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Volunteers clean up Veteran memorial sites in Fort Kent

FORT KENT, Maine — Veteran memorial sites in Fort Kent were spruced up this weekend thanks to volunteers who cleaned them despite some mild rain. 

The American Legion and the Student Veterans of America at the University of Maine at Fort Kent organized the event which drew nearly 20 volunteers on Saturday.

Leroy McKenzie (left) cleans veterans’ monuments in Fort Kent on Saturday, June 27 along with Allie Tardie. (Jessica Potila)

Leroy McKenzie, who is vice commander of the Legion and president of the UMFK group, initiated the project. 

The Fort Kent Fire Department provided a fire engine on scene to supply water for the volunteers to clean the monuments. 

Fort Kent Fire Chief Ed Endee, who is also a veteran, said his department was more than willing to help out when McKenzie reached out to them for assistance. 

“We couldn’t say yes fast enough,” Endee said. “We were very proud to assist in this effort. It is typical in Fort Kent that when there is a community project people step up and volunteer; they get it done.” 

Jake Robichaud volunteers to clean veterans’ monuments in Fort Kent on Saturday, June 27. (Jessica Potila)

Jake Robichaud, a professional cleaner and owner of Jake’s Cleaning Service, also said he did not hesitate to help out with the project when McKenzie, his friend and former classmate, reached out to him. 

“I had a ladder so I scrubbed,” Robichaud said. “It was good people doing good things so I just wanted to be a part of it.”

Volunteers as young as three years old participated in the project. 

McKenzie and his wife Heather provided their own pressure washer to clean the monuments.

“We have been very blessed in the Veteran community to have this town to help support projects that we do,” McKenzie said. 

Al’s Dairy Freeze of Fort Kent delivered free pizzas to the crew of volunteers and Paradis Shop and Save provided the volunteers with free ice water. 

An anonymous local business owner who is also a veteran donated cleaning materials such as buckets and scrub brushes to aid in the project.

“I am just very proud to be a part of a community where veterans, students, businesses, children and everybody can come together and do something so wonderful and have such great results,” McKenzie said. “We are all truly blessed.”

Volunteers cleaned veteran monuments in Fort Kent on Saturday, June 27. (Courtesy of Heather McKenzie)

 

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