CHAMPLAIN - The commitment of three men to their communities has been recognized.
Woodmen of the World Lodge 462 presented awards recently to three local men for "the outstanding contributions that they give to the community" that go "above and beyond," said lodge president Todd Castine.
John Paul Tetrault of Champlain was named Citizen of the Year, the highest recognition during an April 1 ceremony at the Champlain Knights of Columbus Hall.
According to Castine, Tetrault was nominated for the award by the selection committee for his relentless efforts helping those in the community during their time of need.
"John Paul prepares, coordinates and even sometimes assists in cooking meals for people who have lost a loved one, and he does this above and beyond what he does as a member of the Knights of Columbus," Castine said. "He's spent a lot of time doing that, getting up in the morning or any time of the day a meal is needed for folks."
"He's been doing it for years and sometimes the money comes out of his own pocket," added Castine. "He's just a very, very nice man. And he does all this day in, day out."
Tetrault said he has enjoyed cooking meals for people since he officially retired from farming nearly 15 years ago, when he turned over his business, Hidden View Farm, to his sons.
"I thought I'd do something else, so one day a friend asked me if I could prepare a meal in memory of his wife and I said sure," recalled Tetrault, who remembers enlisting the help of his wife to do so.
Since then, he's continued preparing meals for similar circumstances and helping with various functions at St. Mary's Church, the American Legion and, of course, the Knights of Columbus.
"He even prepared the meal that was partly in his honor," said Castine.