Young woman committed to Kennedy Park kids gets grant

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LEWISTON – “Youth looking out for other youth and business partnering with them is clearly an example of why Lewiston is an All-America City,” said Director of Recreation Maggie Chisholm.

Chisholm is talking about Katie Lacasse, assistant director of Kennedy Park Pool, and Androscoggin Bank.

Now in her fifth summer of employment as a part-time, temporary for the Lewiston Department of Recreation, Lacasse’s work commitment did not cease last year upon leaving for her sophomore year at the University of New Hampshire.

Last winter, Lacasse pursued a $500 Androscoggin Bank MainStreet Foundation grant to benefit the children who annually utilize Kennedy Park Pool.

Lacasse was successful in her quest for funds. The $500 funding will provide new swimming lesson equipment such as flotation belts, kick boards, pool balls, “noodles,” diving rings, floating toys and supplies/playground equipment for a first-year Kennedy Park Pool Playground Program, to include finger-paint, markers/crayons, face paint, tie-die materials, kick balls, whiffle ball set, basketballs and portable bases.

Lacasse said, “Through free swimming lessons, we give children an opportunity to learn how to swim and be safe in the water in a fun, structured, supervised environment. Also, by offering a playground program, children can play and enjoy themselves through activities, supervision and positive role models.”

Bill Denehy, Androscoggin Bank senior vice president of retail banking, concurred, saying, “This grant is very important for the summer recreation for the children in our community. We are proud to have been a part of such a great community project.”

Deputy Director of Recreation Joline Banaitis offered words of praise for Lacasse’s “above and beyond” commitment to children in the Kennedy Park area.

She said, “Katie returned to college, but the memory of the children in Kennedy Park remained fresh in her mind. She put her thoughts into action, and now area children will greatly benefit. Katie was named a Lewiston Shining Star in 2005, and I can certainly see why.”

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