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Celebrity Slam - Mike and Mike's 20 years of giving

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Celebrity Slam - Mike and Mike's 20 years of giving (edge photo by Kevin Bennett)

We spend a lot of time in this space laughing at the foibles of the famous. There are few things we love more than watching clueless celebrities snipe at each other over unimportant idiocy or pair up in ways that force us to combine their names in new and interesting ways. That’s no surprise – the name of the feature is Celebrity Slam. It’s what we do here.

However, that isn’t ALL we do. Sometimes, we like to take a step back and recognize that there are people out there who embrace the opportunity to use their fame to do something good. These are the people who give back because it’s the right thing to do, not because the optics are good or whatever. Sometimes, it’s nice to celebrate the good.

This week, as we near Thanksgiving and all that this time of year entails, we thought we might take a few minutes to toot the horns of some local celebrities who won’t necessarily do it themselves, a pair of delightful humans whose hearts have always been in the right place.

Mike Dow (yes, the same one whose words you’ll enjoy deeper in these pages) and Mike Elliott are once again doing their annual food drive. The event will take place November 19-21; the Mikes will be parked outside Dick’s Sporting Goods at the Bangor Mall, collecting non-perishable food items for a different area food cupboard each day through Good Shepherd Food Bank. The event will be broadcast by Big 104 FM, radio home to both Mikes (though not usually at the same time anymore).

And this year marks the 20th.

Think about that: these guys have been doing this, devoting their time and energy toward helping feed the hungry, for 20 years. Two decades of altruism. It’s impressive no matter how you look at it. Granted, it’s not any kind of real surprise – anyone who knows either Mike knows that both men are kindhearted and generous of spirit.

This food drive was started by the Mikes back in their days as the most beloved radio duo in town – we all have fond memories of “The Mike and Mike Show.” It was in 1999 when they hosted a morning radio show on Z107.3 FM that the drive began. In the fall of 2001, when the pair moved to KISS FM, the food drive continued on that station. Radio stations KISS FM and The Bear were acquired by Blueberry Broadcasting in 2008.

“The Mike and Mike Show” ended a 15-year run in 2012, but the two continued to bring their wit, wisdom and general joie de vivre to the airwaves afterward.

And they continued this tradition.

Now, Mike and Mike aren’t the kind of famous we usually address in this space. We’re usually taking aim at movie stars and hip-hop feuds and reality TV whatevers, scorning and mocking and deriding the self-involved selfishness in which so many of them choose to wallow. It’s fun, making fun – we certainly enjoy it and have no plans to stop.

But there’s no disputing that the people of central Maine know who these guys are, spending countless mornings with them as they make their way to work or to school. And here’s the thing – in all the ways that matter, they are those guys. They are the charming goofballs you’ve spent the last two decades listening to. They’re ALSO among the most decent souls you’re ever apt to encounter.

That’s why we’re talking about this food drive. Because it’s a great and important thing that they’re doing. Through their efforts, they will help feed hundreds of families at a time when people could really use a hand. Because they’ve been doing this great and important thing for 20 years. It’s a BIG deal, although you’d have trouble getting either one of them to accept any praise.

Celebrity Slam is usually about global celebrities being wonderful. This week, however, it’s about local celebrities being wonderful. We’re not planning on making the change permanent, but for now, as we look toward a holiday season that’s going to be just a little bit better thanks to Mike Dow and Mike Elliott … yeah, we’re feeling OK about it.

Do good. It matters.

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