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Local Chamber Announces 2013 Community Service Awards Recipients

| January 8, 2014


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Some local businesses and people are being given a pat on the back for their service to the county community.  The Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce have announced the recipients who will be honored at the annual community leadership awards and dinner on January 23rd. Its a routine dental checkup for 5 year old Angelyn Steeves. Her dad Tom says Angelyn has learned a lot of important dental lessons like the importance of flossing since she started coming to the St. Apollonia Dental Clinic. Dentist and Clinic Director Norma Desjarsdins says that’s the goal of the clinic, to develop good dental habits early and give many county kids in need, a much needed dental home. And now Norma and her husband Paul AND the clinic are all being honored for their work, as 2013 Citizens of the Year by the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce. But Desjardins says what they’ve done in just two years is JUST the beginning. “The work has really just begun, we see a lot of children we want to see many more and so the work will continue,” says Norma. Her husband Paul, a business manager for the clinic added, “For almost two years we drove by that building and we were trying to figure out what to do with it and its always been a dream of Norma and I to serve the public in a special way this is how we were able to do it.” The clinic treats more than 40 kids a day from throughout the county. The Desjardins aren’t the only honorees at the Chamber’s upcoming awards dinner on January 23rd. Virginia Joles will be honored as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for her longstanding service to the community and participation in county efforts like Rotary International, United Way of Aroostook, the Wintergreen Arts Center and Leaders Encouraging Aroostook Development. AND McCain Foods USA will be honored as the Business of the Year. In launching this clinic the Desjardins simply wanted to fill a need by helping county kids develop good dental habits. But the project has now GOTTEN TEETH and has developed ROOTS in this community. “Its amazing how much work is out there and how much work still needs to get done,” says Paul.  And while they say they’re humbled to be honored, the Desjardins says they were only doing what is right, as dentists…as parents…and as good citizens. Which is probably why they were chosen as Citizens of the Year and why the future of this children’s clinic is wide open…or rather OPEN WIDE.

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