Thursday November 18, 2010 | 10:31 PM

A record crowd of close to 400 people showed up for Day One's 37th annual celebration this evening, held at the Marriott Sable Oaks in South Portland with all proceeds going to support the nonprofit's drug and alcohol abuse programs for teens. The event's big draw was beloved actress Patty Duke, best known for her "Patty Duke Show" and her Academy Award winning role as Helen Keller in "The Miracle Worker." Funny and friendly, Patty was a delightful addition to the party. All during the reception and dinner, guests approached Patty for autographs and photos and she graciously obliged.

I wasn't the only one to snap a photo of Patty standing between Mercy Hospital CEO Eileen Skinner and Eileen's husband, Dr. John Skinner.

Eileen was also one of the people honored at tonight's event. Portland Press Herald columnist Bill Nemitz, who introduced Patty before she spoke, and Day One board president Dianne Nason presented Eileen with the Community Leadership Award.

Others honorees tonight included:

State Representatives Emily Cain (D-Orono) and Patrick Flood (R-Winthrop,) who received the Making a Difference Awards from Dianne Nason and Day One Executive Director David Faulkner. The award acknowledges the pair's bipartisan efforts to preserve state funding for addiction treatment programs during these tough economic times. Since Emily was elected minority leader of the Maine House earlier today, we had to be one of the first groups she addressed after gaining her new title.

Patricia Kimball, the executive director of Wellspring, an adult addiction treatment provider in Bangor, was presented with a Making a Difference Award by Dianne and David.

Roy McKinney, the director of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, was given a Community Vision Award by Bill and Dianne.

I'll have lots more details about Patty and the party - plus more photos - in the Nov. 28 edition of the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Until then, I hope to see you out and about.


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Avery Yale Kamila dishes about southern Maine's hottest parties.

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