text size A | A | A
Waban - Making a difference in the lives of children and adults with disabilities for over 40 years

News at Waban

Waban Celebrates 50 Years of Service

On October 16, amidst glorious fall colors surrounding the waterfront areas of the Camp, TREE Program and Wormwood Banquet & Conference Center, visitors celebrated Waban’s 50th Anniversary. The gorgeous day and mild weather were the perfect accompaniment, encouraging attendees to tour the grounds and remember their connection to Waban, whether it was decades ago or yesterday.

Inside the Wormwood Center and out on the large patio area that had been covered and enclosed with a heated party canopy, there were multiple displays of photos, scrapbooks, archived newspaper articles, various artifacts and mementos from Waban’s history as well as a “Waban By the Decade” full wall photo display. While mingling and partaking in refreshments, old friends and acquaintances reconnected and “walked down memory lane” embracing Waban’s 50 years of providing essential  services to children and adults with special needs.

Neal Meltzer, Waban’s Executive Director, took microphone in hand to thank everyone for their contributions over the years, whether as a volunteer, an employee, a donor, a legislator, a receiver of services, or a friend. Representatives from U.S. Senators Angus King and Susan Collins’ offices brought remarks from the senators and State Representatives Anne-Marie Mastraccio and Patty Hymanson delivered an official Expression of Sentiment from the 127th Legislature of the State of Maine. (Photo:  Michael Liberty, Mary Ellen Fenderson and Paul Sicotte receive recognition as Icons of the Decade (1970s) from Waban’s Executive Director Neal Meltzer. Missing from the photo was Rory MacKenzie.)

In a more formal presentation, Neal  recognized  Icons of the Decade, going from Waban’s founding year of 1966 through the 5th decade in 2010. These individuals truly represented the essence, spirit, dedication, and commitment of the hundreds of other engaged community members who all contributed to Waban’s success. For the 1960s, it was Wayne Wormwood, the founding force behind Camp Waban and Waban’s Executive Director for many years. Wormwood’s son Vance Wormwood was on hand to accept the honor in his father’s place. Other icons included participants Mary Ellen Fenderson, Michael Liberty, Paul Sicotte and Rory MacKenzie for the 1970s; previous Waban and community leaders Jan Fraser, Charlene Ford Ralston, and Bud and Sandy Legere for the 1980s; early recipient of service and now dedicated Waban staff and her exceptional son, Pam and Ryan LaJoie, for the 1990s; current and previous Board members Roberta Milo and Laurent Paré for the 2000s; and representing the confluence of the past, present, and future, long term (28 years!) employee and current Deputy Director, Gervaise Flynn, for the current decade.

At the end of the celebration, Neal’s closing remarks were representative of the feelings felt by all.  “It is truly humbling to look around and see what the dedicated and committed efforts of so many people have accomplished over 50 years.  Thousands of people’s lives have been impacted and are better for the programs, services, and experiences they had at Waban.  Waban’s and their success is truly the success of all of you that are here today and of our entire community. For all that you have done, we are truly grateful.”

WABAN Graduates Twenty

SANFORD – On Wednesday, August 17, twenty little graduates celebrated the successful completion of their programs at the Fraser-Ford Child Development Center surrounded by parents, teachers and staff. These graduates have been working and playing, learning the skills they’ll need to move on to kindergarten.

Graduation ceremonies took place at Waban’s Wormwood Banquet and Conference Center, and the 5 and 6-year-olds patiently sat at the front of the room, donning their construction paper graduation caps, and looking out at their parents and grandparents, brothers and sisters, and the rest of their family and friends. (read more)

Team Waban Triumphs at Special Olympics

On Friday morning, June 10th a VIP coach bus, a 12-passenger van, and several other vehicles pulled out of Waban’s Main Campus en route to the 2016 Special Olympic Summer Games in Orono, Maine. 21 athletes and 18 staff couldn’t contain their excitement thinking about what the coming weekend had in store.
Almost three hours later, the bus pulled into the Bangor-Brewer Bowling Lanes, in Brewer, Maine, just in time for the first event of the weekend: Traditional Singles Bowling and Unified Team Bowling. Waban’s Chris Heywood took home the Gold in the Ramp Division for Traditional Singles Bowling! After collecting their medals and ribbons the team piled back onto the bus and arrived at their final destination, the University of Maine at Orono.

Athletes and staff settled into their rooms in Knox Hall and then headed off to the quad to watch the Parade of Athletes while enjoying a picnic-like dinner. Police and K-9 units, motorcycles, fire trucks, marching bands and more from all over the state, paraded through the streets leading the way for the Special Olympic participants to follow. The teams were announced as they made their way into the stadium while footage of the parade of athletes was displayed on the jumbotron.  As athletes took their seats in the stadium bleachers, the Orono Police Department arrived with the Flame of Hope and lit the official torch symbolizing the start of the 2016 Special Olympic Summer Games. 
(read more)

Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run

Special Olympians from WabanSANFORD – Runners from the Sanford Police Department handed off the Flame of Hope to the North Berwick Police Department at the Waban main campus Tuesday morning during this year’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. The Torch Run began in Sanford, Maine on June 7 and passed south through the Berwicks and York until it reached Kittery. The 32-mile run, completed by a handful of police officers from each town, represented the Southern Maine leg of this year’s run. Each year, the run takes place in the days preceding the Special Olympics Summer games in Orono, Maine and culminates at the Opening Ceremonies. The 2016 Summer games are scheduled for June 11 and 12.

The rain didn’t dampen any spirits as Waban Special Olympic athletes, staff, and Fraser-Ford Child Development Center students eagerly awaited the Sanford Police Department at the end of Dunaway Drive.  The crowd erupted in cheers when the blue flashing lights of a Sanford Police cruiser indicated the five police officers making their way from the Sanford Police Station down Route 4 were about to arrive. (read more)

The Third Annual Life Works & Company Art Show

SANFORD - Life Works & Company held their 3rd
Annual Art Show Friday, May 20th. The Art Show gave nine Life Works members a chance to showcase their artwork for family, friends, and the local community. The members have been participating in the weekly Art Group run by Jill Burke, Education Coordinator for the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, since August of last year.

Through a partnership with the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, the artists were able to work with Jill to produce dozens of beautiful pieces. She tapped into the resources at the museum and was able to bring in copies of some of the artists’ pieces from their permanent collection. They focused on specific techniques and the use of certain mediums to mimic the work of artists like Rockwell Kent, Marsden Hartley, Antonio Mattei, Bernard Langlais, Alexander Calder, and Eric Aho. (read more)

Earth Day Celebration at the TREE Center

SANFORD - A brisk, damp day on Saturday, April 23 didn’t stop anyone from enjoying some time out on the lake and up on the climbing tower at this year’s Earth Day Celebration event at the TREE Center in Sanford, Maine. Thanks to its lakeside location and 2.5 miles of trails, the TREE Center made for the perfect place for the community to spend the day in honor of Mother Earth.  (The Signore family and friends plant seeds in compostable seed starters to “Spring Into Planting” for the Earth Day event at the TREE Center.)

In collaboration with Sanford Science and Discovery Center and Wentworth Greenhouses the TREE Center offered a variety of outdoor activities and educational instructions. While waiting to climb the 45-foot Climbing Tower participants created Recycled DIY Chalk Bags and took a Carbon Footprint survey in which they were able to determine how much carbon energy they use on a daily basis. Tips to minimize waste, energy use, and overall better practices for the environment were provided by Rebecca Fisher, Adventure Group Coordinator and Rock Wall Specialist at the TREE Center. (read more)

Ogunquit Businesses Donate iPads to Fraser-Ford Child Development Center

SANFORD - Ogunquit business neighbors Peoples Insurance and Coastal General Construction recently teamed up for a holiday open house at which they raised funds for a purchase of iPads for Waban’s Fraser-Ford Child Development Center in Sanford. Generous clients of the two businesses made donations totaling over $4400, enough to purchase 11 iPads for the Center.

William and Lisa In early January, Lisa Coughlan, Account Executive at Peoples Insurance and Norm Clough, an owner at Coastal General Construction, visited the Center and observed children and teachers utilizing the donated iPads in the classroom. Coughlan said “It was amazing to see the kids interact with the iPads and their teachers.  They are fearless with technology and jumped right into each application without hesitation, looking for guidance and encouragement, and then celebrating their successes with their teachers and those around them.  It was nice to see first-hand the impact that these iPads will have on the classrooms.”  (read more)

Sanford-Springvale Rotary Club
Donates to Learning Center

The Sanford-Springvale Rotary Club has donated $4000 for a Learning Center in the new Autism Therapy Wing to be built at Waban’s Fraser-Ford Child Development Center in Sanford. The new $1.5 million addition will have four classrooms and one large multipurpose room. Each classroom will be for eight children and will contain a specialized Learning Center that is designed to meet the children’s individualized needs. 

Every Learning Center will have the following equipment and furnishings: a floor sensory covering, work/learning-space furnishings, a sensory table, a social integration center, and an iPad. Each Learning Center will meet the needs of preschool children ages 3-5 years old with autism by providing a physical learning environment that minimizes sensory distractions and maximizes the impact of the Center’s evidence-based autism curriculum.

Shawn Sullivan, Rotary President, said, “Waban does incredible and important work throughout our community, and we in the Sanford-Springvale Rotary Club are proud and glad that we're able to contribute to the organization's efforts to expand its autism wing and services.” (read more)

PATCO Construction Donates $10,000 toward Waban’s new Fraser-Ford Child Development Center Autism Wing

SANFORD – PATCO Construction, Inc. has donated $10,000 to Waban toward a $1.5 million capital PATCOcampaign to construct a new Autism Therapy Wing at the Fraser-Ford Child Development Center of Sanford, Maine.

PATCO, a family owned business, has been a Southern Maine leader in residential and commercial construction for over 30 years. PATCO is proud to help support the Fraser-Ford Child Development Center in its goal to improve the quality of life for Maine children.

The Fraser-Ford Child Development Center, which serves more than 150 children ages birth to five annually, provides therapeutic preschool programs for children with Autism, Pervasive Developmental Delay (PDD), Down Syndrome, and other developmental/intellectual disabilities. With the existing center operating at capacity, the new wing will provide 6,000 extra square feet of space, housing classrooms, therapy rooms, and a large multipurpose space. (read more)

Knights of Columbus Kick Off Telethon Giving

Frank Pease from the Knights of Columbus St. Thomas Council and George Watson from the Knights of Columbus Springvale Council presented Gervaise Flynn, Deputy Director of Waban with a check from their combined Tootsie Roll Drive for $1,784.60 as a kick off for the 45th Annual Waban Telethon, set to take place on March 19, 2016.
This will be a celebration year for Waban, marking the 50th year of providing services for children and adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities.