FARMINGTON — United Way and Franklin Volunteer Network will host the Western Maine Volunteer Conference and Recognition Event on June 9 at St. Joseph’s Parish Hall.

The conference will be held from noon to 4:30 p.m. and the Recognition Event from 5 to 7 p.m. Both are free and open to the public. Attendees are asked to bring a dish to share at the meal.

The conference will open with a keynote address by Dr. Chip Teel who practices medicine in Damariscotta and is the author of “Alone and Invisible: Averting Disaster in Aging America.”

After his remarks, participants will join workshops led by community members and local volunteers with a wide array of expertise:

* What the Tweet is a Facebook?: Exploring and understanding new social media to engage volunteers. This workshop is focused on familiarizing participants with social media as well as learning how they can be, and have been, utilized to engage volunteers and promote volunteerism.

* When there’s no gold over the rainbow: Grant writing and fundraising in difficult financial times. This workshop will focus on techniques in grant writing and fundraising to find money even when there seems to be none at all. Participants will have the opportunity to learn more about researching and writing efficient grants as well as practices for having successful and profitable fundraisers.

* Giving what you can (but also what people want): Charitable giving coordination for the benefit of those in need. This workshop will discuss ideas surrounding thoughtful and useful ways to better contribute to the community through donations and events. Moderators will discuss not only ideas for events, but ways to market events for best possible outcomes.

* Volunteering: You, Me, and a Good Cause Makes Three: Area volunteers share their volunteer experiences (two different sessions). The peer to peer sharing sessions will allow attendees to meet with other volunteers and hear featured volunteers tell their own stories based on a set of questions to guide the conversation.

The recognition event is designed to honor those in the community who have made a difference. If you have tutored a child, transported an older adult, coached a baseball team, or generously given your time and talent to serve your community, you should be here! Last year, 85 community members attended a similar event.

A Rising Star Award and A Shining Star Award will be awarded to one who is new to volunteering, and one who has contributed more than 10 years of service, respectively. If you would like to nominate a candidate for one or both these awards, call 778-5048 or visit uwtva.org.

This event is made possible by support from the Maine Commission for Community Service.

For more information about the conference or recognition event, or to RSVP, call the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area at 778-5048 or visit www.uwtva.org.


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