set-up on battle day is between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Doors will open to the public at 1 p.m. and tasting will run until 3:30 p.m., followed by awards. For full details, contact Lisa DuFault at (603) 374-6241.
Our next big holiday, Groundhog Day, is celebrated in the United States and Canada on Feb. 2 of each year. Groundhog Day is a day of wonder and curiosity for many people based on the activities of a groundhog arising out of its winter slumber to check for his shadow.
In the United States, the most important groundhog is Punxsutawney Phil who lives in a burrow called Gobbler’s Knob near Punxsutawney, Pa. The first recorded annual travel to Gobbler’s Knob for Groundhog Day occurred on Feb. 2, 1887. In Canada, an albino groundhog named Wiarton Willie annually climbs out of his hole to predict the future forecast.
Groundhogs are mammals and are members of the squirrel family. Groundhogs actually hibernate during the winter period by bringing their body temperature down to freezing. This creates a coma type of existence where body functions (breathing, flowing blood, etc.) barely exists.
In the spring, groundhog babies are born in litters of approximately four to eight babies. The babies live with the mother for approximately two months and are then ready to challenge the world. The length of a groundhog is approximately 20 inches and the weight is approximately 15 pounds. The diet of a groundhog is vegetarian, containing mainly grasses, plants and fruit.
I mention Groundhog Day each year for my friend, Sandy Pendery. It is her absolute favorite holiday and I wouldn’t want to let the day go by without mentioning both the groundhog and Sandy in the same sentence. Happy Groundhog Day, Sandy. I hope he doesn’t see his shadow this year so that we can enjoy an early spring.
“Old Groundhog stretched in his leafy bed.
He turned over slowly and then he said,
‘I wonder if spring is on the way,
I’ll go and check the weather today...’”
— Author Unknown, “Groundhog Day”