THOMASTON, Maine — The Maine Lobster Festival presented a $50,000 check Friday afternoon to the Thomaston Fireman’s Association to help it replace a 45-year-old utility truck.
“I was shocked. I said, ‘Oh my God, wow,’” Fire Chief Mike Leo said about learning that the festival had selected the department to receive the major donation.
The money will be used to replace a 1968 truck that the department uses to respond to forest fires and water rescues along with other assorted purposes.
Tim Carroll, the president of the Rockland Festival Board, said the fire department association approached the festival about whether it could make a donation to the department’s fundraising effort to raise $75,000.
“We’re reaching out. We’re not just Rockland, it’s the Maine Lobster Festival,” Carroll said about the donation to Rockland’s neighbor.
He pointed out that Thomaston uses its utility truck to respond to mutual aid calls in surrounding communities, so this donation will benefit the entire region.
The festival also wanted to make a large donation, something it has not done since it purchased an ambulance for Rockland 11 years ago, Carroll said.
“We wanted to give back to the community,” he said.
The festival is held during the first weekend of August in Rockland’s Harbor and Buoy parks.
Donations over the years have included the purchase of land then given to the city for Mildred Merrill Park, which overlooks Harbor Park, ambulance purchases and a donation for the renovation to the Rockland Recreation Center.