By Diana Bowley of the Bangor Daily News: DEXTER - A local woman is focusing her energy on something positive in the wake of her fatherís unexpected death last month.
While Mandee Brown is mourning the loss of her father, Jimmy Gudroe, who was Dexterís fire chief, she also is working to refurbish a community playground in his memory.
"My dad loved kids. He never missed a fire prevention week," Brown said Thursday. So it seemed only fitting to Brown that she enlist some help and work to raise money to replace the Dexter Community Playground equipment on Crosby Street with a firetruck and other assorted playground equipment. Her goal would be to have the playground renamed the Jimmy Gudroe Memorial Playground.
Brown met with the Dexter Town Council earlier this month to announce the project.
Gudroe had previously served with the Garland Fire Department for five years before he joined the Dexter Fire Department, where he served for 16 years, the latter two as chief.
Since she made the decision to raise the money, Brown said, she has received a "huge amount" of support. Some people have offered to hold benefit suppers and dances while others have donated money for the playground project, she said.
"We know already that the existing wooden playground needs to be disposed of; itís reached its maximum life," Brown said. She plans to meet with a playground consultant to discuss some ideas and to get cost estimates. She knows for sure, however, that she would like to have a firetruck among the playground offerings. "I thought it would be very appropriate since he was the chief," she said.
A committee is being formed for the project, according to Brown. She said donations for the playground project may be mailed to her at 21 Crosby St., Dexter 04930 or to the Dexter town office. A note should be included that says the money is for the playground.
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