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Volunteers reflect on year of achievement at ceremony

Apr. 03, 2013 @ 06:47 AM

HUNTINGTON -- No matter how big or small, contributions to the local community should be recognized, said Phoebe Patton Randolph, a community volunteer and one of the founding members of Create Huntington.

Representatives of about 60 community entities that have impacted the city of Huntington during the past year with their time and efforts were honored during Create Huntington's fourth annual recognition ceremony at the Frederick Building in downtown Huntington.

Every person and group honored during the event was nominated by a member of the community, said Jessica Pressman, treasurer for Create Huntington and a member of the group's board of connectors.

Each person who is nominated is honored during the event, said Randolph.

"If you just keep pushing forward, and you don't really take the time to stop and see what all you've actually accomplished, it can be easy to get defeated quickly," said Randolph. "This is not an organization about getting more money or having the most people. The goal is to get people to change their mindset about their community and get involved."

Create Huntington may be best known for its weekly Chat-n-Chew discussions at 5:30 p.m. each Thursday at The Frederick.

The weekly event can be traced back to 2006, and ideas brought to those meetings by citizens have led to the realization of Huntington's PetSafe Dog Park, monthly "Cash Mob" events where patrons shop at locally owned businesses and CAFÉ Huntington, which awards microgrants to fund projects by local artists.

As far as the Chat-n-Chews are concerned, there is no fee to enter and the only rule is that participants must stay positive, said Randolph.

Pressman said part of what makes Create Huntington such a powerful tool is the broad range of people with various passions and realms of expertise who are willing to share their time, talent and efforts.

"It is what people might not know about Create Huntington -- that we are focused on positivity and bringing people together to create opportunities to help people make a difference," said Pressman. "It's just a bunch of regular people. The people here aren't specifically trained to work in public policy, but it's people who want their community to be better and have found a passion for a way to do it. We want people to see us here and know that anyone can make a difference in their own community."

For more information about Create Huntington, visit www.createhuntington.com.

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