Ingrid Stanchfield

Photo by Michael D. Wilson

Ingrid Stanchfield, CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley

By Paul Koenig

Besides a two-week stretch in March 2020, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley has remained open throughout the pandemic, providing critical childcare and remote learning assistance to kids in the greater Gardiner area and beyond. While its capacity has been limited, the Gardiner-based nonprofit has still been serving around 180 to 200 students from as far away as South Portland and Boothbay. Ingrid Stanchfield, who has led the organization for more than two decades, says that the childcare they provided was especially important early in the pandemic for parents who worked at hospitals or other frontline businesses. “We want essential workers to be able to go to work and maybe deal with COVID day in and day out and know that their children are safe and taken care of,” she says. When schools were closed to in-person learning, some kids who would normally be in childcare at the club for 15 hours a week were there for more than 40 hours each week, she says. The organization also provided a weekly food delivery program for area seniors and families in need for the first several months of the pandemic. In addition to adapting its programming and providing services, this year the organization broke ground on a new $10.1 million facility, which is scheduled to open August 2022. Stanchfield directed a capital campaign that raised over $2.5 million in the past year for the new clubhouse. Despite the economic downturn and uncertainty, fundraising during a pandemic wasn’t a challenge, she says. “People were more attuned to the basic needs of other people,” Stanchfield says, “just because we were all forced into caring about humanity surviving.”

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