The Maine Youth Fish & Game Association lost a true friend in October when Tom Thornton passed away after a long battle with cancer.
According to Travis Roy, the MYFGA’s vice president, the club will continue to pay tribute to the community leader in the years to come.
“I can’t do justice explaining what Tom Thornton meant to the community,” Roy said in an email. “He was very involved in seeing that this community was cared for, and here was an outdoorsman with many, many stories to tell about being ‘upta camp.’ He was an active Old Town Rotary [Club] member who was key to many projects that were completed in this community.”
It is fitting, then, that craftsman Bill Mackowski of Milford has come up with a way to make sure people don’t forget about his longtime friend and neighbor.
According to Roy, Mackowski, who makes top-notch creels and pack baskets, has decided — with the Thornton family’s blessing — to donate one limited edition “Upta Camp” pack basket to the club each year. The club, in turn, will auction that basket off during its regular fund-raising events.
The first basket will go up for grabs on Saturday night during the MYFGA’s annual banquet and auction, which will be held at the Old Town Elks Lodge. Doors open at 4:30 p.m., dinner will be served at 5 and the auction will follow.
Roy said there may be other auction items that carry a higher price tag, but none will be as special as the Mackowski-made pack basket, and he hopes attendees bid accordingly.
“I want to make sure I am clear that the single biggest thing in this auction will be the Thornton pack basket, and we really want to honor the man that it represents,” Roy wrote.