September 21, 2019
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This bank treated a Maine veteran with private flight to Red Sox game

MACHIAS, Maine — One good deed leads to another.

That’s how Robert Morris, 66, a resident of the Maine Veterans Home in Machias, ended up getting a free trip in a private plane Thursday night to see a Red Sox game.

The trip’s sponsor, Machias Savings Bank CEO Larry Barker, got acquainted with Morris at a sendoff party the previous week for veterans home resident Edward Brown, 97. Brown had gone on an Honor Flight Maine trip to Washington, D.C., to see World War II and other veterans’ memorials.

Barker didn’t have anything to do with Brown’s trip except that, when he found out a local man was going, he wanted to honor that person with a sendoff party. Veterans home residents and staff joined Machias Savings Bank employees for the event on June 8.

Morris, who served in the Navy from 1978 to 1982, attended and had been wearing a Red Sox shirt.

He and Barker chatted about the team, according to Jenn Wood, activities director for the veterans home.

During the event, Wood also told Barker that she had nominated Morris for a trip to see a Red Sox game through Live Your Dreams, a program of the Maine Health Care Association, and was waiting on an answer.

“I didn’t say anything at the time,” Barker said Friday. “But my instant thought was, ‘I’m headed in that direction next week.’”

“He was already going, and he had two extra seats in his plane,” said Wood.

Barker bought extra tickets to the game and extended an invitation to Morris and a guest — veterans home activity aide Olivia McBrine — to accompany him and bank representative Chris Leiford to the game on Thursday, June 16.

“It was great,” Morris said Friday morning. “I think it only took us an hour to get down there. … I do appreciate it.”

His only disappointment in the experience was the fact that the Red Sox lost to the Orioles 5-1, he said.

Barker agreed.

“[It was] great except the Red Sox couldn’t hit the ball. That was the only problem,” he said.

Morris didn’t buy any souvenirs except for a program.

“He diligently recorded info throughout the whole game,” Barker said.

Morris arrived back at the veterans home around 12:30 a.m., Wood said.

She said she believes Morris was even more pleased about the experience than he was willing to admit.

“The bank certainly went above and beyond in this case,” she said.

Wood also said some of the home’s best volunteers are Machias Savings Bank employees.

“They really encourage their staff to get involved in the community. And volunteering is a big part of their mission,” she said.

 



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