The official lighting of the Community Tree in Presque Isle, located in front of Machias Savings Bank, took place on Friday evening, December 2, as part of the Lights of Life effort now underway by The Aroostook Medical Center.


This marks the ninth year that TAMC is holding a Lights of Life event to raise funds to support treatment for patients of TAMC’s Aroostook Cancer Care Center, the only comprehensive cancer treatment center in northern Maine. In a new collaboration this year, TAMC partnered with Machias Savings Bank to incorporate their new community tree as the Lights of Life tree as well.

Representatives from Machias Savings Bank and TAMC were both a part of the tree lighting ceremony as about 50 community members gathered to celebrate the occasion.  TAMC President Greg LaFrancois announced during the ceremony that this year’s star was being dedicated in memory of Ruel Flannery, a well-known and well-loved member of the Fort Fairfield community.

Flannery passed away in August of this year, but is remembered not only as a potato farmer but for his enthusiastic and generous support of his community.  He spent 15 years on the town council and held season tickets for 65 years to Fort Fairfield High School basketball games. He received the town’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 in appreciation for his service, commitment and caring to his community.

Flannery’s daughter, Jill Boyd of Presque Isle, spoke during the ceremony, sharing a touching Christmas family memory and thanking the staff of Aroostook Cancer Care for their care of her father and their family.



Although the tree is lit, the Lights of Life Effort continues through the end of December. Anyone who would like to buy a light in Ruel Flannery’s memory, or in honor or memory of someone they love, may do so online at  Lights may also be purchased in person at any Clukey’s Auto Supply location or at McGillan, Inc. in Fort Fairfield. Lights are being sold for: white, $10; red, $25; green, $50; blue, $100; yellow $150; orange, $250; and purple, $500.

For more details on the Lights of Life or to purchase a light, visit or contact TAMC Foundation office at (207) 768-4250.

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