By Rose S. Prinzi
On Friday, June 27th, Hazel L. Porter, her family and friends gathered at the Juliet Rosch Activities Center for a very special occasion. Mrs. Porter was being recognized by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation as the recipient of the 23rd annual Axel W. Carlson “Unsung Hero” Award.
An award such as this doesn’t just happen. It evolves.
Axel W. Carlson was born in the early 1890’s on a farm in Sweden. He
immigrated to this area when he was in his teens and worked making tabletops in
Brooklyn Square. Mr. Carlson’s work ethic was beyond reproach and he was dedicated
to helping those less fortunate than himself. He did not seek reward or recognition. He
worked hard all his life, saved and invested his money wisely. On November 3, 1981, he
passed away leaving a substantial portion of his estate to the Foundation for the purpose
of assisting the community he left behind.
In 1985, the Community Foundation approved a recommendation to set aside a
portion of the Axel W. Carlson funds to honor an individual who exemplified Mr.
Carlson’s life of giving without expectations of acknowledgement or thanks.
Applications for this honor were to be received and reviewed annually by a community
This year was no different. Hazel L. Porter was nominated and then selected to
be this year’s “Unsung Hero”. She was nominated by the Lutheran Social Services’
Retired Senior Volunteer Program/Foster Grandparent Program representatives. In brief,
not only does she demonstrate her consistent dedication to her students in Mrs. Centi’s
second grade class at C. C. Ring Elementary School as a Foster Grandparent but she is
also active on the LSS Campus as a volunteer in their Gift Shop, knits quilts, afghans and
sweaters for babies through the Linus Program and has been a past member of the Ross
Grange and Foster Grandparent Advisory Council.
On behalf of Hazel L. Porter, monetary gifts were presented to charities of her
choice. They were the Diabetes Education Department of WCA Hospital and the Susan
G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
The next time you see someone who, day in and day out, helps to make this world
a better place, thank them and consider nominating them for the Axel W. Carlson
For more information about this award and other funds the Foundation may have,
call 661-3390 or go to our website (www.crcfonline.org).