Maggie Shannon named 2012 Purpose Prize Fellow

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 (Contact:  Maggie Shannon, 207-495-2301,

Belgrade’s Maggie Shannon Named a Purpose Prize Fellow

The Purpose Prize honors Americans 60 and older for changing lives in new and creative way

BELGRADE – today announced that Maggie Shannon of Belgrade, Maine, is a 2012 Purpose Prize fellow.  The Purpose Prize is the nation’s only large-scale investment in social entrepreneurs and other creative problem solvers in the second half of life.

Shannon was named a fellow for her work to protect the outstanding quality and value of Maine’s nearly 6,000 lakes and ponds.  As Executive Director of the Maine Congress of Lake Associations (Maine COLA), she heads the only statewide membership organization dedicated to lake stewardship, education and advocacy.

“Purpose Prize fellows use their passion and experience to help solve some of society’s steepest challenges,” said Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of and author of The Big Shift. “They represent a growing wave of people in their 60’s and beyond who are using their knowledge to change the world, while shifting perceptions of what is possible in this stage of life.”

The Purpose Prize program is funded by the John Templeton Foundation and The Atlantic Philanthropies.  The Prize is awarded by, formerly Civic Ventures, a nonprofit that promotes encore careers – – work that is both personally meaningful and serves the greater good.

Shannon says she was surprised and humbled by the unexpected honor. “My work is only a fractional part of the cultural shift needed to preserve life as we know it on earth today.  I was beyond lucky to find a new passion late in life; discovering how to apply it for good was sheer blessing.  If my story has any use I hope it’s to inspire others to follow their hearts when time allows.”

A panel of three judges – leaders in business, politics, journalism and the nonprofit sector – chose the five winners from a pool of more than 800 nominees.  This year’s 35 fellows are finalists for The Prize.  An awards ceremony will be held in February in San Francisco.

For more information about The Purpose Prize, visit:

Created in 1970, the Maine Congress of Lake Associations is a network of over 120 independent lake associations and hundreds of individual members dedicated to preserving the value and benefits of Maine lakes, ponds and watersheds.  COLA educates the public and its members to coexist with lakes through its youth education, LakeSmart and other programs, and also provides science-based information on lake issues for decision makers.  For more information, please visit

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