RANGELEY – Veterans of all ages marched in Sunday’s Memorial Day parade to represent American Legion Post No. 120.
While the group’s numbers and those of the Legion Auxiliary have begun to dwindle in recent years, there’s been a resurgence of interest recently, says 60-year Rangeley auxiliary member Louise Doak.
“My husband was a veteran and it seemed the thing to do,” she said of joining back in the 1940s.
She has been active within the organization, holding the office of chaplain for a number of years, as well as president, sergeant at arms and now treasurer.
“As long as they’ve kept going, I’ve kept going,” she adds. “There were so many of us that were so old, and many passed away. But now we have a young president, Mary Hembrow, and she’s ambitious.”
At age 40, Margaret White is already a 20-year member of the auxiliary. She joined as a young woman because of her father, a veteran of the Korean War. She’s remained active, she says, “because we try to help a lot of people, we do community things and just because I should.”
Her 15-year-old daughters, now junior members, will be the future of the auxiliary.
Along with the parade on Sunday, Rangeley celebrated Memorial Day with the Moose Run Road Race, a fundraiser to help pay for the high school girls basketball team to go to summer camp. Runners competed in the 3.5 mile or 5.2 mile distances, racing on dirt and pavement, and up and down hills.
Pam Martin of Gray finished first for the women in the longer distance with a time of 47 minutes, 7 seconds. She just beat her friend Betty Disanza of Limington by 40 seconds. Disanza, who owns a home in Rangeley, is an avid runner and has raced in several 5Ks and marathons. Having competed in the Moose Run eight times herself, she convinced Martin to give it a try.
“It’s a fun, small-town race,” Disanza said.
Martin didn’t have much to compare it to since this was only her second race, her first being the White Mountain Milers Half Marathon last weekend.
“It’s hilly,” she said, adding that she’s looking forward to more races. “I’m going to follow Betty.”
Maureen Allen was third with a time of 52:34.
In the men’s 5.2 mile run, David Tucker finished first with a time of 33:15, Reggie Hammond second (34:45), and Jon Connally third (35:11).
Allie Hammond of Rangeley was first for both women and those younger than 18 in the 3.5 mile distance. She finished with a time of 31:39, followed by Jane Austin in 32:34 and Nancy Zambrasky in 34:01.
Another Rangeley student, seventh-grader Aiden Grennen finished in the top three for the men’s 3.5 mile race. This was the longest distance he had ever run.
“I wanted to see if I could do it,” he said, adding that he had his doubts that he could finish at the 3-mile marker. “But once I got back on (Main Street), I knew I was close and I told myself I could do it.” His time of 37:32 earned him third place. Connor Cusliman was first with a time of 24:19, and James Early finished in 36:57 for second.
Walkers in the 3.5 mile were also awarded prizes. Dawna Parshley was first, followed by a tie of Marisa Hutchinson and Margie Jamison.