MDIslander – Mission Christmas Events Continue

MDIslander – Mission Christmas Events Continue

Sunbeam crew Christmas 2018. (Photo not part of MDIslander piece.)
Christmas events continue despite pandemic
November 28, 2020 by Ninah Gile on Arts & living, Lifestyle

Mount Desert Maine Seacoast Mission

On Dec. 5, the Maine Seacoast Mission will be lighting up the Sunbeam from bow to stern, with a decorated Christmas tree in the salon. Its new headquarters in Mount Desert will be festively lit up, along with the rest of the town. Folks can stroll past the headquarters to see lights as they shop or walk down to the marina. In addition to what is happening in Northeast Harbor, the Mission is continuing the tradition of delivering their “White Gifts” (Christmas gifts) to children and elders throughout the community, including the outer islands, around Christmas. For more information, visit

Full story

It’s Thank you Thursday for Betsy Ogden, Sarah Davis, Suzy Kelley, Fiber Loft

It’s Thank you Thursday for Betsy Ogden, Sarah Davis, Suzy Kelley, Fiber Loft

It’s a Thanksgiving Thank you Thursday. Today’s shout out of Mission love goes to Betsy Ogden, Sarah Davis, Suzy Kelley, the Fiber Loft and its circle of knitters.

The Mission’s Christmas tradition of giving children hand knit hats and mittens began over 100 years ago. Betsy Ogden learned of the Mission’s need for hand-knit hats and mittens and recruited two friends, Sarah Davis and Suzy Kelley to help.

Suzy in turn recruited knitters at the Fiber Loft in Harvard, MA to join the effort. The Fiber Loft gave knitters a 20-percent discount on yarn and a simple hat pattern.

Together, this team of knitters donated over 110 items to help keep children warm and cozy this winter.

This is what community looks like.

Fiber Loft online

Maine Seacoast Mission Announces Honorees for the 2021 Sunbeam Award Gala

Maine Seacoast Mission Announces Honorees for the 2021 Sunbeam Award Gala

NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME — Maine Seacoast Mission President John Zavodny has announced the two honorees for the next summer’s Sunbeam Award Gala: Sigma Kappa and Acadia Senior College. The Mission’s Sunbeam Award Gala is its centerpiece fundraising event, built around recognizing those who embody the ideals of community.

President Zavodny said the values and accomplishments of these two inspiring organizations are clear examples of actions and spirit that make communities strong. Maine Seacoast Mission is honored to celebrate these two organizations’ contributions.

Sigma Kappa, a national sorority was founded in 1874 at Colby College in Waterville, ME, and has been the Mission’s friend and partner for over a century. Valuing personal growth, friendship, service and loyalty, the sorority has initiated over 176,000 women nationwide. The purpose of Sigma Kappa is to “provide lifelong opportunities and support for social, intellectual, and spiritual development by bringing women together to positively impact our communities.” 

Sigma Kappa Foundation is the organization’s philanthropic arm, and its mission is to create and fund leadership, scholarship and philanthropic initiatives that reflect the values and spirit of Sigma Kappa Sorority. Sigma Kappa’s philanthropic priorities include the Maine Seacoast Mission and gerontology studies with an emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease research.

Sigma Kappa, through its Foundation, provides Maine Seacoast Mission with support for several programs including Housing Rehabilitation, Christmas gift program, and Island Services.

“As we approach our 150th anniversary in 2024, we often look to the constants in our membership experience and the Maine Seacoast Mission is among them. It connects us to our roots at Colby College and our founders,” shared Dawn O’Connor, Sigma Kappa Foundation president. “To be honored with a Sunbeam Award is humbling and very much appreciated.”

Acadia Senior College, located on Mount Desert Island, began as a community project to provide “intellectual stimulation, practical knowledge, social interaction, and fun” for older persons. In 2020, Acadia Senior College is honoring its 20th Anniversary. Acadia Senior College is a place where the knowledge and talents of community members work in service to the region’s senior population.

Acadia Senior College offers programming that informs, challenges, entertains, and strengthens community through courses in areas such as economics, ecology, health, opera, and literature. Acadia Senior College also provides fascinating keynote lectures, with coffees and lunches encouraging dialogue on current challenges and issues.

“The Maine Seacoast Mission has been fostering and supporting communities in Maine for many years. On behalf of Acadia Senior College, I am thrilled to be the recipient of this great honor. To be selected for this award acknowledges the vision of our founders to enrich the lives of seniors on MDI and in the surrounding areas”, Linda Dunn, President, said.

The Maine Seacoast Mission looks forward to celebrating these two honorees throughout the year. Sigma Kappa and Acadia Senior College join a wonderful list of Sunbeam honorees going back 16 years:

Past Sunbeam Award Gala Recipients

2019 – Bryan Colket and the Sunbeam “All Hands on Deck” Committee & Dr. Diehl Snyder and the MDI Hospital Behavioral Health Center
2018 – Marjorie Withers & and Maine Community Foundation, Hancock and Washington County Funds; Stephen Rowe, President
2017- Robin Alden & The Mount Desert Islander (Earl Brechlin and Alan Baker)
2016 – Edward R. Flanagan & Cookie Horner and Jack Russell (Co-Chairs, Acadia Centennial Task Force)
2015 – Joseph M. Murphy & Todd West
2014 – Senator George J. Mitchell
2013 – Charlie Harrington
2012 – Ashley Bryan
2011 – Edith R. Dixon & Ralph W. Stanley
2010 – Emily A. Sabah-Maren & Gary DeLong
2009 – Curtis L. Blake & Marianne Barnicle
2008 – Charlotte Bordeaux & Dr. Richard Dimond
2007 – James Gower & Henry Harris
2006 – Cornelia Greaves Bates & Alf Wakeman
2005 – Ruth and Tristram Colket & Myron Sprague
2004 – Jill Goldthwait & Fritz Dixon

For more information about the event, scheduled for August 12, 2021, please contact Anna Silver at 207.801.6011 or


Island Flu Shots, Cookies, and Granola

Island Flu Shots, Cookies, and Granola

NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME — With the Sunbeam back in service, it’s good to see photos and read notes from the boat’s crew at work among unbridged Maine islands.

Jillian, the Sunbeam Steward, sent this photo, saying, “[Sunbeam Engineer] Storey giving Douglas and Sharon — with more flu shots — a ride onto Monhegan in the skiff last Wednesday.

“While we crew waited off shore, I made granola and cookies,” said Jillian.

Learn more about Sharon’s and Douglas’s work.