Gauvin Fund celebrates 10 years of giving

14 years ago

Gauvin Fund celebrates 10 years of giving

In 2001, the Gauvin Family Scholarship Fund awarded its first scholarships in the amount of $4,000 to five deserving students from Presque Isle High School. The first recipients were Danielle (Greaves) Hamlin, Shelly Simpson, Matt Brazier, Jordan Wildeman and Hillary Johnson.

BS-GAUVIN FUND-DCX-SH-49Photo courtesy of Sandy Gauvin
SANDY GAUVIN, executive director of the Gauvin Lighthouse Fund, recently presented a check in support of the Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp. ATLC is a leadership development and drug prevention program serving Aroostook County teens in grades 6-9. A five-day residential summer camp is held annually in mid-July where approximately 65 teens listen to national motivational speakers talk on different aspects of leadership, attend workshops on adolescent issues, participate in small discussion groups called “family groups,” take part in team-building activities, and form lasting friendships through evening social activities. During the school year, a variety of follow-up activities are offered in which these students can develop and strengthen their leadership skills learned during camp. One unique aspect of the program is youth empowerment. Teens who attend summer camp and then participate in follow-up activities to develop their leadership skills can apply to be on staff for a future summer camp. Shown during the check presentation are, from left: Dusty Graham, ATLC advisory board member; Gauvin, Heather Nadeau, ATLC Advisory Board member; and Jack Foster, executive director of the ATLC.


Since then, nearly 90 students have received a total of approximately $90,000. According to Sandy Gauvin, chair of the Gauvin Family Scholarship committee, “We are blessed to be able to give these scholarships out every year. We feel that we’re acting as a catalyst for high school graduates to attain higher education goals. They are our hope for a great future. So far, we’ve been very pleased at the outcome. Roughly 94 percent of our recipients have graduated from college, and many have continued into a postgraduate education they had not originally planned.”

The selection committee is made up of local educators, business and community leaders. They ensure that the parameters of the scholarships are met and appropriate recipients are chosen. They also attend a reception to meet the recipients and show their support.

According to one committee member, “Scholarships are so important in helping to advance our high school seniors on the road to a better and brighter life through education. The awards are a way of saying, ‘Well done, senior, we believe in you and your future. Good luck and know that the ‘village’ is behind in your quest for a college.’”

Another committee member stated that “… (graduates) should feel pride in what they have to-date accomplished and know that members of their home communities have faith in their decisions and abilities. It’s putting the ball in their court, so to speak, to go forward and make the most of their educational opportunities. Encouraging young people to get a post-secondary education is so important because we all know what that means for their futures.”

Raynold Gauvin, who developed the fund along with his wife, Sandy, received the Mark and Emily Turner Scholarship upon his graduation, and a resulting conversation with Mr. Turner helped him realize the significance of sharing financial success. He’s tried to carry that philosophy on through his own foundation.

The Gauvin Family Lighthouse Fund also celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. This is a fund created by the Gauvins to support local initiatives. It has supported such organizations as the Wintergreen Arts Center, the Caribou Children’s Discovery Museum, the Presque Isle Community Players, Aroostook Football League and the Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp.

Both of these funds were the brainchild of Ray Gauvin, owner of Advantage Payroll Services in Presque Isle. Gauvin’s father passed away when Gauvin was a freshman in high school. Having had to work for many years to not only help support his family but to save money for college, Gauvin realizes the importance of both moral support and financial aid to help students receive higher education. He also experienced the importance of supporting and giving back to one’s community.

“If my community had not been behind me as I was growing up, my life would have been a lot different,” Gauvin admits. “It’s my turn to help out now.”