DIXFIELD – Swasey-Torrey Unit 100 of the American Legion will host a supper from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, to honor resident Jon Holmes for his help to the community.

The supper will be spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, dessert, tea and coffee. The cost is $5 per person.

Finance officer Ed Ellis said the legion is attempting to recognize “certain people from the town of Dixfield that do a lot for the community at large. My hope is that we can have a supper once a month and celebrate these people that do so much for us.”

Holmes said Thursday that he is “very humbled and very pleased with the Legion recognizing him for the award.

I heard that the Legion was going to be honoring me, and I didn’t even know what to say,” he said. “We’ve always had a really good relationship. When I used to run Holmes’ Market, I would let them use my parking lot, and they were pretty good about keeping everything in good shape.”

He said, “There was a time when the Legion was in rough shape, and when they would try to pay me money to use the lot, I would let the rent slide,” Holmes said. “They’ve just been nothing but good to me.”

For more than 30 years, Holmes has been involved in nearly everything that Dixfield has to offer, whether it’s as Poodunck Snowmobile Club president or chairman for the Alumni Association.

Holmes said that of all the things he has done for the community, the one he is most proud of is helping Rumford resident Bob McPhee visit sports games.

McPhee, a local sports writer and recipient of the the Medal of Courage award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, suffered a brain stem injury when he was in high school. It left him in a wheelchair without a voice, no use of his legs and limited mobility of his fingers and upper body.

Holmes said that he is one of many volunteers who take McPhee to high school games so he can write about them.

I’m not the only guy that does it, but when I bring him, I can’t help but marvel at his strength,” Holmes said. “It feels good to be helping him, and he’s an incredible writer too. He does a great job.”

Holmes said he has had to face some struggles, too. In the early 2000s, he was  diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease.

It’s been a struggle,” Holmes admitted. “It got to the point where I couldn’t work anymore and I had to sell my store.”

Despite his illness, Holmes has continued to work with the community however he can.

I still write grants for the snowmobile club,” he said. “Sometimes, I answer phones at Knight’s Auto Sales. I’ve been trying to stay busy as much as I can.”

In fact, Holmes said that the only thing he has never been involved in with the community is “politics,” though he is fine with that.

I don’t think I could do politics,” he said with a laugh. “I’m proud of what I’ve done.”

Any additional money raised from the dinner, after the cost of the food, will go towards the charity of Holmes’ choice.

Though he remains  humbled, Holmes admitted to being proud to receive the award.

It’s always nice to hear people you know recognizing you while you’re still around to hear it,” Holmes said.

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