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Sunrise Holds 'Drive By' Awards Ceremony

BENNINGTON - On Thursday, Sunrise Family Resource Center held a community awards ceremony outside its location on Union Street.

Mary Gerisch of the Bennington Housing Authority was given the Distinguished Service Award, and Sunrise staff member Caitlin Harrington received the annual Bonnie Prentiss Memorial Award. This award began in 2008 following the death of a long time, beloved staff at Sunrise as our way of honoring her dedication children and families.

Sunrise usually holds a larger annual meeting but this was shelved this year due to COVID-19. For the awards, staff identify each year those community partners, either individuals or agencies, that they would like to recognize as doing outstanding work on behalf of children and families. On Thursday, the arrival and awards were staggered over two hours in a "drive-by ceremony" to avoid a crowd.

Also recognized were: Individual Community Service Awards: Alex Gallagher, intern from Bennington College and Christine Dickenson Reach Up case manager from Economic Services. Community Partner Awards were given to Green Mountain Express Transit Center, Brian Maroneyand Tammy LaFlamme; and Second Chance Animal Center, Cathy Comar. Mask makers Mona Gauthier, Laura Biddle, Elise Fielding, Mary Beth Bennett, Rob Zink and April Knapp were recognized. Also recognized were Sunrise retirees Dave Flight and Sharon Millette.

Staff anniversaries were also noted: 30 years: Lori Pinsonneault; 20 years: Michelle Weyers; 5 years: Caitlin Harrington, Lori Yunger and Tiffany Gaghich.

Gillian Jones, Bennington Banner

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