Time To Cast Your Ballots For Community Matters More

Posted Feb. 04, 2011, at 9:34 p.m.

Once again, requests are pouring in asking me to get the word out for organizations and institutions that would like to benefit from the fourth annual Bangor Savings Bank Foundation grant making initiative, Community Matters More.

I spoke with Stacey Haskell, assistant vice president and community relations coordinator for BSB, who forwarded me information about the program through which the BSB foundation will allocate $100,000 this year to 68 nonprofit organizations in our state.

Now in its fourth year, the grant program’s voting began Jan. 24 and continues through March 7, with winners being announced at the end of the month. Last year 86,000 votes were cast.

In order to vote, you must be a Maine resident. Only one ballot, online or paper, may be submitted per person. Online voting ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 7.

Ballots are available at any of the 55 BSB branches, each of the participating nonprofits, or you can vote online at www.bangor.com/cmm.

You may vote for up to three organizations, and each write-in counts as one of your three votes.

If you choose to write in a nominee, you must be sure that organization is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

According to BSB, each of the 48 nonprofits on the ballot will receive at least a $1,000 grant for participating and the top 20 write-ins also will receive a grant from the BSB foundation. The top vote-getting organizations in each region, including write-ins, receive $5,000 each.

For those who have not seen the list of nominees, here is the list, with the reminder that for each region, three “other” categories are included.

Nominees in the Northern region are Aid For Kids (The Degenhardt Foundation), Dover-Foxcroft Historical Society, Greenville Housing Corp., House in the Woods Inc. — Military & Family Retreat, Katahdin Area Support Group, P.E.T.S. — Prevent Euthanasia Through Sterilization and other.

The Downeast region nominees are Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center, Emmaus Homeless Shelter, Families United, Sunrise County Economic Council, Yesterday’s Children Inc., Greenland Point Center Inc. and other.

In the Central region, awaiting your votes are Dexter Public Health, Hospice Volunteers of Waterville Area, Kennebec Behavioral Health Services, Kennebec Valley Humane Society, Maine Developmental Disabilities Council, Pittsfield Historical Society and other.

For Greater Bangor, the nominees are Amicus, Bangor Humane Society, Community Care, Eastern Area Agency on Aging, Good Samaritan Agency, Maine Discovery Museum and other.

Midcoast nominees are Broadreach Family & Community Services, Camden-Rockport Animal Rescue League, Carver Memorial Library, Five Town Communities That Care, Georges River Land Trust, Waldo Community Action Partners — The Cinderella Project and other.

In the Greater Portland-Lewiston-Auburn region are Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine, Coastal Studies for Girls, Family Ice Center, LearningWorks, Northeast Hearing & Speech, Preble Street and other.

The Western region nominees are Greater Franklin County Homeless Coalition, Lake George Regional Park, River Valley Animal Advocates, Rumford Group Homes-Homeless Shelters, SeniorsPlus “Meals on Wheels,” Somerset Humane Society and other.

York County nominees are Caring Unlimited, Day One, Harvest Hills Animal Shelter, Ice Fishing 4A Cause, North Atlantic Arts Alliance (Ossipee Valley Music Festival), Open Hands Open Heart (Saco Food Pantry) and other.

I have voted and hope you do as well and, for full disclosure purposes, I am a corporator of Bangor Savings Bank.

Here’s a reminder from Elizabeth Dulin, executive director of Health Services Foundation of Houlton Regional Hospital, that just a few days remain for you to enter the HSF 10th Anniversary Diamond Raffle which, this year, offers 10 prizes.

First prize is a 1.21-carat diamond ring, and other prizes include earrings, a watch and a Maine charm, along with an additional diamond ring.

Tickets are $20 each and can be obtained by calling HSF at 521-2147 or 521-2503, at www.healthservicesfoundation.org or at Goodrich’s Jewelry on North Road in Houlton, where the winning tickets will be drawn 6 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.

Proceeds will help support the Houlton Regional Hospital campaign to purchase state-of-the-art digital mammography equipment to serve residents of the area.

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; javerill@bangordailynews.com; 990-8288.

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