LAKE PLACID - The village of Lake Placid and the Town of North Elba recognized local residents Conni Cross and Julia Appleton as their 2009 Volunteers of the Year award winners.
Cross was named the recipient for the Volunteer of the Year, while Appleton was chosen as the Youth Volunteer of the Year during Saturday's, April 25, reception and ceremony held at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.
Cross' volunteer efforts have spanned six decades, when she was the North Elba Park District summer playground supervisor. She has also lent her time as a volunteer for the 1980 Winter Olympics, the 1972 FISU World University Games, the Tri-Lakes Humane Society, the Lake Placid Hall of Fame and the Lake Placid Ironman.
Currently, Ms. Cross is a member of the Mirror Lake Watershed Committee, and organizer for the Lake Placid Spring clean-up program, the Garden Club Beautification program and was the founder and is current president of the Lake Placid Beautification Association.
"For over 25 years, Conni has been a sustaining force that has made our beautiful flower dressed street, parks and town entrances so very special," wrote Town of North Elba supervisor Roby Politi in his nomination letter. "She has never, ever accepted the word 'no' and she always find a solution to every problem. And moreover, she has generated a sense of pride and community in the jobs that she has created as the founder of the Lake Placid Beautification Association."
"It's wonderful to be honored tonight, but there are so many other people who should also be recognized for all that they do," noted Cross. "I couldn't possibly be this involved without the support of our community leaders. It's important to give back to the community and to keep the spirit of volunteering growing."
Appleton, a senior at Lake Placid High School, has logged more than 250 hours of community service. The 18-year-old has contributed her time to the Uihlein Mercy Center and has raised money and support for breast cancer awareness, Mountain Lake Services, UNICEF and for the global food crisis. She has also been active through the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and worked with local elementary school students.
"I love to volunteer, it's about serving the community and that's what I desire to do," remarked Appleton.
"People who volunteer make a difference in our lives," said Sate Sen. Elizabeth Little, R-Queensbury, who was also in attendance Saturday evening. "In so many ways volunteers improve the quality of our lives in a community, they're an important part to the overall spirit of a community."