“Dedication, leadership, and support in furthering community spirit and enhancing the quality of life in the Chautauqua region.” Each year, one individual or, in this case, two, exemplify the aforementioned phrase. This is the very reason the Community Foundation awards the John D. Hamilton Community Service Award and is pleased to announce Jane and George Campbell of Lakewood as the 2006 recipients.
The basis for the John D. Hamilton Community Service Award is the namesake himself. As far as community service and leadership go, John D. Hamilton set the bar high. After moving to Jamestown in 1948, he became a servant of the community. He served on many area boards, was an active volunteer, a business leader, and an overall community advocate. This dedication and leadership led to his awarding of the CRCF’s community service award in 1993. Every year since, the award has been named the John D. Hamilton Community Service Award to honor his legacy of service.
Many past recipients of this award have walked in the footsteps of John D. Hamilton, and this year’s recipients are certainly no different. Jane and George Campbell began their lives together when they married in 1952. They moved to Jamestown in 1964, at which point their lives of community service began, from which many organizations have benefited over the years.
George Campbell’s work ethic was engrained in him through his service in the United States Marine Corps, where he served from 1946 to 1948, and then again, from 1950 to 1951. He carried this work ethic into his many involvements including: Board member for the Gebbie Foundation, YMCA of Jamestown, Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, Manufacturer’s Association, American Red Cross (where George also donated 172 pints of blood over his life), Southern Chautauqua United Way, and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
Not to be outdone, it would take a book to outline all of Jane Campbell’s associations and volunteer activities. A few of the many organizations to which Jane has given her time include: St. Luke’s Episcopal Church as a Sunday school teacher, altar guild member, and thrift shop volunteer; Lakewood Library; and A Children’s Place Daycare Center.
While Jane and George’s individual volunteer work is impressive, it is their joint efforts that are most distinctive. As a couple, Jane and George volunteer for St. Susan Center, the Chautauqua County Victim Impact Panel, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Chautauqua County Special Olympics, and WCA Hospital. In 2005 alone, George volunteered 1,340 hours of his time to WCA Hospital, while Jane has volunteered over 3,500 hours at WCA in her lifetime. Much of Jane’s WCA service has been spent dealing with emotional rigors in the departments of physical therapy, palliative care, and, presently, dialysis.
The couple’s dedication to the Special Olympics and the Impact Panel is also unparalleled. They both volunteer at nearly every Special Olympic event and personally award Katie Campbell Rexford medals, in honor of their daughter, to special education participants who have excelled at the games. Additionally, Jane registers and George speaks to participants of the Victim Impact Panel on the real-life impacts of drunk driving and the consequences it holds.
On September 7, the Campbells received the John D. Hamilton Community Service Award at a ceremony in their honor. Yet, what will resonate even greater than their awarding is what they have meant to the individuals and organizations they have given themselves to. Whether serving a warm meal to those in need, providing a caring ear to the hospital-bound, or awarding excellence to those participating in the Special Olympics, their service is recognized and has enhanced the quality of life in the Chautauqua region.
Published in the September 10, 2006 edition of The Post-Journal.