MOUNT VERNON — For the first time, two of the four volunteers honored as Mount Vernon’s Volunteers of the Year were honored for service made prior to the program’s inception. The presentation was made Friday during the Heritage Centre Association October First Friday.
“We started this [award] in 2003, but there were a number of people who served admirably on boards and commissions prior to that time,” Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis said before the ceremony.
Robert Coe is one such volunteer, who was honored for his service on the Board of Zoning Appeals from 1994 to 1999.
Kenneth Reynolds Sr. was the second volunteer honored for past service. Mavis pointed out Reynolds’ long-time service on the Municipal Planning Commission from 1975 to 1999.
“And yes — those are the right years,” Mavis told the crowd gathered to watch the awards presentation Friday evening.
Reynolds said he wasn’t aware of the Volunteer of the Year Award until he received notice he would be receiving it this year. He said he enjoyed the years he spent on the commission.
Mavis said volunteering on such boards and commissions is hard work, which enriches the community.
“None of them get paid, and some of these boards come under a lot of pressure to allow things to happen,” the mayor said. “Sometimes you get your name in the newspaper,” Mavis joked.
“These people have to make decisions based on what our city’s going to be like in the future,” Mavis said of the volunteers. “They make our city a better place to live.”
Pamela Coffing was one of the two volunteers currently serving who received the Volunteer of the Year honor. She has been on the Metropolitan Housing Authority since 2003.
Marcia Orsborn, a member of the Mount Vernon Recreation Board since 2003, was the fourth volunteer honored. She said her service on the board was a way to contribute to a community that has been good to her family.
“My kids had a great experience growing up in Mount Vernon and in my small way I guess I’m just giving back,” she said Friday at the ceremony.