The 2012 Community Tour celebrates those who give their hearts, time and skills to strengthen communities. The two-month program kicked off on May 12th in Miami, Florida, and is working its way up the East Coast, following the route of the East Coast Greenway and culminates in Portland, Maine, on July 7th, the International Day of Cooperatives. The overall theme of ‘Community, Volunteers and Cooperatives’ is the focus of each celebration.
From a community angle, the “Celebrate Maine” festival focuses on getting the whole family active—in fun ways. You'll find booths, activities and organizations for everyone from kids to adults including: East Coast Greenway, Portland Trails, Maine Island Trails, the Bike Coalition of Maine, the Maine Commission for Community Service, AARP Create the Good, Healthy Portland, Fit Planet, Five County Credit Union, Ripple Effect, New England Dairy Promotion Board, Happy Mainers, Portland VFW, The Patrick Dempsey Center For Cancer Hope and Healing, United Way of Greater Portland, and more! And there are lots of great activities, from a Kids Bounce House to a hula-hooping contest to a game of “Musical Cows.” Kids can participate in a Bike Rodeo, where they'll learn bike safety tips, and the Portland Sea Dog’s mascot “Slugger” will be on hand to meet and greet attendees. There will be a performance by Pihcintu Multinational Children's Chorus, among other celebrated local bands and artists. Taste the food that makes Maine great—lobster rolls from the Maine Lobster Festival, fried clam cakes from the Yarmouth Clam Festival, and shrimp harvested by Port Clyde Fresh Catch, a fisherman’s cooperative.
Other local event sponsors and participants include: Hannaford, which is providing free reusable water bottles to attendees (while supplies last) and water with which to fill them, Back Cove Neighborhood Assoc.,Cap’n Eli’s Soda, Cooperative Maine, Hard Core Hooping, Local Sprouts Coop, Lucid Stage, Maine Crafts Association, Maine Credit Union League, Portland Food Coop, Portland Sea Dogs,
From a business angle,learn how Cooperatives are having a major impact on the business landscape of Maine and the surrounding region. With 100 Cabot farm family owners based in Maine, they represent one-third of the remaining dairy farms in the state. Cooperatives are a democratic form of business structure wherein the members own the business. Cabot Creamery Cooperative is a prime example of a successful Cooperative. Meet with representatives from this cooperative owned by 1200 farm families located throughout Maine, the other five New England states and upstate New York. Why are cooperatives being highlighted? The United Nations has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) and the Community Tour celebrates the cooperative business model and brings cooperatives from throughout the region together in Portland for this international celebration. Interview National Cooperative Business Association Interim President & CEO Liz Bailey regarding the recent White House Briefing on Cooperatives, Jobs and the Economy; Interview Cabot farmers from Maine, learn how they are facing the challenges of these difficult economic times, and learn what it takes to bring Cabot products from farm fields to local retailers. The Portland event strives to be as green as possible, and Athletes For A Fit Planetwill be on hand to discuss how they are operating five trash stations with receptacles for returnable items, recyclables, food waste and trash. Trained monitors will be at each station to assist with proper waste disposal.
From a Volunteer angle, the Community Tour is tied to Cabot’s Reward Volunteers program, a mobile app and computer widget that enables users to track and log their volunteer time, win cash and prizes for themselves and their non-profit organizations. To date tens of thousands of hours have been logged on Reward Volunteers by thousands of users benefitting nearly a thousand non-profit organizations from across the nation. Non-profits benefitting from the program include: food banks, animal shelters, and environmental groups, counseling centers and hundreds more. Representatives from Cabot’s Reward Volunteers program will be on hand to discuss the program and the positive impact it is having on communities across the country. Winners of the Cabot Reward Volunteers program will be announced at the event, and more than $18,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the program’s top volunteers and non-profit organizations including the winner of Cabot’s Special Community Foodbank Challenge. And a special announcement will take place as a winner from Maine will be announced for Cabot’s Celebrity Cruise honoring Community Volunteers is announced – the winner receives a week-long, all-expense paid trip for two to Alaska on the Cabot Community Celebrity Cruise in September.
PHOTO AND INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES
Community Tour “Miles Of Smiles” ‘ride-in featuring a giant Globe, a Shout out to LL Bean’s 100th Anniversary, 60+ Maine riders joining our full-tour Tour riders Cathy & Myron Skott, and Bob Spiegelman, who rode the entire 2,300 mile length of the Tour, and Representatives from the East Coast Greenway– the 3,000-mile hiking and biking trail that runs from Key West, FL all the way to Maine and into Canada. (Riders arrive at 11:45 am)
· International Year of Cooperatives recognition ceremony with local, state and federal officials including: Ed Suslovic, Portland District 3 Councilman; Dave Marshal, Portland District 2 Councilman; Walter Fletcher, Maine Dairy Farmer and Cabot Board Treasurer; Liz Bailey, Interim President & CEO of the National Cooperative Business Association; Jeanne Hulit, Assoc. Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration; Community Tour event sponsors and a wide range of volunteer organizations (12:15pm)
· Community Tour-IYC “Giant Globe” and 250 “Mini-Globe” Drop from the “Maine” Stage (featuring Candace Karu, Cabot Creamery's Lifestyle Commentator and Favorite Foodie, Liz Bailey, Interim President & CEO of the National Cooperative Business Association; and Ann M. Lewis, Director of Communications and Public Relations, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (1:00pm)
· AARP Create The Good “Ribbon Tree” ceremony featuring hundreds of ribbon messages documenting how individual volunteers along the entire route from Miami to Portland volunteered their time to ‘create the good” and make the world a better place to live. Interview Greg Cross, AARP Community Outreach Director for Maine’s six AARP Chapters representing more than 228,000 AARP members in the Pine Tree State (1:45 pm)
· Maine Dairy Farmer Booth featuring live calves (10:00 am to 2:00 pm)
· Free Photographs at the “Cabot Photo Barn”(10:00 am to 2:00 pm)
· Live performances by Blue Lobster & Pihcintu Multinational Children’s Chorus
WHEN July 7, 2012 from 10am-2pm
WHERE Payson Park, Baxter Blvd., Portland, ME
WHY: The farm-family owners of Cabot Creamery Cooperative are proud of their cooperative roots. Founded in 1919, our farmers have always been an integral part of the communities they serve, supporting the places where they live and do business. The Community Tour coincides with the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives and is designed both to enable Cabot and its partners to promote the virtues of volunteerism—and to support the communities in which we live on a far greater scale. By honoring those who give selflessly to their communities, the 2012 Community Tour aims to encourage others to do the same.
WHO: The 2012 Community Tour was created by Cabot Creamery Cooperative and fellow sponsors and supporters, including 2012 International Year of Cooperatives, AARP Create The Good, Credit Union National Association (CUNA), East Coast Greenway Alliance (ECGA),HandsOn Network, Marriott, National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) and National Life Group.
For more details or to arrange an interview in advance of the Celebrate Portland event, please contact Chris Pierson at (802) 244-5444 or Bob Schiers at (856) 905-7851.
For additional Tour details and information on Tour Sponsors and partners, please go to: www.cabotcommunitytour.coop
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