Local remodeling contractor Orrin Fitzgerald is wicked excited.

Orrin Fitzgerald, 58, of Canaan, is the winner of the Canaan Farmers Hall land raffle held Sunday to raise money for a chair lift elevator at the former Grange hall on Main Street.

“I’m excited, absolutely — I’m very happy to win that,” said Fitzgerald, who with his brother Wyatt is renovating the second floor of the Children’s Cottage in downtown Skowhegan. “It was disbelief — really? Maybe this was meant to be, so yep — awesome.”

Raffle tickets were $100 each and there were only 200 of them, 175 of which were sold, according to Farmers Hall board member Louise Townsend. She said the proceeds will be added to $15,000 raised at the annual Town Meeting. Sunday’s raffle will now allow the board to install the elevator at a cost of about $35,000, Townsend said.

Fitzgerald said he bought two tickets — one for himself and one for his wife, Shelley — the first night they went on sale.

“I thought my odds would be zero of winning,” he said. “One in 200? Not good odds. I said whoever is going to win it, good for them. It’s for a good cause.”


The plot is 1.28 acres of land on Hinckley Road.

The land, listed as a house lot, has a drilled well, a driveway, a septic system that needs some upgrade and frontage on Carrabassett Stream and Route 23. The property was donated to the Farmers Hall by town residents Bill and Louise Townsend. It is next to the new Canaan Public Library, which is on land also donated by the Townsends. The library is expected to open next month.

Board President Kathy Perelka said a real estate appraisal of the property valued it at $19,000. The town of Canaan appraised the lot at $15,000.

Fitzgerald grew up in Canaan and graduated from Skowhegan Area High School before moving out west to work at age 20. He returned to town 10 years ago. He and his wife have two children and six grandchildren.

Fitzgerald said he was not present when the winning ticket was plucked from a large beach ball by 18-month-old Amelia Brown of Canaan. He got a call from Perelka saying he was the winner.

Karen Dhuy, Amelia’s mother, said the Farmers Hall board wanted a small child to do the honors of selecting the winning ticket. She said she thinks she knows why her little girl was chosen.


“Because she’s just so cute,” she said. “That would be my guess.”

Fitzgerald said he doesn’t know what he wants to do with the plot of land. He might like to build a house and later sell it, but time will tell, he said.

“It still hasn’t sunk in that I won it,” he said. “I don’t want to sell my house, so if I build a house on that land it would be like a spec house to build and then sell.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367


Twitter: @Doug_Harlow

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