Since 1996, Connecting Youth in Chittenden South (CY) has honored community volunteers who have dedicated their time to supporting youth and families. The evening is called the “Aw Shucks” Awards Night because this is what recipients often say when they are told that they are being recognized! This year the event was held on April 2 and was a huge success. CY honored nine individuals bringing the 16-year “Aw Shucks” total to over 200 honorees committed to youth and families in Charlotte, Hinesburg, St. George, Shelburne and Williston. “With as much as CY does in our communities we are far from the only program or people to have a positive impact on the lives of our youth” said CY Director Christine Lloyd-Newberry. “The number of suggestions we received this year as we prepared for the event was inspiring. There is no shortage of committed individuals in our midst, but on April 2 we recognized a group of exceptional people who have gone above and beyond in so many ways.”
This year, included as honorees were two Shelburne residents:
Renee Davitt has been a member of the Shelburne Community for 11 years and in that time has volunteered as a Daisy, Brownie and Girl Scout Leader, was instrumental in extending the very popular “Me and My Guy” Valentine’s Day dance, and implemented the “Warm Up America” knitting project with Odyssey Of the Mind participants. She joined the Recreation Committee in 2007 and has been putting her planning and networking skills to good use there. She has been a CY volunteer, a member of Friends of CVU and worked closely on the “Hands to Honduras” program. As a faculty member at Shelburne Community School, she consistently reaches out to her colleagues and is always coming up with fun, motivational ideas to promote joyful and healthy choices.
Lisa Williams is a busy volunteer at SCS. She is a member of the PTO Board, where she serves as treasurer. With all of the fundraisers that generate hundreds of checks this is a big job! The school community sees Lisa’s best work in the school gardens. Lisa has put in many, many hours of labor restoring and creating gardens all around the school. Acres of them, it seems! Also, she spear-headed the installation both of the new brick sign outside of the school entrance and of new benches where kids wait for rides home. She has recently moved onto a huge mural project, using re-used plastic bottle caps. On top of all of these things, Lisa is an incredibly active Girl Scout leader. Those who get to work with her are always so impressed with her many new ideas and her energy to organize and see them through to completion.
Other area honorees include Jane Gage, Hinesburg; Mike Conley, Hinesburg; Cheryl Lalancette, Williston; and Liz Neeld, Williston.