GRAY — The executive director of the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum, Donnell Carroll, was recently honored by his hometown of Gray with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the town’s annual appreciation dinner in December.

Town Manager Deb Cabana called the long-time resident’s ability to give the Town of Gray a voice, both in Augusta and a local level, “invaluable,” adding, “Your gift of time, energy and enthusiastic support has helped our town thrive.”

A town councilor and longtime friend of Carroll, Lewis Mancini presented the award stating, “Donnie has always been there for the town. He is a shining example of a son, brother and husband, but to the people of Gray he has been a friend, and a true friend, for many years.”

Carroll has served in many capacities within the community over the decades. He has been a moderator for town and school board meetings, chaired the community and economic development committees, coached youth sports, assisted in the review and hiring process for town mangers and fire chiefs, spent over 10 years as a volunteer EMT and is presently active with the Gray Historical Society.

“It is truly a humbling experience to be selected for this award,” said Carroll, who continued on a serious note crediting his parents for instilling him with the drive to give back to the community. “My dad and mom led by example, they were always doing for others, giving back. I ask all of you tonight to keep giving. When I campaigned for office it was with the slogan, ‘when you care, we can make a difference.’ I live that daily.”

Carroll has served as the executive director of the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum since October 2013. The organization is currently raising funds to build a new museum and relocate their historic railroad operation to Gray.

Founded in 1992, the nonprofit museum’s mission is to educate the public and preserve historic equipment related to Maine’s two-foot gauge railways. Five two-foot gauge railroads operated in the state from the 1870s through the 1940s, serving as an important part of the economic development of the interior of Maine.

The museum has become an important visitor attraction for the greater Portland area, drawing over 33,000 visitors annually to experience this remarkable piece of history unique to the state of Maine. The museum is open May through October and seasonally for events. The railroad is at 58 Fore St., Portland, on the waterfront. More information can be found at or by calling 207-828-0814.

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