Dear Sun Spots: While visiting someone out of state and shopping, I was intrigued to see coin counting machines in a couple large grocery stores where you dump in all your loose change in its bin and it sorts and counts the money for you and gives you a credit slip equal to the total, for that store. Do you know of any such machines in the Oxford Hills or L-A area? Thank you. – Wondering in Bryant Pond.

Answer: Your local Hannaford and Shaw’s supermarkets have Coinstar machines at the front of the store. It’s simple, just pour your change into the machine and in minutes it will be done. The machine counts up to 600 coins per minute and will accept any quantity of unsorted coins. It will also filter out any foreign coins and other debris. After the coins are sorted, the machine prints out a voucher that can be exchanged for cash or groceries at the checkout.

There is a processing fee for the service. A percentage of the total amount will be deducted for the fee. Coinstar charges an 8.9 percent processing fee, but some retailers may choose to subsidize this fee, so it could be less.

Also, your coin counting is free if you convert your change to a gift card to retailers such as Borders and Waldenbooks, Linen-N-Things, and Starbucks. This gift card service is available at Shaw’s Supermarkets in Auburn, Lewiston and Windham.

Dear Sun Spots: The Androscoggin Historical Society is holding a seminar on how to start or expand a local cultural organization on very limited resources. It will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, at the society headquarters. It is free to the general public and is wheelchair accessible. Our speaker is Douglas S. Rogers of Auburn, founder and first curator of the Ascension Historical Society, on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic. He was there from 1966 to 1971 working for Pan-American Airways, Guided Missiles Division. Everything he needed (except historical items!) had to be brought to the island, so his resources were quite limited, as you can imagine. The historical society there now has “The Rogers Room” dedicated to commemorating American influence on the island. Come if you’d like to learn how to run a small institution in very challenging circumstances.

Of course, if you happen to be interested in the history of Ascension Island, South Atlantic Ocean, (as well as St. Helena and Tristan da Cunha!) then you are in luck. As it has been such a long time since our last meeting, please bring your updated contact information with you to the meeting, or send it to us at County Building, 2 Turner St., Unit 8, Auburn, ME 04210-5978. The Androscoggin Historical Society is open 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Thanks. – Michael Lord, executive secretary.

Dear Sun Spots: My husband and I saw a story that ran on a local news station about an organization that collects old 8mm cameras and films.

While cleaning a building we recently purchased, we came across a box containing both a camera and some films. We’d like to donate them, but we can’t remember the name of the organization. Thanks for your help. – S. Pilote, Lewiston.

Sun Spots is not aware of the program you are referring to, and a search of the newspaper’s archives, as well as assistance from local news channels were unsuccessful. Hopefully a Sun Spots reader will remember the name of the organization.

Dear Sun Spots: The American Legion Auxiliary of Post 153 is having a 2nd Annual Yard & Bake sale on Aug. 23. We are looking for donations. All donations may be dropped off at 71 South Main St., Auburn. Contact Brenda Longtin at 782-1118 for more information.

All proceeds to benefit the American Legion Baseball team and other Legion sponsored youth programs. – Della, Turner.

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