As the coronavirus pandemic continues people in Aroostook County have been finding ways to support high school seniors during this trying time. One local business joined forces with acclaimed Broadway actor, and Presque Isle native, John Cariani to show some love to all of the students of the County. Daveson Perez has the story.
What started out as a play has now become a book and now that book is helping to bring comfort to students across the County.
The play “Almost, Maine” was released in novel form on March 31st. The author, tony award nominated thespian and playwright John Cariani spoke with me about the book this afternoon.
John Cariani SOT: “Almost, Maine tells the story, they’re love stories but all the people in Almost, Maine are people that I grew up with...you don’t see a lot of people who labor for a living in love stories and I was interested in making stories for regular people who work for a living who really work for a living.”
Right now at the offices of the Baressi Benefits Group you will find copies of Almost, Maine displayed in the front. These books are free to all graduating seniors in Aroostook County high schools.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Scott Violet, financial services representative and partner at Baressi, was searching for something he could do for the seniors. This idea was inspired by his daughter.
Scott Violette SOT: “Recently, John Cariani who is a family friend of mine released this book based on his play and my daughter was reading it and I thought you know that’d be kind of cool.It’s got a connection to Aroostook County, it takes place in Aroostook County. So I said why don’t we see if we can do this.”
John and Scott have known each other for a quite a while.
Scott was best friends with John’s older brother. The two families would spend christmas’ together. They both have a message for the students of Aroostook County.
Scott SOT: “Please come in we’d love to see you come grab a book and enjoy this time of your life even though it’s been sort of taken off track a little bit and things will get better.”
Cariani SOT: “If the graduating seniors choose to go away and live their life far away from northern maine...I told Scott...I hope the book reminds them of the great place they grew up and if their hopes and dreams keep them in Aroostook County I hope the book reinforces why they stayed.”
Daveson Perez Newsource 8