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Open-door policy nets award for volunteer  

  • Carolyn Edwards, owner of Sunflowers in Jaffrey, accepts the 2017 Marion Mack Johnson Civic Leadership Award from Amelia Johnson.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Carolyn Edwards (right), owner of Sunflowers in Jaffrey, accepts the 2017 Marion Mack Johnson Civic Leadership Award from Amelia Johnson.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Dozens were in attendance Thursday to honor Sunflowers owner Carolyn Edwards, the recipient of the 2017 Marion Mack Johnson Civic Leadership Award.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Park Theatre CEO and Managing Director Steve Jackson praised Edwards for her support of the community and the Park Theatre.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Bernie Hampsey said Edwards is always one of the first people to donate food for community events.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Carolyn Edwards, owner of Sunflowers in Jaffrey, was honored Thursday as the seventh recipient of the Marion Mack Johnson Civic Leadership Award at the Jaffrey Civic Center. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Carolyn Edwards, owner of Sunflowers in Jaffrey, was honored Thursday as the seventh recipient of the Marion Mack Johnson Civic Leadership Award at the Jaffrey Civic Center.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Previous award recipients Joe Manning and Bill Driscoll look on as Edwards speaks after receiving the 2017 Marion Mack Johnson Civic Leadership Award.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Carolyn Edwards, owner of Sunflowers in Jaffrey, was honored Thursday as the seventh recipient of the Marion Mack Johnson Civic Leadership Award at the Jaffrey Civic Center. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, October 09, 2017

In December of 2008, no one was ready for the ice storm that struck much of the Northeastern United States. 

Emergency crews converged to the Monadnock region and other communities, in an attempt to return power as quick as possible. With the days cold and long, Carolyn Edwards, owner of Sunflowers Restaurant and Catering, decided to open her doors to those helping to return power, free of charge.

Opening her doors to those in need is one of the many reasons why Edwards was this year’s recipient of the Marion Mack Johnson Civic Leadership Award, which is given out annually by the Jaffrey Civic Center to “honor the commitment of citizens who have worked tirelessly for civic goals.”

“No one suggested doing that to her, that’s just the kind of person she is,” said Bernie Hampsey, of Edwards. “She’s an extraordinary person who never thinks about herself. All she does is works for others.”

Edwards is the seventh recipient of the award, joining Marc Tieger, Bill Driscoll, Joe Manning, Caroline Hollister, David Tower, and Dennis Wright. The award was named in honor of Marion Mack Johnson, who was a driving force behind the creation of the Civic Center.

Dozens of people congregated at the Jaffrey Civic Center on Thursday for a reception to honor all of Edwards’ accomplishments.

“Carolyn is a gift that we should all treasure,” said Karen Ayers, president of the Civic Center’s board of directors. “We are very fortunate to have her as a part of our community.”

Those who spoke Thursday praised Edwards as a community-minded individual who works incredibly hard. On numerous occasions, Edwards has opened the doors of her restaurant, or donated food to community events. 

“My motto is to say yes to everything you can,” said Edwards, after accepting the award from Amelia Johnson, the great-granddaughter of Marion Mack Johnson. 

About three or four weeks ago, Park Theatre CEO and Managing Director Steve Jackson said he had planned to meet a potential “significant” donor at Sunflowers for a meal to discuss further donations to the Park Theatre. 

Jackson showed up at the door, unable to open it, not realizing until that moment that it was Tuesday: the one day of the week that Sunflowers is closed.

To Jackson’s surprise, Edwards would come to the door, open it, and serve lunch to Jackson and the donor, all free of charge. 

“She said she could make us something simple. She opened up just for us,” said Jackson. “That’s Carolyn all that time.”

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.