LEWISTON – In the spirit of St. Marguerite d’Youville, Sisters of Charity Health System recognizes the importance of dedicated people who strive to foster a healthier and more vibrant community.

The annual d’Youville Community Awards applauds individuals who represent the core values of Sisters of Charity Health System: compassion, respect, excellence, and stewardship.

Sisters of Charity pays tribute to the honorees of the d’Youville Community awards:

Cecile Coulombe received the Stewardship Award.

Through every major Sisters of Charity fund-raising campaign in the last 10 years, Coulombe has given, financially and with her heart and hands, especially with the Women’s Health Pavilion and renovation of the St. Mary’s Intensive Care Unit.

She is a past chairwoman of the board of d’Youville Pavilion and she continues to remain active throughout the community. As a member of the Holy Family Parish, Coulombe has been the recipient of the Immaculate Conception Award, which recognized her work as a pastoral care minister to homebound parishioners and for serving on the Holy Family’s Social Justice and Peace Commission.

Charleen Chase was awarded the Respect Award for Community Concepts.

Chase has been executive director of Community Concepts for 27 years and has been with the agency since 1973. The range of services and positive outcomes for families has been achieved through her leadership.

In 2004, the service reached 26,000 people in 30 programs, including housing, transportation, family assistance and children’s services. Grounded in the mission of Community Concepts, “helping people, changing lives,” Chase leads a workforce with shared beliefs in the strengths of families and communities.

Chase was honored by the Muskie School of Public Service with the Women in Public Life Award in 2003 and received a Community Service Award from the Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce in 2000.

She served as director of Head Start programs and has served on the board of directors for Central Maine Power, the Maine Development Foundation, the Maine Women’s Fund and the Growth Council of Oxford Hills. She also served on the Transition Committee for Gov. Angus King.

Daughters of Wisdom were presented the Compassion Award.

The five women representing the Lewiston group are Sr. Mona Guerette, Sr. Jeanne Nicknair, Sr. Aurelie Michaud, Sr. Maureen Hurley and Sr. Irene Arsenault.

The Daughters were founded in 1703 to minister to those most in need: the alienated, the marginalized and the poor.

In 1999 they established a free drop-in program, Women’s Center, to provide compassionate listening and a safe place for women who are troubled by depression, grief, homelessness, abuse and incest. The center is open five days a week and by appointment. They have served more than 7,000 women and 588 children since the center opened.

Peter Geiger received the Excellence Award.

Geiger is executive vice president of Geiger, a family-owned business for four generations and editor of the Farmers’ Almanac. A graduate of Lewiston High School, he has a passion for education issues and gives back to his community through a hands-on approach to volunteering.

For 17 years he has headed an Adopt-A-School Program with Montello Elementary School and has championed similar business/school partnerships throughout Maine and the United States.

Geiger has served on many boards, including the Maine Coalition for Excellence in Education, Sisters of Charity Health System, Junior Achievement of Lewiston/Auburn, the state Board of Education and St. Joseph’s College.

Through his influential and successful business, commitment to various community programs and projects, and leadership on countless boards, commissions and task forces, Geiger has exemplified excellence and what it means to be a good business citizen and community volunteer.

The awards were presented on Jan. 18 in a ceremony at the Lepage Conference Center.


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