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Gallant is a most valuable classmate
LEWISTON -- At their 55th class reunion, the Stephens High School Class of 1956 honored Stephen E. Gallant with their Most Valuable Classmate Award.
The award read, "“His loyalty, commitment and organizational skills are unsurpassed. His dedication to the class has enriched our lives and strengthened our bonds of friendship. Through his leadership as committee chairman, our class reunions are meaningful, enjoyable and quality experiences. Steve is the glue that has held our class together during these 55 years. We present to him this unique award for his tireless efforts.”
For 55 years, Steve has been the managing director of the various activities of his high school class, which includes contacting classmates to keep them informed of events of other classmates. He represents the class by attending wakes and funerals of class members, including sending sympathy cards and flowers to the families of the deceased.
Steve maintains information of each class member in his computer data base including names, telephone numbers, email addresses, spouse names and addresses. He handles all financial matters for his class including fundraising, bank accounts and disbursements. Annual summer mini class reunions are also held at Steve’s home where he handles all the details including food preparation.
He has been involved in many activities in the Town of Rumford during the past 55 years. His favorite holiday season is Christmas when he has played Santa Claus for over 50 years. Steve has visited 300 to 400 children each holiday in Rumford, Mexico and Dixfield, and has seen three generations of families grow up on his knees.
He usually visits over 70 homes and distributes over 200 pounds of candy to children each Christmas and also visits the housebound elderly to put a smile on their faces during the Christmas season.
Steve has been very active as a director in the Worthley Pond Association, the organization that works to improve the area’s environment. Each summer one of the major social events is a “Christmas in July” celebration where camps and boats are decorated as if it were Christmas. Steve sets the bar higher each year and most years, he is the winner of the best decorated site. His innovative schemes include having a party for friends and relatives who become a chorus, filling the shore lines singing Christmas carols.
For more than 20 years, Steve has been involved in various activities for the Oxford County Association for people with special needs. He hosts his own Christmas party playing Santa Claus and serving a holiday meal for 70 mentally and physically disabled community youth and each attendee receives a Christmas present.
Steve has been president of the Snowshoe Club for the past 40 years and one of his more prestigious titles was the International President of the Snowshoe Club. He conducts meetings, organizes club events, handles fundraising events and his club sponsors two partial scholarships to two students of nearby high schools.
In his spare time, Steve has compiled a history of his family genealogy and holds annual reunions for his family.
He also designs and decorates cakes for special occasions in the Town of Rumford.
Because of his involvement in many different activities and his commitment to the people in the Town of Rumford, Steve Gallant was presented with the Rumford Citizen of the Year Award in 2000.
Steve has lived a very active life of service during the last 50 years not only involving the Town of Rumford but also his classmates. He believes that service to his fellow man is the noblest of endeavors. He believes in the words of Albert Einstein, “Only a life lived in service to others is worth living.”
The presentation took place during the three-day reunion on Sept. 16-18 at the Ramada Inn. The class utilized a Hospitality Room where all attending could meet on Friday with a lobster dinner or buffet that evening. On Saturday, a social hour was enjoyed with a photo session, a class meeting and memories shared followed by a class banquet and entertainment. Later all enjoyed the Hospitality Room with snacks and viewing many pictures of classmates from years past.
After the banquet, Awards of Appreciation were presented to Jean Gagnon Gallant, Muriel Vachon Shurtleff, Alice Fuller Clark, Louise Collette Mangarelli, David Perry, Robert Parise and Timothy Parent for their tireless efforts as members of the Reunion Committee. For the past 55 years, their loyalty, commitment and dedicated service to the class have contributed to the success of the reunions.