Bath honors community leaders on Citizen Involvement Day

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BATH — Residents Bonnie McDonald and Gordon McKenney, and the city’s Backpack Program, were recognized during the 18th annual Citizen Involvement Day ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 8. 

The Waterfront Park event was held as part of Bath’s yearly Autumnfest celebration.

McDonald, who was called a “ubiquitous” volunteer in a weekend press release from the city, was named Citizen of the Year.

She is treasurer and activity coordinator at the Bath Area Senior Citizens Center, assists at the Bike Rodeo and DARE Craft Fair through the city’s Volunteers in Police Service group, coaches youth bowling, and manages participants of Bath’s Heritage Days July 4 parade.

“Citizens, young and old, benefit from her work,” the press release stated. “The City of Bath thanks Bonnie for her dedication to the community and celebrates her actions.”

“I just like getting out of the house and doing things; otherwise I would be a couch potato,” McDonald said Monday in an interview.

“I was very humbled; I don’t feel worthy of that (award),” she added. “It seems like there are a lot of people around town that do a lot more than I do.”

McKenney received the Al Smith Community Spirit Award, named for the city’s former community development director, who founded Citizen Involvement Day.

McKenney was honored for his work with the Chocolate Church Arts Center Building Action Committee, which involves him in maintenance and improvements at the community arts hub.

“Known for his creative problem solving, Gordon was instrumental in heating and electrical upgrades that improved the efficiency and sustainability of the building,” the city stated, referring to upgrades implemented at the 804 Washington St. center this summer.

The Bath BackPack Program, which received the Community Project Award, was founded by the Bath United Methodist Church. The initiative works with the Good Shepherd Food Bank to provide hungry youth with meals on weekends and school vacations. The service is available at the Dike-Newell and Fisher-Mitchell schools, while Bath Middle School operates a food pantry.

The city “applauds the efforts of the volunteers of the Bath BackPack Program and thanks them for their commitment to alleviating childhood hunger in our community,” the press release said.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Bonnie McDonald was named Bath’s Citizen of the Year during the city’s annual Citizen Involvement Day ceremony Saturday, Oct. 8.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.