People with ties to the Piscataquis County shiretown of Dover-Foxcroft can make a New Year’s resolution that could benefit many people.
Each summer, for more than a decade, the Dover-Foxcroft Shiretown Homecoming Festival has been held the first Saturday in August, and plans are under way for that 2009 event, which you can resolve not only to attend but also volunteer for, participate in or financially support.
As the plans for the 13th annual event progress, a few changes are in the works, committee member Sherry French reports.
One major component that will be missing will be the fireworks display, but the committee hopes enough other fun-filled activities will make up for the loss of that most expensive undertaking.
French explained having fireworks cost the committee between $10,000 and $11,000 and, in the past, $7,500 of that amount came from the Dover-Foxcroft town budget.
So, when Dover-Foxcroft residents voted to reduce the annual budget, homecoming fireworks were part of the reduction.
Another change will be the parade route that, in 2009, will not include West Main Street, which will be under repair.
And yet another budget reduction will have the Homecoming Committee paying for fewer outside units to participate in the Homecoming parade.
Instead, planners are hoping that more community-based organizations and businesses will start preparing to take part in the parade by entering a float or other unit. High on the committee’s wish list for participants is volunteer musical units, French said.
Many aspects of this event will be the same as in the past, such as the downtown street festival, games and activities for the whole family, and an afternoon street party that, this year, will feature the music of the group Phat Sally.
Members of the Center Theatre Children’s Summer Drama Camp will perform, and Lab Seven will entertain in the evening with a hip-hop concert.
Many fundraisers are planned to support this endeavor, including an indoor yard sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 14, in the Morton Municipal Building at 48 Morton Ave., where the Dover-Foxcroft town offices have relocated.
“We will be selling table space, and we will have a Homecoming Table to which people can contribute,” French said. Plans also are under way for the popular Maple Sunday Breakfast on March 22.
Tickets are now on sale for what French hopes will be a sellout when the Tim Sample Show comes to town and performs at Center Theatre on Saturday, April 4.
Tickets for that show are available at WDME Radio.
French said that last year’s history-quilt raffle has earned that particular fundraising effort a return appearance, and that Jody Arno and Marie Veno have begun work on another quilt.
In the meantime, the committee is seeking volunteers to make this event a success, and will gladly accept any and all donations to help with the finances.
For those who are wondering about the homecoming budget, French said the committee needs to raise approximately $30,000.
If you can help or want to participate, call French at WDME, 564-2642, or e-mail her at email@example.com.
To keep track of all the activities planned for the Shiretown Homecoming, visit its Web site at www.Dover-Foxcroft.org and click on Homecoming 2009.
French reminds you that financial contributions, in any amount, large or small, will be gratefully accepted and can be mailed to the Dover-Foxcroft town office, in care of Sheila Bragg, Morton Municipal Building, Suite A, 48 Morton Ave., Dover-Foxcroft 04426.
With the focus of today’s column on Piscataquis County, that affords me the perfect opportunity to extend sincere congratulations to the above-mentioned Sherry French, who has received the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council annual Warren “Pete” Myrick Community Service Award.
Presented Dec. 8 during the annual meeting of the Council’s board of directors, French told me she was deeply honored to have been selected for the award named for the late Piscataquis County educator and community leader.
Myrick, highly respected in his chosen field and deeply involved in activities that affected the greater community he served, was 58 when he died after a 2002 accident.
French said the award was particularly meaningful to her because Myrick “was my high school teacher when I was a junior at Piscataquis Community High School in Guilford,” and that she is the first Guilford resident and first former student of Myrick to receive the award. It meant even more “because I knew him personally,” she added.
French was recognized for her commitment to, among other activities, the Homecoming Committee, Piscataquis Chamber of Commerce, Pine Tree Hospice and the town of Guilford budget committee.
And while she sincerely appreciates this special recognition, her commitment to volunteerism is not about awards, French said.
“I do it from my heart to give back to the community that has given me so much.”
It’s New Year’s Eve.
Celebrate, enjoy, and be safe, everyone, as we welcome in 2009.
And, if you’re enjoying Downtown Countdown 2008 in the Queen City and you see representatives of any of this special event’s sponsors, you might want to thank them for their organization’s support.
The presenting sponsor for Downtown Countdown is Husson University.
Venue Sponsors are Bangor Metro, Bangor International Airport, City of Bangor, FairPoint Communications, Unitarian Universalist Church and WKIT.
The Supporting Sponsors are J Group Advertising, Rudman & Winchell and Merrill Bank.
The Producing Sponsor is Bangor Center Corp. and the Midnight Ball Drop Sponsor is Smith Law Offices.
Media Sponsors are Bangor Daily News and The Maine Edge, and the Poster Sponsor is Bangor Letter Shop.
And remember, to get times and locations of all tonight’s events, check www.downtownbangor.com.
Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; 990-8288.