PHILLIPS – The first ever Phillips/Avon/Madrid Trade Show, held at the Phillips Area Community Center (PACC) last weekend attracted over 100 guests and at least 35 exhibitors, including local tradesmen, artists, crafters, and community organizations. “The Old Gym” on Depot Street was “PACC-ed” from wall to wall. The beautiful, early spring weather made the perfect day for folks to shake off the winter doldrums and get out and about.
The Trade Show was sponsored by the Phillips Area Community Center (PACC), the Phillips Public Library, the Phillips and Madrid Historical societies, and the Sandy River Railroad, with the objective of showcasing the many and varied offerings of the three towns. All exhibitors are residents of one or the other of these towns, which joined forces to make the event possible.
Exhibitors provided flyers, business cards, and/or demonstrations of what their businesses or groups have to offer. All were happy to answer questions and talk about their various endeavors. The show was open to the public and free to attend.
As Winona Davenport, one of the key organizers of the show predicted, the outcome was declared “an incredible success.” So much so that talk has already started among PACC members and other participants regarding the likelihood of making it an annual event.
“I was delighted with the turnout,” Davenport said, “and it couldn’t have been a better day for it.”
“Quite a crowd,” Bruce Godin, PACC board member, agreed.
Winona also thanked one and all of those attending for their contributions that made the event such a success. She especially recognized the efforts of Ginni Robie of Madrid for her assistance in reaching out to individuals, businesses, and organizations in Madrid, for making placards for participants, and for collecting business cards.
“She deserves a lot of credit,” Davenport said, appreciatively.
During the last half hour or so of the show, names were drawn for the 10 prizes donated for the lucky winners of the word search game. A packet of five word search games could be obtained in the weeks ahead of the show to be completed at one’s leisure. To make it more interesting, participants could then return their forms, along with $5, for entry in the drawing.
Winners were as follows: 1st prize, $50 cash, MJ Stinchfield III; 2nd, $50 gift certificate to Black Acres Farm, Wilton, Johanna Roy; gift certificate to Pleasant Street Popovers, Emma Jane Andrews; small black bear wooden ornament by Rodney Richard, Jr, Lisa Haines; painting of Mt. Katahdin, Ginni Robie; gift certificate to Sandy River Gardens, Jeannie Conroy; copy of Phillips Through My Eyes by Winona Davenport, Josey Arms; gift certificate to the Phillips Public Library Thrift Shop, Jeff Marcotte; big bear carving by Rodney Richard, Jr., Edmund Bachelor; large picnic umbrella, Lynn Carlton.
Other prizes were also awarded from raffles held by several of the exhibitors.
Robin Bachelder from Rangeley won a carving of a mother bear and her two cubs. Proceeds from this raffle are earmarked for the town’s Christmas lights. Diana McCall took home the moose quilt from the Reeds’ Mills Sewing Circle. This project will benefit the Reeds Mill Church in Madrid. McCall also won an autographed copy of the book, Who Needs Men, I’ve Got Cats, written by local author BJ Bangs and professionally illustrated by Imashi Opatha.
Finally, Martha Sylvester won the Spring is Here Basket from the Phillips Chamber of Commerce.
Proceeds from the show and the word search raffle will be divided equally among the five organizations that joined forces to stage the event: The Phillips Public Library, The Phillips Historical Society, The Madrid Historical Society, The Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad, and the Phillips Area Community Center.
Given the success of this year’s event and its likely return next year, consensus has it that anyone interested “better sign up early.”