Friends, neighbors and ‘Elvis’ help raise funds at annual Snowfest
ST. AGATHA, Maine — This year’s Angel Snowfest, which took place Saturday, March 11 at the Lakeview Restaurant, raised the the most amount in the event’s four-year history.
“We anticipate being able to donate, $26,500,” said Jennifer Daigle, Monday morning.
Angel Snowfest is a daylong event at the popular four-season destination, that includes live music, food and entertainment. It is a fundraiser for the Edgar J. Paradis Fund, Angel Flight and Patient Airlift Services.
Daigle is co-owner of the business with her husband Jason, and Snowfest is held in memory of her late parents Dick and Carol Desrosier, who founded the hilltop restaurant.
“The crowd is fantastic,” Daigle said Saturday afternoon, while taking a break. The bitter cold temperatures and gusting wind kept some people away from the snowshoe walk fundraiser, she said, although the amount of money raised was still more than $9,000.
Other funds are collected through sales at the ice bar, donations, drawings and a cover charge for later in the evening.
The frigid weather did little to keep away snowmobilers though, who regularly frequent the destination during the winter. Saturday, there was a long line of snow machines outside the eatery, with snow suits and helmets stashed on the coat rack inside.
Angel Snowfest has raised more than $75,000 in the past three years, and Daigle said she is thankful to add to that tally with this year’s proceeds.
Daigle’s husband said Saturday that excellent word of mouth has not only helped increase the number of people attending, but also the variety of individuals and groups making donations. He said that the services provided by the Pardis Fund and the medical flight programs are becoming more widely known.
“People are realizing what they do for the area,” he said.
Daigle and his father Don created the ice sculptures and the ice bar, which is a popular part of the Snowfest. The thick blocks of ice were harvested from a small farm pond located a short distance from the Lakeview.
Local PALS volunteers Rinette and Joel Jandreau of St. Francis were at Snowfest this year with pictures and information about the Patient Airlift program. From 2010 to ‘16, PALS made more than 11,500 patient flights in Northeast, according to the Jandreaus.
“It means a lot,” Mr. Jandreau said, to have events like the Angel Snowfest.
“The St. John Valley is always very good at fundraisers,” his wife added. “Things like PALS are important up here because we are so isolated.”
The large parking lot at Lakeview was bursting most of the day and night, Saturday. There was face painting for children, as well as meal and drink specials for adults. The event is on the calendar of many, some of whom make a special trip, either on snowmobile or by car, to attend.
Many friends and neighbors volunteer each year to help the Daigles and the restaurant staff make Snowfest a fun and exciting event. The tables, lounge and event room were abuzz with conversations and laughter all day.
Musical performers included “Elvis Presley,” and local musician Adam Ouellette. As evening came on, local rock band Boomerang took to the floor and had people dancing. Closing out this year’s Snowfest was the bluesy band Bad Mother Boogie, who played a rowdy set of classics.