Black Receives Hometown Hero Award

A huge celebration of community service united more than 400 business and community leaders, volunteers, and local service providers last month during the kickoff of United Way of Chittenden County’s 2011 Community Campaign, and the 9th Annual Hometown Hero Awards Ceremony. During the event, resident Dot Black was honored with a Hometown Hero Award in the Senior Adult Category.

In her nomination of the Senior Adult Winner, Dot Black, HomeShare Vermont Executive Director Kirby Dunn wrote that “Dot has helped to make hundreds of homesharing matches, probably more than any other individual at HomeShare, staff included.” Black is one of the founders of HomeShare Vermont and has volunteered there since 1981. Dunn continues, “Dot has a special talent of connecting to people, to listening to their stories and to empathize with their situation, qualities so vital when trying to successfully match two people. Although her modesty would prevent her from seeing it, she is one of those rare people who inspire people around her.” She certainly inspired Judge John Canning who saluted Dot—his first-grade teacher—with a reading from Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.”

Started in 2002, United Way’s Hometown Hero Volunteer Awards program was created to highlight the power of individual voluntary action to change people’s lives, inspire others and ultimately shape community conditions for the better.

Martha Maksym, executive director of the United Way of Chittenden County, reported some of the impressive statistics on the nominations this year after announcing the names of all the nominees. They represented:

· 64 individuals and 3 businesses;

· 546 years of cumulative service;

· donated 9,324 hours of their time annually; and

· contributed annual volunteer services worth $ 176,783 to our community (based on the current Vermont state average hourly wage).

To make a donation, volunteer or get involved, call United Way at 864-7541 or visit To get help finding help, please call VT 2-1-1, a statewide information and referral program of United Ways - simply dial 2-1-1, or visit

SOURCE: United Way

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