Portland Regional Chamber Imagine Portland award winners

Portland Regional Chamber has released the names of its annual Imagine Portland award winners, who will be honored Wednesday, Jan. 29, at Brick South at Thompson’s Point.

Dana Totman, president and CEO of Avesta Housing. Press Herald file photo

The Catalyst Award winner is Dana Totman, president and CEO of Avesta Housing, who is being honored as an advocate for the development of sustainable communities and affordable housing options as core assets for Maine people.

The Collaborator Award winner is Portland Adult Education. PAE was chosen for building alliances that address economic challenges through lifelong learning in a culturally diverse environment. It was also chosen for supporting the immigrant community through the New Mainer Resource Center.

The Champion Award winners are William L. Caron Jr., CEO of MaineHealth, and Richard W. Petersen, president of MaineHealth and CEO of Maine Medical Center. Caron and Petersen are being honored for strengthening the foundation of the Portland region as advocates for high-quality, accessible healthcare.

The Visionary Volunteer Award winner is Paula Mahony, president and marketing strategist of [email protected], Inc. Mahony was chosen in consideration of the energy and support she has dedicated toward strengthening the chamber’s efforts and initiatives.

An additional award for Nonprofit-of-the-Year will be announced at the awards ceremony, which will begin at 4:30 p.m. More information and tickets can be found at portlandregion.com/imagine.html.

Portland Schools Food Fund grants announced

Food Fuels Learning just completed its first round of Portland Public Schools Food Fund mini-grants, which went to three school-based projects.

The fund gives community members the opportunity to invest in projects that build food security for students and their families. Stocking The King Food Pantry received $400 to ensure food-insecure students have consistent, reliable access to nutritious food. Garden Education Supplies and Materials received $300 to provide teachers at Riverton School with lesson kits on gardening and the resulting nourishing food for their students. Friday Food Partner Program received $200 for the food pantry at Casco Bay High School to purchase a cart for storing and distributing food to students and families.


Maine Harvest for Hunger has reached the 3-million pound mark of produce donated for those in need since it started in 2000 by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

This year, the program donated more than 193,000 pounds of fresh produce from over 120 farms in the state. The donations went to 207 hunger alleviation distribution sites.

Maine Harvest for Hunger had 365 volunteers this year, including UMaine Extension Master Gardeners and eight corporate partners from 12 counties who logged over 6,000 hours. The value of the produce harvested is estimated at over $327,000.

Secret Santa

Maine Behavioral Healthcare’s Trauma Intervention Program was presented with an anonymous $5,000 donation to disperse to families in Portland, South Portland and Westbrook over the holidays. TIP paired up with the local police departments to distribute monetary gifts to families in need.


The Family Restored, a nonprofit that helps families pay for treatment and recovery housing costs for loved ones struggling with addiction, received a $5,000 donation from Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution.