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Five awards presented at 33rd Governor's Awards for Service and Volunteerism ceremony

Published October 16, 2019

2019 Governor's Awards for Service and Volunteerism winners pose for a group photo with five on the top row and four on the bottom

ORONO, Maine - Outstanding leaders of Maine's volunteer community were honored for their dedication to service at the 33rd annual Governor's Awards for Service and Volunteerism. The ceremony was held on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at the University of Maine.

The awards celebrate and recognize the exemplary work of Maine's most dedicated organizations, businesses, and citizens. At the same time, the awards seek to inspire others to follow in the footsteps of those recognized. The winners are selected because their efforts and leadership have made a significant difference in the quality of life for Maine residents.

For the first time, the awards were presented at the annual Maine Volunteer Leadership Conference in Orono, Maine. The awards were presented by Maryalice Crofton, executive director of Volunteer Maine, and Melissa Moffett Denbow, VP of corporate giving and community relations at Machias Savings Bank. The awards program is managed for the Governor's Office by Volunteer Maine, the Maine Commission for Community Service.

The 2019 Governor's Awards for Service and Volunteerism recipients

Mark Wisecup, of Windham, Maine, received the Volunteer of the Year award. Wisecup has devoted his time to Camp Sunshine for the past six years.

For 20 years, Wisecup dedicated his life to serving his country as a Navy SEAL Commander. In 2014, he established the SEALs for Sunshine initiative. This project raises funds, spreads awareness and, more importantly, acts as a beacon of light for military families facing the arduous journey of having a child with a life-threatening illness. Through Wisecup's efforts, military families have the opportunity to join other families facing similar challenges at a Camp Sun­shine session.

Jan Cerabona, of Elliot, Maine, was recognized as Excellence in Volunteer Leadership award winner. Cerabona lives in Elliot but is a volunteer coordinator for the Maine Education Association Retired headquartered in Augusta.

For 10 years, Cerabona has coordinated the Association's annual Day of Car­ing project. Each year, Cerabona helps the Association's 15 county affiliates identify the tasks local schools need assistance with, make connections between volun­teers and schools, and organize the day of service so it has the intended impact. Her role also includes supporting the local vol­unteer project coordinators with funds for minor supplies and col­lecting reports of accomplishments. On average, the county affiliates each devote 100 hours in one day to this endeavor.

Literacy Volunteers of Bangor earned the Outstanding Nonprofit Volunteer Program award. Literacy Volunteers of Bangor is the only no-cost, one-to-one adult literacy education in that region. Each year 250 community volunteers devote nearly 16,000 hours to programs Literacy Volunteers of Bangor (LVB) operates.

The Medication One-on-One Team (Southern Maine Area Agency on Aging (SMAA), of Scarborough) received the Outstanding Volunteer Team award. The Medication One-on-One Team was formed in early 2016 to help clients lower their prescrip­tion drug costs.

They work primarily with clients whose incomes or assets are valued at 175% or more of the federal poverty level and, therefore, they do not qualify for Medicare's Low Income Subsidy (LIS) or the Medicare Savings Program (MSP). Still, the Team is often able to help clients who do qual­ify for the assistance programs further lower their drug costs.

Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program, of Brunswick, was named Service Enterprise of the Year. Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program is a hun­ger-relief organization located in Brunswick but serving towns from Lisbon to Richmond to Harp­swell.

Service Enterprise is a nationally-recognized standard of excel­lence for organizations that engage volunteers. Through a plan­ning and organizational change process, agencies identify how volunteers can contribute at all levels of operation and help the entities achieve their mission efficiently and effectively. The cer­tification is awarded by the Points of Light Foundation in partner­ship with Volunteer Maine, the Maine Commission for Community Service.

Additional media coverage:

For coverage from Fox 22/ABC 7 Bangor, please click the link to access the story on their website.

For coverage from WABI TV 5 Bangor, please click the link to access the story on their website.

Photo ID: (top row, left to right) Heather Arvidson (Volunteer & Client Services Manager,Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program), Mark Wisecup (Volunteer of the Year), Lehann Collins (Admin. Assistant Literacy Volunteers of Bangor), Kathleen Jenkins (Volunteer, Literacy Volunteers of Bangor), Kevin Foster (Volunteer, Literacy Volunteers of Bangor (bottom row, left to right) Meredith Eaton (program manager, Literacy Volunteers of Bangor), Nancy Gordon (Medication One-on-One Team), Warren Giering (Medication One-on-One Team), Jan Cerabona (Excellence in Volunteer Leadership winner)