Saturday, March 8, 2014
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Another favorite was the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine, which made him an honorary life director in October to recognize 20 years of support for the group.
Bennett learned to swim at the Portland clubhouse when he was a boy, and became a longtime board member and a major corporate promoter of the organization, said Robert Clark, chief professional officer of the organization.
In 2003, an Oakhurst promotional campaign generated $100,000 for the clubs from milk sales.
Bennett sometimes went to the clubs to help serve meals, Clark said. “He very much liked kids. He loved his visits.”
His community involvement included serving on the Falmouth Planning Board.
Bennett recently used his position to help independent Maine dairy farmers, even though they weren’t affiliated with Oakhurst.
Bill Eldridge, chairman of Maine’s Own Organic Milk Co., said he asked for Bennett’s help in 2009, when 10 small organic dairy farmers lost their buyer and were in danger of closing. Bennett offered to help with distribution of their new organic brand, MOOMilk.
Rather than seeing the new brand as a competitor, Bennett wanted to support the industry and saw the independent organic farmers as partners, Eldridge said.
“He put Oakhurst money and himself out there. Whenever we needed something, he was right behind us all the way,” Eldridge said.
Staff Writer John Richardson can be contacted at 791-6324 or at: