BANGOR, Maine — The five people honored Wednesday by Maine U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II have changed lives by their actions to better the world around them, he said.
Former Bangor Police Chief Don Winslow and Sue Bradford of Spruce Run were recognized for their work on behalf of victims of domestic violence in Penobscot County.
Skowhegan resident Skip Gates, a teacher who lost his son to a heroin overdose five years ago, was recognized for his commitment to educating young people in Maine about the risks associated with drug use. “It’s a very powerful message,” Delahanty said.
Community Caring Collaborative Director Marjorie Withers was recognized for her advocacy and the group’s work to create better lives for children and families in Washington County.
And Shaw House Executive Director Sally Tardiff was honored for her dedication to provide services and support to homeless and at-risk youths in Maine. Delahanty said the Preble Street Teen Center in Portland, New Beginnings in Lewiston and the Portland Defending Childhood organization will be honored at a May event in southern Maine.
Delahanty honored the five Maine advocates at his office in Bangor in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, celebrated April 6-12 this year, and National Child Abuse Prevention Month, which occurs every April.
“I came from an era in law enforcement when we looked at domestic violence as a family problem,” Winslow said after being presented with a plaque by Delahanty. “Nobody was held accountable for their actions.”
Winslow worked with Bradford, domestic violence educator Francine Stark and others in the early 1980s on a domestic violence prevention task force to create domestic violence response guidelines that are still in use today, said the U.S. attorney for Maine.
Winslow retired as police chief five years ago and earlier this year announced he was running for Penobscot County sheriff, but shortly afterward withdrew his name after learning he had aggressive lung cancer.
“This award ceremony is designed to raise awareness about the rights and needs of such crime victims, the challenges that victims face in the recovery process, and the positive impact of those who provide services and support to such victims,” Delahanty said.