June 21, 2018
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‘Survivor’ winner coming to diabetes benefit

Getty Images | BDN
Getty Images | BDN
Bob Crowley, a Maine high school teacher (right front), learns he is the winner on the CBS series "Survivor" as other contestants are sent packing during a taping Sunday. The 57-year-old South Portland resident "survived" 39 days in the African wilderness. He ended up "outwitting, outplaying and outlasting" opponents with a combination of Maine-honed survival skills, ingenuity and physical agility. (PHOTO COURTESY ERIC MCCANDLESS/GETTY/CBS)
By Joni Averill

Leave it to local educator and health care administrator Rhonda Edgecomb of Clifton to come up with a unique way to boost attendance at the third annual Dinner, Dance and Silent Auction for a Cure for Diabetes.

That event, to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the search for a cure for Type 1 diabetes, is 6-11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer.

Tickets are $20 or $10 for children 10 and younger, and all tickets must be purchased in advance by calling Rhonda at 299-4100.

Now, about that attendance-booster.

Back in June, Rhonda told me, she attended a conference that featured Gorham teacher and Portland resident Bob Crowley, best known as “Survivor Bob” after he became a $1 million winner of the CBS television series “Survivor.”

“I absolutely fell in love with him,” Rhonda said. “He just blew me away, how real a person he is.

“He and his wife, Peggy, are two of the most grounded people I’ve ever met, and he has remarkable stories about how he used his strategies to survive” his African experience.

And although Rhonda understands the Crowleys receive lots of requests to make guest appearances, she gave it the old college try and succeeded in getting “Survivor Bob” to serve as special celebrity host for this event.

“Once he shares his story about how he survived” during the series, “I will share our story about how we survive as families affected by Type 1 diabetes,” Rhonda said.

Rhonda’s son, who is now 14, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 10, and it was the next year she started holding this benefit.

The evening features disc jockey services donated by Chuck and Sue McKay of Back Door Dance Studio in Eddington with music of the ’50s through today.

Rhonda reminds attendees to bring cameras so they can be photographed with “Survivor Bob,” and be prepared to bid on items donated by local businesses and individuals.

If you or your business has something to contribute to the silent auction, Rhonda would be more than pleased to hear from you.

“We will take everything we can,” she said, and you can reach her at the number above.

While her family continues to face the daily requirements of living with Type 1 diabetes, Rhonda is reaching out to others in the same situation.

For families just beginning to cope with this illness, or any family dealing with Type 1 diabetes, Rhonda encourages you to attend a meeting of Sweet Journey, the support group she leads.

That group holds its first meeting of the season at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, at the Diabetes, Endocrine & Nutrition Center of Eastern Maine Medical Center on Union Street in Bangor. Meetings continue the first Thursday of the month at that site, and you can call Rhonda for more information.

In the meantime, don’t forget to get your tickets and meet “Survivor Bob.”


Hal Wheeler has announced the Downeast Dixieland Band will play its third annual Labor Day Concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5, rain or shine, at the Bass Park Bandstand on Main Street in Bangor.

The performance is free thanks to the sponsorship of Bangor Parks and Recreation Department, the Bangor Daily News, Bangor Savings Bank and Hollywood Slots, Hal wrote.

Chairs will be provided by the department, and you and your children are welcome to bring a picnic lunch.

Featuring traditional Dixieland arrangements, the band includes Hal playing cornet, Bob Haskell on clarinet and saxophone, Kim Winters on trombone, Gregg Osgood at the keyboard, Otho Knowles on bass and Bobby Duron on drums.

For the past 16 summers, Hal added, the band also has played between races at Bangor Raceway.

“While the primary repertoire is made up of traditional Dixieland favorites,” he said, the music the band has played for more than 30 years at various Bangor locations “is not highly amplified and is a pleasant way to spend an hour or so.”

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

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