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State Honoree

Photo of State Honoree Kevin Ayotte

Kevin Ayotte

Maine

Kevin Ayotte, 14, of Madawaska, Maine, an eighth-grader at Madawaska Middle/High School, volunteers to perform a wide variety of important jobs during both the winter and summer months for the Four Seasons Trail Association in Madawaska. A few years ago, Kevin saw an older man struggling to carry firewood up the stairs from the basement to the fireplace at the association's lodge. "I feel it is important to help out other people when they need help with something," he said. So Kevin began volunteering to stack and load firewood at the lodge in the winter, keep the pellet stove's hopper full, shovel the porch and deck, clean and organize the ski closet, and wax skis for the association's youth ski program.

Kevin found he enjoyed his volunteer tasks so much that he wanted to continue over the summer. He now mows the lawn in the front and back of the lodge every two weeks, and helps to maintain ski trails by mowing them and cutting back brush. He also has helped build new trails and a garage for the association. "The work I do makes it easier for people to enjoy the outdoors and do things they like to do," said Kevin. "I often tell other young people like me that volunteering can make a big difference to the community."