The Legacy Lives On

Fort Kent ~ The twenty-seventh annual Tour de la Vallee, the legacy of Guy Paradis and primary fundraising event for the Edgar J. (Guy) Paradis Cancer Fund, was held on August 20, with the event starting line at the Lion’s Pavilion at Riverside Park in Fort Kent. An impressive cadre of volunteers and individuals supported the annual event. Volunteers functioned in many roles such as: providing rest stops, registering participants, cooking and serving lunch, event set up and clean up, driving support vehicles and making sure the all important signage directing participants is visible.

A total of sixty-two individuals, ranging from age 9 to 76, registered to walk, run or bike to help raise money to support local families dealing with cancer. Supported by members of the local ATV club again this year, individuals who prefer mountain biking had the opportunity to participate in a scenic ride along the Heritage Trail. Claire Moss, Tour Committee Chairperson was pleased to report that only minor injuries were reported this year associated with railroad track crossing. A first time participant of the event, Lisa Boucher, an employee of the Environmental Services Department at Northern Maine Medical Center, was the top fundraiser for the event, bringing in a total of $3,900 in pledges. Boucher said she decided to walk this year to honor the loss of her sister-in-law who succumbed to cancer three years ago. She plans to participate again next year and her goal is to exceed this year’s pledge amount.

In the welcoming message at the start of the event, sister to Guy Paradis, Francoise Paradis, informed participants of the importance of this annual event to the Fund. Since the inception of the Fund in 1978, over 1,400 families in the St. John Valley have been assisted with pledges from volunteers such as themselves. The total amount of support to local families since 1978 is over one million dollars, a major portion of which comes from the proceeds of the Tour de la Vallee. To date for the 2017 event registrations and pledges have brought in over $17,000, far exceeding last year’s total contributions.

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