With a Charitable Gift Annuity, Camden Couple Continues to Serve the Community
In 1953, Dwight D. Eisenhower was inaugurated as president, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned Queen of England, and Sir Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay, made the first successful ascent of Mount Everest. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, an equally noteworthy event took place when Barbara Ann Burton married Robert (Bob) Lannamann, a devoted union that would last for nearly 65 years, produce four children, and provide countless benefits to their community. Barbara and Bob, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, were members of The Greatest Generation, who, as Tom Brokaw wrote in his book of the same name, “stayed true to their values of personal responsibility, duty, honor, and faith.”
In 1973, the Lannamanns relocated with their family to Camden, a move that continues to benefit midcoast Maine today. Barbara became an active member of the First Congregational UCC Church in Camden, where she served on multiple boards and committees, sang in the choir, and started a small food pantry that eventually became the Camden Area Christian Food Pantry, an ecumenical initiative that serves eight local communities. She also launched the church’s SOS Room to make free clothing and household items available to people in need. Until shortly before her death in June 2018, Barbara was a regular presence at the SOS Room every Tuesday morning, ready with a smile and a helping hand. She and Bob became consistent and dedicated supporters of the Rockland Salvation Army, which provided winter coats and clothing to the SOS Room. That support remains today, through a charitable gift annuity funded by Bob and Barbara for Salvation Army programming in and around Rockland.
Located at 27 Payne Avenue in Rockland but serving all of Knox County, the Rockland Salvation Army offers a wide range of programs to the community: free cookouts and band concerts, carnival nights, community yard sales, and holiday events. Sunday Nights at The Salvation Army is an open-to-the-public dinner with activities (bingo, trivia, karaoke, and movies) offered weekly, year-round. Attendance averages from 30 to 50 people, and can balloon to 80 to 100 in the summer. Other activities benefit from the midcoast’s well-known arts community, including a music and performing arts program with free lessons in dance, singing, and guitar, among others. Thanks to a black-belt sensei who volunteers his time, the Rockland Salvation Army also offers a free, twice-weekly martial arts program to the general public for kids and adults. Every summer, 40 local children are sent to The Salvation Army’s Camp Sebago in Standish, for little or no cost per child per week. “This is possible thanks to income from things like annuities,” says Rockland Salvation Army Captain Keith Davis.
In addition to offering fun and fellowship, the Rockland Salvation Army plays a vital role in serving Knox County residents in need. Back-to-school backpacks make sure children have the supplies they need, and turkeys and groceries are distributed at the holidays. But since people are often hesitant to ask for help, the community events are a significant way that the organization connects with those who can benefit from its services. “We’re raising money now for a new food transport truck and a new ice machine,” says Davis. “We served 1,200 free snow cones at last year’s summer solstice celebration and at the Thomaston July 4th parade. “People see us at these community events, and I know in my heart this will encourage more families to stop by and get fresh, free food that they need year-round.”
The Rockland Salvation Army’s “Fresh Rescue Room” is a collaborative that brings in fresh produce from partners such as Good Shepherd Food Bank, Hannaford Supermarkets, and local farms, including Erickson Fields Preserve. Open Wednesday through Sunday, it provides fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, deli items, eggs, and milk to between 30 and 80 individuals and their families—an effort that feeds 150-plus Knox County residents five days a week. “We are grateful for all the wonderful support we receive from our Knox County community,” says Davis.
Having led the Rockland organization since 2015, Davis and his wife Shannon encourage people to drop in anytime to say hello. They each have a long history with The Salvation Army. Keith’s mother grew up in a home that her biological dad left when she was three, and where her stepfather was abusive. She sought a way to get out of her house and attributes her survival to the The Salvation Army in Haverhill, Massachusetts, where she spent countless hours in the open gym and youth group. She raised Keith in the same community. He graduated high school at age 15 and college two years later with a degree in criminal justice. Shannon Davis was 15 when a friend introduced her to The Salvation Army’s youth group. She started working at The Salvation Army’s Long Point Summer Camp in New York, where she met Keith. The two married and became youth pastors in Burlington, Vermont. During a hiatus from ministry and youth programming, Keith worked as a bail bondsman and did fugitive recovery for a short time, “like Dog the Bounty Hunter,” he says. The couple enrolled in officer training, graduating as ordained ministers and Salvation Army officers in 2012. Strong proponents of The Salvation Army’s holistic mission, they are dedicated to the organization while raising their two boys Luke, 10 and Logan, 6.
Charitable gift annuities established for the ultimate benefit of The Salvation Army can be given to a town/region, or more broadly to support disaster relief efforts or homelessness. “I am seeing an increasing number of people like Bob funding charitable gift annuities,” says Amy Anderson, director of Planned Giving for The Salvation Army, Northern New England. According to Anderson, charitable gift annuities are a mainstay of support for The Salvation Army, which has been offering annuities since 1942. “The average payout for a charitable gift annuity with The Salvation Army in New England is 7.2 percent, based on the age of the annuitant. That’s a pretty darn good rate of return,” says Anderson with heartfelt enthusiasm. “I love my job because of incredible people like Bob and Barbara Lannamann, and Keith and Shannon Davis— you just won’t meet finer people anywhere.”