WILTON — A new sign with a post welded by a Wilton student was set in place at Bass Park on Thursday to complement the yellow and orange marigolds planted by school children.
Wilton’s Marigold program, designed to beautify the downtown and lake area while engaging young students’ help, spawned the new sign for the park.
When project organizer Betty Shibles asked Foster Tech teacher Rob Olsen for a suggestion of who to do the work, Sasha Collins Faunce was recommended for the job.
Faunce has spent the last two years taking classes in metal fabrication and welding at Foster Regional Applied Technology Center. She graduated from Mt. Blue High School earlier this month and will continue her studies starting in July at Washington County Community College where she will major in welding.
“It’s the hands-on experience,” Faunce said when asked what she likes about welding.
She started working with metals during her junior year at Mt. Blue but then was selected to do a second year because she enjoyed it so much. During the class she did special projects such as designing and making tables and nightstands, Shibles said. Faunce would be one of a very few women who go into welding as a career, she added.
She also tried her hand in an automotive class where she replaced rusted metal on a truck, enabling it to pass inspection, Faunce said.
Faunce was the only girl in the welding class at Foster Tech and will be the only girl in the welding class this summer at the community college, her father Irv Faunce said as he and her mother, Jan Collins, waited for the sign to go up. The course begins in July and runs through next May, he said.
Realizing the demand for welders, Sasha is looking to maybe work on boats at Bath Iron Works or join Cianbro Corp. after school, she said.
Once the 12-foot post arrived last week, she returned to Foster Tech with an idea of what Shibles wanted for the sign post and went to work. The post was then painted and prepared for the location. Once set in cement, the post will stand 9-feet high displaying a picturesque lake-scene sign created by Signworks in Farmington.
Wilton Recreation Director Frank Donald and assistant Joe Toner pulled up a rotted wooden post Thursday, dug the hole deeper and prepared to cement it into place before the sign was hung.
Another young member of the community, Silas Rogers, was on hand Thursday to join a discussion about shrubbery for space next to the lake. Rogers attended the town’s public hearing and voiced ideas, which led Shibles to include him in the planning.


Wilton Recreation Director Frank Donald holds a new post welded by Wilton student Sasha Collins Faunce while she and Silas Rogers hold the new sign that will be hung at the entrance of Bass Park Thursday. As part of Wilton’s Marigold project, students planted the bed of marigolds in the background last month and program organizer, Betty Shibles, enlisted Faunce to weld the post.

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