Western Mountains Alliance reaches endowment goal

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FARMINGTON — It was time for a celebration Tuesday as Western Mountains Alliance staff and board members announced they raised the $25,000 needed to match a challenge grant from the Maine Community Foundation. The grant will create an endowment for future programs and the operation of WMA.

As the April 30 deadline loomed, the organization was close to its goal but two large donations and many smaller ones made the difference, said Tanya Swain, executive director.

A total of $50,000 will be set aside for an endowment. It will give the organization a base to operate from rather than existing from month to month, Roger Poulin of Skowhegan, board chair of WMA, told those gathered at the Church Street office.

Bangor Savings Bank Manager Rebecca Davis-Allen and Franklin Savings Bank President Peter Judkins, the two largest donors, agreed about providing community support for an organization that promotes the region of the western mountains of Maine.

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A Farmington native, Judkins said he has lived other places where people name towns on the coast when they say they’ve been to Maine.

“I’m proud to be from the other Maine,” he said.

There are 150 donors who have also supported the work done by the organization over the past 20 years, work highlighted by community and economic development.

“WMA’s approach to community and economic development has always been entrepreneurial,” Swain said previously. “Over the long-term, endowment resources will enable the organization to continue to serve as an innovator and network hub in the region. It will also afford us the flexibility to pursue new opportunities to promote small and emerging businesses.”

abryant@sunjournal.com

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