Dave and Brenda Gammon of Gammon Family Farm, at left, were presented the Spirit of America award May 8 by Select Board members, from right, Patrick Houghton, Board Chairwoman Gail Belyea, Kathryn Lawrence and Jason Dolloff. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

PERU — The Select Board on Monday presented the owners of Gammon Family Farm with this year’s Spirit of America award, which honors volunteerism.

The tribute honored Dave and Brenda Gammon for their commendable community service. Board Chairwoman Gail Belyea said they have been placing their large farm-animal trailer at the Peru Town Office for the purpose of collecting and redeeming returnable bottles in support of residents facing large medical expenses, long-term sickness, auto accident injuries and other life difficulties.

Belyea said the Gammons have been “encouraging Peru residents to donate to their neighbors in this simple way, models for all of us in generosity, compassion and dedication to doing the right thing.”

The Gammons also have honored Peru veterans in recent years by placing flowers on their graves.

“The Gammon Family Farm truly reflects the ideal of volunteerism inherent in the Spirit of America,” Belyea read from a proclamation.

Brenda Gammon said they have done this for more than 25 benefits over two decades.


“The idea to do this came about many years ago when our daughter, Amy, was diagnosed with cancer, and the town did a benefit for her,” Brenda Gammon said. “After that, we said, ‘We need to help others.'”

Dave Gammon added, “That’s what got the thing rolling.”

Many people call them and ask if their trailer is available, Brenda said. “During fair season, it’s a little tight if they’re hauling cattle to the fair. If it’s not being used, we’ll haul it down.”

“We dropped this (trailer) off this afternoon and there’s bottles already in it,” she said with a laugh, adding that she promotes the collections on her Facebook page.

In other business:

• An informational meeting for the warrant on the proposed 2023-24 municipal budget will take place beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 1, in the gymnasium at Dirigo Elementary School.

• Peru is still seeking an animal control officer for the town. Anyone interested can call the Town Office at 562-4627.

• Sign-up sheets for Dixfield Recreation (Canton, Carthage, Dixfield and Peru) softball for grades one through four and grades five through eight are available at the Peru Town Office.

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