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CTC Awards to community members
Each year, CTC gives two awards to recognize community members for their contributions to advance the work of the coalition.
The Sarah Cummings Coalition Leadership Award goes to an individual who is integrally involved with the daily work of the coalition. The award was first given to Sarah Cummings of Community Action, in appreciation of her years involved with CTC as Co-Coordinator.
The Mike Fritz Community Builder Award goes to a member of the community who contributes to the health and well being of local youth through efforts aligned with the work of the coalition. The award is named for Mike Fritz of Rugg Lumber, a founding member of CTC who contributed funds to help the coalition get off the ground. Cheryl Dukes, the 2016 recipient of the Community Builder Award recently peered back into CTC's origins and interviewed Mike Fritz himself. Here's what she learned:
Interview with Mike Fritz
Getting involved in community; it’s the right thing to do.
In this place, in this time, it is important to remember that small things
matter, and that great things began with an inkling, a question, or a smattering
of a little something that someone decided needed to be done, explored…asked.
As the current keeper of the Community Builders Award, I was curious about all
the award recipients before me, and their work. Brimming with curiosity and
exercising a penchant for treasure hunting, I thought it would be instructive
to knock on some doors to see who would open up and answer some questions. I
wanted to learn about the award’s namesake –Mike Fritz. Thanks to Kat Allen, I
was able to meet and speak with the Mike Fritz.
The question I had for him and have been pondering a great deal in these recent
weeks – what is
community and does it matter? There are plenty of complex, intractable, problems
that seem beyond any solution that will require a lot of time, money, energy,
brain-and-will-power to resolve. While many turn away, there are some people
who lean in to immerse themselves in finding a solution.
Mike Fritz is one of those people. A successful businessman with his own
interests living a good life in this community….Why would he become involved
with the community’s youth and care about their challenges and difficulties?
How did he pull other people together to name and address the issue using a
community involved, collective impact strategy? What can we learn from the tiny
beginning of this effort that has grown over the years and is nationally
Mostly, I wanted to know, “So why did you care so much? You put a lot of energy
“…It needed to be done.”
“Things like this need to be done all the time, but not everyone steps up to do
it. So, why did you
care so much?”
He shared reflections on his father’s humble and challenging beginnings in
life. Growing up in Wisconsin, he experienced his father’s caring attitude,
despite his difficult formative years. He saw how hard his father worked. This
strong foundation made Mike feel extremely fortunate to end up where he did.
He succeeded in school and sports, received an appointment to the Naval
Academy, went to and returned from the Vietnam War, became a businessman, and
wondered at the state of the youth in Greenfield with gaps in their leadership
and a lack of care for and recognition of them.
He thought it was the right thing to do working with community. He was pretty
blessed, and wanted to give back.
--photo and interview by Cheryl Dukes
Sara Cummings Coalition Leadership Award
2016: Kara McLaughlin
Kara McLaughlin, Coordinator of the Gill-Montague Community School Partnership, for years of leadership connecting people in the community, and for the attention she has brought to the importance of students' connection to school, and to restorative practices and trauma-informed approaches in interactions with young people.
2015: Jeff Ferranti
Jeff Ferranti, Director of
Special Education, Athol Royalston School District, for taking the lead in
bringing the district into collaborative relationships with community agencies,
for serving on the MassGrad Coalition and the Regional School Health Task Force,
and for promoting LifeSkills prevention curriculum and LifeLines Suicide
Prevention in Athol-Royalston schools.
Jana McClure and the Office of District Attorney David Sullivan, for their dedication to prevention and collaboration with the prevention community.
2013: Vickie Rowe
Vickie Rowe, School Nurse at Pioneer Valley Regional School, for her hard work, dedication, and leadership over the life of the coalition. Vickie was a founding member of the Regional School Health Task Force, served on the Coordinating Council, and was active on the CHANGE Team.
2012: Ann Hamilton
Ann Hamilton of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, for her advocacy for the CTC's
work in the business community and beyond since 2002. Ann is a true leader in helping to facilitate collaborations between local businesses, government and the Coalition.
Mike Fritz Community Builder Award
2016: Cheryl Dukes
Cheryl Dukes of UMass Nursing School, for working to build linkages between UMass and health and prevention initiatives in Franklin County and the North Quabbin.
2015: Corey Sanderson
Corey J. Sanderson of Second Congregational Church in Greenfield for his heart and
dedication on the CTC Coordinating Council. He also serves on the Board of
Directors for The Literacy Project, is a member of the Ethics Committee at
Baystate Franklin Medical Center, AND he is president of Interfaith Council in
2014: Lucinda Brown
Lucinda Brown, Coordinator of Franklin County's Reinventing Justice Initiative, for an effort
to make the courts more user-friendly, for her involvement in CTC from the
very beginning, for participation in the Community Laws and Norms Workgroup,
and for deep work to create a positive environment for local young people and
their families. In her work with the drug courts, she helps those who have made
an error to repair harms and rejoin the community.
2013: Jared Libby
Jared Libby, Director of Operations at the Brick House Community Resource Center in Turners Falls, for his faithful presence in numerous community groups, and work with community partners to identify and address the needs of youth and families in Turners Falls and beyond.