Even though the annual Damariscotta Mills Alewife Festival was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the quilt raffle was not. At the Alewife Festival Quilt Raffle drawing on Labor Day, Christine Ruffley was the lucky winner. In front of a small crowd of 11 cheering onlookers her ticket number 253 was drawn from the bag by Mary Chase, according to a news release from the Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Committee.

Christine Ruffley holds her prize up in the workshop of Betty Lu Brydges. Photo courtesy of Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Committee

On learning that she was the winner Ruffley’s reaction was, “I am absolutely speechless! Well that’s not true. I just ran around the house screaming. I love the quilt so very much!” Ruffley lives in Massachusetts and spends part of her summers in Damariscotta Mills. She hopes to soon become a full-time Maine resident.

The Fish Ladder Restoration Committee thanks the 79 quilt raffle participants who bought 589 tickets and thereby raised a net $2,390. At the current time, fundraising efforts are focused on “Bridging the Gap”: the repair and upgrade of the viewing bridge that has supported many Fish Ladder onlookers since its construction in the 1920s.

The Alewife Festival Raffle Quilt. Photo courtesy of the Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Committee

The Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration initiative is a grass-roots, community-based project run by volunteers. Donations of any size help make this project possible. those who find it exciting to really make a difference — continuing to bring back the river and lake’s alewife population and helping the wildlife that depend on them as well as preserving and enhancing a place for up-close viewing of that wildlife — please consider helping. Every dollar that is donated goes directly to project costs.

For more information, visit damariscottamills.org.

filed under: