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Nancy and Tim Thompson honored for outstanding citizenship

Nancy and Tim Thompson accept the 2019 Ralph Gould Award for Outstanding Citizenship (Click play button to view video)

Nancy and Tim Thompson, longtime supporters of Cape Elizabeth schools and community, are 2019 recipients of the Ralph Gould Award for Outstanding Citizenship.

Jamie Garvin, chair of the Town Council, presented the award to the Thompsons Sept. 9 for their years of dedicated and varied service. Both have both served on numerous boards and with community service and philanthropic organizations through the years, Garvin said.

"I read somewhere once that thriving communities are places filled with common people doing uncommon work for the common good," Garvin said. "And that sometimes, from overwhelming community challenges come tremendous community opportunities.

"I can think of no better example of this than Nancy and Tim Thompson and their work in our community," he said.

The Thompsons, longtime residents, volunteers and business owners in Cape Elizabeth, tragically lost their middle son Timmy to suicide after his graduation from Cape Elizabeth High School in 2004. Since that time, and in his memory, both have been passionate advocates speaking publicly about their loss in the hopes of saving lives, Garvin said.

Working with the Cape Elizabeth Education Foundation, an organization they've supported since its inception in 2001, the Thompsons established an annual award in Timmy's memory to honor a faculty or staff member who goes above and beyond what is expected, providing a lasting and meaningful impact on Cape Elizabeth students.

This past year, through their Thompson Mental Health Initiative and in collaboration with the school department and CEEF, they helped to launch a communitywide program focused on mental wellness, creating a foundation of advocacy, education, and awareness. "Several of us on the council had the chance to participate in this initiative in different ways, including the community read-along of the book, Finding Perfect," Garvin said.

Garvin also credited Middle School nurse Jill Young for her role in the initiative, a nod Tim Thompson said he appreciated. "I'm so glad you mentioned our nurse at the Middle School ... because she is just such an asset in this town, she lives in this town, her kids go to school in this town and she's just she's going to be so valuable," he said.

"None of these (awards) are ever presented to anybody by themselves, its all of us doing working together, doing our civic duty," said Thompson, accepting the award for the couple. "We couldn't be prouder than to be part of this community."

Two recent examples are the Comprehensive Plan 2019 Committee, which was chaired by Tim Thompson, and the schools' Facilities Needs Assessment Committee.

On a personal note, Garvin shared his impression of working with Tim Thompson on the Facilities Needs Assessment Committee. "As part of a group representing a wide cross section of the community, Tim went from just asking a few questions and expressing some skepticism at a budget hearing, to getting involved to try and find areas of common ground, and to be part of the discussion to find solutions for a complex set of competing needs and priorities," Garvin said.