United Way of Kennebec Valley President and CEO Courtney Yeager recently presented the Norm Temple Community Volunteer Award to South Parish Congregational Church UCC. From left are Sue Gayne, Yeager, Joanne Winchenbach, Nathan Richards and Adria Kineagy. Submitted photo

United Way of Kennebec Valley on Jan. 17 announced its fundraising total for 2022 of $1.84 million — a 1 percent increase over what it announced last year.

Campaign co-chairs Sue Grenier and Nate Curtis shared this news at UWKV’s Campaign Celebration at Thomas College in Waterville, which attracted more than 120 people.

“This increase is absolutely incredible to see, especially when we take into account that our economy is being hit hard with inflation right now,” said Grenier, according to a news release from Michelle Tibbetts, director of development and marketing for the Augusta chapter.

“It just goes to show what an amazing community we live in, where even through tough times, our community continues to step up to take care of one another.”

The funds raised during the campaign will support UWKV’s partner programs across Kennebec County throughout 2023. UWKV is in the midst of its Community Investment Process, through which new partner programs may apply for funding. These programs will focus on improving access to health, education and financial stability for all people in alignment with the Impact2032 movement — a community-wide initiative focused on creating lasting change throughout the county.

Kennebec Cabin Company accepts the Small Business of the Year Award on behalf of the 365 Small Business Circle. From left are Ryan Eldridge, Chase Morrill and Ashley Morrill. Submitted photo

During the event, Grenier and Curtis presented several awards to outstanding businesses. The Public Service Partner of the Year Award went to MaineGeneral Health for increasing its campaign by 15 percent over last year. UWKV’s 365 Small Business Circle — a group of 31 small businesses across Kennebec County — was awarded the Small Business Partner of the Year for raising more than $88,000 over the past seven years.


The Large Business Partner of the Year Award went to Hannaford Supermarkets for increasing workplace campaigns as well as local community involvement. Paul Van Savage and the support staff at Team EJP were named the Employee Campaign Manager of the Year for offering new incentives that increased participation by 118 percent, resulting in an overall campaign increase of 9 percent.

Grenier and Curtis presented the Chairperson’s Recognition Award to Thomas College for broadening its campaign efforts, resulting in a 156 percent increase in its workplace campaign.

UWKV President and CEO Courtney Yeager presented the Norm Temple Community Volunteer Award, which has been recognizing outstanding volunteerism in the Kennebec Valley area since 1994, to South Parish Congregational Church UCC for establishing the low-barrier Augusta Emergency Overnight Warming Center.

“Homelessness, and the stigma and hardships that accompany it, are an important part of any housing discussion,” said Yeager. “Before the AEOWC there was no place for people who are living outside to be overnight during cold winter months, when the elements are truly life-threatening.”

The warming center was also a recipient of UWKV’s 2022 Innovation funding last summer — receiving a $30,000 grant to open the center for the 2022/2023 winter season.

Andrew, left, and Theresa Silsby were the 2022 recipients of the Rob Gordon Community Builder Award. Submitted photo

Yeager also presented the Rob Gordon Community Builder Award to Andrew and Theresa Silsby, of Kennebec Savings Bank and PALS Cat Shelter, respectively, for their ongoing commitment to the entire community for more than 30 years. Not only are the Silsbys members of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society, but Andrew consistently hosts a robust workplace giving campaign at KSB.


During the annual meeting portion of the event, Katie Doherty of Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce was elected as board chair, and Nate Curtis of Gagnon Dental was elected board vice-chair through 2023. Cheryl Flewelling of Raymond James Financial Services, was elected to the board treasurer position.

United Way also welcomed four new board members to serve an initial three-year board term: Samantha Burdick, Hight Family of Dealerships; Bruce Osborne, community volunteer; Kerry Smart, Thomas College; and Corey Vose, Performance Foodservice-NorthCenter.

In addition, UWKV said farewell to retiring board members Paula Lacasse of Augusta Fuel Company, Maria Hays of Central Maine Community College, Jennifer Jacques of G&E Roofing Company, and Barbara Sweezy, a community volunteer.


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