On July 19, 2023

Volunteer of the year award: many deserve the credit

 

Dear Editor,

It really does take a lot more than just one person to make things happening. I just happen to be in a position where I listen to the community and when I can be of help, I have many resources (mostly people) that are also willing to jump in to get some of these initiatives done.

The bottle drive at the transfer station is a good example. When Covid hit and Santos could no longer work the job, I stepped in (yes, it was paid) and started watching everyone throw returnable/deposits into the dumpster to be crushed. Noticing an opportunity, all I did was have it separated. And my good friend Roger Rivera jumped in to help separate the cans, glass and liquor bottles, box them up and take them down to Olivia’s — a big thank you to Olivia’s— where they kept a running tally for us and every 8-10 weeks we got a check for just over $1,000. Over a year, we were able to collect $8,000-$10,000, which we donated to the rec program. At the same time, the town is not paying for that weight to be thrown out, or creating unnecessary volume, which fills up the container sooner necessitating more frequent pick ups.

Now, I’ve moved from the transfer station to interim zoning administrator, but the program still continues with Jay Hickory now working at the transfer station and Roger Rivera, who continues to help separating the cans and bottles and bringing them to be deposited. A continued “thank you” to Roger and Jay. 

I’d also like to say, over the course of the 25 years of living here, I’ve been part of many such community efforts of volunteerism with many many others. Another memorable time was during Irene and then Covid when the former Butternut Lodge hosted food drives. “The Dairy Girls,” Gerrie Russell and Judy Evans, got their nickname for always handing out the milk and the eggs. Andrew McKenna and his boys, Steve Nisimblat and daughter and son, Roger Rivera again, Jason Mikula from the Mountain Times and many others helped with those food drives. 

So thank you for the award, Rec. Dept., but like I said in the beginning, it really does take a lot of work from many others, too. I know I’ve missed many names, but they know who they are and deserve credit and a big “thank you” from me and the entire community. 

Thanks, 

Jim Haff, Killington

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