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By February 9, 2021Press Release








PORTLAND, ME – Spurwink’s annual Humanitarian of the Year event will celebrate the incredible work of our community virtually this year. On Wednesday, April 7th, Spurwink’s Humanitarian will welcome guests virtually in celebration of Spurwink’s impact—increasing access to critical behavioral health needs—and honoring community leaders who make Maine a healthier place to live and work. This year’s Humanitarian Award will be given to Cullen Ryan, Executive Director of Community Housing of Maine (CHOM), and Special Recognition will be given to Spurwink’s Frontline Heroes. Free registration is now open at and virtual paddle raises are appreciated. The event will be emceed by WMTW’s Anchor Cristina Frank.

2021 Humanitarian Award: Cullen Ryan, Executive Director, Community Housing of Maine

Cullen Ryan was chosen as the 2021 Humanitarian of the Year because his life-long commitment to serving homeless and special needs populations exemplifies Spurwink’s vision of people affected by behavioral health challenges and developmental disabilities living healthy, engaged lives in their communities. Cullen is known to be able to bring people together to talk about difficult issues in a way that is productive and affects change, despite differing opinions. He has grown the Maine Coalition for Housing and Community Services from a grassroots effort to over 4,000 people who are ultimately focused on pursuing action steps for quality services and housing.

“I am deeply honored and humbled by this award,” said Cullen Ryan, 2021 Spurwink Humanitarian of the Year. “Spurwink is at the pinnacle of excellence in this field and I am extremely proud to be recognized by this organization! My work certainly pales in comparison to the enormous efforts of direct care professionals also being honored in 2021. They work tirelessly to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of people in need, but their work has been even more heroic this year. Together we have made great strides, and yet we have much work to do to make the world inclusive and safe for our most vulnerable populations. I am pleased and extremely grateful to collaborate with Spurwink in this effort.”

Gunnar Hubbard, FAIA, LEED Fellow, Principal and Sustainability Practice Leader, Thornton Tomasetti; Secretary, CHOM Board of Directors says “I could not be more proud of Cullen for his work with CHOM. He has guided the organization to be one of the most stable and effective providers of high quality, safe, affordable, and energy efficient homes for people in need, while actively advocating and improving policies for vulnerable populations on a local, state, and national level.”

Special Recognition: Spurwink’s Frontline Workers

Spurwink’s Frontline Heroes were chosen to receive special recognition because of their tireless effort to provide a continuum of quality care and service throughout the pandemic, putting their lives at risk day in and day out.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say that every day I hear stories of our frontline workers going above and beyond to provide treatment in new and creative ways and to meet the demands of a changing workplace,” said Eric Meyer, President and CEO of Spurwink. “The dedication they have shown to the individuals we serve has been nothing short of heroic. I am honored to call them my colleagues.”

The theme of this year’s Humanitarian event is “Bloom.” It will spotlight the work being done throughout Spurwink, including several of Spurwink’s Frontline Heroes sharing their stories about how Spurwink has changed during the pandemic, and how it has remained the same. Viewers can also enjoy an online auction alongside the program and awards.

Sponsors for the Humanitarian Awards include Lead Sponsor Sun Life; Auction Sponsor The Boulos Company/Boulos Asset Management; Corporate Partner Sponsors USI, Martin’s Point Health Care, Aetna, Foreside, and WEX; Event Sponsors Volk Packaging, Sheridan Construction, Coffee by Design, Gorham Savings Bank, Kelly, Remmel, & Zimmerman, Northeast Delta Dental, Wright-Ryan, Bernstein Shur, and Bangor Savings Bank; and In-Kind Sponsors AV Technik, LLC, Anania Baily Advertising, and Exclusive Magazine Sponsor Maine Magazine.

For more information on this year’s honorees, event, or to register, visit, or contact Emily Silevinac, Director of Annual Giving, at 207.712.9863 or

About Spurwink

Spurwink is a nationally accredited nonprofit organization that provides a broad range of mental health, education, and residential services for children, adolescents, adults, and families. Spurwink offers specialized programs throughout Maine with a commitment to caring relationships and treatment expertise, grounded in evidence-based, best and promising practices. For more information, visit, or call 207.871.1200.


Press Contact:

Emily Silevinac, Director of Annual Giving | | 207.712.9863