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|Mavis Leavitt Varney sang harmony, played the alto saxophone in the school band, told jokes and always loved to have a good time with friends and community. She was active in her community, enjoying her church, both in Turner Village in the early years, and later at the North Turner church. She and her husband, Paul, the other part of the whole, which was "Mavis and Paul," actively participated in many community projects, from helping to save the Institute Building, to supporting the creation of the Androscoggin River park, to committed church activities, as well as Paulís baseball team, and the building of baseball fields.
Mavis loved music, often attended the Gazebo in Livermore Falls, and wanted Turner to have its own musical center, like in the old days. She came up with the idea one day while driving by the Green in Turner Center, and singing in the car. She expressed her wish to have a Gazebo or Band Stand built there, in front of the Institute Building, which would provide community space to enjoy music, plays, dancing and neighbors in the lovely center of town.
In her honor the dream began to take on a possible life - first, from the donations from dear friends when she died August of 2009, and from the Turner Snowmobile club, which gave a great beginning boost. In October of 2009 the community joined her daughter Paula in the Music for Mavis project. From the beginning, Nette Leavitt was always there, along with Eva Leavitt, giving moral support, encouragement, and "keeping Paula in line." Dave Rogers joined the team, lending his sensitive and elegant hand and vision, creating the design, with the express consideration of wanting the Gazebo on the ground level to allow access from sun and rain for the seniors in the community. Kurt Youland became the overseer of the project, providing construction crew, leadership, time, and drive beyond measure to get the Gazebo finished for the 4th of July 2011. Dick Thibodeau took on the major electrical aspect of the project, acquiring major donations of supplies, and hours of work with his family. Dick provided a lot of inspiration from the heart, which united us all. Jody Goodwin was a great support with publicity, and guidance at every turn. Tom Perkins joined us with engineering expertise and guidance.
With the amazing joining together of the community, in its wide emotional reach, the contributions, and commitment of everyone, Mavisí dream came true. We have a Gazebo, where we can gather, and enjoy. Thank you to everyone from everyone.