Benton music teacher making the most of his second chance at life

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BENTON, Maine (WABI) - This Saturday will be the 17th year of Steve Fotter's annual Christmas concert in Fairfield.

It means a whole lot more to him this year.
It was just like any other Saturday morning for Benton music teacher Steve Fotter last year. He was preparing for his music lessons, but then he felt a pain.

"I told my wife Linda, I said I just don't feel right," says Fotter. "And we waited a few minutes, and it got worse. She decided to call 9-1-1."

When first responders Raymond Whitney and Alix Penney arrived, Fotter told them he still planned on teaching music in an hour. Little did he know he was having a heart attack.

"The picture of the heart is taken, and it comes up with this little red bar on the screen that says 'acute MI' which basically is EMT speak for he's having a heart attack," says paramedic Raymond Whitney.

He went into cardiac arrest on his way outside, so they performed CPR in the front yard.

"And so just right there, I hooked up the pads that we had, the pads that we use to shock him with, charged up the monitor, gave him the shock, pointed at Alix and said, do CPR," says Whitney.

After five minutes of being clinically dead, Steve came back to life.

He spent four days in the hospital and then got right back to prepping for his annual Christmas concert.

Flash forward to this year, and Steve's 17th annual 'Warming Up for Christmas' is going to feature some special guests.

"I found out that Ray could sing and Alix could play guitar, so they're going to join me this year in a beautiful Christmas song that we usually do at my concert," says Fotter.

The concert will be held at Lawrence High School Saturday at 5:00pm.

All proceeds will go towards the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter, and there will also be a raffle benefiting the Shine On Cass Foundation.

The concert has helped many local charities over the years to the tune of nearly $150,000, and this will be the final year of the concert.

"He has that energy, he has the talent, he just has a caring way about him," says Scott Cyrway, State Senator and longtime friend of Fotter's. "I think that this concert represents all of that."

"It's special knowing that we were an important part of Steve's life, and be able to participate in this really special moment with him," says EMT Alix Penney.

Tickets can be purchased at (search Steve Fotter), at the Down Home Music Shop in Fairfield, at the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter, or at the door.