Tyro man recognized for community service at Fleetwood Center | Recent news

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A Tyro man is honored for his work restoring historic Fleetwood Elementary School.

Matthew Allen of Tyro is the first recipient of the Bob West-Sarah Jane Stewart Volunteer Community Service Award, for his work restoring the historic Fleetwood Elementary School, now known as Fleetwood Community Center. The award was created jointly by the Nelson County Community Development Foundation (NCCDF) and the Nelson County Community Fund and “recognizes outstanding volunteer service to the county,” according to Vinnie Valentino, chairman of the NCCDF board of directors.

Valentino and Board Treasurer Woody Greenberg spoke at a ceremony honoring Allen and namesakes Bob West and Sarah Jane Stewart on June 24.

“It will be an annual award for voluntary community service,” Greenberg told community members gathered at the Nelson Center.

Recipients receive $1,000 in addition to recognition.

“It’s only fitting that Matt Allen would receive an award named in honor of Bob West and Sarah Jane Stewart. They put their heart and soul into their work with community centers,” Greenberg said.

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He said West was a leader in efforts to turn abandoned Lovingston Elementary School into the Nelson Center and that he and Stewart were leaders in transforming Rockfish Elementary School into the Rockfish Valley Community Center .

“These were not the only volunteer activities of Bob and Sarah Jane during the nearly 40 years they have lived here. Bob worked to create the Piney River Rails to Trails project. Sarah Jane helped the Nelson County Historical Society develop their plans for the Oakland Museum. And that’s just to mention a few. We could be here for half an hour going over the things they’ve done,” Greenberg said.

Valentino described Allen as working “tirelessly behind the scenes” and said Allen supervised volunteers cleaning up and repairing the former Fleetwood Elementary School.

“Allen oversaw reattaching fascias and gutters, removing porous materials from downstairs bathrooms, dealing with mold, hauling tons of trash to the landfill and fixing the roof,” Valentino said. . Allen is a board member of the non-profit organization Fleetwood Community Center, whose mission is to restore the school for use as a local education center, recreation facility and tourist destination.

According to Fleetwood Community Center President Florence Hernandez, Allen has served the organization for more than 10 years. Hernandez nominated Allen for the award and included testimonials from three community members about Allen in his nomination. Nelson County Public Schools Councilor Ricki Perry said he “gives and gives and expects no credit for what he does.”

“Matthew is selfless in service and always a team player. He leads by visibly showing his dedication and loyalty even when doing the worst of the job,” Perry wrote.

Fleetwood Board Secretary Bonnie Stevens wrote of Allen: “He has this uncanny ability to appear out of nowhere to help while I am still trying to assess the problem. His skills are diverse, and he’s not afraid to take on the dirty work. Matthew does all of this humbly, without pay, with such energy and always with a smile.


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