Volunteers from across York County, including people from Biddeford, Kennebunkport and Lyman were recognized by York County Commissioners recently with Spirit of America awards.

Individuals and organizations are nominated for the awards by their municipalities.

Paul Gagne of Biddeford accepts a Spirit of America award from York County Commission Chair Richard Dutremble. Courtesy photo

In Biddeford, residents Denis Letellier and Paul Gagne were recognized — Letellier for his involvement with the Biddeford Cultural and Heritage Center and Biddeford Historical Society — and Gagne for his dedication to LaKermesse, among other volunteer gigs. Commission Chairman Richard Dutremble said those can include any number of tasks — including helping install holiday decorations in the city.

Kathryn Leffler of Kennebunkport was among 15 individuals and groups receiving Spirit of America awards from York County Commissioners Nov. 15t and is shown here accepting the award from Chair Richard Dutremble. Courtesy photo

In Kennebunkport, Kathryn Leffler was recognized for her participation in a number of municipal committees along with her involvement in the local Rotary club.

The Lyman Cemetery Committee earned a Spirit of America award for its preservation of 115 ancient cemeteries — while the first cemetery committee was formed in 1879, the most recent incarnation of the group began finding, cataloging, recovering and repairing them — cutting brush, repairing headstones, and more, in 2015. According to state law, ancient cemeteries are those established before 1880.

Among the Lyman Cemetery Committee volunteers are Bob and Katrina Randall. Bob maintains the equipment, including chainsaws and other implements, and Katrina said she enjoys the work and being outdoors. High school students and the ROTC group help, she said, and in so doing, they get an appreciation of the old cemeteries in town.

In all, 15 awards were made by commissioners to individuals or groups in 12 municipalities at the Nov. 15 ceremonies.

“Government wouldn’t function if (you) didn’t volunteer your time and resources,” said York County Manager Greg Zinser. “Thank you very much for your dedication and hard work.”

Also earning awards were the election workers of Shapleigh; the late Wesley Stacey of Parsonsfield; Peter Stickney and Allen Moulton of Newfield; John MacIntyre of Cornish; Patricia Dearborn of Limington; Paula Hodgdon and the Community Clothing Closet of Hollis; Frank Pulsoni of Buxton; Emery’s Bridge Community Improvement Association and Mrs. Reid’s third-grade class at North Berwick Elementary School.

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