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LEWISTON - While vacationing this past winter, local businessman Richard "Dick" Courtemanche came up with a fantastic idea to help out local non-profits and offer the people of Lewiston-Auburn a unique entertainment experience. Upon his return home, Courtemanche formed a committee to plan what is "Dance Party Under the Stars" - an evening of music, food, historical views and fun on the top floor of the parking garage at the corner of Lincoln and Main streets. The event will take place on Saturday, August 13 from 7-11 p.m. with proceeds to benefit Museum L-A and the Franco-American Heritage Center (FAHC).

As guests enjoy the view of the Great Falls and the Androscoggin River, they will dance to a blend of live and recorded entertainment with Nick Knowlton and a special guest appearance by the L/A Lads with their Beatle medleys. There will be hors d'oeuvres and scrumptious desserts from the Green Ladle as well as a cash bar from Franco American Heritage Center. "It will be an evening to remember," notes Courtemanche, who attended a similar function in Florida. "I have been looking for a way for Modern Woodmen to give back to the community and this is our way to say 'Thank You" to everyone."

It is expected to be a boon for businesses in the area that night as party-goers are encouraged to have dinner in their favorite local eateries before heading over to the event for fancy desserts, dance and fun. "This is going to be a win-win for everyone," notes Courtemanche. "It's going to be a great night for L-A."

Plans for the event have been taking shape over the past months. "This is a great new idea. It is not only exciting but encouraging to have a local business believe in us enough to help things happen" said Rachel Desgrosseilliers, event coordinator and Museum L-A's executive director. "A fun dance event on the top floor of a parking garage is quite unusual, but it probably is something our ancestors would have loved. We look forward to seeing everyone - "Up on the Roof"!

"The Franco-American Heritage Center is grateful to Modern Woodmen of America for having been designated as one of the recipients of the proceeds of this great fundraiser, said Rita Dube, the FAHC's executive director. "Working alongside Museum L-A is a good way to celebrate the success of the two organizations while bringing people together for a memorable and fun filled evening. We hope to have many people attend and to make this a yearly event."

Members of the committee are: Courtemanche of Modern Woodmen of America, Desgrosseilliers, Susan Beane, Gina Catterson, and Kevin Callahan of Museum L-A; Dube, Richard Martin, and Edmond Gay of the Franco-American Heritage Center; and Knowlton of GSM Group Inc./The Music Connection.

The event is for adults 21 and over. Tickets are $20 per person in advance and $25 at the door. Sponsored tables of eight with special benefits may be purchased for $300. Tickets go on sale July 12. They may be purchased at Modern Woodman of America, 184 Webster Street, 207-782-1833; Museum L-A, 35 Canal Street, 207-333-3881,; or the Franco-American Heritage Center, 46 Cedar Street, 207-783-1585,