Schoharie & Schuyler County Honorees
Schoharie County Honorees
Cherie Stevens grew up in Sidney and moved to Cobleskill in 1974. She retired from SUNY Cobleskill where she was a professional and administrator for 35 years.
Cherie is the founder of the "Marathon for a Better Life", which has raised over $1 million and assisted over 1,000 cancer patients in Scoharie county in the last 17 years. She was chair of the Schoharie County Flood Relief Committee raising over $600,000, which was distributed to 1200 families. Also, Cherie formed a group of older adults, called The Hot Pots, who have been singing in nursing and adult homes in the area for the past 11 years.
She was on the ARC Foundation for 10 years, where she started the Challenge Games, our county's version of the Special Olympics which is now in its 13th year. In addition, Cherie sits on the board of directors of four not-for-profits, gives tirelessly to the county Theatre Project and directs a choir of ARC consumers.
Cherie has been volunteering in the community since high school. She never looked to get anything back, except the sheer joy of helping others and the opportunity to give back.
"My experiences with so many different people have made me a better person and have taught me that everyone has something to contribute to help make the world a better place," she said.
Betty Karlau lives in Schoharie with her husband Willie.
As a member of the Senior Council, a not-for-profit organization assisting older adults in Schoharie County, she volunteers as their treasurer and for the past five years she has spear- headed the organizations "Senior Celebration" picnic. She also volunteers and coordinates one of the organizations shops. After the devastating floods, she volunteered at the church sponsored café every day preparing lunches and delivering meals. She is a Eucharistic Minister, finance committee chairperson, and a member of the Parish Council on their long range planning team. In the community, she has been a team captain for ten years in a local walk that raises funds for county cancer patients; collected clothing for the homeless project; serves on the Schoharie Valley Garden Club, on the planning committee and is chair of the civic committee.
Betty has been volunteering over ten years.
Betty sees volunteering as her gift to help others whenever she can.
"It makes me happy that I am able to help people. I feel I am following God's word to help others when I can," she said.
Schuyler County Honorees
Margaret "Peggy" Scott is a lifelong resident of Schuyler County. She is a postal carrier for USPS, a job she has held for 17 years. Peggy and her husband James have three grown children.
Peggy has served in a multitude of volunteer roles over the years including volunteering at local schools, for her church, on childrens' activities within the community, for the local hospital and with Cornell Cooperative Extension. In her role as President of Seneca Santa, she works tirelessly to serve individuals and families throughout Schuyler County. She organizes more than 100 volunteers every year to assist in packing and delivering Christmas gifts to children around the community. Peggy collects donations, organizes a fundraiser, speaks to area civic groups about how they can assist, order gifts, and handles volunteer recruitment efforts. One of the biggest efforts involved is the dissemination and review of completed applications. Peggy's involvement with Seneca Santa led to her serving with the Schuyler County Chapter of the United Way for which she is the current Executive Director.
Her volunteer efforts began in high school and have continued throughout her life.
This has just been a way of life; something learned from her mother. "I just seemed to thrive on the experience of giving back, hoping that I had made a difference in someone's life," she said.
Her greatest reward from volunteering is "knowing that I tried to make a positive contribution to the quality of life for the residents of Schuyler County," she said.
Pamela Anne Grimmke is a lifelong resident of New York, and she currently resides in the hamlet of Weston. She was a Registered Nurse and retired from Corning Hospital where she was a Nursing Supervisor and ICU Manager. Pamela and her husband John have two adult children.
Pamela is a member of the Tyrone Town Board, is a liaison to the Planning Board Committee, and has had a primary role in policy creation. She also sits on the Advisory Council of the Schuyler County Office for Aging, is an active member of the Tyrone United Methodist Church, holding a position on the Trustee Committee, serving with the UMW group, and playing an integral role with the Food Pantry. She has served over two decades on the Tri-County Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team, a group of professionals who support First Responders in the aftermath of a trauma, in order to keep them "on the job." She most recently helped orchestrate the Specialist Christopher Scott Memorial Park and dedication ceremony, in honor of a local soldier who lost his life in Afghanistan at the age of 21. The Park is located at the Tyrone Town Hall, where she and her husband have spent many hours revitalizing the building for the Town's use. She also has a very personal commitment to visitation and outreach to the local elders living in the very rural areas of Schuyler County, spending countless hours making phone calls, dropping off food, providing medical support, and driving those in need to medical appointments.
She has volunteered all of her life. It has been a lifestyle choice. Her goal for retirement was to become more involved in her community.
"Do what you can for who you can with what you have and where you are" is a slogan she saw written somewhere and adopted as her own.
The best thing about volunteering for Pamela? "The smiles on people's faces... their expressions. The knowledge that you're helping someone. You get back much more than you've given," she said.