LePage was there to honor Suzanne Grover, a co-owner of Grover Gundrilling and one of the original backers of the Oxford Casino, and to congratulate Grover on being named the Oxford Hills Distinguished Citizen for 2014 by the Boy Scouts.

“Suzanne is an incredible lady,” LePage said. “No. 1, she’s a real friend.”

LePage said that over the years, Grover invested her time, money and energy in the Oxford Hills community and in the state.

He listed the many organizations she is involved with as a volunteer, including the Oxford Hills Growth Council, the Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce, the Oxford County Agricultural Society, the Oxford Hills Education Exchange and the Oxford Hills Helping Hands Food Pantry.

LePage noted that Grover is working with his wife, first lady Ann LePage, on the Travis Mills Project, which provides a recreational camp experience for severely wounded war veterans. Mills, a Maine native, is one of five surviving quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has worked to establish Camp Kennebec in Belgrade.

“If you meet these young men, it takes your breath away to be in the same room with them,” LePage said. “These are young men who have left parts of their lives in foreign lands.”

LePage said he wanted to thank Grover for all she did. “But most importantly, thank you for being Suzanne.”

Ann LePage spoke kindly of Grover and her work.

“I’ve done a few projects with Suzanne, and one thing I have learned is you do not tell this lady ‘no’ or ‘it can’t be done,'” Ann LePage said. “This community is so lucky to have her and her husband be so involved in helping others, just because it’s the right thing to do. For Paul and I, it’s an honor to call you our friend. We love you, we love what you do and, like Paul said, thank you for being you.”

A host of other speakers echoed the LePages’ sentiments, including a prerecorded video message from U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, who is leaving Congress and running to unseat LePage.

“Maine is fortunate to have a dedicated, dynamic leader like you who volunteers their time,” Michaud said. “Because of your involvement, Oxford County is a much better place in which to live and work. Thank you Suzanne for everything you’ve done for this area. The lives of so many people are far better off because of your hard work.”

Representatives for U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King also offered Grover congratulations and praise, as did state Rep. Jeff Timberlake, R-Turner.

Timberlake presented Grover with a legislative sentiment honoring her commitment to the region and the state.

About 125 people attended the event, including business leaders and town government officials from Oxford and Androscoggin counties.

In brief remarks, Grover thanked the Boy Scouts and all who came to recognize her and the work she does.

“It’s very awesome, kind of daunting and very humbling,” Grover said. “But I couldn’t have done it without all of you people who are here and have helped me many, many times. I thank you, because without all you people, nothing would have gotten done, because it takes more than just one person.”

Grover thanked her family, as well, and told a short story about growing up in a family of eight. 

“Everything is about community,” Grover said. “My mother used to say, ‘If you don’t take care of each other, nobody is going to take care of you.’ That’s the way we felt with the community and will continue to do so as long as we are able.”

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