Hyde School celebrated its sixth annual Pat Damon Service and Leadership Day on Tuesday, April 30. The students engaged in community service activities in the local area, including work at the Maine Maritime Museum, Coastal Humane Society, Popham Beach State Park, Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, Bath Food Mobile and projects for the towns of Bath and Phippsburg. On campus the students assisted as Hyde hosted a Red Cross Blood Drive that met the goal of 35 pints, while others worked to reestablish the campus’ “Forgotten Garden,” a track of land at the back of the campus that was once home to a successful vegetable garden but which has lay fallow for the past few years. The hope is that with the efforts of Hyde students, staff and faculty, the garden will offer the campus fresh vegetables starting this summer.
The day’s organizer, Hyde faculty member Peter Rowe, received several positive calls and emails from the organizations that the students volunteered with. Mr. Rowe shared, “All of our students worked hard and came to the day with great attitudes and clear enthusiasm to give back to our community.”
The Pat Damon Service and Leadership Day was established at Hyde School as a way of remembering, honoring, and continuing to highlight the importance of commitment and service to our families, our local communities, our country, and the greater world in which we live. The annual spring event consists of community service projects and this year’s program will also involve the launch of a year-long partnership with the Bath Mobile Food Truck and Hyde School.
“The Pat Damon Service and Leadership Day, now in its sixth year, is a great way for us to both honor Pat’s legacy of service, and to highlight for our students the benefits for all when one person reaches out a hand to help another,” says Hyde Head of School Don MacMillan.
The award’s namesake, Patrick D. Damon, a Maine native, graduated in Hyde School’s Class of 1984. Damon lived a life of service and commitment to others, working tirelessly, unselfishly, and with humility to make a difference in any capacity in which he served. Pat was a beloved son, brother, husband, father, and friend.
Damon served in the Maine Legislature as Chief-of-Staff, and also served the State of Maine as the Associate Commissioner in the Department of Administrative & Financial Services and was Administrative Director at the Public Utilities Commission. As a Captain in the Maine Army National Guard, 240th Engineer Company, he received his orders for deployment. His service to his country and to his state ended on June 15, 2006 when Pat died in Afghanistan. Pat Damon personified the values that this community seeks to acknowledge.