Meet the Friends
of the River Valley

Our Mission & Values

Our vision is for every child, adult, and family in the River Valley to have access to meals and nutrition, books, and a variety of school, community, and wellness programs through partnering with existing programs and organizations across Western Maine’s Androscoggin River Valley. Friends of the River Valley serves as a centralized resource for supporting and promoting a range of nutrition, education, health, and social services across the River Valley.
A Community-Based
Philanthropy Model

Friends of River Valley serves as a centralized resource for supporting and promoting a range of nutrition, education, health, and social services across the River Valley. There are a wide range of needs to be met, which is why we partner with a wide range of organizations. The River Valley knows several nonprofit groups with important missions, but without viable in-house funding mechanisms. Our goal is to strengthen and activate these support structures through fundraising and planned giving. We presently have a five-person board who closely assesses the identified needs of the area, reviews our partners’ recommendations, and allocates funds that will have a measurable and lasting impact on our communities. Friends of River Valley provides funding through grants, sponsorships, direct donations, and more.

The River Valley: Then and Now

The River Valley has a rich history in wood products manufacturing and papermaking. At its peak, the paper mill employed 3,300 people and provided the area with millions in wages and tax revenue. Today, the mill employs fewer than 650. The steep decline of manufacturing has created economic insecurity in our communities: families struggling to make ends meet and local businesses struggling to keep their doors open. River Valley region is home to some of the lowest-income families in the state.

In 2017, households below poverty level averaged 16.4% in the River Valley Region, compared to 8.4% for the state.

One in five children (20.2%) in Oxford County lives in poverty

65.4% of students in the local school district (RSU 10) are eligible for subsidized meals.

In a 2018 health survey, 50% of River Valley residents who responded did not have full time jobs.

How are we addressing these issues?
SEE OUR PROJECTS

Board


Darby Beliveau
President
 Retired Attorney(1963-1994) Preti Flaherty Attended Rumford Schools Veteran: U.S. Army Former Oxford County Judge of Probate...
Read More
Darby Beliveau
President
  •  Retired Attorney(1963-1994) Preti Flaherty
  • Attended Rumford Schools
  • Veteran: U.S. Army
  • Former Oxford County Judge of Probate and Public Administrator
  • Rumford Town Attorney (26 years)
  • Retired to Florida (1994-2020)where heavily volunteered with environmental and migrant farmworker housing issues, and programs for the mentally and physically challenged
  • Personal interests: Volunteering, exercise, and reading
Severin M. Beliveau
Secretary
Senior Partner, Preti Flaherty Law Firm Education:  Attended Stephens High School Community Service Honorary Consul of...
Read More
Severin M. Beliveau
Secretary
  • Senior Partner, Preti Flaherty Law Firm
  • Education:  Attended Stephens High School
  • Community Service
    • Honorary Consul of France in Maine
    • Former State Representative and State Senator
    • Former Trustee, University of Maine System
    • Board Member, ArtsEngageME
    • Professor Emeritus, University of Maine
  • Personal Interests:  Hiking, reading, and chainsawing.

 

John S. Beliveau
Treasurer
Managing Partner, HM Payson & Co (1999-Present) Community Service: MainePERS, Board Member Portland Community Squash, Board...
Read More
John S. Beliveau
Treasurer
  • Managing Partner, HM Payson & Co (1999-Present)
  • Community Service:
    • MainePERS, Board Member
    • Portland Community Squash, Board Chair
    • Maine Huts & Trails, Board Member
    • Sweetser Family Services, past Board Chair
  • Personal Interests: fly fishing, cross country skiing, hiking, reading

 

Lisa Poulin Marr
Board Member
Southern Brooklyn Family Services, Clinical Social Worker Larchmont Mamaroneck Community Counseling Center RHS 1982, Colby College,...
Read More
Lisa Poulin Marr
Board Member
  • Southern Brooklyn Family Services, Clinical Social Worker
  • Larchmont Mamaroneck Community Counseling Center
  • RHS 1982, Colby College, BA 1986, Columbia University, MSW 1997
  • Community Service:
    • Fundraiser For John and Josephine Marr Alzheimer’s Research Fund
    • Volunteer for Larchmont Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force
    • Activist for various social causes and public policy change
    • Campaign volunteer for local elections
  • Personal Interests: Women’s health and wellness, travel, writing, reading, meditation

 

Matthew Kaubris
Board Member
President/ CEO of Oxford Federal Credit Union (1995 – Present) Education: BA and MBA from University...
Read More
Matthew Kaubris
Board Member
  • President/ CEO of Oxford Federal Credit Union (1995 – Present)
  • Education: BA and MBA from University of Maine – Orono
  • Community Service:
    • FAME – MPower Board Member
    • Old School Food Pantry – Committee member
    • Committee member for various local fundraisers for area residents
  • Personal interests: Basketball (former coach for youth teams to High School), camping, canoeing/kayaking, reading.

 

Edward H Paterson, “Eddie”
Board Member
Owner New England Agency  Registered Financial Rep and Insurance Profession since ’83 Resides in Rumford Maine...
Read More
Edward H Paterson, “Eddie”
Board Member
  • Owner New England Agency 
  • Registered Financial Rep and Insurance Profession since ’83
  • Resides in Rumford Maine
  • RHS ’78, Colby College ’82
  • Business Education, Life Underwriters and The American College for Insurance and Financial Planning
  • Commissioner MV Rec Basketball League, Pine Tree League Baseball, Elected Maine Baseball Hall of Fame ’15, Radio broadcaster local high school sports, past Commissioner RV Cal Ripken Baseball, long time coach, referee, umpire, ALAM Bike Trek Across Maine 10-year vet, member Oakdale Country Club
  • Volunteerism: Rotary Club ’96, MV Athletic Boosters, past BOD/GRCC, past member Rumford Finance Committee, President, Strathglass Park Preservation Society, 
  • Personal interests: flower gardening, physical fitness  
Cheryl A. G. Dickson
Board Member
Cheryl A. G. Dickson Board Member   Executive Director of the River Valley Chamber of Commerce...
Read More
Cheryl A. G. Dickson
Board Member

Cheryl A. G. Dickson

Board Member

 

Executive Director of the River Valley Chamber of Commerce

Co-owner of Erik Designs, LLC

Education:  Rumford High Class of 1974

Community Service:

MedCare Ambulance Service-Board Member

Envision Rumford- Ex Officio Member

On various fundraiser committees

Personal Interests:  Sewing, Drag Racing, NASCAR, Reading and Volunteering

Nghĩa T. Ha
Board Member
Local paper mill (1995-current) Education: Mountain Valley High School, 1990, UMA 2008 BS Computer Information Systems,...
Read More
Nghĩa T. Ha
Board Member
  • Local paper mill (1995-current)
  • Education: Mountain Valley High School, 1990, UMA 2008 BS Computer Information Systems, KVCC 2008, Pulp and Paper Technology
  • Community Service: Lifetime member of Rumford Area Historical Society and Mexico Historical Society, member of Dixfield and Canton Historical Societies, Rumford Grange Citizen of the Year 2013, Town of Mexico Citizen of the Year 2018
  • Personal Interests: Collecting and preserving local history, gardening and canning fruits and vegetables, reading

Want to get involved?

Learn How
Explore Our Projects

Friends of the River Valley works to assess the most urgent needs of the western Androscoggin River Valley and then provide funding through grants, sponsorships, direct donations, and more to help address these needs.
See projects
Apply for a Grant
Are you an individual or an organization in the River Valley with a program or an idea that we can help fund? We provide funding through grants, sponsorships, and direct donations, and would love to get these funds into the hands of people looking to make a difference.
Drop Us a Line
Alternatively you may…
Email us directly
info@friendsofrivervalley.org
Call us
Mail us
Friends of the River Valley
c/o River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition
PO Box 86
49 Congress Street.
Rumford,ME,
Follow FRV on social media