Fall 2017 | 19 Executive Director’s Awards of Excellence (Presented by Cindy Locke) As it is the 50th anniversary of VAST, I wanted to do the VAST Awards of Excellence a little differently. I spent a lot of time thinking about how I would approach it and who I should give it to. I kept coming back to the same conclusion. I wanted to celebrate some of our members and volunteers that have spent a long time and considerable effort into making VAST what it is today and for the most part, still work just as hard as they did many years ago. The first person I want to come up is someone that has been a leader at VAST and in his county for years. He has held many positions from trailmaster, groomer operator and county president. He leads with a firm hand and large and warm heart. Last year he lost his beloved wife and life partner, Betty. Although I am certain she is never far from him, his loss never slowed him down and I myself, have a special place in my heart for him, because of his strength and commitment to VAST. This year the first Award of Excellence goes to Dennis Lemire, president of Windsor county. The next Award of Excellence goes to a couple that has volunteered for their club, county and VAST for more than 30 years. He has headed up the trails side for both his club and county, and she has been the fireball running the books and selling TMAs. They both have galvanized their volunteers into action. Please help me welcome Raymond and Gloria Rodrigue of the Orleans Snow Stormers to the stage. This next award goes to a club that if it were not for the dedication of a very small group of folks, it would not be alive today. I should also mention that these volunteers are all in their 70s and 80s and their club president has held that position for more than 20 years! Please help me welcome to the stage the Mountain Tamers Snowmobile Club. Next is a man that has dedicated fifty years to his club as treasurer, trails coordinator, groomer operator and mechanic. This guy has been an energizer bunny with a wide and quiet smile. He has built strong relationships with landowners and embodies what this award is all about. Please help me welcome Dave McFadden of the Alburg Sno Springers to the stage. This award is for a woman who has the tenacity of Annie Oakley, Molly Brown and Calamity Jane all rolled up into one. She has been volunteering for her club and VAST for over three decades. She can often be found out grooming by herself, running a chainsaw when trees are down and giving directions to you even if you don’t ask for it! Please help me welcome Dot Williamson of the Tweed Valley Travelers. Gerry Dockum is a longtime snowmobiler going back to when he was a snowmobile dealer in Springfield. Gerryis a quiet guy who is always behind the scenes and there to help. He has sold TMAs for Ludlow and Chester at his NAPA store and is a member of several clubs. Gerry is a firm believer that you should support the clubs and groomers everywhere you ride. He puts in many hours throughout the year on trail work and supports all club activities. Ray Heath worked on the trails for many years and had his own construction company. Often, he would pull his own company trucks and drivers off from company projects just to help his club out using his equipment. He was an active volunteer in the Caledonia County Snowmobile Trails Club and was president of the Waterford Ridge Runners for several years. Sadly, Ray passed away in March. His good friend Kenny Gammell accepted the award in his honor.