April 19, 2018
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Caribou High graduate fighting for his life

By Joni Averill

Efforts are being, made coast-to-coast, to assist with expenses as 1996 Caribou High School graduate Derek Strelka, 30, of Rose Hill, Kan., fights for his life.

The son of Richard and Nadine Strelka of Caribou was diagnosed at 22 with primary pulmonary hypertension, a rare heart-lung condition. He is on a list for a double-lung transplant that could, possibly, extend his life.

Derek’s wife, Mary, grew up in Oregon. The couple, who met through the Internet, has a 13-month-old son, Jensen.

According to an article in The Derby (Kansas) Reporter, sent to me by Derek’s mother, as Derek’s condition worsens, each day, the family is “hoping for a miracle.”

With limited finances, they travel twice a year to a hospital in Denver, Colo., where Derek is seen by a specialist.

Donations to help the family with expenses during this difficult time may be sent to the Strelka Family Fund, c/o Rose Hill Bank, P.O. Box 68, Rose Hill, KS 67133.


Leigh Butler invites you to a Bangor Art Society presentation by Laurie Hicks about framing and finishing paintings, 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27, in the Bangor Public Library Lecture Hall on Harlow Street.

For more information, call 942-3868 or e-mail kristborg@aol.com.


Kick off your 2009 Super Bowl celebration by attending the premier Maine showing of the film, “Harvard Beats Yale 29-29,” which “recounts this historic football game within the cultural context of the 1960s” according to a Penquis release.

Doors open for the Tailgate Party at 3 p.m. The movie begins at 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, at Center Theatre, Dover-Foxcroft.

Admission is $15, and tickets may be obtained by calling Maria Staples at 973-3586 or e-mailing mstaples@penquis.org.

Proceeds benefit the Penquis Keep ME Warm Fund.


Hampden Kiwanian Joseph Dowling is “taking the plunge” and accepting donations for the Polar Dip to benefit Camp Sunshine, which is 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, at Camp Capella on Phillips Lake in Dedham.

Polar Dip proceeds will help send children with life-threatening illnesses, and their families, to Camp Sunshine in Casco, Dowling explained. “All corporate donations will help send children with disabilities” to Camp Capella.

Plungers are asked to raise a minimum of $100. If you want to participate in any way, visit www.freezinforareason.com and click on Bangor Plunge, or call Dowling at 659-0437.


Greg Fish of Mount Vernon invites you to the 10th annual Busch Sport Scene Snowmobile Ride for Charity beginning at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, at the Club House Restaurant in Rangeley.

Fish reports the event will feature “NASCAR Camping World Series drivers and team members … as well as PASS, ACT and local track racers.” It is open to everyone.

Admission is $10, in advance, or $15 the day of the event. Proceeds benefit numerous charities including the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Maine Special Olympics, Travis Roy Foundation, Rangeley Snowmobile Club, Busch Sport Scene Scholarships Fund and the Camping World Series Women’s Auxiliary.

For more information, or to donate, call 244-2060 or e-mail scene@neracing.com. Information is available at www.neracing.com.


Members of Habitat for Humanity-UMaine Campus Chapter will spend three days in the cold during “There’s Snow Place Like Home,” Feb. 2-4, on the University Mall in Orono. They are seeking individual, group and corporate sponsors to support them “in raising awareness about the problem of poverty housing,” according to a University of Maine release.

Proceeds will help build houses for area families in need.

For more information, or to become a sponsor, call Brenton Murray, 480-201-4678, or Tim Brauer, 203-414-6143.


President Fran Trefts e-mailed that Downeast Senior College is offering free Sandwich Seminars at noon on Tuesdays in February, beginning Feb. 3, at Ellsworth City Hall.

Grand Theater president Charles Alexander will discuss “What’s new at The Grand,” Trefts wrote.

Bring your own sandwich. Beverages will be provided.

For more information, call Trefts at 422-2259.


Sheila Coleman of the Bangor Wellness Center reports it is hosting a Trek Info Night, 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3, at BWC, 176 Hogan Road, Bangor.

The meeting is for people interested in participating in the Trek Across Maine, a cycle ride to benefit the American Lung Association.

Representatives from the ALA and a local bicycle outlet will discuss preparation and training for the ride, and information about fundraising and volunteer opportunities will be available. For more information, call 941-4774.


My husband and I are enjoying the company of our West Coast family. My column returns Thursday, Feb. 5.

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; javerill@bangordailynews.net; 990-8288.

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