Some people show their special spark even when they’re trying not to…to seek joy in what you give, not what you get … this was Gary LaGrange. Gary’s commitment to serving others was life long. His passion for helping people with energy conservation fueled his career with Maine Community Action agencies, including building and repairing homes, facilitating fuel assistance programs, conducting energy audits and teaching home buyer education. He was often asked to go the extra step to help a homeowner, and this he willingly did, often on his on time.
Volunteerism had a constant presence in Gary’s life … playing Santa for Headstart classrooms each holiday, directing hundreds of Christmas packages to happy children through Operation Santa Claus and fueling his love for the arts by spending many hours bringing sets to life with the Sandy River Players. Upon retirement, Gary devoted himself to volunteering full time as a lead volunteer with the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area program called the Community Energy Challenge: building interior storm panels to save homeowners’ energy and providing energy education help to control their fuel costs – a simple idea with powerful and cost-saving results. He was also a 5th Degree member and served on the Executive Committee of the Wilson Grange, as well as a site manager for East Parish Housing Ministry, helping rehab homes with visiting mission groups.
Gary took immense pride in acting without expectation, and encouraging others to do the same. He walked beside us all towards a better community and that is truly impactful. Gary left a loving family and community behind passing away, December 15, 2013. The United Way is honored to continue his legacy of caring with this award.
Crystal Cook, United Methodist Economic Ministry
Rev. Susan Crane, Ecumenical Heating Fund
Trish and Gordie Flint
Tri-County Mental Health Services
Peter Judkins, Franklin Savings Bank
Flo and John Caldwell, Stratton/Eustis Food Pantry
Verso Androscoggin Mill employees
Brent and Bertha Smith
The Board of Western Maine Homeless Outreach
Judy Frost, Western Maine Community Action
Shannon Smith, Wilton Blueberry Festival