Sunbeam Gala 2021 – A Festive Evening of Friends

A view of the Sunbeam Award Gala 2021 at the Bar Harbor Club. The large tent used is partially visible.

NOTE: Thank you to Mission Director of Administration Ann Cox Halkett and Development Operations Associate Thomas Thompson for this Sunbeam Award Gala 2021 recap.

NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME — The Mission’s 2021 Sunbeam Award Gala was a great success, a joy to gather in Bar Harbor to honor Sigma Kappa and Acadia Senior College. The August 12 event celebrated two extraordinary organizations — Acadia Senior College and Sigma Kappa. Both have made great contributions to strong communities on Mount Desert Island, including the women of Sigma Kappa who have steadfastly supported the Mission for over 100 years

The gala was held on the Bar Harbor Club patio, and also under a large tent on the lawn. The weather was picture perfect. After our virtual Gala last summer, guests were happy to gather together with friends to support the Mission’s work.

Mission President John Zavodny welcomed guests and introduced David B. Woodside, Chair of the Board of Directors of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, one of the Gala’s Platinum sponsors. Following an entertaining video about Acadia Senior College, former Mission President Scott Planting gave the Sunbeam award to Acadia Senior College president, Linda Dunn. In her remarks, Dunn told of the College’s start and quick success, and pointed out that the room held dozens of Gala guests who have been College instructors, supporters, and students through the years.

Next, President Zavodny introduced Tony Shurman, President and CEO of Wyman’s, the Gala’s other Platinum sponsor. After a video about Sigma Kappa, Dan McKay, Chair of the Mission Board of Directors gave the Sunbeam award to Ann O’Connell Adams, national President of Sigma Kappa Sorority, and Dawn Copple O’Connor, President of the Sigma Kappa Foundation. Sigma Kappa Sorority was founded at Colby College, Waterville in 1874. President Adams recounted the partnership Sigma Kappa has had with the Mission since 1918.

It was a festive evening of old and new friends, good food, and abundant reminders of the importance of vibrant community. The work and activities of this year’s award winners demonstrate how strong community is built and enriched.

Thank you to all who participated, and to the Bar Harbor Club, who hosted us in a huge tent near Frenchman’s Bay. From the video of older Mainers naming their superpowers to the excitement of meeting Sigma Kappa members from across the country and hearing the hearty cheers of Senior College supporters, it was a memorable evening.

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