Stalwart volunteer Greg Paquin was recognized as the Western Albemarle Rescue Squad’s Member of the Year and received the President’s Award as well at WARS’s annual awards dinner held at King Family Vineyards Feb. 3.
WARS president Bill Wood opened the evening by thanking the Squad’s 100 active volunteers. “For all you do and all you contribute, God bless you.” They answered 1,617 calls in 2017 and donated more than 50,000 hours.
White Hall District Supervisor Ann Mallek added, “Thank you. It’s been a hell of a week for Crozet. Now the world knows how very good you are. I’m proud of you.” She was referring to the collision of an Amtrak train with a garbage truck that drew national attention to the town and spotlighted the performance of the Squad, an event followed a few days later by a catastrophic house fire on Old Three Notch’d Road.
The evening included the event’s traditional slide show review of the life of Squad volunteers (put together with sophisticated production values by Taylor Tereskerz) and scenes from their times, days and nights, at accidents, training sessions and at the squad house. It emphasized the WARS slogan, “All volunteer, all the time,” which was greeted with cheers by the 125 on hand for the dinner ceremony. The show was interrupted by a “commercial” featuring vice president Paquin, reminding the volunteers to clean up the squad house after themselves. The show included chief Kostis Alibertis hanging out with U.Va.’s Cav Man mascot, volunteers hanging out in the bay doors of the station, playing volleyball, riding in the Crozet Fourth of July parade, at water rescue training, posing with their equipment, and cooking and watching TV. At the end came a quote from Joseph Campbell: “A hero is someone giving his or her life for something bigger than himself.”
John Norin was recognized as the Rookie of the Year.
The Frances Henry Award, given to the volunteer that made the most runs, went to Taylor Tereskerz.
The Chief’s Award, chosen by Alibertis, went to David Booth. “David does all our ‘special projects’,” he said. “Whatever needs to be done.”
Paquin’s two awards were to mark his “highest-quality service,” said Wood, and “for outstanding service and dedication.” Wood’s zany style as emcee of the event was dropped for the moment while his genuine respect and appreciation for Paquin were expressed.
Lifetime Memberships, which include a WARS blanket, were awarded to Jack Berner, Kenny Bruce, Marian Lawson, and Michael Brookshire.
Nothing brings home the special debt Crozet owes to its volunteer rescue and fire services, which perform to professional standards around the clock, as the annual WARS and Crozet Volunteer Fire Department’s award dinners. Find out if there’s not a way you can join in their cammaraderie and tangible impact for good.