Town leaders from Orland and Bucksport gathered at the Orland Tradewinds on Friday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Chuck Lawrence (center), owner of Tradewinds Markets. Lawrence presented the Orland Fitness Center and Bucksport YMCA with $5,000 checks, and said that Tradewinds will donate a penny to the Cancer Support Center of Maine for every gallon of gas sold there. Assisting Lawrence at the ribbon-cutting was Dylan Wombacher (left). PHOTO BY DAVID ROZA

Tradewinds owner announces donations to Orland and Bucksport

ORLAND – What would you do with $5,000? Recreation leaders in Orland and Bucksport get to answer that question thanks to donations made by Chuck Lawrence, the owner of Tradewinds Markets.

“We want to make a commitment to Bucksport and Orland,” Lawrence said last Friday, before a small crowd gathered at the parking lot of his new gas station and convenience store on Duck Cove Road, near the border with Bucksport.

“We feel like we’re serving both communities,” he said.

Despite the chilly, 47 degree air, about two dozen people showed up to the 7 a.m. ceremony, where Lawrence cut a length of red ribbon with the help of Dylan Wombacher, whose mother Leslie leads the Bucksport Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.

Lawrence also presented the Orland Fitness Center and the Bucksport YMCA with a check of $5,000 each.

The Bucksport-based Cancer Support Center of Maine also will receive one cent from Tradewinds for every gallon of gas sold at the new station.

After the ribbon-cutting, Lawrence said that Tradewinds stations have raised over $600,000 total in the five years since the cent-per-gallon charity began.

Those funds go to organizations such as the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center and the Mary Dow Center, Lawrence said.

“We estimated this store will raise $10,000 to $12,000 a year,” he added.

“This is big for Bucksport and the surrounding area,” said Barbara Vittum, the executive director of the Cancer Support Center of Maine, which provides services and support for local cancer patients.

Mike Malenfant, the manger of the Orland Community Center, said he was excited to put the money towards revamping the building’s outdoor space. The plan is to include a basketball court, some benches and a pavilion.

“It’s going to be a big help,” he said.

Nick Tymoczko, the recreation operations director for the YMCA in Bucksport, had a long shopping list prepared.

He said he hoped to use the money to make a fitness class for seniors free of charge and to make more scholarships available for local high school students to use the gym space at the Jewett School.

Tymoczko said he also bought books, Lego robot kits and a tent and rug for the reading area of the Bucksport YMCA’s new after-school program.

“To have a gift like that out of the blue is huge, because there are always wish-list items,” he added. “We wish Chuck the best of luck, he’s a big community supporter.”

David Roza

David Roza

Former reporter, David Roza grew up in Washington County, Maryland, has reported in Washington County, Oregon, and covered news in Hancock County and Washington County, Maine for The American and Out & About.

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