By RUSSSELL JONES
BRANDON — Citing her “tireless work” for the benefit of others, Brandon Chamber of Commerce out-going President Sharon Stearns presented the 2019 President’s Award to Brandon resident Kathy Mathis.
In presenting the President’s Award, which recognizes a business, organization and/or individual(s) for their contributions and commitment to Brandon, Stearns honored Mathis for her extensive accomplishments in the community.
“She serves as President of the Board of the Brandon area Emergency Food shelf where she oversees fundraising, administration, volunteer coordination and lots of hands on work days to serve over 100 households a month in addition to Christmas and Easter boxes for over 200 households consisting of many elderly and single heads of household with children,” Stearns told the annual gathering, adding that Mathis also serves as the “president of the board of the Directors of the Brandon Senior Citizens Center handling fundraising, grant writing, administration, building maintenance and improvements. (She also oversees) a board of 14 people donating over 3,300 hours of volunteer time per year, serving senior citizens 6,200 meals per year.”
And that’s not all, Stearns told the 75 assembled for the chamber’s annual meeting, held at the Lilac Inn.
“She (also) hosts exercise classes and clinics, garden projects with youth and developmentally disabled, and social events with 1,620 attendees per year in activities such as knitting, card playing, jigsaw puzzling and coloring clubs. And she has fundraised and managed improvements to the kitchen, storage unit, downstairs, ADA compliant ramp, foundation repair, furnace and oil tank replacement, sewer upgrade, parking lot paving and roof replacement between 2012 and 2016 — and the list goes on!”
Stearns noted Mathis has also been a member of the “select board, zoning board, Rutland County Humane Society, helps the church with wreath making, and served with the Rutland Area prevention coalition, BROC volunteer, Council on Aging, Brandon Independence Day Parade (including as judge and many time float maker), has been the Brandon Toy Project Director, has helped individuals with house repairs, firewood needs, moving, and has received awards as a Friend of Education, Green mountain Foster Grandparent, Neshobe Teachers Association volunteer, Association for the blind, Women’s Network and Shelter, and Rutland Regional board for Family Services.”
“What else could this person do? Well, there’s more… she has been in countless Brandon Town Hall plays as an actor, costume director, and director; 12 years as Neshobe play choreographer; 5 or so years as Friends of the Town Hall board member, during which she has helped clean the Town Hall attic as well as clean and preserve historic items, made curtains, bought décor and furniture and covered chairs for the downstairs and bathroom out of pocket, painted the bathroom, columns, filigree, proscenium (golds and greens) and border — with help from family.”
“It is my great honor to award the 2019 Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce President’s Award to Kathy for her tireless work serving others in our community, Stearns concluded to a standing ovation from the crowd.”
In other news at the Chamber’s annual meeting and dinner, new directors named were: Gary Marini from New England Woodcraft; Missi Case from Bar Harbor Bank & Trust; Jack Schneider from Brandon Yoga Center; Michael Shank, an individual member; Brian Jerome from Visual Learning; and Russ McColman from The Little House.
Chamber officers for 2019 are: President Pat Wood, an individual member; Vice President Jim Leary, local attorney; Secretary Polly Goodspeed, an individual member; and Treasurer Seth Hopkins, from Inn To Inn.