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Maine Acadian Heritage Council hosts special guest at annual dinner

VAN BUREN, Maine — More than 25 members of various organizations came together Monday night to share their love of Acadian history and a traditional meal of chicken stew, ployes, creton, and molasses cake during the Maine Acadian Heritage Council’s 21st annual dinner meeting.

It’s “about time I came up here,” said special guest Michael Madell, deputy superintendent of Acadia National Park, the Saint Croix Island International Historic Site, and Maine Acadian Culture Project, who attended the event for the first time.

The Maine Acadian Heritage Council (MAHC) is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to preserving and promoting Acadian culture, language and history throughout Northern Maine’s St. John Valley.

“This region has always been a variety, a melting pot,” Madell said at the dinner held at the Acadian Village. “It speaks a lot of the folks in this area that they can preserve this for future generations.”

Representatives from surrounding municipalities, the chambers of commerce of Fort Kent, Madawaska and Van Buren, and 11 area historical societies were among those in attendance.

“The national parks have always had a close relationship with the council,” Madell said before the dinner. “These people [of the council] are doing wonderful things with very little resources.”

Meg Scheid, the National Park Service federal funds agreements technical representative, also attended with Madell. She works with both the park service and heritage council to “navigate the maze of federal requirements as a partner receiving funds.”

The dinner concluded with officials presenting Phil Bosse, the recently retired area representative to U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, the Acadian Achievement Award. Madell also presented Anne Roy, Cleo Ouellette and Judy Paradis each a National Park Service Appreciation Award.

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