Aroostook Retired Educators explore Littleton museum

6 years ago

LITTLETON, Maine — Laughter, hugs, and smiling faces filled the Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum on Tuesday, June 26, when retired teachers from all over Aroostook County gathered for the first of four summer meetings. The large turnout enjoyed a home-cooked turkey dinner with all the trimmings, including delicious homemade pies.

Following the meal President Rena Kearney introduced guest speaker Dr. Norma Desjardins, who shared her involvement in St. Apollonia Dental Clinic, a non-profit organization with the motto “A smile on the face of every child.”  

Realizing that hundreds of Aroostook County children lacked dental care, she and her husband began the clinic to meet the needs of these children.  Today they service 3,900 patients through 6,500 dental visits. She explained patient needs, how the clinic provides for patients, and how funding needs are met. Grants and fundraisers are necessary to maintain the service.  The organization’s greatest fundraiser is the Festival of Trees, held yearly the first week of December. It is a joyful and popular event for folks of all ages.

Desjardins donated the book “Sugarbug Doug: All About Cavities, Plaque, and Teeth” by Dr. Ben Magleby to AREA to be placed in a County school.  Kearney presented Desjardins a token of appreciation for her work with pediatric dentistry.  

Beverly Knowles presented the remembrance program honoring educators who died this past year.  A powerpoint program scrolled the names, dates and locations of educational employment for each educator remembered.  She also shared two poems about teachers. The names of the deceased were also printed in the program.

Janet Woods presented the Community Participation certificate for outstanding service to Janet Barke  and the Exercise, Just Do It Award to Audrey York. She announced the Bulging Backpack recipients for 2018 are Washburn and Woodland Elementary Schools.  

Bob White announced the new treasurer for the State Retired Educators is Bob Souther.  

Anne Madore won the cash door prize and Nancy Bridgham received the memorial bouquet.  The second meeting will be held on July 31 at Nowland Hall on the University of Maine at Fort Kent campus.