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ELLSWORTH — The Hancock County Extension Association presented three Leadership in Action Awards at its annual meeting on Sept. 23.
The awards recognized those who have helped make a difference in the lives of people of Hancock County by demonstrating a commitment to one or more of the following ideals of UMaine Cooperative Extension: building community; promoting healthy living; raising environmental awareness; and promoting lifelong learning.
Craig and Rosemary Gladstone of Gladstone’s Under the Sun received the Business Leadership in Action Award. They started their business in their home on Mount Desert Island in 2001. Their goal was to produce and promote the healthiest snack foods by using as many Maine agricultural ingredients as possible. Wild Maine blueberries and cranberries are the principal ingredients.
The Gladstones eventually moved their business and their 11 employees from a storefront in Ellsworth to a 15,000-square-foot building in the town of Hancock. Gladstone’s Under the Sun products are sold by L.L. Bean, Eastern Mountain Sports and many specialty stores throughout New England and the United States, as well as on the web.
Jo Cooper, executive director of Faith in Action Community Connections, accepted the Nonprofit Organization Leadership in Action Award.
Faith in Action Community Connections promotes independent living and strong quality of life for elderly and disabled citizens of Hancock County by providing a number of free services.
The services include transportation to medical appointments, errands, friendly visits, meal delivery, telephone reassurance, assistance with chores, yard work and simple home repair.
The third award, the Annette Valenoti Leadership in Action Award, given to a citizen in memory of one of Cooperative Extension’s most beloved volunteers, went to Mary Blackstone of Ellsworth.
Blackstone has served the community actively through her involvement with the Ellsworth Garden Club and UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener Volunteer program. Under her leadership, the garden club has taken on successful beautification, environmental conservation and educational projects at Woodlawn, Birdsacre the Ellsworth Cemetery and Donald A. Little Park.
Each of the honorees received a certificate of achievement and a commemorative University of Maine pen.