It has been said that volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. Yes, it’s true that we vote in elections once a year but you vote every day about the kind of community you want to create and live in.
|Gifford receives award from Jane Jordan's grandson.|
The Raymond Fire Rescue Association appreciates the truth of that statement by recently recognizing the important work of volunteers within the community, both past and present. At their annual banquet last Friday, March 24, at the Spring Meadows Golf Club in Gray, they presented for the first time, the Jane Jordan Community Service Award. The award was presented to Elissa Gifford of Raymond. She is the first recipient to receive the distinction.
“I am honored and humbled by receiving this award,” Gifford stated. “Jane was an outstanding individual who contributed a lot to our community; I only wish I had the opportunity to meet her personally.”
Jane Jordon was a member of the Raymond “Fire Police” that oversees traffic safety at fire scenes and traffic accidents. She volunteered an extensive amount of time not only for the “Fire Police” but was a member of the department’s auxiliary as well as a member of the planning committee for the Public Safety Building built in 2002. Her commitment and volunteer efforts to the community were endless.
“The Jane Jordan Award is named after this very unique and generous lady,” stated Denis Morse, past Raymond Fire and Rescue Chief and a close friend of Jordan. “In my three decades of active service I have never met a more generous person with their time. She stayed active right though my time in the department, despite walking with a cane. Also, I recently discovered that her deceased husband, Richard, was active in the Cape Elizabeth Fire Department. Ironically, he had died in a fire at their Raymond home making sure she had gotten out.”
Many examples have been told of Jordon’s unselfish dedication to others. “A snapshot of Jane’s personality would be at age 81,” Morse continued. “On one wintery day she slipped and fell down in her driveway and wouldn't call 911 with her cell phone because she didn’t want to bother the fire department. So she laid there until a neighbor saw her and called us.”
Jane passed away last year. She made a donation to the Raymond Fire Department for an educational scholarship for the fire rescue members. “This was the first year the Raymond Fire Rescue Association presented the Jane Jordan Community Service award,” explained Cathy Gosselin, EMS Deputy Chief of the department. “It was her family's desire that she also be remembered for her donation to the community, for all the years of volunteering that she did for the town but mostly with the department.” And thus the annual award has been established in her honor.
Gifford was chosen to receive this award due to her volunteer efforts with the Raymond Village Library. “Elissa's dedication to improving this community resource is a large reason for my involvement with the library,” stated Sheila Bourque, President of the Raymond Village Library Board of Trustees. “She quietly leads by example and unselfishly devotes many hours to community service. Her caring and integrity are on display in all that she does. Our library and Raymond are fortunate to have such a leader on our team.”
The award was presented to Gifford by Jordon’s own grandson, Lt. Andrew Jordon of the Raymond Fire Department.
The town of Raymond and the Fire/Rescue Department has been blessed with many volunteers,” Morse said. “It is a privilege and an honor to select and acknowledge these very people who often go unnoticed and all too often fade into the sunset not knowing how very important they are to the very core of what makes us great as a society.”