AUBURN – Quitters became winners again this year at the fifth annual Quit and Win celebration when more than 90 participants and their helpers gathered at the Hilton Garden Inn to celebrate their success in becoming tobacco-free.

Quitter Shannon Cole said, “I am 51 days smoke-free today! I can breathe easier and I feel like a new person. I certainly wish I’d quit sooner. Thank you for all your support and encouragement; I couldn’t have done it without you.”

As individuals entered the room, they saw a large table full of prizes donated by local businesses. Volunteers entered their names in the drawings to win up to $500. They mingled with others who had gone through the same process.

The program started with a welcome from Tina Harnett, Healthy Androscoggin director. She congratulated the participants and encouraged them to continue with their new healthy lifestyle. She also thanked helpers for their support.

Naomi Williams, a 2002 quitter, talked of her challenges in quitting after smoking up to three packs a day. Sen. Neria Douglass shared her story and congratulations to the participants.

More than $1,000 in cash prizes were awarded as follows: Bernard Blais, $500; Jeannie Rowe, $250; helpers, Martin Krauter, $100, and Anna Walker, $50. Blais said, “I’ve tried to quit smoking three or four times. I joined Quit and Win last year but couldn’t come to the celebration because I wasn’t able to quit. You just have to keep trying and I’m a good example of that.”

For information on quitting, call Healthy Androscoggin at 795-5990 or visit the Web at

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