You can view Chris's obituary here:
You can view Chris's obituary here:
Island Connections began in the mid-1990’s in response to an identified need in the Mount Desert Island community. Visiting nurses, social workers, and other health care agency professionals on MDI noticed that seniors and disabled neighbors in the community missed doctor appointments, had difficulty replenishing their food at home, and rarely got out of their homes to socialize with others. Betty Mitchell, director of the Mount Desert Nursing Association at the time, continually observed that transportation was a challenge for seniors and the disabled population.
Through the dedicated concern of area healthcare professionals and the Bar Harbor Housing Authority, the MDI Seniors Task Force was formed early in 1996. The results of a survey of more than 700 seniors and disabled confirmed that readily available transportation was the most basic necessity to maintain quality of life. The mission of “neighbors helping neighbors” was born. The Council of Churches of the Islands helped to spread the word at many church gatherings; the seed was planted and the organization now known as Island Connections: Neighbors Helping Neighbors launched!
In mid-1997, initial funding was awarded by a grant from the Faith in Action Program, underwritten by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the funds covered startup costs and the first 18 months of operation. A board of directors was recruited, and in October 1997, Michael Reisman was hired as Program Director. Island Connections received its tax-exempt, 501c-3 status in early 1998; at that time, 25 volunteers served 51 seniors and those with disabilities. With an average of 145 drives per month, Island Connections improved the quality of life for many on MDI.
Now, nearly 22 years later, Island Connections annually provides approximately 3,500 rides for 315 Neighbors, delivers 13,000 meals (averaging 250 weekly), and provides many rides in our wheelchair accessible van. We continue to thrive due to the generous time and compassion of so many, but we always need to recruit additional volunteer drivers to help us to meet the transportation needs of so many. Please consider becoming part of the Island Connections family by clicking here or contacting us at 207-288-4457.
So, now what? We are in our 22nd year of service on Mount Desert Island, we are putting a lot of effort into the sustainability of our organization. We have added new fundraising events to create greater exposure and household recognition as the number one provider of free transportation on MDI for seniors as well as people with temporary/permanent disabilities and to ensure sustainability of the organization for generations to come.
A cancer diagnosis has an impact on many areas of life for patients and their caregivers. Diagnosis and treatment can cause financial stress, which may hinder the patient’s ability to meet critical needs for themselves or their family. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified these stressors for many. Our Maine Cancer Foundation COVID-19 Fund can help cancer patients and caregivers meet critical needs by offering direct, immediate support.
To be eligible for support through the Maine Cancer Foundation COVID-19 Fund, applicants must reside in Washington County, Maine, have a cancer diagnosis, be currently undergoing cancer treatment, including any form of chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery, or have undergone treatment within the preceding six months, and seeking help with meeting a critical need. Critical needs may include but are not limited to assistance in paying for groceries, home heating and/or necessary utilities, transportation, specialized equipment related to the cancer diagnosis, housing expenses, or critical home/car repairs.
The Fund may provide one-time monetary assistance and/or may consult with local business partners who have agreed to provide services at a free or reduced rate for Fund recipients. Funds awarded will be paid directly to the vendor in all cases and cannot reimburse a patient or family member directly.
Enter the following URL into your web browser to access and download an application: https://
Healthy Acadia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that engages in a broad range of initiatives to build healthier communities and make it easier for people to lead healthy lives across Washington and Hancock counties, Maine. Learn more at www.HealthyAcadia.org.
The Colorectal Cancer Screening Support Fund is supported by a grant from Maine Cancer Foundation. Maine Cancer Foundation's grant is offered as part of their ongoing Challenge Cancer 2020 initiative, aimed at reducing cancer incidence and mortality in Maine. They have awarded over $11 million since 2015 in support of this initiative, focused on prevention, early detection and screening, and access to care for all Mainers. To learn more about Maine Cancer Foundation, visit www.malnecancer.org, or contact Katelyn Michaud, firstname.lastname@example.org, (207) 773-2533.
Dear Chamber Member:
We all know just how difficult the last six months have been on you personally and on your business. The chamber is like your business - dependent on individuals to make things work. We have only one paid position and that is for our invaluable Visitor Center Manager, Cynthia Crow.
We are dependent on dues, advertising and events to bring in our income. At this point, we have had to cancel our Fireworks and Oktoberfest for 2020 so that leaves us only with the dues you pay. Up until now, the town of Southwest Harbor has not committed any funds to our running of the visitor center. By contrast, both Bar Harbor and Mount Desert help fund their visitor centers.
So what does the Visitor Center provide? Most years, we have 50 or more visitors drop by every day, looking for places to eat, stay and for things to do. This year, of course that number has been lower, but our Visitor Center, located at Harbor House, has still seen 700 people. We publish our own maps and guides, and display our member's brochures and rack cards. We also host events like the Fireworks and Oktoberfest, which bring visitors to town and to your businesses.
As a consequence of the current state of affairs, your board of directors has changed our dues structure in hopes of helping you out in 2021. The new format makes it easy for you to choose exactly which Chamber services you want. Please review the A La Cart Dues Description to learn about your base dues and the new options packages.
You will be receiving an email which contains a link to your dues page, where you will be able to select membership options and immediately see the impact on your dues. We have initially set it up so that it includes your base dues and two option packages, plus any extras you are currently signed up for. We are offering a discount on your 2021 dues, but if you can afford it, please help us out by paying the full amount. Please make any desired changes by September 30, 2020, after which the page will be locked and changes cannot be made. We will then email your final invoice in early October. If you need assistance, please contact Cynthia in the office.
Your membership dues invoices will be coming to you via email, beginning this year. Other invoices, such as billing for Trail Map ads and monthly statements on past due accounts, will still be mailed to you. As always, you can set up a payment plan for any amounts due, and if you would like to pay by credit card, simply call Cynthia at the office.
Lastly, our Annual Meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 19th at 5:30PM. This year, the meeting will be held “virtually”. Details will be emailed to you as soon as they are finalized. Please plan on attending. We will recap 2020; talk about a few plans for 2021 and would like to hear from you about your needs from the Chamber.
Thank you for supporting the Chamber in 2020. We count on your support for 2021 and beyond.
Southwest Harbor & Tremont Chamber of Commerce