HANOVER — For decades Dorothy Adams has tirelessly given of herself to people in need. Her commitment and dedication over much of her life has made a significant positive impact not only to the little town of Hanover, but to many towns in Oxford County and throughout the State of Maine. And so, it is for her kindness, compassion and tireless commitment to volunteerism that Adams was presented with the 2019 Volunteer of the Year Award from the Town of Hanover.

Adams has served as a trustee of the Gardner Roberts Memorial Library in Hanover holding various offices on the board and actively participating in the library’s fundraising events, fairs, festivals and community pie nights. Since the 1970s she has volunteered for the Howard Pond Preservation Association, and beginning in the 1980s has been a race volunteer for the Chisolm Ski Club Nordic Race Team at Black Mountain. More recently, Adams has been instrumental in organizing and promoting various successful fundraising events for the historic Rumford Point Congregational Church steeple restoration project which is now well underway.

“Dottie’s contribution to our project has been inspirational. She has helped write grants, coordinated events, baked, cleaned and even sewn a handmade picture quilt of Western Maine for the raffle. We are extremely thankful for all the time Dottie has given toward having successfully achieved our goal,” said Rumford Point church pastor, Cindy Christie.

Adams also serves on the board of Oxford County Mental Health Services providing support, outreach and mental health awareness to local families. She also serves on the River Valley Community Health Board and works with the Oxford County Resiliency Project supporting youth and mental health, working in schools with students and teachers.

“Dottie is always willing to share her wisdom and support, and treats everyone with dignity, kindness and respect,” says Stephanie LeBlanc, Oxford County Mental Health Services executive director. “Dottie is such a pleasure to work with and is a true asset to our community.”

For over a decade Adams has played a vital role as a support group leader and Family-to-Family teacher for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), having founded the NAMI Western Mountains affiliate in which she currently serves as President. In 2017 she received the NAMI Mal Wilson Award for outstanding achievement.

“Shortly after my son returned home in 2005 with serious mental health issues I quickly became involved with NAMI because of my own need for support and mental illness education. I’ve been driven by Western Maine’s need to make life better for those living with and/or affected by family and friends with unmet mental health needs. People need to become more aware of the issues and what they can do to make life better for those who suffer, and to realize ‘we are not alone, we are all affected’. All it takes is one person to be there for another to make a life-or-death difference,” says Adams.

When asked what inspires her to dedicate herself to volunteerism, Adams replied, “My passion for children and their needs has led to my involvement in most volunteer projects. Volunteerism’s reward is good feelings for whatever small way one person can help another or an important cause.” And the rewards that Adams has given to others have been, and will continue to be, many.

Dorothy Adams of Hanover receives 2019 Volunteer of the Year Award from moderator Scott Cole at last week’s Hanover Town Meeting. Maria Holloway photo

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