Do you know a community volunteer who has made an extraordinary contribution to the quality of life in our greater Manchester community?
One of the positive annual events associated with our community is the recognition of volunteerism through the Manchester and the Mountains Community Service “Unsung Hero” Award. This grassroots event began twenty years ago. Originally sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, it has recognized the contributions of local heroes. Today the Community Recognition Committee of the Manchester Selectboard accepts nominations for the annual award. Letters of nomination will be accepted by mail or email until November 30, 2016. The Town plans to hold a ceremony in early December.
The Community Service Award began in 1989. While sitting around the family table over breakfast at the Quality Restaurant a conversation between some regulars went something like this: “Isn’t it a shame that the people that do all the work usually don’t get the credit. We ought to have an award for those people.” This random observation was the genesis of what became known as the “Unsung Hero Award”.
Each year since 1991 a committee has accepted nominations and chosen those they felt best exemplified selfless community service. Some years it was one person, some years as many as five. The names of all these heroes, these recipients of the Manchester and the Mountains Community Service Award appear on a plaque which hangs in our Town Hall Meeting Room.
These are the people who work quietly, often behind the scenes. These are the people our community counts on to make happen all the ideas that spawn the events that make these valley and mountain towns such wonderful places to live and raise families. These are your volunteers, your chairpersons, your coaches, board members, the plain-clothes soldiers who do the grunt work and don’t often get their picture in the paper. These are the people who when you ask for help put their hand up, step forward, or quietly make things happen without a motive other than helping their neighbors and their community
The Selectboard, recognizing that this is an important event identified with our Town and community, assumed guardianship of this annual recognition in 2008. They created the Community Recognition committee that coordinates this and associated tasks involving citizen recognition.
Please consider nominating a worthy candidate by send a letter or email to:
Wayne E. Bell, Chair
Town of Manchester, VT
Manchester Selectboard Community Recognition Committee
6039 Main Street
Manchester Center VT 05255
Past award recipients include:
1989 – Gordon and Beatty Gill; Linda Spence; Dick Rizio
1990 – Wayne Bell; Don Johnson; Ray and Lesley Purdy
1991 – Pete Cobb; Betty Clayton; Huguette Peck; Bill Drunsic
1992 – Helen Eaton; Fred Hansen; Clarence Decker; Ann Pierce
1993 – Rabbi Michael Cohen; Mary Nevin; Brian Hill
1994 – Marion Gaudette; Howard Wechsler; Gerrit Kouwenhoven
1995 – Maggie Ellis
1996 – Patti Barnes; Marshall Peck; Bill Weeks
1997 – Tara Dowden; Martha Roth Stevenson; Terry Tyler; Carol Lattuga
1998 – Donald Dorr; Patty Bourhill; Zoe Dailey; Jim Hand; Gail Busl
1999 – Seth Bongartz; Jenny Davis; Geoff Chapman
2000 – Patricia Carmichael; Paul Beaulieu; Joanna Taylor
2001 – Dom Penge; Bonnie Kilburn
2002 – Jack Clark
2003 – Dave Pardo
2004 – Martha Thompson
2005 – Len and Becky Kotler
2006 – No Presentation
2007 – No Presentation
2008 – Ray and Marie Ferrarin; Mary Miner
2009 – Kaki Fisher
2010 – Emmy McCusker; David Bentley
2011 – Lou and Patty Midura; Joe Charbonneau
2012 – Roger and Penny Preuss; Lani Lovisa
2013 – Karen Allen; Lysa Cross; Beverly Van Sickle
2014 – Bill and Becky Burke; Carl Molenhoff; Fred Hilliard; Robert W. Thompson
2015 – Shawn Harrington