The Giving Report

Every day, individuals, businesses and organizations are doing good in and around Hancock County. The Giving Report compiles some of their financial contributions.

The Bangor Savings Bank Foundation recently distributed $119,900 across 26 nonprofit organizations serving Maine and New Hampshire.

Grants awarded by the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation focus on helping communities throughout Maine and New Hampshire to prosper by providing vital access to resources, education and societal programming. The awards during this round of giving ranged from $2,000 to $5,000.

Local recipients included the Buck Memorial Library in Bucksport ($5,000) and The Grand in Ellsworth ($3,000).

“These organizations are making a difference by improving the quality of life for the citizens in these regions,” said Bob Montgomery-Rice, president and CEO of Bangor Savings Bank. “It is through their continuous efforts toward economic vitality, individual well-being and more that will help our communities thrive.”

As the Maine high school basketball season has come to a close, First National Bank has reported the successful results of its signature athletic programming sponsorship, “First Hoop.”

Designed to promote team spirit and fan participation, First Hoop was launched in 2005 by First National Bank. Since its inception, the First Hoop program has awarded $274,250 to participating high school athletic departments in the bank’s market area. For the 2021-22 basketball season, 11 high schools came forward to participate in the program, including Belfast Area High School, Boothbay Region High School, Calais High School, Ellsworth High School, George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill, Lincoln Academy in Newcastle, Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro, Mount Desert Island High School in Bar Harbor, Oceanside High School in Rockland, Shead High School in Eastport and Sumner Memorial High School in Sullivan.

Through First Hoop, First National Bank has supported each participating school’s general athletic programming fund by awarding a cash donation at every home court basketball game. The donation awarded at each game was dependent on the outcome of a series of events. Fifty dollars was the base donation, automatically awarded at the start of every home varsity game. Fifty dollars was added to the fund if the first hoop of the game was scored by the home team. Finally, fifty dollars was added to the fund if a randomly drawn spectator (also known as “The First Fan”) successfully made a free-throw hoop at halftime.

In its 17th season, First Hoop donated a total of $26,150 to the 11 high schools’ sports programming funds.

“Over the past years we have received so many enthusiastic comments about this program from school administrators, employees and fans alike,” said Tony McKim, president and CEO of First National Bank. “I want to thank our employees who volunteer their time at these games. Through their effort, First Hoop has made a significant contribution to high school athletics.”

First National Bank has also announced that it has donated $25,000 to the Raye’s Mustard Mill Museum’s drive to construct a new building in Eastport.

A check was presented March 11 to museum incorporators Karen and Kevin Raye and Museum Board Chair Tessa Chaffey Ftorek.

In recognition of The First’s support for the project, a prominent feature of the new building will be named in honor of First National Bank.

“We are delighted that the Seed Room will bear the name of First National Bank,” said Karen and Kevin Raye, who incorporated the museum in 2018. “It is fitting that The First’s donation of seed money for the project will be acknowledged in this way!”

Viewable through a plate glass window for visitors to observe, the First National Bank Seed Room will house the seed machine, a winnowing device that has been in use throughout the mill’s existence to clean the mustard seed and separate the chaff. It is pivotal to the traditional mustard-making process at the heart of the museum experience.

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The town of Sullivan has received a $2,000 grant from the Home Care for Maine Fund for technology to support hybrid programs offered through Age-Friendly Sullivan. This grant, administered by the Maine Community Foundation, will allow the Bone Builders exercise program to resume after a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic.

RSVP Bone Builders is an exercise program designed to prevent (and even reverse) the negative effects of osteoporosis. The program is based on research conducted and published by Tufts University that shows that strength training just twice a week dramatically reduces the risk of fractures due to the disease. Study participants gained bone density, became stronger and improved their balance.

These health gains significantly reduced the incidence of falling. Bone Builders classes fill a vital need for regular physical exercise as well as increased social interaction, both well-known components of healthy aging.

Bone Builders exercise classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Sullivan town office. All participants must enroll in advance, with medical clearance from their primary care provider.

For additional information about this program, call the Sullivan town office at 422-6282 or email [email protected].

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