AUGUSTA – The Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine raised a record $136,716 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in Maine in 2020 through its annual Log A Load for Maine Kids fund raising efforts despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The total exceeded the previous record set in 2019 of $135,007, and was particularly remarkable considering the challenges the pandemic created for the logging industry and for the traditionally in-person fund-raising events the annual campaign relies upon.
“It is frankly amazing that in the most difficult year Maine’s logging industry has ever faced, and despite the challenges of holding events, PLC members, supporters, friends and families have rallied to raise a new record amount for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals,” Dana Doran, Executive Director of the PLC, said. “This group should be very proud of this accomplishment, and it means a lot that even though in 2020 we were not able to be together in the same way we have been in previous years, we were still together in this effort.”
Today, Doran presented a check for the funds to representatives from Northern Light/Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland. The check was presented at the PLC’s office in Augusta.
In a normal year, the PLC raises most Log A Load funds during an auction at its annual membership meeting in the spring and at two golf tournaments in the late summer and early fall.
In 2020, the annual in-person auction had to be postponed due to restrictions on gatherings. The PLC and its hospital partners adapted to the situation and held their first-ever online Log A Load auction Oct. 16, streaming the socially distanced event live with a WABI TV5 crew filming and raising a record $59,473.
With significant added safety measures the annual golf tournaments were held on schedule and the PLC raised $27,747 at the southern Maine tournament Aug. 28 in Lovell and another $49,496 at the northern tournament on Sept. 18, 2020 at JATO Highlands Golf Course.
“Every individual, business, and organization that stepped up to participate in this effort is dealing with unprecedented challenges because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Yet this group always comes through for the Log A Load cause and the kids because we know whatever challenges we face, these children and their families are facing far bigger challenges and they need our help,” Doran said.
Those accepting the check for the hospitals were Kelly Pearson, Director of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital program at Northern Light Health, and Kate Richardson, Children’s Miracle Network Senior Philanthropy Manager for Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital.
The PLC and the Northern Light Health Foundation (formerly Eastern Maine Health Systems Foundation) have partnered in the Log A Load fund-raising effort since 1996. Donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of the mission to save and improve the lives of as many children in Maine as possible. Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor includes a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that has received support for years from the PLC’s Log A Load efforts. More than $1.3 million have been raised by the PLC since efforts began. In 2019, the PLC expanded its efforts by partnering with the Barbara Bush Children’s hospital in Portland as well.
The South Carolina Forestry Association started the Log A Load for Kids program in 1988. Originally, the concept was for loggers, wood-supplying businesses, and other industry supporters in various states including Maine to donate the value of a load of logs to their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Nationally, Log A Load for Kids is a leader in CMN Hospitals’ fundraising, raising more than $2 million annually through golf tournaments, fishing events, dinners, truckloads of log donations and other events.
For more information, please visit www.logaload.org.