The Scouts of Kennebec Valley District on May 18 showed their appreciation to healthcare workers during the annual Distinguished Leadership Reception. Event chairman Roger Pomerleau, left, presents the Distinguished Leadership Award for all healthcare workers to Chuck Hayes, president and CEO, MaineGeneral Health and MaineGeneral Medical Center. Submitted photo

AUGUSTA — The Scouts of Kennebec Valley District on May 18 showed their appreciation to healthcare workers during the annual Distinguished Leadership Reception.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020, Maine has recorded 259,058 cases of COVID-19 and 2,343 deaths. Doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers have been on the frontline of the fight even as another variant has brought a new surge of cases to Maine, according to a news release from Chuck Mahaleris, district vice chairman for Kennebec Valley District of Scouting.

Kennebec Valley District, which is part of Pine Tree Council and serves youth in Kennebec, Somerset, Franklin, Lincoln and Knox counties, annually recognizes a business or other leader for their good deeds to the community. This year, the Scouts honored the employees of MaineGeneral and all those who work to keep people healthy.

Event Chairman Roger Pomerleau presented the Distinguished Leadership Award for all healthcare workers to Chuck Hays, president and CEO of MaineGeneral Health and MaineGeneral Medical Center, during the event held at the Augusta Armory.

During the event, Scouts like Mack Demers of Augusta Cub Scout Pack 603, leaders and healthcare workers took part in a Pinewood Derby, which is a traditional Cub Scout event. Prizes were awarded to the runners of the fastest cars. Mack is the son of Josh and Tiffany Demers of Windsor. Submitted photo

“Courage, dedication, determination, sacrifice, empathy, loyalty are just some of the words that describe the health care workers of Kennebec Valley,” Pomerleau said from the stage which was turned into a campsite with tents, chairs and a fire pit. “It took tremendous teamwork at every job at every level in healthcare delivery to meet the unprecedented demands of the pandemic. Tonight, the Scouts want to say thanks and declare that we never want to take your efforts for granted. The residents of the Kennebec Valley area are privileged to have such a quality of healthcare provided by such a dedicated workforce.”

During the evening, staff from MaineGeneral and other medical providers joined Scouts and Scouters to race Pinewood Derby cars and share fellowship over dinner that had been prepared by area Scouting volunteers led by Tammy Smith of Winthrop and Joe Poulin of Oakland.

“It is fitting for a program like Scouting, which “builds” leaders, to celebrate the leaders of our community,” said Pine Tree Council Scout Executive Matt Klutzaritz. “The opportunity to celebrate the return of this event, which had been on hold during the pandemic, and honor those community leaders who worked so tirelessly throughout an unprecedented event, is truly a reason to celebrate.”

Pine Tree Scout Executive Matt Klutzaritz said that Maine’s healthcare workers have lived up to the Scouting motto “Be Prepared” and the part of the Scout oath that encourages Scouts to “Help Other People at All Times.” Submitted photo

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