461 Hartland Road, St. Albans, ME 04971 info@skillsinc.net 207.938.4615
A butterfly released in memory of those who have passed on lands on a yellow chrysanthemum

5th Annual Memorial Picnic

Coming together as a community to celebrate and remember

A few passing showers couldn’t dampen our spirits as the SKILLS community came together for our annual picnic on August 30.

Staff pose in the photo booth at the 5th annual picnic.Staff and the people we support made the trip from St. Albans, Waterville, Skowhegan, Newport and the surrounding towns to the SKILLS Memorial Park at Pittsfield Community Supports.

A couple of new friends joined us this year. Lori Lefferts, Director of HR, brought her miniature horse Fregley along for everyone to meet. And DJ Johnny spun tunes for the crowd. DJ Johnny aka John Pierce is a staff member at Ervin Community Supports. When the leadership team learned that he DJ’s in his spare time, they invited him to share his talents at the picnic.

While some things change, others stay the same. Everyone enjoyed the food and the company. As usual, the dunk tank was a popular hit.

In Remembrance

a butterfly lands on the head of a woman
A butterfly lands on Lori during the butterfly release in memory of those we lost this year.

But the picnic is more than a chance to dunk the Executive Director, it’s also a chance to remember those we’ve lost over the past year.

In a re-imagining of a tradition, our balloon release was replaced with an environmentally friendly butterfly release. Crystal Temple, Senior Finance Specialist, had been taking care of the butterflies for the last 24-hours to keep them healthy until it was time for them to fly.

Before the release, Stephanie read the popular poem “I am Always With You.” She also read the names of the seven members of the SKILLS family who passed away this year:

  • Fredrick “Nicky” Nelson
  • Michael Kennedy
  • Madeline “Maddie” Varnum
  • Freddie Hewes
  • Stephanie Lord
  • Linda-Lee Richards
  • Belinda C. Coots

When the butterflies were released some leapt from their box. Others lingered to land on the friends and family gathered there.

Returning to the food and fun was all the better since we knew that those who had passed away were with us in spirit.