The fourth annual Lake Placid Community Day was held on Sunday, June 5 to celebrate and connect those who live, work or volunteer in Lake Placid. Food, refreshments, music and other entertainment were free. More than 30 agencies, including the Cloudsplitter Foundation and St. Eustice’s Episcopal Church, sponsored the event and offered people the opportunity to volunteer. The highlight was the presentation of well-deserved awards to Youth Volunteer of the Year Ellen Lansing and Adult Volunteer of the Year Linda Young.
The Regional Sustainable Tourism Office and the Lake Placid/North Elba Community Development Commission co-hosted Lake Placid Community Day out of a shared desire to honor the many people who collectively help Lake Placid to be a good place to live. Held at the North Elba Horse Show Grounds with live music hosted and presented by Scott Sileo and Jim Cushman, this year’s weather was perfect.
The success of Lake Placid on every level is that the community is not just volunteer driven, but you could say hospitality driven, or perhaps relationship driven. Whether it’s the person who welcomes a visitor to a hotel, restaurant, store or venue, that connection is vital to our community. Equally important is the relationship between volunteers and the many athletes, coaches and family members who come to Lake Placid throughout the year. Indeed, every task, whether it is a person working in the health industry, education, recreation or local government, is essential to improving our collective way of life and our capacity to accommodate so many events throughout the year.
The general coordinator of the event, Valérie Abraham-Rogers, has sat on the volunteer committee since its creation. When she joined the Community Development Commission a few years ago, she learned that they wanted to organize a block party type event, a fun party for the community that will hopefully encourage more people to volunteer. .
“As we have always struggled to get people to come to the annual Volunteer of the Year presentation, my idea was to combine the two events,” said Abraham-Rogers. “That’s how Community Day was hatched. We had a great start for the first two years, then it all stopped because of COVID. Then last year we started again; the big challenge now is getting the word out.
This year they succeeded as the community day was well attended by people of all ages with many activities suitable for young children. Abraham-Rogers said many people have told him they want to volunteer but don’t know how to go about it. they don’t know what volunteer opportunities are available.
“I think Community Day is one of the best opportunities for people to come together and see how vibrant and multi-faceted this community is,” said Garrick Smith, a FISU volunteer. “The 38 or more booths we have here represent many well-functioning organizations that make this community thrive. They also illustrate that this community would not be without volunteers. An added benefit of volunteering is the friends we have made, getting to know our neighbours, their children and parents, and learning more about history. Today I met at least 22 people who worked at the 1972 FISU University Games.”
Karen Fountain, a 32-year-old fire department volunteer, agrees, saying the friendships she made made the experience deeply rewarding. For Jay Rand, a Lion’s Club member since 1983, it’s about supporting the community he loves. Sara Kane volunteers for Mercy Care so seniors in our community can age in place. Now serving on her third board, Judy Meagher says she loves her community and wants to give back.
In addition to learning about the volunteer opportunities available, several organizations showcased their services. For the Village of Lake Placid Police, that meant informing families about their child-safe bicycle helmet program and their child car seat verification program, both of which offer the opportunity to obtain free equipment if needed.
“One of my favorite activities is interacting with the community on days like this, at school or walking down the street,” Officer Summo said. “I think it’s a vital part of policing. The more children know us; the more comfortable they are talking to us. This translates to the fact that when they are older and have a problem, they will not be afraid to talk to us.
For children, the problem could be a dangerous helmet. The department’s goal is to have extra helmets in each patrol car in case they see a youngster riding a bike unsafely, having a helmet that doesn’t seem safe or at all. It can also be parents who need a suitable car seat for a child.
“We want to help ensure that every child in the village is safe,” said Sergeant Sorrell. “We can work with the state police in Ray Brook because they have a good program, and I hope the county does too soon, so we can provide coverage and support from all angles. It’s not about writing tickets; if by any chance you have a serious accident, we want to help ensure that your child is protected.
In the past, the Volunteer Committee planted a tree to commemorate Volunteer of the Year, now flowers are added to a perennial garden in Mid’s Park, and the names of distinguished adult and youth volunteers are added to a perpetual plaque which hangs in the main hall of North Elba City Hall.
Tammy Morgan, a life and environmental science teacher, introduced Eminent Youth Volunteer of the Year, Ellen Lansing. She praised Lansing for volunteering more than 400 hours in the after-school program this year alone, more than 60 in the composting program and another hundred in support skating.
Keela Rogers, 2012 Adult Volunteer of the Year, introduced Linda Young, the 2022 recipient, who in the 1980s founded the ecumenical charity program, the Interfaith Pantry at St. Agnes Church and the Helping Hands thrift store in Holiday Harbor. , an effort to ensure that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, has access to food, clothing and medicine, among other needs.
“First of all, I would like to thank my family for their support of my volunteering and their constant involvement”, Young said. She thanked the volunteers for “the compassion, empathy and gift they give, and how happy she is to accept the award on their behalf.”
Young’s message, echoed by Lansing and everyone at every table, cooking the food, making the music, entertaining the kids, is that people matter and by working together we can change lives for the better. .
“Today is our day to be proud of each other and to have a day just for us,” said North Elba City Supervisor Derek Doty. “And it is necessary.”
Going forward, Community Day will be held annually on the first Sunday after Memorial Day.