Created by the United Way of Greater Portland in 1985, the Mary Rines Thompson Award is presented annually to an individual who epitomizes the spirit of volunteerism. Previous recipients include Joseph Kreisler, Elaine Rosen, Maddy Corson, Rosalyn Bernstein, Dan Reardon, Greg Bove, Rodney Mondor, Meredith Strang Burgess, Alan Duplessis, Dr. Frank Kleeman and Patsy Thompson Leavitt.
Mary Rines Thompson served as an executive of Maine Radio and Television (former parent company of WCSH 6) from 1970 to 1982. Mrs. Thompson created the climate and provided the leadership that defined the company's clear sense of corporate responsibility to the community. She served on many community Boards. She was one of the founders of the Center for Voluntary Action in Portland which has grown to become the United Way's Volunteer Resource Center.
The 2012 recipient of the Mary Rines Thompson Award was Ronald Eby.