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Posted: Friday, November 28, 2008 1:00 am

Photo 1128 Raymond

Caption - Amanda Scripture is flying high as she practices for her upcoming audition to the USA Cheer Team. Courtesy of Candi Scripture

Lots to cheer about

Amanda Scripture, daughter of John and Candi Scripture of Raymond, has plenty to cheer about. She has recently been selected to try out for the USA Cheer Team based on her application, interview and video submissions. In December, she will travel to Louisville, Ky. to audition for the team, then anxiously await notification of national selections which will be made in January. Once auditions are completed and the team is formed, Team USA will compete against more than one hundred teams representing 40 countries in the International Cheer World Cup in Orlando in April of 2009.

It is an honor to be selected to audition for the team and one that is very well deserved. Amanda began her tumbling career in Kindergym when she was only nine months old, and she won five USA Gymnastic State Championships before her 17th birthday. She has been a member of the competitive cheer team at Fortier Family Gym since 2003 where she also coaches. She has been the varsity cheering coach at Poland Regional High School since 2005, and she and her team won the 2008 State Championships. In addition, she performed gymnastics at every Raymond Founder's Day throughout her childhood regardless of the weather.

The town of Raymond has always been very supportive of her efforts throughout her incredible journey. It is my hope that people will rally once again and help send Amanda to Louisville to fulfill her dreams. Should she make it through the final round, Team USA will cover all future expenses.

Please join me in helping with her fundraising efforts by mailing a donation in her name to Fortier Family Cheer Center at 74 Westminster Street, Lewiston, Maine 04240. Opportunities like this are unique, and I wish her the best as she pursues her goal.

Tree time

To kick off the holiday season, the Raymond Village Library will once again team up with the Raymond Lions Club and host the annual holiday tree lighting ceremony on the library lawn on Sunday, Nov. 30. One of Santa's special elves will read a story to the children at 4:30 p.m. At 5 p.m., holiday music will be sung by the school chorus followed by the lighting of the tree. An anticipated appearance from a special guest will also delight the children. As an additional treat, hot chocolate and snacks will be served. As always, this event is free to all and sure to get you in the mood for the holidays.

Welcoming Averie

Eric and Kellie Walgreen, formerly of Raymond and now residing in Boston, are the proud parents of a new baby girl. Averie Alexandra Walgreen entered the world on Nov. 10 weighing 9 pounds, 12 ounces and measuring 22 inches tall. Averie and her parents are happy and healthy, and she is adored by her big sister Ella. Averie is the granddaughter of Peter and Sharon Walgreen of Raymond and Dan and Betsy Gillis of Danvers, Mass.

School board openings

With the recent approval from both Raymond and Windham voters to consolidate our school districts, steps are being made to move in that direction. In accordance to the Consolidation Reorganization Plan, a new school board will be formed in January 2009 and will be composed of nine members, three from Raymond and six from Windham. Nomination papers are now available for these positions. Please consider being a part of this very important new school board and stop by the Town Office to pick up the paperwork necessary to begin the process.

Special Town Meeting

A Special Town Meeting will be held at the Broadcast Studio on Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. to discuss land use ordinances. The purpose of this meeting is to act upon amended language for several changes adopted in May. Although these are "housekeeping" issues, they need town approval for acceptance, therefore require a special town meeting. The town meeting will be followed by a regular selectman's meeting.

The Thirteenth Tale

The book group will be meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Raymond Village Library. A ghost story of sorts has been chosen for this month's discussion. "The Thirteenth Tale," by Diane Setterfield, is a cleverly written story within a story and a spellbinding novel with a haunting quality. Copies of the book are available upon request at the library. For more information call the library at 655-4283.

Community Assistance Fund

Once again, the Town of Raymond is soliciting donations from residents for the Raymond Community Assistance Fund. Last year, this program was highly successful in helping those in need to survive the harsh winter months, primarily with fuel assistance. The town has already received several requests for assistance and the season has only just begun.

Any donations you make are tax deductible under Section 170 (c) (1) of the Internal Revenue Code. Please contact Town Manager Don Willard at 655-4742, extension 31 or for more information. Checks made out to the Town of Raymond can be mailed to finance director Nancy Yates at 401 Webbs Mills Road, Raymond, Maine 04071.

Welcome to the discussion.