ELLSWORTH — Stu Marckoon, morning show host, firefighter, town administrator, umpire, referee, auctioneer and volunteer for just about everything, has been named the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year.
Chamber Director Gretchen Wilson surprised Marckoon with the news during his morning show on Star 97.7 on Monday. The award is presented annually to “An outstanding individual who embodies community spirit through volunteerism, community involvement and advocacy.” Criteria for the award include community service to the Ellsworth area and service to others above and beyond one’s own profession, business or enterprise.
Marckoon moved to the area with his wife, Bonnie, in 1983. The couple raised two daughters, and Marckoon became the first news director at the then-fledgling Ellsworth radio station KISS 94 FM, where he worked until 1993, when he left to become the town administrator in Lamoine, a position he still holds today, 27 years later.
Marckoon dove back into radio in 2005 alongside his former broadcast employers Mark Osborne and Natalie Knox, anchoring the local morning news on Ellsworth radio station Star 97.7. Fifteen years later, he’s still getting up before the chickens to do the news.
Marckoon provides “service to others, above and beyond excellence,” said Natalie Knox, co-owner of Star 97.7.
Marckoon volunteers many hours each week to with local nonprofit organizations.
For more than 30 years, Marckoon has coached little league and played tuba in the Ellsworth Concert Band and the Fletchers Landing Philharmonic Orchestra.
He’s been “a supporter of all things Grand,” said the theater’s Director Nick Turner, skillfully emceeing numerous events, including: “Ellsworth’s Got Talent,” “So You Think You Know Ellsworth” and “Dancing With the Ellsworth Stars.” Marckoon has been the auctioneer at the Ellsworth Rotary Club Auction and emceed fundraisers for Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital. He also sets up and loans his personal address system to the town of Lamoine for numerous events, including Memorial Day ceremonies.
Aside from his other two jobs, Marckoon is also a high school baseball umpire, a volleyball umpire and a basketball referee and directed referees for the Down East Family YMCA’s youth sports throughout the year. “He takes the time to explain the rules and even the skills involved with patience and compassion to kids and parents,” said Mark Remick of Maine Storage Plus.
Marckoon also serves as a volunteer firefighter (assistant chief) for the town of Lamoine, which he’s done since the 1980s. He can be out on a fire call at 2 in the morning and gets home in time to shower and then go to radio station to broadcast the morning news.
Marckoon will be honored at the Chamber’s Annual Award Dinner, scheduled for May 21, in a pop-up event center at the Maine Coast Mall. Information on the event can be found at www.ellsworthchamber.org.