By Janice Edwards
Poultney Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that its 2017 Citizen of the Year Award will be presented to Josephine “Jo” S. Williams. This Citizen Award will be presented to Jo during an Open House reception on Sunday, Oct. 8 from 2 to 4 p.m. sponsored by the Chamber. The public is cordially invited to join the Chamber in honoring Jo at the reception to be held at Young At Heart Senior Center. Young At Heart Senior Center, the host site, is a handicap accessible site located at 206 Furnace Street in Poultney, Rutland County, Vermont.
Jo has been chosen by the Chamber for this award due to nominations for numerous reasons witnessed, described and endorsed by many residents. Jo’s life has been dedicated to her extended family and to the greater family of the Poultney community. In the community as a member of the Woman’s Auxiliary of Poultney Hose Company, Jo started up the coffee urns and mass produced sandwiches for the fire fighters when they rushed off to fight fires, night or day. Her dedication to the fire department, community safety and unity has been the way of life for Jo, all of her life so far. Mother of five children, she brought up a future fire chief as well!
Jo is a founding member and dedicated supporter of Poultney Rescue Squad and has helped it in many capacities. She continues to volunteer in their Thrift Shop. As a lifetime member of Poultney Woman’s Club, Jo has volunteered for many of its programs which provide activities, entertainment, nourishment and assistance for the residents of Poultney. Within her spiritual family of the Catholic Church of which Jo has been a lifetime member, she assists with many of its programs and its Woman’s Guild. She was Church Secretary for many years, and she is well-known amongst the church community for her famous baked beans.
Jo’s contributions include, but are not limited to, programs and events of J. Claire Carmody Post #39 and its Auxiliary; to the local women’s barbershop chorus; to Poultney school band programs and Poultney’s Town Band; to Poultney’s July 4thcelebrations including the Dip Dinner and Strawberry Social; Poultney Booster Club; Boys and Girl Scouts of America; Poultney Area St. David’s Society, to the Young At Heart Senior Center, Poultney Food Shelf, Poultney Cemetery Association and Poultney Historical Society. Jo’s energy and caring for the community overflowed often through her career as Poultney’s Town Clerk, an elected position which she held for many years before retirement. To this day, Jo continues to provide information to the Town, as the “elder” so to speak.
The Chamber’s Citizen of the Year Award, presented annually since 1990, honors a resident citizen who has made major contributions to the betterment of Poultney; has distinguished herself or himself through outstanding service to the community and typifies the true spirit of service and self-sacrifice in representing the finest ideals of Poultney citizenship – – a real “unsung hero” of Poultney. As Poultney’s 2017 Citizen of the Year, Jo will also be the Grand Marshal of the 2018 July 4 parade in Poultney.