Chamber honors community leaders at annual luncheon

SHERBURNE – Commerce Chenango recognized two community members, a local business owner and a non-profit organization for their contributions to Chenango County Wednesday at their 8th Annual Membership Appreciation Luncheon, held at the Fox Run Event Center in Sherburne.

Those recognized were this year’s recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award, Tom Sutton; Agricultural Advocate, Keith Severson; Woman Owned Business of the Year, Jill Eddy of Lily Katherine’s Bridal Boutique; and Non-Profit Agency of the Year, Hospice and Palliative Care of Chenango County.

The event was sponsored by Preferred Mutual Insurance Company, GHS Federal Credit Union and Frontier.

Volunteer of the Year Award

“Spirited and talented volunteers are a community asset that must be valued,” said Commerce Chenango President Maureen Carpenter as she introduced this year’s award recipient, Tom Sutton of NBT Bank.

Carpenter enumerated the many organizations in which Sutton is involved, including the Chenango Foundation, Leadership Chenango, Norwich Business Improvement District, Friends of the Park and the Chenango Memorial Hospital Foundation. He has also been involved in a coaching capacity with various youth sports organizations, she said, including baseball, football and basketball.

“Tom cares about his community and is dedicated to finding time for those causes that he feels will impact the community he lives in,” Carpenter said. “Like most that volunteer, it’s not about the recognition or the acknowledgment; it’s about making a difference in the quality of life that we all deserve.”

Sutton said he was humbled by the award. “I’m simply one of a large group of individuals in our community,” he explained, taking the time to acknowledge others who often donate their time, including Dave Emerson and Pegi LoPresti. Their volunteerism, he said, “is truly inspirational.”

The NBT executive also thanked his employer, “for encouraging community involvement and volunteerism” in their employees and allowing staff members the opportunity to “follow (their) passions and make a positive impact.”

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