2015-12-10 / Front Page

Nominations accumulate for ‘Great Person’

By Molly Lovell-Keely Managing Editor

It’s time for the Courier’s Great Person Award nominations.

Each year we ask our readers to tell us who has influenced their lives. There are no special qualifications for the Great Person Award – it’s simply to honor those who make this community a special place to live.

Your Great Person may be the person who hands you your morning coffee daily with a smile on her face. It may be the volunteer who works tirelessly for an area nonprofit. It may be a teacher who spends that extra moment helping you, or a police officer who coaches your son’s basketball team. The award is meant to be a thank you for all they do during the year.

So far, the Courier’s 2015 Great Person ballot includes Saco resident Bev Yarborough, nominated by Lori Angis, also a Saco resident.

“As a member of Bible Baptist Church, Bev has been instrumental in supporting families in need in the community as well as serving on the missions committee, as a deaconess, and most recently participated in the coordination of Operation Christmas Child,” Angis said. “Bev has a servant’s heart, and is always there with a meal and a prayer, if you’re sick or recovering from surgery.”

Angis said Yarborough visits nursing homes and ensures that every member in her church family receives a birthday card.

“Her love for the Lord is evident to all who know her, and her home serves as a women’s Bible Study meeting place where Bev leads a group of women in prayer and studying God’s word. As a child-care giver, Bev has been caring and loving children for nearly 28 years at Bev’s Family Day Care. When you meet Bev, she will have a smile and a hug for you and you will have a friend that you can count on at all times. To quote, C.S. Lewis, ‘The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are,’” Angis said. “I’m thankful that Bev is in my circle, and Bev has the community of Saco in her circle and her heart.”

Saco resident Paul Schlaver has nominated the Rev. Jan Hryniewicz, pastor at Union Church in Biddeford Pool and Ocean Park resident. Hryniewicz has led the church for 15 years and will retire in January 2016.

“When she was hired there were only about eight to 10 people still attending the church. Now it is thriving with from 60 to 100 in attendance on Sunday and the church has become an active force in the community,” Schlaver said. “Many local charities receive both financial and active volunteer help from the church. Jan’s leadership has drawn the Biddeford Pool community to the downtown to actively work for its improvement by supporting local businesses such as Suger, Biscuit & Company and Trillium, all business run by members of the church.”

Schlaver said she was also a supporter of the two Biddeford Ball events.

“Pastor Jan has inspired us to be involved, to love music and the biblical messages of kindness, charitable acts and a love of animals. Church attendance has become fun, inspirational and a vital connection for like-minded people that care about one another and their community.”

Denis Litalien has nominated fellow Biddeford resident Mike Bolduc, a person he calls “an unheralded spark plug in our community.”

“While most of his time is spent on Knights of Columbus activities, he also finds time to get involved in many other community projects. He recently completed his term as Grand Knight of the St. Joseph Council in Biddeford, earning the prestigious Double Star Award from the Supreme Council in recognition of all his accomplishments during his tenure, including doubling the council’s membership to over 200 members. He is now continuing being active by serving as the statewide membership director for the Knights,” Litalien said.

Bolduc is often seen at Biddeford High School football games, volunteering to move the chains on the sidelines. He also was instrumental years ago in assisting with the construction of the field house for the Biddeford Athletic Association, of which he is a lifetime member. He is also a member of the St. Louis Alumni Association.

“You may remember Mike from the Pool Street Market when he owned the store years ago, serving the best lobster rolls in town. The new owners continue that tradition to this day,” Litalien added.

Bolduc volunteers for Good Shepherd Parish in the Biddeford/Saco area, taking care of some of its yard work in the summer, and also in church, serving as a Eucharistic minister, greeter, usher and lector. Bolduc ran the parish Christmas fair for a couple years and can now be found volunteering for local food pantries, collecting goods and distributing Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets to the needy and last year started a Coats for Kids program through the Knights. In the past couple years he has taken on the task of organizing the annual free Thanksgiving dinner held at the Most Holy Trinity Church, serving more than 800 meals this year.

“You probably have seen him cleaning up weeds at West Brook Skating Rink, putting in many hours there in the fall and winter. Mike also serves the city at each election, working as a warden at the polls,” Litalien said.

“I have worked with a lot of volunteers over the years and have never met anyone who is so willing to give so much of himself to help others and ask for nothing in return,” Litalien added. “I’m sure that there are other things he has done that I am not aware of, but the above are certainly enough to deserve recognition. I would want him on my team in any situation for he is truly a ‘Great Person.’”

Bill Harriman, a Biddeford resident, was nominated by Barbara Corbeil, also a Biddeford resident.

“Harriman is a teacher and was a devoted coach for 25 years for track and field,” said Corbeil. “He also coached boys and girls basketball and cross country. He coached his own two daughters, my daughter and several other outstanding athletes. He won four outdoor championships from 1980-1983 and another in 1988. He was named Coach of the Year for outdoor track, and won a cross country championship.”

A single mother of two, Corbeil also credited Harriman with helping get her daughter, Crystal, into Northeastern University on a track and field scholarship, and helping to raise funds so Crystal could compete twice in the National Junior Olympics.

Crystal is now an assistant track coach at Binghamton University in New York and founder of the Triple Cities Youth Club that works with 60.

Biddeford City Councilor Bob Mills has nominated the Rev. Catherine Anglea of Second Congregational Church in downtown Biddeford.

“She’s a fabulous asset to the community,” he said, pointing to the recent neighborhood cleanups she has organized, among other efforts. “I love working with her and I think she would be the best person to be named ‘Great Person.’”

Judith Giarrontano of Saco was nominated by Alberta Varney, also a Saco resident.

Varney said Giarrontano gives her weekly rides to Home League meetings and craft night at the Salvation Army.

“She is sweet and thoughtful and goes out her way,” Varney said.

The winner will be interviewed for a newspaper article.

There are two steps in the Great Person Award process – nominations and then voting.

Nominations will be accepted through noon, Monday, Dec. 14. A ballot of everyone nominated will be printed in the Dec. 17 edition. Voting will end at noon, Friday, Jan. 1, and the winner will be announced in the next edition.

How can you nominate a Great Person? It’s simple:

 You may nominate someone by mailing an explanation to Mainely Media LLC, 457 Alfred St., Biddeford, ME 04005. We need to know the address and phone number of each nominee and we need to know your contact information in case we have questions (this information will not be printed). Feel free to attach a longer explanation about why you nominated a Great Person.

 You may nominate someone electronically by emailing editor@inthecourier.com or faxing to 282-4339.

 We also are happy to accept nominations dropped off at our office, 457 Alfred St. in Biddeford.

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