DEAR SUN SPOTS: The Tri-Town Optimist Club of Poland, Minot and Mechanic Falls is holding a book drive from now to Jan. 15. The books will be given to RSU 16 teachers for much-needed classroom libraries and to students for their home libraries. If you have new or gently-used books to donate, you can drop them off at elementary schools in Poland at 1250 Maine St., Minot at 23 Shaw Hill Road, and Mechanic Falls at 129 Elm St., or at the RSU 16 Central Office at 3 Aggregate Road, Poland. If you have questions, please contact Mary ([email protected]) or Amy ([email protected], 207-998-2727).

The Tri-Town Optimist Club has adopted the promotion of literacy as a year-long theme. Reading is central to learning and the availability of books is important to reading success. The club is also sponsoring Reading Friends, a volunteer program that provides elementary students with an adult who will listen to them read during the school day. For more information, contact Dave at [email protected]

— Mary, no town

ANSWER: One of the most important things you can do is read to a child every chance you get, or listen to them read. The world can be opened up to everyone through books and they are a gift that never goes out of style. I hope all my readers will participate by donating books and/or volunteering with these students.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: In response to the question about acrylic painting classes, I own Wicked Illustrations Studio and Gallery in Lewiston where I teach acrylic painting as well as other media for ages 6 and older. My website is and I’m at 140 Canal St.

— Melanie, Lewiston

ANSWER: Thank you so much for writing to answer the question posed in the Dec. 11 Sun Spots. I hope everyone will check out the website and view Melanie’s work that includes the brightly-painted fire hydrants in downtown Lewiston, as well as the work of fellow artist Kate Cargile. The artists, with the help of a support team, offer multiple art classes for various ages and abilities and also lead summer art camp experiences. You can also reach Wicked Illustrations at 576-3743.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I’m having a craving for fruit cake and wondered if there’s a place in the Lewiston-Auburn area where I can buy a good homemade one.

— No name, no town

ANSWER: I saw on Lewiston Rocks’ Facebook page that you can find them at the Winter Market at the Lewiston YMCA on Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon. The fruit cakes are made by B & T Baked Goods in Pittston. They have a Facebook page as well and can be reached at 313-7510. Give them a call to be sure they are bringing some to town.

Another recommendation is to order a Claxton fruit cake from Claxton, Georgia. I know it’s not local, but I’ve heard they are pretty tasty if you’re a fruit cake connoisseur. They can be ordered at or through Amazon.

My mom used to make fruit cake and also some fruit cake cookies that hit the spot and were much less labor-intensive and inexpensive to make than a full loaf. Let me know if you want the recipes!

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].

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