For Paul Hedberg and Ruth Lundin, the simple act of volunteering has led them not only to each other, but to an entire community that has had a lasting impact in their lives.
“Each time I have volunteered, I have met people who have enriched my life”, said Hedberg. “And I think I got a lot more out of it than I gave.”
At a reception Friday at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel, Hedberg and Lundin were celebrated for their decades of service and presented the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation’s John D. Hamilton Community Service Award.
According to Peter Stark, chairman of the John D. Hamilton Community Service Award, the award has been given annually since 1993 to recognize those who demonstrate dedication, leadership and support in fostering community spirit and enriching the quality of life in the community. region.
“Knowing you two was one of the highlights of my life,” Stark said. “Each of you contributed in your own way with your own toolkit, ways that make this a better community. Everyone in this room is better because they were inspired by you.
Throughout the evening, Stark’s sentiments were echoed by the countless friends, colleagues and community volunteers who were touched by Hedberg and Lundin’s selfless service.
“Hard work characterizes Paul and Ruth, together they form this dynamic duo,” said Pat Smith, a retired nonprofit management consultant.
“There’s never anything either of them can’t do once they get into it.”
A native of Jamestown, Hedberg is the former assistant dean of administration at Jamestown Community College. He held leadership positions with the Chautauqua
American Red Cross County Chapter, Chautauqua Leadership Network, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and United Way of Southern Chautauqua County. Hedberg is also credited for serving as president of human services research and planning.
It was through Chautauqua Leadership Network that he met Lundin, a native of Homewood, Illinois, who had recently moved to Chautauqua County and accepted a position as president of the local Audubon Society.
Lundin spent nearly 20 years leading the Audubon Community Nature Center and developing his passion for the environment by serving on the New York State Audubon Council Board of Directors. Today, she continues to volunteer with Audubon and is president-elect of the Rotary Club of Jamestown and leads its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee.
In 2008, their lives changed forever when Hedberg was involved in a car accident.
“When Paul had his accident, my deepest sorrow was that the community had lost its great service,” Monday said.
Over time, as Hedberg recovered from his injuries, he and Lundin discovered new ways to serve the community, together.
They have supported local arts through the Community Music Project, mentored local youth with Chautauqua Striders, spent countless hours reading to students through Rotary literacy projects, and can often be found in the city to support community events.
“Of course, things changed for them after Dad’s accident, but not their commitment to see their plans through and continue to honor their values of openness and service to the community,” said Hedberg’s daughter, Kristie Gronquist.
In addition to their appreciation for this award, Hedberg and Lundin also expressed their gratitude to their friends and family who have supported them along the way.
“To everyone who has allowed us to spread our wings and do these truly amazing things, thank you,” Monday said. “And no, we’re not slowing down yet,” she added with a smile.