NORTH WARREN - For 29 years, the North Warren Chamber of Commerce has awarded community leaders, local activists and volunteers for their work on behalf of others in bestowing the organization's annual V.I.P. award.
The Adirondack Journal is pleased to present a review of the award recipients.
In 2008, Jerry and Elna Meader of Brant Lake were jointly awarded. Jerry served on the Horicon Town Planning Board and town Zoning Board of Appeals. But his volunteer work with the local Rotary Club, particularly granting scholarships, and his service for many years portraying Santa, and his extensive work with the Boy Scouts, prompted the award. Elna Meader worked long hours on behalf of library and town museum, plus donated her time in fundraisers for Operation Santa Claus - to benefit those less fortunate.She also helped create the town's Historical Quilt. Also, they worked for the county Officer for the Aging, the Horicon Library, Meals on Wheels, and various community efforts.
The 2007 recipient was banker Roger Van Guilder of Chestertown, who worked his entire career in Chestertown. Van Guilder was known for his community service through the Boy Scouts, American Legion, March of Dimes, and Red Cross. A Chamber president for 13 years and a local bank branch manager for 24, he launcheda Cub Scout Troop.
In 2006, the North Warren Chamber V.I.P. was Carl Lamm of Chestertown, founder of the Helpers' Fund, which has raised thousands of dollars to help out middle class families finding themselves in unfortunate circumstances. He also founded the Chestertown Community Thanksgiving Dinner along with Doris Hensler.
The 2005 V.I.P. award winner was Dan Perry of Adirondack, founder of the Adirondack Marathon, a very successful benefit event. He also volunteered for Rotary fundraisers, was a board member of Hudson Headwaters Health Network, and helped organize Chester's Bicentennial.
In 2004, the V.I.P. award recipient was Evangeline Mills of Chestertown, a founder of the town of Chester Library. A retired Warrensburg High School language teacher, she worked tirelessly on behalf of the Chester Bicentennial, and volunteered for beautification efforts. Also, as an avid quilter, she co-designed the historic Bicentennial quilt.
2003- Fred Vetter of Chestertown and Randy Duell of Brant Lake received the V.I.P. award in 2003. Vetter ran the hardware store in Chestertown, and Duell worked tirelessly with the town Little League.
In 2002, Frank Hill of Adirondack and John and Mary Belline of Brant Lake were awarded. The Bellines were for many years dedicated to the North Warren Emergency Squad, and Frank Hill has served on both the town board and North Warren School board for many years.
In 2001, Arlene Mayer of Brant Lake and Marv Cole of Chestertown received the V.I.P. honors. Mayer has served as Horicon Town Clerk for more than 20 years. She is known as Horicon's informal community ambassador.
Dedicated to preserving the old Chestertown High School, Marv Cole was successful in saving the historic building from destruction. Cole volunteered his time and talents to refurbish the school. Early on, he spearheaded the local Save Our School movement, successfully lobbying to have the building renovated into the Town of Chester Municipal Center. Also, he served as president of the Loon Lake Park District Association.
In 2000, Roger Daby of Brant Lake and Robert "Butch" Stetson of Pottersville were awarded. Daby was was a firefighter for 25 years, committed to community service and helping his neighbors. Not only was he known as the routine first responder to respond to fire calls, but he worked day and night at the legendary Daby's General Store in Brant Lake, which he owned. Stetson has been owner of Black Bear Restaurant for decades, and served as an original member of Pottersville Fire Department and chairman of the local fire commissioners, helping launch first-response capability of the Department.
In 1999, four citizens were awarded. Mary Jane Dower and Lore Hildenbrand, both of Chestertown, received the award as community activists who worked for many months on the town Bicentennial celebration. Also awarded were Kit & Eric Isachsen of Brant Lake, honored for their extensive work for the North Warren Chamber and other efforts on behalf of their fellow area citizens.
In 1998, Jack Higgins of Brant Lake and Schuyler Martin of Chestertown were awarded. Higgins has been a member of the Horicon Fire Department now for more than 60 years, and Schuyler Martin was Supervisor of the town for several terms and a local business leader.
In 1997, William Bennett of Horicon was honored with the award. He served on the Horicon Town Board for many years.
In 1996, Phil Sullivan and Al Ross, both of Chestertown, received the coveted award. A local legend, Ross still owns and operates a historic market in Chestertown, and Phil Sullivan was a banker in Warrensburg who wrote generous loans to folks in Chester. He was also active in the Chestertown community.
In 1995 John West of Chestertown was the award recipient. He developed the Chester Recycling Center, and started one of the first successful municipal "free stores" to recycle goods in the state. Over the years, this project has helped a lot of people in need, as well as providing lots of shopping entertainment for local residents.
In 1994, the award recipient was Barbara Stolen of Chestertown, a legend in the Real Estate field. She and her husband John originally launched the Loon Lake Marina, and they worked tirelessly to boost area commerce.
1993 - Edith Higley, Pottersville Elementary School teacher. Higley was known for her positive influence on area youth.
1992 - Richard Considine of Chester, founder of Lincoln Logs Limited. Considine founded the firm that for years was the leading enterprise of its type in the nation, and it was based in Chestertown.
1991 - Glenn Fish of Chestertown, long-time community pillar and member of the Hudson Headwater Health Network Board of Directors.
1990 - Margaret Girvin of Brant Lake, housekeeper at the Espicopalian Retreat facility Barry House. She was a well-known community activist.
1989 - Janet Barnhardt of Chestertown, active in library, historical organizations and community groups, and one who inspired creativity in others.
1988 - Hudson Headwaters Physician's Assistant William Orluk of Chestertown, for his long dedication to area citizens' health. He is now owner of Panther Mountain Fitness, as well as Warren County Coroner and school board member.
1987 - Long-time local school teacher and community activist Helen Persons of Brant Lake, influential in the development of the area's youth.
1986 - Marge Swan of Chestertown, long-time town board member, community pillar, and volunteer.
1985 - Marietta Meade of Brant Lake, local coordinator for Red Cross and community activist.
1984 - Banker Gene Flachbarth of Chestertown, for extensive community service.
1983 - Austin Smith of Chestertown, proprietor of a snowmobile store and other enterprises, town zoning administrator, active in the community.
1982 - Jim Brown of Riparius, for active service and volunteer work in the community.
1981 - Al Scott, funeral director and flower shop proprietor in Chestertown for his leadership and community work.
1980 - Pottersville and Chester community pillar Ed Beckler, owner of Natural Stone Bride & Caves in Pottersville, for work on behalf of regional commerce and community service, which includes years of service on the local school board.
1979 - Chestertown Pharmacist Roy Boles, for community service, good cheer and dependable medical advice. Boles attended school on horseback, was a member of original historical society, and was involved in various community affairs. He served on the local board of education for 25 years.
1978 - Chestertown Attorney Charles Leggett, who served as Town Justice with fairness and compassion.
1977 - Harry Gamble of Pottersville and Annis Holmes of Chestertown: Holmes was proprietor of the town's yarn shop for decades. and Gamble ran a hardware store in Pottersville.
1976 - Pottersville resident Carl Roblee, for his work on behalf of citizens as Town of Chester Supervisor;
1975 - Forrest Jones of Pottersville, a renowned artist who was active in local veterans groups and the historical society. Jones designed the town's Bicentennial emblem.
1974 - Norine Shaw of Pottersville, town of Chester clerk for decades, and before that, dedicated secretary for the North Warren Chamber of Commerce.
1973 - Caroline Fish of Chestertown, store proprietor, news columnist and founder of the local historical society.
1972 - Howard Swan of Chestertown, longtime legendary Chester supervisor, for his work on behalf of the community.
1971 - Walter Griskot, photographer, promoter and tourism expert, who is founder and still annual organizer of the Adirondack Balloon Festival.