Hotellings receive Footprints Award
The Hotelling family’s contributions to the community have again been recognized, as Wayne, Elaine and Laurel received the annual Footprints Award from the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation.
The award was presented at the Community Foundation’s Annual Meeting, held at Jamestown Community College’s Training and conference Center in Dunkirk. Below is an account of the event that was written by Gib Snyder, the City Editor at the Observer newspaper.
Once the official meeting was over the business of honoring some special guests was next when the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation held its annual meeting Monday. After the meeting was officially closed the NCCF got on to the most important part of the gathering, the presentation of the 2015 George B. Weaver Footprints Award.
According to the NCCF, the award is given to an individual, family or group that creates footprints for others to follow. Community service, philanthropic endeavors (financial support not necessarily measured in dollars) and activities that have made an impact and that have enhanced the social and cultural climate of the northern Chautauqua community are the hallmarks of Footprint winners.
Peter D. Clark, the president of the NCCF board of directors, congratulated and introduced the recipients.
“The Footprints award this year is being awarded to Wayne, Elaine and Laurel Hotelling,” Clark stated. “The Hotellings are continuing to leave footprints in Northern Chautauqua County through their church, community, and their advocacy for individuals with disabilities.”
A video of community members talking about the Hotellings and their influence on the community, from Resource Center leaders to Silver Creek neighbors, was shown prior to the Hotellings stepping forward. In addition, Clark announced the Hotellings had received recognition from elected officials and a photograph by Barbara Del Monte.
Wayne Hotelling spoke for the award winners.
“On behalf of Elaine and Laurel and myself we’d like to thank you for this prestigious award, but it’s like you saw up here before, ‘together we can do anything.’ And Laurel has been the inspiration and Elaine has been behind the scenes, so to speak, but out in front all the time,” he began. “She was number one and responsible in the early years when Laurel was growing up and it was thanks to her and the rest of our children that Laurel has become what she has become.”
Wayne recalled the lack of information he and Elaine were provided when Laurel was born.
“We left the hospital not knowing anything about our daughter as far as anything being wrong. We did research on our own, we didn’t want to worry each other, and as a result of that we found out after a few weeks what was going on,” he continued. “I think as parents and as teachers we understood there was something not quite correct with Laurel. But in looking back and not taking the doctors advice, ‘put her in an institution,’ we see here in front of us a young lady who is 52 years old, who was given less than 12 years to live.”
Citing the support for the Laurel Run, Wayne said it was not just a run, but an event.
“There are many other things that are a part of it which make it a community standby. Laurel’s Lap is wonderful but I think more wonderful than that is that the residents, the consumers at the Resource Center, have taken over ownership of Laurel Run, and that’s what it’s all about. This never would have been able to happen without the support of so many people,” he explained. ” … We are just so thankful for what we have received in support.”
On July 18 the 19th annual Laurel Run will be held and Wayne cited Canadian Terry Fox, a cancer patient who attempted to run across Canada and basically run a marathon a day, as the inspiration for the Laurel Run.
“All I did was cross the state and he ran over 3,000 miles before the cancer got into his lungs and 10 months later he was dead. He has a foundation that has established millions upon millions, I think even a billion dollars today, for cancer research and that was all done by a young man with a prosthesis, one leg. … That’s where the seed was planted, where I got the idea for Laurel Run,” he explained. “So I thank Terry Fox and thank you very much for everything.”
Past recipients of the Footprints award include George B. Weaver Jr., Dallas Beal, Robert Maytum, Jim and Carol Boltz, Donald Q. Eno DVM, the founding NCCF Board of Directors and the first elected Board of Directors, Richard S. Johnson, Edwin L. Hamlet, Doug and Ann Manly, Richard Anson, Steve and Helen Baran, Steve and Sue Cobb, and Dick and Carmen Gilman.
The NCCF was founded in 1986 and is committed to improving the community through the promotion of local philanthropy, strategic grant making and community leadership. Served by a small staff and governed by an all-volunteer board of directors, the organization has distributed over $10.6 million in the form of grants and scholarships within the community.