Volunteers recognized with Spirit of America awards

Posted:  Wednesday, November 8, 2017 - 11:45am

Lincoln County commissioners hosted their eighth annual Spirit of America awards ceremony Tuesday afternoon. Among those recognized for their many hours of community volunteerism were a retired teacher, a first responder and web designer.

Carrie Kipfer, county administrator, began the ceremony held in the Communications Center by introducing Commissioners Hamilton Meserve, William Blodgett and Mary Trescott, representing districts 1, 2 and 3 respectively.

Fourteen recipients from a dozen Lincoln County communities had been picked for the awards.

Among them were Don Kroitzsh of Edgecomb who was nominated by his town’s select board this past spring for his efforts at improving the town’s website. Kroitzsh also played a major role in the website redesign for Edgecomb Community Church UCC.

Meserve noted Spirit of America recognition doesn’t have to go to an individual. The Westport Island Select Board nominated the town’s Cemetery Committee. The dedicated group of volunteers spends hours sprucing up the island’s 70 cemeteries and on Memorial Day remembers deceased military service veterans by placing American flags on their graves.

Connie Kennedy was the nominee from South Bristol. Kennedy is a dedicated, hardworking secretary in the community’s elementary school. For 30 years, she has greeted students and staff with a warm smile as she carries out her many duties and responsibilities.

Southport’s Granville “Ted” Lingard serves as a deputy fire marshal. He’s a member of the fire department and past EMA director. The select board felt so highly of Lingard’s contributions to the community, it dedicated the 2017 town report to him.

Ed Pentaleri, a newcomer to Alna, was nominated by the select board for his abiding interest in town affairs; he never misses a select board meeting. Pentaleri does volunteer work maintaining the town’s website, has an interest in preserving the community’s historic buildings, and is a member of the Alna Fire Department.

Dresden selectmen nominated Gary Getchell, a retired teacher who served on the school committee for six years.

Barbara and David Hayden of Whitefield were nominated by selectmen for their volunteer work around the community that includes shoveling snow at the town office. David has served on the budget committee and Barbara is a school volunteer.

Other recipients included Bruce and Ron Poland of Bremen; Kristine Poland, Bristol; Al Lewis and Mary Sheldon, Nobleboro; Riverside Park Volunteers of Damariscotta; Dresden Fire & Rescue; Donald Hastings, Jefferson; and Darlene Landry of Somerville.

Kipfer noted though the main focus of Tuesday’s ceremony was honoring Spirit of America award winners, the county also wanted to honor towns achieving Maine Spirit of America’s 2017 Gold Distinction for helping promote volunteerism. These included Damariscotta, Dresden, Edgecomb, Jefferson, South Bristol, Southport and Whitefield.

In September, U.S. Sen. Angus King, I - Maine, recognized the Lincoln County commissioners for their continued participation in the Spirit of America Award program.