There’s no place like home for meeting friends, having fun and raising money for worthy causes
This year’s annual MBTA Fall Convention was a little closer to home for many members. The three-day event was held September 14-16 in South Portland at the Portland Marriott Hotel and offered an action packed schedule, talk about transportation and some serious fundraising for the organization’s favorite causes: transportation infrastructure, public awareness and scholarships.
The convention also departed from the conventional format and instead followed a new, come-as-you can format. That meant members were free to pick and choose from a wide array of weekend events, as well as whether or not to stay overnight at the hotel. For many MBTA members and their families, the format was a welcome and affordable change that gave them more flexibility to participate as work and family obligations allowed.
One of the big hits of the weekend was an afternoon reception on the bay aboard the Casco Bay Lines. The two-hour cruise took place under gorgeous fall skies and was just the ticket for conventioneers of all ages to relax and get down to the business of socializing with friends, family and colleagues. The cruise featured the MBTA’s first-ever floating cribbage tournament. Intrepid card players took over the lower deck of the Bay Mist completing the elimination tournament on the high seas and with lots of spectators stopping by to check on the action.
“There was a fair amount of trepidation whether this new type of event would work or not,” said MBTA First Vice President Tom Gorrill, who served as the Convention Committee chair. “For decades, we’ve held the traditional three-day fall getaway, but in the end I think almost everyone could agree this was a success.”
In all, 200 MBTA members, families and friends attended the annual affair, each participating in at least one or two events on the weekend schedule. Activities during the weekend included a lobster bake, a catered harbor cruise aboard Casco Bay Lines, an amphibious tour of Portland and its waterfront, a golf tournament at Sable Oaks Golf Club, the aforementioned floating cribbage tournament and a tour of the new Portland International Jetport terminal that qualified attendees for PDH credits.
There were also the annual Convention Raffle and Silent and Live Auctions that raised money for two causes close to the hearts of MBTA members: the MBTA Infrastructure Development Fund and the MBTA Educational Foundation. The Live Auction was held on the opening night of the convention at the Marriott. Kevin Tilton of Central Maine Auction Center presided over the spirited fundraiser during which members bid on everything from heavy equipment to NASCAR and Celtics tickets and spa treatments. On Saturday night, the Silent Auction wrapped up, with conventioneers getting in their final bids just before the evening’s entertainment by a doo wop quartet that had people taking to the dance floor.
The silent and live auctions raised more than $17,000 for the MBTA Infrastructure Development Fund. The fund helps the MBTA in its efforts to educate the public and community leaders on issues at the heart of the organization’s mission – advocating for judicious investment in transportation infrastructure as a means to promote safety, efficiency and economic development within the state of Maine.
That message was foremost on MBTA President Doug Hermann’s mind when he spoke on Saturday and urged his fellow members to help get out the vote on November 6 in support of Question #4, the $51.5 million transportation bond.
Hermann also thanked Tom Gorrill and the Convention Committee for their work planning the weekend, and the weekend’s sponsors whose generosity is so vital to the MBTA’s reach and influence throughout the state. n
Bob Brady, Bruce Brown, Shawn Frank, Mike O’Brien
Top Mixed Foursome
Mike Marriner, Sheila Marriner, Josh Boynton, Erik Wiberg
Closest to Pin
Longest Drive - Women
Longest Drive- Men
FIRST: Chris Miller, Leah Grabarz
SECOND: Blake Spiller, Josh “Grizzly” Adams
THIRD: Kevin Brayley, Conrad Welzel
FOURTH: Tim Ring, Kayla Stewart
Convention Raffle Winners
$300 L.L. Bean gift card: John Wardwell
$200 L.L. Bean gift card: Sheila Marriner
$100 L.L. Bean gift card: Roger Mallar
$50 Cash: Brent Hartley
$75 Cash: Roland Lavallee
$50 L.L. Bean Gift Card: Brad Lyon
$100 L.L. Bean Gift Card: Kevin Folkins
$100 Cash: Aboud Alzaim
$200 Cash: Emily Hermann
Grand Opening Reception Sponsor
Bay Cruise & Reception Sponsor
The Lane Construction Corporation
Events & Recreation Sponsors
Luncheon + Beverage Sponsors
Wyman & Simpson Inc.
Central Maine Auction Center
Haley & Aldrich, Inc.
Pike Industries, Inc
H.O. Bouchard, Inc.
Fay, Spofford & Thorndike
GZA Environmental, Inc.
A.H. Harris & Sons, Inc.
Bruce A. Manzer, Inc.
Portland International Jetport
The Rowley Agency, Inc.
Shaw Brothers Construction, Inc.
All States Materials Group
Berkley Surety Group
Ciment Quebec, Inc.
Down East Emulsions, LLC
R.J. Grondin & Sons, Inc.
Hanover Insurance Group
Jordan Equipment Co.
Maine Drilling & Blasting, Inc.
NITRAM Excavation & GC
Everett J. Prescott, Inc.
Sebago Technics, Inc.
Skillings-Shaw & Associates
Wellman Paving, Inc.
Willis Northern New England, Inc.