Madawaska assisted living facility nominates Valentine king and queen

MADAWASKA, Maine — Ridgewood Estates, an assisted living facility in Madawaska, crowned a new king and queen last week at their Valentine’s Day pageant. Laura Morrow of Grand Isle and Daniel Madore of Van Buren reigned supreme in a resident vote for Ridgewood’s new honorary rulers.

The pageant took place on Feb. 12 — residents answered select questions themselves, and then voted on their fellow contestants’ performances, nominating them for a variety of superlative categories. Ridgewood celebrated the winners at a Valentine’s Day-themed party on Feb. 15.

For the women, Georgianne Fongemie won best fashion, Madame Candide Bouchard took home the Ms. Congeniality title, and Norma Martin impressed at the pageant, winning best interview. 

Winners for the men were Yvon Dufor for best fisherman, Bert Picard for best storyteller, and Modore, sweeping back in to collect his second award of the day, best hunter.

Ridgewood assited living facility residents celebrate a Valentine’s pageant on Feb. 15. (Courtesy of Paula Gendreau)

For Ridgewood activities and media consultant Paula Gendreau, it was a breath of fun in an otherwise bleak winter. She hasn’t been able to schedule the usual events — community service projects, outings in town, band performances — since last March. 

On top of that, family visits have been restricted, meaning many residents have only been able to talk to loved ones on scheduled videochats. 

Gendreau said that these measures have helped Ridgewood keep its residents safe, but that the pageant brought some much-needed fun.

“Just to see their faces — they were so happy,” Gendreau said. “That’s why we do what we do.”

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