Charlemont man wins top community award

  • Charlemont town sign. PAUL FRANZ

Recorder Staff
Published: 5/23/2017 11:31:51 PM

CHARLEMONT — Vaughn Tower of Charlemont, a two-time selectman and a 19-year town firefighter, is this year’s recipient of the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association’s Marvin J. Shippee Community Service Award.

“He’s been a giver his whole life,” said Marguerite Willis, who introduced Tower at the business association’s annual election and meeting this month.

“He has been helpful to neighbors and to his whole community,” Willis said. “He has worked with his wife, Robin, on all the Halloween ‘haunted houses’ at Hawlemont and in the (Fairgrounds) Exhibition Hall,” she said.

Tower, who was nominated by Sue and Wes Rice, was elected to serve as a town selectman in 1992 and again in 2012, serving one term each time. A fifth-generation resident of Charlemont, he has been active in the Lions Club and especially in revitalizing the Charlemont Fairgrounds and the Yankee Doodle Days summer festival.

In 1997, Tower and Todd Gerry started spending their weekends and evenings, fixing up the exhibition hall, which had been closed for almost 20 years. They revitalized Yankee Doodle Days, which was started in the 1950s and then died out in the early 1980s. The two said they did it for their children and for the children of Charlemont.

Tower, who had won a bicycle from a Lions Club raffle when he was a kid, wanted his children to have the same kind of hometown memories that he had grown up with.

Tower was introduced by Marguerite Willis, who highlighted his many community projects including Yankee Doodle Days, working with youth to clean roadsides, and his 19 years with the Charlemont Fire Department. Tower attended the May 5 breakfast with his family and accepted the award by noting their support of his many activities. His name will be added to the plaque on display at the Village Information Center in Shelburne Falls as a testament to his contributions.

The Shippee Community Service Award was given for the first time in 1998 in memory of Marvin Shippee’s leadership and his commitment to volunteerism. Shippee was the founder of the business association.


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