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The Yankee Express

Whitin Community Center’s annual meeting and awards ceremony

WHITINSVILLE – The Whitin Community Center’s Annual Meeting was held virtually on Monday, February 22, via Zoom conference. Unlike typical years, where the event is held in the WCC ‘s Conference Room, this year the Board of Trustees, Corporators, Award Recipients, WCC Staff, and Administration were able to enjoy the meeting from the comforts of their home to reflect and celebrate on the past year’s accomplishments.  

At the event, the organization was welcomed by our Chairman of the Board, John Adee. We thanked our outgoing Trustees, James Corcoran and Gary Moyer for their years of service and dedication to our organization, and our outgoing Corporator, Bernadette Bazzett. In addition, we welcomed three new Corporators, DJ Salmon, Mark St. Germain, and Cheryl Taylor. Heather Elster, our Executive Director, presented her annual review of the past year in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and what our organization is looking forward to in the future. One of the highlights during the meeting was the presentation of the Be The One video, produced by volunteer Trevor Robertson. This video focused on community members who have been positively impacted by the WCC, and their stories, and why you should be the one to continue George Marston Whitin’s legacy to give back to the community. To view this video, please visit our website at and by going to the “Support Our Mission” page or by using this direct link

Each year the WCC recognizes staff and community members who have gone above and beyond at the WCC and shown great support to our community with our Annual Awards. The Whitin Community Center wishes to congratulate the following award winners:  Anne Haas, our High Five Employee of the Year Award which recognizes an employee who went “above and beyond” over the past year and made a difference through teamwork, excellence, dedication, safety, and respect. 

New this year, we had the extreme honor of presenting an award created by Denis LaTour, the Heather S. Elster Leadership Award. This award is presented to a member of the WCC team who is a leader with a clear vision and passion to advance the mission of the Whitin Community Center, a leader who has the ability to identify and break down walls in order to erect a foundation of trust. The award was presented to, Ginny Alicea. 

Our Denis & Pam LaTour Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes an individual whose exceptional volunteer effort has supported and advanced the mission of the Whitin Community Center.  With this award, the Whitin Community Center recognizes an individual in our community that supports our efforts as a non-profit organization through contributions as a volunteer.  This year’s award was presented to Trevor Robertson. 

The Charles E. Thompson Youth Volunteer Award recognizes an individual under the age of 18 who has selflessly and enthusiastically volunteered time, effort and energy to advance the mission of the Whitin Community Center.  With this award, the WCC acknowledges a young person who truly does represent our future.  This year’s award was presented to Makenzie Alicea. 

The Daniel J. Salmon, Jr. Outreach Award recognizes an individual or individuals who has/have selflessly given of their time, energy and resources to help the Whitin Community Center’s Youth Outreach program successfully empower youth through experiential education and recreation.  This year’s award was presented to two recipients, Michael Colonna & Bill Audette. 

Also new this year, in collaboration with the Knott Family, we have created the James M. Knott, Sr. Innovation Award. This award is presented to an individual, business, or organization who has developed an innovative or inventive solution to a problem or challenge facing the Whitin Community Center (WCC) by contributing their time, talent, and/or treasure to support the WCC’s work as a non-profit organization to strengthen our community. This year’s award was presented to Town & Country Builders. 

Finally, the George Marston Whitin Community Award recognizes an individual from the Blackstone Valley who personifies George M. Whitin’s commitment to service to the community.  Through its mission, the Center continues to honor the memory of George Marston Whitin (1856-1920), whose vision of community life, family values, and citizenship have guided the organization’s services and programming to residents of the Blackstone Valley since 1922.  This year’s award was presented to David Delaney. 

Thank you to all the award winners for your service to our community.

  The Whitin Community Center is committed to enhancing the health and well-being of individuals and families and building a strong community in the Blackstone Valley.  We offer social, recreational, educational, and outreach programs that bring community members of all ages and backgrounds together. The Whitin Community Center is the Blackstone Valley’s most complete family and recreation center with two swimming pools, a gym, fitness center, early learning programs, summer camps and a seven and a half acre park.  For more information call 508.234.8184 or visit www.Whitin Community