Thursday January 31, 2013
Anne Corley, a life-long South Burlington resident and retired South Burlington High School English teacher, was recently honored by the South Burlington Rotary Club with the Frederick H. Tuttle Award for service and dedication to the community. Corley accepted the award—named for her former colleague who lost his life to cancer in 1991—conceding her appreciation just to be nominated.
Following a 34-year career in teaching, Corley, 73, followed her heart to help people in need by becoming a Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf volunteer. Corley, who initially sought a community service project to fill her free time, has since dedicated 18 years to the mission.
“Anne Corley has been a champion volunteer at the Food Shelf for many years,” said Rob Meehan, director of Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. “Anne has dedicated thousands of hours of volunteer service to people who are at risk of hunger, providing food and clothing. Anne’s Clothing Corner at the Food Shelf has helped thousands of families stretch food dollars and has provided clothes and sleeping bags for the homeless.”
“I’ve always been like this,” Corley said in reference to her commitment to volunteerism. “I always ran the food drive, always leaned toward helping those less fortunate. I kind of have a soft spot.”
Eight years ago, Corley established the Angel Fund and Holiday Shop to provide additional aid to those who struggle to meet life’s basic needs. Each spring and fall, a yard sale raises thousands of dollars, which get channeled to charitable organizations, social service agencies, and disadvantaged families who request assistance with energy, food, housing, medical, or educational expenses. During the holidays, Corley sets up a Shop in her home, stocked with new books, toys and clothing, and welcomes in people without the means to purchase gifts. Last year, Corley accommodated 66 grateful shoppers.
“I could never do this alone,” admits Corley. “I have to give credit to a lot of people and the community.”
In 1994, the South Burlington Rotary established the Frederick H. Tuttle Award as a tribute to the Superintendent of the South Burlington School District, who began his career as an educator in 1959, serving in the South Burlington schools since 1967. According to Rotary, the award recognizes individuals like Corley who bring the same extraordinary dedication, integrity, and service to the community as Tuttle did during his professional and personal life.
“I was shocked,” said Corley, humbled to be selected by a panel of judges to receive the prestigious award. “I was very fond of Fred Tuttle. He was a terrific man: gentle, kind, just a great human being.”
Corley joins company with former Frederick H. Tuttle award winners including The Other Paper Publisher/Editor Judy Kearns, as well as recipients Todd Goodwin, CJ Knudsen, Susan Merrick, Sherry Prehoda, Betsy Yung and Jerry McDougal, Tim Comolli, Patrica Nowak, Fred Blais, Jake Cunavelis, Jim Condos, Peter Jacobs, Ted Manazir, Tony Cairns, Linda and Rene LaBerge, Tom Hubbard, Skip Farrell, and Stuart ‘Red’ Martin.
Corley says she’ll continue her volunteer activities and community service as long as she’s physically able. “I like what I’m doing,” she said. “More than anything, it’s a great feeling.”
SOURCE: Lisa Osbahr, Correspondent