BERLIN — Commended for more than 20 years of volunteerism and dedication to the town, Terri Sexton was named the recipient of the 47th Annual Berlin Award last Thursday.
Sexton, who owns The Treasure Chest jewelry store, was singled out for the award this year for a lifetime of striving to improve Berlin.
“It was a pleasure watching this person work,” said Steve Frene, co-owner of Victorian Charm.
It was Frene’s job to announce the winner this year and, as per tradition, he dropped several clues to Sexton’s identity before actually naming her.
Frene noted that Sexton’s dedication to the town was “hereditary” as her family has a history of volunteerism in Berlin. He also mentioned that she has been active in the community for more than two decades and has contributed in some way to everything from hosting Victorian Christmas to serving as emcee at the 2009 Peach Festival.
Additionally, Sexton has contributed to Women Supporting Women, Atlantic General Hospital and played an active part in securing façade grants, increasing parking, placing way finding signs and setting up rain barrels in town, according to Frene. Sexton also currently serves as chair of Main Street Berlin.
Besides Sexton’s specific achievements, Frene spoke briefly on the spirit of volunteerism, which he claims is prevalent in Berlin.
“It is really a love of community that a lot of people in this room have contributed to,” he remarked.
Serving as Master of Ceremonies for the night, Mayor Gee Williams, also a former Berlin Award recipient, agreed with Frene and told the audience that “it is volunteers who make the difference.”
Making volunteerism work in the community was the theme of guest speaker Amy Crouse’s presentation. Serving as Rehabilitation Services Coordinator for the Salisbury Training Center for Blind Senior Adults, Crouse stressed the importance of “believing in others and providing opportunity for others.” With her own organization, Crouse explained that the end goal is to help vision impaired seniors reach a place where they can function independently and support themselves. Reaching that point, however, often requires a helping hand from others in the community.
“Someone has to believe in you before you even believe in yourself,” she said.
Though her agency is based in Salisbury, Crouse revealed that she is very familiar with the spirit of volunteerism in Berlin.
“You have many volunteer agencies that have a great impact on the town,” she said.
After receiving the award, Sexton, who admitted that she wasn’t used to being the one in the spotlight, was brief with remarks but did thank everyone in the room and those who had named her the 47th Berlin Award winner.