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2018 Humanitarian Awards

October 12, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm



What a wonderful evening we had on Friday! We were thrilled to welcome friends, new and returning, as we celebrated honorees Danielle M. Conway, Professor of Law & Dean of the University of Maine School of LawSun Life Financial with the Corporate Care Award, and Dick Tryon, Founder & Former Executive Director of Community Partners, Inc.

Emcee Erin Ovalle, who also served as gala co-chair Melissa Coulombe, led our honorees in our first-ever fireside chat discussion. We were moved to hear a first-hand account of the work Spurwink does by a young client, Wahide, and his foster family. Auctioneer Tom Saturley of Tranzon Auction Properties helped to bring in our highest-selling auction item ever!

All funds raised will go to ensure our Outpatient and Community Services – including public school counseling,  adult mental health needs, refugee services through our ShifaME program, foster care placement, and more are able to continue and grow to serve vulnerable children, adults, and families across the state of Maine.

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The 2018 Honorees: 

Danielle M. Conway, Dean & Professor of Law, University of Maine School of Law

Humanitarian Award

Danielle M. Conway is Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Maine School of Law. She is a leading expert in public procurement law, entrepreneurship, and intellectual property law. Dean Conway has authored numerous books and articles and has delivered several speeches, predominantly focusing on two themes: first, the role of a public law school in the larger community and, second, the imperative to recapture the narrative of the lawyer and the legal profession. Dean Conway has realized the goal of immersing Maine Law into the greater Maine Community by promoting access to affordable legal services in rural parts of the state, creating leadership opportunities for underrepresented students through Maine Law’s PLUS Program, and driving workforce development with new programs, one in Regulatory Compliance and another in Information Privacy & Cyber-Security.  She has over twenty-seven years of military service and recently retired in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.


Corporate Care Award

For over 120 years, Sun Life has been providing insurance solutions in the U.S. to help people protect what they love. Sun Life’s community involvement focuses on initiatives that empower people through programs that encourage healthy living, and we partner with organizations that align with our corporate values of giving. Sun Life teams up with national partners like the American Diabetes Association and YMCA of the USA, as well as the Boston Celtics and Kansas City Royals to support fitness and healthy living programs for local communities. In 2016 Sun Life introduced the Team Up Against Diabetes grant program, which provides funds to grassroots organizations around the country who offer type 1 or type 2 diabetes support, education, awareness, and management programs. Sun Life is also part of Spurwink’s philanthropic community efforts, supporting one of the organization’s many community gardens, as well as Spurwink’s outpatient clinic, which provides medical services to low income individuals in the area. Spurwink is fortunate to have Dan Fishbein, President of Sun Life, and Cathy Liston, Vice President, Group and Voluntary Insurance Claims, serve on Spurwink’s Board of Directors.


Richard Tryon BA, MDiv, MSW, LCSW, Co-Founder and Former Executive Director of Community Partners, Inc.

Going the Distance Award

In 1969, members of Dick’s congregation invited him to visit their daughter with “mental retardation” living in an institution. This experience planted the seeds for his career dedicated to creating community living opportunities and closing institutional living situations for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). In 1976, Dick and his wife co-founded Community Support Services, Inc., later to become Community Partners, Inc. (CPI), a non-profit with the goal to develop community living and support services for people with IDD designed to creatively provide a holistic approach to independence of people with IDD. In January of this year, CPI merged with Spurwink. Dick feels that the merger of Community Partners with Spurwink is a valuable partnership for consumers, families, and staff of both organizations due to the sharing of a similar mission, vision and values, and for the future of the community service system. He attributes the success of his work and of the community-based service system to developing partnerships with consumers, staff, families, state and federal governments, community citizens, and businesses, as well as to dedicated professionals from around the state and country. He says that hearing people with IDD say “I can” rather than “I can’t” is fulfillment for his life of service.


VIP Host Committee
Tari & Ranjiv Advani | Ari & Kirsten Berman | Melissa Coulombe, Esq. | Dan & Ilene Fishbein | Brian & Connie Goldberg | Judy Glickman Lauder & Leonard Lauder  | Theresa A. Kelly & Stephen Neill | Beth Kubik & Tucker Hanson | Eric Meyer, Pat McKenzie, & Family | Alistair Raymond & Lisa Thomas | Matthew G. Winch & Jennifer L. Garrett

Host Committee
Joseph & Sue Alexander | Jessica Estes & Steve Arnold | The Arm Factory | Kristen & Bob Farnham | Celine & Chris Kuhn | Christopher & Laura Lynch | Charlie McBrady | Bette & Sam Novick | Erin Ovalle & Jason Birkel | Abraham & Jean Peck | Sam & Teresa Pierce | The Rolfson Group | Heather Shields & Lee Lindenau | Betsy & Rob Tod | April E. Ylvisaker & Jon Tardiff

Honorary Host Committee: The Honorable Susan Collins & Tom Daffron


Thompson’s Point
4 Thompson's Point
Portland, ME 04102 United States
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