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 Friday, December 1, 2017. The Town will hold a ceremony honoring this year’s recipient on Tuesday December 5th at 7:30 in the Kilburn Meeting Room at Manchester Town Hall.  All are welcome.

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

2016 – David Quesnel