DEAR SUN SPOTS: Our mom, who is 99 years old, gave us certificates last Christmas so our family could all go out to eat together. She is now in a wheelchair and housebound. She is unable to come with us unless she can be in her wheelchair. Is there anyone with a van with a wheelchair lift? Willing to pay for gas. Please call 207-784-0389. — Leo, Lewiston.

ANSWER: Western Maine Transportation Services has regular wheelchair-lift equipped paratransit bus and minivan services available for medical appointments, shopping, personal services and daytime social activities. Being 99, your mom would get the seniors 60+ price which, depending on the distance, is between $1.50 and $3.75 per trip. You can call 800-393-9335 selection 1, at least 24 hours in advance (before 4 p.m.) to schedule a ride.

Vans are also available to rent from Ride Away for as low as $135 for one day. They are located at 32 Lewiston Road Unit 2B in Gray. For more information or to schedule a wheelchair van rental, call 207-747-2087.

If anyone has a van that they would be willing to share, please call Leo.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Saturday, Oct. 22 marks the final event in the Franco-American Collection’s program “Franco-Americans During Wartime: A Heritage of Service.” On that day, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., people can bring in wartime-related materials to be digitized. They will leave with their original materials as well as a digital copy and have the option of depositing a digital copy at the collection to be preserved and used for research. In addition to the digitization activities, Jeannette Gregoire will be playing piano, and there will be light refreshments and exhibits.

This program has been sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of its Common Heritage Grant Program, an effort to help preserve historical materials by making digital copies of items held by the community. The Collection has focused on the wartime experiences of Franco-Americans, whether in military service or on the homefront.

People may not realize what wonderful materials they have in scrapbooks or attics. They may have letters or pictures from an ancestor who served in the Spanish-American War, or movies from someone who recently served in Afghanistan. We’re also hoping that some people will bring in materials from the homefront, such as ration books or pictures of Victory Gardens. We want to help them preserve those memories by creating a digital copy. At the same time, they will add to our understanding of the past.

The event is free and open to the public and will be held in rooms 170 and 171 of University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College, 51 Westminster St. in Lewiston. For more information, please visit, call 207-753-6545, or email [email protected]

The Collection is usually open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., although it is best to call ahead to confirm. — Janet Roberts, coordinator of the Franco-American Collection.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have a piano to give away for free. It’s a Pianohaus H. Maurer; all you will have to do is pick it up. Please call 207-782-6980, and if there’s no answer, please leave a message. Thanks. — No name, no town.

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