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  • Baldacci Brother’s to host spaghetti dinner to help displaced workers and their families

    Gov. John Baldacci serving spaghetti at one of his benefit spaghetti dinners. photo by Ramona du Houx 

     By Ramona du Houx

    Former Governor John Baldacci and Former Bangor Mayor and City Councilor Joe Baldacci will host a spaghetti supper to benefit the Good Neighbor Fuel Fund at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Jay on February 20th, from 4-6pm.

    Last fall, Verso Corporation laid off 300 workers — roughly a third of the workforce — at its Androscoggin Mill in Jay. The mill is the largest employer in the area.

    “These are our neighbors. They need us all to pull together and help them and their families. We need to keep public focus on the workers and their families who need help and real leadership,” said Former Bangor Mayor Joe Baldacci.

    The Good Neighbor Tri Town Emergency Heating Fund helps assist people living in the towns of Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls, where most of the displaced workers live.  The Baldacci’s are working with Debra Kendall of The Good Neighbor non-profit.

    Tickets for the Spaghetti Dinner are on sale at Otis Credit Union (9am-4:30pm) at $10 for adults and $6 for children.

    The Baldacci brothers will be cooking the spaghetti sauce from their family’s secret recipe that became famous at Momma Baldacci’s, the former family restaurant of Bangor. The two-term governor, along with his brother will be serving the meal.

    Gov. Baldacci with his brother Joe, making spaghetti from their family's secret sauce. Photo Jeff Kirlin

    “It’s a hard time for these workers, and their families,” said Gov. John Baldacci. “Helping those in need is second nature for the people of Maine. Our dinners have become a family tradition, one where we’re proud to help out when and where we can. Maine truly is one big family.”

    This January Verso Corp. filed for bankruptcy, as part of the Corporation’s continued restructuring. With the fate of the Jay mill uncertain, the fate of 565 workers and their families hangs in the balance.

    The Androscoggin Mill opened in 1965 and operated five paper machines; working at the mill soon became a proud tradition for many generations.

    For years the Baldacci family ran an Italian restaurant in Bangor. Its last incarnation was Momma Baldacci’s and it became a meeting place known for its food, conversation, and community atmosphere. To highlight and help issues in the community and around the sate the Baldacci’s started charity spaghetti dinners. 

    John Baldacci’s as a congressman, governor and former governor has continued to hold the dinners for communities and causes in need. Former Bangor Mayor and City Councilor Joe Baldacci has taken up the torch, and started spaghetti suppers to promote the minimum wage issue last fall. Together the Baldacci brothers will host the event in Jay.