Executive Director Doug Welch with Spirit of Giving award winner Liz Incze.
Every August, at our annual Stewardship Party, we recognize volunteers who have gone above and beyond to help MITA in its mission of protecting and stewarding the wild islands of coastal Maine. This year’s award winners are:
Spirit of Stewardship: Allan & Kathy Toubman
Spirit of the Trail: Melissa Paly
Spirit of the Trail: John Huth
Spirit of Partnership: Rising Tide Brewing Company
Margaret C Emerson Spirit of Giving: Liz Incze
Dave & Dorrie Getchell Spirit of MITA: Erno Bonebakker
Learn more about them below!
Spirit of Stewardship award winners Kathy and Allan Toubman.
Allan & Kathy Toubman – Spirit of Stewardship: Allan and Kathy have been MITA members since 1992 and Monitor Skippers since 2002 (and they were Island Adopters before that!). This year they got involved at a higher level by helping with work days, training new apprentice skippers, and even offering their home to wayward MITA staff.
Melissa Paly – Spirit of the Trail: Melissa joined the MITA board in 2009 and has been instrumental in efforts to expand the Trail along the Southern Coast, from the New Hampshire border to Portland. She has been a valuable liaison with municipalities, harbormasters, and community groups. She terms off of the board this fall, and starts an exciting new job as Great Bay Waterkeeper.
John Huth – Spirit of the Trail: John is a Harvard professor specializing in experimental particle physics, but he somehow still finds time to support MITA by offering his navigation and weather expertise at speaking engagements, participating in cleanups, and contributing to island conservation efforts. Check out his book, The Lost Art of Finding Our Way, about navigation techniques used by various cultures throughout history.
Rising Tide Brewing Company – Spirit of Partnership: Rising Tide’s Maine Island Trail Ale, first brewed as an experimental partnership in 2013, is now one of the most popular beers in Maine thanks to owners Nathan & Heather Sanborn’s marketing savvy and delicious recipe! A portion of the sales of MITAle support our stewardship efforts along the coast.
Liz Incze – Spirit of Giving: Liz and her family have been MITA members since the Trail was founded in 1988. She joined the MITA board in 2008, where she has been a fabulous and fearless fundraiser ever since by chairing the Development Committee, hosting parties, making gifts of her own, and chairing the board in 2013-2014. She terms off of the board this fall.
Erno Bonebakker – Spirit of MITA: Erno has been invaluable to MITA since the beginning! He has volunteered as a caretaker, Island Adopter, Monitor Skipper, crew leader, board member, and “guidebook spell-checker.” His special interest has always been Little Chebeague Island, where he has helped clean the shorelines, manage invasive plants, restore historic trails and fields, and develop interpretive signage, as well as use his finely tuned networking ability to connect individuals and organizations that share similar goals.
Many thanks to all of our 2017 awardees!