Maine Coast Mission names Sunbeam awardees

NORTHEAST HARBOR — Maine Seacoast Mission President John Zavodny has announced that the two awardees for the 2022 Sunbeam Award Gala are Les Coleman and the Mission’s Downeast education partners. The gala will take place Aug. 18 at the Bar Harbor Club. 

The Sunbeam Award Gala is the Mission’s annual opportunity to recognize those who embody the ideals of community. This summer, the Gala awardees were selected based on their commitment to EdGE, which is one of the Mission’s signature programs. 

“This fall, EdGE celebrates 20 years of healthy, supportive and challenging programs for children in public schools along the Downeast coast. Our Downeast school partners pour their hearts out every day for these children, and Les Coleman has been an EdGE leader and supporter since the idea was hatched. Their commitment has made the Downeast community stronger and we’re so excited to honor them at the 2022 Sunbeam Award Gala,” Zavodny said. 

Coleman is a longtime advocate for education in Downeast Maine. An early proponent of the EdGE program, he helped forge strong connections between partners for the benefit of Downeast youth. He was on the Mission’s Board of Trustees from 2006-2018. He and his wife Joyce live in Dallas, Texas, and Addison. 

For two decades, K-12 schools in Washington and Hancock counties have partnered with the Mission to offer students and their families afterschool, summer and in-school opportunities. These 2022 Sunbeam award recipients are a linchpin to Mission education programming. They have grown the number of Downeast students who challenge themselves, engage with their communities, explore the outdoors and gain social and leadership skills to build personal, career and educational aspirations. 

Schools receiving the Sunbeam Award include Beals Elementary, Cherryfield Elementary, D.W. Merritt Elementary, Harrington Elementary, Jonesport Elementary, Milbridge Elementary, Rose M. Gaffney Elementary, Narraguagus Junior/Senior High School and Sumner Memorial High School. 

Past Sunbeam Award Gala Recipients include: 

2021 – Acadia Senior College & Sigma Kappa 

2019 – Bryan Colket and the Sunbeam “All Hands on Deck” Committee & Dr. Diehl Snyder, MDI Hospital Behavioral Health Center 

2018 – Marjorie Withers & Maine Community Foundation 

2017 – Robin Alden & Earl Brechlin and Alan Baker, The Mount Desert Islander 

2016 – Edward R. Flanagan & Cookie Horner and Jack Russell 

2015 – Joseph M. Murphy & Todd West 

2014 – Senator George J. Mitchell 

2013 – Charlie Harrington 

2012 – Ashley Bryan 

2011 – Edith R. Dixon & Ralph W. Stanley 

2010 – Emily A. Sabah-Maren & Gary DeLong 

2009 – Curtis L. Blake & Marianne Barnicle 

2008 – Charlotte Bordeaux & Dr. Richard Dimond 

2007 – James Gower & Henry Harris 

2006 – Cornelia Greaves Bates & Alf Wakeman 

2005 – Ruth and Tristram Colket & Myron Sprague 

2004 – Jill Goldthwait & Fritz Dixon 


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