Friday, April 8, 2022

PowerServe lights the way for community engagement and service

The creator of the 302 Rotary light display is PowerServe,
a local community volunteer group that is dedicated to
serving the Windham community. Here the Rotary is
displayed in hues honoring the Ukrainian national colors.
By Masha Yurkevich

Many may have noticed the lights honoring Ukraine that shine brightly around the rotary on Routes 202 and 302. There have been some inquiries on social media platforms wondering who the responsible party is for the illumination of Christmas lights that now display the national colors of Ukraine.

The initiator of this often talked about illumination is PowerServe, a local community volunteer group that gathers annually to help serve the Windham community. PowerServe started in 2016 when Shane Donnelly, a Windham High School (WHS) student, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 16. Windham resident Kristine Delano, Chair of YoungLife Sebago whose daughters attended WHS at the time, witnessed the sense of loss happening to the students and knew something needed to be done. 

“Seeing firsthand the amazing job that YoungLife leaders did in mentoring teens in the Sebago area, Delano wanted to build a legacy of service in our community to build encouragement and connectivity,” Sam Patton, Day Director and Sponsor Coordinator of PowerServe said. “She, her family and other YoungLife leaders recruited a small group of volunteers to organize a day that would help our community, be fun, and enable all generations to work together.” 

The organization provides services such as paint sheds, build trail bridges, pick up trash, restore historic graves, plant memorials and much more. 

WHS Juniors, Maddie Hancock and Grace Paiement are both volunteers for PowerServe and act as the school liaisons with the organization to continue the PowerServe tradition. Hancock first got involved with her family and then got reinvolved when the event was advertised through National Honors Society, which is when Paiement also got involved. From there, both Hancock and Paiement talked with Patton Day and got involved in the planning process.

Last year, due to COVID-19, PowerServe was not able to gather in its usual large numbers of volunteers. Fortunately, they still found a way to help the community by creating the light display to be enjoyed during the evening hours.  

This year, PowerServe will continue its kind acts.

“The committee has been meeting once a week to plan events for this Memorial Day,” Hancock. “We are planning to do around five projects for the community and about another five projects for someone in the community in need.” 

Their next community service project is planned for Memorial Day. Hancock said that their project coming up has a goal of getting 120 volunteers of which all will get a PowerServe t-shirt with a barbeque after the projects are completed.

The volunteers will be separated into smaller groups of six to ten volunteers who be assigned a specific project. Each project usually takes between two to four hours. Upon completion of the project, the Donnelly family honors their son’s life by providing the barbeque meal and offering an opportunity for volunteers to share their experiences about the day. 

“These memories last for years and we keep coming back for more,” said Patton. “This is a day where friends and family can serve and invest in the town together. They can help their neighbors together and meet others. Some connections are still going years later and have continued to support one another.”

Their next big event will be on Memorial Day, May 30th, 2022. To sign and volunteer, please visit their website at

If you know a person in the community who is in need, you can also nominate them through the same website.  

Briefly, YoungLife is a Christian organization whose focus is to make sure that middle and high school students have positive role models in their lives. As stated on their website, YoungLife leaders make sure people feel a sense of belonging and encourage teens as they navigate life as an adolescent. 

PowerServe is sponsored by a loyal set of businesses which include, but are not limited to, YoungLife Sebago, Gorham Savings Bank, Lowes, Shaw Earthworks, Windham Rental, Bob's Screen printing, Hannaford, Island Cove Builders, Benson Farms and more. If you would like to sponsor PowerServe, you may do so on their website, <

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