For the fourth year in a row, area high school youth raised funds and awareness for the Rockland District Nursing Association, in memory of founding nurse Eliza Steele, RN.

Reviving the RDNA “Mercy Marches” of the 1960s, 13 area youth spoke about RDNA during the months of February and March at eight area churches, three businesses, Rockland Kiwanis, the Union Senior Citizens group, and on WRFR.

“We are truly inspired by these young amabassadors,” stated RDNA Agency Director Peta vanVuuren.

Encouraging their efforts, Lowe’s donated a fire pit for raffle. The South Thomaston People’s United Methodist youth hosted a pancake breakfast, and Owls Head Baptist Church remembered Margaret Torfason, RN, Eliza Steele’s colleague and successor. Residents in RDNA’s service area collected bottles, including from the Methodist Conference Home, Rankin Center, Knox Hotel Apartments, and the Town of St. George.

This year’s Mercy March again culminated in a 20-hour youth fast, with seven youth “going without so that others may be served.” During the fast, fasters were invited to swim at the Samoset, participated in experiential workshops on disability and aging, performed on Rockland Main Street before picking up 20 pounds of trash, and visited with residents at the Knox Center for Long Term Care and the Methodist Conference Home. St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Eliza Steele’s parish, welcomed fasters and friends for the celebratory fast-breaking supper. Thomaston Baptist Church hosted the Mercy March and Youth Fast.

“We count it a privilege to participate in an event that brings community members of all ages together for a much needed local resource,” noted Rev. Wayne Sawyer, pastor Thomaston Baptist Church.

For the past 85 years, RDNA has continuously served as a link in the community safety net, focusing on neighbors in need of care, and sustained through the generosity of this community. The majority of the annual operating costs are covered by gifts and contributions. Serving Warren, Union, South Thomaston, Owls Head, St. George, Cushing, Thomaston and Rockland, RDNA regularly sees close to 300 predominantly elderly residents either in their homes or at monthly blood pressure clinics. In the community, RDNA joins the Rockland Police Department in hosting unwanted medication collection events. For more information, call the RDNA office at 594-4522 and join RDNA on Facebook.