The Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce announced on Monday, March 28th, that Hancock County Deputy Luke Gross will receive the Ellsworth Citizen of the Year Award posthumously at the Awards Night May 18, 2022.

Deputy Gross' wife  Lauren Gross will accept the Citizen of the Year Award on his behalf.

According to Tom Wheeler, President of the Board of Directors "The decision was an easy one.Luke fit the qualities of the award,  a person who goes above and beyond their job, to make the community a better place."

Luke began his career in law enforcement as a patrol officer, but found his calling at the Sabattus Police Department as the Elementary DARE Officer. His passion for working with kids, carried through his 18 years at the Hancock County Sheriff's Department, continuing as a DARE office and bringing the Every 15 Minutes, a teenage drunk driving mock fatality program to the Deer Isle Stonington High School, as well as assisting with other County High Schools Every 15 Minute programs.  He connected easily with kids and was always willing to volunteer for programs like Camp POSTCARD (Police Officers Striving to Create and Reinforce Dreams), raising money for the Sheriff's Charity programs including Christmas gifts for kids, Sheriff's Cup Basketball and more.

He was dedicated to working with children, especially his own, Ryan and Alissa, by not only volunteering at his children's school, Hancock Grammar School, but also serving on the Hancock Grammar School Board from 2016, and becoming Chair of the Board in 2019.  At Hancock Grammar School he assisted developing the Backpack Program, that helps children with food insecurities year round, shopping and distributing Christmas gifts through a partnership with Downeast Community Partners, and was instrumental in the purchase of 3 new school buses through his representation on the transportation collaborative committee.

Although his number one priority was his family, wife Lauren told the Chamber "Luke was just neighborly, always willing to lend a hand.  He would lend our generator to friends/neighbors during power outages, taking it to their house and setting it up for them.  He'd stop to help stranded motorists, tow a disabled boat on the lake, assist lost hikers (even off duty) and drive friends to Boston for Cancer treatments. He donated to Special Olympics, scouts, and school fundraisers."

Deputy Gross lost his life while on duty on September 23, 2021

Motorcade Transporting Hancock County Sheriff Luke Gross from Trenton to Augusta

Over 50 law enforcement vehicles escorted the body of Hancock County Sheriff Luke Gross from Trenton to Augusta this morning. These photos were taken in North Ellsworth at the former Annie's Pride location.