Slugger coming to Bridgton as part of Community Field Day

He is six feet tall and has white, fluffy cheeks and a tail — can anyone guess who is coming to Harmon Field in Bridgton to play kickball with elementary schoolchildren?

It’s Slugger, the Portland Sea Dogs’ mascot! Yes, Slugger is returning for another free Community Field Day, on Saturday, Sept. 16, from noon to 3 p.m., with a rain date of Saturday, Sept. 23, at the same time. Admission is free! In fact, everything is free including food, laughs, and the kickball game. And, everyone also gets a free baseball card signed by Slugger.

The Lake Region Ecumenical Group consists of local area churches and meets once a month. It is a group of pastors and priests who discuss ways in which they can meet some of the needs of the community. The group also invites local community leaders to attend, such as Carmen Lone, director of the Bridgton Community Center. Food insecurity is a particularly pressing need in the Lake Region community. Because of this, the group has been hosting two special projects for the last two years to give out free food. One event is the Free Community Shorey Park Picnic in August and the fall event with Slugger in September. Both have been well attended and The Lake Region Ecumenical Group has fed over 150 multigenerational attendees at each event. This year it is hoped that over 200 people will be fed at the Slugger event.

The Free Community Field Day begins at noon and the free lunch will be served until 1 p.m. The meal will consist of hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, apples, cookies, and water. The kickball game with elementary schoolchildren begins after lunch with Slugger arriving just in time to kick the first ball. A large group picture will be taken at home base after the kickball game at around 2 p.m. and all the children, the valuable volunteers, and Slugger will be included. Slugger will leave after the group picture is taken.

The Lake Region Ecumenical Group would like to thank all the businesses and volunteers who give so freely of their time and money. For Slugger’s event, Hannaford is donating 200 bottles of water; Pie Tree Orchard is donating apples; and Food City is donating all the ice for the event. Stevens Brook Elementary is allowing the group to borrow kickballs and the Bridgton Recreational Department is supplying the bases for the game. Jim Kidder, from the Town of Bridgton is hooking us up with power for the band and the bouncy house filled with balls.

There are also wonderful volunteers to help out such as the Bridgton Academy students who will play games and kickball with the children and Slugger, and the Bridgton Young Professionals who will supply the overall help, do the cooking, play kickball, and clean up. We are so grateful to all who volunteer — without them we could never keep up with the children or Slugger. For more information about this event call St. Peter’s Episcopal Church at 647-5495. Let’s play ball!

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