Blue Star Families Welcome This Summer

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Beginning on Monday, Memorial Day, we honor our active duty armed service-people
with free admission to our Museum.

 

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s 1.4 million active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2014. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and learn more about their new communities after completing a military move.
The complete list of participating museums is available at:

The Smallest Whole Foods Market & Our 5% Day

Whole Foods

Photo by Kaitlynn Perrault

Welcome to the smallest Whole Foods Market in the entire company!  Our exhibit in the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine may be small on space (a mere 211 sq ft!) but it is big on experience.  The colors and chalkboards were specifically chosen to mimic our Portland store, but in a miniature size.

I began my career as the Marketing Team Leader at the Portland store in 2007 when the store opened.  When I was dreaming up my marketing action plan, I secretly desired to have the grocery space at the CMTM but it was currently being utilized by another sponsor.  Imagine my surprise when two years later, I received a call from the Museum that the space is available and would Whole Foods Market like to sponsor it?  YES, PLEASE!!!

Several Portland team members were involved in the refurbishing of the space to have it resemble the Portland store; painting, ordering supplies, illustrating the chalkboards and imagining how the space would be best utilized. We also requested help from our regional décor team to find cute items (like the banana and the strawberry) to decorate the walls with and create a bench for parents to sit on while their kids “shopped”. One of our suppliers, Melissa & Doug had the most perfect kid-friendly faux fruit and veggies for our produce department. And the bakery? What can I say? I always want to chomp on one of those faux croissants.

Jocelyn Clark 12-2-11 05

Photo by Olivia Birdsall

One of our core values is to satisfy and delight our customers.  At The Children’s Museum& Theatre of Maine, we have an opportunity to satisfy even the smallest and youngest with imagination and the chance to “shop” and “work” in a real grocery store. You can’t imagine how satisfying and delightful this is for us!

Don’t forget to shop at our real store, located at 2 Somerset Street on Tuesday, June 3rd when we will give 5% of the day’s net sales to the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine!

Please visit our website to learn more about what’s happening at our Portland store: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/portland-me

Barbara Gulino is the Marketing Team Leader for Whole Foods Market – Portland.  They are proud to provide charitable giving and community support to organizations that improve the lives of Maine citizens. 

TD Bank Volunteers for United Way Day of Caring

Thank you to our sponsors TD Bank for sending over some of their local employees to help out as part of United Way’s Day of Caring. They were awesome, energetic, and extremely productive! Thank you for the extra hands, folks.

Beginning the Road to Hope

Last Tuesday I spent the day at the Hope Elephant Sanctuary in Hope Maine. I met several hard-working volunteers, Dr. Jim Laurita and two 7,500 pound Asian elephants named Rosie and Opal. I was the “playwright in residence” collecting stories and information for the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine’s upcoming play The Road to Hope: An Elephant’s Story.

Rosie and Opal retired from the circus in 2012. Rosie’s birthplace is on the other side of the world, in Thailand. She was orphaned by her mother and as an infant was shipped off to an American circus. She joined the Big Top just about the same time as Dr. Jim Laurita and his brother Tom, in the mid 1970s.  Jim and Tom traveled town to town with their juggling act. When Jim wasn’t throwing things into the air he was taking care of the elephants. Jim and Rosie developed a special connection when Rosie was young. As Jim went to Cornell to study veterinary medicine and to India to study Asian elephants in the wild, he never forgot Rosie.

rosie promo1Rosie was able to form strong bonds and connections with humans but not with other elephants. She looked different and she didn’t speak the elephant language or know the social cues. In a struggle for leadership and dominance, another elephant attacked Rosie and pushed her into a circus truck. This incident caused irreparable damage to Rosie’s shoulder and scapula. After working all those years in the circus, she also developed nerve damage in her trunk and arthritis in her leg.

Dr. Jim formed Hope Elephants in the fall of 2012, “because he always wanted to do something nice for those girls”—Rosie in particular. At Hope Elephants the girls have healthy diets; fresh carrots and Purina elephant chow. They receive exercise and mental stimulation; and most importantly they found true elephant friendship and support. Jim carefully chose Opal to come to Hope to be Rosie’s companion. Rosie is the matriarch of their two elephant herd and now it appears that the two girls are the best of friends.

The bond between the two elephants is remarkable and the crowning achievement at Hope. Like a true mentor or role model, Jim recognized that Rosie needed more than diet and exercise to live a comfortable fulfilling life. As a writer, teacher and director, I am struck and inspired by this story of kindness and empathy.  I think young people will relate to Rosie’s story on a level that crosses species and culture. Bullying is an epidemic in our schools today, but can be found anywhere, in school yards, circus tents or in the wild. Rosie’s story is that of perseverance, persistence of spirit, and will offer us all hope that true friendship does exist.

Want to learn more about the Hope Elephant Sanctuary? Visit their website: www.hopeelephants.org

Auction 2014: Thank You!

With beautiful views of the harbor, Ocean Gateway once again provided a fantastic location for our annual Auction. The biggest single fundraising event of the year, our Auction has long been a Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine tradition, bringing together over 350 friends of the organization to support our exhibits, theatre productions, family in need admissions and educational programming.

With great thanks to Auction Chair Dawn Gerding and the Auction Committee, everyone worked hard to provide hundreds of items available for bid on Friday, May 2nd. The evening was divided into two parts: attendees began arriving at 6:00pm for our Silent Auction, many of whom stayed for the Live Auction which ran from 9:00-10:00pm and concluded the event. Categories of items and gift certificates in the Silent Auction included For Her, For Him, Restaurants & Gourmet Foods and Fine Art – most of the items from which came from generous local establishments and artisans. Several Scholarship Memberships were bought throughout the evening as well, allowing us to continue providing free memberships to local families in need, as we take great pride in being available as a resource to all families in Portland and beyond.

Black Tie Catering provided a fantastic spread and two cash bars for Auction-goers and The Cookie Jar – of Cape Elizabeth – generously donated desserts for the evening, enjoyed while the evening shifted from the Silent to the Live Auction. Staff and volunteers worked hard from 8:30 in the morning until midnight – many thanks to Whole Foods Market, Anthony’s Italian Kitchen and Portland House of Pizza for providing food for our hard-working volunteers!

Many thanks to our Auction sponsors, Pierce Atwood LLP, MEMIC, WEX, Spectrum Medical Group and Berlin City Motor Group for making the Auction a remarkable evening, and to our generous in-kind and cash donors Baker Newman Noyes, Burr Signs, Deb Deatrick & Scott Vile, Steve & Christine Kelly, Moonlighting Production Services, The Cookie Jar, Pine State Services, Skelton, Taintor & Abbott and Thomaston Place Auction Galleries for helping to make the Auction a great success.

We thank our Board for their unyielding support – it was wonderful to see our Board Members on Auction night; we were also pleased to see past sponsors and members of the Board who continue to support our organization and our mission as we continue to provide unparalleled services in early childhood, science, multicultural and arts education within our broad community.

With a beautiful, picturesque spring Maine evening as a background, staff, Board, volunteers, Auction committee and Auction-goers all came together for a highly enjoyable event. All in all, the Auction was a great success – thank you to all who attended and to all who continue to support us here at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine.

 5% Day at Whole Foods Market on June 3rd

If you’ve visited the first floor of the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine, you’ve probably seen visitors – children and adults alike – hard at play at our Whole Foods Market cash register, or picking out some healthy groceries from the Market shelves. On Tuesday, June 3rd, join us at the real Whole Foods Market on Somerset Street for our fourth annual 5% Day.

It’s one of our favorite days, hosted by the sponsor of the Museum’s popular Our Town grocery store: a chance to support the Museum & Theatre as you shop for groceries. 5% of all purchases at Whole Foods Market Portland will directly benefit our mission as we raise awareness and funds for early childhood education. And with summer just around the corner, it’s a great time to think about stocking up on seasonal fruits and fresh local veggies, about trying a new spread or picking out some summer favorites and selecting seeds and plants for your garden.

With each purchase you make at Whole Foods Market from 8am to 10pm on June 3rd, you’ll be supporting local arts and education, helping us develop and continue our broad range of educational programming. When you visit Whole Foods Market, you’ll be able to learn all about their healthy food options and meet staff members of the Museum & Theatre as  you shop – we’d love to talk with you about your favorite programs at the museum.

One thing we love about the Market here in the museum is the great sense of community it creates. On 5% Day, we hope to meet many of you from our vast Portland community. It’s going to be a fun day, we hope you’ll join us!

Cooking Healthy: Gluten Free Zucchini Lasagna

Hi, everyone! Did you catch our Cooking Healthy workshop this morning? Even if you missed it, we’re excited to share today’s recipe with you. Make delicious, nutritious goodies at home, any time!

Today’s recipe:

Zucchini Lasagna!

Cooking Healthy is a monthly cooking program sponsored by Northeast Delta Dental and is free with admission. Hope to see you next month!