Dozens gathered on Thursday at the Kennebec County Courthouse to honor the 2017 Spirit of America winners.

Maine’s Spirit of America Foundation chapter is a public charity established in Augusta to encourage volunteerism, according to a news release from Bruce Flaherty, president of Maine Spirit of America, a chapter of the Spirit of America Foundation. It allows the Spirit of America Foundation Tribute to be presented in the name of any Maine municipality.

The first Spirit of America Foundation award was presented to Alma Jones by Augusta Mayor William Burney in 1991. Govs. John Baldacci and Angus King and Maine Municipal Association Director Chris Lockwood are among many who have played key roles at one of the more than 500 Spirit of America ceremonies over the years.

Here are the 2017 winners:

Albion : Charlene Gould takes food to sick people, comforts grieving families and offers help to anyone in need.

Augusta: Robert MacDougall is chairman of the Augusta Age-Friendly initiative and helps Meals on Wheels and AARP.

Belgrade: Linda Bacon is chairwoman of the Parks & Recreation Committee, helps Friends of Belgrade Library and Scouts. Elizabeth Fontaine and Diane Oliver helped to plan Main Street enhancements and raise $500,000 for re-construction. Howard Holinger has been chairman of Belgrade’s Budget Committee and helped solve problems troubling the town.

Benton: June Caron has served as Benton Alewife Festival chairwoman and played key role in event’s success. Leo Caron serves on the Budget Committee, the Planning Board and the Alewife Festival Committee.

Chelsea: Beatrice Campbellton volunteered for Chelsea Senior Citizens and provided rides for those in need. Esther Shaw was active in the Chelsea Grange and in other local and statewide civic organizations.

China: LakeSmart Committee members Bernice Caldwell, Margo Greene, Sheryl McGinnis, Marie Michaud, Linda O’Connor, Elaine Philbrook, David Preston and Linda Starrett have been involved in an effective China Lake cleanup effort.

Clinton: The Clinton Code Enforcement Office, the Clinton Fire Department and the Clinton Police Department work together to provide backup and support in a variety of areas.

Farmingdale: Sandra Choate was a key organizer of the Farmingdale Historical Society and has served as its president.

Fayette: Friends of Starling Hall has done fundraising and renovating to convert the building into a public site.

Gardiner: Robert Abbey helps the city’s Historic Preservation Commission, Johnson Hall, Gardiner Main Street and the library.

Hallowell: Maggie Warren has been chairwoman of the Bicycle/Pedestrian Committee and plays a key role in an artwork festival.

Litchfield: The Litchfield Farmers Club has been organizing the huge annual fall Litchfield Fair for many years.

Manchester: Dylan Burroughs has done much to assist his school’s Interact Club and his church youth group. Central Maine Amazing Race raised over $5,000 to buy specialized glasses for a woman in need. Callie Fournier has served many years as treasurer of North Manchester Meeting House church. Carolyn Van Horn has been president of the Manchester Historical Society and local Grange master.

Monmouth: Maine Heritage Weavers provides space for a community garden and supports many local causes.

Mount Vernon: Robert Grenier is sexton of the town’s cemeteries, leads its 911 efforts and was a selectman.

Oakland: Dana Wrigley served 20 years on the Budget Committee, is a town councilor and helps numerous groups.

Pittston: The Riverside Cemetery Committee reclaimed its oldest area, where 48 unidentified people were buried.

Randolph: Richard Harriman has compiled chronicles of the town’s history in notebooks and displays photos.

Readfield: David Bagley has served 40 years on the Conservation Commission and has helped many other causes. Florence Drake has done much to help the Readfield Historical Society, was an emergency medical technician and was on Readfield Rescue. William Drake has assisted the Readfield Historical Society and also repaired vacuums and donated them.

Rome: Andrew Cook has served as Regional School Unit 18 director, has been a school tutor and helps the lakes association.

Sidney: Donna Farnham has done much for the Kennebec Regional Development Authority, has been a Sidney selectwoman and served on the Budget Committee. Lawrence Tibbetts has served on the Memorial Committee, the Fire Department, the Budget committee and other committees.

Vassalboro: A posthumous award was made for former Kennebec County Probate Judge Jim Mitchell, who helped create a new kindergarten-through grade 8 school in town, was a firefighter and gave much free legal aid.

Vienna: Daniel Onion began Neighbors Helping Neighbors and helped the 30 Mile Watershed.

Waterville: George and Betty Whitten have volunteered many hours helping Waterville Senior High School student athletes.

Wayne: Robert McKee has served on the Planning Board, the School House Committee and several other groups.

West Gardiner: Debra Couture has been helpful to the American Legion and the school system. Gregory Couture has served 20 years as selectman and done much to help people over that span.

Windsor: Dan Gordon has devoted much time and effort to the Windsor Days festival and has served as a selectman. Elwin Hussey has served as town historian, documented cemeteries and donated land to the town. Richard Hutchinson Sr. has dedicated a lot of time and energy to assisting Windsor’s food bank.

Winslow: Gerald Saint Amand has been president of the Hospice Volunteers of Waterville Area and a Town Council chairman.

Winthrop: Sarah Fuller has been Town Council chairwoman, on Kennebec Woodland Partnership and other boards.

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