Pillars of Pride 2022

On October 1st, the Biddeford Education Foundation (BEF) held its Fifth Annual Pillars of Pride event to honor two generous community partners and longtime contributors to learning: Denise D’Entremont and Apex Youth Connection. The dinner and silent auction raised over $12,500 for the Foundation, which provides resources outside the school budget to enhance learning opportunities, assists students in need of food, clothing, and shelter, and supports teacher mini-grants to maximize opportunities for students Pre-K through Grade 12.  

“Together, Denise and the staff at Apex Youth Connection have made a significant impact on the youth throughout Biddeford,” stated Superintendent Jeremy Ray.  “Denise has been a one-of-a-kind champion for students while Apex Youth Connection mentored and expanded their growth through engaging programs.  Denise and Apex are a reflection on the Foundation’s goals - to maximize opportunities for our students in Biddeford - and we are fortunate to have these pillars in our community.”

Denise D’Entremont began her career in Biddeford in 1973 as a special education teacher, eventually becoming a guidance counselor. She emphasizes the value of stability, positive coping skills, and mental health support in the relationship to a student’s academic success. D’Entremont served the Biddeford School District as an educator for 40 years, the Biddeford Education Foundation Board of Directors for four years, and continues to serve on special projects supporting district staff so they can better meet the needs of students. 

Apex Youth Connection was the first organization to be recognized as a Pillar by the Foundation. As a partner with the Biddeford School District for over ten years, Apex Youth Connection provides afterschool service-learning programs for middle school students,  community-based learning opportunities for high school students, and supports at-risk students to help ensure a level of stability they may lack in their daily lives.  Most recently, the two organizations have collaborated to develop a grant-funded position that assists students who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and directly connects families with critical resources to remain in their community.

This event is made possible thanks to the following: Platinum Sponsors - Biddeford Savings Bank, Jim Godbout Plumbing & Heating, Saco Biddeford Savings Institution, and Paquin & Carroll Insurance; Silver Sponsors -  Atlantic Federal Credit Union, Bangor Savings Bank, Biddeford Saco Rotary Club, Camden National Bank, FMI-A Spirt AeroSystems Company, and TruChoice Federal Credit Union; and Silent Auction Sponsors - Rousseau Insurance Agency, and Saco Valley Credit Union.  

The silent auction was a success thanks to the following auction item donors: Biddeford High School Athletics, Biddeford Saco Country Club, Blaze Brewing Company, Brady Screenprint & Embroidery, City Theater, Cowbell, Deja Vu Salon & Spa, Dizzy Birds Rotisserie, Elements, Forever Fit, Funtown Splashtown USA, George’s Italian Sandwich Shop, Gloss Hair Parlor, Gorham Bike & Ski, Impact Fitness, Jackrabbit Cafe, Jeremy Ray, Kennebunk Resort Collection, Klassically Kute Designs, Maine Juicery, Maine Mariners, Marden’s Surplus & Salvage (Biddeford), Maureen Grandmaison Photography, Mill Studio Arts, Mulligans, Nibblesford Cheese Shop, Otto’s Pizza (Saco), Palace Diner, Pepperell Provisions, Portland Glass (Biddeford), Portland Pie Restaurant (Biddeford), Pyramid Hotel Group (Boston), River’s Edge Salon & Spa, Round Turn Distilling, Saco Bay Tackle, Sea Salt Lobster, Sherwin-Williams (Biddeford), Spike Dog Grooming and Boutique, Teguis Orthodontics, Trillium, University of New England Athletics, and Vic & Whit’s Sandwich & Wine Shop.

For more information about the Biddeford Education Foundation, visit the Biddeford School Department’s website and click on the Giving Tab or call Shelley Kane at 207-391-6885.


 PHOTO CAPTION: The Biddeford Education Foundation honored two generous community partners and longtime contributors to learning at its Fifth Annual Pillars of Pride event on October 1, 2022.  Pictured left to right are Melissa Cilley of Apex Youth Connection, Superintendent Jeremy Ray of Biddeford School Department, and Denise D'Entremont.