Frances Perkins Center to celebrate 81st anniversary of Social Security Act Aug. 14

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Marking the 81st anniversary of the signing of the Social Security Act, the Frances Perkins Center in Newcastle will host its 8th annual Garden Party and awards ceremony at the Perkins Homestead National Historic Landmark on Sunday, Aug. 14, from 2 to 5 p.m.

Members of the board of The Frances Perkins Center will present the 2016 Intelligence and Courage Award, 2016 Steadfast Award, and the 2016 Open Door Award to three individuals whose work exemplifies the areas of social justice and economic security, two causes to which Frances Perkins dedicated her entire career. The theme of this year’s program focuses on sustainable jobs that are good for workers, their employers and their communities.

Ron Phillips, founder of Coastal Enterprises, Inc. in Brunswick, Maine will receive the Steadfast Award. As an early pioneer in the social justice movement, Ron Phillips founded CEI in 1977 with the goal of investing in small businesses, creating employment and developing Maine’s natural resource industries. Since then, CEI has provided nearly $1.2 billion in financing to 2,500 small businesses, created or preserved nearly 1,900 affordable housing units, 33,100 jobs and 5,800 child-care openings for working families. He is a nationally recognized leader in community development. We honor him upon his retirement this year.

Sarita Gupta, executive director of Jobs With Justice in Washington, D.C., will receive the Open Door Award. She is a nationally recognized expert on the economic, labor and political issues affecting working people across all industries, particularly women and those employed in low-wage sectors. In her leadership position, she explores the changing nature of work in America. Jobs With Justice brings together labor, community, student, and faith voices at the national and local levels to create innovative solutions to the problems working families face today.

William E. Leuchtenburg, the prolific historian of the New Deal and the American presidency, will receive the Intelligence and Courage Award in recognition of his long and distinguished career since the 1958 publication of “The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-32.” He is the William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor Emeritus of History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and the author in 2015 of “The American President: From Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton.”

Tickets start at $75 per person, with proceeds to benefit The Frances Perkins Center. Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at (207) 563-3374, or in-person at 170A Main Street in Damariscotta. For more information, please visit or contact

Guests will be shuttled from downtown Newcastle via old-fashioned trolley to the Perkins Homestead, where wine, refreshments and an elegant hors d’oeuvres buffet will be served amidst the beautiful landscape surrounding the estate, with all proceeds directly supporting the educational mission of The Frances Perkins Center.

Watch our Virtual Garden Party anytime!HERE