Mission Announces 2024 Sunbeam Gala Awardees 

by | Mar 5, 2024 | News

Illustration of ta sun rising behind the Sunbeam boat. Birds fly in the sky.

Mission President John Zavodny has announced the two recipients of the Sunbeam Award for 2024: Diana Davis Spencer Foundation and Island Institute. This year’s awardees were chosen for their commitment to the communities the Mission serves. The Gala is the Mission’s annual opportunity to celebrate those who embody the ideals of the community and whose work has made a lasting impact. The 2024 event will take place on Thursday, August 15 at the Bar Harbor Club. 


Your gift to the Maine Seacoast Mission makes you part of all we do.

John shares, “Through our partnerships with Island Institute and the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, the Mission is able to strengthen both island and Downeast communities and ensure that residents can continue to thrive in the places they call home.”

The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation will receive a Sunbeam Award for its committed philanthropic partnership with the Mission. As the Foundation’s Executive Chairman, Diana Davis Spencer, a journalist and activist, guides her organization’s grantmaking efforts. Her daughter, Abby Spencer Moffat, a former business leader and entrepreneur, leads the Foundation as Chief Executive Officer and President. Their commitment to preserving Maine’s natural beauty and environment is built on shared connections to the state and time on Mount Desert Island each year. The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation continues a multi-generational commitment to America’s founding values, including education, entrepreneurship, and national security.

As an award recipient, the Mission will honor Island Institute for its enduring role as a community partner. Together, both organizations have offered support to Maine’s unbridged island communities in education and community building. For 40 years, the Institute has remained committed to working alongside island and coastal communities in the areas of marine economy, sustainability, and community. This year, Island Institute has become a leader in ongoing storm response efforts and facilitating long-term resilience planning and information sharing.

Past Sunbeam Award recipients include:

  • 2023 – Sharon Daley, RN & the Mission Healthcare Partners
  • 2022 – Les Coleman & Downeast Education Partners
  • 2021 – Acadia Senior College & Sigma Kappa
  • 2019 – Bryan Colket and the Sunbeam “All Hands on Deck” Committee & Dr. Diehl Snyder, MDI Hospital Behavioral Health Center
  • 2018 – Marjorie Withers & Maine Community Foundation
  • 2017 – Robin Alden & Earl Brechlin and Alan Baker, The Mount Desert Islander
  • 2016 – Edward R. Flanagan & Cookie Horner and Jack Russell
  • 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

Beginning May 15, 2024, seating and table reservations for the Sunbeam Award Gala can be made through the Mission’s website or by mailing a check. The Gala will take place at Bar Harbor Club and includes a presentation, dinner, and cocktail hour.

Accessibility Toolbar