KINGMAN STREET KLASSIC CELEBRATES DECADE TODAY

Courtesy photo

By Ruthie Laroche 
For the County Courier

ST. ALBANS: The Kingman Street Klassic began in 2009, thanks to the inspiration of Jim Letourneau and the dedication of Kate Manahan. This year, the event will celebrate its tenth anniversary, marking a decade of classic cars rolling into downtown St. Albans for the public to admire.

“Jim was a fellow car friend of mine. He came to tell me he had a brain tumor and as we spoke, he said he had always wanted to see a car show made up of his friends on Kingman Street,” Kate Manahan explained.

Kate took the idea and ran with it, confident that she’d find help in fulfilling her friend’s wish. 

“Sometimes you just know that all you have to do is ask,” said Kate. “So, I went to the mayor, Marty Manahan.”

Marty didn’t hesitate. He told Kate he’d oversee the closing of Kingman Street for the car show.  

In classic Franklin County style, others jumped in to help. 

“The Peoples Trust Company threw in their parking lots, and we were on our way,” said Kate.

The event was scheduled to take place in July, leaving just six weeks to put the plan into motion. 

The first year they only gave out four trophies, but the details weren’t as important as granting Jim his wish.

“Jim was able to attend that first show, and it was great! We lost Jim shortly after the show, and we lost Rick Manahan from the bank the same year. But we knew it had to continue.”

The following year Kate spoke with another person who she knew would help her keep the ‘show on the road.’ 

“Tim Smith, a fellow classmate of 1978, told me he wanted one major event in St. Albans each month, and he wanted the car show to be July’s major event.”

The news that the Kingman Street Klassic would be made a staple in the yearly calendar of events in St. Albans was more than Kate had hoped for. 

“What a great honor to be able to throw a party in my hometown to raise money for local charities!” said Kate with a smile. “And to be able to bring together some of the best cars in St. Albans and the surrounding areas was great.”

The Kingman Street Klassic got an upgrade for the 2019 year. With proposed renovations on Kingman Street, the show venue was changed. 

“This is year 10, and what a great ride it has been!” said Kate.

“This year the show will take place on Main Street.”

The Kingman Street Klassic crew teamed up with the Northwest Farmers’ Market to plan a day of fun activities to accompany the car show. 

“What an honor to see the show move to Main Street! We will be showcasing antique and classic cars on Main Street and in Taylor Park this year,” explained Kate. “I am very excited to have the Farmers’ Market share their space with us. It has been a great partnership.”

With the change of venue came a change of name. This year the show has been renamed The Klassic. 

Kate extended thanks to those who have been part of making the show a success for so many years.

“Tim Smith and Tim Hawkins from the City have been huge supporters of the show. I can’t thank them enough for all they do,” said Kate. “I get the ideas, and they help me make them come true.”

Kate also thanked Liz Gamache and Alan Robtoy for their help and support. 

The show wouldn’t be possible without the help of many supporters and volunteers, and Kate recognized the Franklin County area for their help. 

“It is a community event; we need people to enter their vehicles in the show, and we need people to come to enjoy it. We appreciate that businesses in our community want to sponsor us so we can provide a day of fun for our community.”

Kate noted that local businesses have stepped up each year to give raffle prizes and donations that help raise money for the charity chosen to be supported by the show. 

“I would love to thank the businesses that have been supporting The Klassic; your kindness has not gone unnoticed, and without you, we wouldn’t be able to do this.”

An event the size of The Klassic needs plenty of volunteers, and thanks to the generous members of The Klassic staff, there are always enough hands to get the job done. 

“The volunteers who give up a Saturday to work in the hot sun do the hard work. I can plan the show, but without the volunteers to pull it off, it would never get accomplished.”

Kate, who’s on her tenth year with the show, knows she’s always got someone who will lend a hand. 

“I love how I can come up with ideas, hand my volunteers the stuff, let them improvise, and they make it work. This show has some of the best volunteers, and many of them have been with us for years; they are the backbone of the event. I could not do it without the help of many of my friends, old and new.”

Watching The Klassic grow each year has meant a lot to Kate. As a lover of classic cars and one who knows the value of a close community, the show brings the best of both worlds together in the heart of the summer. 

“I am very excited to see all the great cars lining Main Street in my hometown, and the Ladies can’t wait to see the cars and give their award.”

The Klassic will take place on Saturday, July 20th from 10am-2pm. All ages are welcome to come and enjoy the day’s activities. 

The festivities will begin with Kathleen Hoffman singing the National Anthem, raffle drawings (10-1), a visit from Rail City Spidey (11:30), a performance by Electric Youth Dance (11:30), and a Time Capsule Dedication with ice cream (noon). DJ Brian Fredette and artists from Artist in Residence will also be present. 

There will be t-shirts for sale, plenty of food, games, and 43 awards to give to show entries. 

Those wishing to register a car can do so for $20. Anyone who registers a car and brings a canned food item for the Food Shelf will receive $5 off the registration fee. 

Proceeds from The Klassic will go to the St.Albans Fire Association.

“Our first responders are always here for their community. I believe that in today’s world we can always make our first responders safer. Why not provide funds that are designed for just that?” said Kate. 

After a decade of shows, Kate’s vision hasn’t changed. 

“In the end, it’s about having a community event that is exciting and fun and brings people into downtown St. Albans to view the cars, visit The Ladies, shop, eat, and see all we have to offer as a community that works together to make memories.”

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MAN KILLED IN QUARRY ACCIDENT

SWANTON: A man was killed on Wednesday morning after an accident at the Northeast Aggregate stone quarry in Swanton.

The facility is located just east of Route 105 on Pond Road.

Police had yet to release the name of the victim as of press time on Wednesday evening. 

Emergency crews were called to the scene just before noon-time Wednesday for a male who had something large fall on him, unsure if he was breathing.

The specifics of the incident have not been released by investigators.

Vermont State Police said they are working with the Mine Safety and Health Administration in their investigation, but believe the incident was an accident.

Follow our website at countycourier.net and our facebook page for up to date information on this and other news stories, including late-breaking news.

COUPLE FLEES HIGHGATE HOME FIRE

Raymond Many, 83, of Highgate, Vermont surveys the damage to his home Monday morning as firefighters work to extinguish hot spots within the structure. Gregory J. Lamoureux, County Courier

HIGHGATE: An elderly couple is lucky to be alive Monday after a fire gutted the home they built by hand.

Raymond Many and his wife, Jacqueline, were home early Monday morning when Raymond began to smell smoke. Inquiring with his wife what food might be burning, he soon realized their home was on fire.

A St. Albans Town firefighter can be seen through debris from a partially collapsed roof at a structure fire off Route 207 in Highgate on Monday morning. Gregory J. Lamoureux, County Courier

“I looked up and there was black smoke,” Many said as he began searching through the possessions firefighters had pulled from the burning building.

Both Raymond and Jacqueline were able to escape the blaze unharmed, which is believed to have started in the attic, according to Highgate Fire Chief, Joe Depatie. The fire is under investigation but is not considered to be suspicious.

Google street view shows the Many residence prior to the fire.

“We called in the investigators because of a report of squirrels,” Depatie said. That report came from Raymond Many, who said the fire seemed to have started in the attic, and also stated there was nothing in the attic that should have been able to start the fire.

The fire was an emotionally devastating experience for the Many families, but according to Raymond’s sister, Joan Luce, the community already began to rally to help them.

“We have friends and family coming out of the woodwork,” Luce said as she cleaned out a china cabinet that firefighters had just pulled from the rubble, “We’re trying to save the most important family heirlooms.” That china belonged to her mother who had died just shy of the age of 100, two years ago.

Firefighters work to extinguish hot spots at a structure fire in Highgate on Monday.

There was still smoke coming from the structure, while several family heirlooms had been pulled from the home and piled up on the front lawn.

“It’s a big loss,” Luce said, “My brother built this house with his bare hands many, many years ago. It’s just devastating. There are just no other words for it.”

The Many’s cat was missing for most of the morning, with nobody knowing if it was inside, but soon after noon time Raymond’s granddaughter found the cat safe, hiding outside.”

Firefighters salvage an antique china cabinet from a burning home Monday morning off Route 207 in Highgate. Gregory J. Lamoureux, County Courier

“I can’t say enough for any of these departments,” Luce said of the firefighters braving the 80 degree temperatures and lack of water to extinguish the fire. “They are all right on top of it doing the best they can, and it’s all quite wonderful.”

The Manys and their tenants were both displaced by the fire. The tenants were being assisted by the American Red Cross in finding temporary shelter.

Depatie said the lack of water that any rural fire attack sees hampered their efforts dramatically, “When we got here there was fire coming out of the roof on the right side.”

Depatie said the fire attack ran short on water a few minutes later, allowing the fire to spread to the remainder of the building, causing the roof to eventually collapse.

Dealing with water supply issues is the nature of rural firefighting, according to Depatie, whose town relies almost entirely on tankers and not fire hydrants for fire suppression efforts.

More than 30 firefighters responding from Highgate, Swanton, St. Albans Town and Sheldon worked to put the remainder of the fire out and save the two bay garage that was attached on a corner of the home. No injuries were reported in the course of the fire, according to Depatie.

THREE CITED IN ASSAULT ON 105

Three people were issued citations Wednesday afternoon to appear in criminal court in St. Albans for a multitude of charges, including aggravated assault.

According to police, a 911 caller reported a male standing in the middle of Route 105, about a mile east of the Route 104. That male, later identified as Corey Levesque, 23, of Sheldon, was attempting to attack Darren Totten, 48, of St. Albans who was waiting alongside the road to get his mail.

Two other people, identified as Alice Edwards, 45, of St. Albans, and Angel Kanton, 23, of Sheldon, were also involved with the incident, according to police.

From left: Alice Edwards, Angel Kanton, and Corey Levesque in their mug shots taken on Wednesday.

Totten told police that a vehicle pulled up alongside and began threatening him and started a verbal dispute. That lead to the three exiting the vehicle to confront and assault Totten.

County Courier Publisher Gregory Lamoureux was traveling through the area, and captured some of the incident on a dash camera inside his vehicle. That dash camera footage, as well as witness testimony, lead police to charge Levesque with Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Disorderly Conduct, and Criminal Threatening.

Edwards and Kanton were both charged with Aggravated Assault, Disorderly Conduct, Aiding in the Commission of a Felony, and Criminal Threatening.

The three are set to appear in Criminal court to answer to those charges on August 12th.

Police are looking to identify a fourth person involved, a female who was driving the vehicle at the time of the incident.

Authorities say Totten was not injured in the course of the incident.

TWO ARRESTED IN RICHFORD CHURCH BURGLARY CASES

RICHFORD: The Baptist Church and All Saint’s Catholic Church in Richford sustained damage after someone broke in and vandalized the inside last week, leaving holes in the sheetrock and destroying the tabernacle.

According to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, two local men have been arrested in connection with the two burglaries.

Raven Hendrix appears in a photo from his publicly listed facebook page.

Raven Hendrix, 18, and Andrew Harrison, 20, both of Richford were arrested Tuesday after police conducted a search warrant in connection with the cases.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, the Richford Baptist Church had reported several items having been stolen from the scene, including a clock, a Keurig brand Coffee Maker, Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate and an Air Pot, used to serve coffee.

“As a result of the search warrants, Deputies recovered all items that were reported taken from the First Baptist Church,” wrote Deputy Albarelli in a press release issued late Tuesday evening.

The County Courier has learned that police were tipped off to the two men after they bragged to friends about their involvement in the case.

As of Tuesday evening, Harrison was being held at Northwest Correctional Center in St. Albans on $2,500 bail. There was no record of Hendrix being held in connection with the case.

We’ll have more information as it becomes available.

Teresa Paquette Meigs

Jeffersonville – Teresa Paquette Meigs a resident of this community since 1961, passed away on Thursday, July 4, 2019, at the Homestead in Saint Albans.  

Born at home in St. Albans on December 14, 1921, she was the daughter of the late Henry J. and Effie J. (McKenzie) Paquette. Teresa was 97 years old. 

Teresa was married to Arnold Tullar Meigs, who pre-deceased her on January 30, 1987. 

Teresa was a 1939 graduate of Bellows Free Academy and then worked for the U.S. Postal Service. She was a longtime member of Mount Mansfield # 35, American Legion Auxiliary, a volunteer for the Second Chance Thrift Shop at Copley Hospital and also volunteered at many Lamoille County organizations.   She was a longtime communicant of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Cambridge. 

Survivors include her sons; David Meigs (Cindy) of Spring Valley California, William Meigs (Mary) of  Fairfax and John Meigs (Regina) of Fairfax and her daughters, Mary Martha Kinney of Cambridge and Cynthia Meigs (partner, Edna Martineau) of Barre,  as well her grandchildren, Justin Meigs, Jody Meigs (Courtney), Karen Tibbets (Jason), Kevin Kinney (partner, Beth), Elizabeth Small (Eric), Jonathan Boozan, Sara Ashley Meigs, Tyler Beth Meigs and Tuller Meigs Schricker and her great grandchildren, Tyler, Brayden, Carson, Paige, Tori, Fraya, Ashton, Hayden, Savannah, Danyon, and Alisa. Teresa is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. 

In addition to her parents and husband, Arnold, Teresa was pre-deceased by her son, George Alexander Meigs on November 25, 2003 and sister, Frances Paquette. 

Relatives and friends are invited to attend calling hours on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. at the Heald Funeral Home, 87 South Main Street, St. Albans. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, July 11, 2019 at 11:00 A.M.  at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 312 North Main Street, Cambridge, with the Reverend Christopher Micale as celebrant.  Interment will take place at the St. Albans Bay Cemetery. 

Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Lamoille Area Cancer Network, 198 Farr Avenue, Morrisville, Vermont 05661. 

To send the Meigs family a message of condolence or share a memory, kindly go to her online guestbook at www.healdfuneralhome.com.


Betty Ann Jordan

Saint Albans – Betty Ann Jordan a lifelong area resident passed away early Monday, July 1, 2019, at the Franklin County Rehab Center with her family at her side. 

Born in St. Albans on May 25, 1931, she was the daughter of the late Dennis and Dorothy (Curry) Coon. Betty was 88 years old. 

Betty was a 1950 graduate of Bellows Free Academy and went to work at the former H.P. Hood & Sons and Union Carbide Corp, she also assisted her husband Andrew with their construction business. 

She was a longtime member of St. Albans Lodge 1090, Loyal Order of the Moose, Robert E. Glidden Post # 785, Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary and was a very avid bingo player.  Her greatest enjoyment was being with her family and friends. 

Betty is survived by her 4 sons, Michael, David, Dennis and Kevin Jordan and her 2 daughters, Debbie Ariel and Sue Ann Johnson, as well as her grandchildren, Lori, Ryan, Jenna, Andrew, Christal, Adam, Amanda, Connie, Christina, Vinnie, Josh, Jessica and Jeremey and her many great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews.  She is also survived by her brother, Richard Coon, Sr. 

In addition to her parents, Betty was pre-deceased by her husband, Andrew J. Jordan on July 19, 2013, and her brothers, Jim, Dennis, Jr. and Gary Coon.

A graveside funeral service will be held on Monday, July 8, 2019, at 11:30 AM at Greenwood Cemetery, South Main Street, St. Albans with the Reverend Elizbeth Griffin officiating. 

In lieu of flowers, Betty’s family asks that memorials be made to the Franklin County Rehab Center, 110 Fairfax Road, St. Albans, Vermont 05478.

Assisting the Jordan family is the Heald Funeral Home, where messages of condolence are welcome at www.healdfuneralhome.com.

Douglas “Doug” Arthur Desorcie

HIGHGATE, VT / OCALA, FL  – Douglas “Doug” Arthur Desorcie, age 57 (1/22/1962 – 7/4/2019), passed away peacefully after a brief illness with his family by his side in Vermont.  

Doug was born in St. Albans, Vermont.  He is the elder son of the late Joseph Desorcie and Catherine “Kitty” McMahon Desorcie.  He is survived by his mother “Kitty”, sister Debbie Arnold and husband Mark, brother David Desorcie and companion Kellie, uncle Dan Desorcie and wife Judy, aunt Martha Decoign and husband Ron, aunt Elaine “Toots” Boudreau, three nieces Mallory, Gabby, and Chelsea, their spouses and children, and his partner Denise Ramp.  Doug is predeceased by grandparents PS and Gladys Desorcie, father Joseph, and uncle Allen.

Doug graduated from Missisquoi Valley Union High School in Swanton, VT in 1980.  He attended North Country Community College in Saranac Lake, NY for two years. Then he followed his dream to play hockey and transferred as a junior to the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF), where he obtained a Bachelor degree.

Doug loved hockey.  As a child, he was known to always be on the flooded tennis court ice rink behind Highgate post office until called home or he needed to warm up his fingers and toes.  In 1982, he joined the UAF Nanooks as walk-on goaltender in its third year of hockey. His first year on the team for the 1982-1983 season, Doug appeared in 21 games and earned a 16-5 record, was a major factor in the Nanooks first trip to the NCAA D-2 National Tournament, was the Nanooks’ first All-American, and was honored as Co-MVP for the team with his friend Steve Moria.  Every year, the UAF Hockey program awards the Doug Desorcie Top Freshman (“Rookie”) of the Year Award in honor of Doug’s talent, sportsmanship, dedication and love of hockey exhibited by a freshman player. In 2017 Doug was inducted into the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Nanook Hall of Fame. 

His 36-year career in Alaska started in 1987 as Director of Student Activities at UAF.  This was followed by 26 years in Valdez, the majority at Prince William Sound Community College (PWSCC) starting in 1992.  He was PWSCC’s third President (2005-2012). His professional accomplishments are numerous and many accompanied by awards. These were never important to him.  What was important to him was creating a team and turning an obstacle into a success where people’s lives were improved for the better. This he did with a passion.

Doug was very involved in the Valdez community as a volunteer, school district and hospital board presidents, Rotarian, Valdez United Way board member, among many positions.  He was visible in the community grilling burgers and hot dogs and emptying garbage cans for community events. His contributions are marked by dedication, long hours, creativity, and innovation.

Doug loved his “Three D’s”, Dexter, Daphne, and Doogan, the shih-tzus who filled his life with joy and comfort.  They are now happily reunited.

He recently retired to Ocala, Florida with his partner Denise in 2018.  They enjoyed creating a life together. Laughter, projects, meals on the patio, and gardening filled their days. 

Visitation will be held Sunday, July 7, 2019 from 5-8:00 PM at Kidder Memorial Home, 89 Grand Ave., Swanton, VT.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be Monday, July 8, 2019 at 11:00 AM at St. Louis Catholic Church, Lamkin St., Highgate, VT. Interment will follow in St. Louis Cemetery.

For those who wish, contributions in Doug’s memory may be sent to Missisquoi Amateur Hockey Association, P.O. Box 67, Highgate Center, VT 05459 or Nanook Hockey Alumni, P.O. Box 70934, Fairbanks, AK 99707-0934.

Living actions of honor:  Live Doug’s moto of “Give back to your community, act locally, be involved, and make a difference in another person’s life.”

Condolences, photos and favorite memories may be shared through www.gossfs.com

Willard Earle Dezotelle, Sr.

WATERVILLE: Willard Earle Dezotelle, Sr., 88, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 28, supported by the love and care of his four sons and their families.

Willard was born on July 28, 1930, in Belvidere, the son of Harold Dezotelle and Muriel Colburn. He grew up in Belvidere, attending schools there and in Waterville.

On Aug. 27, 1948, Willard married Delia Dezotelle (nee Quinty), the great love of his life. Together, they raised their family in Waterville. Willard began a lifelong career in agriculture early in life, farming, sugaring, and logging in the area. He operated the Manchester Farm for 45 years for the Henry Manchester family. Until the day he retired, he could be found milking the Holsteins, tending the fields and pastures, and collecting eggs from the chickens. After Delia passed away in November 2015, Willard lived with his son, Willard Jr., and daughter-in-law, Barbara.

Willard is survived by his four sons and their spouses, Willard “Pete” Dezotelle, Jr., and wife, Barbara; Dan Dezotelle and wife, Janet; Doug Dezotelle and wife, Joanne; and Randy Dezotelle and wife, Cindy. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren (with another due this summer), and one step-great-grandchild. Willard is also survived by a brother, Lyman Dezotelle; a half-sister, Verna Longe; and a half-brother, Harold “Bud” Dezotelle, Jr.

Willard was predeceased by his beloved wife, Delia. He was also predeceased by a sister, Berle Callahan; and two brothers, Philip Dezotelle and Lloyd Dezotelle

Willard’s family is grateful for the compassionate and gentle in-home support provided by Lamoille Home Health & Hospice to Willard in his final days.

A memorial service for Willard will be held on Saturday, July 13, at 1 p.m. at the Waterville Union Church, 37 Church St., Waterville, VT. Burial will take place at Belvidere Center Cemetery following the service. A reception will take place at the Waterville Union Church fellowship hall below the chapel following the burial. All are welcome to attend.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in memory of Willard to Lamoille Home Health & Hospice, 54 Farr St., Morrisville, VT 05661. Online donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/lamoillehomehealthagencyinc.

MARROW DRIVE SEEKS MATCH FOR BLAIR

By Ruthie Laroche
For the County Courier

On Saturday, June 15th Alex Blair stood before her classmates, family members, and the Fairfax community, sharing her heart in a speech that moved many to tears.

The BFA Fairfax senior encouraged each person to live life to the fullest and not to wait to enjoy the best things in life. 

This Saturday, just three weeks later, many of those same friends and family will be hosting a ‘Be the Match for Alex’ with the hope of finding a bone marrow match for the determined and spirited young lady they love.

Alex Blair was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia on October 4, 2018. AML begins in the bone marrow and travels into the blood; it may spread to other parts of the body including the lymph nodes, liver, spleen, central nervous system.

Bone marrow transplants are needed as part of the treatment for a person suffering from AML, and currently, there are no bone marrow matches for Alex in the national database. 

The goal of the ‘Be the Match’ drive is to locate a person who can supply the life saving bone marrow cells that Alex needs to continue her treatment. 

All are welcome to come out to the Cambridge Fire Station on Saturday, July 6th from 11-3 where the Cambridge Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting the ‘Lets Be the Match for Alex’ bone marrow drive. 

Those who attend the drive must be 18 to 44 years of age and will be asked to give a cheek swab. Even if you are unable to donate, you can help the family by purchasing the “Blair Wear” that will be on sale at the event.

There will also be a drop box for donations and well wishes for Alex, who will soon be heading to the Boston Children’s Hospital for treatment. 

“The drive is the highest priority of the family at this point,” said Kristine Irish, a long-time family friend of the Blairs. 

Alison Irish, Kristine’s daughter, and Alex Blair have been lifelong friends. The two attended the Fletcher Elementary School together, entering a class with only ten students. 

Sports have played a significant role in the lives of both the girls; Kristine noted they began their sports careers together as kindergartners.

This spring the BFA Bullets softball team traveled to Castleton University to compete in the Division III State Tournament. 

Alex, who had been cleared to participate with the softball team at the beginning of the season, played with her friends, taking a limited role on the team.

“She is a phenomenal bunter. She had to sit the bench because of her illness, but when she did take the field, it was game-changing,” noted Kristine. 

The state championship game was bittersweet for the Fairfax athletic community. Alex had learned the day before the game that her cancer had returned; she chose to keep the news to herself so that the team could enjoy the day.

“Watching her go through all of this has given me a whole new perspective,” said Kristine. “You always find that handful of moms that will all work together to get kids to sporting events. Heather Blair and I got to know each other’s kids really well through sports. Alex is one of ‘my girls’.”

Kristine recalled the day Alex learned about her initial diagnosis. Alison and Kristine were on the way to a senior picture session.  

“It was a shock that I was taking my daughter for her senior pictures, and Alex was going to be spending the year fighting for her life.”

The diagnosis didn’t put a damper on the characteristics that endeared Alex to those who know her. 

“She always has such a positive attitude. In the hospital, it seemed like Heather and Alex were lifting us up when we came to visit.”

Alex, an athlete and a member of the Cambridge Volunteer Fire Department, wasn’t one to sit idle. Much to the joy of her classmates and family, she was able to return to high school after the completion of her treatment.  

On graduation day, Alex stepped up to the podium and delivered her speech. Kristine will not forget the depth of the moment.

“Her message was so clear: don’t wait to go on that trip and to do the things you love. You just don’t know what lies ahead.” 

The words spoken by the 18-year old hit their mark. Alex shared that most people don’t get AML until later in life and that one in four will survive to the five-year mark. She was coping with something that should not have affected a person as young and healthy as she was. 

Two hours after the graduation ceremony, Alex headed to the hospital to begin treatment. 

Because of the relapse, she will have to redo aggressive treatments. Those treatments cause blood count levels to drop significantly.

“From what I understand, it’s difficult to keep re-treating without a bone marrow transplant. She’s in need of a lifesaving bone marrow transplant right now.” 

Those who can’t attend on Saturday can order a free cheek swab kit through ‘Be the Match’ website. 

Alex is currently at UVM Medical Center, but her next round of treatment will be done at the Dana Farber Institute. Kristine encouraged anyone who could make a financial donation to help cover the family’s travel costs, to do so.

There are also other ways to help Alex. For the next forty days, Alex will be kept in confinement as her body recovers from the treatment. She has requested that people who have photos of her with her team and her friends send them so she can use them to decorate her hospital room.

Following Alex’s journey has bolstered Kristine’s belief in the goodness of the local community.

“When trouble strikes, this community rallies!” said Kristine. 

Not only has the immediate community risen in support of Alex, but teams from other towns–MVU, Peoples, and Lyndon Institute–have also shown their support. 

“Lyndon Institute High School did a fundraiser for the Blairs, and the coach brought the check to the state championship game and gave it to Alex,” said Kristine.

Lydia Tinker and Jordan Bushway, good friends of Alex’s, were instrumental in organizing the ‘Be the Match Drive.’

“Alex is amazing! Her maturity is impressive, and she’s always looking out for the people around her,” said Lydia. 

Lydia noted that while people were fundraising for Alex, Alex wanted to fundraise for another woman who had the same disease. 

Lydia chose the Cambridge Fire Department as the site for the drive because the fire community is a huge part of Alex’s family and her life.  

“The firefighters in Cambridge are like her family, and they want to help her in any way they can,” said Lydia. “Fire departments from all around the country have sent her badges and, and she displays them all in her room.” 

Lydia smiled as she spoke of her good friend. 

“She’s a fighter! She gets up every morning with a smile on her face no matter how crappy she’s feeling. She just takes whatever cards she’s dealt for the day.” 

Alex’s own words at the graduation ceremony express that fighting spirit.

“Attitude is everything. When I was diagnosed there was no doubt that I would beat this. There were a lot of days I didn’t feel good, but I tried to keep a positive attitude. Always remember that every day we wake up, we have the opportunity to make it a good one!”

For more information, please visit the ‘Be the Match’ for Alex Facebook page. A visit to bethematch.org will answer any question you may have. The website also provides an 800 number where folks can call with questions.

After contacting Be the Match, the County Courier learned that if a person registers with any of the three bone marrow registries in the United States, their information is available to any patient in need of a donor. Be the Match encouraged potential donors to register with only one bone marrow registry to avoid confusion with multiple matches.