AUBURN – More than 100 supporters of the United Way of Androscoggin County celebrated the successes of the 2004 campaign at the Grand Finale on Dec. 2 at the Martindale Country Club.

Jennifer Willey, chairwoman of the United Way’s board of directors, and Mark Anthoine, 2003-2004 campaign chairman, extended their appreciation to donors, volunteers and staff for their support of the community through their devotion, caring and generosity.

“With generous support from local businesses and their employees, the United Way is able to make a difference in the lives of people and their families with the caring and compassionate services that are provided by the staff and volunteers of the participating agencies,” said Willey.

“The community also benefits from the hundreds of individuals who volunteer their time and talents to United Way and the social services agencies that offer high quality and compassionate services to people in need throughout Androscoggin County,” she said.

Andrew Bardier, a client of the Boys and Girls Club of Auburn-Lewiston, shared his personal experience and the positive impact United Way has made in his life. He talked about the guidance and caring he received and said he is getting better grades in his senior year in high school.

As a result of his involvement in the Boys and Girls Club, Bardier is the recipient of the Maine State Youth of the Year Award, receiving a $1,000 scholarship for college from Readers’ Digest, which sponsors the award.

Anthoine spoke about the hard work and dedication of the members of the 2004 Campaign Cabinet. Recognized for their efforts were: Fred Bishop of Nason Mechanical Systems and Janet Bishop of White Rock Distilleries, who chaired the Leaders’ Circle Division; Francine Anstey of Turner, who chaired the Education Division; Jeff Gosselin of Peoples Bank and Marc Paquette of Androscoggin Bank, who chaired the Commerce Division; Betsy Norcross-Plourde, who chaired the Nonprofit Division; Kathryn Davis, Sisters of Charity Health System, who chaired the Health Care Division.

Also, Dottie Perham Whittier, City of Lewiston, who chaired the Public Service/Local Government Division; Roxanne Salatino, Fleet Bank, who chaired the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate Division; and David Wightman, Austin Associates and Marc Frenette of Skelton, Taintor and Abbott, who chaired the Professionals Division.

Kathy Becvar, United Way’s director of resource development and marketing, provided a description of United Way’s newest initiative, the Student Executive Program. The program kicked off at the Leavitt Area High School and involves students who are interested in helping their community.

Seven students volunteered to participate in the program, which consisted of visits to two local social service agencies, followed by two half-day training sessions that focused on presentation skills and speech etiquette, as well as United Way and how it helps people in the communities.

From the site visits, the students developed their own personal story about their experience when meeting with clients who benefit from United Way contributions. They shared their story at meetings before teachers and other school department staff in the Turner, Leeds and Greene school system.

Becvar recognized the students who volunteered to participate: Jillian Chabot, Stacy Dunn, Meagan Gilbert, Max Havaner, Richie Lake, Devin Myles and Kristen Schrepper.

Becvar introduced and extended appreciation to four individuals who served as loaned executives.

JoAn Chartier from L.L. Bean worked with hundreds of companies within the Commerce Division; Cathy White from Sisters of Charity Health System worked in the Health Care Division, coordinating fund-raising efforts at workplace campaigns in health care facilities throughout Androscoggin County, as well as the Public Service/Local Government Division.

Marie Plourde of BankNorth, NA, facilitated many rallies within the Nonprofit Division. She also coordinated two new events – the Dollar-A-Do event, reaching out to local beauty salons, and the Extra Helping event with local restaurants.

Wendy Berube-Gamache, sponsored by grants from Formed Fiber Technologies and Proctor and Gamble, headed the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate Division and the Education Division, organizing campaigns in the many schools and colleges throughout Androscoggin County.

Anthoine extended appreciation to the individuals and companies that support the United Way’s efforts. He acknowledged individuals and couples who contribute $500 or more at the Leaders’ Circle level. An increasing number of individuals and couples are giving at that level, which represents approximately 27 percent of the total campaign, he said.

Anthoine also acknowledged the commitment of the CEOs and employee campaign managers for their support and efforts in coordinating workplace campaigns.

Anthoine talked about the successes in numerous campaigns, despite the challenges of the local economy, companies managing with leaner workforces and some businesses that closed during the year.

The event peaked with the presentation of several awards to companies that support the United Way. Citistreet was recognized and honored with the New Campaign Award for the efforts in initiating a successful first campaign.

Oxford Networks received the Spirit of the Androscoggin Award, the United Way’s highest campaign honor. The annual award is presented to one company to recognize its ongoing dedication to the community and to the United Way of Androscoggin County through its outstanding campaign support and its display of caring through its community outreach efforts.

In addition to its strong workplace campaign initiatives, the employees of Oxford Networks displayed their compassion and dedication to the United Way and the people it serves by taking their fund-raising efforts to higher levels. Receiving the Spirit of the Androscoggin Award were CEO Rick Anstey and Employee Campaign Manager Amanda Seeley.

Several other businesses were presented with the Outstanding Campaign Award that is presented to companies that demonstrated outstanding campaign practices and a commitment to United Way and the community. David Wightman accepted the award on behalf of Austin Associates, PA; Dennis and Mike Barriault of Central Distributors accepted their award; Shawn Lagassey was presented with the award for Dingley Press; Employee Campaign Manager Tania Royer accepted the award for L.L. Bean; Bruce Tisdale received the award for Mountain Machine Works; and Janet Bishop accepted the award for White Rock Distilleries. Also receiving awards were Butler Brothers, the Child Health Center and Northeast Bank.

For more information about the United Way, to find out how to donate and how a contributions help the residents of Androscoggin County, call 795-4000 or visit the Web site at www.unitedwayandro.org.


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