Stories

2021 Citation for Long and Valued Service to the Assembly, 2021

    Gary and Judy Dawley - July 2021

Citation to DawleysThis last year and a half has tested the stamina of the people of our entire nation, as our ability to relate to, and to serve, others has been rather severely restricted. We have masked, practiced social distancing, depended on ordering goods on line, and been in isolation or even quarantine. Now that we are able to return to the CSA, not only in spirit , but in person, we are blessed to find that "everything is just like we remember it", for most things here at the Assembly. We all depend on the serenity, the natural beauty, and the fellowship we not only enjoy, but assume to be here for us, upon our return. All of that is due to the efforts of dedicated CSA members who often work "behind the scenes" so that we are able to come back to what we know and love. While we are here at the Congregational Summer Assembly, we are blessed by being surrounded not only by natural beauty, but by being part of a wonderful community of people who have learned over the years to do things for others, as they practice what we call, the "the Assembly Way". It is because these people contribute their time and energy in their own myriad of ways, that we continue to have this special oasis of calm, joy, beauty and fun year after year. We can all "re-charge our batteries" for whatever the upcoming year challenges us to do.

The Citation Committee has the delightful duty of publicly recognizing and celebrating the contributions of such people through the awarding the Citation for Long and Valued Service. This year's recipients were supposed to receive this award in 2020, but due to the pandemic, we have had to make them wait until today to be recognized. Permit me to share with you why this couple is so precious to all of us.

He has been an Assembly person for his entire life. We discovered that, when he was a teenager, he was awarded the Citizenship Award for contributions made at a time of his life when most people are very self-focused. His name is on the trophy cup which is in the Office Building, which you can check out the next time you are in the Office. He has continued his contributions over the years by designing and building sets for operettas, as well as performing in a few, singing in the choir, serving on the budget committee, on the Endowment committee, and on the Executive Committee. He served 3 years as a Trustee, and he has been Treasurer of the Executive Board for many years. The financial stability of the entire Congregational Summer Assembly has been strengthened by his expertise.

She, in her words," married in to this wonderful place". She is a hard working and loyal contributor to a wide range of Assembly programs. For example, she has played an active role in the Womens' Association, serving on the board and also as Assistant Treasurer. She has also served on the Membership Committee and on the Youth Committee. She has been very helpful by working on the stage crews for both the childrens' and adult operettas. She has helped out as Assistant Archivist for many years. Her most visible contribution can be seen in the Office Building. She made that beautiful valance which tops the windows in the great room where we all have enjoyed potluck dinners, childrens' dancing, the Cottage Treasures sale, and the Artists and Artisans Days.

The Citation Committee is so pleased to finally have the opportunity to formally and gratefully recognize the long and faithful service of Gary and Judy Dawley!

Citation for Long and Valued Service to the Assembly, 2019

CYNNIE AND CARL HOOD – August 2019

Hoods

We are living in a fast-paced world, where our daily schedules and demands on our time are most certainly not what was typical when the CSA was first established. And yet, we still have people ready to go that extra mile and demonstrate what is meant by "the Assembly Way."

The Citation Committee has the challenging task each year of recognizing individuals who have done so much to allow our way of life here at the CSA to proceed smoothly. Much of this effort goes largely unnoticed by the general population, but the result blesses us all! For example, they may be seen building scenery for the operettas, or maybe they make the road signs for the shady lanes where our cottages are found. Maybe they work on a committee to raise money for scholarship assistance for Assembly college students and well as others in Benzie County. Maybe they work to provide activities for our youth who have outgrown Monday night dancing. Maybe they participate in the Artists and Artisan's Day to share their artistic talents with interested people. Maybe they serve on the Board of Trustees or on various established committees of the Assembly. Maybe they help with the transition of the Crystal View from a gas station of long ago, to the quaint eating spot overlooking the lake that it has become. Sometimes they step up to repair or modernize the Meeting House facilities. Maybe they work to provide man-power for the Annual Art Fair and its ever-so-important-Cottage Treasures event. Our 2019 recipients can say, "Been there, done that!" to all of the above. They've found so many ways to be of service ever since their introduction to the CSA in the late 1940's when they were very young. Perhaps they picked up that attitude of being involved from previous CSA donors of time, energy, ideas and effort.

What's more, our beloved CSA is not the only organization for vacationers around this lake. But it's interesting to note that the efforts by CSA members such as our recipients, have had a spill-down effect on other such organizations, inspiring some of them to reach out to the needs of others in ways which resemble the pioneer work done by CSA. The sharing spirit grows and moves goes beyond our borders!

In the words of our 2019 recipients, "If you have an idea to enrich the Assembly, explore it! If you see a way to be of help, step up to the task!" Our summer paradise could not survive without such individuals! With pleasure, we announce that the recipients of the 2019 Citation for Long and Valued Service is awarded to Cynnie and Carl Hood.

Citation for Long and Valued Service to the Assembly, 2018

JAY AND ANNE BURT - AUGUST 2018

Most of the population of the CSA is aware that it is the voluntary contributions of many people that allows our beloved CSA to continue to provide the place, the activities, and the nurturing spirit which we all experience in our time together here. Many of us are not in a position to observe the contributions made by certain people who step up to help in various ways, lending their help with something they feel could be good for the community at large. Sometimes this involves an ability to sense when and where something needs to be restored, provided or improved upon. Such people volunteer quietly and without fanfare as they provide their energies and expertise, in order that this improvement will come to fruition. They rarely are interested in a lot of fuss and fanfare. They make their contributions working towards a goal, individually, as part of an ad hoc group, or possibly on established committees at the Assembly.

One of the tenets that hasn't changed is the spirit of giving back to the community. Volunteering is what "makes the buggy run." (This could also be stated as The Assembly Way.) This is a special place, filled with special people, and we are all better people for being a part of it. Our recipients feel that "The least that any of us can do to show our fondness and appreciation for this nurturing place, is to share a bit of our time, talents, or intellect back with the community, from which we benefit so greatly."

Our recipients preferred that we not make mention of their rather long list of a lifetime of volunteer contributions to the Assembly community. In respect for their request, that will not be iterated today. It is with great pleasure and appreciation, that I have the privilege of presenting the Citation for Long and Valued Service to two people who have, year after year, done their part to "make the buggy run" here at the CSA, Jay and Anne Burt.