LEWISTON — A community gathering to honor retiring Executive Director Bob Rowe will be held at the Ann Geiger Center for New Beginnings, 134 College St., Lewiston.

New Beginnings moved to the refurbished, three-floor location last fall after a successful fundraising campaign that attracted help from many in the community, and a gift from Lewiston philanthropist Peter Geiger, who named the center for his late mother.

New Beginnings started in the late 1970s after social workers saw a need for teenagers who couldn’t be with their parents to have a safe place to live. New Beginnings was later established in Lewiston.

Bob Rowe was hired as executive director in 1987.

Before that he worked for several programs helping troubled youth in Maine and Massachusetts. At one point, he landed a job as a history teacher, then decided it wasn’t for him.

“I said, ‘Do I want to be a history teacher or do I want to work with difficult, troubled kids?'”


He got a job in Skowhegan at the first shelter in Maine for runaway, homeless youth.

Filling in as New Beginnings’ temporary executive director, Rowe said, will be Mary Ruchinskas, a talented Bates College graduate who has worked at New Beginnings since before Rowe was hired.

In 1987, “she interviewed me,” he said.

For more information, visit newbeginmaine.org.

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