United Way praises Addison County volunteers for their contributions
VERGENNES — This year’s United Way of Addison County Community Celebration event was held on May 30 at the Vergennes Opera House. The free, family-friendly event was held to honor and thank those people who help make the United Way campaign a success.
The first speakers of the evening were Everybody Wins! reading program mentor Bob Rathbun and his mentee, Lucas Farrell, who told their story of the relationship they have developed through reading together. The audience also heard from Mike Reiderer who educated everyone about the programs run by the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Vergennes, followed by an inspiring story by Jesse Whitney as he talked about how attending the Boys & Girls Club has changed his life. Outgoing Campaign Chair Brian McDonough was honored for the work he and wife, Eva McDonough, have done on behalf of UWAC.
The Youth Service Senior Volunteer Award was given to Raphael Desautels for his work with Addison Central Teens, Police Explorers, the Youth Advisory Council and a variety of events at Middlebury Union High School. The award is given to a high school senior who has shown initiative and creativity in developing a community service project and has performed services that have had a positive impact on the community.
Other senior nominees for this award included Maddy Sanchez and Meghan Santry of MUHS, and Lois Rood, Kaitlin LeRoux and Mary Langworthy of Vergennes Union High School. This year all other student activism and volunteering awards will be presented at the Days of Caring event on Sept. 26. That event will take place at the Congregational Church of Middlebury and will be open to the public.
Many businesses were recognized for their workplace campaigns; the payroll and human resources departments work very hard to process paperwork and keep it all on track. Among those honored at this event were Gail Leach, Addison Central Supervisory Union; April Rockwell, Addison Northeast Supervisory Union; Pam Preston, Addison Northwest Supervisory Union; Laurie Wedge, Addison Press; Sheila Shaw, Bread Loaf Corp.; Gina Larrow, Cooperative Insurance; Julie Coons, Cooperative Insurance; Pam Russell, Cooperative Insurance; Alexa Euler, Counseling Service of Addison County; Joanne Corbett, Elderly Services; Matt Laux, Middlebury College; Sandy Trombley, National Bank of Middlebury; Marthe Fisher, Porter Hospital; Patti Lowry, UTC Aerospace Systems; Pat Perkins, Foster Motors; Richard Dorfman, Langrock, Sperry & Wool; Robyn Carneval, Nathaniel Group; Anne Hornbeck, Neuse, Duprey & Putnam; Karen Nawn-Fahey, Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center; Mark Bouvier, Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center; Sally Laframboise, Shea Motors; Beth Morrisey, Danforth Pewter; and Mike Rainville, Maple Landmark Woodcraft.
Also recognized were the “mail ladies” of The Commons in Middlebury, who handled many large-scale mailings under the leadership of Sylvia Fisk: Faith Angier, Mary LaRose, Judy Mitchell, Lucille Shivorette and Michelle Whitney.
Additionally this year, UWAC recognized everyone in the county who has participated as a volunteer in community impact funding (CIF), or “allocations,” as it used to be called. Each year UWAC funds approximately 30 Addison County agencies. Groups of 25-30 community volunteers meet in the winter to read applications from these agencies, visit the applicants and make funding recommendations to the UWAC board of directors for the funds they raise. The work is time consuming and the decisions are the culmination of a lot of study and discussion. One team member says, “Being a CIF volunteer allowed me to show my appreciation for the significant support that United Way offers to area nonprofits, while also giving me a personal glimpse into the good work that these agencies provide for our community.”
Linda Schiffer talked about being a part of the CIF team for 11 years. Nes Martinez spoke from the perspective of someone new to the process. Anyone who would like to be a part of this team next year should call the UWAC office at 388-7189. For a complete list of past community volunteers visit the United Way website at www.unitedwayaddisoncounty.org.
United Way of Addison County representatives expressed appreciation for all who attended the Community Celebration; sponsors Green Peppers Restaurant, Woodware, Bourdon Insurance, Cabot Cheese and Shaw’s Bristol; and to all of the community members who participate in campaigns by volunteering or donating.