AUGUSTA — Sue Grenier, 57, has always had an instinct to help others. As a teenager, she dreamed of becoming a veterinarian before finding out in high school biology that she faints at the sight of blood. While she may not spend her days ready to save an animal at a moment’s notice, the behind-the-scenes work she contributes to several Augusta-area nonprofits helps keep them alive.

Grenier’s community accomplishments are wide-reaching. For several years, she has chaired the annual YMCA auction, raising upwards of $50,000 a year to send children to summer camp. As a board member of the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Kennebec Valley and the Colonial Theatre in Augusta, Grenier takes particular pride in grooming a new generation of community leaders.

“What I really enjoy, especially at this time in my life, is watching … younger people step forward,” said Grenier, 57. “I’m not going away anytime soon, but at the same time, it’s really great to watch young people step up and know that you had maybe a little hand in that, encouraging them and watching them.”

On an individual level, the mentorship she offered a young girl nearly 20 years ago through Big Brothers Big Sisters was so strong that the two remain in touch today. And when Grenier found out that her friend Carla McGuire was throwing herself a “going away” party in lieu of a funeral this summer, Grenier reached out to do, as she put it, “whatever we had to do to make it work.”

“If there’s something going on in Augusta and they need someone down in the trenches, you can be assured that Sue Grenier will be there,” said Norm Elvin. Elvin owns G&E Roofing Co. in Augusta, where Grenier works full-time as a sales employee.

Grenier feels that giving back to her community is a natural instinct, especially because she does not have kids of her own.

“It’s always sort of been a lifestyle choice for me,” she said. “A lot of people say, ‘Oh, you’re so good!’ Well, no, not really,” she said. “You guys have done what you need to do because you have children. You’re driving the carpool, you’re doing the soccer (games), the football, the whatever, selling cookies, all the stuff that parents do, and it all matters, you know?”

Though Grenier often contributes time on nights and weekends, she credits an accommodating work environment as being crucial to her volunteerism. At G&E Roofing Co., Elvin has allowed Grenier to incorporate community engagement into her day-to-day responsibilities. She said that she “(carries) the company flag” in her endeavors.

“(Elvin) calls it a win-win,” Grenier said. “I get to do things in the community, and the company supports it.”

But to Elvin, the embodiment of Grenier’s dedication to helping others rests in her willingness to do the unglamorous.

“When I owned the China Dine-ah, early on we had a diner dog (St. Bernard costume) that would show up at different parades and days in the park. It was really hot that summer. And guess who would always volunteer to put on that uniform: Sue. That’s just one of the times you could see her doing what nobody else wanted to do.”

The feeling of enacting positive change as part of a team keeps her going.

“It’s just wicked fun to bring people along for the ride and to do something for a good cause together with other people,” she said. “Really, you get back way more than you (give).”

Meg Robbins — 861-9239

[email protected]

@megrobbins

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