BANGOR, Maine — A group of outstanding volunteers were honored guests at the annual 2 Those Who Care Awards during a gala ceremony on Oct. 2 at the G. Peirce Webber Campus Center at Husson College. The ceremony will be televised as a primetime special on WLBZ 2 later in October.
Developed by WLBZ in partnership with the United Way of Eastern Maine, 2 Those Who Care is sponsored by Merrill Bank and Webber Energy Fuels.
WLBZ 2 News Center anchors Chris Facchini and Kara Matuszewski were the hosts, introducing men and women from throughout eastern Maine who unselfishly make a difference in the lives of others.
In addition to the 2 Those Who Care award winners, Irvine Marsters Jr. of Glenburn was presented with the John W. Coombs Award, a volunteer recognition award of the United Way of Eastern Maine since 1984.
Bangor Area Visiting Nurses was honored with the Agency of Distinction Award.
The 2 Those Who Care honorees:
• Edwin Clift serves as chairman of the St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation board of trustees. He has held leadership positions with the St. Joseph Hospital Capital Campaign, the Multiple Handicap Center of Penobscot Valley and the University of Maine Center on Aging. He is a strong supporter of culture in the Bangor region, most recently taking a leadership role in the Bangor Historical Society.
• For a generation, Donald R. Curtis Jr. has been the face of firefighter training and education in Eastern Maine. He has taught fire safety at Southern Maine Community College for more than 25 years and helped create the Fire Science Technology program at Eastern Maine Community College. He is an active member of his church and has been a committed volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Literacy Volunteers, giving a “hand up” to young people.
• Nelson Durgin spreads his volunteer hours across many different agencies in the Bangor area, but certain areas of concern surface again and again — improving health care, especially for the elderly. He is a board member of both St. Joseph Hospital and the Bangor Nursing and Rehab Center. He is a member of many committees, councils and coalitions addressing elder safety and health.
• Kristin Hutchins has been deeply involved with The Next Step Domestic Violence Project, serving Hancock and Washington counties. She provides child care, hot line coverage, court advocacy and special project assistance. She has served on the Southwest Harbor Public Library board, and is now chairwoman of the board of selectmen for Southwest Harbor.
• Joseph Perry is president of the Greater Bangor Area NAACP, advocating for the civil rights of citizens in the northern half of Maine. As leader of the organization, he created a series of community forums on race this past April. He also serves as a commissioner on the Maine Human Rights Commission. He is a member of the board of selectmen for the town of Searsport, where he has served on several town committees.
• Irvine Marsters Jr. was awarded the John W. Coombs Award for his outstanding service to Junior Achievement in Greater Bangor. His responsibilities have included recruiting volunteers to teach JA economic programs, developing a successful and committed board of directors, as well as securing generous funding sources.
His nomination listed an additional 20 organizations that have benefited from his work, as well as more than a dozen letters of support from community leaders throughout Maine. Through Junior Achievement, Marsters is making a difference for a cause close to his heart — economic education and financial literacy for young people.
• Bangor Area Visiting Nurses was founded 95 years ago by volunteers. They work hard every day delivering services that allow patients to heal — or pass on — in the comfort of their homes with loved ones by their sides. They serve 40 towns in Penobscot County and portions of Waldo and Hancock counties, caring for 736 patients in 2007 through in-home visits. BAVN also cares for the homeless at the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter. Grieving children and parents find support in their Pathfinders program. They administered more than 2,200 flu shots, primarily to those over age 65. BAVN is about economy-of-scale and meeting basic health needs. Utilizing committed, skilled volunteers, BAVN makes basic health care available to the uninsured, especially the homeless population.