Baldacci recognizes Lewiston women for volunteer service

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AUGUSTA — Longtime Central Maine Medical Center volunteer Eileen Danforth of Lewiston was recognized as Maine’s Outstanding Volunteer of the Year.

At a ceremony held in the Hall of Flags at the Maine State House, Danforth was personally recognized by Gov. John Baldacci as Maine’s top volunteer.

More than 700 volunteers who contributed over 500 hours to programs across the state were congratulated at the ceremony, but Danforth, whose 17-year volunteer commitment to the medical center was described as inspiring “through example in multiple volunteer roles at Central Maine Medical Center,” earned top recognition.

In the past year alone, Danforth has given 2,000 hours of service to CMMC. Danforth has been added to the Roll of Honor for the 2010 Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards.

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She is a Lewiston native, began her volunteer career as an exam proctor at the CMMC School of Nursing and gradually took on clerical responsibilities.

Today she volunteers full time at CMMC.

Danforth raised three daughters and her impetus for volunteering at CMMC was the illness of her oldest daughter, Sandy, who passed away in 1998 from breast cancer at age 34. Danforth says she feels as if her daughter Sandy is always by her side, guiding her along the right path of caring for others.

CMMC Volunteer Manager Sue Bowie was also cited for Excellence in Volunteer Administration. Bowie was recognized for “her insight, assistance and counsel which are often sought by other institutions and volunteer directors.” Last year, volunteers at CMMC gave some 60,000 hours of service to the organization.

A Lewiston native, Bowie began her volunteer management career at CMMC in 1987. Bowie serves on the governing board of the Maine Society for Directors of Health Care Volunteer Services and is a member of the New England Association of Directors of Hospital Volunteer Services and the Association for Health Care Volunteer Resource Professionals. She is a charter member of the Androscoggin Volunteer Association. She has grown the program from 50 volunteers to 230, with 50 junior volunteers coming in during the summer to job shadow and run errands for staff.

She is also president of the CMMC Employee Special Events Committee, a volunteer group of employees that coordinates activities for employees and volunteers, as well as hospital recognition events.

Bowie has one daughter who attends the University of Southern Maine in Portland.

The Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards are presented annually during National Volunteer Week, the annual celebration of citizen volunteer action and the impact it has on critical needs in communities. The awards recognize individuals and community organizations whose donations of time and leadership have made a significant difference in the quality of life for Maine residents.

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