Another great citywide celebration of community volunteers was held at the University of St. Thomas on January 25th to honor those select individuals throughout the city who have contributed significantly to the improvement of each of the seventeen St. Paul Planning Districts. The 17 member District Council system is a national model for citizen participation in civic affairs.
Each year, all of the Citizen Participation Planning District Councils, including Summit Hill Association (SHA)/District 16, collaborate in organizing an annual Neighborhood Honor Roll Awards celebration – a city-wide recognition of the important work and contributions of citizen volunteers. This year, SHA once again submitted the names of three District 16 volunteers for recognition (see below).
As we go to press (in mid-January), we expect over 250 people will turn out, as last year, from throughout the city to celebrate these and other neighborhood volunteers. The Davu Seru Jazz Trio will lay out a cool background rhythm during the social portion of the program and a delicious spread of hors d’oervres and refreshments will keep attendees very content.
Mayor Chris Coleman opens the event acknowledging the commitment and hard work for which the assembled volunteers are being recognized. Later, City Council President Kathy Lantry, presents the 2012 awards to the over 40 honorees from throughout the city – noting each person’s particular contribution to the health and vitality of their community and the city.
This year, SHA selected three Summit Hill residents to be honored for their years of commitment to community. Those selected were: Tom Richardson, Arlana Vaughn and Tim Pramas. The names of these honorees will be added to the bronze Neighborhood Honor Roll plaques located outside the City Council chamber in City Hall. We truly believe these individuals have made a tremendous difference in sustaining and improving the quality of life in the Summit Hill Neighborhood and beyond. Below are the individual award citations for each SHA honoree.
Tom is a longtime area resident and SHA Crime Prevention Block Leader who has done an excellent and highly consistent job of keeping neighbors informed along an area of Lincoln Avenue that backs up to a busy, challenging stretch of Grand Avenue businesses. This area has experienced a number of burglaries over the years increasing the importance of effective neighborhood communication that Tom has very capably facilitated.
Arlana is a true legend in our neighborhood. She sparks all her neighbors to plan and enjoy the summer block party and special events on Lincoln Avenue that involve fabulous food, live music and charitable contributions. Whatever the season, Arlana gathers the neighbors for planning sessions in her backyard around a fire pit. This year, they celebrated their 17th annual Halloween party, thanks to their generous host and planner, Arlana. She is truly a great neighbor!
Tim served as the SHA Board President during the period 2009-11 and exhibited an exceptional ability to motivate other Board members and volunteers. Tim’s organizational abilities and memory are legendary. He manages people and situations with directness, wisdom and humor. Tim’s organizational skills have been especially appreciated in his work as the SHA Board President and also as the Coordinator for over 300 SHA House Tour volunteers during the 2010 & 2012 events.