Yarmouth woman honored by American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society recently presented Mikala Thompson of Yarmouth with a Sandra C. Labaree Volunteer Values Award. The award is the highest accolade given by the Society in New England, and it recognizes Thompson’s remarkable accomplishments in support of the society’s mission.

Thompson has volunteered for more than 14 years with the American Cancer Society and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. She first became involved with Relay For Life in 2004 after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and has participated for 11 years, five of them as a leadership team member. She also helped build Relay For Life at UMaine-Orono when she attended. 

Thompson has served as the Ambassador Constituent Team Lead for Maine’s 1st Congressional District for the past two years. Her relationship with a cousin who is a lawmaker helped gain support for a bill that raises the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21.

“Mikala is incredibly passionate about ACS CAN’s mission … and is willing to spend much of her free time to make that dream a reality,” said Chris Feeney, grassroots manager for Maine for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “Mikala presses lawmakers on ACS CAN’s priorities, often tapping into her personal connection with cancer, her lifetime goal to become an oncology social worker and her engaging personality.”

The Labaree Volunteer Values Award is named in honor of the late Sandra C. Labaree, a long-time American Cancer Society volunteer from Maine.  Each year, the local board selects the most inspired and passionate individuals to receive the prestigious honor.

Giving Back

As part of its ongoing expansion and modernization project, Maine Medical Center will give the city of Portland $300,000 to invest in parks in the Western Prom, Parkside and St. John Valley neighborhoods.

“Maine Medical Center’s vision of working together so our communities are the healthiest in America is absolutely supported through helping our neighborhood partners enhance the parks and open spaces we all enjoy and value,” said Jeff Sanders, MMC chief operating officer and executive vice president. “MMC recognizes the responsibility it has to our neighbors to help make our community a place where people enjoy living, working and receiving care.”

In recognition of a particularly strong fiscal year, Norway Savings Bank has donated $100,000, distributed among nine nonprofits in several Maine counties. Local beneficiaries include Hospice of Southern Maine in Scarborough; Seeds of Independence and Tedford Housing in Brunswick; and Maine Center for Entrepreneurs in Portland. The gift to Hospice of Southern Maine is the first installment of a three-year commitment, aimed at helping the organization construct a new building to train and dispatch nurses, social workers and volunteers to serve more than 200 home-bound patients. Construction is due to begin in May 2019.

Town & Country Federal Credit Union collected nearly 50 pints of blood through two blood drives the credit union hosted Dec. 12 and 19 at its Operations Center in Scarborough. The blood drives were organized in support of 2-year-old Jackson Corbeau, the son of long-time members Matt and Beth Corbeau. Until recently, the Corbeaus lived in Scarborough before moving to Buxton this fall. 

Town & Country FCU employee Laurie Nielsen organized the blood drives after hearing the story about Jackson’s leukemia diagnosis this fall.

“After learning of Jackson’s diagnosis, I wanted to do something to help,” Nielsen said. “Since the Corbeaus requested that people give blood as a way of showing support for Jackson, this was a small, yet meaningful way we could help.” 

The Corbeaus have set up a fund, Jackson Strong Me, on Facebook to help raise money not only for Jackson’s treatment but to help similar families in Maine.

Mikala Thompson of Yarmouth receives the American Cancer Society’s Sandra C. Labaree Volunteer Values Award during the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Greater Portland event. Presenting the award is Chris Feeney of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.