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BVC hosts annual Volunteer of the Year ceremony

A village of volunteers

Dawn Custer, left, accepts congratulations for being recognized as the 2012 Woman Volunteer of the Year.

Dawn Custer, left, accepts congratulations for being recognized as the 2012 Woman Volunteer of the Year.

— This year marks the BVC’s 15th anniversary as an independent agency.

Executive Director Nancy Conley took a few minutes to mark the occasion by visiting the organization’s beginnings, which started with a local effort led by Beatrice Brown in 1963. Conley said by 1964, a Baldwinsville branch of the Syracuse Volunteer Center opened locally and remained intact through the mid-1990s when the organization began to face declining revenue and moved to merge with the United Way. While the Baldwinsville branch was active, the United Way did not support the idea of branch offices, she continued. However, recognizing the office was vibrant with volunteers, the United Way helped to launch an independent Baldwinsville Volunteer Center, which became an official not-for-profit organization in May of 1998.

Mark Baker emceed the April 20 ceremony held at the Clarion Inn on Farrell Road. He opened with an ode to the old Yorker Market, which was torn down earlier this year, singing his lighthearted tribute to the tune of The Beatles’ hit “Hey Jude.” While his lyrics thoroughly entertained the crowd, his words that followed set the tone for the evening: “Things in America aren’t so bad – our government, our people, we are about taking care of each other.”

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