The Governor’s Awards for Service and Volunteerism Small Business Volunteerism category recognizes a small business (fewer than 100 employees) that demonstrates volunteer leadership and/or whose employees’ volunteer service significantly improves the quality of life in the community.Carefree Property Services provides landscaping, maintenance, snow plowing and other services. Owners, Brian & Sunshine Strout, have made a positive impact on Downeast communities from Steuben to Addison for the past three years, donating more than 430 hours towards worthy community events and services.
Sunshine serves as vice president of the Milbridge Area Merchants Association. Brian is vice president of the Mason’s Square & Compass Club, is a Junior Warden of the Lodge, and is a 2nd Lieutenant in the Shriner’s Mini-Car Unit. They are crucial to the success of the Milbridge Area Merchants Association‘s Scholarship Fund by organizing and participating in annual fundraisers such as the Down East Idol Talent Show and the Chili Cook-off contest. Their strong sense of teamwork and volunteerism has benefited not only the merchant group, but the Down East community as a whole.Carefree Property Services is instrumental each year during the annual Breakfast With Santa event, which enables 150 children to enjoy a nutritious breakfast, receive gifts, and have a portrait taken with Santa, all for no charge.
Carefree Property Services also provides free mowing services for non-profit organizations, churches, and the historic Parish Hall in Steuben. This family owned-business is committed to serving their community in a myriad of ways.
Since 1987, the Governor’s Awards for Service and Volunteerism have celebrated and recognized the exemplary work of Maine’s most dedicated citizens. At the same time, the awards seek to inspire others to follow in the footsteps of those recognized. Through their donated time and talent, volunteers help communities stretch finite cash resources to deliver the most service possible.
Founded during Governor McKernan’s administration, the program has continued uninterrupted. It is managed on behalf of the Office of the Governor by the Maine Commission for Community Service. The 2013 awards were presented to honorees by Maine’s First Lady Ann LePage on April 24, 2013 in the Hall of Flags in Augusta.