June 2021

Dear Drakes Island Friends,

Welcome back to Drakes Island for Summer 2021! We are more anxious than ever to return to our summer haven and say farewell to the restrictions of 2020. We are excited to welcome the return of many of our traditional and beloved summer celebrations.

Despite the pandemic, Drakes Island saw a productive off season. We are happy to report that our building, grounds, beach, roads and even our water delivery system are all in great shape for the summer ahead. A new roof for the Community House, replaced by Bob Zuke and his crew, should keep our venerable gathering spot safe from leaks for years to come. A group of energetic Grandfathers continued to keep an eye on the property keeping things ‘ship shape’ by repairing decking, ladders, and flags on the pirate ship. Last year that group completed a refresh of the playground, adding a thick matting of wood chips. A group of younger dads have dedicated their time and muscle taking on the task of installing and removing the Fern Street walkway mat. Special thanks to John Ardini and Tom Sexton for being our eyes and ears on the Island, keeping us up to date year round. Thanks also to Earl Foley for his help maintaining the Community House throughout the year.

Our dirt roads have been regraded by the town in the fall and again in the spring. The parking lots are open again with new limits determined by the Town Parking Committee early in 2020. The water district installed a new 16” main along Laudholm Farm Road down the trails to Old Farm Lane and is currently replacing the pipes along the northern end of Island Beach Road. This is part of the secondary transmission main upgrade that will someday extend to Eaton Ave.

The Drakes Island Beach Rocks Committee cooperated with the Town, the State DEP, beach front property owners, and the Town Piping Plover Monitors to execute the annual Rock Relocation project before the May deadline. The Committee, which is independent from the DIIA, thanks all the ‘rock stars’ who contributed to the rock fund, which will allow us to continue the work in future years.

Summer truly begins with the kickoff of Day Camp. This year’s robust camp staff includes 6 returning and 8 new counselors! This summer, the Executive Director role will be shared equally by three veteran counselors: Kailey Hall, Ryan McAvoy, and Kellen Seeley. They will act as Executive Director on a rotating basis, and we will staff the assistant counselors based on camper enrollment. Liam Seeley did a fabulous job at creating a fun and safe environment for our little campers last summer and we are pleased to announce that he will be returning as Director of Little Kids camp, with old favorite activities as well as some new ideas. Liam will be assisted by veteran counselor Avery DeNatale as well as a rotation of other assistant counselors including veteran Laine DeNatale. We welcome many new camp counselors including Olivia Darmanian, Grey DeNatale, Katie Donovan, Aidan Gorman, Kassidy Hall, Finn Seeley, and Carter Vaillancourt, who will float between Big Kids and Little Kids Camp as needed. Our thanks to Brook Seeley for helping coordinate camp staffing. It is sure to be a fun-filled summer for our campers as we look forward to carrying on many of the Drakes Island camp traditions as well as creating new memories.

The Drakes Island apparel stock has been refreshed by Jennifer Kerr and we’ll launch our first apparel sale on July 3rd! Jennifer generously devotes countless hours keeping our supply in stock and organizing apparel sales, delighting the shoppers weekly. We continue to be thankful to DIIA’s treasurer Jess Ackerman for the many roles she fills, maintaining all financials of the DIIA including Membership and all Committees, serving on the hiring committee, and for providing sound advice on all business matters. Previous Membership Directors Kathleen Devlin and Diane Trachimowicz have stepped down and we are extremely grateful to Betsy Kelly for agreeing to take on this position just before membership applications started arriving. Thanks to Kathleen and Diane for getting Betsy up to speed. Thanks also to Anne Banfield who will be assisting Betsy as Membership Director.

The Memorial Committee continues to organize special projects to honor and remember individuals for whom Drakes Island was important. Thanks to Kathy Hall for arranging and maintaining the beautiful flower boxes on the Community House and to the Memorial Committee for supporting this effort.

The Tennis Committee, led by Anne O’Brien, has been busy planning lots of tennis events for both adults and kids. We welcome tennis players of all ages and abilities to join us on the courts this summer! Pickleball is sure to be enjoyed by many again this summer, with 3 weekly open round robins.

Many thanks to Dick Brinley who, once again, has done a tremendous job of maintaining our DIIA website and coordinating the Driftwood along with the assistance of many volunteers. Kristen Rosario has compiled a spectacular calendar of events for both kids and adults. Thanks to Sandy Magill, recipient of the 2020 Ellie Carberry Award for her exceptional dedication and service to the DIIA. Sandy has done a great job administering the Drakes Island, Maine Facebook page. Although this page is independent of the DIIA, we are thankful to be able to use the page as a way to stay connected year round. Sandy also does a wonderful job updating and maintaining our directory, and keeping us all up to date via emails with news related to our friends on Drakes Island.

Finally, we would like to thank Brook Seeley for his judicious leadership over the past two years as DIIA president. We appreciate his continued involvement and guidance on all matters DIIA. We look forward to catching up with you all during what is sure to be another memorable summer on Drakes Island.

Kate Luethy
President, 2020 - 2022
Drakes Island Improvement Association

Molly Cullen
First Vice President, 2020 - 2022
Drakes Island Improvement Association