In the 1990’s, a group of about 20 Pittsfield citizens agreed to conduct a volunteer patrol of downtown streets on Friday and Saturday nights in order to promote a safe atmosphere and sense of security for residents and travelers. The Watch acted as a visible extension of the Pittsfield Police Department, and had been very successful. There was a tangible decrease in vandalism and other negative behaviors after the Watch began. Community Watch members met on the first Thursday of the month. All applicant members were first screened by the Pittsfield Police Department. This group has slowly dissolved since 1997 and is now more of an ad hoc advisory group that has come together over the years to meet with the Police Department when issues have arisen.
Greater Area Pittsfield Kiwanis
"Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at time." Kiwanis is a non-profit organization. Their moto is "Serving the Children of the World." The Kiwanis Club has 15 active members. The group meets the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month at the Pinnacle at 6:16 pm. Kiwanis is best known for its major fund raiser the Kiwanis Karnival at the Central Maine Egg Festival. The Kiwanis pays for all the tents, rides, fireworks and kiddie parade. The group is responsible for all the booths that are at the Karnival. The Egg Festival Committee handles the big parade, window painting, parking lot painting, street dance, craft tent and many other activities.
Kiwanis sponsors two Key Clubs, MCI and Nokomis as well as sponsors a Builders Club at Vickery. Kiwanis provided funding to help build the community's outdoor swimming pool and the Pinnacle off Waverly Avenue. The group provides scholarships to both MCI and Nokomis. Kiwanis sponsors youth activities such as Reading is Fundamental, Terrific Kids Programs in three schools, Warsaw's Special Nurses fund, the local food pantries, and Goodwill Hinckley's Christmas program, Children's Miracle network and reading for young children. The group holds an annual Bike Rodeo giving out free helmets and safety booklets. Kiwanis holds the annual Easter Egg Hunt and sponsors the Pine Tree Ride-In. The group supports the Life Flight program. The programs that Kiwanis donates time and money to are numerous. www.greaterpittsfieldareakiwanis.com
MCI Key Club
Kiwanis sponsors the MCI Key Club, which offers younger people an opportunity to actively serve their community. Eligibility for membership relies upon an average academic standard above “C.” There are approximately 20 members each year. Activities sponsored by the Club include the Snow Ball, lemonade stand at the Egg Festival, participation in the March of Dimes Walk-a-thon and St. Jude Hospital Bike-a-thon, and serving diners at the Alumni Reunion and Foreign Student Dinner. The group meets bi-monthly on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM.
Pittsfield Historical Society
The Pittsfield Historical Society is a private non-profit organization, which receives partial support from the Town to maintain the Depot House Museum, The group’s purpose is to preserve the history and historical items of the Pittsfield region, and membership is open to anyone who shares that interest. Its activities include sponsoring an open house at the museum and conducting historical research, although keeping up with maintaining the depot and caboose are challenging the Society’s small membership of ten. The group relies upon membership dues, donations and fundraisers such as bake sales to support its work. The Society meets monthly at the Depot House in the warm months and bi-monthly during the Winter at the Firemen’s Muster Hall. The Historical Society manages the Depot House Museum. The group has an ongoing campaign to save the deteriorating depot. It is hoped that in 2012 the roof of the Depot will be replaced. This is the first phase of work required to preserve and/or restore this 1880’s building. www.pittsfieldhistoricalsociety.org
Burns Knowlton Post 32 of the American Legion
This post of the American Legion has 63 members. The following are the Post’s priorities: community service, providing child welfare, supporting Boys State, assisting with nurse training and providing veterans assistance, notably transportation to the V.A. Hospital at Togus. The post sponsors the Memorial Day Parade and is funded through membership dues, yard sales and a 50/50 raffle. One must be a veteran of military service during a U.S. war to be eligible for membership. The post meets at the Elks Lodge on the last Sunday of each month at 2:00 PM.
Pittsfield Farmers’ Market
A farmers’ market officially organized in early 1997, with the support of the Town. The Town passed an ordinance dedicating an area adjacent to Hathorn Park at the corner of Central Street and Somerset Avenue for the farmers market. In 1997, the founding members include eight area farmers, gardeners, cooks, and artisans, offering fruits, vegetables, herbs, home baked pies, goat milk and cheese, and spun wool. Over the years, the number of vendors has increased or decreased based upon the schedule of other farmers markets, the local economy and the number of farmers involved in the Pittsfield Farmers’ Market organization. It is hoped that additional local producers will join in to increase the offerings available to residents who wish to support fresh, local food, and home-made products. The Farmers Market is open May through October on Mondays and Thursdays from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm. The Pittsfield Farmers’ Market works with HealthySV on specialized programs such as cooking demonstrations. “How to cook vegetables” is scheduled for the Summer of 2012. www.snakeroot.net
Driftbusters Snowmobile Club
The Pittsfield Driftbusters have an open membership to anyone interested in snowmobiling. Its purpose is to promote safer snowmobiling and better trails. Current membership consists of 64 families, 24 singles, 5 students and 12 businesses from Pittsfield and Burnham. The Club utilizes the former Peltoma Fish and Game Association clubhouse as its headquarters, where meals and rest rooms are available to travelers. The Club maintains the area trail network, organizes rides and contributes substantial funds to the Pine Tree Camp for Handicapped Persons. Relationships with cooperating landowners are good. Funds are raised through dues, a portion of snowmobile registration funds returned via the Town, clubhouse rental fees and sale of lunches. Regular business meetings are held on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 7:00 PM. For more information please visit the Pittsfield Driftbuster's website www.pittsfielddriftbusters.com or the Maine Snowmobile Association at www.mesnow.com
Knights of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus (K of C) has approximately 30 members who are active Catholics over the age of 18. The group exists to offer non-profit service to Church, youth, family, and community. The K of C had a hall on Dobson Street, where it met regularly on the 1st Wednesday of the month for many years. Due to the cost of renovations, the hall was torn down in 2010. The group now meets at the St. Agnes Church facilities. The group holds socials, pot luck dinners, an all-you-can-eat breakfast, and a tootsie-roll campaign to help the handicapped. These fundraisers, together with membership dues, bring in the needed revenues. Due to the restructuring of the churches, the free meal program moved to Dexter.
The Pittsfield Tuesday Club was established in the mid-1800's as a federated literary club. It is a private, self-perpetuating regional organization which currently has 11 members (there were 26 in 1997), most of whom are from Pittsfield. The group meets 13 times per year either at the home of a member or the Pittsfield Public Library. Activities include supporting the Community Christmas Project (see below) and parties at the Sebasticook Valley Health Facility. Some delegates travel to Augusta to participate in the Women’s Legislative Council, which hears presentations on both sides of legislation and reports back to delegates.
Sebasticook Valley Hospital (SVH) Auxiliary
“A tradition since 1963,” the Auxiliary is currently a group of about 50 area citizens who volunteer time to raise funds to support the hospital. The dues-supported group holds teas and operates a gift nook at SVH. A soda and snack machine are also managed by the Auxiliary to raise funds. The group holds two general meetings a year and committee meetings as needed. At one time there was another group in the area known as the R.N. Club. This group had a similar focus as the SVH Auxiliary and the two groups decided to become one.
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge #2713
Instituted in 1986, The BPOE is a non-profit, fraternal and charitable organization dedicated to veterans, scholarship programs, youth activity, and any worthy charitable cause. The area lodge has 325 members from Pittsfield, Corinna, Newport, Detroit, Burnham, Hartland, Palmyra, and Dexter. One must be an American citizen and sponsored by a current member to join. The BPOE is dedicated to fostering the virtues of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love, and Fidelity. Major charities supported by the lodge include the Maine Children’s Cancer Program of the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, the Elks National Foundation, and the Maine Elk’s Diabetes and Hypertension testing van. Local support is given to the Community Christmas Project, area youth athletics, area scholarship programs, area school programs, the Pittsfield Public Library, Sebasticook Valley Health, area Veterans, and many many more deserving charities. The BPOE is the second largest scholarship donor in the country. The Elks Lodge facilities include a social lounge restricted to members and their guests, a game room with dart boards, pool tables, video golf and licensed gaming. The 180 person capacity function room, complete with bar and kitchen is available for rent by calling the Club Room Manager at 487-6300. Meetings are held at the Elks Lodge in the center of town on Middle Street on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month at 7:30 PM. Numerous member and family social activities include dances, card tournaments, dart tournaments, pool tournaments, chili cook-offs, beano and bar-b-ques, which also help raise needed funds. Dues, contributions and sealed ticket sales add to the revenue mix. To become a member the person must be atleast 21 years of age, American Citizen of quality moral character and integrity, and be proposed by a current member in good standing. To learn more about the BPOE please visit www.elks.org or www.maineelks.org. The phone number for the local lodge is 478-6300.
Pinnacle Ski Club
The Pinnacle Ski Club is a membership-based association whose objectives are to promote skiing and skiing instruction for adults and children, encourage friendship among skiers for the greater enjoyment of all phases of the sport, and to stimulate the solution of common problems such as those dealing with ski programs, techniques, and equipment. Other outdoor activities besides skiing are promoted by the Club. The Club operates a ski area, including a clubhouse, at Pinnacle Park, which is described in the Recreational Resources Section of this plan. Meeting dates to be determined. Each year in April a Board of Directors is voted in. Membership averages 140 to 150 depending on snow accumulation. The club organizes a Ski Sale prior to Ski Season and has hosted the Special Olympics on more than one occasion.
Hours: Noon to 4 pm Saturday and Sunday
Night Skiing when possible
President – Jim Cianchette
Pittsfield Community Garden Club
The Pittsfield Garden Club exists to beautify the Town of Pittsfield and its visible efforts are well-appreciated. Anyone interested in gardening is encouraged to join. There are currently 30 members who meet the first Saturday of the month September through April at one of the schools, municipal building, library, or at a member’s house. A plant sale is held in May to raise the funds necessary to purchase annuals to plant at the library, Depot House Museum, Stein Park, hospital, and other locations in Town. In 2012, the group started growing and donating the hanging baskets seen throughout the Downtown area.
Community Christmas Project (Pittsfield Food Pantry)
The Pittsfield Community Christmas Project was begun in the early 1980's by a couple who dedicated their lives to helping those in need. The Project began as a collection of Christmas gifts for needy families and has grown to become a year-round source of food, clothing, and necessary items for those down on their fortune in the greater Pittsfield area. The Project is run by a board of directors. In late 1996, the Project was able to relocate from the basement of the founders’ home to a permanent and convenient downtown storefront on Connors Avenue by purchasing a tax-acquired property from the Town. The Food Pantry portion of this project is open Tuesday and Friday in the morning. There is a group of ten volunteers that staff the pantry. In 2012, the Town honored this group with the Pittsfield Spirit of America award. Christmas Gift donations are solicited by the group each year for Christmas Baskets. Many individuals and organizations throughout the area come together and help the Christmas Project Volunteers with this effort.
Volunteers for a Pittsfield Community Garden
This group formed in 2011 to work towards the development of a Community Garden in Pittsfield. Several forums have been held to discuss this idea and space for a Community Garden is being looked at on the Town Farm Lot.
Pittsfield Senior Citizens
The purpose of the Senior Citizens group is to bring Seniors together, The group meets at the Sebasticook Valley Elks Lodge on Middle Street every Wednesday morning. The members play cards, have potluck dinners and go on field trips. For more information please feel free to drop by or contact Frances Kirk at 487-5686.
Pittsfield ARTS Club
The Pittsfield Always Ready To Serve Club meets at the homes of members and local businesses on the second Monday of the month. There are 22 members who conduct fundraisers and then utilize the money helping others throughout the community.
Friends of the Library
The Friends of the Library is a non-profit group of individuals who care about libraries. They support and promote the Pittsfield Public Library. The friends offer author and lecture programs, book sales, Library open house. and other activities. There are 75 members who meet four to six times a year.
The Welcome Table
The Welcome Table started in 2008. A group of five organizers created this program to be “a locally staffed and funded service whose mission is to provide our neighbors with a place to gather, socialize and share a free meal.” The Welcome Table is open every Friday in the basement of the First Universalist Church on Easy Street. Each week the meal is planned, paid for, prepared and served by a different local business or organization.
PennyWise has been in existence since at least 1971. Volunteers from the United Church of Christ operate the thrift store. The store is generally open Tuesday through Friday 9am to 3pm. Many families have benefited from the over 3000 volunteer hours and numerous donations to PennyWise. PennyWise is the Main Mission of the First Congregational Church offering reasonable priced and gently used items. Also known for Providing free clothing and household items to victims of fire and other forms of disaster victims. PennyWise has served as a great income for the church operation donating back to Pittsfield and surrounding communities. PennyWise has made donations to support local food pantries, homeless shelters, humane societies and many other organizations.
Sebasticook Valley’s Healthy Communities Coalition is designed to support and promote healthy lifestyles, to reduce chronic disease and increase quality of life in the Sebasticook Region, through policy and environmental change. The coalition has 20 members and is one of the Healthy Maine Partnerships throughout the State dedicated to promoting Healthy lifestyles. The Coalition focuses on assisting with changes to encourage Physical Activity, Healthy Food Choices, and the Decrease and Prevention of Tobacco Use, Alcohol Abuse and Drug Misuse. www.healthysv.org
Mid-Maine Community Forum
The focus of the forum is to create an opportunity to engage people in conversations and prompts participants to become informed and inspired to initiate positive change in themselves, their community, and the world. Held the first Thursday of the month, this free program runs September through November and February through May. The Forum began in the Spring of 2011 and has addressed a variety of topics from local farming, the arts, our environment to civil rights. The group also invites speakers such as Lisa Pohlman, Executive Director of the Natural Resource Council of Maine and Kate Breastrap, New York Times best selling author. The planning committee consists of Church members and community members and meets at the First Universalist Church.