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Rotary awards recognize a dedication to the community

Mikayler Patch, recipient of the Outstanding Youth of the Year Award, thanked her family and friends for helping with the many ways that she has helped the community. Staff Photo/Max Bowen

By Max

Service comes in many forms.

It’s school nurses going above and beyond to ensure children are safe and healthy.

It’s leaving stones across town painted with inspirational messages.

It’s giving time again and again to help those in need.

The North Attleborough/Plainville Rotary Club recognized those with a commitment to community at the 36th annual Distinguished Service Awards Banquet, held on March 21. The awards focused on five categories—Outstanding Citizen, Youth, Public Employee, Educator, and Senior. In addition to receiving the award, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito gave out citations recognizing the recipients’ dedication.

I hope this reinvigorates us to give back,” said Polito.

In the Outstanding Youth category, North Attleborough’s Mikayler Patch was chosen. Those who nominated Patch cited her selfless, caring service, which includes Inspirational Rocks that she painted and distributed around the area, making coronavirus masks for essential workers, and organizing a “Social Prom” with her friend Abbi Cloutier of Attleboro when school proms were canceled.

Patch thanked her friends and family for their support, as well as the Rotary for selecting her to receive the award.

I never do any of these things to have a night like this,” said Patch. “I do this to make everyone here feel special.”

The North Attleborough Public School Nurses received the Outstanding Public Employee Award. In one of the nomination letters, it was said that the nurses went above and beyond amidst the pandemic to keep students healthy. Faye Weiner-Jackson, a member of the Rotary, said that the nurses test around 400 students a day and deal with challenging phone calls as well as mental health issues.

It’s a joy to come to work every single day,” said Nurse Coordinator Melissa Badger.

Kevin Poirier (with Betty Poirier at right) said it was a pleasure to be involved in so many volunteer activities over the years. Staff Photo/Max Bowen

For the last 29 years, Carol Hood—this year’s Outstanding Senior—has been a volunteer driver with Meals on Wheels and still does to this day. Council on Aging Director Pam Hunt said that Hunt delivers meals in all kinds of weather and that the JabberWalker group has grown from her contribution.

We’re fortunate to have such wonderful seniors in North Attleborough,” she said.

Many people sent in nominations for Elizabeth Schofield to receive the Outstanding Educator Award. One letter-writer said Schofield is an outstanding teacher and would rate her a “10 out of 10.” Schofield said she was honored to receive the award, and thankful to her fifth-grade students. She credited her fellow teachers and that much has been learned from them.

Problems are only temporary,” she said. “There are always solutions.”

Kevin and Betty Poirier—recipients of the Outstanding Citizen Award—are known for always having the residents’ best interests at heart, both in their roles as State Representatives for a combined 40 years and after. Betty credited the work that Polito has done, adding that the State House can be a difficult place for women serving as representatives and senators. Betty said she was honored to serve the communities for so many years and that there are many opportunities to help others, whether it’s collecting food for families or going out and supporting local businesses.

I love all of our locals and we just want to support them,” said Betty. “And I urge all of you to do the same thing.”

Kevin said it has been a pleasure to be involved in so many things over the years. Every Wednesday he and Betty go to the YMCA to help out those in need.

So I want to say in closing, thank you for allowing us to do what we’ve done,” said Kevin. “We’ve really enjoyed it.”

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