Gabbie St. Peter and Alice Willette are two George J. Mitchell Elementary School, Waterville, second grade students and best friends. We've followed their story from the beginning culminating with them helping to raise over $40,000 in starting a food pantry for their school. They are now being awarded the Association of Fundraising Professionals Northern New England Demont Scholarship Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy.

They found out in a surprise announcement today (June 26) at the school.

Robert Demont, President of Demont & Associates said “We are delighted to recognize Gabbie and Alice’s efforts as outstanding youth philanthropist with this scholarship award. We know that there are many very deserving kids doing inspirational work raising funds for many worthwhile programs in our region, but these remarkable girls have set a new bar.”

The Waterville pair was chosen from a pool of nominations by a New England Region Philanthropy Committee comprised of development professionals working in the fields of education and youth services in Northern New England. Both girls will each receive a $2,500 scholarship towards college when they are ready to enroll.

Gabbie and Alice's story started when they decided, instead of birthday gifts when they both turned eight this past year, to instead ask for donations of food for a new food pantry located at the GJM School. Jennifer Johnson, the GJM PTO president said, “These girls raised truckloads of food donations for the pantry. As if that’s not enough, they also raised over $40,000 in monetary donations.”

The food pantry, which has been named 'Gabbie and Alice’s Purple Panther Pantry' in their honor, is available to all 550 students from kindergarten through third grade in the GJM School, 200 students from birth to age five at the attached Educare Central Maine, and now 200 students in fourth and fifth grade at the Albert S. Hall School.

Gabbie and Alice will receive their honors at the AFP-NNE’s annual conference during its National Philanthropy Day awards ceremony, which will be held in New Hampshire November 4th.