Long-Time Milo Community Leader Leaves Generous Donations
The legacy of a long-time community leader in Milo is living on, through some very generous donations.Local business owner Jean Johndro died in November.Friday at Milo Elementary School, one of her final wishes was carried out.Though they may not realize it, these students are learning a lesson of a life time, from a woman who gave her life to her family and her community. Jean Johndro, one of the founders of JSI Store Fixtures in Milo, lost her battle with cancer in November.Even in the middle of her fight, she knew what mattered most. Her son, Mark Awalt, says, “She actually modified her will in the last couple of months before she passed away in order to give $50,000 to the community.”That money was handed out Friday to five organizations – the Milo P-T-O, the Milo Recreation Department and Jean’s Blessings, a student backpack program. The Ecumenical Food Cupboard received a $5,000 check, too.Larry Keef says, “It gets harder and harder with more organizations competing for the dollar. A donation like this means so much.”The final $30,000 was set aside for a scholarship program at Penquis Valley High School.Awalt says he hopes by making this presentation before the students, they see the value in giving rather than receiving. “I think our family learned many years ago when you give, you get multifold back so that was one thing. And selfishly I wanted my mom, for the first time in her life, to get some recognition for her contributions.”Contributions Principal Eric Smith says will leave a lasting legacy, even when the money’s gone.”I hope the kids just see how generosity, kindness, how well that can be received and just utilize Jean as a role model.”The Penquis Valley Fund will award a $2,000 scholarship every year to a graduating student who exemplifies Jean Johndro’s life of hard work, determination and overcoming obstacles.