‘Night with the Stars’ gala returns Sept. 16

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Aroostook Aspirations Initiative will host their fourth annual Night with the Stars Gala on Saturday, Sept. 16, at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.

The evening is a celebration of the nonprofit organization’s current and past Gauvin Scholars, who are all students in Aroostook County colleges. The Scholars will be the “stars” and receive support from their peers and Aroostook County business and community members. During the gala, AAI will introduce the newly inducted Scholars, who will be able to network and make connections with community, education and business leaders.

Cary Medical Center CEO Kris Doody will be the keynote speaker. Doody, who began as CEO in 1999, was named one of six ‘Women to Watch’ in Maine by MaineBiz Magazine. She has received numerous awards including the Maine’s Business and Professional Woman of the Year, the Quorum of Excellence National Recognition Award, and was named Alumni of the Year for the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) and is a member of the UMPI and Husson University Alumni Hall of Fame, to name a few.

In 2013, she was appointed to the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees, one of only two people from Maine to ever sit on this national board. In 2014 and 2015 she spoke before Congress in Washington, D.C., in support of Project ARCH, a program allowing veterans to access specialty care. Her leadership helped to extend Project ARCH for two additional years at Cary Medical Center and four other locations in the U.S.

Aroostook Aspirations Initiative will also present awards for Mentor of the Year, Innovative Educator and Business of the Year.

The Mentor of the Year award honors an individual who has positively impacted the lives of Aroostook County students. The new Scholars nominate someone they believe has developed meaningful relationships with them, their peers and/or their community.

The Innovative Educator Award is presented to an Aroostook County educator who utilizes innovation in their classroom. The award recipient is nominated by a local administrator, peer or community member.

The Business of the Year award recognizes a business that reflects the mission and values of AAI through their support of the organization, leadership in the community and workforce development. This year, Aroostook County chambers of commerce were asked to nominate businesses in their region for the award.

AAI will also present the second annual Road Back Home Award, which is presented to an individual who makes The County proud and whose actions demonstrate continuing dedication for Aroostook and its bright future.

WAGM-TV’s Shawn Cunningham will emcee the event.

For more information, contact AAI at (207) 760-0558, or by visiting

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.