LEWISTON — La Rencontre will meet at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 10, at the Franco Center, 46 Cedar St.

The center will serve ziti with meatballs, mixed vegetables, Italian bread and vanilla cake. The cost of the meal is $7 a person. After the meal, patrons will be entertained by Don Levesque, Roger Damboise and Charlie Stewart, known as “Les Chanteurs Acadiens” (Acadian Singers).

Les Chante ureservationsr Acadiens de la Vallée Saint-Jean is comprised of the three St. John Valley natives who originate from all points of the Valley. The trio is a nonprofit, originally affiliated with the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

The group was formed from a concept by former UMFK President Barbara Leondar and initial leg work by UMFK History Professor Roger Paradis.

The members of the group are not compensated and are volunteers. “We do it because we love to sing and we love to see people smile,” said Stewart.

Charles Stewart, a founding member and a Van Buren native who resides in Fort Kent, is the unofficial leader of the group. He works for the Aroostook Agency on Aging.

Stewart sees to the group’s sound system and is also a talented musician who masters and dabbles in a variety of instruments. In addition to Les Chanteurs Acadiens, he continues to also play in Centerline, a country-rock band.

Roger Damboise, a Connors native who also resides in Fort Kent,  joined the group early on. He is a retired teacher. A vocalist, Damboise plays mainly harmonica, mandolin and guitar.

Don Levesque, a Grand Isle native who resides in St. Basile, N.B., joined the group about 10 years ago. Levesque, who plays guitar in addition to singing, is also a composer and performer.

He is the former publisher of the St. John Valley Times and is probably best known as the author of “Mon 5¢”, a weekly column that he wrote for the Valley Times from 1988 to 2012.

Doors will open at 10 a.m. La Rencontre is not restricted to French-speakers or even those of Franco descent. All are welcome.

For reservations, call 783-1585.


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