Orrington Residents Hold Spaghetti Dinner for Fire Survivor 

Members of the Orrington community are helping each other get through a tragedy.They’ve filled the cafeteria at the Center Street School to share a meal together and to support one of their own.”Tonight we’re having a benefit dinner for Christine Johnson to raise funds to help out the trust fund set up at the Seaboard and at People’s United, but we’re also giving the avenue for the community to come together and share a meal, have conversation and begin a healing process,” said Carl Schreiber, senior pastor at East Orrington Congregational Church.Last week, Christine Johnson lost her husband Ben, and their three children Ben, Ryan, and Leslie to a fire in their home.This spaghetti dinner is a way to collect donations, while comforting others, too.“It’s therapeutic. I think it’s for the whole community just to kind of get everybody together and help each other through this a little bit in every way we can,” said volunteer and Orrington resident, Terry Winslow. Being there for each other is something this community prides itself on.“We’ve got a lot of people that like to give to other people. They’re not selfish. When there’s a need we help take care of it,” said Dorence Gray, who attended the dinner.Ben’s mother Ethel is getting better every day.“Now, I couldn’t have done this a couple of days ago, but I’m getting better,” said Ethel Johnson.She says that Christine has so many people around to help her get through this.“She’s so strong and I think watching her today, talking and being around friends and her husband’s friend showed her support and she showed it right back.”She thinks the reason so many came to the dinner is simple.“Love. Our son and his family showed lots of love and they loved people, they loved being around people and that’s what brought everybody together.”