Our Maine Street's Aroostook Issue 12 : Spring 2012 - Page 55

The Silver Lining of Fort Kent’s Main Street by Clarence “Cur” Soucy At the threshold of “America’s First Mile,” Fort Kent invites all to experience, the serenity of its small town, with a beautifully intricate landscape, shouldered by two large ridges. Here a scenic river serves as one of our country’s natural boundaries separating the United States from Canada. This attractive setting marks the entrance to U.S. Route One, anchoring Fort Kent as the head of the U.S. Highway running parallel along the Atlantic Seaboard south to Key West, Florida. Canvassed against this backdrop of the Canadian border and the water’s edge of the upper St. John River is this thriving community that makes the home of the Fort Kent Lions. Vested in an Acadian heritage, Fort Kent dubbed as “The Little Town that could” following its hosting of the 2004 IBU World Cup Biathlon is reputed as a community with a “can do attitude.” Emerging from the folds of this vibrant community is a rich history of individuals, responsible for the growth and promotion of their town, beyond its demographic setting. In the lineup of distinguished community entrepreneurs, is a secular service organization of responsive, energetic men who have taken their pledge “None above you, none beneath you, but with you!” outside of their meeting hall. The Fort Kent Lions Club with a current membership of 75 active members share a core belief – “community is what we make it.” It is within this milieu of high civic energy that the Fort Kent Lions, founded in 1938, has been a forerunner in promoting the civic, cultural and social welfare of this thriving community. An affiliate and chapter of Lions Club International with a membership of over 1.35 million members worldwide, the Fort Kent Lions Club from its inception has remained a steadfast organization. Consistent with the motto “We Serve” the club goals continue to align themselves with the international mission of sight conservation, hearing and speech conservation, diabetes awareness, youth outreach, international relations, environmental issues, and other programs. The depth of vision and a resolute of community promotion, by the original founders of the Fort Kent Lions Club, established the foundation for what today, continues to be an unwavering accomplished civic organization in its 73rd year of service to the Greater Fort Kent area. This jovial spirit and responsiveness to community outreach has been a major impetus that continues to attract new members to an ever-growing organization. The inspiration and generosity of those that have come before, defines the Fort Kent Lions Club and tells of its ongoing success. Combined with the thousands of hours of in-kind services, the club has raised and returned to the community, in the last 15 years alone, over half a million dollars. Crafted from a lineage of French Canadian descent with a rich history of strong work ethics, traditional family values and a spirited sense of joie de vivre carves a community that knows too well, the cliché of “thinking outside of the box.