Fort Kent

Agency on Aging honors Pelletier for fundraising efforts

FORT KENT, Maine — Steven Pelletier, president of Pelletier Ford, received the 2022 Friend of Aroostook Agency on Aging Award for his generosity and outstanding leadership to ensure older adults in the St. John Valley have access to life-sustaining nutrition services.

By way of teleconference at the Agency’s 48th Annual Meeting, Rev. D. Ken Phelps, president of the Board of Directors and Executive Director Joy Barresi Saucier shared the board’s gratitude for his exceptional and notable contribution to the mission and vision of the Agency. Judy Anderson, director of community services, and Don Raymond, board member, were on site in Fort Kent Oct. 7 to present the award, while attendees viewed from Edmunds Conference Center at NMCC and the Houlton Higher Learning Center. 

Director Don Raymond had reached out to Pelletier for advice on how to get a good price through a dealer incentive or special program to replace an existing 12-year-old van with nearly 250,000 miles. He invited Pelletier to visit the Fort Kent dining center to learn first-hand about the Agency’s purpose and services. After receiving many welcoming hellos and hugs from those receiving the weekly sit-down meal, he responded “I think I know all of them.” As they finished their visit, Pelletier told Raymond “Don’t worry, we’ll take care of it.” 

In February 2019, Pelletier mobilized his team at Pelletier Ford and soon engaged the community in a Valley-wide fundraising campaign to support the purchase of a new van. All totaled, Pelletier raised $19,950 from 22 community individuals and businesses. Within months the money was raised, and a new  van was ordered. The van had to come from overseas, so almost one year to the day after their meeting at the dining center, Raymond and Pelletier gathered at the Pelletier Ford showroom, surrounded by supporters, to unveil the new van and recognize the effort. 

With three senior dining centers, four USDA Commodity Supplemental Food distribution sites, and 238 Meals-On-Wheels consumers, Barresi Saucier said the regular transportation of food to and throughout the northern Maine region is imperative. Crucial to distributing food in the St. John Valley is a safe and reliable Nutrition Services van that travels in all weather conditions. The van routinely picks up food in Madawaska, travels to Frenchville, St. Agatha, and Fort Kent, stopping to deliver food at dining centers and meeting Meals-On-Wheels volunteer drivers throughout the trip, she said. 

“Thank you, Steven Pelletier, for your support and for inspiring others in the community to support the mission of the Agency, as well,” she added.

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.