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Governor Announces Recipients of 2006 Governor's Service Awards

April 24th, 2006

The ceremony, MC?d by Irv Marsters of MVC and Donna Gormley, newsanchor for WLBZ2, paid special recognition to five individuals and three groups who contribute their time and effort to serving Maine?s communities. Honorees included:

Volunteer of the Year ? Edward Girvin (Islesboro) for volunteering with various local organizations including the Islesboro Affordable Property project, the Ambulance Association, the Second Baptist Church, Habitat for Humanity, the Islesboro Community Center, and the Pine Tree Society where he builds adaptive furniture for children with disabilities in his spare time.

Youth Volunteer of the Year ? Peter Christensen (Bangor) for volunteering with the Glenburn Volunteer Fire Department and Dirigo Search and Rescue, an organization that helps the Maine Warden Service Search for lost hunters or outdoor enthusiasts, and for constructing handicapped accessible picnic tables for My Friends Place, an adult daycare service for persons with Alzheimers.

National Service Volunteer ? Alfred Brooks (Robbinston) for volunteering 8,300 hours of service over the past 10 years as a Senior Companion with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Albert helps other older adults live independently by doing their shopping, helping them pay bills, completing their paperwork for medical benefits, and grows his own garden so he can provide them with fresh produce.

Outstanding Public Sector Volunteer ? Thomas Elliot Jr. (West Bath) a decorated veteran of the Vietnam war, for donating his time to assist and advocate for veterans and their families. He has volunteered for the past 16 years at the TOGUS veteran?s hospital and provides rides to disabled veterans to and from their appointments.

Small Business Volunteerism ? Newland Nursery & Florist (Ellsworth) for encouraging their staff to volunteer in the community and provide fundraising assistance to local charities including the community theater and Faith in Action, an organization that offers free services to the elderly and disabled in Hancock County, with their ?Fishing for Friends? event which raised over $15,000.

Corporate Volunteerism ? Hannaford of Gardiner for their commitment to Senior Spectrum?s Meals on Wheels program where they deliver meals to the elderly twice a week, and for spending over 800 hours annually and over $25,000 supporting charities such as Earth Day, United Way, March of Dimes, a local food cupboard, Toys for Tots, and Coats for Kids.

Outstanding Non-Profit Volunteer Award? Youthlinks (Rockland) for empowering youth to perform meaningful volunteer work that has a positive impact on those they serve. In 2005, 500 Youthlink volunteers donated a total of 6,500 hours of volunteer work to the mid-coast region; and

Outstanding Non-Profit Volunteer Award?United Mid-Coast Charities (Camden) for providing nearly $3 million dollars to non-profit social service groups in their community and operating solely on volunteer efforts, allowing them to give 100% of their proceeds to their community.

The event also honored Maine?s 100, nominees who did not receive an award in the category they were nominated, but whose service deserved to be highlighted. Those recipients include: Shirley Moores of Lubec, Judith Long of Brunswick, Colleen Coates of Parsonsfield, Barbara Holt of Alfred, Norman Steele of Cumberland, Vi Foad of Gorham, Joan Weber of Little Deer Isle, and Work Opportunities Unlimited of Saco.

Recipients of the Roll of Honor, volunteers who contribute 500 or more hours of documented service to their communities during the course of twelve months, were also recognized at a private afternoon ceremony at the Blaine House with the First Lady.

The Governor?s Service Awards were created 18 years ago in an effort to celebrate and recognize the exemplary work of Maine?s volunteer community. Nominations for the aforementioned categories are accepted November through January.

Additional information about the Governor?s Service Awards, along with nomination criteria is available online at http://www.volunteermaine.org, or by contacting the Maine Commission for Community Service at 287-8933 or service.commission@maine.gov.

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