FREEPORT — Elaine Greene of the Freeport Flag Ladies is one of 100 semifinalists in the running to become the next inductee to the Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame.
She was nominated by her friend JoAnn Miller, and was chosen from more than 1,200 submissions.
The Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame was created as a place for everyday people who do extraordinary tasks to be honored for their enthusiasm and passion. The entries will be reduced from 100 to 10, and then the public will have a chance to vote for the winner.
Greene, founder of the Freeport Flag Ladies, has stood on Main Street every Tuesday morning since Sept. 11, 2001 to show her support of the military and U.S. troops. She drives to the Bangor International Airport to greet deploying soldiers, and gives each soldier a specially designed card.
Every week, Greene mails care packages to service members in Iraq and Afghanistan and writes a weekly message of encouragement that reaches 3,000 families.
“I was surprised and honored when I found out I had been nominated,” Greene said. “I support the troops and our country and think it is important to give people a gentle reminder to applaud the things we approve of and work to bring good to others.”
Each vote cast for the Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame results in a donation to the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, which provides opportunities for underprivileged children to learn the sport of baseball.
“Cal Ripken is my absolute favorite baseball player. I have all his cards,” Greene said. “Life can be difficult, and will eventually throw us a curve ball. We just have to get back up and keep going.”
The winner will receive a trip for two to St. Louis, Miss. in September, to be inducted into the Energizer Keep Going Hall of Fame. They’ll also receive a $10,000 cash prize, and a $5,000 donation to their favorite charity. The finalists will be announced by July 6.
Greene said her charity of choice is the Wounded Warriors Legacy, the organization that helps support soldiers during their transition between active duty and civilian life. She said paperwork can often take a while, so the organization helps soldiers through difficult times.
Miller has known Greene for over 15 years, and called her an inspiration to many people.
“In spite of her medical problems, she continues to work to support others,” she said. “She is not in the best health, but she does not let that stop her. She is there for anyone who needs her. So many people have been touched by her actions, it makes sense she should be in the running to win this honor.”
Greene works with the Wounded Warriors, Gold Star Wives, Veteran’s groups and Wreath’s Across America. She speaks to civic groups and school children, and uses her own funds to support programs by giving money she’s raised from selling flowers and yard sales.
She also received an Americanism Award from the American Legion, a Proclamation from the Maine State Legislature and a plaque of Appreciation from the Town of Freeport.
Miller said if Greene makes the next cut, she has an excellent chance to win.
“She certainly deserves this honor,” Miller said. “She never stops, just like the Energizer Bunny.”
Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or firstname.lastname@example.org