I hope this finds you safe, healthy, and happy. It’s hard to believe that it is already February 2021! I wanted to reach out and say hi as well as give you some updates on all things RBPA.
If you haven’t been to the website recently (www.rbpa.org) please go take a look. Board member Kelly Maines has done a great job rebuilding it! There is a calendar page where you can find all of our current and upcoming events, including how to participate in them. The board has decided to hold this year’s Scholarship Awards Banquet virtually as a precaution due to the continued impact of Covid. I believe the phrase is “Better to not get together in person this year than not be able to get together again”. We will get you more information as we have it.
That being said, maybe by the summer we can do something outside. We have already started to work on an event, and when it’s finalized we will post the information on our website and our other social media. Katie is our Social Media mastermind! Katie makes sure all things RBPA are there and has links on the pertinent posts to the website for your convenience. We are following some LGBTQIA owned and/or operated businesses, so in addition to what’s going on at RBPA you will see posts from those businesses as well. EVENTS: We have a fun online event! From February 5th through February 18th we have an online raffle for a $25.00 gift card to Animal House which, if you don’t know them, is a pet store in Westbrook and Damariscotta. If you are a pet lover, most definitely worth a visit. All proceeds from our online raffles go directly to support our annual scholarships and are tax deductible, so bid high! You can find more information on our website at www.RBPA.org.
SCHOLARSHIP NEWS: The Scholarship Application is now live on the website and we are accepting applications until March 19, 2021. If you, or anyone that you know are college bound, or returning to college and are champions of LGBTQIA Equality send them to the website (www.rbpa.org) and apply! After six years of Chairing the Scholarship Committee, I have stepped down from that role. I will still be on the committee, and have handed the reins over to Kelly Maines, mother of two scholarship recipients and a board member. I am excited to watch how she develops the Scholarship going forward. We are always looking for new committee members to join us in this, our most focused task, so if you are interested please email Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org. WHERE ARE THEY NOW: Matthew Crane received one of the RBPA Scholarships in 2018 and I asked him to write a short piece about what is going on in his world: "As a recipient of the RBPA scholarship, I feel lucky to be part of such an amazing group of individuals. It has been a very meaningful experience. Like many others, the pandemic has changed things a great deal in life. My work towards achieving my
Bachelor's degree continues, although I've transferred to SNHU online and I'm nearly finished. This allows me to work full time without it interfering with classes. Although we've been unable to gather, I'm still involved in the Waterville area LGBTQ community, mostly through social media presence. I am a primary organizer and planner of the group Kennebec Valley Queer Coalition (KVQC), and working on ways to connect with the community while we can't be together physically. When we can gather again, we'll return to our monthly socials. I've also adopted three kittens since I received my scholarship, and they have filled my love cup to the brim! I have the best little family. The most exciting right now is the growing of my online business as I create inventory and my website. So, I've been busy in life and looking forward to new and positive things!"
~ Matthew Crane
OTHER NEWS: We are looking to expand the board, so if you are interested in knowing what that involves, please contact me at email@example.com.
Let me thank you once again for being the kind of person that insists on equality for all. Through your support of the scholarships we are able to help educate our community members and help them to better engage in equality for all.
The last year has been challenging for everyone, but we have proven time and time again that we are a strong community and we are fighters! So on behalf of the entire board of directors; stay safe, stay healthy, and know that you matter. We hope to see you soon. With utmost regard, Mitch Rosengarten (He/Him) RBPA President