Monday night was an average night. After getting home from work, I went to a meeting at the Lisbon town offices to discuss the potential for façade grants in my community. I returned home at roughly 8:00. At 8:30, I was sitting on my front porch, when my wife came out and asked if I wanted to attend some rally at the High School with her, my mother in law and oldest daughter. Having spent a long day at work, followed by a meeting at the town office, I opted not to go. An hour later, when I began to hear sirens, a lot of sirens, I checked Facebook to see what was happening.
The story, as I can best put it together, goes something like this. Lisbon Junior Athletic League had a 12U baseball team in the Cal Ripken State Championship. Their team won the State Championship in Skowhegan Monday afternoon 4 - 2. On the ride home, one of the moms posted on Facebook that they were travelling in a caravan and would be arriving at the high school at roughly 9:15 (so people would know when to pick up their children).
What followed is the reason I live in a small community in Maine. A woman saw the post and mentioned it to her husband who happened to be on the fire department. He, in turn, contacted the police department. Word quickly spread throughout the community and, unbeknownst to the team, the caravan was met at the town line by a police and fire escort - lights and sirens blazing. They were met at the high school by a cheering crowd of close to 100 people, complete with pom poms and horns. Queen's "We are the champions" was played through a PA system. There were even bottles of Moxie sprayed on the kids as they celebrated. Just to clarify, many of these people, my wife included, didn't know any of the players, but were there to celebrate the success of this young team. I have seen the video, and the smiles on the faces of these boys are absolutely priceless.
This kind of outpouring of support for positive events is key to the success of our society. Our news sites and social media feeds are barraged daily with negative and argumentative issues. Taking focus away from that energy and turning it towards the positives is going to change our region. This past week I've had the opportunity to help celebrate some monumental success in our region. I was thrilled to help highlight the announcement of the arrival of "Five Guys" coming to Journal Square. I also praised JS McCarthy in an article which highlighted their expansion, allowing them to increase production, reduce cost, and add jobs.
These are just two examples of amazing things happening in the Kennebec Valley. I know the list could go on for pages and pages. Sadly, we at the chamber do not always know about the great things happening. We are asking for your help in this effort. When you know something positive happening in our region, please contact us. We have countless avenues to help spread the word through social media, our monthly newsletter and with the local press as well.
It's time we spent some more energy focusing on the good, this will give us the strength to work to repair the not so good. Let's fire up some sirens, and start celebrating.