SKOWHEGAN — Cathy Voisine was presented the Mother of the Year award Sunday by Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge 2531.

If a Wife of the Year award would have been given, the Fairfield Center resident probably would have received that as well.

In November, Voisine, 50, donated a kidney to her husband of nearly 30 years, Ronald Voisine.

“I like to help people,” she said.

Ronald Voisine, who was experiencing health complications due to diabetes, said the donation saved his life.

“I felt like a whole new man two days later,” said the retired teacher and coach.

“Motherhood takes a great deal of sacrifice,” said Mike Lange, the lodge’s former exalted ruler who chose Cathy Voisine for the surprise honor.

“What greater sacrifice can a mother go through than to save her husband’s life?”

Lange said selecting Cathy Voisine for the award was easy.

What was difficult was keeping it a secret; Cathy Voisine is chaplain of the lodge and Lange joked that her husband, the lodge’s exalted ruler, likes to talk.

“I was praying he would not let something slip,” Lange said.

After receiving a tiara, sash, flowers and vase during the afternoon ceremony on Silver Street, Cathy Voisine said she was thankful for the recognition and that loved spending time with her husband, daughters and grandchildren.

The Voisines’ two daughters both spoke at the ceremony, at which lodge members wore black tuxedos.

Jessica Hebert read a poem and Angela Voisine thanked her mother for “believing in us, accepting us for who we are and loving us.”

Since the lodge was chartered in 1975, it has annually selected a Mother of the Year from the local community.

In 2011, Barbara Provost of Skowhegan, a teacher in School Administrative District 54 and the lodge’s Drug Awareness Prevention Program chairperson, was the recipient.

Beth Staples — 861-9252

[email protected]

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