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Patrick Dempsey draws a crowd for annual Lewiston fundraiser

Posted Oct. 10, 2011, at 5:26 a.m.

Along with his 50-mile bike ride around the foothills of Maine, Patrick Dempsey made his annual stop at Terry Pomerleau’s house in Poland on Sunday.

“My kids are going to wish they came home!” Pomerleau exclaimed after walking out of her door and finding Dempsey and his entourage of about 25 people in her driveway, hamming it up for the cameras.

“Tell them we’re stopping by every year,” Dempsey said.

Wherever he went on the second day of the third annual Dempsey Challenge, Dempsey brought a crowd with him.

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On the bike he was generally surrounded by a group of spandex-clad individuals, shooting the breeze as the miles wheeled past.

As soon as he pedaled into a rest stop, he would instantly be swarmed by adoring fans.

Hundreds of photos were taken, countless autographs were signed and words of encouragement were doled out to riders, volunteers and spectators along the course.

But at Pomerleau’s house, he seemed to relax and started joking about setting up a petting zoo in her yard for next year’s event.

“We’ll draw up the plans and send them to you,” Dempsey quipped.

When one of the professional cyclists in the group noticed the pool in Pomerlau’s yard, the group contemplated soaking up the sun and sipping mai tais instead of continuing on the route.

“Biking is becoming more interesting by the moment,” a friend of Pomerleau’s, visiting from Boston, said.

“You should really do it,” Dempsey encouraged the friend. “This is what it’s like; swimming and mai tais. It’s all we do!”

Joking aside, Pomerleau didn’t mind the interruption on her Sunday morning.

“It’s wonderful,” Pomerleau said of Dempsey’s unexpected visit. “He’s a great guy. So down to Earth.”

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