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LETTER: Auburn Exchange Club thanks community for support of Field of Honor

To the Editor:

As the last notes of “Taps” faded over the 400 flags flapping in the breeze on a beautiful sunny Memorial Day in Simard-Payne Memorial Park, we, the members of the Auburn Exchange Club, finally realized that the Field of Honor event that the club had worked so hard to present was finally over.

It was a bittersweet moment; on one hand, we were glad that the long weekend was over, as several members had spent almost their entire holiday weekend at the field, from sunup to sundown. On the other hand, we wished that the field could have lasted much, much longer.

The Auburn Exchange Club would like to express our deepest appreciation and thanks to the community for supporting our inaugural Field of Honor. All through the weekend, ordinary people would stop and ask what the flags were for, and we would explain to them what the project stood for and what it planned to accomplish. They would reflect for a minute and then tell us, “You’re doing a good thing.”

The folks in the community who had heard about the program and came to the field to see the display also expressed the same sentiments. We were constantly thanked for providing the opportunity to the community.

The Auburn Exchange Club Field of Honor was a tremendous undertaking that the club could not have accomplished without the generous support of the following businesses: Jerry Douglass Realty, Central Maine Federal Credit Union, Gridiron Restaurant, Chick-a-Dee of Lewiston, The Sign Shack, Uncle Andy’s Digest, Farrell Enterprises and Damon Mechanical Services. These local businesses provided both necessary funds and in-kind donations that helped make the Auburn Exchange Club Filed of Honor possible.

The club would also like to express special heartfelt thanks to the City of Lewiston, especially Maggie Chisholm, the Lewiston Parks and Recreation director, and her staff. When we first approached her about this program and using Simard-Payne Memorial Park, her reaction was, “What a great idea! How can we help you?” Her advice and support throughout this project has been fantastic and we are truly grateful.

A special thanks to Mike Bernier of Lewiston Public Works and Sgt. David Chick of the Lewiston Police Department; both provided support and knowledge to help make our project a success.

We also extend thanks to both the Lewiston City Council and Mayor Larry Gilbert (who has been a tireless advocate for the project from the beginning) for their enthusiastic support. We would also like to thank the Lewiston and Auburn Veterans Council for both supporting our program and allowing our float to be first in the parade.

A special thanks goes to Governor LePage (and First Lady Ann LePage) and Congressman Mike Michaud, who both took time out of their busy schedule to help us dedicate the Field of Honor. More thanks go to the following dignitaries: Chaplain Ray Sylvester, Georgia Chomas, Karen Staples  from Senator Snowe’s office and Chiara Ferrante from Senator Collins’ office.

Finally we would like to acknowledge several groups and individuals that helped make this event possible: Lewiston High School Principal Gus LeBlanc and the ROTC Cadets; Linda and Bethany Douglass; Nancy Davis of The Sign Shack; Harry Dixon; Dan Hartill of the Lewiston Sun Journal; the Waterville Exchange Club; Twin City TIMES; and the people of the L/A community too numerous to mention, whose support made this project possible.

Because of the enthusiastic support of the community, the Auburn Exchange Club plans to repeat the program next year on Memorial Day. The Auburn Exchange Club meets Tuesdays at noon at Rolandeau’s restaurant on  Washington Avenue in Auburn.

For further information about the club and their programs of service, contact Dave Projansky at 240-0507 or at auburnexchange@gmail.com.

David C. Projansky

Rollie Heckethorn

Co-Chairs, Auburn Exchange Club Field of Honor

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