The Best of the Best, the rest of the story

Four years ago we began the “Best of the Best of Waldo County, the People’s Choice” and it began with great success. What we never envisioned was the growing enthusiasm and overwhelming support from our businesses as well as the whole community.

Each day we continue to hear from those voted “Best” as well as those who attended and those who contributed to student scholarships through donations and silent auction donations. They were thrilled to be voted the “People’s Choice.” They were delighted with the food, the giveaways, the entertainment (especially the brilliant Steel Rail Express Band).

They were warmed by the camaraderie in our community. They were awed with all the new features in the brand-new wing of the Hutchinson Center. They felt lucky to be a winner in the silent auction. Everyone, in my opinion, walked away a winner.

Even in these uncertain times, people came together. We have raised well over $7,500 (donations are still coming in), surpassing our first three fundraising amounts. Every penny goes to student scholarships to help Waldo county residents attend college in Belfast. Yes!

Over and over again we find ourselves believing this was much more than a “Gala”; it was like a community barn-raising. Everyone, from all walks of life, came together to recognize the great talent and greatness of Waldo County and raise money for scholarships for deserving students.

One local artist, Dianne Horton, was thrilled beyond belief to once again be voted best artist. She couldn’t wait to come to the Gala and be part of this community celebration. She told us she was very surprised and felt blessed at receiving such recognition from Waldo County people. She shared that, “At an art show, an artist gets juried by only a handful of judges — for Best of the Best, it’s all the ‘People’s Choice.’ You can’t feel more honored than that!”

On behalf of the UMaine Hutchinson Center staff, students and faculty, a huge thank-you for believing in us. Special thanks go to Terri Mahoney of VillageSoup and Terry Lawry, who brought the idea to Waldo County; without them it would not be possible.

They work tirelessly to make this event so special, putting their hearts and souls into the Gala. They truly are the “Best of the Best” in our community. Also the Hutchinson Center staff and student workers who were right there every step of the way. I sincerely thank you and promise you next year the event will be even bigger and better. All the “best” to you.

Nancy Boyington

Assistant Director
UMaine Hutchinson Center, Belfast

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Many thanks from historical society

On behalf of the Searsport Historical Society, we wish to express our appreciation to all who helped make the Friday evening “Vaudeville is Back!” show a huge success. To Town Manager James Gilway, the Town Office crew, the Public Works crew, Peter Garcelon from the school department, and “Jessica” who cleaned and made curtains to help keep Union Hall cool for the evening, George Kerper, who made sure the sound system was working properly and who filmed the show (copies of which are available by calling 548-2547), and Mary Brann and Frank Whiting, our stage managers.

To all of the performers, from the smallest to the biggest parts, to Carolyn Wiley, accompanist. To Phil Wolley, the emcee who kept the show moving and the audience laughing as he has done so many times, a big, big thank-you.

To the appreciative audience who packed the house, thank you! It was a joy to perform before you, and the funds raised will greatly help to secure a barn for the Society.

Sincerely,

Valerie N. Murphy & DR. Karen L.M. Kelley
Co-Producers and Directors
Searsport Historical Society