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Citizen of the Year committee announces 'Heart and Soul' winners

The “Heart and Soul” Award was established, this year, by the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Citizen of the Year Committee, to honor three women who have, literally, put their hearts and souls into projects that help others.

Marian Marchand, Robin Hess Rulli and Julie Sharpe will be honored at the Skaneateles Citizen of the Year dinner to be held on Oct. 17 at the Skaneateles Country Club. These women are volunteers extraordinaire, tirelessly helping others in our community by their willingness to take part in local organizations (Marian), making hundreds of Christmas baskets (Robin), or by being a friend in need (Julie).

When interviewing these women, I found a common thread, their compassion for others and their willingness to “give back,” each in their own special way.

Marian, has been volunteering since 1956. She has been very active in the Fireman’s Auxiliary, her church, and many other community organizations. She lived in Skaneateles and felt bound to do whatever she could to make a difference.

The following are “Rules for Life” by John Wesley, that Marian lives by:

Do all the good you can,

By all the means you can,

In all the ways you can,

In all the places you can,

At all the times you can,

To all the people you can,

For as long as you ever can.

Robin, living in Connecticut, at the time, donated, a very old and not so great couch, to someone who she later found out, had been sleeping on the floor. This woman was so grateful that she cried in Thanksgiving.

That was a turning point for Robin. How could something, that had no real value to her, be such a blessing to someone else? Seeing baskets at a swap shop, triggered the idea of filling these baskets for needy people at Christmas time. And so, the story goes … The past ten years Robin has filled, wrapped and provided 400 baskets for the local and nearby outreach organizations. That, my friends is 400 per year.

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