The Poultney Area Chamber of Commerce has chosen T. Daniel Williams as its citizen of the year for 2020-2021.
The award is given each year to a Poultney area citizen who has “contributed to the betterment of the Poultney community, provided continuing outstanding service to the community, and who demonstrates the true spirit of service, qualities representing the finest ideals of citizenship in the Poultney area,” according to the Chamber.
This year the award is being presented to an “unsung hero,” Dan Williams.
Because of the Covid-19 situation, a public reception will be delayed until the crisis is over. Williams will be presented with a slate clock by the Poultney Area Chamber of Commerce at the Stonebridge on Nov. 4 at 3 p.m., observing mask and social distancing guidelines
He will also be a part of the official tree tapping ceremony at the next Maplesfest and will serve as grand marshall in the next Fourth Of July parade.
“Selfless” is the word many used to describe Williams by those who know him, referring to his volunteer activities at Poultney High School and around town, his willingness to help with large or small tasks, and his love for Poultney and its citizens.
Dan Williams is a lifelong Poultney resident with a solid devotion to the town and a continuing determination to help those who live here. He spent 20 years and many volunteer hours as a fireman, assistant fire chief to his brother Larry, and fire chief, responding to hundreds of fires and accidents during that time. He was also part of the small volunteer group that actually built the fire trucks that the Poultney Fire Company housed at the 1930s firehouse.
Like his father “Doc” Williams, Dan was a local slate roofer who made a big impact on Poultney. As many hours as that took, he seemed to spend an equal number as a volunteer, serving proudly at Rutland Regional Medical Center in the emergency room.
At Poultney High School he volunteered as part of the Boosters Club, including as president, kept time for football, coached 7th and 8th grade basketball, and varsity baseball. He also raised money to help children attend sports camps, leadership conferences, or for scholarships. Currently he is a door and hall monitor at the school, and knows the name of every child, giving freely of his time to counsel kids who need a new direction, and provide a shoulder and a listening ear.
Dan Williams’s volunteer activities are not limited to organizations. He volunteers at the transfer station, collecting bottles and cans and turning the proceeds over to various charities. He has given both money and time freely to those in need, including helping out with chores at the Moyer farm when Ken Moyer passed away suddenly. He helped build the new fence around the East Poultney Cemetery. He also volunteers to disinfect local churches so worshippers can be safe.
Dan Williams rarely, if ever, asks anything for himself. He goes quietly about, contributing to Poultney and her citizens without fanfare or boast, and with a happy heart: a true “unsung hero.”
A list of past recipients is available on the Chamber website: poultneyareachamber.com.