From the Editor: For Love of Neighbor

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Jo Ann Perkins and Tim Tolson at the 2017 Crozet Independence Day Celebration

Crozet’s civic life runs on volunteers, people who’ve realized that they want to invest in the future of the town and understand that it can’t just be left to someone else to do. It’s personal. There are great rewards in friendship and accomplishment from joining your neighbors in public causes. It takes work and sacrifice to make Crozet the great place it is.

The Crozet Community Association’s Good Neighbor Award was instituted to recognize such committed citizens, and the awards are presented at the Independence Day celebration so that the town at large can show their thanks.

This year the spot light was on CCA president Tim Tolson and Jo Ann Perkins, both longtime volunteers who usually prefer a humble profile.

Tolson has worked incredibly hard as CCA president—they won’t let him leave the post—as the main organizer of the July Fourth parade and fireworks show, and as the critical gear in the community opinion surveys, which rely on his dexterity with creating online forms. He also played a role in the building of the new Crozet Library and served the maximum term, six years, on the Crozet Com-munity Advisory Committee. He got his start as president of the Crozet Elementary PTO and is active at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Ivy.

Perkins has been the treasurer of Claudius Crozet Park, a rare community-owned park, for 38 years. That’s a lot of Arts and Crafts Festivals to account for. And look at what the park has accomplished in recent years to add amenities and events. She is a stalwart with the White Hall Ruritans and the Crozet Women’s Club. She is the widow of former Supervisor and School Board member Walter Perkins, and supported him through more than 20 years of public duties with a relentless schedule of meetings and burdensome choices. She was the Virginia Tree Farmer of the Year in 2014.

Let’s remember, too, some other recent recipients of the award: Kim Guenther, Cheryl Madison, Karl Pomeroy, Kostis Alibertis, Preston Gentry, Jessica Mauzy, Bill Schrader, Scott Baker, David Wayland, Nancy Virginia Bain, June Andrews and Tom Loach. We wouldn’t be the community we are without their efforts.

You don’t have to go to heroic lengths to be a contributor of course. There are quotidian ways to give and help. They matter, and they add up. Look around, small things need to get done, too.

One way for everyone to pitch in now is by filling out a community survey. If you received a letter with a code number in it, you were randomly selected to be in the geographically controlled part of the survey. Follow the instructions and use your code. Every response means that the statistical error rate in drawing conclusions from the responses gets lower and the data gets more like bedrock. If you didn’t get a letter, or if someone in your house has already answered it, your vote still counts. Go to the public site for the survey, crozetcommunity.org/2017/05/public-survey/ , and fill it out, or get a paper copy at Crozet Library. Get your opinion in the count!

Want a purpose that’s bigger than you and your lifetime? Think of Crozet as your hometown and imagine what you want it to be for those kids you see in the parade.

Invest yourself where you are. It will pay off.

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