A group of outstanding community volunteers will be the honored guests at the 6 Who Care Awards, Wednesday, Oct. 18 at the Marriott Hotel in South Portland.

Among those to be honored are:

• Barbara Holt of Alfred, who has shown an unwavering commitment to United Way of York County for 18 years. She has participated in and chaired many organizational committees, and she has helped reshape the strategic direction of UWYC. Her work in 1996 and 1997 on the Voices Project resulted in the establishment of the organization’s three focus areas: Nurturing Children & Youth, Strengthening Families and Meeting Emergency Needs. Although recently experiencing health challenges, she has not turned from her volunteer work, but has used it as an opportunity to re-energize the organization’s Planned Giving program. She was nominated for the award by Gordon Collins Jr.

• Polly Larned of Scarborough, who provides support to the families of critically ill children who come to Portland for treatment and stay at Ronald McDonald House. Formerly a pediatric nurse, she is one of the founders of the Portland house, and has been an active volunteer since its inception 11 years ago. Larned also works for Konbit Sante, a medical partnership with the Justinian Hospital in Haiti, focusing on the acquisition and shipment of medical equipment and supplies. She is the mother of five children, and was nominated by Ronald McDonald House.

• William Loeffler of Shapleigh, who is “Opa” (German for “Grandpa”) to students and teachers in Sanford and Dayton elementary schools, where for the past six years he has served as a Foster Grandparent through the People’s Regional Opportunity Program. Ninety years old and a Holocaust survivor, he has not lost his energy and enthusiasm for life. He assists teachers with organizing and preparing lessons, as well as working one-on-one or in small groups with children. He volunteers in summer special-education programs for severely disabled students. He was nominated by Jean Goodwin and Maria Melanson.

Other honorees are Judith Long of Brunswick, Leslie Morissette of Springvale and Susan Kjeldgaard Stiker of Yarmouth. Alan Duplessis of Jackman will be presented with the Mary Rines Thompson Award, a volunteer recognition award of the United Way of Greater Portland since 1985. The American Red Cross of Southern Maine will be honored with the Agency of Distinction Award.

The awards event, hosted by anchors Cindy Williams and Pat Callaghan, will be televised as a primetime special on WCSH 6 on Oct. 31, at 8 p.m. The 6 Who Care Award was developed by WCSH 6 in partnership with the United Way of Greater Portland and TD Banknorth.


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