By Rose S. Prinzi
This past Tuesday evening, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation announced our 2009 Axel W. Carlson Award Recipient. This year’s recipient is Lorri Huckelbery.
The journey to the selection of the Axel W. Carlson Award began back in January. At that time, The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation circulated a “Wanted” notice for nominations seeking local “unsung” heroes”. We were looking for an individual who was making significant contributions to our area through their volunteer efforts neither expecting nor receiving any reward or recognition. After many months, the search for our “unsung hero” was completed. It was not an easy task for the selection committee. All those who were nominated were well qualified.
As the 24th recipient of the Axel W. Carlson “Unsung Hero” Award, Lorri’s volunteerism speaks volumes of her caring nature, and dedication to children and literacy. Beginning as a teenager in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Lorri volunteered at the University of Michigan’s Medical Center’s Pediatric Ward, helping the staff care for the infants and assisting the older children with their homework and physical therapy. She also volunteered at the V.A. Hospital by writing letters for patients and making contact with their family members.
As time passed, Lorri graduated from SUNY at Fredonia with her degree in Elementary Education and began her family. While raising her two sons, Jon and Chuck, she taught Sunday school at First Presbyterian Church, volunteered at Ring Elementary and Washington Middle Schools, and was active in the Jamestown Area Midget Football League and the Eastside Midget Team Parent group. Yet, she still found time to collect for the Heart Association, United Way and March of Dimes.
Once her family and work obligations subsided, Lorri’s volunteerism became more intense. Today, Lorri is a Board of Director and Secretary of the Falconer Rotary Club. As Literacy Chairperson of the Rotary Club, Lorri arranges for every needy elementary school child and their families in the Falconer School District to receive new Scholastic books at Christmas time. She also arranges for books to be sent to children in Jamaica. With these activities, funds need to be raised, and Lorri is right there raising the necessary money to accommodate the purchase of these books.
Lorri is also very active with the Sinclairville Library as their Board Vice-President. In addition, she conducts two story hours weekly for preschoolers, teachers at its summer reading program, and helps with its fund raising activities.
If that wasn’t enough, through RSVP, Lorri assists a variety of local non-profit organizations when called upon. On any given day, you may see Lorri at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Jamestown Audubon Society, or at the Babe Ruth World Series.
According to Lisa Greeley, who nominated Lorri, “…a week with Lorri might typically include her tutoring through RSVP at Washington Middle School, providing evening child care for a Parent University Program, making a presentation to the Junior Achievement students on how math is used in serving ice cream, or the day might include a shopping trip to buy supplies for on e of the many fund raisers she supports.”
Lorri, congratulations on being selected the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation’s 2009 Axel W. Carlson Award Recipient. Thank you for all you do for our community.