CHARLOTTE, Maine — A small group of Lane Construction employees who staff an asphalt plant in the rural Washington County community of Charlotte has won a national award for community service.

The National Asphalt Pavement Association recently presented its 2011 Community Involvement Award for the charitable activities and donations of the 23 employees at Lane’s Charlotte Field Location.

The company’s Polar Bear Dip team raised more than $1,900 for the Ronald McDonald House by taking a quick plunge in the icy Atlantic in February, and employees also raised thousands more for causes ranging from the Relay for Life to the Down East Hospice. They also participated in the annual cleanup of Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge and in the spring cleanup of the Charlotte Cemetery.

Local schoolchildren are a major beneficiary of the Charlotte Field Location’s efforts. The company purchased and assembled new basketball backboards, rims and nets for Charlotte Elementary School and purchased new softball and cross-country uniforms for its athletes. Employees also bought a new book for each of the school’s 30 students.

One project Charlotte Elementary students won’t likely forget is Lane Construction’s “Gutter Party,” which was held at the school in 2011. Lane employees filled a 12-foot-long gutter with ice cream and toppings, allowing students and family members to concoct their own sundaes.

“We are located in one of the most poverty-stricken areas in Maine, and our employees love to come together and give back,” said Margaret Cheney, the plant’s assistant office manager. “Lane tries to be a neighbor in our communities. Our employees, their wives and their children always look forward to the next event; it’s a big family atmosphere that brings everybody together.”