The new ramp at the home of Carlene Gray in Poland. Rick Micklon photo

POLAND — It is done. The ramp is done.

Carlene Gray tries out the new ramp at her home in Poland. Rick Micklon photo

A few weeks ago, what a 12-year-old girl named Lily wanted more than anything in the world was a simple ramp so her ailing great-grandmother could get in and out of her house.

This week, Lily got to see her dream all the way through as a contracting team from Otisfield put the finishing touches on a ramp outside the Johnson Hill Road home of 82-year-old Carlene Gray.

Plus a few extras.

“Also replaced a storm door, exterior light, electrical box, added a gutter over her door and a couple of comfy chairs to sit and rest when she hits the platforms,” said Rick Micklon, who runs Maine Building and Development.

In April, Micklon was one of dozens of people who came forward to help when Lily Thibeault’s story went public.


Lily had been saving her weekly allowance to pay for the ramp, but by mid-April she had only managed to scrounge up $40 and some change.

Carlene Gray gets a hug from great-granddaughter Lily Thibeault, who has been saving her allowance to pay for materials to build a ramp for her Grammy’s’ home. Sun journal file photo by Andree Kehn

Not a problem. Within days of the story’s publication, so many people came forward with offers of help it was hard to keep up with who was doing what and how best to go about it.

Micklon ultimately took over the project, securing permits for the work with the town of Poland and providing the materials and labor needed to get the job done.

Micklon’s motivations for offering free work and labor was clear: Here was a chance to help an older lady who had been set back after suffering a stroke. Here was an opportunity to reward young Lily for her unselfishness.

“My motivation was to help,” Micklon said. “That’s my moral compass.”

What does Carlene think of the ramp and the liberation it provides?


“She LOVES it!” said Hope Priola, Carlene’s granddaughter and Lily’s mom. “It’s so nice to see her outside again!”

After the community rallied to help the family last month, some donation money was sent in by random people who wanted to contribute to the cause. Priola thought it only right Micklon have that money, since he had provided so much out of his own pocket.

But Micklon would not hear of it. Far as he was concerned, he had been paid plenty.

“I’m pretty psyched to see Carlene on that ramp,” he said. “That pays me in full.”

And what will Carlene do now that she can get in and out of her home at will? Well, she always liked to garden, although she cannot get down and dig like she used to. And with that in mind, the family has an idea for the money Micklon refused.

“He wouldn’t take the donations,” Priola said, “so we are going to use it to build her a raised garden.”

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