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Four Addison County residents have been named recipients of the 2022 Bonnie and John McCardell Citizen’s Award, which the College established in 2003 to recognize exceptional service to the community. The 2022 recipients are Angelo Lynn, editor and publisher of the Addison Independent; Sarah Soule, postsecondary planning coordinator at Middlebury Union High School; David Shaw, fire chief for the town of Middlebury and facilities manager for Co-operative Insurance Companies; and Bethanie Farrell, founder of Vermont’s Giving Fridge and Everything Nice.

“We are always inspired by the work our award recipients do to improve our community,” said Middlebury President Laurie Patton. “Their efforts make our community stronger, safer, more compassionate, healthier, and connected.”

Following are the McCardell Citizen’s Award recipients for 2022:

Angelo Lynn

Over the past four decades, Angelo Lynn has played a crucial role in promoting an informed citizenry. He purchased the Addison County Independent in 1984 and has served as editor and publisher ever since. He has worked individually and through the Addison Independent to serve the community’s greater good in myriad ways. Over the course of his career he has served on the Addison County Chamber of Commerce board of directors, as president of the Middlebury Business Association, as a board member of Porter Medical Center, and as president and longtime executive board member of the Vermont Press Association.

Lynn served on the board and, for seven years, as president of the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area. He was on the start-up board of trustees for the Middlebury Maple Run, a half-marathon that has become a signature community event in Middlebury. He has also helped launch and sustain several organizations that have added to Middlebury’s creative culture, including Town Hall Theater, Opera Company of Middlebury, and the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival.

One nominator for the award noted his colleagues’ remarks about Lynn’s achievements with the Addison Independent: “For a town and county our size, it is really uncommon and remarkable to have a quality newspaper like the Addy Indy, providing a real intellectual forum for the exchange of ideas and for the discussion of sometimes difficult issues. How many local or even regional newspapers have had exclusive interviews with the Dalai Lama? How many have had weekly columns on political thought or on philosophy?”

Sarah Soule

Sarah Soule has spent her long and happy career helping students in Vermont find their place in college, both in admissions work at Champlain College and Vermont Commons School and as a postsecondary planning coordinator at Middlebury Union High School.

Soule is known by many in Addison County as the supervisor of Middlebury College Access Mentors (MiddCAM), a partnership between the high school and College. MiddCAM pairs college students with high schoolers, mostly first-generation college-bound students, as they navigate the college admissions process.

“What makes Sarah so remarkable is that she is so much more than a college counselor,” wrote one of her nominators. “Sarah works individually with every single MUHS junior and senior, and she is a champion of all kids—those who might be headed to an Ivy League school and also those who have more immediate professional goals, using the Hannaford Career Center to jumpstart a career in a trade, for example. Sarah invests her whole self in helping young people find their paths, use their voices, and be their best selves as they transition from high school to whatever is next for them. She has made a remarkable impact on our local teenagers.”

David Shaw

Middlebury Fire Chief David Shaw has been instrumental in protecting life and property in Middlebury and around Vermont for decades. A member of the Addison County and Vermont State Fire Associations, Shaw has volunteered his life-saving and leadership services while maintaining his position as facilities manager for the Co-operative Insurance Companies.

Among his many community service positions over the years, Shaw has served as coach and director of the Middlebury Youth Football Program, a member of the Vermont State High School Wrestling Officials Association, and as a board member of Addison County Home Health and Hospice.

He has spent countless hours mentoring Middlebury College student firefighting volunteers. In a 2022 interview with the Middlebury Campus, Shaw described some of the great benefits of bringing students under his wing, noting that they’re always asking questions, often sparking change and innovation at the station. “Every once in a while, we wonder, ‘Well, why do we do this?’” he said to the Campus. “They challenge the way we do business, and by challenging us, it makes us a better department.” 

One of Shaw’s nominators noted, “Chief Shaw is a consummate role model to everyone involved in the Middlebury Fire Department, including young cadets from the high school and a long (and growing) list of College students who have volunteered.”

Bethanie Farrell

Bethanie Farrell is founder of Giving Fridge in Middlebury, a nonprofit collaborative that works with local restaurants to supply weekly fresh, high quality meals to anyone in need. She operates the meal service from 51 Main Street in Middlebury, where she also runs a houseplant boutique business called Everything Nice, which helps fund the nonprofit, along with donations and grants.

Farrell launched Giving Fridge in 2020 as a way to address both food insecurity in Addison County and the struggles of local restaurants to stay in business during the pandemic lockdown. Farrell pays the local vendors $10 for each meal. Since her first distribution of meals in December of 2020, Giving Fridge has donated more than 35,000 meals—typically about 450 per week—and put more than $350,000 back into the local economy. The meals are available to anyone and she makes them available for free to those in need, while suggesting a $10 donation for those who can afford it.

About the Citizen’s Award

The Middlebury College Citizen’s Awards program began during the College’s bicentennial year in 2000 as a way to recognize local residents who have helped to strengthen the Addison County community. In 2009 the Citizen’s Awards were renamed in honor of President Emeritus John M. McCardell Jr. and his wife Bonnie, who fostered an ethic of public service in the Middlebury community.

Medals have been presented to residents of Middlebury and surrounding towns for their service in fields including medicine, education, business, philanthropy, government, the arts, and civic contributions. The selection committee particularly seeks to honor those who have contributed through their volunteerism, community service, and engagement of issues facing our community. More information about past winners is available on the Citizen’s Awards website.