Maine’s First Family hosts 3rd annual Blaine House Food Drive

Posted Tuesday, October 15, 2013 in News

Maine’s First Family hosts 3rd annual Blaine House Food Drive

by Andi Parkinson

The First Family is hosting the Third Annual Blaine House Food Drive on three consecutive Saturdays during the month of October: Oct. 12, Oct. 19 and Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mainers will have an opportunity to bring a food donation, receive a tour of the Blaine House led by Governor Paul R. LePage and enjoy light refreshments.

LePage has also issued a “Food Drive Challenge” to Maine Chambers of Commerce. In a letter issued to the chambers, the governor encouraged participation in a local food drive throughout the month of October. Chambers that participate will have a chance to host a “Business After Hours” event at the Blaine House.

“As our holiday season approaches, it is very important that we remember those who are less fortunate,” LePage said in a release. “The first lady and I will be hosting Blaine House food drives, but I am encouraging local chambers to get involved and help out their local food pantries or homeless shelters.”

“We are a small state with big hearts,” said the governor’s wife, Ann LePage. “In our family, we have taught our children that giving is more important than receiving. Giving money is great, but giving your time is just as valuable. So we encourage Mainers to consider volunteering at a shelter, food pantry or soup kitchen. It’s a great gift to give.”

While all offerings are gratefully accepted, there is a great need for infant formula and baby food this year according to First Lady Ann LePage.

lepage blaineGov. Paul LePage provided history lessons about some of the artifacts found within the Blaine House while leading tours during the open house and in this photo, sat at former Maine Governor James Blaine’s senatorial desk in the Blaine Study.

Besides being a Senator, Blaine was Speaker of the House, an 1884 Republican presidential candidate, US Secretary of State and part-owner of the Kennebec Journal. Among the room’s artifacts is a hand-written note on the back of a business card given to Blaine by President Abraham Lincoln dated April 7, 1865. The note was to ensure Blaine safe passage from DC’s City Point to Richmond and back during wartime.

sideGovernor LePage took the visitors into another room with a billiards table and spoke of playing a game against a visiting professional player from Finland. He also showed a rather new piece to the room- a handsome oak sideboard made by LePage himself back in the 1980s. Apparently wood working has been a hobby of his for 35 years.

This past Saturday marked the first of the three weekends set aside for the donations. The food, said Lauren LePage, the governor’s daughter and assistant to his chief of staff, will go to the Auburn-based Good Shepherd Food Bank, which will distribute the food where it is most needed statewide. According to both Governor Paul and First Lady Ann LePage, the first open house day saw a much heavier volume of generous donations than in past years with the Governor remarking that in the past, the last day has usually seen the most visitors.

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