BREWER– Hundreds gathered tonight in Brewer for a fun night to honor the Bangor Homeless Shelter’s accomplishments and to thank the people who keep it up and running. It’s an event that happens every year, but tonight’s event had a special twist.
“We have this every year to bring in the donors and the volunteers and all the staff to thank them for such a great job. We’re a 24 hour a day shelter and we’re doing three meals a day for everybody and beds and then placing people in housing so it’s just a lot a lot of work. So tonight we’d like to take the time to say thank you to everybody,” said John Dougherty, the Chair of the Board of Directors at the shelter.
A bittersweet night, as people from the area gather to reflect on the year and say thank you to those who devote their time and money to the shelter.
“Tonight we have a few different awards…we have a business of the year award, volunteer of the year award, shelter employee of the year award, so we try to pick a few people each year, but it’s hard to pick people because there are so many,” said Dougherty.
But aside from all the people and donors who were honored at the event, there was a guest of honor deserving special recognition.
“I’m gonna miss having my Dennis there for me every day, I mean he’s my biggest support, he’s seen me through all of this and taught me everything I know and he’s a huge part of my life,” said Rowena Griffin, the incoming Executive Director.
“We are humbled that Dennis has been here. He is a great servant to the city of Bangor and to the community and to all those clients that we serve,” said Dougherty.
Dennis Marble has become a public advocate for homelessness throughout the state, and come December, he will retire from his 20 year position as the executive director of the Bangor Homeless Shelter.
Thursday night, the community took the time to honor him and wish him well as he enters the next chapter of his life.
“I’m a little conflicted. It’s been a wonderful career for me, it’s brought me rewards I never could have anticipated and couldn’t get anywhere else, but it’s time to turn it over to the next team,” said Marble.
With roasts from several people who worked closely with Marble, it was a night of mixed emotions, but Marble feels confident turning the shelter over to it’s new executive director, Rowena Griffin.
“It’s a big deal to follow Dennis, and I know people are going to wonder how this is going to go, but I will do my best and try to do things as he set in place,’ said Griffin.
But before he goes, marble has one message that he wants people to hear.
“It’s a work in progress. We had a lot of fun tonight but it’s a serious deal and there are real people in need of answers that are beyond what I was able to do, and to keep on trying,” said Marble.