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People Around Us

Lead by example, Delano's volunteerism knows no bounds

By Holly Vanorse Spicer | Aug 03, 2020
Source: Facebook From left, Keirstin Delano, Charlene Pieske and Nicole Talbot volunteer at the Maine Lobster Festival.

Rockport — American philosopher and psychologist William James was quoted as saying: "Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."

Keirstin Delano, of Rockport, does just that.

Delano, 43, believes a community is what the people who live there make it. She has given endless hours of time to local causes, organizations, foundations, and the Five Town districts athletics.

Graduating from Camden-Rockport High School in 1995, she went on to attend Bradford College in Haverhill, Mass., University of Southern Maine, and University of Maine at Augusta, majoring in business management.

She currently is the vice-president, creating client underwriting data and analytics for Bank of America.

Delano joined MBNA as part of a work-study program during her junior year of high school and continued to work for the company throughout the years, into their transition to Bank of America in 2006.

Not only did MBNA provide the starting point and early stepping stones for Delano to excel in her career, it also left a lasting impact on her life outside of the job.

“The MBNA Education Foundation made a huge impression on me as both an adolescent and young adult,” she said.

Delano has been involved with Coastal Clean Up and Keep Rockport Beautiful. She considers both to be important events to help keep oceans and waterways clean.

“Both MBNA and Bank of America believe in supporting our people, and our community. That thread has been woven into me,” she said.

Aside from the clean-up efforts Delano has been involved with, she has dedicated her time to Big Brothers Big Sisters, Make-A-Wish, Jobs for Maine Graduates, Mid-Coast Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, Knox County First Responders Luncheon and area food pantries, among others.

She said recently the effort to save Simonton Corner Hall in Rockport has been her primary focus.

“To help save the 100-year-old building, traditions, rich Rockport history and the community association that resolves around the hall is so rewarding,” Delano said

She added the hall was shut down by the Maine Fire Marshall in 2017. After that, teams have been focused on creating a plan that would increase community involvement, fundraise and utilize funds raised to restore the hall.

“I joined the board in 2019 through affiliations with other friends of Simonton Corner Association,” she said.

In November 2019, after many updates, the group received Maine Fire Marshall approval to reopen the doors to the community.

“There is still a lot of work needed to restore the building, including a new roof,” she said.

The team will work diligently to raise money through grants, hosting events when it is safe and possible, and donations from the community to complete the remaining improvements.

Asked why she gives back to the community and to organizations, Delano said she believes a community is what the people that live in it, make it.

“It is not the responsibility of the town manager, the superintendent, or any one entity. It is the responsibility of each and every citizen,” she said.

She added many hands make for lighter work.

“I believe teaching the importance of civic service to our youth is fundamental,” she said.

Delano, mother to Taylor, 22, Alexis, 14, and Logan, 11, brings her volunteerism beyond the community and into the Five Town school district’s athletics as well. Taylor participated in sports throughout his years in school and now gives back as a coach.

“My favorite thing was cheering for him on the [football] sidelines or [wrestling] mat side, but these programs cannot go on without parents stepping up to volunteer,” she said.

Over the years, Delano was a parent-volunteer at games, meets and concessions. Towards the end of her son’s high school years, she joined Five Town Football, and Mid-Coast Wrestling Club.

“I organized the Camden Hills Football Boosters. We helped fundraise for the bleachers and another $15,000 to purchase equipment and uniforms,” she said.

Parents always hope they set good examples for their children, and parents know more is caught than taught. Delano hopes she has instilled in her children to put their entire hearts into whatever they do.

“Help your neighbor, and be kind. Never be afraid to work hard,” she said.

She also hopes her children take away with them through life to plan, plan well, and to believe it can be done.

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