Anti-Bullying Walk and Community Fair Coming to Baileyville

By Jayna Smith

On Sunday, September 28th, the village of Woodland will come alive with a Unite Against Bullying Walk and Community Fair Day celebration.  An event being organized by the non-profit organization Maine Books for Maine Kids, its goal is to raise awareness of the negative impact bullying has as well as raise funds for the organization.  With the funds, the organization will purchase books on the topic of bullying awareness and other materials for schools within Washington County. 

Anyone can take part in the walk, organizer Billie Jo Jack said, and all ages are encouraged to attend.  Participants can also seek pledges for higher amounts to help with the cause.  “The walk is going to be two miles on the streets of Woodland,” Jack said.

Baileyville Police Chief Bob Fitzsimmons is ready for the walk, taking it a step further—or 9 miles further to be exact.  To help in the awareness efforts, he has decided to walk from the Baileyville Police Department to the Calais Police Department, an 11 mile trek. 

“Corporal Seavey of Baileyville Police Department, Assistant Fire Chief Brandon Ireland and I will make our way south along Route 1 to the Calais Police/Fire Station.  If folks see us along the way and wanted to stop and give us donations, water, and maybe some oxygen, that would be great,” Chief Fitzsimmons said.  “I want the kids here in Woodland to know that we do whatever we can to bring awareness to this issue and that we take it seriously enough to do something like this.”  He challenges others to join them and sponsor their efforts. 

The Unite Against Bullying Walk and Community Fair Day will also include vendors and other events for families.  Additionally, those in attendance will appreciate the entertainment, including students of Barbara’s International School of Dance and vocal acts. 

Brianna Jack, founder of Maine Books for Maine Kids, and her sister Eliza are assisting with the organization of the event and are hosting a book drive at the event.  Those interested can bring a new book which will go towards others collected later at a Christmas book drive.  “Last year the girls donated over 700 books and we would like to do even more this year,” Jack said.  Used books are welcome, too, “just no writing or rips,” she added.

Brianna said she attended a bullying awareness walk last year in southern Maine which gave her the idea of holding one in Washington County.  “I decided to hold a walk in my hometown because I had a lot of fun at the walk in Saco.  I wanted to bring this event to my hometown so the people here could enjoy the walk and family fun fair, and also to help raise money for bully awareness in Washington County,” she explained. 

“We are also going to be having a poster contest for the elementary schools,” Jack said.  “The winner will get a case of bully awareness books for their school and a gift certificate for themselves.”  Details will be made available to the area schools.

The Unite Against Bullying Walk and Community Fair Day will be held at Woodland Elementary School from 12:00 to 3:00 on Sunday, September 28th.  Sign up for the walk begins at 11:00 and the first 100 to register will receive a free T-shirt.  More information about the event can be obtained from Billie Jo Jack at 214-8757 or via email at pdjmaine@yahoo.com