Sharon Kelly Named 2020 Recipient of The Don Exford Community Service Award
When Brittany Davis arranged for her water aerobics ladies to meet for a socially distanced walk at Maple Ridge, Sharon Kelly wasn’t suspicious. After all, Brittany told the group that she was missing them since classes had been cancelled in March due to Covid-19. Little did Sharon realize that as a Director for the Pratt Northam Foundation, Brittany was creatively arranging for Sharon to be presented with her award.
So, Sharon (and the other members of the group) showed up on a raw and cloudy day to bravely tackle the elements and spend some time with Brittany and the other members of her water aerobics group. The other members were in on the whole plan and Sharon was a very good sport about standing in the cold to receive her award and flowers while I snapped a photo to commemorate the occasion. To honor Sharon for her tireless community involvement she was presented with flowers, a check for $1000 dollars and a 5year Empire pass for NY State Parks for her future adventures.
Before retirement, Sharon was a K-7 teacher at South Lewis Central School for approximately 30 years. She still spends her days subbing at South Lewis schools when she is needed. Related to education, she is a leader in the NYS Reading Association, where she continues to help prepare state-wide conferences for teachers, and is active in the Thousand Islands Literacy Council.
Sharon is a volunteer at the Lowville Food Pantry, Lewis County Taking Care of Our Own, Beta Sigma Phi (a cultural and support group), DKG (an educational sorority), St. Peter’s Church, St. Therese’s Guild, and many other charitable events and groups.
More specifically, Sharon, as a leader in these groups, takes on the daunting task of fundraising. Sharon was able to successfully plan and launch the creation of two Lewis-o-poly games, collecting advertising spots and selling the games, to raise thousands of dollars for the Lewis County Taking Care of Our Own group, which helps cover unplanned costs during family tragedies or hardships. Not only has she had success in this group, she continues to fundraise for other groups she is involved in.
Brittany Davis commenting on Sharon being chosen as this year’s recipient for the Don Exford Community Service Award said: “Sharon is the true definition of a dedicated servant leader to our community and is very deserving of this award. Sharon is someone that I look up to, as she continues to be involved in the community and help those that are in need. Not only is she extremely involved, but she is one of the most kind-hearted people I have ever met. “
Sharon is the 14th Donald Exford Community Service Award recipient. Previous winners were: Tom Piche of Carthage, Betty Sawyer of Brantingham, Dr. John Schleider of Lowville, Newell Wagoner of Boonville, Gilbert Monnat of Croghan, Catherine Liendecker of Lyons Falls, Peg Nuspliger of Lyons Falls, William Kellerhals of Harrisville, Edward Ingersoll of Martinsburg, Doug Hanno of Lowville, Ron Gingerich of Watson, Rick and Ellen Bush of Lowville and Tom Yousey of Lowville.
Donald Exford passionately loved his community and worked with others to help our community thrive. Sharon Kelly shows her continued love for her community in words, actions and deeds. She is a guiding example of the good within our community and we thank her for all of her efforts.
The Board of Directors of The Pratt Northam Foundation is honored to announce that Sharon Kelly is the 2020 recipient of the Donald Exford Community Service Award.