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MAINESTAY SOCIETY

Rock & Rebuild the Harbor is being organized by The MaineStay Society. The MaineStay Society was born out of the need for disaster relief following the devastating January 2024 storms. The storms revealed just how fragile the coastal community is and how the working waterfront and the entrepreneurial individuals who run them are truly the "mainstay" of the community.  

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The MaineStay Society’s founding mission is to raise money to help families, fishermen, and the local community repair not just the bricks and mortar, docks and floats, but to rebuild and encourage the spirit of the community. The MaineStay Society will provide immediate funding to those who suffered damage and losses for which insurance or other assistance cannot.  

The MaineStay Society activities are funded by raising money from the general public thru direct donations and by way of its annual lobster bake fundraiser.  The donors are primarily made up of individuals who either live in Maine or have a connection or affinity to the area or lifestyle of coastal living and recognize the value in promoting and supporting the same. The MaineStay Society’s goal is to distribute as much of the funds raised as possible to cover expenses thru in-kind contributions and sponsorships.

All proceeds raised from Rock & Rebuild the Harbor will be distributed via a grant process to working waterfront businesses that directly support fishing, play a critical role in the community, and show demonstrable impact from the storms.  Fund uses include such critical activities as infrastructure repair, equipment replacement, and operational support.  The MaineStay Society will assess each applicant’s request for assistance thru a process which will include a physical review of the damage, a financial assessment of the actual net loss including any economic hardship, and review of the plan and budget to rebuild or the costs already incurred to rebuild. The review process is intended to ensure that there are no conflicts of interests regarding distribution of the grants. 

 

In addition to providing financial assistance to rebuild the storm damage, The MaineStay Society will annually financially support community events, provide grants to local individuals and organizations to promote, encourage, educate, and sustain the unique traditions and lifestyle of the coastal communities of Maine. The primary focus of activities will be on the Pemaquid peninsula from Damariscotta to the Pemaquid lighthouse.

The activities of the Society will be run by the founding members of the board of directors with the help of local volunteers. The founding board consists of Jennifer Chase, Brooke Cotter, Sheila McLain, Jason Lord, and Laurent Poole. The founding board members of The MaineStay Society each have deep roots to the working waterfront and the communities in New Harbor, Pemaquid, and the surrounding area.

 

In March 2024, WilmerHale, The MaineStay Society's legal counsel, applied for 501(c)(3) status on its behalf.  They petitioned for an expedited approval process as the funds are being raised for disaster relief.  WilmerHale has confirmed that The MaineStay Society meets the requirements of a 501(c)(3), however, the application is pending and the status is at the discretion of the IRS. 

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