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From left: George Murdoch, Douglas Sinclair, President Ron Liebowitz, Margaret Carothers, and Peter Carothers.

2010 McCardell Citizen's Award given to four community leaders

April 6, 2010

Middlebury, Vt. - Middlebury College President Ronald D. Liebowitz presented the Bonnie and John McCardell Citizen's Awards for outstanding community service to four area residents on April 1, 2010.

The recipients were: Peter and Margaret "Muffin" Carothers, George "Wedge" Murdoch, and Douglas Sinclair

Dating back to the College's bicentennial year of 2000, the College has honored area residents for exemplary community service, volunteerism, and engagement in community issues. Nominations come from members of the community, and a committee of College faculty and staff makes the final selections.

Margaret and F. Peter Carothers are the co-founders of Habitat for Humanity of Addison County, an organization that is now completing its fifth house in the Middlebury area.

Margaret, a graduate of Connecticut College, is also a former president and current director of the local Habitat for Humanity chapter. At the Middlebury Congregational Church she serves on the board of deacons and budget and stewardship committee, and previously worked on the board of trustees, long-range planning committee, and board of mission and social concerns. One local resident who nominated "Muffin" Carothers said she doesn't see the "we can't" in a project; instead she sees the "together we can."

Her husband, Peter, a Dartmouth graduate and retired engineer, has also served in leadership positions with Habitat for Humanity where he puts his project-management skills and business acumen to work for the benefit of hard-working families in the county. He is also a founder and director of the Acorn Renewable Energy Cooperative, which is helping to transition the region from its near total dependence upon fossil fuels to a greater reliance on affordable, renewable energy strategies.

George T. Murdoch II was one of the founders of the Middlebury Volunteer Ambulance Association in 1970 and is its longest-serving active member.

A graduate of St. Paul's School, Yale, and the University of Vermont, Murdoch was honored by Middlebury College for his "compassion, selflessness, and skills as a nurse and emergency medical professional." The College also used the awards ceremony to thank "Wedge" Murdoch for opening the doors of the ambulance association to generations of college students, many of whom have gone on to careers in medicine and health care.

J. Douglas Sinclair is the founder and current president of the Middlebury Community Care Coalition, the organization that created the Charter House Emergency Shelter and has supported the North Pleasant Street Transitional Housing Program and the Community Lunch Program, all of which serve residents of Addison County.

Cited for his vision, tirelessness, patience, and generous heart, Doug Sinclair marshaled the forces to create the emergency shelter in the wake of the fall 2008 recession at the Charter House, an historic building owned by the Middlebury Congregational Church. Sinclair, who is also a member of the science faculty at Castleton State College with a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, was nominated by an individual who called him "the hardest working person" she has ever known.

One year ago President Liebowitz re-named the recognition program the Bonnie and John McCardell Citizen's Award in honor of President Emeritus John M. McCardell Jr. and his wife Bonnie who have been exemplars of community service in Addison County since 1976. The McCardells fostered an ethic of public service on the Middlebury College campus and in the community that has had a positive impact upon the region's youth and family services, literacy, health services, education, and business development, Liebowitz said.

All recipients of the McCardell Citizen's Award receive a pewter medallion struck at Danforth Pewterers in Middlebury.

This year's recipients join 45 other area residents who have been so honored during the past decade. For a complete listing of previous Citizen's Award recipients, click here.

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