Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Citizens of the year

Neighbors and friends, Mark Masselli and Jennifer Alexander were named Citizens of the Year by the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce this evening. They were among a half dozen who received recognition and scholarships.

And not to diminish any of the heartfelt, and funny speeches, but Jennifer Alexander gave a speech which was touching, sincere, thoughtful and filled with reasons why it's so great to live in Middletown. It was beautiful, and made me proud and happy to be part of a community which she cherishes.

Here's part of what she said:

What makes Middletown amazing is not how much it has changed – it is what has NOT changed. What makes Middletown amazing is that we have held onto a very old-fashioned idea – this is still a place where the contributions you make in your community matter more than anything else.

And by some magical kind of chemistry, people can feel this about our town - they can feel the bounce in our step and they want to be part of it.

Middletown is the real deal. It’s a small town, where you have to make your own fun, where compassion and loyalty are just as important as the money, and where you CAN know that you are making a difference.

In the Main Street community, I am so lucky to work with people who bring it everyday. Some of them grew up here and they run a store. Some of them are artists who settled here. Some of them are making their family life in downtown – they are all different, but each one is a part of the answer to what makes Middletown thrive when so many places struggle.
So let’s enjoy this.

We have what everyone is hungry for – we have a community and a place where on our time on this earth can have meaning.

Congratulations to Mark and Jennifer, and all those who were recognized.

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