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Young Citizen and Citizen of the Year named in Rindge

  • The Rindge Memorial School Chorus, directed by Student Teacher Joseph Mintel, performed during Rindge's annual tree lighting ceremony Friday night.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

    The Rindge Memorial School Chorus, directed by Student Teacher Joseph Mintel, performed during Rindge's annual tree lighting ceremony Friday night.

    (Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

  • Monika Schlim of TD Bank in Rindge, left, Rindge's Young Citizen of the Year Lianne Vailancourt and Rindge's Citizen of the Year Roberta Letourneau join Robert Clark of the Rindge Men's Athletic Association on stage at Friday night's awards presentation. Vailancourt and Letourneau were honored for their years of service to the community.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

    Monika Schlim of TD Bank in Rindge, left, Rindge's Young Citizen of the Year Lianne Vailancourt and Rindge's Citizen of the Year Roberta Letourneau join Robert Clark of the Rindge Men's Athletic Association on stage at Friday night's awards presentation. Vailancourt and Letourneau were honored for their years of service to the community.

    (Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

  • Atlas PyroVision Productions entertained Rindge residents with a fireworks display at the town's annual tree lighting ceremony Friday at the town center.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

    Atlas PyroVision Productions entertained Rindge residents with a fireworks display at the town's annual tree lighting ceremony Friday at the town center.

    (Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

  • The town's citizens of the year were named at Rindge's tree lighting ceremony Friday at the town center.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

    The town's citizens of the year were named at Rindge's tree lighting ceremony Friday at the town center.

    (Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

  • The town's citizens of the year were named at Rindge's tree lighting ceremony Friday at the town center.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

    The town's citizens of the year were named at Rindge's tree lighting ceremony Friday at the town center.

    (Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

  • The Rindge Memorial School Chorus, directed by Student Teacher Joseph Mintel, performed during Rindge's annual tree lighting ceremony Friday night.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)
  • Monika Schlim of TD Bank in Rindge, left, Rindge's Young Citizen of the Year Lianne Vailancourt and Rindge's Citizen of the Year Roberta Letourneau join Robert Clark of the Rindge Men's Athletic Association on stage at Friday night's awards presentation. Vailancourt and Letourneau were honored for their years of service to the community.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)
  • Atlas PyroVision Productions entertained Rindge residents with a fireworks display at the town's annual tree lighting ceremony Friday at the town center.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)
  • The town's citizens of the year were named at Rindge's tree lighting ceremony Friday at the town center.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)
  • The town's citizens of the year were named at Rindge's tree lighting ceremony Friday at the town center.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

RINDGE — Two residents were honored Friday night for their contributions to the community this year, as a part of Rindge’s annual tree lighting ceremony.

In a tradition that began more than 16 years ago, the Rindge Athletic Men’s Social Club and TD Bank presented the 2012 Citizen of the Year award to Roberta Letourneau and the Young Citizen of the Year Award to Lianne Vailancourt, a Conant High School senior. Both of this year’s winners were nominated by fellow community members, and in interviews with the Ledger-Transcript following the ceremony said they were shocked and honored to receive the award.

Letourneau, who grew up in Jaffrey and began volunteering in the community with her grandparents as a young girl, said Monday, “Volunteering is just a part of me. I love to serve.”

Letourneau assisted with efforts led by the Lion’s Club and Jaffrey Grange when she was young, and today continues to volunteer in local schools as a member of the grange. Each year, funds set aside by the Jaffrey Grange are used to purchase dictionaries for all Rindge and Jaffrey third graders. The excitement in each child’s face when he or she learns that the dictionary is a gift means the world to Letourneau, she said.

A member of the Rindge Historical Society’s Board of Trustees for more than 20 years, Letourneau has also served as a curator of the society’s museum . She is a board member for the Rindge Chamber of Commerce and supervisor of the town’s checklist of registered voters.

Vailancourt, who has lived in Rindge for nine years, said she has been volunteering for various charitable organizations since she was in first grade. “Helping the community is important to me,” she said Monday.

Vailancourt donated nearly 500 hours of her time to the Rindge Recreation Department’s summer camp during the summer of 2010 and in 2011 was hired to work for the camp. In addition to the summer camp, Vailancourt has helped out at the Recreation Department’s special events and after school program activities.

But Vailancourt’s volunteerism goes further than the town of Rindge, said Rindge Recreation Director Craig Fraley, who nominated Vailancourt for the Young Citizen of the Year award. Vailancourt’s family sponsors a child in Haiti and each year prepares a care package for the child, said Fraley.

Reading the letter is always a special moment, Vailancourt said. “It is great to know how much people appreciate the little things that we sometimes take for granted.”

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