MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Middlebury College President Ronald D. Liebowitz presented Middlebury College Citizens' Medals to four residents of Addison County at a ceremony and dinner at the college on Tuesday, Jan. 9. The medal recipients, who were recognized for their contributions to the community, are Fletcher "Buster" Brush, Lucien Paquette, and Christine and Michael Steier.
A custom initiated by the college in its bicentennial year, the medals are given to residents of Addison County whose service to the community has been sustained and distinguished. Members of the college community submitted nominations for the 2006 Citizens' Medals, and Liebowitz and a committee of faculty and staff selected the winners.
"Since November 2000 when Middlebury College first presented the honorary medals, more than 30 residents of Middlebury and surrounding towns have received this tribute for their selfless contributions," said John Emerson, secretary of the college. "Their service has spanned a variety of fields including the arts, business, education, government, medicine, philanthropy and social services."
Born and raised in Middlebury, Brush is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including three Rotary awards, the Herb Painter Award from the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and the Addison County Chamber of Commerce President's Award.
|Lucien Paquette shares a moment|
with daughter Janet.
Paquette is the founder of the Addison County Fair & Field Days, which began in 1948 on a farm on East Munger Street in Middlebury. Field Days has been Paquette's passion, and under his leadership during the past 58 years the annual exposition has grown to be the largest agricultural fair in the state of Vermont. Paquette, who is 90 years old, wielded his scythe in this year's hand-mowing competition, an event he initiated at Field Days in 1978.
Dr. Michael and Christine Steier are both volunteers at the Open Door Clinic, a medical facility that provides care to Addison County residents who are not insured and have difficulty meeting medical costs. Christine Steier, who has volunteered as a nurse for the clinic as well as for the Community Health Services of Addison County (CHS) since moving in 2003 to Vermont from Florida
Prior to moving to Vermont, Christine Steier filled various medical positions: as hospice care and clinical evaluator for the Florida State Board of Nursing, as a pharmaceutical research project manager, and for 16 years as an emergency room nurse.
|Dr. Michael Steier|
While in Florida, the Steiers, who are both members of the National Healthcare for the Homeless Coalition, volunteered for the Salvation Army's 200-bed homeless shelter in Ft. Myers. In 2000, Michael Steier was named the Salvation Army Volunteer of the Year. The couple has volunteered on numerous medical missions in the U.S., Africa and Russia. Christine Steier worked additionally in Mexico and Michael Steier in Nepal and India.