Unsung Heroes

To the Editor:

Nominations for Manchester's 2011 "Unsung Hero" Community Service Award will be closing Thursday, Nov. 12, 2012.

For those who may not be familiar with this award may I offer a little background. One of the positive annual events associated with our community is the recognition of volunteerism through the Manchester Community Service "Unsung Hero" Award. This grassroots event began 20 years ago as a way of recognizing the contributions of local often "unsung" heroes. Today the Community Recognition Committee of the Manchester Selectboard accepts nominations for the annual award.

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 service to the Manchester Community. 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 of 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. Recent additions to the list more than fifty recipients have included Kaki Fisher, Emmy McCusker and David Bentley.

Please consider nominating a worthy candidate by sending a letter or email to: Wayne E. Bell, Selectboard Vice-Chair Manchester Selectboard Community Recognition Committee 6039 Main Street Manchester Center VT 05255 or bell.w@manchester-vt.gov.

Wayne Bell Manchester


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