May 26, 2018
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Groups join forces for Bucksport memorial

By Joni Averill

The middle of October is not exactly the time of year we associate with activities related to the military, but members of the Bucksport Area Cultural Arts Society, in conjunction with The Riverbend Players of Bucksport, think we should, and for good reason.

The groups are co-hosting a Star Spangled Benefit Concert-Revue beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, at the Bucksport Performing Arts Center, which is annexed to Bucksport Middle School at 100 Miles Lane.

The fundraiser will benefit the Bucksport Area Veterans Memorial located on the town’s lovely new waterfront walkway near the intersection of U.S. Route 1 and Main Street.

Tickets for the show are $8 and will be available at the door or can be purchased in advance at BookStacks on Main Street in Bucksport.

The show will be directed by BACAS board member Susan “Suzi” Leeman, who also is president of The Riverbend Players.

Asked why a show with a military theme this time of year, Suzi told me that her group presented a play this summer with a military theme and that “we are concerned about the Bucksport Area Veterans Memorial” and the ability of supporters of that project to raise enough funds to ensure it is maintained properly in years to come.

“We just thought it would be a good time to draw people’s attention to it,” she said of the memorial.

“Over the summer, people are away, and with all the hubbub now, with people back in town, we chose this time” for the fundraiser.

And a most appropriate time it is because, as BAVM chairman Richard Bowden told me, the memorial will be dedicated at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, on the waterfront.

If you have not visited Bucksport lately, by the way, that should be on your to-do list.

The walkway along the riverfront is delightful and offers a fantastic view of Fort Knox on the opposite shore in Prospect and the old Waldo-Hancock Bridge with the unique Penobscot Narrows Bridge in the background.

This time of year, some boats still are floating at anchor in the harbor, and the scene is especially delightful at night, when the Narrows Bridge is illuminated.

And while funds have been raised and pledged to complete the BAVM project, Suzi said, the concern is that “there is not enough in the coffers to maintain the site,” and pay for future expenses such as general maintenance, landscaping and flag replacement.

The Riverbend Players and BACAS want the BAVC committee to have the ability to maintain what they have built.

Sunday’s family-oriented show will feature “a wonderful group of very talented local folks coming together for what we feel is a truly honorable cause,” Suzi explained.

The program features the Hawaiian dance group Hui Na Kawaiuaili, singing groups, soloists, quartets, an accordion player, a pianist, a creative mime and even some comedy military skits.

Members of the military will be honored with a roll call during the show, and members of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars will post the colors.

The finale will be a military slide show featuring photographs provided by people who have loved ones now serving, or who have served, in the military.

The Riverbend Players is the Bucksport area’s local theater group, whose specialties are drama and comedy, Suzi told me.

“We’ve been formed for five years, and we usually perform at The Alamo Theatre on Main Street.”

The group meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month in the conference room of Jewett Community Center on Route 1A.

“Membership is free, and we welcome everyone who would like to participate; anyone of any age who wants to be involved,” she said, adding that members of the group range in age from 5 to 83.

Suzi described the co-sponsor BACAS as the local “go-to” organization.

“BACAS encourages the arts in our area by trying to provide different events, plays, cultural and art events at our new auditorium.

“It’s the go-to group for people who want or need help” in hosting or sponsoring such activities, including a benefit for the Bucksport Area Veterans Memorial.

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

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