BREWER – The Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine held its 21st Annual Meeting Friday, April 29 with guests including U.S. Senator Angus King, and raised approximately $33,000 for the Log A Load for Kids Foundation to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
The event also included the presentation of awards to Maine Senate President Michael Thibodeau and Maine House Speaker Mark Eves for their work on behalf of Maine loggers.
Senator King welcomed the crowd of more than 150 Maine loggers, supporters, forest products industry business owners and representatives, lawmakers, and family members attending the evening dinner and awards ceremony that followed a day of meetings, presentations, and the auction in support of the Log A Load for Kids Foundation.
The Senator noted the difficult times Maine’s forest products industry has experienced in recent years and said preserving Maine’s professional logging infrastructure is critical to the long-term health of a viable forest products economy in the state.
“You’re it – it all starts with getting the wood out of the forest,” King said. “This is really crucial for the future of Maine.”
The meeting is one of the PLC’s major fund-raisers for the Log A Load for Kids Foundation to benefit Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals, and this year the event set a new record for funds raised.
PLC members are well known for their generosity in supporting charitable causes benefiting children and are sponsors of the Log A Load For Kids annual campaign here in Maine, which encourages loggers and others in the forest products community to donate the value of one load of logs, or any amount, to local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. Log A Load For Kids is a national leader in CMN fundraising. For more information, or to donate funds to a CMN-affiliated hospital in your area, please visit www.logaload.org.
The PLC and the Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems (EMHS) Foundation have raised more than $775,000 since 1996 for children in Maine. 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 as possible. EMHS is a CMN hospital.
The event at Jeff’s Catering also included luncheon remarks from American Loggers Council (ALC) National President Richard Schwab on the national perspective for loggers.
Founded in 1995 with a handful of members who were concerned about the future of the logging industry, the PLC has grown steadily to become a statewide trade association which provides independent logging contractors with a voice in the rapidly changing forest products industry. Board membership consists of only loggers, making it an organization that is run by loggers on behalf of loggers. PLC Members employ nearly 2,500 people and are responsible for 75 percent of the timber that is harvested from Maine’s forests annually.
“After all that loggers have been through in the last eight months, it is truly inspiring to see this kind of generosity from PLC members,” Dana Doran, Executive Director of the PLC, said. “Loggers are some of the most generous and humble people. Our 2016 Annual Meeting shows just how unselfish this group is and how they will rally together to help those in need. Maine loggers truly are the backbone of Maine.”
The meeting concluded with award presentations including the following:
PLC Logger of the Year Award: This award recognizes a PLC Logging Contractor for their commitment to the sustainability of the industry and logging as a profession. The winner this year is William A. Day Jr. and Sons of Porter.
PLC Impact Awards: Each year, the PLC recognizes someone from the public sector who has demonstrated a commitment to the industry and has made a significant impact for its improvement. This year the PLC recognized two individuals for this award. The winners are Maine Senate President Michael Thibodeau and Maine Speaker of the House Mark Eves.
PLC Community Service Award: This award is given annually to a PLC member, Supporting Member or affiliated organization that has demonstrated a significant commitment to giving back to their community. The winner this year is David Cole of American Forest Management.
Acadia Insurance Safety Award: In 1999, the PLC and Acadia Insurance partnered together to make safety a priority in the logging industry by creating a member benefit for PLC contractors, providing training and education, reducing claims and increasing profitability. This award is given to a company that continuously demonstrates safety throughout their business. The winner this year is GCA Logging Inc. of Avon.
PLC Supporting Member Award: The PLC Supporting Member of the Year Award is presented annually to a PLC Supporting Member that has demonstrated an unprecedented commitment to logging contractors in Maine. This year the winner is Milton CAT.
Master Loggers Supporters Awards: The Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands recognizes outstanding supporters of the Northeast Master Logger Certification Program. This year the winners are Jessica Leahy of the University of Maine’s School of Forest Resources; Rodney Wales, former PLC President and retired logger from Fryeburg; Doug Emmerthal of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Forestry Division, and Bud Blumenstock, Professor Emeritus of Forestry at the University of Maine.
PLC President’s Award: The President’s Award is presented to an individual or organization within the PLC which has had a significant and positive impact on the PLC and the logging industry in Maine. This year the award goes to The Hanington Family.