The John D. Hamilton Award is given annually to an individual who has shown dedication, leadership and support in furthering community spirit and enriching the quality of life in the Chautauqua Region. The award is bestowed upon its worthy recipient by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, and was first given to John D. Hamilton in 1994 to express the community’s appreciation of his tireless efforts and leadership to make the Chautauqua Region a better place.
This year’s recipient is Dr. Bert W. Rappole, who has demonstrated community spirit through his commitment to the many organizations he has been involved in throughout the years. In his own unassuming and quiet manner, Bert Rappole has had a profound effect on the community that is without limit.
Dr. Rappole states he was “very fortunate” and had “many opportunities” during his childhood days on Chestnut Street in Jamestown. He was the son of fully engaged civic and community-minded parents. “My parents told me to be involved and active in the community,” said Rappole. He did exactly that.
His many community involvements include:
- James Prendergast Library, Board of Directors
- United Way of Southern Chautauqua County, Board of Directors
- Greater Jamestown AM Rotary
- Hospice Chautauqua County, Board of Directors
- American Cancer Society of Chautauqua County, President
- Surgical Team to Haiti, Leader
- Allegany Region Missions, Founding Member
- Panama United Methodist Church
- Koinonia of Jamestown
Dr. Rappole has consistently demonstrated the traits and intent of the John D. Hamilton Award. He is well respected throughout the region as a skilled physician as well as a humanitarian and someone who is willing to go above and beyond to help those in great need. “Community is what you make of it, you have a role and everybody has to work to make the community better,” stated Rappole.
Dr. Rappole and his wife, Mary, live outside of Mayville. They are the parents of five children.