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"Girl Rising" nearly a sellout at Medallion Opera House

Denise Vallee organized a collaborative effort to bring the film, "Girl Rising," to the Androscoggin Valley on Thursday night with a single showing at the Medallion Opera House in Gorham. Photo by Edith Tucker. (click for larger version)
October 16, 2013
GORHAM — Nearly every seat was filled on Thursday night at the Medallion Opera House when the acclaimed film "Girl Rising" was shown. One hundred and eighty-eight were on hand out of a possible 220, explained Denise Vallee, the evening's coordinator and master of ceremonies.

"It was a real thrill for me and the members of the Medallion Opera House Committee to host the screening of 'Girl Rising' and to have such a diverse crowd in attendance," Vallee said in an e-mail exchange. "There were girls and boys of Middle School age through men and women in their eighties. The incredible community-wide support for this event made it possible for students to attend free of charge and for everyone to enjoy delicious food that was native to the countries of the girls who were featured in the film: Cambodia, Haiti, Nepal, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Senegal and Peru.

"When the renovation of the Medallion Opera House was undertaken, this was exactly the type of event that we envisioned holding in our beautiful theater!" Vallee pointed out.

Thanks to three key sponsors — Liz Jackson of Libby's Bistro, Top Furniture, Inc. and Mountain Tire Corporation — a reception with delicious food was held in the Opera House during the hour preceding the film.

Sponsors also donated tickets so that middle-high school students could attend and donated supplies used at the reception: ProQuip, Mr. Pizza, Mountain Tire Corporation, Top Furniture, White Mountain Café, Judy LeBlanc, Gorham Booster Club and McDonald's Restaurant.

Four girls from the National Junior Honor Society also helped serve: Natalie Harmon, Autumn Brown, Emma Schoenbeck and Lauren Gralenski.

"Seventeen Magazine" reviewed the documentary-style film: "The movie tells the stories of nine girls from different parts of the world who face arranged marriages, child slavery, and other heartbreaking injustices. Despite these obstacles, the brave girls offer hope and inspiration. By getting an education, they're able to break barriers and create change."

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