GARDINER — Organizers from the City of Gardiner, Gardiner Main Street, Gardiner Public Library, Kennebec Local Food Initiative, Johnson Hall, Gardiner Rotary Club, and the Boys and Girls Club recently gathered to recognize their volunteers and the spirit of community service as part of the Gardiner Heart and Soul project.

Each organization had previously recognized its volunteers in various, unconnected ways — several months ago, organizers of the Heart and Soul project saw an opportunity to celebrate together, and to build synergy between groups in the process, according to a news release from Gardiner Main Street. The inaugural event was held at Johnson Hall. Representatives from each organization recognized volunteers and talked about ways to get involved.

Event organizers asked attendees to bring along a friend or family member who they thought would make a good volunteer.

Gardiner Rotary Club President John Shaw presented the inaugural Brian Rines Award for Community Service to City Councilor Logan Johnston, a founding member of Johnson Hall, J.W. Robinson Trust trustee, and Gardiner Public Library Board member.

Gardiner Heart and Soul will offer free trainings about interpersonal and leadership skills. Trainings are funded by grants from the Orton Foundation. For more information, call Gardiner Main Street at 582-3100 or visit or

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