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The first quarter was active. Laura Lee Miller-Bowes was invited to join the board. Some board members have met with other candidates, including one who attended one of our sessions. Dick Shriver's "temporary leave of absence," mentioned in the fourth quarter 2017 Newsletter, was ignored...by Dick.
Much time was spent determining how to raise awareness of the need for live donors – ethical, safety and health concerns. As well, a segment was planned for the drivers-ed program at the LOL high school, with students taking key roles. "Donate Life Day" will be celebrated at the Old Lyme town hall, with Richard Jones speaking, along with a doctor from Hartford Hospital who works in the organ transplant area.
Led by Dick Shriver, Dennis Powers and BJ Bernblum, many on the board provided help to a single mother who is in financial trouble. Advice and support have been provided, plus a day was spent cleaning her house and sprucing up her property in preparation for possible sale. Gerry Guild provided reports on another client who continues to struggle with health and financial problems, and who relies on contact with Gerry and others. Mary Seidner of the LOL Youth Services Bureau brought to our attention the needs of another family that is in need of humanitarian aid.
Work Vessels for Vets held a gathering in Mystic to celebrate a 10th anniversary, which was attended by Dennis Powers and his wife. Dennis Powers and Frank Gaglio have been heavily involved in Bikes for Kids: helping re-vamp the board, helping to plan the 2018 Bikes-for- kids charity rides, and working with David Fowler in terms of the operation. John Forbis, as Treasurer of 9-Town Transit, reported that 40% of their operating budget comes from the state; because of the state's financial condition all expansion plans are on hold.
MCCD members, led by Dennis Powers, began their annual job of helping AmeriCorps interns with resume writing and interviewing skills. These are individuals employed by NESS (New England Science & Sailing) and who work with students at the Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School in New London. John Forbis, wearing his Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center (RTPEC) hat, met with Ed Sweeney of the Leadership Academy in New London regarding a Science and Nature program to be scheduled for the school year beginning fall of 2018. This would be for 7 th and 8th graders. Financing, it is hoped, will come from the Community Foundation for Eastern Connecticut. MCCD was involved in the formation of the RTPEC.
Richard Jones, Gerry Guild and Deborah Andreas presented "Organ Transplants Save Lives" to four sessions of two combined health classes at LOL high school. A live donor, Ryan Lee, joined them for the first presentation.
Hall's Road Project: The Town-appointed committee for the Halls Road Improvement Project, chaired by BJ Bernblum, is seeking professional planning advice from the Yale Urban Design Workshop. It is also looking into becoming a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district, where funds from tax dollars resulting from increased property valuations can be used to finance infrastructure and to encourage investment and development. This is a project conceived five years ago by former MCCD board member Michael Perks, and subsequently promoted by the entire MCCD board.
MCCD has consulted with HOPE (Homeownership and Opportunity for People Everywhere), on whose advisory council sits Mark Robinson, in connection with its proposed affordable housing project in Old Lyme. It was left undecided as to whether MCCD wants to serve as an advocate for this initiative.
MCCD has been consulting with Debbie Loper, whose business is named OuttaVue and which manufactures security shades for school classrooms, regarding the expansion of her business. MCCD has been invited to make a presentation at the Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce dinner meeting on April 10.