Two Cent Bridge Kotlas - Waterville Area
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Waterville, ME 04903-1747
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Herb Foster Honored at REM Awards Ceremony

Herb Foster

It is with great pleasure and gratitude that the Kotlas Connection honored Herb Foster as its REM Award recipient for 2009. The ceremony, at which volunteers for eight other area nonprofit organizations also received honors, was held on Saturday, November 14, at the Waterville Opera House.

Herb has been active in the Connection since 2002, the year he retired from teaching foreign languages in the Messalonskee school district (Oakland, Sidney, Rome, and Belgrade). Herb, who had majored in Russian at Middlebury College, looked at this involvement as a way to renew his acquaintance with Russia and its language, which had become very rusty in the intervening four decades. A trip to Kotlas with the 2002 delegation from Waterville convinced him that he had made the right choice.

In late 2003, Herb became co-chairman of the Connection and served in that capacity for four years. He visited Kotlas again in 2005, this time with his wife Nancy, as part of that year's delegation. Both times Herb stayed with the Shelygin family, members of whom have been guests of the Fosters three times. In fact, Herb and his wife Nancy have hosted members of five Kotlas delegations.

Herb has been involved in all of the Connection's activities. He especially enjoyed cooking Russian foods for the now defunct Voices of the Kennebec festival. Now his favorite involvement is teaching a forty-minute introductory Russian language class at Russian Sampler.

Herb encouraged Milton Christianson, the well-known local artist, to travel to Kotlas to participate in a plein air artists' seminar. Herb has also been involved in the sale of Russian-made Christmas ornaments, which is a major fund-raiser for the Connection.

Outside the Connection, Herb is an avid gardener and hiker. Since Nancy retired, the Fosters have been spending much of every winter in Mexico.