Connecting Youth doles out awards (11/19/09)

Nov. 19, 2009

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

Local unsung heroes were honored last week for their tireless work volunteering at area schools and in the community. Connecting Youth’s “Aw Shucks!” Awards were given out on Nov. 10 at Champlain Valley Union High School.


    Courtesy photo
St. George resident Sarah Tischler appears at the ‘Aw Shucks’ Awards ceremony last week, where she was honored for her volunteerism.

The award, now in its 15th year, honors those that have volunteered in local schools in Chittenden South Supervisory Union. Jan Bedard, Connecting Youth’s administrative director, said each honoree has donated countless hours over the years.

“They’ve all been constantly involved,” Bedard said. “That’s the true nature of the award.”

For her work in getting private funding for this year’s CVU auditorium renovation, St. George resident Sarah Tischler earned an “Aw Shucks!” Award. Bedard said her active role with CVU Drama made the renovation possible. Tischler was also a longtime member of the St. George and CSSU school boards.

Longtime Williston Central School teacher Al Myers was also honored with an award. Myers passed away in April after falling from a ladder in the school’s auditorium. The “Aw Shucks” Award honored Myers’ volunteer efforts in the Williston community even though he was a resident of Richmond, Bedard said.

Bedard said Myers was nominated for the award last spring before his death. She said he must have known a large group of Williston Central School staff members were working hard to make sure Myers was honored.

“We’ve never had a nominee come to us that way before with such popular demand,” Bedard said.

Bedard said the awards got their name from the reactions people gave when they learned of the honor and felt they were undeserving.

“We truly do get the ‘What? Me?’ reaction when we tell people they’ve won the award,” Bedard said.