It’s always a special moment in time when two impressive, yet completely different worlds come together for the greater good. Indeed, excitement was in the air as Hollywood met high science at the Maine Creative Industries Award Gala.

Patrick Dempsey, actor and founder of The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing in Lewiston, and The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, represented by Dr. Edison Liu, its president and CEO, received the prestigious biennial award from the Maine Center for Creativity (MCC) surrounded by more than 400 guests and admirers at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland.

“It’s a lovely turnout,” said Jamie Morin, MCC board president, during the cocktail reception. “The recipients are very deserving. The Maine Center for Creativity is all about focusing on demonstrating that in Maine, economic vitality and creativity go hand in hand. We think this event showcases that.”

Imad and Hulda Khalidi, residents of Cape Elizabeth and supporters of MCC, were joined by Lisa and Bart Johnson, also of Cape Elizabeth. Priscilla Connard of Falmouth Foreside enjoyed the evening with her daughter Gretchen. Paul Stevens, principal at SMRT in Portland, attended with his wife Dodo. Tory Ryden was joined by her husband, attorney Patrick Scully.

The cocktail hour featured eclectic entertainment and fun experiments from EepyBird, otherwise known as the “Coke and Mentos guys,” while the seated dinner was transformed into the “Early Evening Show” by host Mike Miclon, featuring a live band.

“We realized there was a connection between cancer care and cancer cure,” said MCC founder and executive director Jean Maginnis, who took the stage early on to be interviewed by Miclon, explaining how The Jackson Laboratory and Dempsey were chosen as the recipients.

David Shaw, who received the inaugural award with his wife, Glenn Close, in 2012, took the stage with his son Ben to present Jackson Lab’s award to Liu.

“Science and art are actually very similar,” said Liu, expressing his appreciation to the crowd. “The Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing and Jackson Lab are the heart and the mind of cancer care.”

Mary Dempsey, assistant director of the Dempsey Center, took the stage next to introduce her brother, welcoming other family members to join her, including Patrick’s son Darby. The siblings lost their mother Amanda earlier this year after a long battle with cancer.

“Be a community,” said Patrick Dempsey, expressing his affection for Maine. “I love coming home. I love being a Mainer. And I thank you for this honor and I share it with everyone at the center.”

Margaret Logan is a freelance writer who lives in Scarborough. She can be contacted at: