June 23, 2018
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Kennebunkport event to benefit 2-year-old leukemia patient who inspired Bush to shave head

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush is pictured in Walker's Point, Maine in this July 24, 2013 handout photo after joining members of his Secret Service detail in shaving his head to show support for Patrick, the 2-year-old son of a detail member who is being treated for leukemia and started losing his hair.
By Jennifer Feals, York County Coast Star

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — The Kennebunkport Historical Society will open the doors to its newest museum display this Saturday to benefit a young boy battling leukemia who caught nationwide attention after he inspired President George H.W. Bush to shave his head.

With the “Fundraiser for Patrick” Saturday, Aug. 17, the Kennebunkport Historical Society will donate 100 percent of admission proceeds to the First Families Kennebunkport Museum at White Columns to Patrick’s Pals, an initiative to support medical costs for 2-year-old Patrick, the son of one of Bush’s Secret Service agents.

It’s a fitting tribute as the First Families Museum celebrates the Bush family and its time at Walker’s Point with a gallery containing family images and memorabilia.

“We’re pleased as punch to be able to do this and to support this young man,” said Rick Litchfield, president of the Kennebunkport Historical Society, who called the “Fundraiser for Patrick” a “win-win.”

“People can go through a great house, experience a great tour, and it’s all to benefit him.”

In late July, an image of Bush holding little Patrick, both of them bald, went viral. Bush said he shaved his head after seeing members of his secret service team going bald in support of Patrick. The young boy also touched a special place in his heart, said Bush, who lost a daughter to leukemia 60 years ago, at the age of 4.

This past weekend, a 50-mile motorcycle benefit run was held in support of Patrick’s Pals.

Located at White Columns, the 1853 historic house museum, the First Families Kennebunkport Museum tells the stories of the town’s first families, from maritime merchants and sea captains to the Bush’s, the town’s most famous summer residents.

The museum includes a gallery of Bush family portraits, with images of the family together on Walker’s Point, celebrating Memorial Day in Dock Square, welcoming dignitaries and more. The photographs from family archives were provided by the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas, and others were donated by local photographers Chris and Cyndi Smith, of C.A. Smith Photographers and Kennebunkport resident Robert Dennis.

The Bush family also donated two fishing rods and reels and other memorabilia to display in the museum.

The First Families Museum at White Columns will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The regular cost of admission is $7 per person, children 12 and under are free.

The family-friendly event will also offer croquet and badminton as well as refreshments for sale.

The event is co-sponsored by the York County Coast Star.

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