Written by Matthew Jaroncyk
MILBRIDGE — Students across the state of Maine wore red to show support their local lobstermen and women, who face unprecedented challenges in new regulations and a recent red listing by Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Teacher and organizer Alison Wallace was overcome with how many students participated in the initiative.
“I‘m very touched by the gesture everyone has done. This hits home for me. This part of my family. This is our heritage, and I want to protect it as much as all the people who wore red today,” said Wallace.
She said the idea was a way to give back to the local lobstermen and women.
“Last Monday or Tuesday night, I was sitting down working at my desk at home and I decided to email Mrs. Lisee, and asked if our kids could wear red on a day of the week so we could support our lobstermen and women of our community because they’ve been so gracious to support our school over the years,” said Wallace.
Once brought up, Milbridge elementary principal Carol-Ann Lisee reached out to several districts in the area asking if they would participate, before idea was then brought up by a parent to the town and shared on social media.
While lobstermen Charles Kelly was thankful for the local support, he was blown away by the nationwide support.
“It’s a good feeling seeing the support. What has surprised me is some of the outside the support we’re getting. I had a family from Wisconsin send us $100 and day just use this for your cause as much as you can for the fishermen,” said Wallace.
Sixth-grade student Maci Brenton wore red to honor their families.
“It feels really good to be supporting the lobster fishermen because my father’s a lobstermen and I just want to show that support to him,” said Brenton.
Wallace said she’s doing this not for the current lobstermen and women but for those in the future.
“For me, it’s all about like my shirt says; I want to save lobster fishing for the future generation. I want to save it my son, for the students I teach, for them to have an opportunity to be out there,” said Wallace.