In the Metzger family, giving back to the community is a core value that has been passed down for generations.
For Michael Metzger, it has simply become second nature.
“My mom and dad raised us to believe that volunteering was expected and an essential part of giving back to our community,” Metzger said.
During a reception Friday at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel, Metzger was honored for his decades of service with the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation’s John D. Hamilton Community Service Award.
According to Peter Stark, John D. Hamilton Community Service Award chair, the award has been presented annually since 1993 to recognize those who demonstrate dedication, leadership and support in furthering community spirit and enriching the quality of life in the area.
“Each year, our committee has the privilege on focusing on the very best in community spirit,” Stark said. “We are honored to recognize Mike and his dedicated, insightful and inspirational leadership that has truly made a lasting impact on our community.”
Growing up in Rochester, Metzger was inspired by his father’s involvement in the United Way and has been a strong supporter of the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County since moving to the area with his wife, Marge, more than 35 years ago.
As they raised their two daughters in Chautauqua County, Rachel Taliercio and Laura Kerls saw first-hand how having a supportive family and the desire to serve others could truly make a difference in the community.
“We are a product of those around us and I know our grandfather has served as an inspiration to our dad,” Taliercio said. “I see my father and grandfather reflected in (my sister) Laura’s volunteerism and her dedication to better the lives of those who are less fortunate extends our family’s legacy.”
Over the years, Metzger has held leadership positions with the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, American Red Cross of Southwestern New York, Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier and The Resource Center.
Currently, he serves on St. Mary of Lourdes’ finance committee, as a Chautauqua Institution Board of Trustees member, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation Investment Committee member; and County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency Board of Directors chair.
However, most notably of all Metzger’s volunteer roles has been his involvement with Junior Achievement of Western New York. For over 25 years, Metzger has taught the Junior Achievement Economics for Success program to eighth-grade students at Falconer Central School.
“While our dad’s impact cannot be measured, it can be celebrated,” Kerls said. “We could not be prouder to celebrate him and his lifetime of service this evening.”