Announcement of the 2021 Jefferson Prize winners
ELMIRA, NY (WETM) – Chemung Canal Trust Company, Corning Enterprises and WETM-TV announced the recipients of the 2021 Jefferson Awards for Public Service today during a luncheon at the Elmira Country Club.
In total, 3 area residents were recognized for their commitment to our community and the exemplary contributions they have made to help improve the quality of life in the Southern Tier. This year’s recipients include:
Mary ellen monahan
Mary Ellen Monahan retired from a long career in public education to transfer her efforts and enthusiasm to the volunteer role of Program Director for The Salvation Army in Corning, NY. Using her professional qualifications and previous experience in public education, she immediately developed and implemented a New York State accredited educational program for children through the Kids Café after school and after school programs. summer, in the installations of the Salvation Army. For over a decade, Mary Ellen has led this program, volunteering 50 to 60 hours per week, leading an effort that offers private lessons in reading, homework help, crafts, exercise. physical as well as nutritional snacks and dinner. During the summer, the program offers field trips offering cultural experiences, in addition to reading, crafts and swimming activities, as well as breakfast, lunch and snacks. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mary Ellen and the program pivoted to provide educational support and supervision throughout the day, during the school year, to students unable to virtually attend home classes. Each week, nearly 50 students benefited from this “virtual learning program” run by the Salvation Army. She sought funds for computers and WiFi connectivity, providing significant technological resources to students in need, in addition to educational support for their academic progress. Over the past decade, Mary Ellen’s efforts have enabled more than 2,500 students to benefit from these programs. His countless volunteer hours devoted to these essential programs have created a supportive and safe learning environment for some of the most underserved students in the Corning community. She has developed lasting relationships with many of these young students, serving as a mentor and cheerleader for their future endeavors. Mary Ellen has made and continues to make a significant difference in our community.
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Teresa is a volunteer who has generously donated her time and talent, over many years, to various organizations in Steuben County, such as 171 Cedar Arts, the Corning branch of the YMCA and the Bob Rockwell Memorial Fund, for n ‘ to name a few. But, with the onset of COVID, Teresa shifted her focus from volunteering to helping individuals and families facing food insecurity. In support of the South Region Food Bank’s efforts, Teresa assembled a group of dedicated volunteers and they helped establish and staff a food center at Corning Painted Post High School. Teresa was the coordinator of the Steuben County Food Center. Under his leadership, the group received food from the food bank’s distribution center, set up an efficient system to pack emergency food boxes, and managed the transfer of boxes to multiple organizations for delivery to those in need. needed. Teresa and her team have been nimble and flexible throughout the process. They organized unannounced pickups, if needed, and helped ensure county residents had access to food. The food center processed 600 to 1,200 food packages per week, and on a single occasion, the team packed 1,600 boxes of emergency food for the elderly in the six-county service area of the food bank. . Teresa’s organizational skills and collaborative working style have helped establish the Steuben County Food Hub as a model for our region, developing tools and processes to improve efficiency, creating monitoring indicators to measure results and identify those who need it. The early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine were confusing and chaotic. For those unemployed – temporarily or permanently – food insecurity was a real crisis for many. Thanks to Teresa and her Food Hub team, those who need it most have been identified and helped, alleviating some of their hardships during a very difficult time.
Carl is a fourth generation resident of Schuyler County who is passionate about health, safety and community development needs throughout the Southern Tier region. A longtime farmer, Carl is described as a humble and genuine man who brings a “dawn to dusk” work ethic to all the organizations he volunteers with. Most recently, he volunteered his time, talents and tools to develop a new agricultural cluster in Schuyler County to help create improved farming practices in hopes of increasing employment in agricultural manufacturing in local and regional businesses. He enthusiastically accepted the challenge and added workload of cultivating an experimental trial plot, seeing it as an opportunity to bring a new crop to our area, helping local businesses and the future of farmers within. our communities. After being an active volunteer for the Farm Bureau and Cornell Cooperative Extension, Carl is now President of the Schuyler County Industrial Development Agency and a member of the Board of Directors of SCOPED (Schuler County Partnership for Economic Development). Through his leadership and direction, these economic development groups have worked with businesses and municipalities to help complete projects valued at over $ 130 million, benefiting Schuyler County and our region as a whole. . Carl was also a volunteer firefighter for the Mecklenburg Fire Department for over 30 years. During this time, he served as the company’s vice president and captain of the company’s fire and police and currently serves as an emergency medical technician, fire truck driver trainer, and mentor and teacher.
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for all volunteers and interns in the Department. His efforts with firefighters truly embody the firefighter’s oath: “to serve altruistically, with concern for others, the will to help those in need and the courage to get the job done”. All of Carl’s proponents agreed, he is a modest man who has played a key role in shaping the current and future economic and social fabric of Schuyler County.
The award recipients were introduced by Michael J. Wayne, retired Senior Vice President and Marketing Director of Chemung Canal Trust Company, who commented on the recipient’s detailed resume. Each winner received an official Jefferson Awards gold medallion from Anders M. Tomson, President and CEO of Chemung Canal Trust Company, Christine Sharkey, President of Corning Enterprises, and Tina Castano, Vice President and Managing Director of WETM.
Over lunch, it was announced that Mary Ellen Monahan has been selected to represent the Southern Tier at the national Jefferson Awards event, which will be held virtually in September. Ms. Monahan also received a piece of Steuben glass, titled “Shining Star”.
The Jefferson Awards for Public Service, which recognize ordinary people who do extraordinary things without any expectation of recognition or reward, was created by the American Institute for Public Service. The Institute was founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, US Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Sam Beard. This is the 17th year that the Southern Tier has participated in the program and honors area residents.