Citizen of Year named in Wilmington

The 22nd annual Newcomers Dinner, sponsored by the Whiteface Mountain Regional Visitors Bureau, town of Wilmington and The Hungry Trout Restaurant, was held on March 13. During the event, Sandy Bowen was presented 2007 Citizen of the Year Award. The event is a tradition in the community. Hungry Trout owner Linda Bottcher explained it was an attempt to bring the community together and alleviate cabin-fever. About 80 people attended, with the Hungry Trout footing the bill for the newcomers. We care as a community, and we want to welcome people here, said Bottcher. Newcomers Tim and Judy OToole said they had fallen in love with the area, and were glad to be there. The couple recently relocated to the community, and after enjoying the meal, they were presented to the community along with other newcomers. At the end of the evening, Bowen was presented with the Citizen of the Year award by Jeri Wright. Bowen was the driving force behind the creation of the Riverside Thrift Shop, which is located in the barn behind the Whiteface Community United Methodist Church. What shes done with Riverside Thrift Shop is something everyone throughout Essex County is talking about, said Wilmington supervisor Jeanne Ashworth. This is the essence of our wonderful community, to have (a business) like that. Its really a center of the community. Although she had a speech prepared, Bowen was so moved by the recognition she couldnt talk. Im overwhelmed, said Bowen. You dont think about awards when people need help you just reach out and help them, said Bowen. The thrift shop, started about three years ago, has expanded from one room into six. It offers a place for people to donate old clothes, while providing affordable clothing and donations for people in need, such as those who have lost homes to fire. The thrift shop also sends donations overseas. The Chamber also took the opportunity to recognize the contributions of Wright and Marilyn Monckso with tokens of appreciation.

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