By Joshua Beckett, Contributing Writer
Purington Hall will be welcoming UMF Dining Hall worker Eloise Wallace to the building for a reading of “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.” This program, which is being held on February 16 at 6 p.m. by Community Assistant Ana Drew, will also include freshly baked cookies.
“It will be a different audience,” said Wallace, “but I’m looking forward to it.” Wallace is a retired teacher of 37 years who spent most of her time in Western Maine. She taught at Mallett School, Sweatt-Winter, Wilton Academy, and Gorham Head Start.” I knew nothing about her background, said Ana Drew who is hosting the event, “I asked around and others knew more about her.”
Eloise graduated 50 years ago from what was at the time called Farmington State College. Almost everyone in her family has graduated from UMF and she hopes that the tradition continues. Wallace worked in the dining hall that used to be located in Mallett Hall before she came to college. “I’m working on my 14th year in this dining hall,” said Wallace, “and I still like it.”
Wallace has been preparing for this program by reciting the book during her shift. “She knows the book by heart,” said Drew.
As a first semester CA, this will be the second program that Drew’s put on for the residents in her building. “I was just trying to think of programs that would get a lot of people to go,” said Drew, “and everyone loves Eloise.”
CAs and people in other buildings have already been gearing up for the event and have spread the word. Michaela Zelie, a CA in Mallett Hall, said she has already been telling everyone in her building about the event. They’re all so excited, said Zelie, “ it’s a fresh idea and who doesn’t love free chocolate chip cookies.” CAs in other buildings have also thought about the idea of stealing Wallace for a program.
“I’m hoping that this will get residents in Purington to come to my programs,” said Drew, “ so that more people can give me ideas on what to do next.” Drew still has at least three programs to organize for the semester and has thought about inviting Wallace over for more events. Drew also suggested the idea of maybe a new interactive Clue game.
Drew is hoping that twice as many people will attend this program compared to her previous one. “I want this to be the program that people talk about,” said Drew. Drew is planning on advertising for this program all across campus in all the residence halls, Mantor Library, and the Olsen Student Center.
Drew is hoping to plan an event with Wallace in a public venue such as the Landing so that members of the community can also attend. “She’s such a cutie pie,” said Drew.