Sangerville

Sheriff’s Lt. Kane named Valley Grange Citizen of the Year

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GUILFORD — A Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant who goes above and beyond the call of duty and who gives back in other ways has been honored by the Valley Grange with the organization’s 2018 Community Citizen of the Year honor. Lt. Jamie Kane received the recognition on the evening of May 18 at the Grange Hall.

Valley Grange Lecturer Walter Boomsma said the award committee was thinking about who the annual honor could go to when Boomsma said, “I have got someone who deserves this award, Lt. Jamie Kane.”

He then shared a story about the lieutenant he told the committee. “One day I was driving down the highway and I saw a toddler walking down the highway,” Boomsma said.

Concerned, he pulled over and got out of his vehicle. Seeing no potential parent nearby, Boomsma went up to the youngster. The child told Boomsma she was “looking for you because I need somebody to play with.”

Boomsma then asked the girl where her mother was and was told the parent was sleeping. “We crossed the highway again and climbed stairs to a second story apartment,” he said. The lecturer said he walked into an apartment with no furniture with empty pizza boxes on the stove and clothes taking up most of the floor space.

“What really bothers me is this is a family in trouble and how I do help?,” Boomsma said, saying he did not want the mother to get in trouble. “Then finally it clicked, I need to talk to Lt. Kane.”

During a call to Lt. Kane, the lieutenant told Boomsma “After my shift is over I will make a community welcoming call.” Boomsma emphasized the words “after my shift is over” and said “he did some incredible stuff for that family including getting that mother reunited with her parents.”

“That is community,” Boomsma said, saying the Valley Grange has nominated Lt. Kane for a state-level award.

Family and friends present shared stories about the Valley Grange Community Citizen of the Year, including his time as the D.A.R.E. officer in local schools.

Tim Richardson mentioned that while working with Lt. Kane at the the sheriff’s department one child was being sponsored to attend a summer camp for underprivileged youth. Richardson said the camper lacked the proper clothes, footwear and a sleeping bag “so I called Jamie and asked what do we do? He said, ‘We go shopping.’”

Richardson later said that Lt. Kane spends the entire day volunteering at an annual golf tournament benefiting the Jimmy Fund, as well as having quietly provided footwear for children in need over the years.

Lt. Kane’s older brother Dan said that high school coaching positions can be tough to fill. “I know up here there was an opening,” as Lt. Kane is also known as head coach Kane of the Piscataquis Community High School baseball team.

PCHS Principal John Keane said “I have been principal at six different schools in four different counties and the best law enforcement individual I have met is Jamie Kane.” He said if there is ever an issue, Lt. Kane will be right there.

Keane said that as a coach, Kane guides his players to be better people and to grow up to be good men. Keane said this is a greater priority for Lt. Kane than the wins and losses on the diamond.

“Thank you all, I was totally shocked,” Lt. Kane said. He half-jokingly apologized for his camouflage shirt and jeans as he was led to believe that he would be fishing with Richardson that evening rather than heading to the Valley Grange for the surprise presentation.

“For those people who spoke I am incredibly touched,” he said. “For the kids it really means a lot, the kids I have coached, the kids that I have taught.”

Boomsma ended the evening by saying some in the audience may feel inadequate if they compare themselves to Lt. Kane and all he does for the community. “Don’t feel inadequate, those little things can mean so much,” Boomsma said. “Let’s find more Lt. Kanes, let’s more like Lt. Kane.”

Previous recipients of the Valley Grange Community Citizen of the Year this decade were 2010, the Guilford Primary School; 2011, Dodie Curtis; 2012, Brian Woodworth; 2013, the Piscataquis Observer and WABI-TV; 2014, Julie Orton; 2015, Matt Hackett; 2016, Sherry French; and 2017, Will and Melissa Wedge.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
VALLEY GRANGE CITIZEN OF THE YEAR — Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jamie Kane listens as Valley Grange Master Jim Annis reads the proclamation honoring Lt. Kane as the Valley Grange’s 2018 Community Citizen of the Year on May 18 at the Grange hall in Guilford. Standing up with Lt. Kane are his children Cameron and Courtney, with Judy Ricker of the Valley Grange looking on.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
PROUD FAMILY — Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jamie Kane, back row with “P” hat, is the Valley Grange’s 2018 Community Citizen of the Year. Members of his extended family were present for the surprise ceremony on May 18 at the Valley Grange in Guilford.

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