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This week’s edition!

Fifield receives first ‘Hands & Hearts’ award

From City of Auburn

AUBURN – At Monday’s City Council meeting, Mayor Jason Levesque announced the creation of the “Hands & Hearts Leadership & Service Award” at Auburn’s City Council meeting last week.

Mayor Levesque presented the inaugural Hands & Hearts Leadership & Service Award to Deputy Chief Matthew Fifield of the Auburn Fire Department for his outstanding leadership, service to the community, and commitment to protecting the people of Auburn, which has been exemplified through his efforts to lead the city’s response to the pandemic.

This distinguished community service award is named in honor of Auburn Mayor John Jenkins, who died in 2020.

“Not only is he our Deputy Fire Chief; Matt is also the Safety Coordinator for the City of Auburn,” said Levesque. “As you can imagine that role expanded greatly last March, as the world was faced with unprecedented challenges.”

Auburn Deputy Fire Chief Matthew Fifield is surrounded by Mayor & Council, as well as Auburn’s City Manager, Fire Chief, School Superintendent & Assistant Superintendent after receiving the inaugural “Hands & Hearts Leadership & Service Award” at Auburn’s City Council meeting last week. The award was created in honor of John Jenkins, who served as the mayor of both Lewiston and Auburn. (Photo courtesy of City of Auburn)

During the award presentation, which was a surprise to DC Fifield, the Mayor went on to relate how Fifield emerged as the primary person responsible for “all things COVID,” including how to best mitigate the emerging threat of COVID-19 to the community.

“Matt assisted every city department as well as the Auburn School Department with department-specific plans, protocols and practices,” said Levesque. “And he quickly became the ‘go to expert’ on how to address workplace safety during a pandemic.”

Fifield helped countless supervisors and employees navigate sensitive situations about exposure and quarantine. Many Auburn businesses also leaned on Matt’s knowledge and advice on how to keep their employees and customers safe.

“Deputy Chief Matthew Fifield has been the cornerstone in our fight to remain a healthy, safe and productive community, through the most challenging global emergency of our times,” added Levesque. “He has truly given all that he possibly could to help our community through this challenging year.”

The “Hands & Hearts Leadership & Service Award” was created in memory of John Jenkins, who served as mayor of both Lewiston and Auburn. He died in September at age 68. This portrait of Jenkins hangs in Auburn City Hall as his official mayoral portrait. (Photo courtesy of City of Auburn)

The annual award will recognize an Auburn resident, group, or organization for their significant impact on the quality of life in our great city. Like former Mayor Jenkins, recipients of this notable award will demonstrate one or more of the following qualities:

• Significant and meaningful service to the community

• Exceptional commitment to volunteerism

• Unselfish leadership and collaboration

• Creativity, cooperation, and hard work in service to others

• Inspiration to others as a role model, especially youth and

• Exemplary leadership in civic activities

Jenkins served as the mayor of both Lewiston and Auburn, and was the first and only African-American to serve in the Maine Senate. He was a graduate of Bates College.

Jenkins died in September of an undisclosed illness, at age 68.

Facilities Merit Award

Also at last week’s Council meeting, the Maine Recreation & Park Association (MRPA) presented the Auburn Recreation Department with the “2021 Facilities of Merit Award” in recognition of the Auburn Senior Community Center.

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