The unveiling the Second Century Fund by Friends of Acadia (FOA) at its annual meeting on the park’s actual 100th birthday, July 8, signaled an extraordinary commitment to the vitality of this special place for another century. What is even more remarkable, however, is the revelation that FOA already has more than $20 million of that goal pledged or in hand.
It is not all that unusual to have a substantial portion of a fundraising campaign’s goal in the bank before announcing a public phase. But the percentage here is proof positive of the unyielding affection those of substantial means have for protecting Acadia and seeing that it remains strong for the enjoyment of all for decades to come.
Just a few days later, at the annual meeting of the Maine Sea Coast Mission, officials there announced that they had surpassed the $8 million mark in that institution’s $9 million capital campaign.
These gifts and tens of millions of dollars of recently announced grants, construction projects and other programs at the Jackson Laboratory and the MDI Biological Laboratory amount to a gigantic economic boost to the region, indeed to all of Maine.
Much has been said during this Acadia Centennial year about the economic engine of tourism and its unquestionable benefits. It also is important to remember that many of the same individuals who helped create the park also turned their considerable energies to the establishment of area institutions and not-for-profit organizations. The economic activity generated from the work of those entities – and the services they provide to the people of Mount Desert Island and all across Maine – have left just as lasting a legacy in our local communities.