Being busy is Roger Pomerleau’s therapy.

And while the 65-year-old Hallowell resident and Augusta businessman insists his involvement volunteering, currently with at least 17 groups, helps him burn off excess energy, community leaders say they’re thankful that Pomerleau shares so much of his time and experience with others.

“We’ve very fortunate to have Roger — not just our organization, but the entire community,” said Deb Violette, president and founder of Free ME from Lung Cancer, an Augusta-based nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money for lung cancer research, education, advocacy and community support. “I’m a very busy person, but I really don’t know how he does all that he does. He does an amazing job for our foundation and other foundations.”

Were it not for the handwritten notes Pomerleau keeps in his Day-Timer, which helps him account for nearly every hour of the day, he admits he might not be able to keep track of it all. And he said he benefits from it, too.

“I think I have attention deficit, so it helps to keep busy,” he said. “It’s kind of therapeutic. And rewarding. I have the energy and it helps me to burn up the excess energy.”

The businessman, who works at the family-founded business NRF Distributors and is a partner and founder of the Marketplace at Augusta, is serving in various capacities with 17 local and state organizations.

They include either board membership, fundraising roles, or both, for the Boy Scouts’ Pine Tree Council; the Kennebec Historical Society in Augusta; Transfiguration Hermitage in Windsor; Colonial Theatre in Augusta; the Spirit of America Foundation; Augusta First; the Augusta Board of Trade; the Hallowell Board of Trade; the Retail Association of Maine, the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, Johnson Hall in Gardiner, Snow Pond Center for the Arts, Maine Families Network, Hallowell Citizens Initiative, which formed to save the local fire tower; the Share Foundation, which raises money for hospitals and schools in South Asia and Mexico; the Maine French Heritage Language Program; and the Mayor’s Recognition of Excellence Committee in Augusta, of which he is the leader.

In the past, he’s also served on organizations including the Friends of Lithgow Library capital campaign, and on the board at Old Fort Western in Augusta.

Augusta Mayor David Rollins said he saw Pomerleau as a natural choice to lead the Mayor’s Recognition of Excellence process, in which local residents are honored for their contributions to the community. He said Pomerleau’s involvement in so many positive things going on locally made him the perfect person to oversee the nominating and vetting process for the awards. Ironically, Pomerleau has all the traits of someone who might win one of the awards, if he were not overseeing the process himself.

“At some point we’re going to have to find a way to recognize him,” Rollins said. “Whether it’s with a Recognition of Excellence or a citizen of the year, that kind of thing. But I don’t think that’s why Roger does it. I think he just loves the engagement, loves the involvement. He’s fortunate to be in a time and place in his life where he could do that. Many other people are, too, but they don’t choose to do so. He chooses to go all in for his community. We should be thankful for all those people who, like Roger, go above and beyond for this community.”

Phil Judd, vice president and project director of Maine Families Network, an Augusta-based nonprofit group focused on helping local families and emphasizing the importance of families, where Pomerleau is treasurer and a board member, said he doesn’t know how Pomerleau does it all. He said it’s not just about Pomerleau’s hard work, but also his creativity and knowledge, especially when it comes to fundraising.

“He’s just a natural multi-tasker. His mind goes that fast,” Judd said. “If Maine Families Network is a boat, he’s one of the major rowers of the boat. He’s a natural whirlwind, a little bunny who never stops. He’s a wealth of knowledge in a ton of different ways.”

Pomerleau, who is married and has two adult children, comes from a prominent Augusta family that owned the sprawling former Frank Pomerleau’s furniture and appliance store in Augusta.

He first volunteered at the age of 13, for the Columbian Squires, a group he describes as like a junior Knights of Columbus, raising funds for the group’s statewide convention. He continued to volunteer in college and his network of involvement expanded to more groups.

He said he has cut back recently and he’s no longer keeping the same hectic pace he did five years ago. He is hopeful others will take his place and volunteer in the community.

“I do see it winding down; it’s time,” he said. “The X and Y generations, and the millennials, are taking over, I enjoy seeing that. There’s room. I’d be glad to step aside for the younger generation to step in and serve on these boards. I’m encouraged, seeing that happen now. These groups have a volunteer ethos. But it’s harder for them. They’ve got college loans. I think the economy has impacted volunteering. It’s hard for young people to start up and get themselves established, before they can take time off (to volunteer),” he said.

Violette said Pomerleau is creative and has great ideas for fundraising and other events. She said he does many things for the city in addition to his time spent working with local boards and committees.

“He’s a wonderful resource in this community and he needs to be valued and appreciated,” she said. “I think the community is blessed that he is here.”

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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