People & Business: Feb. 28

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Gronkowskis present donation to Children’s Hospital

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, his father, Gordon, and his brothers, Dan and Gordie, presented a check for $25,000 to The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center on Feb. 13. The Gronk Nation contribution was raised through a raffle of AFC Championship and Super Bowl tickets. Rob Gronkowski also visited with children being treated at the hospital and gave them ball spiking lessons. 

“We have a great financial amount to share with the hospital,” Gronkowski said. “We have to give all around New England.”

The donation will be used to purchase specialized equipment as well as health and wellness programs aimed at children. It also will support the Child Life program, which aims to provide fun distractions to young patients.

“We are very grateful for this generous donation from the Gronkowski Foundation,” said MMC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Sanders. “Gronk will always be a champion to us.”

Cumberland sergeant honored by chiefs’ association

Cumberland Police Sgt. Tom Burgess was honored with a Humanitarian Award Feb. 9 by the Maine Chiefs of Police Association. Burgess may have saved the life of an 80-year-old Cumberland man last fall when he stopped to do a welfare check. Burgess discovered that the veteran’s living conditions were unacceptable – there was no edible food and the home was long overdue for a cleaning. Burgess took it upon himself to clean the man’s house from top to bottom, cooked him a meal, and worked diligently in the following days and weeks to check on his new friend and connect him with services such as Aging in Place, Meals on Wheels, the Southern Maine Agency on Aging and the VA Hospital. “Sgt. Burgess’ actions were above and beyond the call of duty,” said town officials in a prepared release. “(E)veryone agrees, if it weren’t for his initiative, the veteran he assisted (who is now living with his family out west), may not have survived.”

Hires, promotions, appointments

Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry announced that two of the firm’s attorneys have been made partner. Falmouth resident Charlie Katz-Leavy is a member of the firm’s Real Estate and Land Use & Permitting Practice Groups. He handles commercial and residential real estate transactions for a variety of corporate, municipal, and individual clients. Alyssa C. Tibbetts, a resident of Scarborough, is a member of the firm’s Government Services and Employment Law practice groups. Prior to joining the firm, Tibbetts served as the assistant town manager for the town of Cumberland.

Thornton Tomasetti, an international engineering firm in Portland, announces that Principal and Sustainability Practice Leader Gunnar Hubbard has been appointed to the American Institute of Architect’s 2018 Committee on the Environment Advisory Group. 


The Greater Freeport Chamber honored a trio of members at the organization’s annual meeting this winter. Jim Frey was named Volunteer of the Year for consistently giving his time, ideas and support to the chamber. The Ed Bonney Community Contribution Award was given to Betsy Ruff as “an extraordinary individual who has contributed to both the business and social communities.” The LL Bean Community Involvement Award was bestowed upon Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture & the Environment in recognition of  “a company that has shown a true passion for supporting the community.”

On Feb. 7, Portland Water District’s David Kane was honored with the New England Water Works Association’s State (Maine) Leadership Award. The award recognizes outstanding leadership and contributions in the water works industry. Kane is the director of administration at the Portland Water District and has over 27 years of industry leadership experience. Kane is the assistant treasurer of New England Water Works Association and a founding member of the Maine Water Utilities Financial Officers Group.


For the 19th year, the Institute for Family-Owned Businesses will honor the top nominated companies with the Maine Family Business Awards. The Maine Family Business Awards will be presented during a gala at the Holiday Inn by the Bay on May 15. Awards will be presented in the following categories: Renys Large Business Award (25 or more employees); Chalmers Insurance Group Customer Service Award; Holiday Inn By The Bay First Generation Award; People’s United Bank Innovation & Technology Award; Shep Lee Community Service Award; Maddy Corson Small Business Award (fewer than 25 employees); and Environmental Leadership Award.

A nomination can come from anyone, inside or outside the business; they do not need to be a member of the Institute. Forms are online at and the deadline for nominations is March 16.

The Brunswick Emblem Club presents a check for $100 to Coastal Shores Activities Director Jolene Corson tto help with projects and supplies. Club members help residents of Coastal Shores at activity time during the club’s annual visit. From left are Past President Barbara Wyman, Past President and Chairwoman Linda Bauer and Corson.


New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, in back, and his family presented a check for $25,000 to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland from a Gronk Nation fundraiser.