PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Even when the country is not in a recession, life in Aroostook County is challenging. High-paying jobs and job opportunities are not as prominent as in other parts of the state, and the downturn in the economy has forced more businesses to close and put more adults out of work.
When adults do not have money, their children are affected as well, which is something that teachers across The County see every day as students who need glasses squint at the blackboard or wear the same or ill-fitting clothing frequently.
But the problem is something Aroostook County officials are trying to erase, and a trio of popular radio personalities plans to help.
National radio celebrities Bob Lacey and Sheri Lynch of the “Bob and Sheri” show and Lamar, who provides commentary for the show, will be the featured guests at “An Evening with Bob and Sheri and Lamar,” a social gathering and auction on Sept. 12 at the University of Maine at Presque Isle campus center. Guests will be able to meet the three, participate in a live and a silent auction and hear a keynote address from Lynch.
The event begins at 7 p.m. The proceeds will benefit Central Aroostook United for Student Emergencies, or The CAUSE. Money raised will benefit students in Ashland, Caribou, Easton, Fort Fairfield, Limestone, Mars Hill, Presque Isle and Washburn by helping schools purchase needed supplies for students whose families cannot afford to do so.
Jane Towle, event chairwoman, and Lisa Miles, the market manager for Citadel Broadcasting, who are helping to coordinate the event, both noted that some students go to school in need of school supplies, eyeglasses, hygiene products and other items. They may get teased for wearing certain clothing repeatedly or garments that don’t fit because their families cannot afford new items. They may not be able to do their homework because they don’t have the pencils, calculators or paper at home to do so.
“School districts do not have money for that in their budgets,” Towle said Wednesday afternoon. “But those needs interfere with learning. A lot of the schools try hard to help these students. Teachers and administrators buy as much as they can to help however they can, and other school groups may be able to help as well. But money raised for The CAUSE will reach out to so many more students in the region. One simple kindness can really do a lot to impact a child and boost their self-esteem.”
“The superintendents in the area have been very supportive of this,” Miles said. “This is a real need that needs to be addressed.”
Organizers are seeking sponsors for the event and items for the auctions and are selling tickets. There are several sponsorship levels, but cash of any amount will be accepted. Auction items can be donated up until the event, but planners want to gather donated items as soon as possible. Tickets are $30 each or $50 a couple, and seating is limited to 250 people. Tickets are on sale at the Citadel office in Presque Isle.
Miles said organizers believe the radio personalities will be a big draw.
“They are very popular, and we believe we will see a great deal of support from the community,” she said.
For information on the event, sponsorship or donating auction items, contact Sharon Campbell at 764-5124 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Ginny Joles at 760-2418 or email@example.com.