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Media Alert: Blaine House Conference on Service and Volunteerism

October 7th, 2011

For Immediate Release                                               
October 7, 2011
Contact: Meredith Eaton

Phone: 949-2636, Cell

Media Alert
Blaine House Conference on Service and Volunteerism
imagine Service: 25th Anniversary Celebration

When: Tuesday, October 12th, 2011, 8:30am-4:45pm. (Check in table open at 7:45am in DP Corbett.)

Where:  University of Maine's Orono campus in the Donald P. Corbett (check in, opening and closing plenary) Murray and Memorial Union buildings.

What:  25th Annual Blaine House Conference on Volunteerism, sponsored by AL!VE, Reimagining Service, Youth Service America, generationOn, Time Warner Cable, Cabot Cheese, Corporation for National and Community Service, and Maine Commission for Community Service.

Highlights include two keynote addresses, 25th anniversary celebration, 1st annual Champion of Service Award, and a landmark attendance figure of 325.

Workshop topics for Maine's managers of volunteers include engaging skilled volunteers, including volunteers of all abilities, strategies for recruitment, and fund raising for volunteer programs.  A service-learning track is available with six session for teachers, administrators, and community organizations that work with students or partner with schools.

Who:  A keynote address will be given at 8:45 AM by Tammi DeVille of Denver, Colorado, author of Changing the World on a Tuesday Night.  For her book, DeVille spent 2 ½ years profiling over 40 volunteers who make a difference in the world with just a few hours each month.  In her address, she will also profile two local volunteers who will be in attendance: Nancy Teel of Farmington, who leads dozens of volunteers in hundreds of hours of service through the Community Weatherization Challenge, and Craig Jackson, a disabled Navy veteran and student at University of Maine Augusta, who mentors other student veterans through a program at his school.  Ms DeVille will also be signing copies of her book from 11:45 AM to 1:15 PM in the Union Central.

At 11 AM, Kaira Esgate of Reimagining Service, based in Sacramento, California, will deliver a keynote address outlining a service enterprise model to Reimagining Service is a national multi-sector coalition dedicated to converting good intentions into greater impact through increased volunteer management capacity nationwide.  A service enterprise is a nonprofit or for-profit organization that fundamentally leverages volunteers and their skills to successfully deliver on the social mission of the organization.  A keynote response panel representing Maine's public, private, and nonprofit sectors will discuss the relevance of the model and its compatibility with Maine's rural areas.

The 1st annual Champion of Service Award will be presented at 11:45 AM. The award will go to a 14 year champion of National Service who has also devoted many years to public service at the municipal and county levels.

Youth service strikes at the core issues of the dropout epidemic, yielding measurable outcomes including improved academic achievement, increased critical thinking and work skills, and reductions in risky behaviors, class failures and suspensions. Service increases attendance, builds stronger relationships between teachers and students, improves academic performance and motivates students. To that end, presenting at the conference are Susan Abravanel of Youth Service America, and Laura Rog and Shammara Wright, both of generationOn.

Susan Abravanel, Vice President of Education, will present "Building Community Through Service-Learning" and "Semester of Service: Tackling Childhood Obesity and Childhood Hunger," the second along with Patrick Carson, School Health Coordinator at Oxford Hills School District.  Semester of Service allows youth to make a difference in real-world problems while applying intensive service with curriculum-based learning.  Community-based organizations and schools can collaborate to engage and educate youth, enhancing the quality of education and the quality of life in a community.

generationOn is a global youth service movement that helps youth develop into healthy, empowered, creative problem-solvers and global leaders through service, service-learning, and giving back.  Shammara Wright's, Senior Manager of After-School Programs, session, "Building Healthy Communities" highlights the tools needed to combat childhood obesity through service-learning in ways that create academic, personal, and civic results in youth.  generationOn's Director of Training and Technical Assistance, Laura Rog, will share with session attendees of "Making Service-Learning Count After-School" why service-learning is a good fit for after-school and how their program can capitalize on community partners and parents to foster positive changes in youth and community.

Also presenting is Karen MacDonald of AL!VE, the Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement.  AL!VE is a national membership association of leaders and professionals in volunteer management.  MacDonald's sessions will focus on measuring the true impact of volunteer programs and providing professional development and career networking opportunities for managers of volunteers.

Editor's Note:  If interested in interviews or getting visuals of the conference, please contact Meredith Eaton, Conference Coordinator, at 207-949-2636 (cell). For more information, please visit 

The Maine Commission for Community Service builds capacity and sustainability in Maine's volunteer sector by funding service programs, developing volunteer managers and service-learning practitioners, raising awareness of the scope and the impact of the volunteer sector, and encouraging an ethic of service. To learn more about the Maine Commission for Community Service visit our website at

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