First and foremost: 'Citizen' honors bestowed by Chamber of Commerce
Updated 10:30 am, Wednesday, May 22, 2013
They are citizens of the first rank, in terms of character and civic contributions.
And these citizens were paid tribute Tuesday, both for current achievements and future prospects, with First Citizen Awards presented by the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce.
Jacqueline Devine and Corey Werner, two seniors from Staples High School, and Claire Cook and Matthew Proctor, two seniors from Weston High School, were also recognized with the chamber's Future First Citizen Awards for their community activities.
"As a resident of Westport, I feel responsible to participate in the community," said Butler, a former selectman, who began in her role at the Human Services Department in 1989.
"My colleagues have been terrific," she said. "The people in my department have been fun to work with and we all share a mission."
"I really appreciate the recognition," Butler added, but emphasized that her accomplishments have been possible only because of joint efforts by many others. "I want you to remember that all the things that I've been able to do have been in concert with so many other people," she said.
"Barbara is the heart and soul of Westport," said First Selectman Gordon Joseloff. "I hope you stay in the town of Westport doing what you're doing for many, many years."
Edgar said his recognition was, likewise, a reflection of support by many other people.
"I want to thank the chamber for recognizing the volunteers in town and the spirit of volunteerism," he said. "I'm really here to accept this on their behalf."
Devine has not only volunteered at Wakeman Town Farm, but her interest in politics has prompted her to work with state Rep. Gail Lavielle and she plans to help Jim Marpe with campaign this fall for first selectman. She belongs to the Junior Statesmen of America organization at Staples.
Werner has devoted time to volunteering at the Jewish Home for the Elderly in Fairfield, Earthplace and Builders Beyond Borders. At Staples, he started the Investment Club, and is a member of the Relay for Life Club.
Cook volunteers as an adaptive ski instructor at Bromley Mountain's Bart J. Ruggiere Adaptive Ski School, where she helps people with disabilities. She has also worked with the Obie Harrington-Howe Foundation in Darien, and on the Bart Center's annual Wounded Warrior Project.
Proctor founded the Weston Television Network and has produced a variety of content for Weston High organizations, the Weston Senior Center, Relay for Life, and other community projects. He also is a musician.
"Westport and Weston are a much better community because of them," Lisa Parrelli Gray, president of the chamber, said of them all. "I think we can all agree that the honorees this evening are well-deserved."