Allison Zander, a Main Street Wellington contributor for more than a decade, has been named the organization’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year.
A piano teacher and member of the Wellington Women’s League, Zander has played a major part in scheduling Main Street’s summer concert series and historical home tours as well as planning events such as the Cheese Heritage Festival, Gazebo Garden Walk, and Small Business Saturday.
“I had no idea it was going to be me until tonight,” she said after being handed the award Jan. 23 at Main Street’s annual meeting. “Everyone was telling me to make sure I was there, so I had some suspicions but I didn’t know for sure. It’s nice to be recognized but helping is just sort of an everyday thing.”
Sometimes people are timid about getting involved, Zander said.
“Just try it,” she said. “It may be scary at first because you don’t know anyone or you don’t know what it’s going to be like. But once you try it, you’ll see it’s not like that. Meeting new people can be almost as satisfying as chipping in toward something important.”
Over the next year, the award winner hopes to see Wellington’s downtown businesses continue to revitalize their storefronts. She’s also eager for more volunteers to sign up at Main Street.
“It’d also be nice to see those vacant buildings get filled up by new businesses,” Zander said. “That would help speed up the process of getting downtown back to where we want it to be.”
The award is named after Patricia Lindley, who along with her husband, Bill Brumfield, helped spearhead the creation of Main Street Wellington in 1999.
Main Street director Jenny Arntz and others at the meeting took a moment to remember Brumfield, a former member and local philanthropist who died Nov. 30 at age 77 after a battle with cancer.
“One of the last times we talked, I asked Bill for his advice on what to do to help Wellington going forward,” Arntz said. “He said, ‘Just keep plugging away.’ He was a friend to all of us and a friend to this village.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.