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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod@mainetoday.com On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: September 16, 2013

Engineers Without Borders hosts beer and wine tasting fundraiser

Written by: Susan Axelrod

The Portland, Maine, chapter of the national organization Engineers Without Borders will host its second-annual Beer & Wine Tasting at Ocean Gateway Terminal in Portland on Wednesday, Sept. 26 from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

The event will feature music from the Jason Spooner Band, food from  Lake Region Caterers and donated offerings from CVC Catering Group, Aperitif, The Cookie Jar and European Bakery. This year’s beer and wine tastings are provided by local purveyors including Gritty McDuff’s, Allagash, Baxter, Rising Tide Brewing Company, SoPoWine Company, M.S. Walker, and Wicked Wines, Inc.

An extensive silent auction with items such sailing excursions from Portland Schooner Company, lift tickets to Mt. Abrams, roundtrip Amtrak Downeaster tickets, a Gritty McDuff’s gift basket, gift cards from numerous merchants and local restaurants, along with specially made items from Ghana will raise funds for the organization’s ongoing work.

Matt Randall, president of the chapter and an engineer with Talmage Solar Engineering, said in addition to a great time, the event is chance for supporters and guests to learn more about the chapter’s work in Ghana and Ethiopia.

“Most of us take clean drinking water for granted, but many people don’t have the luxury. Last year, our chapter, with the help of several dedicated volunteers, was able to transform the lives of villagers in Ghana by creating a water harvesting system,” he said. “This year, we have partnered with the Portland, Oregon, chapter to build a school in Ethiopia, so we are working hard to raise awareness and funds.”

Only in its third year, EWB Portland Maine has sent three teams to the village of Dorgobom in Ghana and currently has a team in Ethiopia. In addition, the chapter was recently recognized by the EWB-USA as the Premier Professional Chapter of the Year. Local work with Portland and Southern Maine middle school STEM programs and assisting Portland Adult Ed in helping immigrant and refugee engineers with resumes and coursework to enhance job possibilities here in Maine also contributed to the selection of the chapter for this honor.

Engineer and scientist volunteers from local engineering firms including AMEC, Arcadis-US, Gorrill-Palmer Consulting Engineers, Haley & Aldrich, HDR, Hydro-International, PowerEngineers, Sanborn Head, Talmage Solar Engineering, TY Lin International, Wright-Pierce are active in the organization and lend their time, talents and resources to help others. Brad Roland, an engineer with the City of Portland, is also a member of the chapter and an active participant in the Ethiopia project.

Nadia Glucksberg, a hydrogeologist from Haley & Aldrich and past president of EWB Portland Maine, reports that the projects are dramatically enhancing the quality of life for the villagers.

“As a result of the improved water supply, everyone in the village of Dorgobom is healthier, and the children are able to go to school regularly and stay in school longer,” she said. “We are enthusiastic about having similar success in Ethiopia.”

Last year’s event raised more than $9,000; all proceeds went to support chapter projects and local community work. The group hopes to raise $15,000 from this year’s event, which will help fund a portion of the Ethiopia project.

Tickets are $30 each in advance and are available at ewbportlandmaine.org or by sending a check payable to EWB Portland Maine to EWB Portland Maine, c/o Kathy Kern, 39 Glenridge Drive, Portland, ME  04102.

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