By Tia Lynn Ivey
Every year, the City of Madison honors the service of volunteers who play a critical role in the life of the community during National Volunteer Month. This year, the city announced three volunteer award recipients: Joe Smith, Chris Cook, and Melissa Piche.
Normally, the city hosts an award dinner and other festivities, but the usual celebrations had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, the Madison Mayor and City Council paid homage to the award recipients at Monday’s regular meeting. “Even though we couldn’t have he usual dinner and fanfare, we still wanted to recognize the civic board volunteers and their efforts to make Madison a special place to live, work, and play,” said Madison Mayor Fred Perriman. “Most of the programs, events, and activities would not be possible without our fellow ‘staff’ members who are technically volunteers.”
Joe Smith, an architect and preservationist whose serves on the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC), is being honored with the Superlative Service award.
“Joe has served on the HPC for over a decade. As a skilled architect, preservationist, and a communicator, he has assured both property owners and the community positive outcomes,” said Perriman.
Chris Cook is being honored with the Inspirational Leadership Award for his service on the Public Arts Commission. “Chris’ service and leadership on the PAC over the last two years have been motivating and inspiring for the entire group as it moves from its initial work into a full-fledged public arts initiative,” said Perriman.
Melissa Piche was announced as the Volunteer of the Year for her work on the Cemetery Stewardship Commission (CSC). “Melissa’s passion for community history, caring of cultural assets, and unflagging hard work have made her an invaluable community volunteer and a contributor to the CSC.”
Perriman praised all the award recipients, as well as all of the city’s volunteers.
“On behalf of the City of Madison, it is my sincere pleasure to congratulate these individuals for their service to our community,” said Perriman. “We are grateful for the time and talent each of you have devoted to enriching Madison as a place that we all can enjoy for years to come. Please accept my gratitude on behalf of us all.”