The Star-Herald

Mall manager receives ‘Community Spark’ nod

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Board of Directors at United Way of Aroostook recently presented Aroostook Centre Mall Manager Patti Crooks with the Community Spark Award.  

Crooks, who has managed the mall since 1995, has been a longtime supporter and leadership donor for UWA. She has served as a board member, campaign chairperson, Allocations Task Force member and CA$H Coalition volunteer tax preparer.

According to Sherry Locke, United Way executive director, It was at Crooks’ suggestion and with her assistance the Book Nook came to be. The used bookstore supports United Way’s early literacy program with the donations it receives.  She has also been a big part of the Santa’s Sleigh Project each year, helping UWA provide toys to over 1,000 children countywide during the holidays.

“Patti has opened not only her heart to United Way, but also her expertise and talents,” said Locke.

Recently, she facilitated another campaign fundraiser for United Way. The Giving Tree can be found in the JCPenney/Kay Jewelers/Olympia Sports area of the mall.   The tree allows donors to help the community grow by supporting the local work of UWA.

“On behalf of the board of directors for the United Way of Aroostook, we cannot thank Patti enough for all she has done for us.  She has been a great partner to the United Way of Aroostook over the years and has gone above and beyond to help us to do our great work in the community,” said Wanda Guiggey, president of the board. 

“She certainly has shown her enthusiasm and commitment to the United Way and because of that we want to present her with the Community Spark Award for this 2018/2019 campaign term,” said Guiggey.

This is the first year United Way has presented this award to a community member who has exhibited the qualities of a kind and generous citizen who works with others to help strengthen the community.  

“Patti truly exudes what it means to Live United,” said Locke, “helping us in so many ways, jumping in to help whenever needed, working tirelessly behind the scenes to support our work, often times without even being asked. We have been so lucky to have her as a friend and partner, helping to make our community a better place.”

“The personal responsibility of giving back to the community and helping those less fortunate was instilled in me at a very tender age,” said Crooks. “In my 25-year career at the Aroostook Centre Mall as general manager, I immediately championed with the United Way of Aroostook and began a long and successful partnership that I am very personally and professionally proud of. 

“As this year’s proud recipient of the Community Spark Award, I am honored, touched and so incredibly humbled and flattered. Thank you, United Way of Aroostook, the Board of Directors, Sherry Locke and her dedicated team, and all the volunteers. You all are the best ever. You all make it so easy and fun to give of the heart,” Crooks concluded.

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