This award, affectionately known as the "Unsung Hero" Award began in 1989. While sitting around a table at the Quality Restaurant (now Thai Basil) a conversation between a few locals, 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 give an award to those people." This random observation was the genesis of what became known as the "Unsung Hero Award."
Each year 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 Community Service Award appear on a plaque which hangs in the Kilburn Meeting Room in our town hall.
The following are the people who have received this recognition: 1989- Linda Spence, Gordon and Beatty Gill, Dick Rizzio 1990-Wayne Bell, Don Johnson, Ray and Leslie 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-Martha Roth Stevenson, Terry Tyler, Carol Lattuga, Tara Dowden 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-Bonnie Kilburn, Dom Penge 2002- Jack Clarke 2003-Dr. David Pardo 2004-Martha Thompson 2005-Len and Becky Kotler (2005, 2006) No presentations; 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
These past recipients are the people who have 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 chair people, your coaches, and your board members, your plain-clothes soldiers who do the grunt work and don't often get their picture in the paper. They will be chosen by the Selectboard Citizen Recognition Committee from among many worthy nominations for we are a community of heroes sung and unsung. Nominations for the 2013 Manchester Community Service Award will be open through Nov. 22, 2013 and may be emailed to: bell. firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to: Manchester Selectboard Community Recognition Committee 6039 Main Street, Manchester Center, VT 05255.