REM Award Honorees (2014) — Ryan Poirier (Special Posthumous Award)

As we move about our worlds, we learn from each other all the time. Some people teach us things that change our lives, that make us better humans. This year REM is proud to give a special award to a special person, one who taught us that in all of us there is, and always should be, a volunteer, wherever we are and whatever we’re doing.

We honor Ryan Poirier for what he taught us in his too short life, which ended earlier this year. In his everyday employment and life, he soared above whatever job description was created for him simply by responding to the needs of people and our environment.

Throughout this community are stories of Ryan’s giving. He was able to see and feel need and was driven to respond. Ryan worked for Spectrum Generations for his last 22 years. As a regional Meals on Wheels coordinator in Somerset and northern Kennebec counties, Ryan helped thousands of homebound older and disabled adults receive needed meals, safety checks, and other services enabling them to remain in their homes. For many, he became more than a worker — he became a friend.

Ryan also created several well known fundraising events to insure that Meals on Wheels had the financial resources needed to meet the ever growing demand. These events include the Gene and Lucille Letourneau Ice Fishing Derby, the Sukeforth Family Pig Roast and the Meals on Wheels Golf Tournament. Ryan was devoted to his work and all the people it benefited.

Perhaps our loss of Ryan’s giving has led us to contemplate our own. Perhaps each of us should shine up our own feelers, open our eyes and hearts, and in our everyday lives, both as paid workers and as people moving about this community, see and feel the need and drive ourselves to respond on a personal level as Ryan Poirier did.

Ryan Poirier died on January 15, 2014. Accepting the award was his widow, Debra Poirier.

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