BETHEL – US Sen. Susan Collins was the featured speaker at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner Feb. 28 at the Bethel Inn Conference Center.

In her remarks to the more than 150 in attendance, Collins reviewed the last four years as a challenging time for the nation, but cited progress on a number of fronts, including health care, education and tax reform.

She urged all Republicans to work as a team to change the cast of players in Augusta. She praised the county for the good attendance and the strong presence of young people in the audience.

Following her address, State Committeeman Stan Howe, who introduced the senator, presented her on behalf of the county committee with a copy of “The Pynelis Journals,” a book about life in Andover, an Oxford County town, which along with Gilead is celebrating its bicentenary in 2004.

Prior to Collins’ speech, County Chairman Paul Billings introduced the Oxford County Republican office holders: Sen. Richard Bennett of Norway and Rep. Arlan Jodrey, Rep. Sawin Millett, Rep. Kevin Muse, Rep. Richard Sykes, Rep. Ted Heidrich and Rep. Randy Hotham as well as county office holders, Commissioners Jim Carey and Steve Merrill, Sheriff Skip Herrick and Register of Probate Tom Winsor.

Billings also introduced officers of the County Committee: Vice chairs Joan Putnam of Woodstock and Kathleen Rhoten of Oxford; secretary, Barbara Robinson of Paris; treasurer, Louanne Cameron of Rumford; State Committeewoman Becky Kendall of Bethel and State Committeeman, Stan Howe of Bethel.

The pledge of allegiance was led by David Heidrich Jr., a junior at Oxford Hills High School followed by an invocation by the Rev. Earl Bell. An auction and raffle completed the evening with many items donated to assist the party in its fund-raising.

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