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SMH Receives Thanks for Harold Alfond College Challenge Program on Birthday Anniversary


 Photo Caption:  L-R :  Stephens Memorial Hospital Family Birthplace Nurses: Carol Welsh, RN, Perinatal Educator; Jeanne Rosato, RN; and Alison Newton, RN, Nurse Director


NORWAY - Representatives from the Harold Alfond College Challenge Program, the Alfond Scholarship Foundation and the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) visited Stephens Memorial Hospital recently to share birthday treats with staff.  The celebration was to honor the birthday of the late Maine philanthropist Harold Alfond and to thank Stephens Memorial Hospital for its role in educating parents about the Harold Alfond College Challenge Grant.  Alfond representatives presented the treats as a thank you to staff for their commitment to helping all eligible Maine babies receive the $500 grant.

The unprecedented college savings grant program awards a $500 grant to all Maine babies as long as a NextGen® account is opened by the baby's first birthday.  The Harold Alfond College Challenge Program is administered by FAME and is funded by the Alfond Scholarship Foundation.

"To date over 3,000 parents have shown their commitment to their child's future by opening a NextGen College Investing Plan® account and receiving the $500 grant," said Elizabeth Vanderweide, Harold Alfond College Challenge Program Manager.  "We owe much of the program's success to the voluntary support and assistance of our hospital partners who help by informing new parents about the program while moms are still in the hospital. Thanking our partners on what would have been Mr. Alfond's 96th birthday is one way to keep us connected to the incredible gift he gave for the future of Maine.  It is also a reminder that the baby's first birthday is the date when the application for the grant must be completed."

FAME has been partnering with all of Maine's hospitals, many physician practices and social service organizations to inform new parents of the Alfond Grant.  

Stephens Memorial Hospital is offering their next Harold Alfond Workshop to help parents sign up for the grant, on Wednesday, March 24th from 5 - 7 pm in the Harper Conference Center.  Babies who are less than one year old by this date are still eligible to sign up and receive the grant.   Parents have one year from their child's date of birth to activate an account. 

Please call The Family Birthplace at 207-743-1562 x 380 for further information. 

Stephens Memorial Hospital is a Leapfrog Top Rural Hospital and a member of MaineHealth.  Visit Western Maine Health on the Internet at

About the Alfond Scholarship Foundation

The Alfond Scholarship Foundation is a nonprofit corporation established specifically to sponsor and support the Harold Alfond College Challenge. This new foundation is a partnership of organizations and individuals who truly embrace Mr. Alfond's philosophy, and includes representatives from the Maine Compact for Higher Education, FAME, the University of Maine System, the Maine Community College System, the Maine Community Foundation, the Mitchell Institute, and at-large members that include representatives from MaineGeneral Health and the Maine Hospital Association. To learn more about the Harold Alfond College Challenge, please visit


About the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME)

FAME is a quasi-independent state agency that provides innovative financial solutions to help Maine people and businesses pursue educational and business opportunities. Established in 1983, FAME is committed to innovative, flexible financial solutions that address the needs of Maine individuals and companies in a changing economic landscape. FAME is the administrator of the Harold Alfond College Challenge.  To learn more about FAME, please visit

NextGen is a Section 529 plan administered by the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME). Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC, is the program manager and underwriter. Before investing you should carefully consider the investment objectives, charges, expenses and risks of investing in the NextGen Plan. You should also consider whether your or the designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state's 529 plan. Request a Program Description from your Maine bank or financial advisor, or call FAME at 1-800-228-3734 and read it carefully.  

Health Information

181 Main Street, Norway, Maine 04268 | (207) 743-5933, TTY (for the hearing impaired): (207) 743-1597