Several nursing students attending the University of Southern Maine had the opportunity to go to the Dominican Republic. Crouseville native Amy O’Donnell was one of them. The group got a chance to practice their skills with doctors and other medical practitioners in this remote area, making the effort an asset to both those receiving the medical help as well as those providing it. The group consisted of about 70 people from Maine, California, Alaska and Ireland.
The group collected donations ranging from medical supplies, toiletries and money. They also sold organic Dominican coffee to raise money for the project.
The group was both amazed and thankful for the generosity of people who gave items to be left with the Dominican Republic patients. Those from the Washburn and Crouseville areas filled Amy’s back seat with donations ranging from hand soaps, sanitizers, lotions and moisturizers, shampoos, toothpaste and toothbrushes, combs, among many other items. She also had her trunk full, taking two trips to Southern Maine for her to get everything there.
In the Dominican Republic, the Health Care Providers traveled to villages giving full health assessments, providing refills on medications and, if needed, treating medical issues.
Many of the local people depend on these clinics as their only source of health care. The team members came away with a wonderful educational experience. They got a chance to assist in critical thinking, were able to ask questions and put all of their classroom knowledge into use.
One of Amy’s favorite days involved a trek to Gran Parada and visiting a Haitian schoolhouse. They were given a tour of the village and were able to talk and visit with the villagers. They were told of the day to day life in the village and told of villagers’ work in the sugar cane fields.
The area was beautiful, full of lush, green and undeveloped land along with mountains. The clinics took place in villages including Rincones, Palo Blanco and Yayita and assisted the doctors in a wide array of treatments. Amy had the chance to locate the heartbeat of a fetus and allowed the mother to hear her baby’s heartbeat, noting that the smile on her face was priceless.
The trip took a tragic turn when the truck Amy was riding in didn’t make it up a hill and rolled down an embankment. A teammate was killed in the accident, and there were others with serious injuries. The mission continued for those who wanted to stay, and those who felt they needed to leave were sent home with the support from their teammates. After this accident, the villagers came to the team headquarters for their health care, and schedules were rearranged to care for all the needs of the patients.
The team grew very close through the tragedy, and they continue to support each other as they heal and adjust back into their lives at home. Their hearts and thoughts go out to the family who lost such a beautiful and inspiring woman. She indeed was an amazing nurse and held such incredible passion for caring for others, O’Donnell said.
Special birthday party
Thelma Bragg was recently honored with a birthday party held at the Washburn Civic Center on Sunday, Jan. 28, from 1 to 3 p.m. The event was hosted by her children: Larry, Lucky, Renee, Ronnie, Winston, Sterling, JoAnne, Bruce and Tom. All were able to attend except for JoAnne, of North Dakota.
Thelma (Thibodeau) of Perham, married Warren Bragg in 1943, and he predeceased her in 2000. The couple had nine children, as well as many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
A large group of friends and neighbors as well as family members enjoyed the grand time and especially being able to share lots of laughs and their favorite memories with the birthday girl.
The guests also enjoyed a fine buffet line of good food and desserts and shared in singing “Happy Birthday” to Thelma before enjoying a share of her birthday cake. Her children also presented her with a lovely bouquet of roses and baby’s breath.
Thelma and her family thank all who came, bringing gifts, cards and money, and signed a guest book which will be a cherished memory for many years to come. The fellowship with all was greatly appreciated by Thelma and her entire family.
Country music jam
Friday nights at the Trail Runners Snowmobile clubhouse on Station Road in Washburn include some great country music. Featured artists include Paul Smithkey, Warner Archer, Debbie Zoller and Bob Dixon, along with many others who join in this weekly jam session. Those attending can enjoy the great stew put out by the club members and afterwards listen to some good local country music. Donations are accepted with the proceeds going towards helping pay for the club’s new groomer.
More country music
Washburn’s Paul Clayton and Friends play at the K of C building in Presque Isle on the second and last Saturday of each month. Due to the basketball tourney in February, the ‘jam nights’ will be held on Saturday, Feb. 10, and return to the regular schedule in March. All are welcome to attend the fun event.
Events and Reminders
TOPS meet each Monday at the Trail Runners clubhouse. For further information, contact Birdina Cochran at 566-8353.
There is Bingo each Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. at the snowmobile clubhouse, and Stew Nights are each Friday and Saturday starting at 5 p.m. with breakfast served each Saturday and Sunday starting at 6 a.m.
On Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. the Reminiscence Group meets at the Washburn Memorial Library. For further information, contact Librarian Kathy Corey at 566-4814.
There will be an August Festival Committee meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the Civic Center at 6:30 p.m. This will be an advanced planning meeting with election of officers on the agenda. All input and suggestions will be welcome, and volunteers are needed to make this a success.
The Washburn Town Council will meet on Monday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center. In order to save overtime costs, the Washburn Town Office will close for the lunch hour from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day throughout Tuesday, March 20.
Rec Center Schedule
On Wednesday, Feb. 7, there will be cross country skiing from 2:45 to 4:30 p.m.
On Friday, Feb. 9, there will be a county basketball tournament at Caribou for grades 5-6 boys. There will also be a grades 5-6 girls’ county basketball tournament at Fort Fairfield on Saturday, Feb. 10. The times of both events will be announced in the near future.
On Monday, Feb. 12, there will be cross country skiing from 2:45-4:30 p.m. and there will be men’s basketball from 6:30-9 p.m.
Project Graduation updates
There is still time to buy your raffle tickets for the four drawings to be held on Wednesday, Feb. 14. The prizes include a Baker’s Set valued at $102, a Grilling Set with a value of over $103, a Cutting Edge Tools Set valued at about $108 and the Executive Cookware Set, a $225 value. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5 and are available at Griffin One Stop, any senior high school student or member of the Project Graduation Committee.
Also available are jars of locally made honey, selling for $3.50 each. March events include a special dinner as well as Senior Service and silent auctions. There will also be an auction for a new Old Town Canoe Otter Kayak. Tickets are $5 each for adults and $3 for children. There will be a ‘Ms.’ Washburn Pageant featuring several Washburn High senior boys and a special Bingo Night at the Trail Runners clubhouse. Anyone wishing information on the events may contact any committee member or senior student.
Cub Scout news
On Saturday, Jan. 27, members of Pack 162 held their Pinewood Derby. The four winning racers were: fourth place winner Tyler Jardine, coming in third was Taylor Skinner, with Keagan Page taking second place and Alex Gordon finishing in first place.
The event was held at the Washburn Elementary School. The Scouts held their race after some very interesting races from members of the local community.
Church cookbooks in second printing
Members of the Crouseville Advent Christian Church are enjoying a great success with their fine cookbook. They sold out the first shipment, and the second order is due in any day now with many already being sold. Anyone wishing a cookbook may contact Sherry M. Thibodeau at 764-0397 or Carolyn O’Donnell at 455-8437. The proceeds will be going towards a new church entrance.