Press Releases

Star City Red Sox World Series Trophy welcome to include first responder parade and public viewing as part of Biathlon Junior World Championship events

March 4, 2014

Aroostook County – Area first responders and emergency service personnel will hold a city-wide parade to welcome the 2013 Boston Red Sox World Series Trophy into the County and express their support for ‘Boston Strong,’ a nationwide motto coined to honor the city after the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013. The event, followed by a public viewing at the Aroostook Centre Mall, is part of the 2014 IBU Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships official schedule, and will wrap up an exciting day of competition at the Nordic Heritage Sports Center.

On Wednesday, March 5, a first responder’s parade is scheduled in downtown Presque Isle. The parade, which will usher into the city the Red Sox Trophy, will begin at The University of Maine at Presque Isle at 6:30 p.m., travel north on Main Street, and end at The Aroostook Centre Mall around 7:00 p.m.

Area first responders from throughout Aroostook County are invited to join in the parade to show solidarity and support for their brothers and sisters in Boston and across the country who risk their lives in the line of duty. In addition to honoring responders that arrived after the bombing and provided aid to injured competitors and spectators, the parade also honors those responders who were present to provide assistance to runners during the marathon, and, thrust into the midst of a terrorist attack, immediately stepped up to provide aid to the injured.

“The very successful 2013 season for the Boston Red Sox was something that helped the city and all who were shocked and saddened by what happened during the Boston Marathon last spring, heal and rally. For many, the winning of the World Series by the Red Sox was a sign the city was recovering from the tragic event,” said Jason Parent of the press and promotion team for the 2014 IBU Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships. “The true heroes of the day at the Marathon tragedy were indeed the first responders. As an organizing committee, we thought it most appropriate that we pay tribute to those brave men and women – and the brave men and women that serve as our first responders locally, by letting them have the honor of escorting the World Series Trophy into The County. It is a great way to honor our own true heroes who put their lives on the line every day, and an opportunity for those heroes to demonstrate their brotherhood and sisterhood with others who do the same across the country.”

After the parade, the Boston Red Sox 2013 World Series Trophy Reception, including a public viewing, will take place at The Aroostook Centre Mall inside the area by the JC Penney store. The reception is planned in conjunction with a medal ceremony for the 2014 IBU Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships. Earlier that day, the world’s top junior male and female athletes in the sport of biathlon will compete in the individual competition at the Nordic Heritage Sport Center.

According to Ben Zimmer of the Boston Globe, ‘Boston Strong’ is “shorthand for defiance, solidarity, and caring… It represents a united front in the face of threat.” The ‘Boston Strong’ idea gained even more momentum after Boston’s own Red Sox baseball team defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2013 World Series.

Red Sox Ambassadors Oscar Figueroa and John McDermott are accompanying the Commissioner’s Trophy, the emblematic award presented to the Red Sox team after their 2013 World Series win.

Any public safety officials are invited to bring their vehicles and join the procession starting at the University of Maine at Presque Isle at 6:30 p.m. on March 5th. Public safety officials are asked to have their vehicles on-site by 6:00 p.m. for line-up.

 


 

Fast-paced, high-energy opening ceremony to kick off 2014 Biathlon World Juniors Thursday

February 24, 2014

Aroostook County – After months of planning and preparation, The 2014 IBU World Youth/Junior Biathlon Championships will take center stage at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle, and event sponsors, the organizing committee, and numerous volunteers have created a jam-packed schedule of competitive and community events to engage visitors, starting with opening ceremonies on Thursday.

The public is invited to attend the Opening Ceremonies on Thursday, February 27th, 7:30 pm at Gentile Hall – UMPI. It is a free, family-friendly event that includes music and light shows.

“The Opening Ceremonies give us a chance to welcome more than 400 athletes and coaches to Aroostook County and really sets the pace for the next week and a half of competitions and cultural events,” said Carolyn Dorsey, chair of the cultural and hosting committee for the Youth/Junior World Championship Biathlon, “It should appeal to a large audience.”

The first part of the ceremony provides an opportunity for spectators to welcome the athletes and get a better understanding of the countries they represent. The ceremony’s second part is a chance for locals to entertain the international guests, giving the biathletes and their support team a glimpse of some exciting local talent.

“The organizing committee would like to thank MMG for their sponsorship of this event,” said Dorsey. “Sponsoring an event like this further emphasizes their continued support of the economic and cultural development of Aroostook County.”

The County community is well-known for welcoming such world-class events with open arms, through support from local businesses and the consistent efforts of numerous volunteers.

The opening ceremonies on Thursday night commences the nine-day international biathlon event that includes both competition and numerous social and cultural events, lasting through Friday, March 7. Activity is facilitated by an organizing committee and hundreds of volunteers and welcomes over 400 biathletes and their coaches and support staff to compete in beautiful Northern Maine.

“The organizing committee is thrilled to kick off the biathlon events with a fast paced, high-energy tribute to these athletes that have worked so hard to get to this level of competition,” said Dorsey. “It will give them a chance to share a global spotlight and be entertained before they begin their individual competitions.”

The first competitions, Youth Women Sprint and Youth Men Sprint, are scheduled for Friday morning and afternoon, followed by Sprint competitions for the Junior Women and Junior Men on Saturday. Additional competitions, including Pursuit, Individual, and Relay Competitions for both Youth and Juniors, are scheduled throughout the week. A full event schedule is viewable at www.biathlon-presqueisle.org. www.biathlon-presqueisle.org.
 


 

Susan Busse, a paramedic for Crown Emergency Care, will be among the team members from TAMC, Crown and the University of Maine at Presque Isle that will be providing a variety of medical services for athletes and spectators during the 2014 IBU Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships.

Susan Busse, a paramedic for Crown Emergency Care, will be among the team members from TAMC, Crown and the University of Maine at Presque Isle that will be providing a variety of medical services for athletes and spectators during the 2014 IBU Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships.

TAMC and UMPI partner to provide medical service for athletes and bystanders at Biathlon

February 19, 2014

Aroostook County – With hundreds of athletes from around the world and thousands of spectators expected for the 2014 IBU Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships, medical services is a key concern. TAMC and the University of Maine at Presque Isle are teaming up to meet that need.

This project is a natural fit for TAMC for a number of reasons, according to Daryl Boucher, EdD, director of emergency and critical care services at TAMC and the medical chairperson for the World Championship Biathlon.

“It’s more than just the fact that as the local hospital and ambulance provider, we will naturally provide emergency care for those who need it. With our focus on health, supporting healthy outdoor activities for our youth is part of our mission. TAMC is committed to this community, and we look for ways to collaborate to support events such as this,” said Boucher. “We also recognize that this is an opportunity for our staff to meet people of other cultures, which ultimately helps us in our interactions with patients. The more culturally diverse we are, the better clinicians we are.”

This is a sentiment echoed by Deena Albert Parks, clinical coordinator for the athletic training program at UMPI.

“We are planning on moving our classroom to the Nordic Heritage Center for ten days of hands-on, real-life experience working with culturally-diverse, high caliber, talented international athletes, parents and fans,” said Albert Parks. “This is really a once in a life-time experience for most of our UMPI athletic training students. And to be able to tell future employers that they’ve already had a chance to work with culturally diverse, top level athletes definitely gives them a leg up once they get out into the career field.”

TAMC is charged with the medical oversight for the world championship event. Dr. Peter Morningstar, from TAMC’s Aroostook Pediatrics practice and team physician for UMPI athletics, is the medical director for the event. Dr. Morningstar, along with a physician assistant, physician or nurse practitioner, will be on site every day for the biathlon activities. These TAMC providers, along with Crown Ambulance personnel, will be providing coverage every day to all of the teams and the spectators. They will be overseeing the first aid efforts at the venue and the overall healthcare of all of the 400 or so athletes that will be competing.

“The IBU Junior Biathlon Championships is a great opportunity for TAMC personnel and other area health care providers to showcase that state of the art sports medicine is happening right here in Aroostook County. We are all excited to have these events coming to Presque Isle and will be ready to be great medical hosts,” said Dr. Morningstar.

There are three key areas in which TAMC and UMPI staff and volunteers will be leading medical efforts. The first is anti-doping management, with efforts being led by Albert Parks and Crown Ambulance Paramedic Susan Busse. Ten TAMC employees, along with 22 athletic training students from UMPI will be identifying and chaperoning selected athletes to the doping area so the IBU appointed physician can collect specimens from each athlete.

Sue Beaudet, professor of physical education at UMPI, will work with eight UMPI students each day providing initial first aid to athletes on the course. If an athlete is injured on the course, these volunteers secure the scene, move the athlete out of the traffic of the race if possible, stop any bleeding or splint an injured limb, treat for shock, and, in a worse-case scenario, provide CPR.

“During the races, we ski out to potentially hazardous places that have been previously identified on the course. On practice days, we ski the course just to be a
presence and render aid if needed,” explained Beaudet.

The type of assistance is very basic and only if the athlete cannot continue in the race, since according to Nordic ski racing rules, if an athlete gets any type of assistance, he or she is disqualified.

“We have had to deal with very few such injuries,” said Beaudet, who has been providing first aid for athletes at biathlon events for years. “Most of our student volunteers are in the athletic training program, so they have a background in athletic injuries; the rest of us have a background in physical education. Almost all of us are ex-ski racers, so we know what is going on.”

For first aid efforts off the course, Albert Parks and Barb Blackstone, associate professor and coordinator of athletic training education at UMPI, will be leading a team of EMTs from Crown Ambulance, nurses from TAMC, and physical therapy and athletic training students from UMPI. They will provide care for spectators as needed, as well as anyone else injured or otherwise needing assistance in the parking lot area or in buildings at the venue. This group will also be responsible for any necessary snowmobile sled rescue for those needing to be transported off the course.

In addition to the services at the venue, TAMC will be “up staffing” their Emergency Department, according to Boucher, as well as providing additional Crown Ambulance crew coverage, in order to best meet the needs of everyone in the community, whether or not they are taking part in the activities at Nordic Heritage Center.

“This is really a collaborative effort. It’s been great working with UMPI leaders,” said Boucher. “They’ve really stepped up to help us meet this need and ensure the proper care of all of the people, athletes and spectators alike, who will be a part of our community during the biathlon activities.”

Volunteerism plays a key role in being able to provide these medical services. TAMC and Crown personnel are providing medical services through a mix of volunteer and paid time. UMPI staff and students assisting with the medical services are volunteering their time as well. A number of individuals from both organizations are volunteering their time and talents for non-medical areas as well.

TAMC has about 60 employees volunteering for the biathlon, according to Boucher. About half of those are in the medical arena, while the other half are helping in a wide range of areas depending on the interests of the individual volunteers. UMPI has 20 employees and at least 30 students joining the effort in many capacities.

In total, approximately 350 community members are volunteering to help make the biathlon a successful event. More volunteers are still needed in non-medical areas. The online registration form is available at www.biathlon-presqueisle.org – look for the “volunteering” link on the bottom left corner of the website.

 


 
Officials with the 2014 IBU Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships present the two first pieces of event outerwear to officials with Katahdin Trust Company in honor of the bank signing on as a Lead/Gold Partner.  The Katahdin Trust Company logo appears prominently on the upper part of the right sleeve of the jacket that will be worn by volunteers before, during and after the event. Joining in the presentation are (left to right) Nathan Berry, member of the organizing committee and president of the Nordic Heritage Sport Club; Bob Dorsey, president and CEO of the Aroostook Partnership for Progress and member of the organizing committee; Steve Towle, event manager; Jane Towle, event director; Jon Prescott, president and CEO of Katahdin Trust Company; and Vicki Smith, senior vice president of marketing and communications, Katahdin Trust Company.

Officials with the 2014 IBU Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships present the two first pieces of event outerwear to officials with Katahdin Trust Company in honor of the bank signing on as a Lead/Gold Partner. The Katahdin Trust Company logo appears prominently on the upper part of the right sleeve of the jacket that will be worn by volunteers before, during and after the event.
Joining in the presentation are (left to right) Nathan Berry, member of the organizing committee and president of the Nordic Heritage Sport Club; Bob Dorsey, president and CEO of the Aroostook Partnership for Progress and member of the organizing committee; Steve Towle, event manager; Jane Towle, event director; Jon Prescott, president and CEO of Katahdin Trust Company; and Vicki Smith, senior vice president of marketing and communications, Katahdin Trust Company.

Katahdin Trust Company signs on as lead partner for 2014 IBU Youth/Junior World Championships

October 9, 2013

Aroostook County – A northern Maine-based bank, recognized nationally for its commitment to community, has stepped forward as a lead partner for a premier international sporting event coming to Aroostook County in February. The local organizing committee for the 2014 IBU Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships today announced that Katahdin Trust Company has come on board as one of the two leading supporters for the large-scale winter sports competition.

“We could not be more pleased to have Katahdin Trust Company as a lead partner engaged in our efforts to roll out the County and Maine welcome mat to hundreds of the world’s best young athletes and the large number of spectators who will follow them to northern Maine,” said Jane Towle, 2014 Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships event director. “This is once again leading by example on the part of this innovative and civic-minded financial institution. Katahdin Trust Company has a 95-year history of serving and supporting betterment efforts throughout our region. The board of directors, management, and employees of the bank not only see their support of the upcoming World Juniors as key to the future economic development of our region, but as an extension of their commitment to northern Maine.”

Towle pointed to the Community Commitment Award presented to Katahdin Trust Company earlier this year by the American Bankers Association as evidence of the importance the bank places on serving community. The award was presented for Katahdin Trust Company’s efforts in 2012, during which the bank donated over $225,000 to the communities that it serves, and saw its 194 employees roll up their sleeves outside the confines of the Bank to invest over 13,000 hours of volunteer service for a host of civic, charitable, church, educational and economic development organizations.

It is, in part, that very community spirit that Katahdin Trust Company President and CEO Jon J. Prescott hopes to foster and showcase with the coming event. Prescott expressed his belief that the investment on the part of the bank will come back many fold.

“The Nordic Heritage Sport Center in Presque Isle is hosting a local stage for an event with worldwide scope. In addition to the economic impact that will be felt immediately, this event will provide exposure to the area that we so proudly call home through regional, state and international media. Our sponsorship reinforces our position as an active and dedicated corporate citizen in Aroostook County, working to enhance the quality of life we share,” said Prescott.

The international event will bring upwards of 350 of the world’s top biathletes, under the age of 21, from more than 30 countries to Aroostook County for the competition that will take place between February 28 and March 7, 2014.

“Excitement is building for the 2014 IBU Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships,” said Towle. “With just over five months to go, preparations are going well. We have a number of other key partners who have signed on, and who we will announce in the coming weeks and months.”

“Corporately, Katahdin Trust Company is serving as a gold partner and our name will be prominent across venues,” stated Prescott. However, the spirit of volunteerism is fundamental to the success of this major sporting event. We are pleased that on an individual basis several of our employees will be joining with other community volunteers to give of their time to help ensure a successful competition.”

Katahdin Trust Company, with over $600 million in assets, is a locally owned and managed bank that has been working for the financial success of individuals and businesses since 1918. Katahdin operates 17 full-service bank offices in northern Maine and the greater Bangor area, online at katahdintrust.com, and a commercial loan office in Scarborough. The bank has also been recognized for seven consecutive years as one of the Top 200 Community Banks in the country by American Banker magazine.
 


 

Gala Fundraiser planned for November 9th to support County’s effort to host 2014 IBU Youth/Junior World Championships

October 25, 2013

Aroostook County – The Organizing Committee of the upcoming 2014 International Biathlon Union Youth/Junior World Championships is planning a gala event to both build enthusiasm and raise dollars to support the region’s efforts to again roll out the welcome mat to the World’s best young biathletes.

The Junior World Biathlon Championships Fundraising Gala is set for Saturday, November 9, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Campus Center at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. The evening will feature fine hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and live and silent auctions with a wide array of donated items.

“The gala is an opportunity for us to come together as a County community for an evening of fun and purpose, as we prepare our area to again shine on the world stage this winter. The public is most certainly invited and encouraged to join us as we raise a glass and raise funds to support our hosting efforts,” said Jane Towle, event director for the 2014 Junior World Biathlon Championships.

With less than 18 weeks to go before athletes from around the world begin arriving in The County to compete, preparations for both the upcoming gala, and the biathlon and related cultural/community activities are well underway.

In the coming weeks, organizing committee members will announce several more major event partners, that will join Katahdin Trust Company, recently announced as a lead partner. The northern Maine-based bank, recognized nationally for its commitment to community, is one of the two lead supporters for the large-scale winter sports competition. The other major/gold partner and several silver, bronze and other supporters will be named and recognized at the gala.

The 2014 Junior World Biathlon Championships will bring upwards of 350 of the world’s top biathletes, under the age of 21, and support staff from more than 30 countries to Aroostook County for the competition that will take place between February 28 and March 7, 2014.

“Excitement is building for the 2014 IBU Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships,” said Towle. “Preparations are going well.”

Sponsors to date for the Junior World Biathlon Championships Fundraising Gala are Country Farms Market, The County Federal Credit Union, Thompson-Hamel, LLC and Aroostook Federal Savings and Loan. Additional event sponsorship opportunities are available for businesses, organizations and individuals.

Admission charge for the November 9th fundraising gala is $25 per person. More information on the event, and admission and sponsorship contributions can be made on line at biathlon-presqueisle.org.
 


 
Organizing Committee Members for the 2014 IBU Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships present MMG Insurance company leaders with the official outerwear for the upcoming event as a thank you for their partnership.  Presenting the jacket are (left to right) Nathan Berry, president of the Nordic Heritage Sport Club; Steve Towle, event manager; and Jane Towle, event director.  Accepting are Larry Shaw, MMG president and chief executive officer; and Matt McHatten, executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Organizing Committee Members for the 2014 IBU Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships present MMG Insurance company leaders with the official outerwear for the upcoming event as a thank you for their partnership. Presenting the jacket are (left to right) Nathan Berry, president of the Nordic Heritage Sport Club; Steve Towle, event manager; and Jane Towle, event director. Accepting are Larry Shaw, MMG president and chief executive officer; and Matt McHatten, executive vice president and chief operating officer.

MMG Insurance Announces 2014 World Junior Biathlon Championship Sponsorship

January 2, 2014

Aroostook County – The Nordic Heritage Center is pleased to welcome Maine Mutual Group, a northern Maine-based insurance company, as a partner of the 2014 IBU Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships, which NHC will host from February 28 until March 7, 2014.   MMG has made a $10,000 donation to support the event.

The Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships, last held at the Nordic Heritage Center in 2006, have tested young athletes overseas in the past few years in Sweden, Finland, Austria and other countries, and seven years after the Nordic Heritage Center hosted their first championship, the event is returning to Maine soil.

Event Director Jane Towle said, “MMG has played a critical role in the Nordic Heritage Center’s history from its inception.  They have been incredibly supportive through generous sponsorships as well as allowing NHC to utilize the talent of their employees through volunteerism.”

Volunteers and sponsors are crucial to the organizing process, according to Towle. “Our sponsors and volunteers are critical to our organizing committee and through continued success of these events, MMG understands the Nordic Heritage Center has potential to be a vital ongoing economic driver in our region,” said Towle. “We are so pleased that MMG continues to partner with the Nordic Heritage Center in our advancing goal of long term sustainability.”

MMG President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Shaw said there are two primary reasons that the company chose to sponsor the event.  “We feel a responsibility to support the Nordic Heritage Club in general, because of the benefits the facility brings to our community and employees.” said Shaw. “The Nordic Heritage Sports Club and [the Heritage Center's] trails offer a unique opportunity for health and wellness activities year round,” and MMG’s sponsorship of the biathlon event, said Shaw, is an extension of their overall support for family-friendly events that occur at the facility.

Shaw said, “We also sponsored this event because of the positive impact it has on our community both from an economic and cultural impact.”

In addition to sponsoring the biathlon, MMG has also sponsored numerous other events and organizations, including the 2006 Biathlon event at the Nordic Heritage Center, the Young Professionals Institute at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and Aroostook Partnership for Progress.

As 2014 gets underway, excitement within local communities about upcoming winter events continues to build. This vibrance within the community, according to Shaw, is one of its greatest strengths.

“One of the positive attributes of living here is the sense of community,” said Shaw. “It takes many volunteers and significant business support to make an event like this happen and we are very pleased to play a part in it.”

The 2014 IBU Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships will bring upwards of 350 of the world’s top biathletes age 21 or under, along with support staff from more than 30 countries, to the northern Maine region. For more information and updates on the event, visit http://nordicheritagecenter.org/2014-ibu-world-youth-junior-biathlon-championships/
 


 

Growing number of biathletes and federations will participate in 2014 IBU Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships

January 21, 2014

Aroostook County – The 2014 IBU World Youth/Junior Biathlon Championships are only six weeks away, and event organizers are proud to announce that additional Federations have signed up to participate in this year’s competition, exceeding their predictions for global representation at the event.

IBU, the International Biathlon Union, is a Federation of 66 nations. According to Event Director Jane Towle, each Federation has their own association which recruits biathletes for IBU biathlon events.

“We were expecting 25 to 28,” said Towle of participating Federations. “We are now at 35. With this increase in participating Federations, the competition now includes over 450 biathletes, coaches and support staff. This will be one of the largest World Juniors ever hosted, and we are thrilled it’s right here in the United States.”

According to Towle, not only does this increase in participating Federations signify that the biathlon sport is growing in popularity, it also signifies the Federations have great faith in the Nordic Heritage Sport Club’s ability to host a world class event.
In addition to hosting the upcoming competition, the club also hosted the 2006 Biathlon World Junior Championships with great success.

Nordic Heritage Sport Club President Nathan Berry said, “The increase of participating nations is a testament to the growth internationally for the sport of biathlon. What an exciting time for northern Maine to be preparing for this event – the same time our own Russell Currier is named to the US Olympic team.”

Currier, a 2006 Caribou High School graduate, was named to the US Olympic Biathlon team earlier this month. He and the US team will compete at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in February. Local pride for Currier and the anticipated world event are creating a stir within northern Maine as volunteers prepare the stage for a successful competition.

“As Aroostook County prepares to again take its place on the world stage in the sport of biathlon, the level of excitement in the community continues to build. With word that more athletes, and as a result more spectators, than originally expected will come, the already heightened level of excitement will build,” said Jason Parent, press and promotions team member for the 2014 World Youth/Junior Biathlon Championships. “As a County community we not only benefit economically from these events, but culturally and socially as well.”

The County community is well-known for welcoming such world-class events with open arms, through support from local businesses and the consistent efforts of numerous volunteers.

“Thousands of volunteer hours spent at the Nordic Heritage Sport Club over the last decade have allowed us to be center stage for a major international sporting event, and I could not be more proud of everyone involved,” said Berry.