Warrensburg Chamber names Whalen 'Citizen of Year'

Her work started with the development of the Cal Engle Park at the Warrensburg Health Center. Now a landscaped site with a memorial, a bench and trees, the park was once merely an asphalt lot.

Through the years, she also has brainstormed and conducted various beautification efforts at town facilities. Last year, she and others worked on landscaping the town hall plot.

Her most influential work, however, may be in historic preservation, observers have said.

She led a lengthy, successful effort to have areas of town designated as historic districts on the National Registers of Historic Places, and on the state register as well.

In addition, she has actively campaigned to protect and preserve area historic resources in town, and to retain local quality of life in the face of encroaching development.

Her community involvement goes further. For 15 years, she's served as chairwoman of the Warrensburg cancer crusade.

Also, she's devoted many hours to the development of two townwide master plans.

In addition, she's been an active member of the board of directors of Adirondack Harvest, which promotes sustainable agriculture in the Adirondacks.

Parisi said Whalen's devotion to Warrensburg was evident to all when in the early 2000s she moved to Schenectady for several years, yet she commuted to Warrensburg often to continue her work for Warrensburg beautification, historic preservation, the holiday event and the farmers' market.

"This award is way overdue," Parisi said. "I couldn't be happier."

Reservations can be made for the Citizen of the Year dinner on June 17 by calling the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce at 623-2161. Seating is limited.

Whalen said Monday she was surprised and pleased by the Citizen of the Year designation.

"I am very honored," she said, noting that she had recently reviewed the long list of community standouts who had received the award in the past. "I guess I now join very illustrious company."

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