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Partnership honors volunteers

The Downtown Farmville Partnership held a volunteer appreciation event at Third Street Brewing Co. on Thursday that approximately 70 volunteers attended. The event included food, door prizes and recognized the Volunteer of the Year for 2016 and 2017 as well as a recipient of the inaugural President’s Award.

“This is a special award, it is our inaugural President’s Award, and it is meant for at the president’s discretion for someone who has really gone over and above in their service to Farmville Downtown Partnership,” said Sheri McGuire, president of the Farmville Downtown Partnership.

Jimmy Johnson, treasurer of the partnership, received the award.

“It’s very fitting because of his long time serving Farmville and the downtown partnership. He’s been working tirelessly to promote the idea of Main Street in Farmville ever since the beginning, even before we became an official Main Street community in 2012,” McGuire said. “He comes to our board meetings and makes sure that all of us are performing exactly the way we need to be and everything’s done to a T, which means he makes us behave.”

“I appreciate all the support everyone’s given us, where we are today and where we hope to be in the future,” Johnson said regarding the partnership.

Pam Butler, Mainly Clay business owner, received the 2016 Volunteer of the Year award.

“While she was a member of our board, she was the chair of our design committee, and in addition to the Warehouse triptych mural that you might notice at the farmers market, Pam was also instrumental in helping us facilitate the Two-College Town mural that is at Third and Main street,” said John Burton, the partnership program manager.

Kaitlyn Kayton received the 2017 volunteer of the year award.

“Kaitlyn is a tireless worker, she’s worked with us for over two years now and in particular she served as the race director for the High Bridge Half-Marathon and 5k,” Burton said. “And overall she has just helped us to stay on course and make that event a real success, so we owe her an enormous amount of gratitude.”

At the beginning of the event, Burton said that the organization was “very blessed in this community because we have a very strong culture of giving back in this community.”

“All of the stuff that the (Farmville Downtown) Partnership does, it is all because of our volunteers, and that goes from the board of directors who come to meetings to people who serve on committees to people who come and help out at all of our events, you know, moving boxes and putting up tents and all sorts of stuff,” Burton said. “So lots of different people at lots of different levels and everything we do is all because of those volunteers.”

According to a handout given at the event, the partnership has more than 150 volunteers. The handout cited that in 2016, 1,300 volunteer hours were served. In the five years the partnership has been organized, 83 businesses have been served and 15,000 volunteer hours have been served.