Farewell Message from Executive Director Jeanne Roche

To all of our generous supporters;

Jeanne Roche, retiring Executive Director

In the past 5 years that I have had the wonderful opportunity to come back into this beautiful community, it has truly renewed and deepened my interest and passion for the preservation of the environment and all that this awe inspiring path means to everyone who visits.

While working during my tenure as Ogunquit’s Park and Recreation Director, one of the many different hats that I wore was the person that people spoke with about their interest in purchasing a bench to primarily honor/remember a loved one.   When the Select Board and community voted to discontinue the program 25+ years ago, at that time I had sold 75 benches within the community and had established the Ogunquit Memorial Bench program.    The town committed to perpetual maintenance of all of the existing benches.

When I read of Paul Breen’s and others’ work to establish the MWPF, I was keenly interested but watched from a distance.  I had met Paul and his wife when they had purchased one of only 4 benches that were left on the Marginal Way.  When I saw the E.D. position with the organization was once again open, this time I applied.

I am proud of the fact that I have sold in the vicinity of 65 plaques in the past 5 years.  From the people who simply materialized in my office after walking the Marginal Way, to the phone calls from people from every state in the union (and Canada) to inquire about the purchase of a plaque for a loved one who felt passionately about the Marginal Way, every inquiry speaks to my heart and soul.  It has been an honor and a privilege to work with these families to make their plaques a reality for them.  Some I see frequently when they stop by to say hello when they’re in town, and some I don’t end up ever meeting at all.   Some have never been here but know of the love that their loved one had for the path. Every story they share is unique and special.

I have had some wonderful opportunities to reconnect with former colleagues within the Town of Ogunquit, old friends and business owners and to meet many, many new faces.  Patriot’s Weekend, Ogunquitfest in October and Christmas by the Sea have always been great events to meet and greet our business community members, along with meeting new and yearly visitors.

Although I am using the word “retirement”, as the reason that I am leaving the full-time position Marginal Way Preservation Fund, I know that I will still probably seek out something to keep me out and about!   I feel like I still have energy to invest and look forward to a new “part-time” adventure.

Covid-19 makes goodbyes bittersweet with the inability to do it in person with so many folks in the community who have graciously assisted me in so many ways during my tenure.   Please know that I thank you all for your time, your friendship, the laughs and the understanding.  I look forward to still seeing you all when I am walking the Marginal Way or when I am socializing with friends and family within the community.

Yours;

Retiring Executive Director