The Maine Seacoast Mission’s Downeast Director Dr. Melvin D. Adams, III, EdD will leave his position on August 5 to pursue the role of Dean of Student Life at Maine College of Art & Design in Portland. His role on the Mission Downeast campus, in Cherryfield, and the wider community of Washington county has been meaningful. In his time with the Mission, Dr. Adams’ built on the existing team’s strengths and empowered them with greater responsibility to live the Mission’s commitment to serving the youth, families, and communities of Washington and Hancock counties through programs that leverage individual’s strengths and deep partnerships with schools and community organizations to serve more than 900 youth, families, and seniors. The Mission Downeast team has a deep commitment and passion for those we serve; lifting their voices; and cultivating connections.
President John Zavodny praised Dr. Adams for his contributions, “Mel has been the exact leader Mission Downeast needed at this point in time. He came in during the pandemic and led the team admirably through adaptation after adaptation. Mel’s love and respect for Maine and its people is clear in everything he does, and I’m certain that he will excel in his new role.”
During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Adams ensured access to youth programs and expanded programming to meet increasing demand. He also deepened partnerships with Downeast nonprofits and education institutions. By focusing on such entities, Dr. Adams contributed to building a stronger network in local communities.
Dr. Adams said, “The heart of the Mission is the people we work alongside, serve, and that become part of the Mission family. Our work is rooted in compassion for others and finding their strengths to fulfill their life goals. Maine Seacoast Mission has afforded me an opportunity to know the wonderful, resilient, hardworking, and welcoming people of the Downeast region, especially Washington County. It is these qualities that connect us to each other, our neighbors, and our communities. I’m grateful for the individuals, Mission partners, and townships that have welcomed me into their communities. I will always carry the kindness and spirit of Washington County with me.”
Dr. Adams’ leadership has better prepared the Mission to meet community members’ needs. The Mission would like to express its gratitude to Dr. Adams for his dedication and hard work, and its staff wish him the best in his endeavors.
Learn more about Mission Downeast. An announcement for the open job position will be announced soon.
Maine Seacoast Mission was recently awarded a $30,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, to fund the Mission’s Island Health program. The overall objective of the Mission’s Island Health program is to improve the health and well-being of low-to-moderate income and under-served island residents by helping to build healthy, strong, and resilient communities.
Led by Director of Island Health Sharon Daley, RN, the program makes available basic medical and behavioral care, free of charge, to about seven hundred people on seven remote, unbridged islands lacking health care and related services: Frenchboro, Islesford, Isle au Haut, Great Cranberry, Matinicus, Monhegan, and Swan’s Island.
Upon receiving the grant award, Mission President John Zavodny said, “TD Charitable Foundation’s grant supports the continuity of care that the Mission has provided for decades. The Foundation’s award ensures the Island Health program will help residents in need have affordable access to vital health care and we are most grateful for the support.”
“We are proud to support to Maine Seacoast Mission and this grant will break down some of the barriers to care for these island communities and improve health outcomes so residents can feel more confident not just about their health, but their future,” said Sheryl McQuade, Regional President for the Northern New England Metro and Board Member of the TD Charitable Foundation.
Based in part aboard the Mission’s 74-foot boat Sunbeam, Nurse Daley’s team provides telehealth appointments, health education, screening clinics, mental health counseling, in-home visits, professional referrals, and follow-up care. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the program administered vaccinations and boosters on the islands. Of the islands visited by the Sunbeam, over 90 percent of year-round residents depend on its programs in some way.
The Program also supports facilities and caregivers for the elderly on seven additional unbridged islands in southern Maine. Helping island residents successfully age in place is important to the health and vibrancy of island communities. The Mission sponsors an annual Eldercare Conference for these island caregivers and maintains a year-round network for sharing information and resources.
The TD Charitable Foundation’s generosity will help the Island Health program achieve its goals for 2022. The work happening this year includes:
Administering flu vaccines across islands
Providing Covid-19 boosters as necessary
Telemedicine access via Sunbeam
Visits by medical specialists for consultations
Referrals for mental health counselors and AA meetings
Continuing the Eldercare Network
Care management by phone and digital channels
Bridging islanders to off island resources for health insurance information
Helping patients get off-island treatment
Providing financial and food assistance
The Mission looks forward to continued improvement through evaluation of the Island Health program’s impact and success in 2022. That evaluation is taking place, and will continue, through various methods. For example, Island Health has an annual program review, island public meetings, and informal check-ins following events. Partnerships with other health care providers help measure/monitor progress. The program is part of a Mission-wide initiative to become a more data-informed organization.
Maine Seacoast Mission thanks the TD Charitable Foundation for its belief in, and support of, its Island Health program. Learn more about the Mission’s Island Health services.
Maine Seacoast Mission is thrilled to announce the inaugural Davis Maine Scholarship receiving full, four-year scholarships have selected their colleges. Through the generosity of Andrew Davis and the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund these six students from Washington County and eastern Hancock County have earned the opportunity to pursue undergraduate studies with full, four-year scholarships at one of three partner colleges: Clark University (MA), University of New England (ME), and Wheaton College (MA).
The Davis Maine Scholarship was created to ensure more students who are among the first from their families to attend college and are from rural Washington County and eastern Hancock County can pursue and complete undergraduate degrees untethered by financial burden. The Mission credits these students’ success to their perseverance, family support, guidance from high school mentors, and funding provided by Andrew Davis and The Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund.
Mission President John Zavodny said, “Each one of these deserving young people have already had an inspiring educational journey. The Mission is proud to be a part of supporting them on the next important leg. Our partnership with Mr. Davis and the Fund is grounded by a shared belief in Downeast youth.” The inaugural Class of 2022 Davis Maine Scholars include:
Mya Abbott of Franklin, the daughter of Chris and April Abbott, completed her education at Sumner Memorial High School this spring.
Mya has enrolled at Wheaton College in Massachusetts for the 2022-2023 school year.
This past spring, she shared her aspirations with us. Watch her interview to learn more about Mya.
Lisett Anderson of Harrington is the daughter of Rachel Vincellette.
Lisett graduated Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School this past June and has enrolled at the University of New England to continue her studies.
In May, we interviewed this young Scholar. Watch her video to learn what drives her.
Rachel Colby of Gouldsboro graduated from Sumner Memorial High School in June of this year.
She is the daughter of Jason and Laura Colby and has chosen to attend the University of New England this fall.
Emilee Hutchins of Winter Harbor. The daughter of Jeff and Tracey Hutchins, she graduated from Sumner Memorial High School in June.
She will attend the University of New England this fall alongside Mali Smith, Rachel Colby, and Lisett Anderson.
At her high school in April, Emilee shared her hopes for the future as well as gratitude for becoming a Davis Maine Scholar. Watch her interview to learn more.
Ana Rosa Valencia Jungo of Sullivan is the daughter of Elio Valencia Guzman and Rosalba Jungo Zavala.
After graduating from Sumner Memorial High School this spring, she will attend Wheaton College in fall 2022.
Ana interviewed with us this spring to share what motivates her. View her video to learn more about her incredible journey and her collegiate aspirations.
Mali Smith of Columbia Falls, daughter of Jason and Kimberly Smith, graduated from Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School this June.
She will attend University of New England in the fall.
In between classes this past April, Mali shared her excitement about being selected as a Davis Maine Scholar. View her interview to learn more about Mali.
In addition to the extraordinary financial support they receive, Davis Maine scholars benefit from program guidance and opportunities to ensure their successful transition to college, persistence through college and completion of their undergraduate degrees in four years.
In celebrating the Scholars, Davis Maine Scholarship Director Christina Griffith said, “Ana, Mya, Lisett, Mali, Emilee, Rachel – your story is a muscle. Use it, tend it and it will carry you far and always safely home again. And as our first Davis Maine Scholars, know that your footsteps already matter for those coming up behind you. Your courage to persist toward your 2026 college graduation will unquestionably inspire their own.”
Maine Seacoast Mission congratulates its Class of 2022 high school graduates and Davis Maine Scholars, their families, and their communities. To learn more about the program as well as the incredible partnership between the Mission and the Shelby Cullom Davis Fund, please visit the Davis Maine Scholarship web page.
Our Housing Rehab program is in full swing and has once again partnered with Downeast Community Partners (DCP) for the 2022 season. What is more exciting the recent boon of $75,000 gift our partnership received from the C.F. Adams Charitable Trust. Since 2015, DCP and the Mission, through their joint renovation and weatherization project, have improved and weatherized sixty homes in Downeast Maine. Support from the C.F. Adams Charitable Trust has underwritten the collaboration, attracting additional support from other funders. For the summer of 2022, DCP and the Mission have identified approximately fifteen homes in Washington County and the Schoodic Peninsula area to receive home repairs and/or weatherization.
Mission President John Zavodny shared, “This is an impactful and ongoing partnership between like-minded organizations. Both DCP and the Mission are dedicated to the comfort, safety, and well-being of the families in our community. Partnerships like this are often the best way to help. We are grateful to DCP, the C.F. Adams Charitable Trust, and others who support our Housing Rehabilitation program.”
DCP leverages funds from the U.S. Department of Energy and DHHS, under the auspices of the Maine Housing Weatherization Assistance Program. Homes in need of weatherization may be deferred if they need significant repairs such as a roof, wiring or plumbing. Mission volunteers make the needed improvements to each home so that DCP can then weatherize the dwelling.
The Mission’s Housing Rehabilitation Manager Scott Shaw, speaking on the need in the Downeast region, noted “our collaborative program enables Downeast families and seniors to stay in their homes and in their communities. Our volunteers provide labor, donations, and passion for working with homeowners.”
Maine’s housing stock is the eighth oldest in the nation, and the median home price in Washington County has increased to $165,000 in 2021, versus $120,000 in 2018. This rise means that many homes are unaffordable for most residents, with a county per capita income of $26,049. The cost of building materials and supplies have also risen, posting an 18% increase in 2020 and a 15% increase in 2021. “These metrics illustrate the importance of rehabilitating and weatherizing homes for our neighbors” states Rebecca Palmer, Executive Director for Downeast Community Partners. “Reducing energy expenditures and increasing the energy efficiency of dwellings is simultaneously an act of compassion for our community and our planet. We are grateful for our valued partners who join us in our mission to improve the quality of life in Downeast communities.”
“This gift enables us to continue to collaborate with Maine Seacoast Mission and thereby improve more homes than either agency could achieve separately,” says Dale Basher, Housing Services Operations Manager for DCP, “Our partnership, fostered by generous donations such as that of the C.F. Adams Charitable Trust, pairs community engagement with the latest science and technology in weatherization – it’s advantageous for everyone.”
To learn more about our community partner Downeast Community Partners, please explore their programming. DCP is committed to improving the quality of life and reducing the impact of poverty in Downeast communities.
TheIsland Reader released its 16th edition this past June. Using the theme of “jack and jills of all trades,” the journal explores the visual and written works of 53 artists and authors. The islands represented in this year’s anthology include Baker Island, Frenchboro, Great Cranberry Island, Isle au Haut, Islesboro, Islesford, Long Island, Matinicus, Monhegan, North Haven, Peaks Island, Swan’s Island, and Vinalhaven.
This year’s inclusions features richly saturated paintings and photographs that capture feelings and faces of island living in Maine. Poetry, prose, and historical narrative detail landscapes, people, and memory.
Since its inception, The Island Reader has been a platform for creative self-expression. With the first edition printed in 2006, The Island Reader began as a thin, black & white, saddle-stapled arts anthology showcasing the work of artists living on four of Maine’s unbridged islands. Since then, The Island Reader evolved into a beautifully produced perfect-bound publication and includes artists and writers from sixteen unbridged islands. The Island Reader is truly unique in regard to its submissions and is special to Maine’s island communities.
The Mission publishes The Island Reader annually while the independent, talented team of co-editors oversees all content. That teamincludes Kendra Chubbuck of Isle au Haut, Ingrid Gaither of Great Cranberry Isle, MT Martin, Jr. of Islesboro, Kimberly Peabody of Matinicus, Douglas Cornman of Steuben, and Editor-in-Chief Gary Rainford of Swan’s Island.
Since 2006, Sunbeam, a 74-foot vessel, and its caring crew have provided a floating, winter oasis for The Island Reader’s team. The Sunbeam and its crew are an extension of the process, expertise, and resources that make publishing The Island Reader possible.
From July 1 to December 31, 2022, the editorial team welcomes submissions for the 17th edition. Submissions of visual art, poetry, and prose are accepted from writers and artists living on unbridged Maine islands. To learn more about submitting, please review the guidelines.
The Mission’s signature event, the Sunbeam Award Gala, is right around the corner. Taking place on August 18 at the Bar Harbor Club, the Gala is the Mission’s annual opportunity to recognize those who embody the ideals of community. This summer, the Gala awardees were selected based on their extraordinary commitment to one of the Mission’s signature programs, EdGE. President John Zavodny has announced the two awardees for the 2022 Sunbeam Award Gala are Les Coleman and the Mission’s Downeast education partners.
President Zavodny shared, “This fall, EdGE celebrates 20 years of healthy, supportive, and challenging programs for children in public schools along the Downeast coast. Our Downeast school partners pour their hearts out every day for these children, and Les Coleman has been an EdGE leader and supporter since the idea was hatched. Their commitment has made the Downeast community stronger and we’re so excited to honor them at the 2022 Sunbeam Award Gala.”
2022 Sunbeam awardee Les Coleman is a longtime and committed advocate for education in Downeast Maine. An early proponent of the EdGE program, he helped forge strong connections between partners for the benefit of Downeast youth. During his tenure on the Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2018, he lent his expertise and wisdom to the Maine Seacoast Mission. Les and his wife Joyce live in Dallas, Texas and Addison, Maine.
For two decades, K-12 schools in Washington and Hancock Counties have partnered with the Mission to offer students and their families afterschool, summer, and in-school opportunities. These 2022 Sunbeam award recipients are a linchpin to Mission education programming. They have grown the number of Downeast students who challenge themselves, engage with their communities, explore the outdoors, and gain social and leadership skills to build personal, career, and educational aspirations.
Schools receiving the Sunbeam Award include Beals Elementary, Cherryfield Elementary, D.W. Merritt Elementary, Harrington Elementary, Jonesport Elementary, Milbridge Elementary, Rose M. Gaffney Elementary, Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School, and Sumner Memorial High School.
Past Sunbeam Award Gala Recipients include:
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
To request a reservation for the 2022 Sunbeam Award Gala, please do so online at the Gala’s event page. Events and Marketing Coordinator Terri Rodick can be reached at (207) 801-6008 or [email protected] to help with requests as well as answer questions. Due to the pandemic, attendees are asked to be vaccinated, seating is limited, and the event is outdoors under a tent. To learn more about EdGE programming, please visit the EdGE page.